Think of All the Time You’ll Save!

The reason detachment is rewarding is that it gives us so much relief. It allows us to thoroughly relax our bodies and our minds. It makes us feel reborn. And it gives us extra time to play for a change, to plant flowers perhaps, or read books, reconnect with old or new friends, take up painting or weaving or birding. It’s amazing how much free time we have when we remove our attention from the many people and situations that didn’t cotton to having our attention anyway.

— Karen Casey, Let Go Now, p. 145

Why Forgive?

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

Pennies on the Path

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


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

Practicing Faith

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