agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Friday’s Five

This past week I sat with my friend D who reminded me yet again that it is time to write the book. The book she told me I needed to write when she found out I was getting ready to walk a terrible and tragic path. The book she brings up from time to time, but never more forcefully than this past week. You have the time now, friend. 

And, as most true friends have the tendency to be, she is right. So, in the spirit of internet accountability, I share my intention here. I also ask a favor of whatever  group of humans might read this post: pray for me, please. Pray that I will discipline myself to write daily, that I will write clearly and true, and that one day my words will find the right people and help them.

I know that God has a way of making the most amazing things happen, and I know He has set me up with time to write this year. He continues to put people in my path who show me this book is needed. He is persistent. 🙂

He has shown me that I have a tendency   to sabatoge my plans by letting myself get too busy. He gave me the gift of realizing that, and He keeps showing me in ways that only He can that now is the time. So, I humbly began writing out the first pages of thoughts and outlines and notes. 

I have a long way to go. A lot of word counts to meet. A lot of pages to turn. And rewrites. And edits. I am pretty sure this is not going to come easily. I am almost positive some of the remembering and reconstructing is going to be hard. 

But I am beginning in faith. I know if God intends for this book to be written, it will be written. I have committed to meet Him halfway in this and show up with the pencil. He has been patient on His end, but I know He has a sense of humor. Lately He’s been whispering the reminder that Look, we don’t have forever for this. Get on with it. 

He is the centerpiece of my story, my life, my “one day to be” book. 

I ask Him every day to let others see Him in me. He gave me a love for writing and words a long time ago. It seems He is going to let me use something I love to tell about what He can do for all of us. 

So, I still hope to post my weekly reasons for gratitude (probably the short form–unlike tonight’s bolded words), and I’ll of course let this page take whatever twist and turn seems fitting. One day, God willing, I’ll show up here to tell you the manuscript is ready. Then we’ll pray for a publisher. 

On second thought, go ahead and get busy on that prayer, too: agent/editor/publisher and anybody else I’m going to need. As God reminds me, it’s time to get this show on the road. 

Peace. Love. Action. Amen. 


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Sunday’s Song: Renewal

Today is the five year anniversary of this blog. I  just spent a few minutes looking back at previous July posts. I found my former self in the space of those days: the eager exhilaration of beginning something new, the devastation of learning my husband’s cancer diagnosis, the paralyzation of grief filled days, the determined plodding ahead.  

And this brings me to the fifth space. This year. This walk. How do I describe it? How have I changed? What is around the corner? 

Who am I today that I was not five years ago? Well, I am a widow. A grandmother. A theology student. A world traveler. A retiree. A small business owner. An activist. Those titles come fairly quickly. 

Who am I still? A mom. A writer. An artist. An independent woman. 

Who am I yet to be? Time will tell.

I feel a longing, a tugging toward something more. Something that involves writing, art, spirituality, helping a larger group. We will see. 

I know not to discount the power in putting one foot in front of another. I know presence has deep meaning. I know that for all the people who tell you that you cannot do something or be something, you are the one who ultimately decides.

A lot of good has come my way in recent years. I have had three different pieces of art accepted into nationally juried shows. Still, someone laughingly commented: Oh, it’s so nice to say I know a real artist. Truly, I have been an artist for decades now. It was only when my work was accepted by someone other than me that this person accepted this part of me. This saddens me. We limit people. We put barriers up with too many requirements. We don’t make the next move because we allow ourselves to be defined by someone else’s limited view. 

Don’t allow that to happen to you. 

Days pass quickly. I can still remember riding to Louisiana with my family for a summer outing five summers ago. I found a book on blogging that day. It was like a sign. And I began. 

The journey took detours, and I am sure more detours lie ahead. In the meantime, though, I re-affirm my decision to write. To create. To think independently. To live in this world as the person I am. And to witness to those who cross my path. To celebrate all they are and all they hope to be. 

We have power. We must use it. Our day will come. 💫


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ICAD 2017: Creativity Abounds

Shout out to artist Brenda Leonard for her talent and generosity in painting portrait  cards for some of us who are participating in this year’s Index Card a Day Challenge. Tammy Garcia is the artist and creator of ICAD, and  the info for the challenge can be found on the  Daisy Yellow page on Facebook. Instagram users are posting the hashtag #dyicad2017. 

Give yourself a few minutes a day of “you time” and transform an ordinary index card into something new. 

This is my fourth year to participate as an Icadian and my goal is to become an ICAD Guru, completing all 61 cards in the challenge. 

My cards do not come close to the work below by Brenda Leonard, but the challenge is not a competition. It is an act of DOING, and when we can make that happen, more talent naturally emerges.


Come join us! It is one of the most encouraging and supportive art groups in FB land. 


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Good Friday 4/14/17

I bought a rose bush this morning  to honor the memory of my best friend. A drunk driver took her away from me on this day five years ago. I spoke to her that morning. A few hours later, she was gone. 

I thought I’d die.

That year began a journey of losses and realizations and change. Over and over, death stared me in the face. Then, the very next year my  husband was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. Again…

I thought I’d die.

Some days I really wanted to. 

I do not have the answers to why people suffer and struggle. And even though some say Jesus already suffered for us all, we know the reality is that we still suffer here. 

This isn’t a post about looking for the good. It’s a post about realizing even though.

Even though there is pain and loss and suffering…

Even though we sometimes live seasons when the world is falling apart around us…

Even though we are not sure how the light will come to us again…

I’m only here to remind us all…

The Light is in you. It is deep within you and will never be extinguished. It is waiting for when the day comes you are able to walk in it again. 

Unconditionally.

Today, I pray for the broken-hearted. For the world at large. For all those who suffer physically, mentally, spiritually.

Back to the rose bush. A dear and mutual friend gave me a rose bush to plant in memory of our friend. She planted one, too. Hers, five years later is blooming in yellow radiance. She sent me a picture of it. I confessed mine didn’t make it, but today I am  trying again. Pink double blooms for a woman named Waydean. 

When I drove up with it to the area I’d decided on, one lone cardinal greeted me as if it say Finally. 

The sun is bright here today. I can feel it. 

God bless you ALL…




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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/31/17 (Friday’s Five) 

1. A poem: “They Ate the Bulbs of Tulips” by Mark Wagenaar. You can access it at poets.org using the search bar.
It’s today’s featured poem. It has been awhile since a poem moved me to tears. I thought maybe I was in a sentimental mood this morning. I just read it again. Same reaction. The beauty of poetry. The words writers choose. I’m thankful I still have the “feel that” button in my soul.

2. A visit from a dear friend. She brought happiness in the form of candy, a fringed basket, a textile garland for my art studio. Friends who listen. She’s my “free pass” friend from a dark time. I love her.

3. A postcard with magic marker scribbles from an almost 3 year old who brings me joy. Her mama does, too. I’m old enough to be her mother, but our souls seem to be in sync. 

4. Packages from my daughter who can’t be here this year for my tomorrow birthday. Before she left in January, she made sure all the family had presents for special days waiting. She texted me tonight to tell me which ones were mine. Love.

5. Another candle on the cake. My April Fool’s birthday is tomorrow, but since I’m fairly confident I’ll wake to see it, I’ll add it here. So immensely thankful to be alive.

I love Fridays. I like thinking back over the week and consciously noting things that bring me joy. To read good words, laugh with good friends, receive love from people I am so blessed to know in this life…truly touched tonight. 

Tomorrow, I’m celebrating a bit differently. I plan to go on a solo day trip with no expectation other than to see what I see. I know I’ll reflect on another year opening its doors. 

So glad to be here. 


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/25/17 (Saturday)

New life is all around us. I might have missed this if I had not decided to take  a quick walk outside with my youngest grandchild this morning. 

The pond is shimmering, there are tree limbs down from a rainy, windy yesterday. Mud puddles abound. Trees in bud  and new willows taking hold. 

Glorious sunny Saturday. 

Open your eyes to the gifts of life today.


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/21/17 (Tuesday)

I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.”–Leonard Cohen

I am a collector of quotations. Unfortunately, I have not collected them in one place. Instead they are torn from magazines, underlined in books I’ve kept, jotted down on random slips of paper I run across from time to time. 

This Lent, though, I feel a calling to gather. Gather words and sentiments of my own as well as those of others who speak to my heart. 

I’m opening my eyes once again to the reality that life is fleeting. If we are called to keep a record, let’s do it.