June 18th, 2013
And I think if we went to court, some strange friendship court where you can get a ruling about these things, I think I would win, still, even after all these months. The pain has softened ever so slightly, but it still seems like she did something wrong. How do I forgive someone who doesn’t think she did anything wrong? Or who doesn’t care?
I could maybe do it if she groveled or begged. It would be even easier if she cried a lot. I would be more apt to forgive her if she told me she thought I was a genius with great fashion sense and that she wants to be like me someday. But nothing. No phone calls. No emails. No large, fragrant bouquets of flowers. Nothing. Why would I forgive someone who doesn’t even think she needs to be forgiven?
This is why. Because I want my neck and my back muscles to stop hurting, to unfurl like window shades. Because I want to sleep instead of having endless imaginary conversations. Because I want my mind back. Because I want my life back. Because she’s not the only one on the hook. Because every time I hang her up on that hook, the hook reaches down and grabs me, too.
– Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, p. 167
June 17th, 2013
Every day someone who crosses our path cries out to be controlled or argued with or judged. Consider them God-sent. They are our teachers, one and all.
– Karen Casey, Let Go Now, p. 144
June 7th, 2013
I know that my life is marked by the road signs of my beloved books, each one symbolizing who I was when I read it, shaping who I have become. The uninitiated might say that I am lost in my books, but I know I am more found than lost.
– Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer, p. 49
June 5th, 2013
Each one of our lives is shot through, threaded in and out with God’s provision, his grace, his protection, but on the average day, we notice it about as much as we really notice gravity or the hole in the ozone…. Once you start seeing the faithfulness and the hope, you see it everywhere, like pennies. And little by little, here and there, you realize that all of life is littered with bright copper coins, that all of life is woven with bits and stories of God’s goodness.
When I look back now, with these new eyes, it’s like there’s a bright copper path I was walking on and didn’t even know it. And it’s the handful of pennies that I’m clutching in my sweaty hand that gives me the faith and the strength to move forward. What gives me hope is the belief that God will be faithful, because he has been faithful before, to me and the people around me. I need the reminders. I need to be told that he was faithful then, and then, and then. Just because I have forgotten how to see doesn’t mean it isn’t there. His goodness is there. His promises have been kept. All I need to do is see.
Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, p. 127-128
June 4th, 2013
I believe we are creations of the Great Creator and that we are intended to be creative ourselves. I believe that when we humbly cooperate by making something every day, we are making something also out of ourselves, and it is a something that God intends for us — souls joyous and effective, active and self-actualized.
– Julia Cameron, The Sound of Paper, p. 123
June 3rd, 2013
Jesus did not walk by the Sea of Galilee and shout to fishermen, “Have faith!” Instead, he asked them to do something: “Follow me.” When they followed, he gave them more things to do. At first, he demonstrated what he wanted them to do. Then he did it with them. Finally, he sent them out to do it themselves, telling them to proclaim God’s reign and cure the sick. When they returned from this first mission, they could not believe what had happened. They discovered that proclaiming the kingdom was not a matter of teaching doctrine; rather, the kingdom was a matter of imitating Jesus’s actions. Jesus did not tell them to have faith. He pushed them into the world to practice faith. The disciples did not hope the world would change. They changed it. And, in doing so, they themselves changed.
– Diana Butler Ross, Christianity After Religion, p. 207-208
June 2nd, 2013
Any time it’s our objective to get another person to behave in a certain way, people are likely to resist, no matter what it is we’re asking. This seems to be true whether the other person is two or ninety-two years of age.
– Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, Living Nonviolent Communication, p. 127
May 22nd, 2013
Lending books to others is merely a shrewd form of housecleaning.
– Joe Queenan, One for the Books, p. 19
May 10th, 2013
But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets — this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.
I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.
I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.
– Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, p. 16-17
May 9th, 2013
The delight I derive from writing in my books is one reason I do not own an e-book reader. To me books are talismans and memento mori, yes, but they are also toys. I like to play with my books, to mark them up, to give them a lived-in look. I like to stack them up on the shelf and move them about and rearrange them according to new parameters — height, color, thickness, provenance, publisher, author’s nationality, subject matter, likelihood that I will ever read them. Then I put them back the way they were. I love to pull my books down off the shelf and read striking passages to baffled dimwits who have turned up at my house. From the moment I own a book, even before I open it to the first page, I feel that it has in some way changed my life. I treat my books the same way I treat my clothes or my shoes or my records: I use them. You cannot do any of this with a Kindle.
– Joe Queenan, One for the Books, p. 15