Big Girl Panties

February 20, 2013

One of the funniest people I know, I get to walk with.

We meet at my parents’ house and trudge back through deep leaves, past Slippery Rock, to the fire trail.

There we can walk for miles on end. We often climb Little Kennesaw Mountain and then head back down in a big circle.

And as we walk–with me often out of breath–we talk.

We talk about everything: children, parents, God, work. Marriage, men, faith, doubt, prayer, and difficult decisions.

Once, when I exclaimed to Mary, who is extremely fit and climbs the mountain everyday with her dog, “I’m walking good, aren’t I?!”

Her response was, “Patty, I’ve always thought you walked good.”

Her humor is dry and witty, understated like her genteel Southern lady ways.

So, I was surprised one day when she remarked that it was time to put on her “big girl panties”. I laughed hard.

I knew what she meant. That screwing up of the courage to do what you have to do. To act like a woman, no longer a little girl.

I have to do it each morning when I get on the scales. Afraid of where the numbers will stop, like some lottery game with random balls, I remove my slippers, EVERY piece of clothing, even a bobby pin, and I metaphorically put on my big girl panties to look at where the numbers come to rest.

Each morning it repeats itself. I dread getting on the scales..and yet, I do it.

Life is filled with so many hard things: decisions, chores, work. Raising kids. Caring for elderly parents. Even exercise.

We want to sometimes crawl back in bed.

But God has said, “Grow up. Put on your Big Girl Panties or Big Boy Shorts, screw up your courage, and do what you have to do.”

It is past time to give up childish ways.

Thank you, Mary, for making me laugh. For walking with me even when you have to slow down. And for reminding me it is time to buck up.

Seal of Approval

February 18, 2013

Each morning, I have my prayer rituals.

One of the practices is to invite the Holy Spirit to surround me with a hedge of protection, ministering angels, and a seal.

I thought this morning about the ‘seal of approval’ as I circled my head with my hand, a bodily prayer.

I believe God approves us. In the deepest, most authentic sense.

Not everything we do, but US!

We don’t have to keep trying to win God’s love. To impress with our holiness. To earn anything.

God approves us just the way we are.

And loves us beyond measure.

I hate it when people respond to the question “How’s it going?” with the response “Same ole, same ole.”

It’s a sad commentary to me of their perception–not their life!

Nothing is the same ole, same ole.

Each moment is different, and with it the wonder of creation. We are being made new each second. Our lives change with the beat of our hearts and the myriad of events that make up our days.

Even when we don’t perceive it. Even when we get out of the same side of the bed. Even when things seem rote, or stale, or routine.

Today, I watched a pigeon fly. Its tan underwings looked so beautiful against the blue sky, almost transparent with light filtering through her feathers. I thought about pigeons and how common they seem.

But, they are not. Not by familiarity. Not by urban adaptation. Not by the hundreds of them eating bread crumbs in a park or perched on Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square.

They coo and waddle and fly. They fly!!

My prayer for you, for me, for all of us this day is that we will see, no taste and see, the wonder of our life each moment.

On Not Giving a Damn

February 11, 2013

Jo Dee Messina has a hit called “My Give a Damn’s Busted”.

I admire her grit and her tough lyrics. She kicks some ass, frequently.

I wish I could be more like her, for too often my “give a damn” works overtime.

There is a time to give a damn and a time to resist the urge. To be counter-intuitive in some sort of freed up detachment. It is another–a tougher way-of thinking of the adage to let go.

I have held on to many things in my life, many people, and causes, hopes and dreams, events that marred or scarred deeply. People’s problems that were their own, when I needed to walk away long before. To leave them and the problems to their own devices. To realize the arrogance in thinking I can “fix” anything.

I have worried and fretted and cared too much.

When the scripture says clearly not to worry. And to mind my own business.

Maybe not to give a damn.

Cooperative Thumbs

February 7, 2013

I hurt my thumb at work. A deep gouge. Deep and wide–like the fountain flowing in the church camp song.

I’m healing. It’s okay.

But the wound has caused me to think about thumbs and how important they are to human existence.

We think of them as ‘opposing thumbs’. But I prefer to think of them as cooperative.

They help make tasks easier. Like hooking a bra. Opening a protein bar. Igniting a lighter.

All of which I do on a daily basis–and all of which are hard without the use of a thumb.

Mr. Rogers said it well: “Cooperation. Makes it happen.”

My thumb will heal and I will be back to full human force but I wonder how many other ways I might oppose.

The world is full of opposition.

My thumb has taught me to cooperate.


February 6, 2013

Winter can be bleak, as Rosetti says.

Branches bare, ground frozen like tundra. Birds and squirrels scrambling to remember sources of food, location.

We scramble too. We pull on layers, coats, scarves almost choke necks in our attempt to get warm. We build fires and turn on gas logs. We huddle and we pray.

We pray for sunshine as the skies pour forth rain. Snow. Hail.

We wonder if Spring will ever come.

And all the while, an underworld is turning. Like the springs which will emerge, gush forth into creeks and streams, travel to the sea.

We are traveling.

Our journey is inward, like our bodies. Our homes.

We draw in like the trees and in our drawing is found our strength.

I bless you winter. I need the underground world. The growth and preparation below the surface before I am ready–like daffodils–for Spring.

Testing 1 2 3

February 5, 2013

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Thanks and God bless,