Tag Archives: survival

Participate relentlessly

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” – Elizabeth Gilbert Two years ago today we got the devastatingly bad news nobody ever wants to get, and despite some initial hope that it might not be as fearful as it seemed at first, the prognosis only got worse and worse in …

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People together

“Adversity not only draws people together, but brings forth that beautiful inward friendship.” – Soren Kierkegaard Working together under difficult circumstances tends to strip away the vacuous and trivial concerns that we are too often preoccupied with, especially in affluent societies.  None of us want adversity or crisis, nor do most of us wish it …

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Unfailing love

“The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” — Psalm 33:5 One year ago today,  I wrote of my joy in seeing Dr. and Mrs. Rodriguez, and having a new grandson, and all the ways we had been blessed with gifts of comfort and consolation amid all the sorrows.  …

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As if I was not afraid

“There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean’ horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.” — Theodore Roosevelt “Make believe you’re brave And the trick will take you far. You may be as brave …

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No way to say no

And it’s going to be a day There is really no way to say no to the morning Yes it’s going to be a day There is really nothing left to say But come on morning    — Dan Fogelberg This verse is from  “To the Morning,” the first Dan Fogelberg song I ever loved, recorded …

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Beautiful and terrible

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” ― Frederick Buechner That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it? It might seem contradictory to affirm that terrible things will happen, yet advise against fear.  But I think there is a difference between feeling fear occasionally (or even often) versus being afraid.  …

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Carried on great winds

“Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky.”― Ojibwe dream song No matter how often I remind myself that despondency always passes, I have a remarkably hard time being the least bit optimistic when I am feeling low.  I can know and remember …

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Grace will lead

“Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.”— John Newton Two weeks ago today, I was able to worship with our church family for the first time in a month.  Because Matt still had fluid on his lungs and …

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A curious paradox

“There is a curious paradox that no one can explain. Who understands the secret of the reaping of the grain? Who understands why Spring is born out of Winter’s laboring pain, or why we must all die a bit before we grow again.” — Tom Jones (playwright) from The Fantasticks Today I send virtual flowers …

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Success is stumbling

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ― Winston Churchill One of my favorite places in California is the haunting Donner Memorial State Park near Truckee.  It’s beautiful country, but there’s an eerie stillness that lingers in memory of the tragic history of the Donner Party, for whom the park …

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Out of suffering

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Kahlil Gibran This photo is rather odd, but it seems fitting as a symbol for where Jeff is now, on his 55th birthday. He’s in a place of past nightmares and trauma, somehow surviving (thus far) life-threatening complications …

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I am grateful

“I am grateful for the beauty in the midst of suffering. I am grateful for the treasure hunt through the minefield of life.  Dangerous or not, I don’t want out of the minefield.  Because truth, and beauty , and God are there.” – Glennon Doyle Melton As I write this, the day before Thanksgiving, Jeff …

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Your message

“If you want to get your message across, shut up.” — Mardy Grothe I don’t take this advice nearly as often as I ought to, but today, I get it.  I schedule these posts about two weeks in advance, so I have no idea how I’ll be feeling when this post is published.  But right …

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Other springs

When we began this endless trek, I feared I saw a darkened door, Through which a line of marching sick Were heading for some winter shore. But now the news the doctor brings Seems to promise other springs. — Jane Yolen One year ago today, Jeff went into the local emergency room with sudden, acute …

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More than logical

“If we were logical, the future would be bleak, indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope…” — Jacques Yves Cousteau I’m a great fan of logic.  My highest scores on the GRE and other standardized tests were always in the “analytical thinking” category.  …

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Expect nothing

“Expect nothing.  Live frugally On surprise.” — Alice Walker It may seem contradictory for a self-proclaimed optimist to quote Walker’s counsel to expect nothing, but there is very real difference between expectation and optimism. Admittedly, optimism involves some expectation, but it is mostly of a general sort. We expect that joy lies ahead if we …

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The day of liberation

“So now, muster your strength, and don’t lose heart. We shall all see the day of liberation. Have faith in life. Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves…The same smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to survive.” — …

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Libraries will get you through

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” —Anne Herbert Whenever I am feeling grouchy about paying taxes, I try to think of the wonderful public libraries that have given so much to our family over the years.  I can think of few …

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Adjust the sails

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” — attributed to Dolly Parton Thirty years ago Jeff and I went sailing on the Santa Monica Bay with my lifelong friend and her roommate.  It was my first time to go sailing, and I remember being surprised at how much physical work was involved.  I …

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On the losing side

“Man talks of a battle with Nature, forgetting that if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side.” — E. F. Schumacher No matter how much progress we make, our ability to control nature ultimately remains elusive.  Natural disasters leave trauma and suffering in their wake, so it’s understandable that we want …

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Come celebrate

…come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.                  —Lucille Clifton Some weeks it’s easier than others to write a post appropriate for a blog titled Defeat Despair. This has been one of the more difficult weeks. I had Clifton’s brief …

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Generous beyond all reason

“This is among the oldest, deepest, most primal truths: the facts of life may be, at times, unbearably painful. But the core, the bones of life are generous beyond all reason or belief. Those things that ought to kill us do not. This should be taken as encouragement to continue.” — Augusten Burroughs Perhaps the …

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As it always does

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out…as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed…” — Stephen King As I write this, Hurricane Florence is forecast to strike the Virginia and North Carolina coasts in a few days, and our beloved …

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No endings

“There are no endings. If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. Here is one.” ― Hilary Mantel “…life is eternal And love is immortal And death is only a horizon Life is eternal As we move into the light And a horizon is nothing Save the limit of our …

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A little at a time

“I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.” — Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)  Even more than last …

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