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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Sunday’s Song: Sadness/ Starting Lent, 2018

Lent this year is already so different than last year. In the back of my mind, I thought I might return to this blog and record some little thoughts, a few reflections…but then Parkland happened.

My mind keeps returning to the thought of the students and teachers at that high school in Florida. The stories they won’t get to tell. The deep scars their loved ones will carry forever. How some of us get to live and tell lots of things. And why that is I do not know.

To know these lives were taken on Ash Wednesday reinforces my belief that there is a level of evil in this world that some refuse to see. We are in spiritual warfare.

I think about the victims and survivors and I wonder what they thought about at the beginning of February 14, 2018. Valentine’s Day. Maybe someone was going to get surprise flowers. A handmade card. Some chocolate. Maybe a dinner was planned, or perhaps an Ash Wednesday service was on the agenda. Maybe someone had started making some plans to have a holier Lent. You know, give up a favorite food. Try to stop cursing so much. Be nice to somebody that irritates you. Pray more.

Then, in a few mind numbing violent and horrific seconds, every plan disintegrated.

My little Lenten lists and plans pale in comparison to the walk of the Parkland survivors. I do not have words of comfort or wisdom for you, dear readers.

I do not want to forget. I do not want to be complacent. I do not want to be politically correct. I do not want children being killed by children. I do not want gun owners to tell me about their rights. I do not want non- gun owners to tell me we have to ban all guns. I do not want to hear Republican vs Democrat.

I want people to look up from their phones. I want people to speak to one another in civil tones. I want people to make eye contact. I want people to receive mental health care when they need it. Quality care. I want gun-buyers to have background checks. I want gun-owners to be responsible and teach their children how to use firearms safely.

I want people to admit we have a problem.

I want people who have differing opinions to respect one another. I want people who are silent to speak. I want teachers to be safe in their classrooms. And children. I want people to stop thinking it’s normal to see police on school campuses or to want that. I want people who died to not be dead. I want too much.

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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: Silence

I’m sitting in a favorite spot tonight–home–on my back porch. We have had a ton of rain and the frogs and crickets are competing. There’s a concert happening. 


Just a few seconds of Sunday silence and nature’s song from a TX backyard. 

How can such peace carry with it a sadness? Tonight, it does. 

I think of people who woke a day ago and called a friend or two, gathered some dollar store torches, spewed hate onto the streets of Charlottesville. They are responsible for the loss of life. Humans who won’t get to hear the sweet sounds I’m hearing tonight.

I struggle with the hate some people carry inside themselves. I feel it myself because I want to grab these extremists and shake them, slap them, scream at them. 

How can a human being go so far down a wrong path? How can anyone stand by and let them continue?

My heart is heavy tonight, and that is rare for me. I truly feel the hate in our world. I feel it like a weight upon my soul. 

I think of the innocents who will never enjoy the freedom I enjoy tonight. I think of the ones who hate so soundly they have never been truly free– and will never be. 

Hate is poison. We cannot be silent in the face of it.

My words are not eloquent tonight. I am tired. Hate wounds us all, even when we are far from it. It changes us, and we must fight against it at every opportunity.

No more hate. 


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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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Friday’s Five

I am two days away from a five  year anniversary of writing this blog. Writing those first entries and wondering where they would lead… I did not picture myself as a widow, an activist, a world traveler, a theology student. Yet, here I am–all of these and more. We just never know what is around the corner. 

I have lived through many seasons, and I am still able to say I am grateful for so much. That is pure gift. Pure grace. Tonight, these five from the past week:

  • Safe travel to and from Austin, where I spoke with a policy advisor and participated in a rally for public education, teachers, and retirees’ benefits.
  • The realization that I am not afraid to stand up and fight for what is right, regardless of who stands with me.
  • The awareness that when I am true to myself, the universe rises up to help me.
  • The acknowledgement that I have a lot of goals to work on in the future and how happy that makes me.
  • Knowing that difficult situations do not last forever, and when they do come ( because they will indeed come), to trust that a power bigger than me has my back. 

Listen to your heart and follow where it leads. Remember that you are here at this moment in time for a purpose. You don’t have to see the whole picture. Just keep pressing on. Peace. 


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Friday’s Five

Freedom to —–

Speak

Write

Create

Come and go as I please

Live without explanation

Folks, I take nothing for granted. So many live in this land of freedom and cannot even fathom what it means to say what they think, wear what they want, post or tweet or Snapchat or IG  what they choose, go where they want. 

Please think about this.

Independence Day is coming up. How free are you to be the person you know you are? 

If someone is limiting you, take a step back. Re-evaluate. Make a change. You enter and leave this world alone. Don’t let anyone hold you hostage while you’re here.

Happy 4th. 


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 4/5/17 (Wednesday)

I try to be positive. I do. But this. 

http://davidkanigan.com/2017/04/05/children

Open Your Eyes to this and ask yourself the questions.
Dear God, 

Help us in this broken world. Open our eyes to the realities. Open our hearts to action.

Amen.