Friday, January 11, 2013


Last night at church, this was read and it hit pretty close to home for me.  It is by Rainer Maria Rilke and goes:

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart, try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.  Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.  And the point is, to live everything.  Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

Right now I have a lot of questions - mostly about the future (both immediate and further down the road).  It makes me anxious and comforted at the same time.  Life's unpredictability has taught me that planning beyond tomorrow is pointless because things more often than not do not go the way you thought they would.  I've also learned that in the twists and turns of life, things turn out fine.  Actually, they turn out better than you thought they would.  It makes me afraid to throw out the playbook and itching to do it all at the same time.

So I am with my questions.  We sit together, work together, play together, hope together, and do life together.  I'm more okay with them tonight than I was last night.  I look forward to liking them, loving them, and then looking back to see that they have grown into answers without my ever knowing it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

One Word

Just over a year ago, I heard about a group of people who choose a theme word of the year.  Some chose a word as a challenge and others for inspiration.  It is a word that describes the year to come.  I thought it sounded like a good idea and jumped on the bandwagon.  For 2012, I chose the word hope.  It was a not quite the year that I anticipated when the word was chosen.  For me, 2012 held a ton of promise and in many ways, it held up to that expectation.  I experienced places I had never dreamed I would see.  I tried things that I never thought I would try.  I was accepted into graduate school - a 10 year goal beginning to come true.  I met a new niece who was easy to fall in love with.  These were dreams I never expected to come true and there they were.  Yet, just as with every coin, there was another side to hope.  I learned what it means when hope changes form.  I learned what it means when your hope is not for something joyful but for relief and release from pain.  I learned what to do when hope is deferred.  I learned what it means to differentiate between genuine hope and wishful thinking.  At the end of 2012, hope has more meaning to me than it did before and it has proven to be just as challenging as anticipatory.

A few weeks ago, I started thinking and praying about what 2013 would hold.  I was hoping (see, there it is) for something bright, optimistic, or along those lines.  Not so much.  I started noticing and trying to ignore the same theme popping up again and again.  No matter how much I tried to change it or look for something else, my one word could not be shaken.  I'll be honest, I'm not excited.  In fact, I'm nervous - so much so that I wanted to pitch this idea.  Yet, here I am, scared of what the next 12 months will hold and still gearing up to face it head on.

One Word for 2013 - Surrender.

Prayers appreciated.......

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Paris Je T'aime

I'll admit it, Paris was not high on my list of places to visit.  Sure, there is a lot to be said about it but it wasn't one of those places that I had been on the edge of my seat to go.  Truth be told, I think that I wasn't allowing myself to want to go.  It wasn't going to happen any time in the foreseeable future.  Then three months ago, Paris was placed before me as an option.  Turns out, I wanted to go more that I thought.  It was booked and became a beacon of hope.  It shined into stressful moments as the light at the end of the tunnel.  It did not disappoint.  So to correct any misconceptions, here is where I admit to many things I was wrong about:

Misconception #1 - Tourist traps (Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, various museums, etc) are just that - traps. Walk by, take a look, and then walk on.

Why I was wrong - Oh. My. Goodness.  Notre Dame was beautiful!  The first night there I may have slightly over reacted seeing Notre Dame when we drove past.  Turns out that I needed to see it (along with a few other above mentioned sites).  Just go - and love every moment of it!

Misconception #2 - Overcast skies combined with buildings of the same color make Paris a very drab city.

Why I was wrong - The buildings were beautiful on the outside but they were incredible on the inside.  Even if the landscape did not change much, the insides of each place was overwhelming.  Again and again I was surprised but what I found through various sets of doors.

Misconception #3 - French people are rude.

Why I was wrong - Everyone was lovely!  They were helpful and friendly.  In fact, the rudest people I ran in to were tourists.  I mean, who declares in the middle of an internationally known museum that they hate it or that a piece is awful?

Misconception #4 - Once you've seen one palace, you've seen them all.

Why I was wrong - Versailles.  I understand why it helped trigger a revolution.  Elaborate and over indulgent doesn't even begin to describe it.

Paris, you were lovely!  From the places to the food to the faces, I loved it all!  Hope to see you again one day!