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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Friday’s Five

Five little things from the past few days that remind me I am a human on this earth:

babies’ laughter…

my daughter’s text from 5,000 miles away…

my son’s hugs…

a sacred medal mailed from a beautiful friend named (appropriately) Care…

a late night phone call from a friend decades younger in real years, but our soul years are sort of the same…

…our connections sustain us. They are the most beautiful and treasured gifts we have on this earth. Cherish your people. 


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Nearly Ten Months: One Blog’s Journey

Many thoughts run through my mind these days.
Some I share here, some I don’t.
Unless you have been a caregiver for a sick loved one, you cannot know what it is like.
Every day is different.
At every turn, there are surprises. I don’t even mean medical ones.
People are just funny. And strange.

My husband is a private person in many respects. You won’t see me posting pictures of him walking up and down the halls. You won’t read specific details of his illness here. After all, those are his details to share. Or not.
I’m a participant in his journey, but here, in this space, my goal is not to tell his news. It is not a place for updating the world on his journey.

My goal for this blog in these days is to keep recording for me. It may seem relevant. It may not. The act of writing right now is an act of defiance toward cancer. It is one of my many ways of coping. Others? Prayer, laughter, art, poetry, conversations.

This blog celebrates its 10 month birthday tomorrow. My goal was to write something here each day for a year, then sort through it all to see what it all meant. My goal was to encourage.

Themes started to emerge: God, family, friends. Art, writing, nature.Teaching.
Spirituality. Hope.
The big surprise theme right now is cancer. Somehow, though, encouragement is determined to win.

This blog was never intended to be a place for voyeurism, particularly at the expense of human dignity and privacy.
The people who need to know specifics already know.
I have a record of his journey, but it is for my eyes. If there comes a time I think it would benefit someone who also fights this disease, I’ll share it.
What matters has nothing to do with details like names of medicines, names of doctors, numbers of stages, particulars of treatment.
What matters is knowing that our family and friends are supporting my husband in his effort to get well.
What matters is that today we celebrated another milestone.
What matters is the sunset we watched tonight. Then, the moon through the window.

What matters is the prayers that are said. Really, that is the only thing that matters…
So, I’ll end with one tonight:
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of family and friends. Thank you for the people who look here for comfort or inspiration.
Thank you for the reminder that you alone are what matters.
You guide us, lead us, care for us in every situation. It does not matter what people ask or think or say. What matters is that your will be done.
Amen.


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Shine

Encouragement.

It’s been a theme since I began this blog.

More and more I see the power we have in each other’s lives.

A simple word in greeting. A sincere
compliment. A shared joke. An expression of gratitude. A smile.

Never underestimate the part you play here.

Pay attention to how you feel when receiving the smallest taste of hope from someone.

And how you feel when you give the same to someone else.

We are here for so brief a moment.

Shine.


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Words in a Pouring Rain

It’s the last week of work before a much needed holiday. I’ve struggled deciding what to write today, and finally decided just to write what’s on my heart…another entry in this year of words…
I spend a lot of Sundays preparing for the next week’s work, but today I spent less time physically preparing and more time getting ready mentally.
Church was first, my weekly refuge and centering point…a candle lit for many good intentions.
It was raining as we left and as I covered my head with a bulletin to try to stay somewhat dry, I heard my name.
I turned back to see a dear elderly man, a former headmaster at a private school here…my former Sunday school teacher from a school year decades ago, Mr. Filogamo.
“I’m just so proud of you” he cried. And he really cried…real tears. So of course I cried, and the rain was falling and we were hugging, and I looked to see my husband waiting patiently, his blue shirt darkening with drop after drop of welcome rain.
A lady companion followed close behind, holding an umbrella now…a little too late as we were both quite wet. But we didn’t mind. She was worried that he might fall, rushing out the door so fast…just to catch up with me.
I’d won a teaching award recently, and by some added grace, the article about it made the front page of our local paper.
I smile telling you most friends have been congratulatory, some folks have ignored it completely, but no one had quite the reaction of this sweet man.

“Do you get some of the credit for this?” Mr. Filogamo wanted to know, looking at my husband. He just smiled, and I said something, trying to be funny.
But it wasn’t a funny moment. It was a real and precious one, standing on my church steps in a welcome rain on a Sunday when I’ve been questioning people’s motives and reactions…here came someone to remind me…
some people have such love for others that when they show it, it makes up for all those who do not.
I have to say the past few weeks have been rough in many ways. But today I received a message…in an extraordinary time and place from an unexpected source… and I’m grateful.
Once again, I am a witness to the wonder and value of words. We cannot underestimate their importance, their ability to transform a moment, a day, a coming week.
Thank you, Mr. Filogamo for words you meant and for making sure they were said.