Tuesday, May 1, 2012

“...I want first of all - in fact, as an end to these other desires - to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact - to borrow from the language of the saints -to live 'in grace' as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony...” ― From Chapter 2 "Channeled Whelk" of "Gift from the Sea" Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Channeled whelk found on
 Anastasia State Park, Florida
 after Hurricane Irene.

My all-time favorite book is Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I picked up my first copy for .50 cents at a thrift store 20 years ago.  This modern day classic of wise meditations on the different stages of life - youth & age, love & marriage, solitude, peace, & contentment was penned on the beaches of Captiva back in 1955.  As the wife of a national hero and an  international celebrity Anne Morrow Lindbergh was struggling with all the same issues we as woman (& men) ask ourselves today. How do I reconcile my most deeply personal needs with obligations to family, friends, lovers, and work?  


April has been a challenging month for me to say the least.  Starting with my husband's heart attack on April 1st & moving on to my mother's stroke on April 11th (her 75th birthday) the stress of dealing with loved ones in life or death situations was almost overwhelming.  There were prescriptions to fill, follow-up appointments to be made, people to feed, bathe, & keep on their scheduled meds. A family reunion had been in the works for 4 months and the decision was made not to cancel.  All my brothers & sisters came together from Ohio, Tennessee, & Alabama to spend a week together for the first time in 12 years.  I've also been baby-sitting my grand-nephew while his regular childcare is out-of-town.  It seems the dog is a tad stressed out because she has had stomach issues for 2 days.  I'm not fishing for sympathy and I do have a point.


All the things we believe about handling stress and  trusting God are just theory until we actually have to do the stuff.  I can read motivational books, listen to Dr. Phil, Oprah, Joel Osteen all day long about handling adversity  but until I have to actually walk the walk it's just words.  I believe all of our lives are sacred.  We don't have a work life & home life & our spirituality - it's all sacred.  God wants to give us his peace in every situation we deal with from fixing breakfast to washing laundry to our job, kids, marriage.  When the pressure comes at us from the outside - God's peace from the inside is an equalizing pressure.  I'd be fibbing if I said I wasn't doing the happy dance because April is over. But this was the month that I leaned on my heavenly Father like never before.  All my theories are true.  He is the most faithful person I have ever met. 


My brothers & sisters together in Florida for the first time in 12 years.


Mom/GeeGee on the left had a stroke on April 11.  She was enjoying the pool.

The Stud Hubbs is recovering nicely from his heart  attack.

16 comments:

  1. Life can surely test us and try us. I've always said that I don't know how I'd make it through the hard times without having had my heavenly Father there looking after me, walking with me and sometimes carrying me. I'm so glad he's been there for you too. It is so true what you say. It's all talk until we are faced with seemingly overwhelming challenges in life. I'm so very happy that you were able to get together with your siblings and that your husband and mother are on the mend. Hugs. xx

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  2. I'm so glad you got to post :)

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  3. You sure got hit with a lot at once and I'm glad to hear everyone is on the mend. I can't imagine how rough the month of April must have been for you. Love the family photo and you look adorable in the picture with hubby. Hugs!

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  4. I am glad to hear from you. That is definitely a lot to go through even without it happening all at once. Take care - no seriously - take care!

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  5. Thanks for all the reminders. What an inspiring post this is. And here's to a healthy, happy & more relaxed May & beyond!

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  6. What a way to bring on the May! You really have been through it and I think it was a great thing to hang onto that family renunion. What a wonderful-looking gang! Glad things are looking up and Hubbs is doing better.

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  7. It is good to hear. Finding peace in the rough spots gives you a fighting chance at finding it in the regular moments of life. Don't let go. :)

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  8. It's wonderful to see you family together! But I sure hope May is a better month. I'm looking forward to some nice changes and I hope everyone is on the mend in your family!

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  9. When it rains it pours! Sure glad everyone is back to better health! Great family pics :D Hope you have a much better May!

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  10. The concrete floor where you and your hubby are sitting is inlaid with sharks' teeth? What a cool idea!

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  11. so happy you got thru last month, here's to a happier and more content month.. I have two copies of that book.. I bought the soft cover for myself years ago, and found a nice hard copy at a thrift store a few months ago... so I snatched it up... these will be perfect for our guest rooms when we move to FL later this year/early next year. U are right, that book is just timeless. One of my faves too! xo Glad u all are doing well. xo I hv been praying for you and your family. xo

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  12. Sounds like you could use a trip to Cayo Costa. You are over do, plus I have some cool stuff to show you on the Island. After all it is May and April is over.

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  13. Wow! What a month!!! So glad it's over and everything seems to be on an even keel...at least for the moment. You are so right...The peace He grants us is immeasurable. April (and March, all the way back to Oct.) has been a time for us to fall on our knees.But I can say with surety..that God carried us through our own storms. And he will continue to do so...

    Love AML's book, too. There is much wisdom in those pages.
    xoxo
    J

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  14. Hey Karen. Was thinking of you and hoping all is still going well. I love that shell in the photo. I don't think I've ever seen one like that. Capt Brian is right - you could use a trip to Cayo. Wish I were there and I'd go with you!!! Like I said earlier take care of you!! Hugs

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  15. He truly IS all of our bff's!!! The one and only we can depend on to love us and protect us and give us the strength we need to go on....
    So glad for you that you survived all the cards you were dealt...and don't forget to take care of YOU too. Take off to one of your sunrise beach jaunts and soothe your soul!!!

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