100. all this love that I’m feeling
99. surprise packages
98. whales, and being overwhelmed at seeing them
97. beaches early in the morning
96. arriving safely at the airport
95. things going better than I expected
94. surprise hugs
93. a nice, warm bath/shower
92. the birds singing outside in the morning
91. shooting stars
90. the stars twinkling at night
89. happening upon unexpectedly great movies
88. sunny, breezy days
87. my dog keeping a watchful eye on me
86. knowing that there are people out there who care for me 5 years ago
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100. all this love that I’m feeling
85. finding new bands/singers to love
84. otros aires
83. hearing Glen Phillips’ voice
82. seeing my dog get that happy face whenever I pet him
81. being cheered on my goals, entries and comments here on 43T
80. overhearing remarks from people around me that suddenly make me laugh
79. cool breezes exactly when I’m feeling hot
78. the sun shining into my bedroom at noon, lighting it up
77. friendly smiles from strangers
76. uni sushi
75. hot tamales!
74. cinnamon imperials!
73. jelly bellies!
72. 100% good days
71. good problems
70. happy accidents
69. having dreams come true
68. when a very long wait is finally over
67. shoes that fit my feet like a glove
66. good movies
65. finding stuff (usually money) in my jeans pocket after sticking my hand in, thinking that it’s empty
64. that good feeling I get after I exercise
62. being inspired by other people
60. finding things shortly before I even anticipate that I need them
59. waking up in the morning in a cheerful mood
57. that surprise perfect cup of coffee
56. other people writing exactly what I feel and/or want to say
55. having a good laugh with a friend or family member
54. watching a movie with my brother
53. my sister popping up on IM at the most unexpected times
52. my mom giving me encouragement even though it’s only through e-mail
51. my dad giving me a hug when I’m down
50. reconnecting with good friends whom I haven’t seen in ages and seeing that our friendship hasn’t changed one bit
49. books that speak to me
48. hearing a song I’ve never heard before that cheers me up
45. my dog always knowing when something’s up
44. surprise gifts from my aunt
43. unexpectedly finding the way out
42. things that end badly turning out to be blessings in disguise
41. sudden peace of mind in the midst of total chaos 5 years ago
88. a sense of being guided in financial decisions during hard times (not to become rich but to survive)
89. generosity of fellow believers during those times of financial hardship
90. the closeness I enjoy with my sisters & brothers—my best friends in the world
91. Jesus’ respect for women
92. the upside-down-true ring of Jesus’ teachings, for example these:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [= justice], for they will be filled.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
93. Jesus’ resistance to religious hypocrisy—including mine
94. Jesus’ confrontation of evil with his own death
95. Jesus’ resurrection
96. the earliest Christian believers’ joy & sacrifice
97. being forgiven
98. witnessing the forgiveness of others
99. learning to forgive
100. the Eucharist
101. my baptism
102. witnessing baptisms of my sisters & brothers in the faith
I could go on! But I am happy to have assembled this list; it was a deeply nurturing exercise. 6 years ago
69. tacana blossoms in the Chocó jungle
72. different textures of hair
73. the structure of languages
74. the fine-tuning of the universe
75. conversations that shine
82. the fabrics woven by indigenous Guatemalans
83. ocean waves
84. Lake Michigan
86. Starved Rock Park
87. rivers 6 years ago
Certain experiences help me become aware of God’s presence, such as . . .
49. singing harmony
50. folk dancing
51. the richness of words, even in speaking of their paucity
52. sleep, which reminds me that I’m a creature (& is such a deep, primal pleasure!)
53. Bach’s B-Minor Mass
54. Bach’s “Sleepers Awake”
55. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s rendition of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”
56. the blossom-laden dogwoods & crabapples of this spring
57. the shelter of trees
58. the raw green of spring leaves
59. the voice of Susana Baca
60. the voice of Mercedes Sosa
61. the voice of Lucía Pulido
62. the hands of children
65. the miracle of writing, being able to communicate with others, & speak to myself, by making shapes with a pen on paper 6 years ago
40. people who choose nonviolent resistance against unjust structures
41. people who are working hard to turn the tide of global warming
42. people who fight racism & ethnocentrism
43. people who fight poverty
44. the exodus
45. the Underground Railroad
46. the village of Le Chambon, France, during World War II
47. the Freedom Riders
48. South Africa’s dismantling of apartheid without the long-feared bloodbath
(Photo is of a protest held during the Colombian president’s visit to Washington this past week. It made me cry to see people standing up publicly and dramatically for justice in that much-loved country.) 6 years ago
in my notebook, but I’m not going to inflict all 70+ items on myself & everyone else in a huge unwieldy list, fun though that might be in some ways. Instead I’ll break it up into segments & post them over the next few days.
This set consists of transformations AND centeredness in the lives of people I love.
31. My father’s story, how his conversion in his late teens turned his life completely around.
32. My mother’s example of faith in hardship, especially through years of suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.
33. My mother’s initiative in opening our family’s home, after her children all grew up, to 8-15 Colombian foster children at a time. Over a period of 8 years, my parents & their small staff cared for more than 200 children. Some of them would not have survived without that care. Nearly all of them were placed for adoption, some within Colombia, others by families in North America & Europe.
34. The way G., after years of unhealthy behavior that made his family suffer, turned to faith in Christ & made his way to a much more wholesome lifestyle.
35. The dignity of my friend T. as he fights cancer & faces his mortality.
36. Remembering how J., one hot July morning, climbed onto the leaky roof of a low-income family with a bunch of Christian friends . . . They worked all day, & he doesn’t know exactly how/when it happened, only that by the time he climbed down the ladder that afternoon he had become a Christ-follower.
37. J.’s long faithfulness since that conversion nearly 35 years ago.
38. My children’s eagerness to make a difference in the world.
39. D.’s recovery from depression. 6 years ago
40. people changing their mind for no apparent reason and suddenly supporting or helping me with that I need to do
39. what I once thought was impossible suddenly happening
38. good news out of the blue
37. strength from out of nowhere helping me to go on
36. sadness, because it reminds me that I was created with a heart
35. breathing, because it reminds me that I’m alive and still okay
34. support from unusual sources
33. long, meandering conversations that get to a point I needed to hear for so long
32. surprise projects from the most unexpected sources
31. surprise phone calls
30. friends who love me unconditionally, we’re already siblings
29. friends who pick me up when I’m being hormonally challenged
28. forwarded e-mails that come at the right time
27. that sudden second wind just when you think you’re already done
26. pets who know when you’re feeling bad
25. hugs from the most unexpected people
24. long, interesting conversations with friends
23. free coffee
22. good advice from strangers
21. other people’s understanding 6 years ago
29. Snow. This is not on my list because I love snow & cold weather; I don’t particularly, though snow is quite beautiful & if I lived year round in semitropical weather (e.g., Medellín, Colombia—blissfully pleasant! right, ardilla?) I would want to go north or south to experience it occasionally. Snow is a sign of the Creator’s care, a time when the earth (in certain latitudes) goes to sleep & is restored.
30. Compost. Another natural process of decaying/dying to nurture new life. Compost-produced humus is so darkly beautiful & rich. 6 years ago
In 1999 I survived a very serious car crash. During the weeks of recovery, I found that my inner question was not “Why did that happen to me?” but “Why did I survive?”
Lots of good people die in car wrecks & other accidents. I had no illusion that my survival was some kind of reward for good behavior. Instead I came to the conclusion that I survived because God still had work for me to do. Probably not just one task but a number of them!
One of the many friends who came to visit me during recovery was Reuben, a college student who was a refugee from Liberia. During the early 1990s flare-up of civil war there he had been tortured, but inexplicably a commander came by in the midst of it & told the soldiers to stop. Later Reuben was with a group of folks in a church when it was attacked; he escaped through a window & walked 12 days till he got to a refugee camp in Cote d’Ivoire. He lived there, his life on hold in most ways, for 7 years! Finally clearance came for permanent immigration to the U.S.
Reuben was the person who understood my sense of having survived for a purpose. 6 years ago
They both dressed as lions tonight. She’s nearly 20 months, he’s nearly 18. They were so cute…but after the Halloween fun ended and they were having dinner they started entertaining each other by beating on their trays like drums. They did it in turns like tom-toms and after each one finished, the other would just laugh and laugh and laugh. I thought when it was happening how different their childhoods will be than mine was. How lucky I am to be here to think and see that. 6 years ago
In my bleakest moments I think, let the others write it, let someone else tell it, let other people whisper through the gold dust of life, let them collect it on their fingers like pollen. Let them give fire to their dreams, let them accomplish, conquer, achieve, let them find peace and satisfaction in a job well done. I think, the demons are too hard to fight, they will not consume me but I cannot run out to meet them sword in hand. I think they will be content if I just stay here. Right here, my folded legs making an imprint in the grass, and watch the sun rise and set for another 6 or 7000 days, which will pass like weak coffee through my body. Maybe they will be content with a holding pattern, but as I say it I know that it isn’t true. Maybe we can’t hold anything, it just corrodes.
I don’t know how to win. And while I believe that God wants my victory, ain’t nobody going to fight my battles for me. In my bleakest moments I fear that I will never rise and by not doing so I have already failed. That, of course is my greatest fear. I suppose I write it here, under this goal because I want these feelings to evaporate. I want to be saved. I want, want, want to believe. 6 years ago
Sometimes I can’t wait for it to come to me, I have to go in search of reminders of God…
26. the breath coming into my lungs
27. and the feeling of music in my chest as air passes through
28. the blanket of gray thrown over the day
29. and the way it holds in heat and moisture and smells
30. the voice of my daughter
31. how it rises and falls like a funny song
32. my husband when he is happy
33. the way he smiles all lazy after we make love
34. an entire free day spreading before us
35. and a little daughter to show the world to 6 years ago
Postcards sent by people, yet it is almost as if they were sent by God. 6 years ago
I finished part two of my novel. There has to be a God for that to have happened. Now I can only pray that that same God will walk with me the rest of the way.
P 6 years ago
18. the smell of cinnamon
19. the smell of cilantro
20. the smell of lemon balm
21. the smell of basil
26. stars 6 years ago
What is it in us that impels us to love others rather than just watching out for ourselves? First John says, “We love because [God] first loved us.”
It is a great blessing to be able to give. 6 years ago
It’s odd how it was so easy to write down things that make me happy and it takes so much thought to actually do this one. I should open my eyes and be more aware of the little miracles that happen to me on a daily basis.
20. people showing up for some unknown reason and telling me exactly what I need to hear
19. the sun breaking through the clouds when I’m feeling sad
18. suddenly having enough money to buy something that I need exactly when I think that I can’t afford to buy anything
17. finding something that I was looking for right when I need it
16. the end of waiting for something to arrive
15. thinking about how much I’d like to have something, and suddenly have someone give it to me (or give me something better) out of the blue
14. waking up in the morning
13. having an almost instant connection with someone I’ve just recently met
12. finding a partner in crime in the most unexpected place
11. seeing opportunities that weren’t there before suddenly open up 6 years ago
It’s knowing that God has given me the ability to feel pleasure. It took me a long time to learn that this was a gift from God. As an abuse survivor I fought long and hard to learn that my sexual responses were not bad or evil. I had to learn that looking a certain way did not cause anyone to harm me. That I did not DO anything…that it was another person’s sickness. After years and years of hating myself, of behaving inappropriately, cheating on partners, choosing horribly abusive people, I was able to get help. Through therapy and prayer I discovered joy. I learned that my sexuality was not a bad thing…it was a gift. So it’s going on my list.
P 6 years ago
I had to report of a friend to child welfare. I actually made the report over a month ago but the case worker called today to follow up on a few points with me. This friend, I’ve known her since we were 6 years old. The reason I had to report her was that she married a predatory sex offender (yes, she knew before they even got engaged)...she then proceeded to get pregnant and have a baby within one year of their marriage. I actually didn’t learn about his past until about 2 weeks after their baby was born and the online registry was launched here in our state. This is a man who has had two separate convictions and she married him and had a child with him anyway. I had agonized over whether or not I should call the authorities about the birth of their child for several days and finally realized that I had to do it…being very concerned for her infant, helpless daughter.
So…while very sad that I had to take this step, I’m comfortable that I did the right thing and relieved that the authorities are monitoring the baby and hopefully we make sure she’s safe. 6 years ago
At key points in my life I have received messages through dreams. I know my subconscious generates my dreams, but certain dreams have a special force & then are reinforced the following day by something outside my control. Then I know that God is speaking.
This morning, for example, I awoke from a dream about reconnecting with an old friend whom I think of only rarely. Later, when I opened my e-mail, a message from my sister mentioned this same friend in passing. Now I know I need to write down this dream, meditate on it & discern what he symbolizes for me.
EDIT: I just checked back & saw that I had already made “dreams” an item on my list! Oh well, the redundancy underlines their significance for me. :-) If I were to make each important dream a separate item, I think I’d end up with about 10 of them! 6 years ago
I haven’t written anything for this goal in quite a while, so I guess I’ll several things at one go from now on.
10. friends whom I haven’t seen in ages suddenly popping up exactly when I need a friend to lean on
9. finding a phrase, a sentence or a paragraph in something I’m reading that sounds like an answer to a problem or to a particular thing I’m mulling over
8. going to the kitchen starving for a midnight snack when I’m working long hours and finding something to eat that’s still warm and seemingly newly-cooked
7. people going out of their way to make me happy
6. hearing an unexpected favorite song on the radio when I’m down or exactly when I’m in a really good mood and celebrating something
5. my dog, who makes me feel loved whenever I feel as if the entire world is up against me
4. real friends – they’re there to cheer me up when I’m down, they really are concerned about me, they take care of me when I can’t take care of myself, and they’re there in all sorts of weather. I’m especially grateful for those whom I never exptected to stick around but are still there against all odds.
3. family – who else would be stuck with me and can do nothing about it? Seriously, though, they’re the ones on whom I can truly depend on, and the ones who’ll be there through thick and thin. 6 years ago
I received a call from a good friend of mine. I met her and her husband when we were all in graduate school together. They are wonderful people who have faced true tragedy and have overcome it and grown closer and triumphed! Their first baby died when he was about 6 weeks old. They were absolutely rock-solid in their faith in each other and grew closer as a couple afterwards. They have since had two children, have just moved into a beautiful new home…it is just wonderful to see how people can face tragedy and grow from it. I can only hope, God forbid, that I would be able to face something like that as well as they have. They are trully role models and I’m so blessed to have them as part of my life. In fact, I think I need to write her a letter and let her know that! 6 years ago
It is my favorite drink in the whole wide world. I am addicted to it and have one every day and my favorite local coffee shop. It is sweet and icy and has a great Chai-thang going on. I am grateful that someone thought it up and glad that it is in in world.
P 6 years ago
Last night my older son accidentally slammed my younger son’s finger in the sliding glass door. I felt so bad for both of them…David is OK and will heal in time. Poor Gavin felt so bad. I’m happy that God has given me the forthought to remember to not make too big of a deal out of his part in the accident. He was disciplined because we’ve been telling him not to slam any doors shut and this was a good lesson as to why we’ve been telling him this…but at the same time it was still an accident…so hopefully his little spirit didn’t take too much of a ding over the whole incident. 6 years ago
I’ve met an amazing woman who’s also a Mom. We actually worked together years ago and met again in a coffee shop. Our children are about the same age and we have the same philosophy re child rearing & development. She has been a balm during these tough times and I feel that I have found a true and good friend. I feel as if she’s a little fairy person sent by the Universe. It feels good to be giving to her. I love her son as well. 6 years ago