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Monday, February 23, 2015

grace (eventually)

One plus (potentially the only plus) of many weeks of morning sickness was getting back into my reading habit.  To help relax and distract myself from nausea before falling asleep, I'd read for about 30-60 minutes.  The habit has stuck, and I've been back to reading a book or two a month.  I recently finished another Anne Lamott book and overall I enjoyed the read. 

She tends to talk about her struggles with George W. Bush in this book A LOT - like almost every essay.  But otherwise, the essays contain the kind of honest, soul bearing writing I've come to associate with Lamott.  

Some of my favorite quotes from this book:  

If you have a body, you are entitled to the full range of feelings [depressed, fascinated, scared, fine, exhausted, sad, accepting, enraged, grateful, amazed].  It comes with the package.   

A sober friend told me that while fear and confusion often swirl around us, faith is straight ahead: I trusted that even though I didn't know a thing about taking care of infants, toddlers, kids, or teenagers, I would be shown the next right step on a need-to-know basis.  I trusted that other parents would help me every step of the way, and that if I did not keep secrets when motherhood was going particularly badly, there would be healing and enough understanding and stamina to get by.  And this has proven to be true. 

Children can connect you to the child inside you, who can still play and be silly and helpless and needy and capable of wonder....Having a child, loving a child deeply in a daily way, forces you to connect with your mortality, forces you to dig into places within that you have rarely had to confront before, unless you have taken care of a dying parent or friend.  

In the long haul, grace will win out over everything, over the misery, the stupidity, the dishonesty....

The best way to change the world is to change your mind, which often requires feeding yourself.  It makes for biochemical peace.  It's almost like a prayer: to be needy, to eat, to taste, to be filled, building up instead of tearing down.  You find energy to do something you hadn't expected to do, maybe even one of the holiest things: to go outside and stand under the stars, or to go for a walk in the morning, or in such hard times, both.  

Reading Anne Lamott always reminds me to be gentle with myself.  We're all just human and we're going to have plenty of ups and downs.  I also love the reminder that grace is infused in all those ups and downs and gives extra beauty to our lives.  

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