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Archive for March, 2010

Give It Back

Walking through a hallway today, this poem I memorized ages ago (in high school!) popped into my head:

Supposing today were your last day on earth,
The last mile of the journey you’ve trod;
After all of your struggles, how much are you worth,
How much can you take home to God?
Don’t count as possessions your silver and gold,
Tomorrow you leave these behind,
And all that is yours to have and to hold
Is the service you’ve given mankind.

In reading this poem, I see myself.  However, I’m not sure I’m in the right place in the verses.  I want to be a giver, not just a getter.

My faith is a quiet staple in my life.  I’m quite liberal (no?!) and so therefore a common misconception is that I can’t possibly be a Christian.  That’s another post altogether however, so I digress.  I’m not a “shout it from the rooftops” kind of girl.  There’s nothing wrong with that, by the way, if it’s genuine.  And sometimes I wish I was that brazen; that confident in my faithfulness.  Alas, the best way I know how to share my beliefs is through service to others.  I find myself thinking (selfishly, which seems almost contradictory), that I’m trying to be selfless.  I buy tickets to events.  I donate clothes and shoes (!) and toothbrushes to those who have less than I do.  And yet, it’s NOT enough.  I have taken the grass-top approach to philanthropy…but that’s not the meaning of “service to mankind.”  I’m giving “stuff” but not self.

I am blessed to be surrounded by selfless individuals whom I admire greatly.  I have friends who organized a holiday meal for the homeless and hungry when there was going to be none.  I have friends who make soups and visit hospitals or nursing homes and knit for cancer patients.  That’s a servant’s heart at work.  That’s how I long to project my faith.  Quietly.  Selflessly.  I want to show, not tell.

The shoes of the day are work boots.  As in, it’s time to strap them on, and help…even if it’s hard.

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Lightening the Load

Confession: I’m a joiner.  A doer.  An acceptance junkie always looking for the next fix.  As an only child, I joined, and often started, clubs and groups to have friends closer in age.  As a high schooler, I *was* Tracy Flick in Election, minus the sordid affair with a teacher.  It continued in college and beyond.  And, ever the perfectionist, I wasn’t content to belong.  I had to lead…to own.  I ran for officer positions.  I volunteered to make signs, to make cookies, to arrive early and stay late.  I had people skills but not delegation skills.  The house of cards was destined to fall.

More recently, I checked out.  I stopped attending things.  I didn’t seek every leadership position, offered or elected.  I left the “glamorous” life that was running me ragged.  I didn’t need the limelight.  I needed the darkness.  I didn’t need the group dinners and meetings.  I needed the company of someone I had long ago left behind.  I didn’t need the noise.  I needed the silent stillness.  And, in the process, I not only had a very clean house, but learned that I am enough.  Without the titles, without the clubs, without the secret handshakes…simply myself.  It’s a lesson I’m still mastering.  After all, 27 years makes a habit hard to break.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to belong.  It’s important to experience community and I love (and appreciate even more deeply) the groups within which I have re-invested.  But sometimes paring down and powering down can make all the difference.

And, in the spirit of continuing to lighten the load…I wore flats today.

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For many a month now, I have been a blog troll.  I have fabulous friends who rant and write.  Who laugh and cry at their keyboards while making their readers do the same.  I’ve wanted to comment on their posts.  I’ve quoted and borrowed their words.  And, most of all, I’ve longed to be them. 

Well, it’s 2010.  I’ve decided that wishing my life away is only shortening it.  So here I am.  Nervous, but not thoughtless.  I have a lot on my mind.  And if you know me, you know it’s diverse.  So, where will this blog meander?  Not even I, the proud mother can answer that of yet.  But, if you come along with me, we’ll learn and laugh together, even if my dear readers laugh *at* me.

And, naturally, since I live in the Natural State, and find myself believing in the surest of sure things, namely truth and beauty, I’ve named my little web locale “Naturally, PThurm.” 

Here we go…one black patent stiletto encased foot in front of the other…

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