The everyday struggle

The dragons are formidable, but no match for our faith and tenacity.  Disney's California Adventure Park, July 2004

The dragons are formidable, but they are no match for our faith and tenacity.
Disney’s California Adventure Park, July 2004

“One wrestles with one’s dragons until the end of one’s life — it is a constant and eternal process.  The crises in one’s life only show up in intensity what is going on every day.  The crises are there, perhaps in order to illuminate the everyday struggle…so that one may be better prepared to fight, not “next time” but all the time — tomorrow and the day after.”Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I’ve often said that the crises are easier to get through than the relatively smaller challenges that come with each day.  During a crisis, we typically have adrenaline, determination and the active support of friends and family to get us through.  There is also the feeling that, whatever is happening, it is time-limited and will pass.  In between major life events, though, the seemingly minor setbacks and relentless annoyances can take a cumulative toll that is ultimately as formidable as the life-and-death moments.

I think Anne Lindbergh’s insights are correct; life is an ongoing struggle for pretty much all of us, though our individual circumstances vary on the surface.  During her 94 years, she weathered larger storms than most of us will, but  so many of us are drawn to her writing not because of her accounts of remarkable and unprecedented experiences.  Rather, it is her knack for detailing the common trials we all must negotiate; the ubiquitous obstacles we must overcome just to get through another day.

If your path today is impeded by figurative dragons, or only pesky gnats and flies, I hope you’ll have plenty of illumination to guide your way.  Remember how much you have survived already, and take heart!  You obviously have the right stuff to get through another day.

One year ago today:

A light from the shadows


  1. Slay those dragons! I’m here to help! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, M! You have already helped a great deal. I appreciate the presents of your presence here!

  2. singleseatfighterpilot

    Matthew 12: 43-45, I believe addresses some of the smaller challenges in life. The cumulative effect of many small ones can overwhelm more certainly than one big dragon (for scripture refrence to the later see Job 41: 12-34). And yet, if neither sword, nor spear, nor arrows can conquer this big menace, to Whom do we turn?

    • More on this topic two weeks hence (with a kind of thematic preview on April 13th).

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        I will plan to read next on April 13th.

  3. raynard

    Julia , ( Adjusting my drillsgt hat slightly) The encouragement and blessing I get from reading and comment on your blog for the past few months, here goes, it’ never religious’super spiritual” legalistic or dogmatic. It’s keeping it real as the kids say in your honesty and humility.The reality of everyday life seen through your eyes. Just catching up on reading sample books on Google. With names like “Andy Rooney, Paul Harvey,Steve Jobs, Charles Kerwalt. All who I grew up watching On Tv or in Mr Harvey’s case listening to on the radio( AM I still listen to AM now online Old Time Radio Shows etc etc)( you ever think about doing audio blogs for hearing impaired or people with trouble seeing?. I know your plate is full and your cup is running over. But there are some” that dont have a problem with “leftovers” or catching” run off ” from glasses..( food for thought lol) be blessed

    • Raynard, I’m so happy you like the blog! Oh dear, I could never do anything audio because of the problem of “I’m talking and I can’t shut up!!” 🙂 Plus I have a hard time modulating my voice when I get excited. Having said that, though, I have done a good bit of speaking in front of audiences (I told Jeff in grad school that I felt as if I was getting a degree in “Presentation 101” and I do enjoy it. But I find it’s easier to rein in my mind (and my mouth) when I’m writing. As hypergraphic as I can be, I talk WAY more, as anyone who knows me can attest. I am thankful for some of the amazing voice talents out there who can take a fairly dry, long novel I could never read through and bring it to life in unabridged audio format. That’s how I do most of my reading. I like listening as much as I like talking, which I suppose helps somewhat.

  4. Sheila

    ” Don’t wish me happiness — I don’t expect to be happy all the time….. It’s gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor, I will need them all.”
    —Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    Julia, we have discussed our love for the book “Gift From The Sea”. I just love this quote from her book! Such a good blog today…. as always! 🙂

    • Sheila, I remember that quote and love it. She did indeed need all of them, in great abundance, for at least 80 of her 94 years! I’m so happy to have you here with us! 🙂

  5. Very inspiring :o)

    • Thank you, Patricia!

  6. Amy

    First what a beautiful photo. Second thanks for being there for all my gnats and flies. I am sad to say that for a long time I enjoyed Anne’s book which she wrote at the beach and did not realize she was “that Lindbergh” You are right her dragons were many. Thank you for this thought. I will try to remember it. Love ya.

    • Amy, did I tell you that the cottage Jeff and I stayed in at Captiva last year was once the old post office where she wrote about going to while she was staying in Captiva and writing “The Shells” (which later became Gift from the Sea)? At the time we stayed there, I had no idea (or had forgotten) that we were very close to where most of that book was written. Fun thought. I am thinking of you and hoping you get well soon!

      • Amy

        You did tell me that. I hope Stephen and I can make a “get away” some day to the same place. A week would be good. 🙂 A month even better. OK I’ll settle for a weekend. :). I am better today. Still no voice but no one here to talk to so that is fine. I am resting and enjoying the peace. Have a great weekend.

        • Amy, we actually got a WAY CHEAP airfare to FLL ($49 each way) for that little getaway – it’s also cheap and easy to rent a car at FLL and drive across “alligator alley” and up to Captiva, which was a fun part of the trip. I’ll let you guys know if I see that fare again. Captiva is magical, like no other place in Florida that I’ve seen. It’s one of those places I would like to return to again and again. Hope you are feeling better! Thinking of you!

  7. She was an amazing woman, wasn’t she? I love that quote.

    • Yes, she really was, on so many levels.

  8. Julia, when my wife and I was stationed in Hawaii several years ago, a friend of ours would have their uncle come visit each year in the summer from Michigan, and his words still ring true everyday, He endured much in his life but was very kind, loving and genuine. He would tell us especially after we lost our first son there, That as we grew older there will be much to always be thankful for, and even when one faces the worst of times that one will find happiness if they took the time to smell the roses, for there are still daily blessings to receive each day, and those blessings will inspire our hearts and lift our spirits. I am with you in prayer my sister, you strength is a sweet, inspiring blessing. Thanks for always sharing with us every day. Here are two things I will share with you that may inspire you. Keep your faith always…hugs and blessings to you and your family!. The following links are some inspirational spoken word with music, ‘You Are’,, and ‘My Eternal Love’,,

    • Wendell, thanks so much for your kind words, and for sharing these links. At the first one, I was able to read the words but when I tried to access the audio link, I got an error message. However, I was able to enjoy the second one — you have a wonderful voice for reading! I appreciate so much your prayers and good wishes. The steadfast support of this online community has been a tremendous blessing to me.

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