Before I was fully awake this morning, I started the coffee brewing and switched on the television.
Up popped the devastation in Joplin, Missouri - that hospital with blown windows surrounded by mangled vehicles, toothpick trees and piles of rubbish ... the videos, the woman's voice praying "Help us, Jesus..."
After saying a prayer for all of those affected, I vowed never to complain about the weather here again.
May is almost over and I'm feeling paranoid.
The past two Mays have given me belated birthday presents that I wouldn't re-gift to my worst enemy.
For my 50th birthday, May gave me a case of shingles which came with an MRI because of the headaches that heralded its arrival and steroid drops for my eyes so I wouldn't go blind.
Last year I guess May felt it had to top the previous one. First, it gave me the worst urinary tract infection of my life. (It was actually only my second ever, but the first one, thirty years ago, was so bad I took every precaution to avoid another.)
I thought that was it (thank you so much!), but then just a week or so later my heart went crazy, pounding and racing so hard and fast that it woke me up. I thought it was going to fly out of my chest! Follow up tests concluded it was SVT, or Supraventricular Tachycardia, basically an electrical short circuit in my heart that causes it to pound and race.
I haven't had another episode, or any other health scares, but then, May isn't over yet, is it? I'm just hoping this "Welcome to your 50's" initiation phase is over.
My book review for A Jane Austen Education went live on BlogHer this evening (along with several others, if you want more than one opinion!)
I've been thinking about the book again today, mostly thinking it's a shame Jane Austen isn't required reading for everyone. Some people learn the lessons about life on their own that William Deresiewicz, the author, learned from the books, but I know quite a few people who have never learned them, such as the one he learned from Pride and Prejudice: we aren't born perfect and there are some lessons we have to learn on our own in order to grow. We can't learn them from other people. We have to experience our own failure.
I know this was certainly true for me when I was young (and maybe it's still true!). I wish it hadn't been - I wish I'd had the sense to take the advice of those older and more experienced than I was. I hope I have a teeny bit of that sense myself now.
Which reminds me... I saw a blurb on the news today that some state is considering holding parents responsible when their child gets a bad grade. Huh? Maybe I heard it wrong, but if it's true, don't they realize they're just giving parents more reason to do their kids' work for them or encourage them to cheat or that we'd be keeping kids from learning life lessons they need later on? Don't they realize no one is born perfect and everyone has a different path to follow? A different time line?
Where are these people coming from? Why do some people think their way is the only way?
Anyway, click HERE to read my review on BlogHer... and go read some Jane Austen!
As far as Mondays go, this hasn't been a great one. Okay, it truly sucked in places (and I don't use that 's' word lightly.)
But I'm still keeping my eyes open for those Sweet! moments and keeping my feet moving forward, even though I don't know what's ahead of me.
These quotes help, so I'm going to add them here in case one of you needs a little 'faith reminder'. (I need them a lot - that's why I collect these quotes!)
"Suppose you plant a garden, and after a few days, you don't see results. Do you dig it up again? No, because you know that a lot of things are going on that you can't see. It's the same with God."
~ Charles Stanley, American Baptist preacher
"Patience with others is love, patience with self is hope, patience with God is faith."
~ADEL BESTAVROS Egyptian deacon and lawyer
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
"God often closes a door before opening a new one. Between those doors, don't worry. Wait, worship and watch! It's a test of faith. Colossians 4:3"
- Rick Warren
"Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods."
"Hope is wishing for something to come true. Faith is belief that it will come true. Believe that for every problem God gives you, He will also provide you with a solution."
Anyone know who said that? I love it!
But this is my favorite, and the one that truly keeps me going...
Everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out yet, it's not the end.
And for me, this is proof of that nugget of truth... the path might be tough, but if you keep going, you just might get fireworks in your honor! (The last of my graduation photos, I promise. Here, anyway. I'll post the rest on "Confessions".)