Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Speaks to You?

***QUICK SCHEDULING NOTE: I’m going to have to move YOU:create and the canvas giveaway to Friday this week because my monthly (in)courage post has been scheduled for tomorrow. On the upside, it gives you one extra day to get your YOU:create projects completed! :)

I can promise you two things: that the (in)courage post will be worth the delay, and the canvas will be a direct reflection of this post. So you will definitely want to be ready to comment for a chance to win on Friday. :)

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I have had people email me over the past few years, asking me if there is a quote or verse that I go back to over and over again. If there is something I tell myself every day in order to keep myself in a position to choose joy. To accept my life. To keep moving forward when forward seems crazy.

This quote is just that:

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
                                         ~Victor Hugo

A few years ago, Mom had seen this quote written on my wall of doodles and loved it too, so I made her a canvas of her own. A year and a half ago, when her sister Judy died, I made another canvas with that saying for my Uncle Jon to keep as well. And a year ago, when my mom's best friend Sally was dying, Mom said those words to her every night of the mere 40 nights she lived after the cancer hit her. Mom would whisper in her ear, "Go to sleep in peace, friend. God is awake." Now that Dad has died, it’s what I hold onto myself as I so often feel like everything in life is out of my grasp.

Beyond my reach of understanding.

For me, the quote grounds me. It is filled with lessons and comfort. With knowledge and peace. It gives me instructions on how to take action in my life, and direction for when to let go of the notion that I have any power. It has taught me that I have a well of courage and fortitude inside of me for when trials beat on my door unceasingly. And I have a well of patience at my disposal for those moments in life that are just that - moments - unless we choose to give them power and weight with our own anger or pride or justifications.

The quote tells me that I will see these difficulties daily, that I can't run from them or hide inside myself until someone else braves them for me. They are my battles to fight, my joys to relish, my burdens to face with grace and patience. They are my daily tasks that I must face and complete. But at the end of the day, because I have faced my life for what it is... with courage and patience and reverence for the gift that God provides... I am able to go to sleep in peace.

I am able to rest without fear and worry because I have finished what God asked of me that day, and because He never sleeps. He is awake... walking the path I will take tomorrow so that He can show me the smoothest way through the dark valleys. So He can lead me by the restful waters that He has placed on my path. So He can restore my soul.

I can rest because He is awake.

That brings me peace. That feeds my joy. That allows me to accept my life. That lets me move forward when forward seems crazy.

What about you?

Is there a verse or quote that models how you want to live?

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