Friday, November 11, 2011

ask, even when you don't know you're asking, and ye shall receive

last night, i was pretty wrung out...feeling emotionally drained, like really. emotionally. drained. in a way i haven't been that i can recall. and it made me defensive...and suspicious. i don't know that defensive leads to suspiciousness...i just know that when i feel defensive to the bone (yes, it usually comes with weariness)...i also start finding suspect the motives of all around me. it's a vicious, awful cycle. and that pretty much sums up my last night. the hubs was not my friend. the teens were extra selfish. even the baby didn't love me much, to be honest.

but i made it through the night (and i must admit here that it is really only recently that i've learned to have faith that i will, indeed, make it through these evenings of intense negative emotions). the kids eventually got their homework done and their teeth brushed (it was a late night due to piano recitals and visiting cousins) and the baby eventually reliquished the "boo" and drifted off into sleep. and i sat down with my book (the one i was doing really well and actually looked like i might finish...but then it sat untouched for a month...sigh). and here are a few excerpts from what i read...

"Do you ever think about dying? Whenever I am confronted with the reality and inevitability of death it heightens my awareness of how brief and precious my time here on earth is. Sometimes it is the death of a friend, at other times it is a news story, or perhaps it is just a bumpy ride on a plane. These events help me to treasure my own life more and more with each passing day. But they also challenge me to reassess the way I am spending the time, effort, and energies that are my life. I am more intimately aware than ever before that we all waste life. We waste it one day at a time--a day here and a day there--or an hour at a time. We waste time drowning in unforgiveness. We waste time immersed in frivolous or irresponsible activities. We waste time being lazy and procrastinating. We waste time. Life is passing us by."

and there was this one, one of my absolute favorites...i've used it in a talk and i'm going to put it up in my kids' is a marianne williamson quote...

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, Who are you not to be? You are a child of God. your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

it occurs to me as i type this that often my defensiveness does beget defensiveness in others. so i guess it can work both ways. it also occurs to me that beauty companies really want our population to believe only a handful of them will be glorious. the knowledge of how amazing each person is would devastate their profit margins.

and the last passage, words of john henry newman (no, i really don't know who he, here i come...)...

"God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my missions. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good--I shall do his work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it, if I do but keep his commandments. Therefore I will trust him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve him. In perplexity, my perplexity may serve him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve him. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me--still, HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS ABOUT."

and since it's from the same book, much further back that the stuff i just posted, but because it so eloquently states how i feel about being catholic. and because i've been writing more from that part of my life...i just wanted to share this quote from mother teresa, who is a person who inspires me deeply....

"Religion is not something that you or I can touch. Religion is the worship of God--therefore a matter of conscience. I alone must decide for myself and you for yourself, what we choose. For me, the religion I live and use to worship God is the Catholic religion. For me, this is my very life, my joy, and the greatest gift of God in his love for me. He could have given me no greater gift."

i know some people have had the experience of being around christians who tell them the state of others' souls based on how they are living. (ie..."if you don't believe x, then you're going to hell.") but i've been reading the bible lately (yeah...i'm really going there...and yeah...i've really never gone there before), and i am pretty sure that the bible is a self help book, and only a self help book. it is about how to make your soul right. there is not a lot about how to judge others' souls. as a matter of fact, i came across this verse last night, warning against living to follow the law instead (and the false sense of holiness that comes with that) of being lead by the law to live in faith for the soul...

You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be justified by the law; you have fallen from grace. --Galatians 5: 4

i was so consumed by the end of last night by the negativity of this one agent i have had to work with on buying what i am pretty sure is going to be our dream home. i will permit myself a moment to dwell on that is just a beautiful, beautiful place...wild and open and lots of room to explore and breathe and run and get your hands in the earth and feel the sun and wind...and a lake, too...if this works out, i will cry at amazement of our good fortune. but i guess the road to eden must have some brambles to keep us humble? because this one woman's personality has enough brambles to humble a small army. she has shaken my faith in people, in myself so many times. but, there are other folks that have come into my path that have given us comfort, given us counsel, helped us find our confidence and our faith again. and for those people, i so, so grateful and amazed at our good fortune already.

anyway...i was feeling pretty lousy and these are the things i read. because that's how god rolls.


ps--for the sake of full disclosure (have you ever bought a house? were you so sick of the word "disclosure" by the end? this deal has been like that...times ten...), the book i'm still reading is "rediscover catholicism" by matthew kelly.

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