17 years ago today Adam proposed to me on a Malibu beach in southern California. There are so many details I remember about that day, what's funny (well, now in hindsight its funny) is that I almost messed it up! I never skipped class in college, most people do, but I knew how much money my parents were spending to send me and I felt way too guilty to not show up for class, so I was always there. On this particular day I had made up my mind that I was going to skip class, I was slated to fly to NM that night to be with Adam for the weekend and I had laundry to do, packing, etc. and I wasn't sure I could fit it all in if I didn't skip class. Well, at the last minute my conscience got the best of me and I begrudgingly went to class. It was in that class that the limo driver showed up and whisked me away to Malibu where Adam was waiting for me and proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to be his wife, which, other than choosing to surrender my life to Jesus is the best decision I've made to date. 17 years is a long time, I realize just how old we are when I see it written like that, but I'm so thankful for 10/27, its a day shrouded in meaning for us.
I've been reading books by Anne Lamott for years now, there are many more I hope to read but each one I've read so far has left me with good nuggets and "ahhh" moments, if you will. I just finished her book "Plan B Further Thoughts on Faith." I love Anne for many reasons, but mainly I love her candor, she's brutally honest and transparent and throws a swear word in for good measure here and there that I tend to appreciate. She writes as I imagine she talks, just says it like it is and doesn't hold back to make others comfortable, something so refreshing about that. She has many one-liners in this book that resonated with me/caused me pause so I'm going to share some here:
*"Grace means you're in a different universe from where you had been stuck, when you had absolutely no way to get there on your own."
*"You want to protect your child from pain, and what you get instead is life, and grace; and though theologians insist that grace is freely given, the truth is that sometimes you pay for it through the nose. And you can't pay your child's way."
*"What a mess we are, I thought. But this is usually where any hope of improvement begins, acknowledging the mess. When I am well, I know not to mess with mess right away; I try to let silence and time work their magic."
*"God doesn't want or expect you to get it together before you come along, because you can't get it together until you come along. You can spend half of your time alone, but you also have to be in service, in community, or you get a little funny."
*In Jesus' real life, the resurrection came two days later, but in our real lives, it can be weeks, years, and you never know for sure that it will come."
*"Learning to love back is the hardest part of being alive."
*"Its good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life."
*"you don't have to rehearse the truth."
*"faith is not about how we feel; it is about how we live."
*"I've known for years that resentments don't hurt the person we resent, but that they do hurt and even sometimes kill us."
*"Unfortunately, change and forgiveness do not come easily for me, but any willingness to let go inevitably comes from pain; and the desire to be change changes you, and jiggles the spirit, gets to it somehow, to the deepest, hardest, most ruined parts. And then the spirit expands, because that is its nature, and it drags along the body, and finally, the mind."
*"We speak in reverent terms of grace, justice, equality, mercy, and then we despise people who are also created in God's image, who are Her children, too. Veronica said that if the president had been the only person on earth, Jesus would still have loved him so much that he would have come down and died for him. This drives me crazy, that God seems to have no taste, and no standards. Yet on most days, this is what gives some of us hope."
*"When someone is acting butt-ugly, God loves them just the same as God loves the innocent. They are just as loved by God."
*"Driving home, I tried to hold on to what I'd heard that day: that loving your enemies was nonnegotiable. It meant trying to respect them, it meant identifying with their humanity and weaknesses. It didn't mean unconditional acceptance of their crazy behavior. They were still accountable for the atrocities they'd perpetrated, as you were accountable for yours. But you worked at doing better, at loving them, for the profoundest spiritual reason: You were trying to not make things worse."
*"We don't transform ourselves, she said, but we finally hear, the Spirit has access to our hearts, and that is what changes us."
*"the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. Faith also means reaching deeply within, for the sense one was born with, the sense, for example, to go for a walk."
Good stuff here. You'll probably never regret reading a book by Anne Lamott. Happy Thursday, all. xo