As we travel along this long and winding road called LIFE, there are sure to be treacherous curves and bumps in our path that slow us down and perhaps, even bring us to a halting stop.
Plant a seed of friendship; reap a bouquet of happiness. Lois L. Kaufman
These can be catastrophic and tragic or hopefully, more likely, a sadness in our hearts over some circumstance that has transpired in our journey. It is August first, and that means school for many, many kids, parents, teachers and administrators alike. August first also marks my 58th birthday. I have never been shy about sharing my age, probably because of 3 things my Mama taught me about aging. Among other mantras, these are things she said often to me:
- Age is a matter of the mind, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
- I’d rather be this age than any other age I can think of.
- Our age is just a number.
Either way, I have discovered the importance of having folks, friends and family, who will walk beside me, shoulder-to-shoulder, and not try to fix the unfixable in my life. These are friends that make me think of the song, I Hope You Dance, by Lee Ann Womack. Click here to listen to these great lyrics.
These friends truly are the FLOWERS IN THE GARDEN OF LIFE!
These friends truly are a GIFT FROM GOD ABOVE.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (1932-1996) was born in Nijkerk, Holland, and came to the United States in 1964. A Roman Catholic Priest and psychologist, he has taught at several prestigious universities, including Yale, Harvard, and Notre Dame. He is the author of over twenty books, among them The Wounded Healer and With Open Hands, with a more recent one being Discernment: Reading The Signs Of Daily Life. I have often been inspired by Nouwen’s writing and once again, I am moved to share his thoughts on “what really matters.”
When we honestly ask which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief or bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness…makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters.” Henri Nouwen
As I travel along on my long and winding road, I desire to be this kind of friend to those God puts in my path and I am so grateful to those whom He has provided to minister to me in my times of need.
Far from perfect, I know that as a believer, when I seek Him, I will find him every time, and He will grant me the grace and the wisdom I need to continue on the path before me.
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens. Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance. And when you get the chance to sit it out, or dance. I hope you'll dance! Lee Ann Womack, I Hope You Dance
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