This is a favorite poem of my mother's, and I love to hear her recite it:
Oh, the comfort —
the inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person —
having neither to weigh thoughts
nor measure words, but pouring them
all right out, just as they are,
chaff and grain together;
certain that a faithful hand will
take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then with the breath of kindness
blow the rest away.
Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik (1826 - 1887)
[A Life for a Life, Chapter 16]
Photo: Nepal: Cultures in Context series, by John Tyman
I think God, our Heavenly Father, has a purpose for each of us. That's why we are here on earth, to discover our own value and worth, to help other's discover their own as well. What greater worth can we feel than to understand ~ to really "get it" ~ that we are God's children?
I believe we are destined to return to be with our Father in Heaven again, and our purpose is to bring others with us on that journey back to live with Him again. We are His children and he loves us. His love is perfect and extends over the face of the earth to every one who has, or ever will live.
If we feel like an extra, unneccessary part, if we wonder what our purpose is, the easiest way to find out what our purpose is is to ask God, "Why am I here?", "Where did I come from?", and "Where will I go after this life?" If the answer you receive to the last question is, "someplace really good", like to live with your Father in Heaven again, you may ask, "Then, how do I get there?" Keep asking the questions. You will get answers.
Jesus Christ was made in His father's image. Christ was a perfect listener and a perfect conversationalist. He was perfect in everything he did. If Christ was those things, then God, our Heavenly Father is also a perfect listener and a perfect conversationalist. He will listen to your questions if you ask, and he will answer your questions if you wait for His response.
If you have these questions and want to talk to other like-minded people, there are people serving all over the world specifically to answer those exact questions. Click here if you want to talk with someone who can kindly and patiently help answer some of your questions.
[Movie based on the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick.
Screenplay by John Logan.]
Speak as if there were no tomorrow
to take back what you said the day before.
~Quote from the French movie, "Mother" (588 rue paradis).
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world;
there is only the comparison of one state with another,
nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief
is best able to experience supreme happiness.
We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel,
that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart,
and never forget, that until the day
God will deign to reveal the future to man,
all human wisdom is contained in these two words,
'Wait and Hope.”
~ Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
Photo by Brandon Allen
I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with
what I can do.
~Edward Everett Hale
I'm kind of jealous of the life I'm supposedly leading.
There is a German idiom, Kopf hoch, auch wenn Ihr Hals schmutzig werden kann, which means, head up even though your neck may be dirty.
My dear friend Trudy shared it with me in a letter when I was struggling with health issues. She also wrote, "It means keep going although life throws you a curve every so often...God is good, he hears prayers and blesses us accordingly. Every day is a blessing from our Heavenly Father and we have to make the best of it when we can and he will help [us] to do just that. Cheers cheers cheers for all that's good in...life."
I wish everyone could have a "Trudy" in their life.
[Photo by Dorthea Lang, "Migrant Mother", [Library of Congress]. It is one of the most famous images to come from the Dust Bowl era in the United States. Walker Evans, another famous photographer, also captured many images from this era]
Frank Lipman, M.D. offered that wonderful quote in his book, Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Feel Great Again, to sum up his approach to helping all people experience balance and wellness. If you feel overworked, exhausted, or ill, this book may certainly bless you with practical, simple steps to take so that you will feel revived and full of vitality again.
own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time.
If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say 'Mitch,' and I say 'what?'
and turn my head slightly". ~ Mitch Hedberg I love this quote. It reminds me how important it is to stay unplugged as much as possible and focus on the important things in our lives, like people.
"I don't own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say 'Mitch,' and I say 'what?' and turn my head slightly".
~ Mitch Hedberg
I love this quote. It reminds me how important it is to stay unplugged as much as possible and focus on the important things in our lives, like people.
Lowell Bennion (1908 ~ 1996) has a philosophical creed that continues to inspire me. He was an extraordinary man of service. I've been reminded this week that serving another person gets us outside of ourselves ~ and HOPE, joy and peace replace whatever negative thoughts or feelings we were having.
I've been thinking a lot this week about the impact that one person, like Lowell Bennion, can have on so many. The first food bank and homeless shelters in Utah were founded by Lowell Bennion. My grandfather, Bill Swinyard, and Lowell were neighbors and they loved to go around the neighborhood to visit people together. He used to make Lowell laugh so much. My memories of Lowell mostly have to do with his genuine smile and the way I felt when I was around him. It wasn't until many years later that I understood the impact he made on so many lives.
Here is Lowell Bennion's philosophical creed (and photo) which I have on my fridge. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:
LOWELL BENNION'S PHILISOPHICAL CREED
Learn to like what doesn't cost much
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different . . . different from you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house,
and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
And so . . . I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.
~ Fra Giovanni Giocondo [c.1433-1515] was an early Italian Renaissance pioneer, architect, archaeologist, Franciscan friar, and classical scholar.
*Take Joy! is an excerpt from FRA GIOVANNI's, "Letter To A Friend: A Letter to the Most Illustrious the Contessina Allagia Dela Aldobrandeschi", Written Christmas Eve Anno Domini 1513. However, there is some debate: "The British Museum stated in 1970 that it had “proved impossible” to identify Fra Giovanni, the purported author of this letter. It is possible that it was published in the 1930s, “with Christmas Greetings” from Greville MacDonald, son of novelist George MacDonald, and Mary MacDonald". [wikipedia]
Cari Ferraro, calligrapher, offers a beautiful print of Fra Giovanni's "Letter to a Friend". You can see it here.