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: 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. 


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

Tonight I’m reminded to look deeper at the people in my life and see something I missed before.

I was visiting someone earlier today and saw one of my childhood friends singing spiritual songs to a group of retirement center residents. 

This friend is a busy human being: husband, father, caregiver, business owner. Yet, here he was in a role I knew nothing about. Of course my knowing it isn’t what matters. His gift is what I got to see. 

I sat in an area outside of his view and listened as he used his time, talent, and treasure in a beautiful way. It made me so proud in my heart to think I know this guy. This is David. My friend.

David started posting weekly spiritual reflections on Facebook a year or so ago. Many of us look forward to those as they are encouraging and uplifting. He rarely posts anything other than that, and I’m sure he decided to use social media in a way that is positive for him and others.

To witness him tonight in a different aspect of his life really made me stop and think. How often do we see friends and relatives without really seeing their gifts? We know we love them or like them or tolerate them, but how often do we see them as members of a kingdom in action? 

I feel like I received a great insight tonight: a reminder to look at all the people around me and how they enhance the world. We each are born with a gift. It is up to us to use it.  The “right” people will see us using our time, talents, and treasures and it may cause them to try to do the same. 

Tonight, I thank God for people like David. Who do you see everyday who is building the kingdom?