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

It is four months until Christmas. Yes, I keep track. 

Kisses from an eleven month old who lavishes them on demand. 

A two year old’s outstretched hand…and little voice saying, C’mon Loulou.

Knit blanket almost ready to send to #welcomeblanket project for immigrants.

Netflix nights.

And, while I sit in a comfortable spot writing tonight, my prayers are with the folks across southeast Texas who are bracing for Hurricane Harvey. Latest tracking shows it’s a Category 4. Pray for Texas. 

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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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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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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 3/14/17 (Tuesday)

Today would have been my husband’s 50th birthday. It was not meant to be because an aggressive form of cancer took him from us three years ago. 

I share this with you partly because I realize there are hard journeys in life. I know if you have lived many years at all, you’ve had your share.

Today’s post isn’t about looking for the good or appreciating what we had.

It’s about opening our eyes to the suffering of those near to us.

Life is filled with turmoil, misdirection, unsurity. We are not alone in that.

Sometimes we can be present for someone. Not try to fix their pain. Not try to disregard their anxiety. Just be a witness. Stand with them.

Tonight, I offer a prayer for those among us who are suffering in any way. May our God send you people to pray for you, to love you, to let you know you are not alone.

Amen. 


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Lenten Journey: Open Your Eyes (3/11/2017)            When Chaos is OK

How are your Lenten plans going? Have you been able to keep your commitments? Have you even settled on something to focus on yet? Life happens. We live in busy times. Distractions abound. 

Case in point: I went to my art studio today to move a table to the hallway for storage later. Once there, I decided I could keep it if I  just rearranged a few things. Two hours later, a five minute task set me in a completely different path than what I had planned for today.

Then, that old enemy, Guilt, creeped in. How can you have this much junk? You’re a hoarder. Think of what you could have saved if you hadn’t bought this. What IS this? You’ll never get all this sorted out. Receipts from 2002. Really? 

And then I just sat down. Right there in the  floor in the midst of paints and papers and fibers and random boxes and piles (so many piles) of things I have kept for a reason. Or I kept because I was busy and would deal later. 

And in the shifting of things from one table to another, I found  photos I’d forgotten I had of my late husband. One in a leather heart case that needs to be repaired, one loose pic from our last Valentine’s Day together. I find a musical heart locket in a red velvet drawstring bag. My mom gave me that when Sara was born. It still plays, almost 26 years later. Love me tender…I found little give away makeup brushes that my granddaughters will have fun playing with soon. 

And then I decided to give my guilt to God. I obviously need assistance in getting things organized and in order. Maybe that day will come, maybe I’ll only have pockets of time, like today, to deal with it an item at a time.

Regardless, the chaos opened my eyes. I am human, and there are worse things than clutter. Even this much clutter. 

I’m going to focus on what I found today: a quiet moment to reflect, memories of people who matter to me, renewed resolve to do a little more each day, knowing more gifts are waiting to be revealed. 

And, since tomorrow is Sunday, who knows? I may actually get an extra pile sorted out. Because I want to, I am able to now, and isn’t that a blessing, too?

See you Monday. Enjoy your weekend and when chaos calls, open your eyes to what its message has for you.