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.