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I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

duration.

word of the day: duration \d-ˈrā-shən\ the time during which something continues

I realized the other day that almost all of the videos saved to my phone or computer are under a minute in duration.  

Do you know that my mom once videotaped an entire Christmas morning from start to finish? She set our camcorder on a tripod and let the magic unfold. (She also once recorded an entire patriotic light display at Mount Rushmore when I was in elementary school. We've really cherished that one forever, mom.) Jake comes from similar home videos. (I know because I have seen them all. This is not hyperbole.)

A few months ago, I was looking through the pictures on Jake's phone. He had this video saved of Lily from last spring, and it was three minutes of her jumping off the porch and laughing at herself. It was so mundane, and I loved every second of it. 
I've been thinking a lot about it since. 

It's important to me that our kids have tangible relics from their childhood. Call me old school, but I want them to flip through photo albums together and have video documentation of all the hilarious stuff they do. It pains me to think about their future memories being made up of 10 second snapchats they have to dig through my computer to find. 
So I have this camera. It's an actual camera (I'm not referring to my phone in this context). It takes really quality pictures, AND it has a live-action video feature. I have been using it, and it is changing my life (Yes, hyperbole here). No video is less than three minutes long, and they are all so boring. Five minutes of Christmas tree decorating. Three minutes of Lily, Norah, and me playing Ring around the Rosie. Two minutes of Lily dominating Jake at memory. The other day, I just followed the girls around and recorded everything they did even when they weren't really doing anything. It was wonderful.

It sounds a little silly, but it's so much less pressure. I don't have to worry about capturing a moment within a time frame short enough to be sent as a text message. It's almost like I can record a moment and be present in it at the same time. 
I suppose the holiday season reminds me of how much I value the creation and preservation of lasting memories for our kids. I'm not the only mom who feels a little paralyzed by this come Christmastime, am I? In a season teemed with tradition, how do you decide which ones to latch on to? There are so many aspects of this time of year that we could subscribe to, and for some reason, it sort of neutralizes me. So, in this strange response of over-analyzation and rebellion, I have realized that my tendency is to stray away from tradition all together and embrace something different each year.
Someday, Lily and Norah will watch all these recorded moments I'm trying to capture now. And amidst everything from the ordinary Thursday night to the excitement of the Christmas morning, I guess all I really want for them to see is that we are present in the moments in which we are together wherever we are and whatever we are doing. I want to live the Star Wars, guys. That's what really matters anyway, right?

That, and well-documented holidays. I think I need a tripod.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ludicrous.

word of the day: ludicrous /ˈlo͞odəkrəs/ so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous.

Here's something ludicrous. Last night, I typed this sentence into an email: "I realized that 'I'm just too busy' is ludacris."

Even now I can't even.

I literally had to go to Google and guess and check how to spell the word.

It's ludicrous. I have an English degree, for crying out loud.

Also? Un-matched socks. I could free a small army of house elves with the number of un-matched socks lying around my house. Why do children insist on taking off their socks one at a time and in different rooms of the house? I consider myself to be a particularly organized person, but socks defeat me. I surrender.

As for being too busy, I'm not. I suppose this train of thought falls under the category of “not making excuses anymore,” but it seems to me that when you become a stay-at-home mom, you can’t opt out of things anymore because you have too much to do (although I’m beginning to think that excuse might have been ludicrous in the first place).

I can’t stop thinking about what God said about His people in Isaiah 58:

For day after day they seek me out;
   they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
   and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
   and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
   ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
   and you have not noticed?’

It’s me six months ago. Eager to know God’s ways as if I was doing things right. Asking for just decisions and eager for God to come near to me. Sometimes I think maybe I was confused when God didn’t come meet me in the comfort of my home. I sought God, but I see now that I looked in the wrong places.

He goes on to say that the life He chooses for me includes loosening chains of injustice and setting the oppressed free. Sharing food with the hungry and providing the poor wanderer shelter. Clothing the naked, spending myself in behalf of the hungry, and satisfying the needs of the oppressed.

Tis the season for giving back, but I have decided that I don’t want to give back anymore. Rather, I want to live in a state of constant awareness of the needs of others. Not just at Christmas and not after my kids are older and more self-sufficient and not once Jake is done with residency and we have the means to do more.

if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
   and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

After all, don’t we find Jesus in the hungry and in the thirsty and in the homeless and in the naked and in the sick and in the imprisoned1? If I am really eager to find Him, it seems pretty clear where I should look rather than just waiting for His presence to fill the warmth of my own home.

It seems so simple to me now and yet also so magnanimous2.

It makes me feel like any excuse to live otherwise is ludicrous.

Do you suppose there will be a city-wide need for individual socks this time of year? If so, we’ve certainly got that need covered.
____________________________
1 See Matthew 25
2 I typed this word and then looked up the definition: the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes.  That's something to strive for, if you ask me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

on.

word of the day: on \ˈn, ˈän\ used as a function word to indicate the subject of study, discussion, or consideration

on toddlers

I am newly convinced that toddlers are just larger versions of babies. That just at that moment when you think, "Hey, my kid is a kid now," you have to start stocking the diaper bag full of changes of clothes again in case of accidents. And, you have to re-sleep train. (Because apparently sleep training is a recurrent process and not something you only do once.) And, you will inevitably start your middle of the night obsessive Google searching again to determine normalcy from largely non credible sources.
on sleep

I have decided to become a morning person. Every morning when Lily wakes up at (or before) 6:00, I think, "Molly, you are a morning person. It is so fun to be awake this early; enjoy these extra hours added on to your day." I mean, I convinced myself to like cooking a few years back and baking even more recently. Is sleep really that much different?

(Yes, as it turns out, it is.)

on making excuses

I have decided not to make them anymore (major life changes up in here). Or at least give it my most valiant effort. In general, most things make me nervous or angsty, but I am newly resolved to say "Yes" to things unless I have a legitimate reason otherwise. To give you an idea, the other day, I loaded up the girls to go to a local mom's group, pulled in the parking lot, and realized I was an hour late to the two hour function. I turned around immediately and called Jake in what can only be described as an "excessive overreaction" at which point he convinced me to turn around and go anyway. I didn't have a good reason not to. 

And guess what? No one even cared. All worst case scenarios were squashed when everybody just smiled at me.

on Jake

Speaking of Jake, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, there aren't enough words. I am convinced that a first year resident (reference point: Grey's Anatomy, Season 1) is among the hardest jobs on the planet. (Jake told me once that if I had really wanted to be a doctor, I could have. But, I certainly couldn't have even if I had wanted to.) That guy though. He's all in. There's no transition buffer from work to home. He came home late the other day and immediately helped me pick up crayons from the basement floor. He's the Mauvelous to my Raw Sienna.
on first birthdays

I'm always glad when they're over. I know. It's terrible, but they are almost too much for me to bear. It's the exact moment when Before meets After and the junction of the two makes my head want to explode with nostalgia. I tried really hard this year to channel my inner Jake and be all, "It's just like any other day," but, alas, I still opened my computer and looked at every single picture since Norah has been born. 

I am thankful for first birthdays though because watching Norah swallow an entire mini cupcake whole was one of the greatest moments of her first year of life and, subsequently, my 29 to date. 
on books.

I finally read Interrupted by (obviously) Jen Hatmaker last week. If you haven't read it, I need you to read it, and I need you to discuss it with me because I've been doing everything wrong and now I want to do everything right, but you can't do everything right on your own (I mean, maybe I could try, but I don't think that would work). 

Trust me. That will all make sense after you read it.

Also, Lily and I are obsessed with the library (Norah will be too once she figures out that books are also fun to read once you pull them all off the shelves). Every week we bring new books home, and we recently discovered the author Marla Frazee whose book "Boot and Shoe" had me at this line:
"And then [the squirrel] got all up in Boot's business. And it got all up in Shoe's business too. Whoa. Something had to be done."
(It is possible, though, that I love those lines because I just finished watching all 9 seasons of The Office.)

on gratitude.

Right now, I am sitting at my kitchen table. And the sun is shining, and it is quiet. Quiet. There is stillness amidst my chaos. Sure, sometimes the girls both scream in sync and sometimes Lily wakes us up at 1 a.m. for no apparent reason, and sometimes I end the day feeling totally unqualified for this job. But, then those moments fade into still ones like this, and for that I am grateful. It's a good life.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

release.

word of the day: release \ri-ˈlēs\ verb: to stop holding; noun: the state of being freed

So there was this leaf the other day.

That's the one. We passed it on a walk during our week of November summer. This was not a well-timed picture. I did not see it fall from the tree. It was a leaf suspended in mid-air. It was magic! Wingardium Leviosa!

(Okay, fine. It's caught on a spider web.)

I've been trying to think about it metaphorically since. I mean, you can't very well pass a levitating leaf and not look for the deep significance, right?

For awhile, I thought I was the leaf. I thought maybe it had to do with trust or perseverance or something, and then today it dawned on me: The leaf is dead. It's hanging on, but it has no hope of survival once it hits the ground. 

I think I am, in fact, the tree in this metaphor, and I realized it while looking out my window at the trees working to shed their leaves. Some trees take more time than others (our front tree has barely lost any leaves), but they all have the same goal: get rid of the dead, so that re-growth can happen in the seasons to come. 

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go. 

So, I thought about the leaf and the spider web. And I thought about my life. And I wondered if there was something I was having trouble letting go of. And then, a little later, I had this conversation with Jake:

Jake: Why are you crying? (Ahem. A few inserts here: 1. His tone was one of compassion not annoyance 2. This is a moment in time that I'm sure anyone who has experienced the cries of multiple children for lengthy periods of time can understand. Just a good old fashioned breaking point.)

Me: I'm just frustrated. I kept looking forward to Norah's first birthday thinking everything with the girls would be easier by now. But this is even harder than what I thought was hard back then.1

It was in this exact moment that I was reminded of something I had read approximately four hours earlier (yes, obviously Jen Hatmaker wrote it): 
Let go of what you expected and embrace what you have. The tug of war between expected and actual is what kills the spirit. God does his best work in reality. That gap between expected and actual is where grace takes over.2
 Maybe the magic leaf was coincidental, but (more likely) I needed a reminder to let go of my expectations and embrace what I have. Let God fill the gap with His grace and sufficiency (the constant in every season). I'm a much better mom and wife and general person when I let God do His work in my reality rather than existing in the gray space of what I expect the future to look like. 

So, I'm back to reality, and let me tell you, there is freedom in the letting go. Release and you'll find release.  

This is the stuff of hope. I'll rest my wand on that tonight.
_________________

1 Perspective is key. My "hard" is relative (and not really all that hard). Which makes me think of what I said HERE.

I found these thoughts HERE on Hatmaker's blog admidst some notes she had taken at a MOPS conference. It was like a jewel hidden at the bottom of the page just for me to find.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

perspective.

word of the day: perspective \pər-ˈspek-tiv\ the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance

November's got me all kinds of nostalgic. Combine nostalgic Molly with general, run-of-the-mill Molly and parent of a two-year old Molly and you've got a trifecta of discombobulation. I'm a perfect storm of jumbled thoughts. (that movie ended well, right?) 

Norah turns one in two weeks. I love the one year milestone; she then officially becomes a part of the "a year ago we were doing this" memories. But we're not there yet, so this week, I've been finding myself all caught up in those days before she graced us with her presence.

I feel a little wistful about those days, really. Norah was the first change in a season of many, many changes. My life a year ago is a life I don't recognize any longer; every single dynamic has since been disrupted. If I could, I think I would reach into the past, tug on my own shirt sleeve, and encourage myself to breathe in the simplicity of it all (even though I know, at the time, it didn't feel particularly simple).

I've been doing a lot of that lately: breathing. I mean, of course I've been breathing. But, in the recent days, I've had to become more intentional about it. The butt-against-the-floor-back-against-the-wall kind of breathing that I suspect (see: hope) other parents of toddlers might also know all too well.  

It's these moments in which future Molly (the version of myself who has grown children and a lifetime of perspective) reaches back in time, tugs on my shirt sleeves, and reminds me of my favorite piece of parenting advice: Don't get used to any one thing.

I have decided that parenting is a rotating reel of growth and regression. Just when they master one thing, they regress in another. Just when you think one thing has become easy, they decide not to do it the easy way anymore. Just when you get used to the way things are, they change. (am I even making sense? I'm a little low on sleep. See: Don't get used to any one thing.)

So Norah's almost one, and the wistful thinking about simpler times gives me hope for the future because a year ago today, I know my life felt overwhelming and impossible to manage. And, a year from now, when the dynamics are certain to be changed again, I'm sure I will look back to this time (the tantrums. oh, the tantrums!) with a wistful smile because, hindsight, things never seem as difficult as they were in the moment. 

Norah shook our dynamic a year ago. She made everything harder but also better and more wonderful.

It's a good thing, perspective. And, when I take a moment to breathe that in, I find that I tend to exhale things like love and grace. 

A little perspective and a few deep breaths make me a better version of myself. Present Molly. It works.

Now, you had better believe that Present Molly is not squandering our November summer. We're crunching leaves, tossing acorns, and breathing in deep breaths of warm air. It doesn't feel very fall-ish, but we're all happier because of it. Every walk, Lily stops at least once to lay her face against the sidewalk. It's like a silent plea for the warmth to stay. I'm with you, sister.
I wish the warm weather would stay indefinitely, but I guess perspective reminds me that there is good to be found in even the most barren of times. Winter doesn't hang around forever either. Don't get used to any one thing, you know?

Monday, October 26, 2015

present.

word of the day: present \ˈpre-zənt\ not past or future; existing or happening now

I went back and forth between "present" and "volatile" tonight. Two words that don't really have that much in common, but for whatever reason they keep bumping into each other in my brain.

Volatile did not exist in my spoken vocabulary until Jake used it a few months back to describe a certain person in our house and all her two-ness. Now it describes the very essence of my life. Somedays it's oatmeal versus toast. Others it's jeans versus green leggings or the black shirt instead of the gray one. A few weeks ago, we had to take a lunch break hiatus because, in a great lapse of judgment, I cut her peanut butter sandwich in half. 

I am learning that the thing she wants is usually the opposite of what I want, and so, each day brings new boundaries to test and new deals to negotiate. (Me: Lily, let's read one book before bed. Lily: I want to read two books. Me: We can read two books. Lily: I want to read lossa books. Oy.)

Lately I find myself in the middle of these moments where part of me wants to tap out. Let an expert handle it. Three hours into the potty training process and I was feeling totally unqualified for the task at hand. So go many moments of this whole parenting gig. 

Then yesterday, I was sitting and watching Norah cruise the furniture in our living room. She let go for a moment, and I thought she might walk to Jake (She didn't. Appears to be a little more of a risk calculator. Can't imagine where she gets that tendency). In that moment though, I had this instinctual feeling like I needed to capture the moment. My phone was in the kitchen though which forced me to be present in the actual moment (a novel concept, I know). 

I was reminded in that split second that so much of my job as a parent is simply to be present in every moment with my kids. 

It actually reminds me of one of my favorite lines from How I Met Your Mother (weirdly enough). Marshall was beside himself because Ted's girlfriend had never seen Star Wars. His logic: "The only people in the universe who have never seen Star Wars are the characters in Star Wars and that's cause they lived them. That's cause they lived the Star Wars." 

I want to live the Star Wars. The potty training bathroom celebrations and the accidents on the way up the stairs. The sleeping through the night and the "I need a drink of water" at 6 a.m. The whole ceramic pumpkin and the shattered one. The peanut butter sandwich, oatmeal, graham cracker, and pancake (their rank changes on any give day).

I've been thinking lately that if Jake and I don't love our kids well in each moment we have with them, who else will? 

So in those moments where it would be easy to tap out, I've taken to closing my eyes and breathing in the reminder to love well. 

Also to keep sandwiches whole and to never suggest jeans as a clothing option. 

And, let's be real, of course there are moments to capture which I will not miss. 

Like Lily's first library card.
Or Norah's champion free-standing.
Or the fact that when I set out to make homemade Dalmatian costumes this year, I sort of made cow costumes. The guesses were about 50/50 when we went "Sticker Treating" at the library last week. Cutest Dalmatian cows around. No disparity there.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

musings.

word of the day: musings \ˈmyüz-ing\ thoughtfully abstracted.

I read this story once about a woman who was at the beach with her son. She sat reading a magazine while her son chased after hermit crabs. He was perfectly blissful until one of the crabs neared his mother who screamed. Her fear inadvertently taught him to fear, and that was that with their fun afternoon.

So, there was a mouse in my house last week. 

I saw it first on Thursday night. It darted into the finished side of our basement and back before anyone else could see it. It reappeared a little more slowly Friday morning while I was in the basement with the girls. It shimmied underneath the baby gate toward Lily and me before turning back around, and of course I was all, "Look, Lily! A mouse just like we read about in your books. Cool!"

Right.

Reality would show me yelping and jumping off the floor to my feet (at which point I was immediately reminded of the hermit crab story). My inner monologue did its best to talk me down. It's not going to come at you, Molly. It's just a smaller version of a chipmunk, and those don't freak you out. It's kind of cute, really. 

So, I took a deep breath and looked at Lily. She looked at the place where the mouse had been, looked back at me and said, "It's not scary, mom." 

So, there's that at least.

I've seen the mouse once since then but given that it was at the bottom of the washing machine and a load of "clean" clothes, our short relationship has ended. (until, I'm sure, we find the rest of his family members.)

The forecast is showing frost for this weekend, and the clouds seem to be hanging around for longer periods of time, so I keep looking at these pictures to remind myself that we'll make it through the sun-less winter here in Ohio (at least that's what they tell me to expect).

It really is beautiful here, and I will never tire of watching trees change into their fall hues. 

I read this quote the other day and have been churning it ever since:
The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

I suppose it fits well with my recent desire to unsubscribe to all the junk I don't need. To focus rather on the sustaining things that bring life. But, I was reminded in reading that quote of a post I wrote a few years ago about abscission, which basically, is the act of cutting off. So, in terms of fall, abscission means that when it's time for a tree to lose its leaves, cells appear and, like scissors, cut the leaf from the branch.

So, to quote myself, (a tacky habit I've adopted lately), the leaves don't fall off. They are cut [from the branch itself].

A good reminder in a season of change--while warm weather turns to frost and sandals turn to that pair of brown ankle boots you forgot you had--that you can't let the dead things go without letting go. Change and personal growth don't just happen on their own accord. I've got to open my hands to both letting the dead things go and grabbing on to the lovely. Action verbs seem to be the going theme in my life lately. 

So, we'll hunker down and prepare for winter ahead. Thankfully, Jeremy and  Kelly taught us how to play Settlers of Catan. And even more thankfully, Jake and I were ambitious (and cheap) enough to make our own game board and set, so we can play even in their absence. 
We really feel like this is the key to making new friends here. 

Or at least a better way to spend some quality time together that doesn't involve watching Netflix (Bartlet for America!). 

Mice and all.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

unsubscribe.

word of the day: unsubscribe /ˌənsəbˈskrīb/ cancel a subscription to an electronic mailing list or online service.

You can subscribe to a lot of things, but according to the official definition, apparently you can only unsubscribe to mailing lists or online services. Fortunately, that's at least part of the reason why this word is on my brain today.

I get lots of junk emails a day (is my poor word choice here why Lily asks to read "lossa" books lately? Maybe I should bring some stronger words into my daily verbiage). But really, lossa junk emails. I think I was sending 20 some emails into my trash can every day until, in a fit of annoyance, I realized I could probably just unsubscribe. So that's what I've been doing all week. Instead of sending the cruise promotions and YMCA newsletters straight to the trash can, I've been opening them, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking "unsubscribe." One or two clicks later, and I'm free.

Free! (and over-dramatic)

Every time I click “unsubscribe” on an email, I wonder if there are other things in my life I should equally unsubscribe to. Unnecessary junk--in both the literal and figurative sense I suppose. I’m sure there’s lossa it.

Speaking of Lily, she has recently unsubscribed to her pacifier. Jake, ever the voice of reason, told her that pacifiers are for babies and that she’s a big girl to which she replied, “Pacis are for big girls.” (She’s smart, this one.) Anyway, we took it away cold turkey and after a few tearful bedtime routines, I think we may be on the other side.
Norah continues to unsubscribe to everyone who is not me. I keep thinking, “Surely she’ll leave this phase soon,” but then I remember myself as a five-year-old on my mom’s hip and realize that I may have to settle in for the long haul on this one.
Jake recently unsubscribed (for now at least) to in-patient medicine after two. long. months. He’s been home before 3 p.m. every day this week, has the next four weekends free, and

(honestly, I’m so happy about it that I don’t even know how to finish that sentence.)
And me, well, I’ve unsubscribed to summer which is fitting, I suppose, on the first day of fall. It was nice to actually carry summer into September instead of transitioning into school mode while summer danced on without me. We celebrated today by picking apples off of trees and grapes off of vines.

I’ve always been especially fond of the start of a new season because it signals change and new things. Each season envelops the one before; summer, in this case, folds itself into fall. You can’t have one without the other, and I find that the seasons of my life morph in much the same way.

So, as the changing landscape proves the normal way of things, we’ll keep working to get rid of the junk and subscribe ourselves to the good stuff.

First order of business is to turn the apples from the apple orchard into apple crisp. And, minimize my in-box, of course.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

good.

word of the day: good \ˈgu̇d\ of high quality

I’ve been replaying this single line from The Fault in Our Stars in my mind since Saturday. It’s a simple one and it comes toward the end when Augustus is feeling particularly nostalgic about his life. As the wind blows between them, he squeezes Hazel’s hand and says, “It’s a good life, Hazel Grace.”

It’s a good life.

I turned twenty-nine on Saturday and the fault was not in the stars. They aligned perfectly: Jake had the entire day off, fall weather hit our doorstep, my gracious aunts were available and willing babysitters, and Iowa beat Iowa State (special shout out to the bartender at the Great Lakes Brewing Co. for turning the game on for us and to Jake who let me exchange his pre-made plan of a fancy place for a brewery and a football game. I don’t think he was terribly disappointed.).

People always ask you if you feel different on your birthday, and my go-to answer is always, “No.” It’s just another day, after all. But, as I’ve been thinking about this past year, I realize that I am different. I mean, this year me and last year me have very little in common, really. There’s a new kid, a new job, a new house, a new city, and a new state. I’ve learned things about myself and Jake and the girls and parenting and marriage and relationships and life in general that make me incomparable to the 28-year-old version of myself. I think if I passed her on the street, I’d hardly recognize her. I’d probably say something like, “Cute bangs. Have you ever thought about growing them out?” or “You should have kept all your floral print rompers and butterfly clips from the 90s because they’ll totally be back in style soon.” or “You might as well pre-order the new Taylor Swift album when it comes out because you know you’ll end up buying it anyway.”

Birthdays get a bad rap sometimes, don’t they? I stare in the face of thirty now, and I suppose I could dread the approaching decade. Feel “old” or something.

Instead I just feel grateful.

It’s a good life, after all.

Here’s proof:


Lily helped in the making of this cake. The final product is better because it has one giant circle of sprinkles thanks to her artistry. She also got to put the candles on a second cake and got pretty creative (see below).






I traded the view on the left for the view on the right at dinner. The game was tied 17-17 when we tuned in to the fourth quarter. It's about time Iowa pulls through for the Cy-Hawk trophy. (On that note, this is still on my birthday wish list.)

Lily loves having her picture taken.
  

Friday, September 11, 2015

lie: a conclusion

word of the day: lie \ˈlī\ to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive; to be in a helpless or defenseless state

Love God. Love others.

I wrote four posts about the major lies I fight on a daily basis, and those four words felt a recurring theme of Truth amidst the lies.

Love God. Love others.

That’s what’s at stake.

It doesn’t matter if it’s self-pity or fear or apathy or entitlement; each untruth keeps me from doing the very things I am meant to. They keep me in the same spot. After all, a lie as a noun turns a person into lie as a verb: immobile (that works clearly in my own mind, so I’m going with it).

Conclusion: Philosophy loses out when there isn’t any action to back it up.  In order to beat the lies, I have to fight the immobility.

I read a quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes yesterday that sums up my thoughts particularly well:

I find the greatest thing in this world not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it, but we sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.

I can take a stand. I can counter lies with truth and talk about how good it is to love God and love others. But unless I sail into the wind and fight the urge to drift or lie at anchor, what good does that philosophy do anybody?  

So I’ll beat on, boat against the current.

(I definitely came up with that last line all on my own and did not borrow it from one of my favorite literary treasures.1)

1Just kidding. Thanks, F. Scott Fitzgerald.