"One ought, everyday at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and speak a few reasonable words." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fortune Cookie Friday - Happy Days

I really like this fortune. However, I have one little issue with it. Happiness, in my estimation, is not separate from struggle. Happiness is as achievable in the midst of struggle as it is outside of struggle. You know...the whole 'dancing in the rain' thing? I know, I know...way to ruin a good fortune. But I always have to make that distinction clear in my mind so I remember I don't have to get depressed when things get difficult. *I* control my attitude at all times. I mean, ex-squeeze me...I am no victim! My personal happiness is NOT subject to circumstances. Circumstances are subject to ME! As long as I think that my mood is a slave to my circumstances, I give up my power to choose the way I feel. So, yes...happy days ARE ahead of me! But they are ahead of me because I will choose them, not because of the absence of struggle, thank you very much!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Choose Light!

“To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night.”
--YODA, Dark Rendezvous

I decided that it might be nice to periodically share my Pinterest quotes. If they relate to any of my past posts, I will include a link, like I have done below. And by the way, if you haven't discovered Pinterest yet...Oh. My. Goodness! You are SO missing out! You will LOVE it! Just click on the red "Follow me on Pinterest" button up in the upper right-hand corner. I'd love to see your pins! Here's one of mine:

Click to View Related Past Post:
Two Wolves

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wiseguy Wednesday - Grammar Police

Wiseguy Wednesday: Earplugs

During flight school, an instructor noticed that a young pilot wasn't wearing her earplugs correctly. 
"If you don't fix your earplugs, you'll turn into a deaf old man like me," he warned over the roar of helicopter engines.
She shot back, "If I turn into a deaf old man, I've got bigger problems than hearing loss."
--Deborah Gatrell

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Magical Bank

Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:  Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400.00 in a private account for your use.

However, this prize has rules, just as any game has certain rules.

The Rules:
  1. Everything that you don’t spend during each day will be taken away from you.
  2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.  You may only spend it.
  3. Each morning, the bank opens your account with another $86,400.00 for that day.
  4. The bank can end the game without warning. It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you do?

You’d probably buy everything you wanted; not only for yourself, but for all people you love. Then you’d probably move on to people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself. And if you’re anything like me, you’d try to spend every cent every day because it’d be a waste not to use it all, right?

Well, actually…this game is REALITY! Each of us is already in possession of such a magical bank. We just can't seem to see it.

The magical bank is TIME! 

Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.
What we haven't lived up that day is forever lost; yesterday is forever gone.
Each morning the account is refilled, but the Bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING and you will not receive another. 

What will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? They are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars, so don’t hold back; start spending now!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

C.S. Lewis Sunday - A Great Secret

"Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less. There is, indeed, one exception. If you do him a good turn, not to please God and obey the law of charity, but to show him what a fine forgiving chap you are, and to put him in your debt, and then sit down to wait for his 'gratitude', you will probably be disappointed. (People are not fools: they have a very quick eye for anything like showing off, or patronage.) But whenever we do good to another self...we shall have learned to love it a little more or, at least, to dislike it less."
--C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fortune Friday - The Mother Load!

Today you get Two-For-One fortunes because my husband and I went to our favorite Thai place again and got quite possibly the best fortunes in the whole wide world! And the fact that we got them ON THE SAME DAY, out of two different, individually wrapped cookies is pretty amazing! Seriously...who could ask for more out of a fortune cookie?

I sure hope these come true because my minivan has 160,000 miles on it and is about to retire to the junk yard in the sky. You don't even want to know what we had to go through to get that thing to pass smog last month! And our finances would HAVE to take a turn to significant improvement in order to afford a replacement. So, cross your fingers and toes for me, people! I can't have these fortuitous cookie guts getting the idea that they can just spit out idle promises! I need ACTIVE luck! Look at me...I'm so desperate, I'm personifying cookies! ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Got Glue?

This little ceramic plaque fell off my wall one day and was dashed to pieces on my ceramic tile floor. I was upset at first, but now that it's all glued back together I think it means more to me broken than it ever meant to me whole. 

I think the imperfections of the broken plaque add character and dimension and make the message more meaningful. Before it was just a nice reminder that I shouldn't let my imperfections stop me from doing things. But now whenever I look at it I am reminded that while I am broken, imperfect, and inadequate, with God's help I can be useful and valuable still the same--maybe even more so than if I were in perfect condition.

God's Grace is glue and wholeness only comes through Him. In fact, it is the "Him" inside each of us holding us together that qualifies us. If it were possible to be perfect without God, there would be no place for Him in our hearts. Then where would we be? A nice thought without real meaning? Knowledge without wisdom?

In that sense, I'm glad to be broken! It's the cracks and chinks that make people interesting, anyway. They give us dimension and depth as long as we have the Glue. Without the Glue though, we're just a bunch of broken, jumbled, meaningless pieces.

Related  Posts:  
Being Wrong

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wiseguy Wednesday - Air Force Family

My father, an Air Force Academy graduate, still retains a strict military code of ethics as well as a quick wit. One day I mentioned that I was thinking about getting my bellybutton pierced.

"No way!" my father fired back. "This is an Air Force family -- no Navel Destroyers are allowed!"
--Sarah Blomquist

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Sonnet II
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide!
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go, -- so with his memory they brim!
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
 I say, "There is no memory of him here!"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him!
--Edna St. Vincent Millay 
Renascence and Other Poems, 1917

It’s kind of odd that this is one of my most favorite poems, since I have never experienced such a loss. I mean, I have experienced the deaths of extended family members, but nothing like the next-level kind of loss that is expressed in the poem. I can’t even imagine the depths of the pain of losing someone I’ve actually lived with or formed those inner-circle bonds with; like a best friend, a parent, a spouse, or - Heaven forbid - a child. I have felt an inkling of the bottomless grief second hand through close friends and family who have lost inner-circle loved ones, but that is nowhere near the same as actually experiencing that kind of loss, I’m sure.

I think I just love the poem because it articulates the multifaceted anguish so vividly that I can almost feel it. Not that I want to feel it; I’m just moved that a collection of words can open my heart to emotions deeper than I could fathom before I read them, and give me more compassion toward those who are trying to navigate the perilous depths of sorrow.

It makes me feel more connected to humanity. I feel more connected to God. I feel more replete with love to give to those who ache. Even if I can only faintly grasp the shallows of that pain, I am more willing to wade as deep as I can to mourn with anyone suffers there.

I feel more.

I feel…more.

And that’s why I love this poem.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do You Believe in Barbers?

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadow to blind those who don't."
--Blaise Pascal 

A  man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation.

They talked about many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer. 

"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist," the Barber replied. "Tell me...if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain! I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."  

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the  shop. 

Just outside the barbershop, the customer ran into a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. The man looked dirty and unkempt. The customer immediately turned back and entered the barber shop again and said to the barber: 

"You  know what? Barbers do not exist."

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"

"No!" the  customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty, long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's just what happens when people do not come to  me."
"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. THAT is why there's so much pain and suffering in the  world."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

C.S. Lewis Sunday - A New Perspective

"Christianity asserts that every individual human being is going to live for ever, and this must be either true or false. Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live for ever. Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are gradually getting worse -- so gradually that the increase in seventy years will not be very noticeable. But it might be absolute hell in a million years: in fact, if Christianity is true, Hell is the precisely correct technical term for what it would be. And immortality makes this other difference, which, by the by, has a connection with the difference between totalitarianism and democracy. If individuals live only seventy years, then a state, or a nation, or a civilisation, which may last for a thousand years, is more important than an individual. But if Christianity is true, then the individual is not only more important but incomparably more important, for he is everlasting and the life of a state or a civilisation, compared with his, is only a moment."
--C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Thursday, October 13, 2011


This hangs on my wall at home to remind me not to stand at the bottom of every staircase wringing my hands. 
Just step up! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wiseguy Wednesday - Heavenly Marriage

A young couple had a fatal car accident on the way to their wedding. When they met St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, they asked if it was possible for them to marry in heaven. He said he would make some inquiries and get back to them.

A year later, St. Peter found the couple and told them they could get married. "Could we get a divorce if it doesn't work out?" they wanted to know.

"Good grief!" St. Peter exclaimed. "It took me a whole year to find a preacher up here, and now you want me to find a lawyer?"

--Dee McDonald

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Humility: All Streams Flow to the Ocean

This is my number one, most favorite quote of all time. And I think that's saying something, since I have over 200 pages of favorite quotes in 12pt font.  I love it because it articulates a little known - or at least - little utilized truth.

Of all the virtues, I think humility has been the most difficult for me to cultivate in my life. First of all, it's a difficult concept to wrap your head around. In the dictionary, Humble is defined as "The quality or condition of being modest in opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc." But I have a bit of a problem with that definition. I think the words "importance" and "rank" add to a general misconception of humility as "less than or lowly in comparison to others," which has a competitive connotation. But humility is anything BUT competitive. Competition is a function of the ego, and ego is the antithesis of humility.  

I have found it most useful to think of humility as an abiding inner peace. Regardless of what others may think, you are content. Even if you are stressed, vexed, afflicted, or provoked your heart remains harmonious no matter what the circumstance. You don't compare yourself to others or judge them in any way and most often forget yourself in the service of those around you simply because your "self" doesn't even occur to you in the presence of so many others.

Who ISN'T attracted to that in someone...like a stream to the ocean? 

Most of the finest leaders in history have been masters of humility. But of course they never knew it because not-knowing, not-judging, not-measuring are the hallmarks of a humble character.  If you know you're humble, you're not.

I often wonder if such a virtue can even be cultivated. It sort of seems like something you either have or you don't, like long eyelashes or green eyes. But I suppose it's never a lost cause to try and cultivate humility anyway. Even if you never become an ocean, it's not going to hurt to forget your "self" even intermittently.  There's still gravity in the effort, no matter the ultimate result. Besides, perfection is not required. Aren't we all dependent upon Grace (the ultimate Ocean) anyway? We're always flowing to something deeper than ourselves...

Monday, October 10, 2011


I found this little concept extremely thought provoking. It completely changed the quality of my prayers and made me think of all the little things I take for granted every day. Apply it and see if it doesn't make your life feel a little lighter.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

C.S. Lewis Sunday - Diabolical Pride

"The real black, diabolical Pride, comes when you look down on others so much that you do not care what they think of you. Of course it is very right, and often our duty, not to care what people think of us, if we do so for the right reason; namely, because we care so incomparably more what God thinks. But the Proud man has a different reason for not caring. He says 'Why should I care for the applause of that rabble as if their opinion were worth anything? And even if their opinions were of value, am I the sort of man to blush with pleasure at a compliment like some chit of a girl at her first dance? No, I am an integrated, adult personality. All I have done has been done to satisfy my own ideals--or, in a word, because I'm That Kind of Chap. If the mob like it, let them. They're nothing to me.' In this way real thorough-going pride may act as a check on vanity; for, as I said a moment ago, the devil loves 'curing' a small fault by giving you a great one. We must try not to be vain, but we must never call in our Pride to cure our vanity."
--C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Related Link:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wiseguy Wednesday - Your Call

I love this funny little story because it begs the question: Is Ego profitable or futile? Then illustrates the obvious answer. It's your call, indeed. Enjoy!
Through the pitch-black night, the captain sees a light dead ahead on a collision course with his ship. He sends a signal: "Change your course 10 degrees east."

The light signals back: "Change yours, 10 degrees west."

Angry, the captain sends: "I'm a Navy captain! Change your course, sir!"

"I'm a seaman, second class," comes the reply. "Change your course, sir."

Now the captain is furious. "I'm a battleship! I'm not changing my course!"

There's one last reply, "I'm a lighthouse. Your call."
--Dan Bell