I have a number of big projects in 2012, including getting the book released, leading a few conferences, pastoring Tiny Church into ever newer directions, and probably running another race or two. But those are scheduled and will happen without setting a particular intention in that direction.
Sometimes I think too much, plan too much, manage too much. So this year, my one and only intention is to cultivate joy in my life. That means cultivating laughter. Music. Beauty.
To keep that focus in the midst of all that other stuff is a worthy goal, no?
My friend Sherry gives her kids three Christmas gifts, because “it was good enough for Jesus!” We’ve adopted that practice, although Santa helps us fudge things sometimes.
I like the way this author breaks it down:
At a retreat on Christian life, I heard Susan V. Vogt describe a wonderful tradition suggested in her book “Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference: Helping Your Family Live with Integrity, Value, Simplicity, and Care for Others.” A parent of four kids herself and a counselor and family life educator, she had tried her own experiments with gift giving, eventually settling on a simple yet elegant plan: she and her husband give each of their children only three gifts for Christmas — a “heart’s desire,” a piece of clothing and “something to grow on.”
I wrote this six years ago when I was pregnant with Margaret.
talk to me about the waiting…
mostly I crouch, head bowed, eyes closed
against the soft black, safe in liquid suspense.
but even in the nothing there are constant somethings:
a fluid symphony, simmering, rolling, rushing past;
a metronome beating out the time,
world without end—and a voice:
hushed murmur, burbling laugh,
distant yet irresistible.
and then, at certain times,
I am bathed in thirsty, throaty songs:
o come, o come,
prepare the way;
and these reverberations of hope
shake the cradle that holds me,
and I stretch the kinks out of kneeling legs,
raise my arms in praise,
then bow and wait, again,
for that time when we will sing
To the World!
“Doesn’t it bother you that people can go on the internet and call you a talentless piece of shit, and never have to say it to your face?,” he continued.
“I don’t know. Doesn’t really bother me. I got my break writing down things you say. I think just karmically speaking I deserve to hear that on occasion,” I said.
“I’m not talking about you. I’m speaking fucking globally. If you can’t handle some pissant writing something nasty about you, then I failed as a father. What I’m trying to say is, don’t it trouble you that there’s a whole generation of people growing up that just say whatever the fuck they want, without any consequences?”
I cannot count the number of times fellow physicians have told me, in words that vary only slightly, “Promise me if you find me like this that you’ll kill me.” They mean it. Some medical personnel wear medallions stamped “NO CODE” to tell physicians not to perform CPR on them. I have even seen it as a tattoo.