Monday, September 25, 2023

How slow do you want the fire to burn?


Just a little over a year ago, I had an urge to set up my special writing place. One person I wanted to tell was my aunt because I had been thinking how long it took me to get back to a place of writing--FOR ME. That urge happened just before she passed away. I probably wrote about it on Instagram, but tonight I'm writing here because I don't want it to post to Facebook, which is where my Instagram accounts lead. 

I am really hurting. 

Ironically this blog started because it was a connection with family and friends 20 years ago while I and my kids went through a massive crisis. Now I'm using it as a silent place while yet another crisis wave splashes on the shores. It hasn't stopped.

I came here to write and gasped at the last blog. I forgot I had written it until I saw it. Sanctuary.

This place that was to become a sanctuary is about to be "condemned." The floors and appliances will be torn out. Most of everything will follow the parade to a massive dumpster. The roof might be torn off as well, and who knows what the mold experts will find in the vents. It will be rebuilt, of course. It will be restored. Tonight I contemplate this: 

How slow do you want the fire to burn? I feel like that's the question I must answer for the helpful few who hold matches ready. Their estimates calculate the dollars and time to destroy and restore.

On the other side, I will curate the life I desire for myself. But wow is it hard to make these decisions.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

A - Abide (Resilience A-to-Z Blog Challenge)

I intended to write through April. It is April 7. Why have I not yet written? I forgot! YEP. It just left my mind until I was in my notebook yesterday and thought of a word to write about. I went to my list, and a vague memory of writing the date came to me . . . IT'S ALREADY APRIL! What kind of fog have I been in?


And now it is April 9. I will reset the publishing date to April 1 so posts stay in order and show up on the correct day each was issued. But just know ... I'm all over the place! Maybe I will catch up today. It's Easter, after all, and all about resurrection. Will I resurrect this intention?


This writing challenge has a theme: resilience. I noticed that the word resilience skyrocketed with the pandemic. That surprised me! It seems like a solid, steady, evergreen word to me. This is the groundwork. I have highlighted portions that stood out to me from the website. This is my analogy. Have I had setbacks? Yes! Has my life been deformed? Oh my. YES! Do I want to leap back and recover my true self? Yes again!

 resilience  noun

re·​sil·​ience // ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s 

1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress

2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

Using Resilience Outside of Physics

In physics, resilience is the ability of an elastic material (such as rubber or animal tissue) to absorb energy (such as from a blow) and release that energy as it springs back to its original shape. The recovery that occurs in this phenomenon can be viewed as analogous to a person's ability to bounce back after a jarring setback. The word resilience derives from the present participle of the Latin verb resilire, meaning "to jump back" or "to recoil." The base of resilire is salire, a verb meaning "to leap" that also pops up in the etymologies of such sprightly words as sally and somersault.

“Resilience Definition & Meaning.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Accessed April 9, 2023. 


And now to the real blog of what I want to say/document (or whatever this turns into). 


The definition of this word disappointed me. There is a lot of tolerance and even suffering involved! The most simple summary I found of abide is this: "to be able to live with or put up with." (

I expected cozy words. I wanted to snuggle up into abide like a secret sanctuary where I thrive in peace and comfort. My original thought was that if I have a place to abide where I flourish, even if it is only inwardly, it enables me to have resilience—a place where hope is alive and tasted daily, a place of rest and refreshment, a place to regroup, reflect, and eventually bounce back or be reborn.

This word abide is more like the wheels-to-the-ground working of resilience. It's rugged. It's war. To abide is to endure a vigorous onslaught without yielding or submitting. (

But there's also an oddity. I found another word for abide: brook

As it turns out, there's a use of brook that must be somewhat archaic! Either brook or abide can be used when it comes to topics like tolerate, allow, accept, bear, endure. ( Of course, I stuck my nose into it a bit. There are all kinds of nuances in the etymology that intrigue me. Maybe tomorrow's B-word will change to brook!

My original plan of diving into key words to resilience just jumped track! I've got a mystery on my hands.


#AtoZchallenge #2023 #resilience #abide 

#AtoZChallenge 2023 badge A

PS. And if you like notebooks, these are my current favorite. The covers are from my night walks in holiday lights. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

That Feeling . . .


You know that feeling that's hard to describe because it doesn't fit neatly into words? Yeah, that one. It doesn't matter if it's happy or sad (except that sad is sad) because it defies a description. 

How many times do we just gloss over those? How many times to we obsess? I don't know. But what I do sense in myself is that I'm tired of doing either one. I'm tired of being tethered to extremes while the river of life is rushing by making currents around me.

For decades, my familiar zone has been crisis. I don't like to say "comfort zone" because it's not comfortable. But in some ways priorities are easier. They present themselves surrounded by disaster. I think it's easier to stack sandbags against a flood of disaster than to dream of a new life.

So here I am on yet another "adventure" of breakthrough looking for the sandbags and some sort of directive of where to start stacking. I'm realizing that the only disasters on the way are tied to other people--people I love, people who have been battered by life alongside me, people who have different hurts, and people who cope in ways I can't comprehend.

I don't have the strength for this.

I know. I know. I can do all things through Christ. The joy of the Lord is my strength. But now I'm asking for what? There is a grace for God's will. Is His will for me to stay in these trenches? What does that look like without me being an enabler? Am I to rise up myself and later offer a hand? How do I stop the erosion? Should I stop it? 

At one point I decided to not do anything until I knew what to do. 

Sigh. That seems like a neverending place to be. So I feel like I need to shift--just not now, not in a sleep-deprived state. For now, I think I need to be satisfied knowing that I expressed something instead of glossing over the undefined discontent in my soul.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Win Life!


Celebrate Life!

Today I read this in The One Year Bible at Luke 21:19 (NIV): "Stand firm, and you will win life." My curiosity was flagged. I've learned to listen to this curious prompt. Something wonderful is usually on the other side. Today it was not a strong urge, but I wondered what kind of life I would win. Zoe perhaps? 

I went to my favorite app, Blue Letter Bible, and looked it up. It has an interlinear feature so I can see what original words were translated into our English language. At first, I thought I entered the wrong text. I double-checked. Nope! It was correct. I scrolled for context. Yep. Still correct: "In your patience possess ye your souls" (Luke 21:19 KJV).

Psyche (G5590) is the word translated souls. That wasn't surprising, but I was looking for the word life. Interesting. And truly it does mean the "breath of life." But that's a bigger study than what I have time for this morning. It is part of a large curiosity that I have yet to unravel: the difference between soul and spirit (because the original words are not just translated for one or the other, they seem to interchange with our translation of them).

I decided to look up patience first. Hypomonē (G5281) comes from hypomenō (G5278), which is a compound of two words: hypo (G5259) "under" and menō (G3306) "remain." So the first level, hypomonē, I saw Strong's definitions present it immediately as "a cheerful (or hopeful) endurance." I like that! Not just endurance, but cheerful or hopeful! It went on to add: "constancy:—enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting)." The word this came from (hypomenō, just a swap of two letters -monē vs. -menō) means basically to remain, or as Strong's more fully says: "to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere:—abide, endure, (take) patient(-ly), suffer, tarry behind." No mention of cheerful or hopeful here! I wonder how that difference of the end of the word brings out those characteristics?

So what does it mean to possess or win? Here's to Strong's again: κτάομαι ktáomai, ktah'-om-ahee; a primary verb; to get, i.e. acquire (by any means; own):—obtain, possess, provide, purchase. It's a primary verb, so there's not a lot of vertical digging. But I did discover a couple of interesting lateral finds! Thayer's Greek Lexicon included these two: to acquire, get or procure a thing for oneself; and to acquire a wife versus a harlot! What does this mean to me? Commitment. Exclusivity. I've heard people mention that they would marry themselves. LOL. Maybe this is they key? Possess your soul—exclusively for you—commit to it!

NIV: "Stand firm, and you will win life."

KJV: "In your patience possess ye your souls."

AMPC: "By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls."

ESV: "By your endurance you will gain your lives."

TLB: "For if you stand firm, you will win your souls."

For other word nerds like me, you might enjoy seeing how the same word for endurance shows up in other New Testament verses. There are a lot of benefits connected! These are from ESV and the links take you to Blue Letter Bible if you want to study any of them. You're welcome!

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
By your endurance you will gain your lives.
to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,
The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.
being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;
remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.
I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.
“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.
If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus

How slow do you want the fire to burn?

  Just a little over a year ago, I had an urge to set up my special writing place. One person I wanted to tell was my aunt because I had bee...