The crisp, sweet smell of fall reminds me of this time a couple years ago; a uniquely sweet period of healing in my life. I am reminded that stillness, presence, and grace are all powerful tools of healing that we should routinely practice, even (and especially) if we think we don’t need to.
Tag Archives: stillness
Maya Angelou Tribute
As many of you who follow me probably know, Maya Angelou has been a great source of inspiration for me. I frequently quote her on this blog and more frequently, I write posts inspired by her words and poems.
I am deeply saddened to hear of her death. The world is surely a bit darker without her shining light. However, Dr. Angelou has graduated and I’m sure today when she met the Lord, He smiled at her and said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Maya Angelou will never know the full extent of lives touched by her work here on Earth. She’s inspired millions who will go on to inspire millions more. A job well done, indeed.
I remember watching her on Oprah Winfrey’s network series Master Class around this same time last year. Even through the television screen, I could resonate with her calming presence. The stillness, grace, and peace that she resided in, also resided in her. Her light could not be dimmed.
I remember in that Master Class, Maya said something that I will never forget and has since changed my life. She told Oprah, “When you learn, teach. At our best, we are all teachers.” Aside from being an accomplished poet, author, civil rights activist, singer and dancer, Maya Angelou was also a professor at Wake Forest University in my hometown of North Carolina. But Maya assured others, you don’t have to be a professor to be a teacher.
The most powerful part of Maya Angelou’s testimony is that not only did she share wisdom through speaking, writing, and teaching, but she lived out her own advice. She was a walking, breathing example of her own wisdom. A rare accomplishment in this life.
Today, I have gathered some of my personal favorite quotes by Dr. Angelou in honor of a life well lived.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
“Nothing will work unless you do.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.”
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”
Life is a Journey, Not A Destination
God – The Master Craftsman
This morning as I was walking my dog before work, I had a moment of clarity and awe that I want to now share with you.
The weather is getting warmer here and the birds were out in full force this morning. It occurred to me just how complex their way of being is. Together, they formed a cacophony of sounds which I can only assume were claims of territory. They all appeared to be staking out their domain in preparation for Spring.
God, who made us, also made these birds and formed the complex system by which they operate. How amazing! Knowing this, I wonder, how can we ever doubt God’s goodness and love?! It only takes a few short minutes of observing the birds to know that He is a master of detail.
This should put a lot into perspective when you really stop to consider it. As complex as He made the birds, He made us with that much more precision. And although this complexity contributes to much of our anxiety and confusion on Earth, it shouldn’t. It is this very complexity that should, instead, overwhelm us with wonder and direct out eyes in awe towards the Master Craftsman who created it all.
Each of us are beautifully and uniquely designed in our own right, by a God who cares deeply about every last detail of our lives, even the birds.
10 Lies We Need to Stop Telling Ourselves
May we never forget…
Conversations with God – I Miss You
September 24, 2013
My child. I see you. I am with you. I hear you. I am close to you. My holy spirit resides inside of you. And now I smile, just as you do. Because I’m glad you’ve made time for me today. What have you been so busy doing? What happened to spending every morning together? I have been waiting. You know my joy comes in the morning. I wish you wouldn’t deprive yourself of it. And stop being nervous about whether you’ll hear from me. I long to talk to you. You talk to me often. But I wish more often you would let me talk back. Thank you for meeting me here right now. This is where I exist, you know. Right here and right now. It is the sure fire way to find me and to commune with me. You don’t even have to do it consciously, while journaling, for example. In fact, any and every time that you find presence, you will find me. I exist in the present. Through me, in your presence, you will receive presents: peace, rest, and joy. You are tired, thirsty and hungry. You spend your days like this. Though you drink and eat, your thirst remains. Only in the present, still before me, resting in my presence, will your hunger be gone and your thirst quenched. I offer this to you! I do not know why you refuse my presents, choosing instead to remain tired, thirsty and filled with hunger. Let me fill you up. The way I designed you to be full. Make my filling a regular part of your routine and watch as you life begins to gain fullness, too. You know this first hand. You’ve experienced it. So why settle for anything less? Oh how easily you forget! You deserve more, my child. So so so much more. And I am offering it to you daily, but it’s up to you to receive it. Always with you and always yearning for you, Jesus Christ in God the Father.