Monday, March 29, 2010
My good friend, Mandi, is such a loving, giving person. She works as a nurse, she volunteers time and money as best she can, and she always gives everyone a smile and some joy in the day. You really should get to know her over at her blog if you haven't already. Today is an even better time than usual, because she is having a giveaway to celebrate her 300th blog post! There are all kinds of goodies, but the best part will be reading her thoughts in other posts, so head on over. ;)
Friday, March 12, 2010
Over at Bonnie's Faith Barista blog, there's a bit of a carnival going on. Bonnie writes inspirational faith messages to recharge readers for daily living...as she puts it, "a double shot of faith." Today she not only brewed her own faith-espresso, she invited readers to become lay-baristas and write their thoughts on the same topic.
The topic for this week: Rejection.
I've known this was coming since she left me a comment days ago. Originally I thought to myself, "oh, rejection. That's an easy one to write about. So many topics!"
Yesterday I thought to myself, "guess I'd better get thinking about that topic."
This morning as I washed dishes I thought, "hmm. Not being asked to a dance by the guy who was giving me mixed signals? Nah. Being dumped by boyfriends? Too obvious. My first rejection of a story submission? Too done by every writer on the web."
Honestly, does anyone want to own up to being rejected? It cuts a soul to the quick. We are told that we aren't good enough, that we don't measure up in someway to what the rejector was seeking. Even if it is our work that is sent back, we see it as a personal failing.
I put all that time and effort into that submission. Those were my ideas from my deepest heart of hearts. And they didn't want them...they didn't want a piece of me.
We lose sight of the fact that everyone is rejected at some point, on some level. We forget that this is the way life is lived: by putting ourselves out there, for better or for worse, to see what the world thinks of us. It's how we learn to work harder, reach further, strive longer. We see what we are capable of, we learn what others are capable of, and we are the better for having experienced that momentary loss of self. It teaches us compassion for others, patience, and to find joy in the journey rather than the destination...if only we allow it to.
To fly, we have to have resistance.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Even on a chilly day, with rain clouds scudding across the sky and a breeze whipping up the few dried leaves still clinging to the trees, people came. Some came in tour buses, others came in pairs. A solitary few walked with themselves and their ghosts.
Snow still lay on the ground of shaded slopes, the only bright note in a day of brown and grey. Silence reigned for some, broken only by the click of cameras capturing the "nation's shrine." On a hilltop a restless crowd shifted from foot to foot, from step to step, a susurration. The cameras clicked without pause, following the echoing footfalls of a man in uniform.
He is not there for them.
Just as the grave stones are only the cover of the lives, once lived, held beneath them, this soldier's vigil only appears to be performed for the witness of the living.
He does not dress with precision for those who will view it.
He does not carefully pace measured steps so they won't see him falter.
He does not keep a straight face as a posture of solemnity others can be touched by.
He was chosen and answered in service not to his country, not for his fellow citizens, but for his brothers and sisters in arms who lay beneath the snow. He is exacting in their memory. He does not falter to continue their strides. He is solemn out of respect for the sacrifices made by others just like him, who served and who died for their country, but even more for each other.
Goodness is found not in the act, but in the meaning. Goodness is in his quiet determination to give meaning to the lives lost, and to find his meaning in theirs.
This post was written as part of Bridget Chumbley's "One Word at a Time" blog carnival. Please visit her to read others' thoughts on Goodness.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
March must be the time for us to visit DC. Just last year the kids and I took an impromptu trip with my best buddy and saw DC at Night . This year hubby and I had a wonderful gift of the opportunity for a weekend as a couple in my favorite city. Hope you enjoy. Compare the cell-phone pics of last year with this year's...it is the same difference that can be seen between the haze I was in emotionally during the deployment and the brightness that is our time now. What a wonderful way to experience DC.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I could hear the conversation over the grinding and crunching sounds of my poor printer. It had bitten off more than it could chew, and apparently so had my four-year-old son. He came in to ask me for dessert, and as I gritted my teeth and wrestled a piece of paper from the maws of ink destruction, I growled at him to go away.
His shoulders slumped as he shuffled off, and a stream of muttering hung in the air. The printer sympathized with its own whining and groaning, and I glared at them both for being difficult. As he rounded the corner into the family room, the muttering turned to whining, which turned into fitful tears.
Another country heard from: "What are you cryin' about?"
"Daaaaaddddeeeee, I huuunnngrrrrryy!"
I could hear the irritation building over the racket of the machine. "Then why don't you eat more of your dinner?"
"Noooo, I hungry for rock caaaannnddyy!" And the little man emphasized his point to the big man with a stamp on the floor for good measure.
"Then you're not hungry. You just want the candy. Hungry is different. Hungry is when you have a hole you need to fill..." and with that the printer gave up the fight and loosed the paper I had been sawing back and forth on as I listened. With a sigh of relief and a malevolent glare at the beast, I reset my document's printer settings and settled in to listen more to the philosophical discussion around the corner, but it was done. The gentlemen had moved on to more interesting pursuits, wrangling bathtime.
So that was it. "Hungry is when you have a hole you need to fill." How many times do we realize that we want something, but not enough to fight for it? We're just not hungry for it. On the other hand, how many people do we know, maybe even ourselves, who feel a hunger gnawing away a hole that we just can't fill? When does hunger fuel our work, and when does it burn away our hope?
Yes, there is a difference between want and hunger. What are you hungry for?