Sunday, June 23, 2013

This week's Quotes That Grab Ya

Need a little boost or some motivation? Need a little encouragement or even just a reminder of your beauty and worth? Sure, we all do ..... hope you find a kernel of wisdom or even a word that resonates with you in some of these quotes:

6/16: "I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom." ― Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum

6/17: "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams

6/18: "Everything works out in the end. if it hasn't worked out yet, then it's not the end." ― Tracy McMillan

6/19: "It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard, she said, is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about." ― Shauna Niequist

6/20: "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." ― Yogi Berra ........... AND BONUS QUOTE: "Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.” -- Donald Miller

6/21: "A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done." -- Vince Lombardi

6/22: "To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting." – ee cummings

6/23: "Good works is giving to the poor and the helpless, but divine works is showing them their worth to the One who matters." — Criss Jami

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quotes That Grab Ya

As most of you know, I start out most mornings on Facebook by posting a quote of the day. I get them from a variety of sources -- e-mailed newsletters, Twitter, all sorts of books that I have, Goodreads, or sometimes just a plain ol' Google search. And lately it seems that mine all seem to focus on a few key themes: hope, love, self-worth, healing, determination, destiny, change, surrender/trust, etc. They may seem a little varied, but these are the ones where God/The Universe/The Force, call it whatever you like, has said, "THIS ONE. It's for you today. Everyday. Pay attention."

And yes, I need to start paying more attention. So I've decided to at least keep a record of them here. Once a week, I plan to do a digest of quotes with the label QuotesThatGrabYa (sans hashtag but you get it)...... Since Saturdays seem to be the day I have a little more time (albeit not much) to the morning, that's when I'll post them.

Feel free to grab as you like. I took them from somewhere else, and I usually post at least to whom it has been attributed. I figure they're out there for a reason and we all need to hear these messages resonate within our own lives and situations. Each of us needs comfort, hope, guidance, reassurance, redirection, and sometimes just a  good smack in the hiney or a huge hug from God/etc. that says, "Oh precious one....."

So here's the digest from June 9-15:

6/9: "In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others." ― Brennan Manning

6/10: "No art takes places without inspiration. Every artist also needs effective knowledge of his or her tools (e.g., does a certain brush function well with a particular kind of paint?). What’s more, artists need effective techniques for using those tools. Likewise, to express ourselves skillfully with maximum efficiency and minimum effort, we need to investigate the most effective ways of using the mind and body since, in the end, they are the only 'tools' we truly possess in life." ― H. E. Davey

6/11: "Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets -- this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience." ― Shauna Niequist

6/12: "And I can tell by the way you're searching / For something you can't even name / That you haven't been able to come to the table, simply glad that you came / And when you feel like this try to imagine / That we're all like frail boats on the sea / Just scanning the night for that great guiding light, announcing the jubilee...." -- -- Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Jubilee" (from the CD, Stones In The Road)

6/13: "Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are." ― Anne Lamott

6/14: Found on Twitter this morning from @QuotesNSmiles: "Life isn’t about waiting for the time to come. It’s all about making the most of things in the time that is given to you." -- Joel Brown

6/15: "We can't look to the world to restore our worth; we're here to restore our worth to the world. The world outside us can reflect our glory, but it cannot create it. It cannot crown us. Only God can crown us, and he already has." ― Marianne Williamson

Remainder of 2013 to follow in separate posts, probably at the end of each month (I'll fiddle with the dates to get it to work, but henceforth at the end of the week). Just look for the label QuotesThatGrabYa and find something to speak to your heart, your soul, your essence, the portion of the Divine within you. And know that I am cheering you on from here (and only ask the same of you).

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Thoughts on Rain

It was July 1984, and our area set a record for July rainfall: 13 inches. I remember that as the Summer of Slosh. No going outside and having fun with friends. Definitely no need to buy sunscreen, except to plan for our beach vacation coming up in August. No, it was definitely "stay inside and hibernate with a good book or twelve."

Two summers later, we were praying for rain, literally. Whatever reserve we had was used up very quickly. Farmers from Michigan and other parts of the upper Midwest literally saved the farmers around here with truckloads of hay for the livestock. Summer '86 was hot, horrifically dry, and it was the first time I became familiar with the term drought. Sadly, my familiarity with it would not go away as I moved from adolescence into my adult life.

Now, we're not a farm family -- no, we're townspeople, but in my small town, everyone has a garden of some sort, whether for fruits and veggies for themselves, flora and shrubbery (!) to make their house prettier or both. While I had a vague idea about how important rainwater was to these things, a lack of summer veggies and watching Daddy work over an unproductive garden drove it home. And this was only the beginning. For years on end, we watched the usual summer weather pattern develop: unbearably sticky humid air, only to develop into small pop-up storms that were just enough to "settle the dust" but which did nothing to alleviate the situation. Watching our local lakes go from gorgeously full to dangerously low .... getting the "no boats in these areas" and "no swimming allowed" alerts. To use current parlance, "Sh*t got real."

Off and on, rains would come and restore things a little, but the overall drought continued for years on end. There might be a couple of years that would relieve us here and there, but never the way it was in the mid-1980s. Until.......

2004. It was an Atlantic hurricane season that sent torrents of rain and destruction along the Gulf Coast. And it did not stop that year, but continued right on through that awful summer of 2005 that devastated the Gulf with Katrina and Rita...... but did our area so much good. See, apparently most of our rain comes via tropical systems in the summer and fall. Systems that come in via the west and northwest never make it over the mountains to us. Does a ton of good for eastern Tennessee, western NC, and even northeast GA, but us? ZIP. But if it comes in via the southwest (Gulf) or southeast (Atlantic): booyah! Good rain for us and happy land. It indeed becomes precious rain, in the deepest sense of the word. What is such benefit for us usually brings such destruction or disaster in other areas.

It wasn't all that long ago -- maybe just a couple of years -- that all the benefits we received as a result of those two horrid seasons along the Gulf had gone away. We were yet again facing that ugly D word. Which stage were we in -- incipient? early? moderate? We weren't on the edge of severe again yet (thank God) but it wasn't very good either. Lakes were again low. Boat warnings to look out for shallow areas and sandbars were again issued.

This year, so far, so good. In fact, we're at an abundance again, and the tropical season just started. On May 31, we had gone 9 days without rain, and yet were still at a 2" surplus for the year. The lakes are looking normal again. And now, with the first storm of the season -- albeit less a "storm" than just a good soaking rainmaker -- we're definitely above average!

And I promised myself a few years back that after all those years of drought, I would never complain about rain again. I try very hard to keep that promise. Although after this May and so-far-in-June, I may change my mind.......