Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Weak-Winged Words (CB Moment #6)

Just wanted to share my most recent Clarified Butter Moment. (yep, they're still making an appearance now and again.) Here we go:

Humans are resilient.

I'm constantly amazed by this. We choose to love again, even if love hurt us. We hope, even when odds are repeatedly against that for which we hope. Not that we aren’t changed by pain or the core of us altered by the battering we may have taken at the hands of someone who wasn’t careful with our hearts, our bodies, our spirits.

And all our experiences change us, sculpt us, move us from being one person into a newly birthed person over and over. We are ever in the process of becoming.

Often people create adages, mottos, mantras, memes to help themselves through sticky or painful situations. Some of these things sound pretty or pithy, but simply are not true. There’s one adage I've been seeing lately that I want to address:

What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger.

Nope. Not true.

What doesn’t kill me, at best, makes me wiser. At worst, leaves me unchanged (or, worse yet, bitter).

In my experience, my strength is not determined nor grown by opposition. My strength is what it is. My understanding of my strength may grow amidst pain, but not my strength itself. 

What is strengthened by opposition and pain is my faith and my connection to others. This connection to (or reliance on) something besides self is often preached as a weakness. We should be self-sufficient, yes? We should be able to stand on our own two feet, right? (Boot-strap theology and all that fiddle-faddle.)

Not so, buttercup.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, I have discovered that the more self-sufficient I become, the weaker I find myself.

We cannot be our own savior. Every (wo)man is not an island. We aren't designed to be. We are built to be resilient. To love. To hope. But we are also fragile, built to need and to bend and to struggle beneath the weights we all carry.

I already know that I’m a strong person who can endure far more than I ever anticipated. What I also know is that I’m stronger because of the people with whom I surround myself and the faith I place in Someone bigger than myself.

What doesn’t kill us doesn’t make us stronger. This motto may look fetching on a t-shirt or Pinterest board, but don't believe it. Walk away from such weak-winged words. Instead, walk into connection. Walk into relationships. Walk into faith and hope and love. Is there risk involved. Absolutely. (Just about everything is a risk on this side of heaven.) Yet it's in connection that we discover unknown reservoirs of strength.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Amazed in NYC

I've been doing some traveling and lots of writing lately, which has kept me from the Isle. But I wanted to share with you a profound experience I had this weekend while in New York City--an experience I wrote about for Bob Neff Tours, a local travel company I do some writing for. So CLICK HERE and hop on over to see my Amazing weekend discovery and catch a little glimpse into what I've been up to lately. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lots to Say (without time or space to say it all)

I've posted nothing since April and there's absolutely a valid reason - reasons, actually:

1. I wrapped up a school year.
2. I spent time with my family.
3. I graduated from grad school.
4. I spent 3 weeks traveling in Europe.
5. I slept.

So now I'm here, yet not for long. Just to update you on just a few IOIs (Items Of Interest). Because I miss you all. Because I miss the isle. And just Because.

I.O.I. #1: Barbour Publishing is re-releasing A Pioneer Christmas Collection

I was delighted to receive this news (as were my fellow authors), and you'll be hearing more about this from me down the road. The novella collection will be re-released in September, but you can preorder it on Amazon now for $9.99. (Or it's also available on Kindle for $3.82!)

I will say that this 2nd edition doesn't have the deckled pages and isn't quite so big and fancy (as is pretty typical for a re-release). But if you missed A Pioneer Christmas the first time around, it's back!

I.O.I. #2: A preview of my European Adventure

At the end of June I departed for Greece - where I spent time in Athens and Fedeles (in Crete). From Greece I then flew to England and spent a week on the Isle of Wight. Then sojourned up to Scotland before returning to PA. I have heaps of pictures and anecdotes, but, lacking the time to share all that I wish to, I wanted to give you a peek at one tiny moment in a giant adventure. Here's a short clip of my last day on Crete as we sat and savored the sounds and sights of the Aegean. (Those are my bare feet. The sneakered feet are Joey's - a traveling companion and fabulous friend.)


I.O.I. #3: I'm appearing on another blog today!

I know, I don't have time to post here yet am appearing elsewhere. I have no excuse other than Jill cornered me and forced me to answer questions. (That's totally not true. I was happy to do it.) But if you're interested in hearing my thoughts on writing, mothering, and life in general, please come visit me at Anecdotes From Along Life's Road, a blog written by Jill Printzenhoff - a dear friend, fellow writer, and former colleague of mine. Hope to see you there!

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