Happy Friday the 13th!!!!

flower-388603_640

Okay, I realise it’s not REALLY a holiday, but it’s one of my favourite days, and I think we can always use more holidays!

And really, isn’t FRIDAY enough to celebrate, all on its own?!?!

I hope YOUR Friday the 13th is extraordinarily blessed!!

May you find a way to make at least one part of it BEAUTIFUL!

Be well.

Happy Labor Day

technology-792180_640

Happy Monday!!

If you are in the United States, Happy Labor Day!!! (It takes some concentration, but I’m even trying to spell ‘Labor’ the American way.)

Most of my life the ‘smaller’ holidays, like Labor Day, haven’t meant that much to me. I cherished the ‘day off’, appreciated the history, but they didn’t have the rich detail of Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Labor Day, if anything, I associated with annoying sales ads – a rather profound irony. But it’s becoming so much more real to me as I get older, and as I understand the world better.

Labor day, more than any other American holiday, celebrates efforts by the people, for the people.

Goodness knows the American workers who –  in MANY cases risking their lives – made America great, did not do so for the glory of amazing discounts on TVs or washing machines. They fought to free themselves, their families, their fellow Americans from a tyranny of corporation plus government whose concentrated power had made it impossible for the 99% to realise the American Dream.

Sure, in the past several decades we have lost a lot of the ground that was gained by those whose fight Labor Day commemorates. But that need not be our end game: what Americans managed once, we can certainly do again.

So, I’m going to spend a little of this much prized ‘day off’ better understanding the people, and the work they did, that made America great, and appreciating their sacrifices.

 

Be well.

 

 

Yom Kippur!

child-945422_640

I wish everyone a blessed Yom Kippur!

I love this ‘Sabbath of Sabbaths’ which provides an opportunity to pause and reflect in the midst of an otherwise ordinary space of the year.

Yom Kippur reaches from sunset today through nightfall tomorrow, which is a rare and lovely method observing a ‘day’ in this culture and age.

Although most readers here probably do not celebrate Yom Kippur (and I certainly don’t observe it according to accepted Jewish traditions), I hope you find at least a moment within this one to pause and be aware.

Be well. 

Monday Reset: The Next Chapter

lotus-978659_640

Happy Monday!!

I hope everyone is well!

Here in my little corner of the world, we have just enjoyed a weekend of unseasonable rain, so I am unseasonably well!

Today I begin another NEXT CHAPTER:  moving from my former-job-that-no-longer-exists to a wonderful, if slightly intimidating, three month contract doing what I most love to do, with a team I respect and adore.

It’s still a scary moment:

The future remains an unknown.

I still have many things beyond the job to decide – BIG things.

I’m still trying to recover from The Lifewreck, for goodness’ sake, and am always on the lookout for anything that will drop me back into it!

And, of course, I want to be sure I do the best job possible for these lovely people who have put their trust in me!

But it’s also an opportunity to grow my trust and faith in a situation that is arguably one of the bigger tests I’m going to face:

Other than losing a loved on, or having a life threatening illness, this is probably one of the toughest times of transition I’m likely to encounter outside The Lifewreck.

So I wanted to take a moment to encourage everyone facing a next chapter – because we all are, whether they are BIG chapters, or fairly little ones – to live the WHOLE of it.

Not JUST the horror.

Not JUST the excitement.

But every piece that goes into making this chapter a full and vibrant part of a life that supports moving into abundance and shalom.

 

Be well. 

Thank you for your service.

To all who have served our country as members of our military, THANK YOU.

May God bless and keep you and your families, and may we, your countrymen and women, honour your service by how we live, and by ensuring that you are cared for as well as you have cared for us.

A blessed Veteran’s Day to all.

soldier-708711_640

 

Be well. 

Gone Fishin’ – Taking some time to ponder.

fish-1402423_1280

Good day and Happy FRIDAY!!!!!!!

I am still noodling over what ABUNDANCE looks like in this current US reality, so rather than post a half-baked (and perhaps drearier than one should really prefer) post, I shall take a scandalously unplanned holiday this week!

I wish everyone a delightful weekend and a lovely beginning to December.

 

Be well. 

Gone Fishin’

Howdy y’all! I hope everyone is well, and that your 2017 is starting off well.

I’m running to catch a deadline, so will have to bow out for this week, and I’ll get a post up next Friday (God willing).

In the mean time, I’d love to hear what everyone is up to!

Be well!

HAPPY Pi Day!!!!

 

Happy Pi Day!!!!!

Yes, that is Pi

,

 

not pie      .

 

(Though as I grow older, I am more and more amendable to celebrating both together.)

 

Due to

1) an abnormal passion for the number Pi, and

2) an equally passionate belief that we need far more holidays in this world,

Pi day is one of my two favourite holidays!!

So I wish you a perfectly splendid Pi day!!

 

If you want to know more about this diligent number that makes everything possible, you can check here. Atlas may have shrugged, but Pi stands strong!

Or if you’ve longed to see the first million digits* of this faithful number, you can find those here.

On the other hand, if you are just a normal person wondering how you ended up in this geek version of the Twilight Zone, don’t worry about the math,

just

HAVE A LOVELY DAY!!!

 

 

Be well. 

 

* I’m not even going to try to approach a million, but here’s just a little taste of Pi

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!

 

I hope it’s a splendid day!

Stay safe, stay strong, and may the luck (or at least the charm!) of the Irish be with you!! 

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!! 

 

And just in case I’m not the only one who gets a little yearning for ‘the Holy Land’ (as an Irish friend of mine calls it) this time of year:

 

 

 

 

Be well. 

Time Out.

 

Happy Friday!! I hope everyone is well.

Not much in the way of a post today, but we’ve got a BIG Lent weekend coming up!

 

ENJOY IT.

 

 

Be well

Public Service Announcement: 1 April

WARNING: it is April Fool’s Day.

 

  1. Beware friends with overactive senses of humour bearing gifts, news, or basically any suspect communication.
  2. Employ  heightened skepticism.
  3. Check the source of any important new bulletins.

Let’s all be safe out there!

Be well. 

Monday of Holy Week.

What can I say? It’s become a habit!

I shan’t post big, detailed posts for all of Holy Week, but in the spirit of Lent, and the Lectionary, I offer:

The Vanderbilt University Lectionary on Monday of Holy Week. 

Enjoy.

And a very blessed Passover to you as well. 

Be blessed, be well. 

Tuesday of Holy Week 2017

Happy Tuesday!!

May your day be blessed.

If you are interested in the Holy Week readings, complete with art and prayers, please find them here.

 

Enjoy.

Be blessed, be well. 

Wednesday of Holy Week

Happy Wednesday!!

May your day be blessed!

If you are interested in the Holy Week readings, complete with art and prayers, please find them here.

Enjoy.

Be blessed, be well. 

 

Maundy Thursday (Thursday of Holy Week 2017)

Happy Thursday!

May your day be blessed!

If you are interested in the Holy Week readings, complete with art and prayers, please find them here.

Enjoy.

Be blessed, be well. 

 

 

Good Friday (Friday of Holy Week 2017)

Happy Friday!

I admit I’m always a little ambivalent about ‘celebrating’ these  harsher, grimmer ‘holidays’. But one can’t argue the importance of this day in history.

If you are interested in the Holy Week readings, complete with art and prayers, please find them here.

Enjoy.

Be blessed, be well. 

Holy Saturday (Saturday of Holy Week 2017)

Happy Saturday!

May your day be blessed.

If you are interested in the Holy Week readings, complete with art and prayers, please find them here.

Enjoy.

Be blessed, be well. 

Happy Easter. (And Orthodox Easter!)

 

Peace be with you.

He is risen! 

All you hold on to

Nothing is more clear, when changing one’s life, or when PACKING TO MOVE, than the fact that all one holds on to may be a blessing or a curse!

My life the next 2-3 weeks looks like packing, classwork, packing,  job  interviews, packing, moving … packing …. so please forgive me if I’m Gone Fishin’ more than I ought to be. I only hope I can keep track of my computer in the chaos.

In the mean time, some very wise words from The Call!

 

 

 

Be well. 

Gone Fishin’ … via chaos!

Cartoon image of a striped fish.

Howdy all! I hope everyone is well.

I’m still frantically getting the last things packed before the moving truck hauls away my worldly goods, so I hope to talk with you next week!!

Have a splendid weekend!!!!

Be well. 

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Happy Mother’s Day to you!!

And let me be clear that that wish is not dependent on the formal dictionary definition – mothers, in my world, come in many forms.

If you contribute, or have contributed, meaningfully to the development and wellbeing of another person, especially while they were young, you qualify!

(Even if you’re NOT a mother, in any way, shape, or form, you should still have a happy day!)

 

And to those for whom Mother’s Day is overshadowed by some form of pain, peace be with you. I am sorry for what you missed or are grieving. May this day be one step toward healing and freedom from the pain.

 

Be well. 

Memorial Day

banner-1248181_640

For all of us, I pray for a safe and blessed Memorial Day.

 

I know that Memorial Day is much easier for me than it is for others.

While I will be appreciating, and lamenting, the sacrifice of unknown warriors today, many will be reliving the painful loss of deeply loved family and friends.

If that is you today, I am sorry for your loss. I pray for peace and comfort for you in this time.

Be well. 

Happy Father’s Day!

To every man who contributes to the lives and development of children –

whether his own, or born to others,

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

 

and

THANK YOU!!!

 

Your influence matters.

 

 

You make a difference in who we turn out to be.

 

 

 

 

Be well. 

Gone Fishin’

Cartoon image of a striped fish.

Howdy all!

I hope everyone is well!

I’m going to have to be a slacker here for a couple weeks.

So much is going on, and I’m always ALMOST on top of all the chaos … then it clobbers me again.

And I fall behind. Again.

Something just has to give – and it can’t be my health!  🙂

 

So, I’m taking a couple weeks to regroup, and hopefully get all the settling and catching up in every OTHER area of my life under control, then I’ll make another effort at getting up to speed HERE!

 

Be well !!!!! 

Independence Day

https://pixabay.com/en/american-flag-patriotic-symbol-usa-763428/

Happy Independence Day! 

The people of the United States of America seem to have traded one of form of tyranny for another for nearly as long as we’ve been one people.

Starting from this day, may we become truly free.

Not islands clinging to MINE, but humans with the liberty to lend a helping hand, and throw off the fear that by supporting others’ rights and wellbeing we risk our own.

Let’s defeat the tyrants we so abhor, even if it requires us to become much better people than them! 😀

 

 

 

Be well. 

Happy Independents Day too!

Just a quick shout out to all those who refuse to vote the party line,

insist on thinking through the issues for themselves,

and stand up for what is right –

even when that isn’t easy or popular!

YOU are what has always made this country great!

 

 

 

Still…

 

Cartoon image of a striped fish.

 

See you next week!   😀

 

 

Be well. 

Favourite Quote of the Week: Lindsey Stirling

“Pirates don’t take orders or ask permission… They do what they want.

Young girl wearing ballet dress, in field

Allow me to clarify. If your mom asks you to do the dishes, do not pull out your pirate attitude.

But if someone tells you you’re not good enough, says your dreams are too lofty, or claims there is no room in showbiz for a dancing violinist

well then, by all means, pull out your eye patch, my friend, and take to the high seas.”

Lindsey Stirling

 

Labor Day 2017

Happy Monday!!

And to those in the US (as well as those in Canada!)

Happy Labor Day!! 

 

It has only been in recent years that I’ve come to understand what an important day this is.

What an important piece of our history this holiday celebrates.

 

 

 

THANK YOU …

to all those

 

 

 

whose labor efforts

 

 

 

helped make our country great.

 

 

 

 

 

And THANK YOU…

 

 

to all those

 

 

 

 

 

Who keep it great

every day.

 

YOU are America.

 

 

 

 

Be well.

Two Years Old!

Image of decorated cupcakes as for a birthday party.

 

Some Grace With That

is

TWO YEARS OLD THIS WEEK!!

 

 

Although I didn’t start publishing it until December, I began the planning and writing on 19 September 2015.

And you know? It’s been a bit LIKE raising a baby:  I have learned SO MUCH, and some days I still am not sure I know anything!

I’ve hit countless snags, been really shocked by some discoveries, and been completely awed by how SGWT has developed.

AND, I feel like I’m  just beginning to get a feel for the ‘personality’ that fits this two-year-old!

No dirty diapers, of course, nor terrifying spikes of fever at 2am. Far fewer sleepless nights than if this were a baby. So definitely a better fit for me, but still a character building two years!

It happened that my wee blog was born during a tumultuous couple of years:

Job redundancy,

trying to parlay my skills into my own business,

earth-shaking political chaos,

long-haul move,

in tenuous livelihood circumstances, OH MY!

 

… thank God SGWT ISN’T a child; he or she would be in therapy before hitting kindergarten after being raised in all that!

My hope it that, having survived those first trying couple of years, Some Grace With That, and I, are ready to grow and thrive!

I’m going to be taking some time to weed through old posts, edit and update material, and plan the coming year of Some Grace With That work. I’m excited!! (And a little daunted!)

This is EXACTLY the right time to let me know if there is any theme or topic you’d like to see us explore!!

Leave a note in the comments, on the FB page, or drop me a line, if so!

THANK YOU !!  for reading, commenting, sharing, and generally encouraging me through this grand experiment!

 

 

Be well.

 

 

Returning and resting

For the last couple weeks I seem to have become a virus motel! Every time one of the dang things clears out, another one arrives. It grows monotonous.

As I mentioned on Monday, I’ve also had this verse haunting me:

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.

In quietness and confidence is your strength. …”

 

That’s Isaiah 30:15.

It goes on to say “But you would have none of it.”

Now, that is a response to God’s mandates that I’d prefer to avoid, so let us dispense with that last bit for now.

I should start by saying that as serious vices go, I am at far more risk of tipping into sloth than I am work-a-holism. I am so not the live-to-work type.

And, yes, trying to figure out how to be a business person is rough, but currently my business is by no means generating overtime hours – or even full-time hours! My house is pretty settled, I’m not really a cleaning freak, and it isn’t as if I’m signing on to numerous committees or training for a triathlon (may God forbid).

So, why was THIS PARTICULAR verse lurking behind every corner?

I was very confused.

At first, I thought maybe it was just stuck in my head – like songs can be, or a quote. But it definitely seems to be a bit beyond that. It first began to, er, assert itself when I got sick.

Just a 24-hour thing, thank God, but it took a couple days to really get back up to speed. And I took those couple extra days! I took off one entire day AFTER I felt I could be back at it!

What could be more ‘resty’ than that, I ask you?

After this couple of days, I got back at it. I do, after all, need to get to  full-time with my business, I need to increase my income, I have these projects that are lurking…

And I got sick again. THIS ONE was evil. No charming 24-hour thing here.

And AGAIN with the verse!

Okay, okay … but how on earth could I be resting ‘better’?!? What is it you want me to [not] do?

I’ve always been a ‘writing on the wall’ kind of girl:  Give me a nice, clear set of instructions and I’ll GLADLY follow them. This has never been God’s preferred method for communicating with me. Apparently it still isn’t.

But! I have found a slow trickle of hints.

“Look at that second segment.” a voice seemed to say.

“In quietness and confidence is your strength.”

 

Okay, well, I like quietness, you know, and I’m grateful that I have MORE of it here than I have in years. I just frantically hope I’ll be able to STAY where it’s quiet… and it won’t happen if I can’t… and if I have to leave it will all be ….

HMM…

And confidence. I WANT to be confident! Of course I do! That’s what the whole ‘writing on the wall’ request is about! If I could just know for SURE, if you would just make ____ clear, if …

HMM…

Other little hints trickled (back) in:

Be still, and know that I am God… (I especially love the way The Message phrases this one: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” 😀 )

Come to me if you’re weary and I’ll give you rest…

And of course, the biggie: Without faith [aka an enduring confidence in God!] it is impossible to please God….

Huh.

So, that whole returning to ME, resting in ME … looks like that’s RELATED to the quiet and confidence thing.

Uhoh!

 

I’m not sure I have all the answers yet, but what I’ve learned so far seems to indicate that ‘returning and resting’ for me, in this season, look like:

  • Remembering that I have given my situation to God.
  • Remembering that I know God is more than able to provide all I need.
  • Believing that he CARES to provide for me, that he’s been leading me, that he has promised to correct me if I start to go off course.
  • Trusting that he understands my needs, and has them well in hand.

I tend to be great at this for a short period after God yanks on my leash, then slowly, slowly, I lose the plot, take the reins, and start to stress again. But, I guess that part of this resting assignment includes trusting him to be merciful when I fall, again, and to pick me back up and restore me, again. Goodness knows the (LARGE amount of) evidence is that he will!

AND, he has given me great friends, wise advisors, who have spent time this week sharing their own stories and offering insight, encouragement, and support.

This evening begins one of my favourite days of the whole year, Yom Kippur.

Each year, I try to take this ‘Sabbath of Sabbaths’ off from work, or school, or whatever I am obligated to at the time, and make it a retreat for re-centring my heart and mind on who I am in Christ, and what my purpose is in this life.

I suspect it is not a coincidence that this ‘rest quest’ arrived in the week or two before Yom Kippur!

I am excited to see what he’s got up his sleeve for our Yom Kippur date this year!

 

 

Be well.

Yom Kippur 2017

I wish everyone a blessed Yom Kippur!

I love this ‘Sabbath of Sabbaths’ which provides an opportunity to pause and reflect in the midst of an otherwise ordinary space of the year.

Yom Kippur reaches from just before sunset today through nightfall tomorrow, which is a rare and lovely method observing a ‘day’ in this culture and age.

Even if you do not observe Yom Kippur, I hope you find at least a moment within this one to pause and be aware.

 

Be well. 

A brief pause, I think…

 

Hello there!

I hope everyone is well!

I am finally, finally not sick – for whole days in a row!! Very definitely hoping that trend holds.

However, I’m still catching up after three weeks of doing-nearly-nothing, and QUITE slow-moving, AND I’ve got a house guest and some projects that just can’t be put off any longer.

SO, with only enough hours in the day for about half of what I need to do, I’m going to be

 

Gone fishin’

 

 

 

a bit while I continue to re-build some energy, tidy up past posts, cram my mind full of nebulous bits of code to improve the site here and there, and TRY to be an at least somewhat decent hostess.

 

 

 

Be well.

 

 

Happy Friday the 13th!!

Young girl wearing ballet dress, in field

 

 

 

It’s FRIDAY!!

And better than that, it’s Friday the 13th!!!

 

Wishing you all a very blessed day and weekend!

 

Be well.

 

Celebration of Life

  Good day all!

I am on the road this week, spending time with family as they say goodbye to a beloved husband and father.

They have chosen to call this memorial time a Celebration of Life. I find that a good reminder.

Let us remember, and celebrate, how precious life is – even in the painful times.

Be safe,

Be well.

 

 

Got Elections?

Happy Tuesday!!!

Don’t forget to vote, if you have elections this year!

Be well.

 

Vietnam, Veterans Day.

I don’t think it was because Veteran’s Day was approaching, but I’ve found my thoughts filled with Vets the last couple weeks.

Something got me thinking about the Vietnam War – what it must have been like to have physically survived that terrible, terrible war, then to come back to people HERE hating you, even attacking you.

I imagine that even if they miraculously survived their tour of duty without PTSD, the trauma of that homecoming probably sent more than a few soldiers the rest of the way over that edge.

I don’t really understand enough about the Vietnam War, and America during it, to understand why we were attacking the soldiers.

Especially when Vietnam wasn’t even voluntary service!

How could we have blamed victims of a Draft for their service?

I’m glad we’ve made progress since Vietnam.

At least, those of us who oppose specific wars seem now to target our frustration and anger at those who create and profit from them, rather than those who endure them from the trenches.

I don’t think we are doing near enough, but I’m glad we’ve progressed.

All  of that DID get me thinking about Veteran’s Day.

About the flood of Veteran’s Day ‘thank you to our soldiers’ posts that will soon be flooding Facebook feeds, and all the tiny flags that will surely be appearing in car windows and lawn edges.

I saw several posts, when I was working on this, about all the places where Vets can eat for free tomorrow. I know there are also places where Vets get discounts year-around.

It always warms my heart when I see the little signs in store windows or at cash registers mentioning these discounts.

And it occurred to me that we really ALL need that kind of attentiveness to our Veterans  the day after Veterans Day … and the day after that … and …

Just thinking about what it means to serve in the military – or to fight in a  war – and making making choices that reflect that thinking.

So many military families live in near poverty.

And nearly ALL military families experience periodic, or regular, separations that cause terrible pressures on marriages, relationships, finances – you name it.

I started thinking that we need a ‘Thank you to our soldiers’ attitude every day.

Our soldiers, and their families.

When we vote, when we buy things, when we invest … making sure that we are reducing the number of people who have to go through a war, and making sure we are taking the BEST care of them when they do.

How about when we give our time? I’m sure that some military moms and dads could use help with the kids, help with the lawn… (not to mention help buying diapers and groceries).

I think stepping up and asking military family members in our community how we can help make their day, or week, a little bit easier would be a great way to extend Veterans Day all year ’round.

Some Vets, or their family members, need housing, care, emotional support, medical treatment.

Some of that we as neighbours can probably provide.

Some of it is probably beyond our means and skills.

But doing the bit we can, and supporting the rest – through our votes, our charitable giving, and a hundred other small things, will all help get it done!

What better starting point could there be for building better communities?

Start by everyone pitching in to help a mom or dad whose partner is away for months serving our country. Start by ensuring that AT LEAST our veterans of foreign wars have the healthcare and support they need. Start by making sure that military kids have support, rides to school events, enough to eat…

Even if we did nothing more to build community, THAT would be a big step in the right direction.

And I rather expect that it wouldn’t stop there!

 

Be well

Thank you, Veterans.

To all those who serve, or have served our country as members of our military:

THANK YOU.

 

 

You, our faithful mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends, THANK YOU for your service.

 

May God bless and keep you and your families.

 

 

 

And may we, your countrymen and women, honour your service by how we live, and by ensuring that you are cared for as well as you have cared for us.

Be well

Reading Orwell in the Age of Trump

I had a horrifying realisation a couple weeks ago: I had never read 1984!!

How did this happen?!?!

I have NO IDEA.

Sure, I went to a small private school that one would never call radical in its literary choices, but we read Animal Farm, for goodness’ sake!

And it’s not as if I my only access to Orwell was bound to curricula – I live in a land with free public libraries in nearly every town! I have access to journals and magazines! I have the INTERNET!!!! Amazon can fly books to my house via drone, for goodness’ sake!

The horror!

The shame…

However it happened, I realised – during a trivia night at my library, of all things – that I had somehow missed 1984. Clearly, this had to be rectified. The paperback was on hold as soon as I got home that night.

Reading Orwell in the age of Trump is … unsettling.

I know, I know, Orwell isn’t famous for warm and fuzzy … what was I expecting?

Well, I was prepared for unsettling – it’s Orwell, it’s dystopian. I was prepared for darkness, grimness, the periodic tingle-up-the-spine creepiness.

I was not prepared for the resonance.

When I first read Orwell, long, long ago, Big Bad Others – be they Russia, the USSR, Nazi Germany – were clearly the target of my man George’s brilliantly fictionalised warnings.

The warnings were creepy and distressing, but PHEW! They weren’t US! And we knew The Other was evil, so we were prepared! We had the warnings, we would be safe!

Thank God.

It could never happen here.

But reading Orwell in 2017 is different. I’m older now, and I’ve a lot more experience, and awareness.

Even reading Bradbury in the age of Trump, it is easy to see the seeds being planted; how it could someday happen here if we are not aware – but it’s NOT, most of it, actually happening here.

1984 though? Newspeak? Doublethink? That stuff is right here, right now! Heck, some of it is what got us Trump in the first place.

I now realise that Orwell wasn’t bashing the Communists.

Or the Facists.

I now realise that what Orwell – and so many others, God bless them –  were really reflecting was not the dangers of one specific social ideology,  one specific economic ideology, or even, necessarily, a political one, but the doctrine of divisive, oppressive, totalitarian control.

It’s the same thing that we were unhappy about when we revolted against England. It’s the concern that we had with both Communists, and the Fascists, at various times. With Apartheid. And and of course those charming gents from ISIS.

Orwell was telling all of us that it can happen here.

That it can happen anywhere.

That whether taken by force, or surrendered by our choices, the power of the citizen cannot safely rest with a totalitarian government that pits citizen against citizen to hold onto that power.

That ANY government which concentrates its power, sets people against people, creates mistrust, and limits information, needs to be suspected.

Thankfully, reading Orwell in 2017, I do not live under a divisive, oppressive, totalitarian government.

But I do live under a divisive government.

I do live under a government on the knife edge of oppression. And I do live under a government that would be very dangerous were it to become totalitarian.

Most importantly,  I live under that government largely because of a handful of decades of citizens giving up power.

 So, yeah. Unsettling. Creepy.

But beneficial, too.

We’ve been lucky. We’ve given up our power, mostly, rather than having it taken by force.

We’ve given up our power, but that power is based on what is actually a pretty impressive foundation, designed to help us take that power back once we wake up!

AND, we have the warnings of history, and of George Orwell, and many others, to raise a red flag when we’re getting into a dangerous place.

Will we do better than others before us?

I don’t know. But I know we have the tools we need to reroute our path.

So, we just need the will.

A government that increases individual voice by encouraging voting, increases freedom of the press, freedom of religion, supports and facilitates community trust, and community empowerment, is compatible with progressive, liberal, and conservative values.

It’s also the least likely to be ABLE to take totalitarian control! Tough to oppress folks who have information, knowledge, freedom, AND the vote, unless they let you.

I maintain hope that we’ll get it together!

 

 

Whether you agree with me politically or not, whether you agree with this post or not, I highly recommend the following article and books¹. Make your own decisions, and your own interpretations! 🙂

  1. Check out this brilliant article discussing the rise of a President Trump in the USA. If you haven’t time for the whole article scroll to the very end for Mr. Bacevich’s eight suggestions; those show the tone of the article.
  2. Read George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm. You’ve probably seen references to both of these in Facebook memes, but if you’ve not read them, get the story for yourself! Any library system of more than one small room will likely have a copy.
  3. While you’re at it, check out Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.  At least try the chapter ‘Burning Bright’. This book, thankfully, is set far enough in our possible future that we haven’t reached it yet. It does a great job of showing how we start by giving up power, then one day find we have none left. Forewarned is forearmed!

 

Be well.

 

¹ NOTE: these books are NOT safe, gentle, pleasant reads. We’re definitely talking ‘The Matrix‘ here, rather than ‘The Sound of Music‘.

They deal with hard topics, and show the lengths, and vices, that people go to when living hard topics day after day.

They will make you feel ill, sometimes. Probably make you want to stop reading. Even if you do stop reading, it’s worthwhile to just figure out what you found so awful that you never want to go there!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Changing up the schedule just a wee bit, since it’s a holiday and all!

Happy, happy, Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone is having a peaceful, blessed day.

I know that this will be a tough day for some. Loss, pain, illness, trouble – these blighters don’t take the day off, and they often make themselves felt most on special days like holidays.

To those for whom this day brings pain, I am sorry.

I am sorry for your loss, your pain, your fears. I pray for you today, for a sense of shalom to break through the day and bring you rest. I pray for those blessings you do have to be very clear, and comforting today.

 

As everyone knows, my ‘holiday’ practice includes taking  some time on Thanksgiving (well, really in the week or two surrounding it) to think of the many, many blessings that I have in life, and to fully experience being grateful for them.

Not all blessings are big, or noble. Some of them aren’t even pleasant! But I’m grateful for them nonetheless.

Here are a few that have been shining particularly brightly this year:

My family! (Many are actually legally relatives, but many are not!) I feel so blessed to have people who have loved and supported, listened to, and counselled me through all the chaos of the past couple years! Not to even mention that many years, good and bad, before that.

I’m grateful for the technology that brings them close even though I live far away. I’m grateful that so many of them are healthy and well. And I’m grateful for the care available to those who are ill.

Although the time with them is never is enough, I am grateful for every moment of it.

I live HERE I am so very, very grateful to live in a quieter, healthier house, and to be surrounded by woods and grey skies! I am so happy when it rains! I am so thankful for my little town and the lovely people I’ve met in it.

I have to work on Thanksgiving! Not a blessing, you say? Well, I admit it’s been a few years since I’ve done it, and there are things I’ll miss about the traditional holiday.

But, I am doing work that I really love, and that work is providing me the opportunity to live this dream of being in a small town in Oregon. Of being freer, and more flexible than I’ve been in years. Of living a healthier life.

And I am so very grateful for this particular opportunity, to test my abilities on a very tough rush job! If I can pull this one off, baby….

And you know what? The holiday isn’t even ruined! I wasn’t planning to travel this year anyway, and while I definitely haven’t time for the whole, traditional shebang, I’ll still have a slightly special meal; the weather is GORGEOUS, and I’ll be looking out on it while I work. That’s holiday enough!

I have faith. I did not value faith nearly highly enough until the LifeWreck rocked it, but it is SUCH a blessing.

Okay, okay, I am also, always, grateful for words, and books, and the public library!! 🙂

Seriously, do you have any idea what a blessing the free public library is?

Or being able to buy books for only a few cents or a dollars? MANY countries have no experience of this.

My life would not be the same without the unbelievable access I have to these treasures!

(Steps down, gently tucks soap box back under coffee table.)

May you be blessed today, regardless of where you’re at right now.

May you find GREAT cause for gratitude!

Be well.