Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Character, you say?

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~ Helen Keller

We can, if we want, embrace our suffering. You know why? Well... suffering produces endurance... endurance brings on character and character, well, it creates a whole lotta hope and hope, it never, ever disappoints us when we let God's love fill us up. (my translation, Romans 5:3-5)

I can't help it.  I'm a hopeless hoper.  I've been carrying around a whole lot of stuff, unexpected events in our family life that has created small earthquakes in relationships, in our hearts... on top of unhealed, re-opened wounds that just need time I guess... a weariness built over time that hangs on... and yet...

I hope.  I wake up each morning hoping, not out of naivete that the world will right itself before the sun sets, but with the hope that whatever we have endured, or will endure, will produce in us a character that is unstoppable in its ability to move forward, to make a difference, to speak into the lives of others who might be enduring unexpected twists and unrelenting pain. 

I hope anyway... I believe that when God's love is center that hope works, and lasts and I just have to endure. 

And it gets me through the day.  I believe I am better for having endured.  I live in the center of that kind of hope.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Simple

In  trying to live a simpler life in many areas, and right now when it seems impossible, I was encouraged by this quote from Winston Churchill...

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

And I will add to this, the fruit that living a Spirit-filled life brings ~ and the only way that living out the 'great things' of which Mr. Churchill spoke ~ as the Apostle Paul outlined in his letter to the Church of Galatia:

"But when the Holy Spirit controls our life, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience (longsuffering), kindness (compassion), goodness (generosity), faith (in relationships and beliefs), gentleness and self-control."  (Galatians 5:22-23)