In your life you meet people. Some you never think about again. Some, you wonder what happened to them. There are some that you wonder if they ever think about you. And then there are some that you wish you never have to think about again. But you do.

– C.S. Lewis

These last two weekends, I had a few different social gatherings that allowed me to spend precious time with friends and cousins, most of us close in age. We're all at that time in our lives when we are free to choose what path we want to travel down, but also when we feel concerned about the care of our ageing parents. We recognize that, even those of us who are single and don't have children, we can't make life decisions without considering their impact on loved ones. And we also recognize that we are ageing, too, whether we like it or not! 

Yesterday evening I came across this quote I had saved:

Ageing is no accident. It is necessary to the human condition, intended by the soul. We become more characteristic of who we are simply by lasting into later years; the older we become, the more our true natures emerge. Thus the final years have a very important purpose: the fulfilment and confirmation of one’s character. (James Hillman)

Perhaps the metaphor of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly is overused but I do think it's beautifully appropriate for describing the transformation we go through when we mature as adults. A couple of years ago, I felt like I was in that uncomfortable, messy, icky, scary, and sometimes dark stage of being in a cocoon of sorts. (Fun fact: cocoons are for moths; chrysalises are for butterflies.) I was looking forward to looking back one day and realizing I'd emerged and become who I was designed to be. Miraculously, because I know I could not have done this on my own, I do feel like I've at least poked my head out of that chyrsalis. I sometimes worry about what the next step is or where my new wings may take me, but isn't that part of the beauty of living? It's exhilarating and hopeful! 

Whether you're 20 or 50 or 80, if you feel like you haven't completely figured out who you are yet, be patient with yourself. You're on a journey that hasn't ended yet. (And if you have "arrived," please be patient with the rest of us!) :) 

By the time some of you get around to opening this email, I will have two gaping holes in my lower jaw. Okay, maybe that's overstating the situation a little bit; I am having my two bottom wisdom teeth extracted this morning. Yay. 

This procedure is part of a longer treatment I mentioned a few months ago, to correct my bite. Last week, my osteopath looked at my MRI results and later explained to me that my jaw joints were partially worn down and I had one little bone—smaller than my thumb—on the right side that was "irregular," as he put it. This little bone is responsible for a lot of discomfort starting in my jaw and travelling down to my shoulder and hip and leg. 

It reminds me of the surgery I had several years ago to remove a parathyroid gland—about the size of a sesame seed!—that was wreaking havoc on my body and mind. 

How do such LITTLE things create such BIG problems?

True story: I had already written the paragraphs above before going to church yesterday morning. My dad's sermon was based on James 3:1-12. . . the exact passage I had in mind when I started writing this reflection! This passage in James compares the power of the tongue—such a little organ in our bodies—to the power of bits in the mouths of horses, or rudders that steer ships, or sparks that ignite forest fires. 

The point is, if we don't take proper control of the little things, the first steps, the tiny seeds, the first sign of infection, the loose thread, the negative reaction. . . things can go very wrong, very fast. 

Jesus' brother James cautioned, in verses 9 and 10 of the passage above: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

This week, let's all be mindful of our words. You never know how that one thoughtless negative remark may hurt someone, or how a simple word of praise may lift someone up! 

whimsy & wisdom from the world wide web

If I've never shared this link before, I apologize profusely. And now I'm going to apologize for sharing it. . . because the book lovers among you are going to be tempted to buy more books when you see these great prices! This is a great place to find books that are not new releases. (U.S. friends, you can switch sites at the top of the screen.)

At a glance, learn some interesting facts about the nation of Armenia, its language, its history, its animals and foods and accomplishments and landmarks. 

Here's Sunday's sermon, for anyone who wants to hear more about James 3:1-12, which I mentioned above. 


(adj.) Unwilling to compromise or moderate a position

Living out of the false self creates a compulsive desire to present a perfect image to the public so that everybody will admire us and nobody will know us.

– Brennan Manning

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