faith

Sunday Reflection, 2022-07-10

Following up about a service I had the privilege to present, I am happy to say it went well and my laptop didn’t fail me and I enjoyed speaking publicly, which is another thing I often doubted I’d ever do.

I’ve wondered whether it was necessary to share the words I put together online as well, or just leave them entirely ephemeral, having been written for the purpose of being delivered out loud, to a small group, and then to fade away. Maybe that’s where sermons get their power from: everything is for that present moment, and not for posterity. I don’t know.

I was fine leaving the words hang and then disperse, but then I have been trying to not let second-guessing rule my life this month, and so I thought I would share this particular reflection here, in case it’s of use. I like calling it a reflection rather than a sermon, since I have no credentials, and the word sermon has a different meaning to me.

If you happen across this while trying to put together a sermon or reflection of your own, feel free to use whatever parts of this make your job easier – I have benefitted from the words of many strangers myself, while trying to put my own thoughts together for these things, so I would be happy to pay it forward, in some small way.

I would probably edit a few parts, were the service still upcoming, but this is what I got around to preparing in time for the day.

I had these words at the top of my service cheat sheet, to remind me to slowww dowwwnn… something I was given very kind and helpful feedback about, following my previous service:

BREATHE AND DON’T RUSH.
NOTHING IS NOT ON FIRE.

The reflection was preceded by the following verses:
Matthew 7:1-5
Colossians 1:7-14


The topic of this reflection is judgement.

SPOILER ALERT: I have to admit up front, I don’t come to any tidy conclusion about judgement by the end of this reflection. It’s a big topic and my capacity to judge well is a work in progress. I’ll just share my thoughts from these past two weeks, and pray that I have exercised good judgement in putting these words together for you, today.

[The Underlying Worry]

There were four recommended readings for today:

  • Amos 7:7-17
  • Psalm 82 (or the Psalm of Asaph)
  • Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:1-14
  • Luke 10:25-37 (the story of the Good Samaritan)

I wanted to choose from one of these recommended readings, but I was unsure which one to pick. I wanted to choose wisely, and then maybe say something helpful and wise.

I worried that I might fail to do this well. That I might write something boring or too long, or too short, or off-topic.

I worried that I might misinterpret the scriptures, or consult bad resources online, and then say something flat-out wrong-headed, counter-productive, or misleading.

I worried that God would judge me for misquoting His book, or the congregation might judge me for wasting your time.

I worried that I shouldn’t be talking about myself and my own problems quite so much, when I’m supposed to be talking about God, and what God might want.

I worried about a lot of things that I might do wrong.

I had started judging my own performance before I had even begun to perform. I was failing in a handful of imaginary ways already, and I hadn’t even written a single word. I had worried myself into a corner, and judged myself prematurely, as unlikely to succeed.

I had an uphill battle to contend with, and it was of my own making: I had been judged unfairly. Never mind that it had been me doing the judging. I was the victim and the perpetrator.

To be plain, I have some anxiety issues! At the start of this month, my worrying about everything in the world and judging myself too harshly finally came to a head, when I realized that I was both worried about worrying too much, and also worried about worrying too little, or about the wrong things.

Was I being too anxious, or too careless? I couldn’t even tell anymore. My worries had tied themselves entirely into a knot. I was tangled up, and didn’t know what to worry about anymore.


[The Experiment]

A new month had just started, so I decided to try an experiment, for my own peace of mind, and the peace of mind of those around me. For the month of July, I was going to behave differently in some way, and then expect different results. This seemed to make sense. I had to somehow address my relationship with worry, self-doubt, and self-judgement, and I needed to do it kindly, and with God’s guidance.

So I made up some rules, and I kept them simple, but that isn’t to say they haven’t been challenging:

RULE #1: No coffee – caffeine is said to make people jittery, and I could use a little less of that.

RULE #2: No judging myself for being fallible and imperfect, because that’s what I am.

RULE #3: Have Faith that things will improve, because they can improve.

These items were my homework for July, and still are.

So I decided to believe that God would clear a path for me through the month of July, while I put my head down and proceeded to do these three things, to calm myself down, and let myself off the hook. I could put down the burden of being my own judge, if only for a few days, and practice believing that God still had my back, while I did it, and wouldn’t judge me for trying something different.

I’m ten days into my experiment. I’m happy to report that the no-coffee thing has been manageable. Tim Hortons does a passable green tea, and I have no real complaints.

Faith is going to be a struggle my whole life, I’m already aware of that; that seems to be its nature – it’s like a muscle, it’s never done needing some exercise, it’s often put to the test, and sometimes it gets mighty sore.

It’s the no-judgement challenge that has been most perplexing, and the thing I want to say a bit more about, because a common theme running through the scripture recommendations for today, which stands out to me this month, is the big topic of judgement.


[Judgement]

Once I had given myself the permission to not judge myself for a whole month, I soon realized that I would have to extend that courtesy to others as well. This seemed only fair. I wouldn’t judge myself, or anybody else either. We’re all in this together.

It became apparent very quickly how much I do both of these things – judging myself, and judging others – and how hard it is to stop. I’ve found myself pumping the brakes frequently these past few days when I notice that I’m starting to judge somebody, for something or another.

Judgement feels like a weight on my spirit – it adds its own momentum as I move through the day. It drags and pushes me around, it directs how I’m going to feel next, it gets my heart rate up, it follows old routes of negative thinking, as it hauls out well-worn maps, telling stories about myself and other people, and all their problems.

Judgement chips away at my freedom to choose, because it chooses for me.

When I judge, it’s the stories I’m telling that are in control of where I’m going. At least, until I pump the brakes.

What might I achieve with all that opportunity and energy and freedom, if I could kick the habit of judging myself and others? I would have time and space for other things, wouldn’t I? What would that feel like? I had never really thought to try this before, so I don’t really know.

Judging can seem like a natural and proper thing to do, if you don’t think about it too hard – to respond to what somebody does by passing a judgement about that behaviour, and therefore, that person – well, that’s just natural, isn’t it? If you behave badly in somebody’s eyes, expect them to judge you for it.

But can it be just as natural and proper, to not respond to a person’s behaviour by judging them? I don’t know yet how natural that might feel.

Try this experiment when you go home, if you’d like: Try getting through one day without judging anybody – not yourself, not your partner or your family, not your neighbour, not the stranger you met in traffic this morning, not the politician you’ve come to thoroughly dislike, or the protester you powerfully disagree with… not even your perceived worst enemy. Can you just decide not to judge them at all, for one day? Can you stop judging yourself as well, as a reward for doing that?

Can you stop telling the stories of people’s shortcomings for a single day?

I can’t, I admit. But I’ve only been practicing for a few days, and I’m curious to see how I’ll feel about this by the end of the month. Maybe I’ll be better at not judging by then. Maybe it will even begin to feel natural. Maybe I’ll extend the experiment into August, and then who knows?


[What does the Bible say?]

When considering the readings, and how they might provide some insight into this July challenge, I can see a few kinds of judgement at work in the Bible:

One is the kind we mean when we say, use your best judgement – like in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, where he prays that they, in his words, through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding, reach the fullest knowledge of God’s will; or in the parable of the Good Samaritan, where Jesus challenges a lawyer to judge which of the three characters who encounter the injured man turns out to be that man’s true neighbour.

This kind of judgement is about discerning truth, by using one’s heart, mind, and what they believe about God’s will – that is, what is right – to evaluate a situation, and come to a good decision. It’s imperfect, because we are imperfect, and don’t have all the facts – but we can get better, though practice.

Another kind of judgement happens quite often in the Bible – God’s judgement of humankind. This comes in the form of consequences, admonishments, and warnings, such as Amos’s visions of God’s plumb-line, which he hold up to us, to measure how rightly we’re living, or whether we’re leaning this way or that; or the Psalm of Asaph, where God gets critical of those he’s entrusted to positions of authority over others, for how their judgements, ostensibly made in God’s name, have become corrupted.

To Christians, this kind of judgement – judgement of humans – is naturally reserved for God alone, since God alone is the author of the rules of right and wrong, and no mortal can be above those, or have the perfect knowledge to know for certain who it is they are judging, and what their own prejudices might be bringing into their judgement.

And then there is the judgement of others and oneself, which Jesus warns about in the Sermon on the Mount, when he famously says, Judge not, that ye not be judged.

In reading more online about this famous statement by Jesus, I was warned against making the common mistake of misinterpreting this statement to mean that no-one should ever judge anyone else for anything. That’s not what Jesus is saying. Jesus is not saying, never judge what a person does.

And this is where the challenge of avoiding judgement gets harder – when is it proper – or even called for – to judge yourself, or another? When is it not proper to do so? Is there a way to tell for sure? I need to know, in order to do my experiment correctly. How do I judge what is the right way to judge?

It might be a distinction between judging someone’s being and judging someone’s behaviour. Maybe that’s the key difference.


[Judging vs. Judgement]

Making a judgement about your being, as an imperfect being myself, is a bit self-righteous and presumptuous of me – It ignores all the blind spots that I don’t even know I might have. Who am I to judge your inherent worth, or character, regardless of what I think of your words or actions?

Judging my behaviour is something you might be trusted to do, provided you, in Paul’s words, through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding, reach the fullest knowledge of God’s will. In other words, if you’re being sufficiently fair and informed about it, there’s nothing un-biblical about you judging my behaviour to be in need of adjustment. You might even be called on to tell me so: Mike, Smarten up, stop doing donuts in the parking lot, somebody could get hurt.

I don’t see anything wrong with that kind of judging others – it’s their actions, not their spirit, that you have an issue with.

It’s a mystery to me how we achieve that fullest knowledge of God’s will, but for Christians anyhow, we’re meant to glean them by considering Jesus’s lessons as best we can.

When do we have the right and responsibility to judge another’s behaviour? Certainly when they are breaking the law, provided the law is just and sensible . Certainly when their actions endanger themselves or others. Certainly when their actions impinge on the human rights of others. Beyond those things, I must admit, I just don’t know. Who am I to judge?

When do we have a right to judge another’s being? We don’t – that’s not our right, or our burden.

[Conclusion]

I have no tidy conclusion to make about judgement today, but my encounter with scripture during this exercise has forced me to reconsider what constitutes using good judgement in evaluating a situation, which can include the actions of others, and what constitutes being just plain judgemental.

Being less quick to judge seems like a wise move, in the absence of perfect understanding.

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faith, Poem

What to Do When Honestly Blue

When I say I’m stressed, people tune out and go away –
so when I’m stressed, what should I honestly say?
When I feel I that should say I’m through,
what then should I honestly do?

Am I wrong in how I feel
or just wrong in the ways I deal?


I had a good and at times contentious talk with one of the old fellers at Tim’s this morning. I’ve noticed something about this particular one – if I start in on how I’m stressed, he gets up and leaves, or changes the subject.

Maybe it’s coincidence, maybe it’s a weird kind of lesson from an elder – maybe it’s a mentor thing. Maybe they don’t need to hear about my woes, maybe that stresses them out. I don’t know.

All I know is the world is stressed these days, and I’m not any more entitled to talk about my stress than anyone else, really. I might be less entitled than many, but no more entitled than most.

So I wrote this poem as the old feller was beating a retreat for the coffee shop door. I started to tell him how my stress is getting to me, and he didn’t want to hear it, or didn’t have time. That’s OK. I probably need to think positive thoughts. That makes more sense.

Also, maybe I’m not that that stressed. Not enough to burden anyone else with it. Maybe my stress is manageable. It’s more manageable than it could be. I wrote a poem. I managed something.

You might find yourself wanting to tell somebody that you could be feeling better, really. To have them nod and look empathetic and concerned, and say, that must be hard, I hear you. You have a right to feel that way. Things could be worse for you, with both know, but I know things could be better too. They will be, I promise you.

Maybe that’s the situation you find yourself in – wanting to tell somebody that you’d like them to tell you things will be better, even if they could also be worse. To tell you it’s OK to be self-indulgent now and then, and feel a little tired of struggling, even if you have no intention of giving up the struggle.

This poem is for you, from me. I know what it’s like, a little bit, to feel lucky and still beleaguered; to feel stressed but to still know that so many others feel that way too; to wish things could be better, while understanding they could still be worse. To wonder what you’re allowed to say about all of this.

For what it’s worth, I hear you. I promise you, your days will get better, even if things could be worse.

Keep walking forward, believe in the better days, just beyond the bend. I won’t mind if you grumble a bit as you go.

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faith

Lettered Betters, Part IV

About Sowing, from Frontline Study, with Rev. Fritz Holtz

My Lettered Better today is Rev. Fritz Holtz, because I found a post by him about being a good communicator, while I was trying to solve a puzzle.

I’ve been asked to give another service at the local church. I’ve done this twice now, it’s not something I ever imaged, 2 years ago, I’d ever do. I’m not really a church person. I was baptized in a church, I was made to go to church growing up (mostly regularly, our family wasn’t too strict on the whole thing), and I’ve believed in God most of my life – all of my life, if you count when I was trying to be an atheist, and couldn’t quite figure that out.

I’m not a church person. I don’t know the terms and the histories and the underlying meanings and the protocols and all of that. It’s a real mystery. Sometimes people around me in church reveal a knowledge of specifics that seem to come to them naturally – that is, they have been “in church” for long enough to Know Things.

Like, for example, what the term “Proper 10” means. I was kindly sent a cheat sheet to help me prepare the upcoming service – picking from a selection of scriptures, and then reflecting upon those. The cheat sheet’s title reads:

July 10 – Fifth after Pentecost
Proper 10

Well, OK. Thanks for the cheat sheet. What the heck is a Proper 10? Maybe I need to know that, to do the best job I can. Sometimes I cut corners and don’t do all my work as thoroughly as I can – this is a busy life, after all, and one must pick their battles – but then other times, I like to try and do something close to a thorough job. Like trying to understand the context I am about to step into, and comment on. What is a Proper 10?

I could have asked the person who sent me the cheat sheet, but then that would be cheating. I’m only going to cheat once on this assignment, and I have the sheet already. I Googled it, of course: Proper 10.

Admittedly, I didn’t try for that long, and I actually used DuckDuckGo, but still, I didn’t get any immediate answers, just more writing that presumably goes along with whatever Proper 10 is. I did not yet consult Wikipedia- I wanted to see what a generic search would do. I’ll Wikipedia Proper 10 now:

Nope, no love. Wikipedia couldn’t care less about Proper 10. How about actual Google (sorry, DuckDuckGo):

Whaa

Uh, I don’t know. Year C? Ordinary 15 B? Do I have to look up what a lectionary is? I could, but then I’d have to learn even more words – I just know it. It’s a trap of words.

How about Bing? Maybe this is what Bing is for.

Anyway, Proper 10 is a Christian thing and everybody who is a real Christian either knows this secret information, or is pretending to know. Maybe we all forgot. It’s a date, or an event, or something. Fine. Is there a Proper 9? There is. 11? Yup. 18, also yes. There is no Proper 180. I mean, skateboarders might beg to differ, but you get what I’m getting at. I’m going to do some process of elimination, give me a minute. Switching to StartPage

[typing sounds]

My inconclusive conclusion is that there are 29 Propers, Christian-wise. That’s as far as I’m going with that. What does Sowing God’s word have to do with this, anyway? I don’t know.

My search for the answer led me to the Internet, which led me to sermons and thoughts about Proper 10, rather than the definition I was looking for. Rev. Fritz’s blog was just one of those, and the one I chose to click on. I enjoyed the post.

Maybe what I needed wasn’t knowledge about proper 10 anyway. Rev. Fritz, on behalf of his wife, tells me this: We are all sowers. Nothing more, nothing less. He means, I think, that we have to speak truth, as best we can, and what follows from that is really out of our hands. We are called to speak truly to each other, but we are off the hook, as far as how our words matter to those who hear them.

It doesn’t matter, I guess, what Proper 10 means. I’ve decided instead to ask the congregation if anybody can tell me. Maybe that will provide something to the service that I can’t, on my own. Otherwise, I’m going to just speak plainly about what I struggle with, understanding scripture, and try and say a true and hopeful thing. I’ll ask God for help in doing this well.

And then I won’t worry about all the things I don’t understand, and all the things that are not mine to control. All it takes is one seed somewhere, and you just can’t know what might come next.

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A/B, Animals, faith, Opinion

Dogs

God,

You sent us dogs so that on mornings when we might decide to hide out by sleeping in, we instead must walk the dog – the one who might otherwise need to take a poo on the kitchen floor.

They get us out our own front door – and that is what best friends are for.

Amen, and thanks again for all the dogs,

B.B.

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faith, Information, Wonder

God is in the Details, Too

I sat outside this morning wondering about Life and all of that, and as I wondered if God thought I was doing a good job, a chickadee alit upon the deck railing and regarded me as though they had a question, or maybe an answer.

Maybe chickadees are just that.

The little thing hopped up onto the deck light, and then fluttered around my upstairs window (as though to say, maybe, get back to work!), then over my head and onto the clothesline, to regard me again, before sailing off on some new chickadee quest. Whatever those might be like.

I know, I know. life is full of “patterns” and “coincidences”. I get it. If I roll a die enough times, a string of 1’s or 4’s or 6’s will come up and seem quite unusual, even though all they are doing is proving they are truly random. As random as random can be.

I nonetheless see things happening in good timing, sometimes, and I am here, in any case, to take of things what I will – and then hopefully give back better than I’ve been given, at some future point.

My point is – from my point of view – God came to me this morning on the wings of a Chickadee, and told me to say hello, from Him (or Her), to you.

And now that is what you’re reading me do.

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A/B, Decision, faith, Information, Opinion

Ode to the Bots Who Follow My Blog

And the Alts and Such Too: I Should Not Forget You…

These days, it is impossibly hard to know what is real, and what is not-so real.

I know real people are real, and feelings are real… and thoughts are real (at least to other thoughts).

But are the Bots?

Who has created the creations that convince me I’m being followed here? Should I write to the created, the creator? Or neither, or both?

How many real people on the real Internet of Things have at some point wondered if I, too, am not who they think that I say that I am?

I could give you my street address, and my health card information, and tell you where I grew up and who my childhood best friend’s name was, or is.

I could tell you my phone number.

I could send you a photo.

But what would any of that do, but appeal my improvable reality, to you?

My name is not BB Butterwell – it’s Mike. I might erase that later, because on here, I like being BB. I miss my own grandmothers and so I guess she’s the grandmother I would have been, had I been one to be. So I will be BB. At least here. Don’t tell anyone.

That doesn’t mean I’m an Alt though, with a capital A – or a Bot, with the B. Not in the way those things are often used on the Internet anyhow – to make people wonder about their situation, and who’s watching, and why. To question their metrics. My alt is a vanilla pseudonym. I don’t mind saying it. You just have to read my posts and eventually you’ll find the cross-linkiness. There is no additional subterfuge beyond that.

But of course you can’t know that, can you? “Mike” is a pretty suspiciously common name, isn’t it? Blame my parents. Also, I’m named after a frickin archangel. I will not complain, because, if nothing else, I do not wish to be rude to archangels. I will share and shorten his name, sure thing.

I’ll tell you my plan for this blog: I’m going to eventually remove all the clues as to who BB is, and let the Reader assume she’s BB, and not me. I’ll try writing more as though I’m older. Some small number of exceptional folk who found this blog first will know I’m actually Mike, and that will be the joke.

I’m not really a comedian. Maybe that’s funny, I don’t know.

I’ve had two beers. This might be why I’m writing like this. I have been cutting back, so apparently I’m now quite efficient at getting a buzz on.

I did not say BB was a Teetotaller.

This post went off on its own rails.

I hope you’re staying safe.

You’re a good person.

How do I know?

I just do.

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faith

Lettered Betters, Part II

I have been lately listening to ambient, looping “Lofi” music on Youtube and I think I’ve fallen into a hole, but it’s not a bad one. Just one that makes me want to switch gears radically, if only for a moment, or a week, or for the rest of my life. I can’t quite decide.

One thing I like about this world of chill-out music are the comments in the comments sections. Mostly Humans just giving each other love. That is the power of music, I suppose. Maybe though that is just the power of Love, once again, come ’round.

People can just be truly, truly lovely to one another, given a small chance.

In the comments section of this Lofi video, I found the following sentiment that was meant for sharing, and so, in the spirit of Good Friday, I would like to share it with you here, in the hopes it might find somebody looking for just this thing, in just this moment.


For all of you who are struggling with a hard time in your life. Disclaimer!!! I did not write this!
“Suicide doesn’t stop the pain,” “It gives it to someone else.”

  • [ ] 1: We would miss you.
  • [ ] 2: It’s worth it to be alive.
  • [ ] 3: It does get better – believe it or not, it will eventually get better.
  • [ ] 4: There’s so much you would miss out on doing.
  • [ ] 5: You are worth it – don’t let anyone, even yourself tell you otherwise.
  • [ ] 6: You were made for a reason – you have a reason.
  • [ ] 7: There is always a reason to live.
  • [ ] 8: So many people care about you.
  • [ ] 9: You are amazing!
  • [ ] 10: I don’t even know you and I love you.
  • [ ] 11: I care for you.
  • [ ] 12: There are plenty of people that love you.
  • [ ] 13: You are literally perfect ❤
  • [ ] 14: There are plenty of people that haven’t met you yet. They want to meet you.
  • [ ] 15: God loves you.
  • [ ] 16: We love you.
  • [ ] 17: Sometimes life is hard but it will make you a stronger person. You’re already strong. Just imagine.
  • [ ] 18: What about all the things you’ve always wanted to do? What about all the things you’ve planned, but never got around doing? You can’t do them if you leave early.
  • [ ] 19: I want you to be alive.
  • [ ] 20: So many people want you to really live.
  • [ ] 21: You won’t be able to listen to Music if you leave.
  • [ ] 22: You’ll never be able to listen to your favourite song if you’re gone.
  • [ ] 23: You’ll never be able to listen to your favourite singer if you’re gone.
  • [ ] 24: You’ll never be able to listen to your favourite rapper if you’re gone.
  • [ ] 25: Listening to really loud music!
  • [ ] 26: Taking your own life is never worth it – you’ll hurt both yourself and the people who care about you.
  • [ ] 27: There are so many people that would miss you, including me.
  • [ ] 28: The clouds!
  • [ ] 29: You are beautiful.
  • [ ] 30: Someone out there would die for you :’) Did you know that? It is true.
  • [ ] 31: How do you think your family would feel? What about the family you have yet to meet? They are waiting to meet you.
  • [ ] 32: Prove doubters wrong with your success.
  • [ ] 33: Writing that novel, or that poem, or that song!
  • [ ] 34: You’ll never have the feeling of walking into a warm building on a cold day.
  • [ ] 35: You’ll never have the feeling of walking into a cold building on a hot day.
  • [ ] 36: Being stupid in public just because you can!
  • [ ] 37: Helping other people.
  • [ ] 38: You have a future to live for. It’s hidden right now, because it’s a surprise.
  • [ ] 39: Being alive is hard sometimes, but it’s worth it.
  • [ ] 40: Thinking about happy memories… Making new ones to think about.
  • [ ] 41: Finding your soulmate.
  • [ ] 42: All-nighters!!!
  • [ ] 43: Sleeping in all day…
  • [ ] 44: You can look back at yourself later in your life and be glad you didn’t choose to leave before the best parts.
  • [ ] 45: Nobody could ever replace you. You are distinctly unique.
  • [ ] 46: You are unique – did we say that already?
  • [ ] 47: Pets!
  • [ ] 48: Petting pets!
  • [ ] 49: Netflix and movies.
  • [ ] 50: Trees and flowers and nature.
  • [ ] 51: Dreams that make you smile!
  • [ ] 52: Breakfast in bed!
  • [ ] 53: New & old clothes.
  • [ ] 54: New & well-worn shoes.
  • [ ] 55: New & used books.
  • [ ] 56: Sunrises and Sunsets – and more sunrises.
  • [ ] 57: Friends.
  • [ ] 58: The ocean.
  • [ ] 59: Sunlight.
  • [ ] 60: Your family. Other families – our wider family.
  • [ ] 61: Inside jokes.
  • [ ] 62: Birthdays!
  • [ ] 63: Christmas & All of the other occasions of all of the other people & places.
  • [ ] 64: Family traditions and community events.
  • [ ] 65: The taste of your favourite food. The taste of somebody else’s favourite food!
  • [ ] 66: TV shows.
  • [ ] 67: Movies.
  • [ ] 68: Going to new places.
  • [ ] 69: The ability to peruse whatever you choose – there are over 7 billion people on Earth, don’t be afraid to be you.
  • [ ] 70: To earn a living and unexpected surprises.
  • [ ] 71: You can flip your life around – sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it takes time… but it will happen for you.
  • [ ] 72: To find the perfect job/career for you
  • [ ] 73: Pizza!
  • [ ] 74: Kittens & Puppies.
  • [ ] 75: New haircuts.
  • [ ] 76: Moments you can look back to and laugh at.
  • [ ] 77: The clouds (they’re worth mentioning more than once).
  • [ ] 78: The world is better with you in it.
  • [ ] 79: Roller Coasters ~~~~
  • [ ] 80: Showers…
  • [ ] 81: Cake!
  • [ ] 82:Growing old and becoming truly epic.
  • [ ] 83: Growing old with people you love.
  • [ ] 84: Singing!
  • [ ] 85: Sleeping…
  • [ ] 86: Ice cream.
  • [ ] 87: Cookies!
  • [ ] 88: Warm feelings that come out of good thoughts.
  • [ ] 89: Movie nights.
  • [ ] 90: Candy (moderation!)
  • [ ] 91: Popcorn.
  • [ ] 92: Daydreaming….
  • [ ] 93: Happy moments.
  • [ ] 94: Holidays and regular days.
  • [ ] 95: Sleepovers.
  • [ ] 96: Parties and gatherings!
  • [ ] 97: Having a good personality. Having your personality.
  • [ ] 98: Making people happy.
  • [ ] 99: Campfires.
  • [ ] 100: Sitting on rooftops ^^^
  • [ ] 101: Vacations >>>
  • [ ] 102: Hearing crazy stories!
  • [ ] 103: Telling crazy stories!
  • [ ] 104: Treehouses!
  • [ ] 105: Coffee & tea and water and juice.
  • [ ] 106: You’ve changed someone’s life for the better already. Did you know that?
  • [ ] 107: If you leave early, how will you achieve the greatest things you have yet to do?
  • [ ] 108: Everyone has talent including you.
  • [ ] 109: Having original thoughts that nobody in the history of Us has ever had, in quite the way you just did.
  • [ ] 110: Hanging out with your friends. Making new friends. Helping other people make new friends.
  • [ ] 111: Nobody could ever replace you.
  • [ ] 112: You have so much to live for.
  • [ ] 113: Your dreams need some fulfilling. You are the ideal candidate to pull that off.
  • [ ] 114: Living life to the fullest!
  • [ ] 115: Reading really long lists………………..
  • [ ] 116: Your family and friends would be devastated if you were gone.
  • [ ] 117: Someone out there is constantly praying to meet someone like you. That’s Truth.
  • [ ] 118: Your future awaits You… it’s your future!
  • [ ] 119: You could save so many lives…
  • [ ] 120: You are too beautiful to disappear
  • [ ] 121: You are bigger than any of your problems.
  • [ ] 122: You are never alone during this struggle.
  • [ ] 123: Tomorrow is a new day!
  • [ ] 124: You are worth more than you think.
  • [ ] 125: But, the final and most important one is, just being able to experience life, because even if your life doesn’t seem so great right now, anything could happen!

💗💗

All suicide hotline numbers if you need someone to talk to :

  • [ ] Argentina: +5402234930430
  • [ ] Australia: 131114
  • [ ] Austria: 142; for children and young people, 147
  • [ ] Belgium: 106
  • [ ] Bosnia & Herzegovina: 080 05 03 05
  • [ ] Botswana: 3911270
  • [ ] Brazil: 188 for the CVV National Association
  • [ ] Canada: 1 .833 .456 .4566, 5147234000; 18662773553 (outside Montreal)
  • [ ] Croatia: 014833888
  • [ ] Denmark: +4570201201
  • [ ] Egypt: 7621602
  • [ ] Estonia: 3726558088;
  • [ ] Russian 3726555688
  • [ ] Finland: 010 195 202
  • [ ] France: 0145394000
  • [ ] Germany: 08001810771
  • [ ] Holland: 0900767
  • [ ] Hong Kong: +852 2382 0000
  • [ ] Hungary: 116123
  • [ ] India: 8888817666
  • [ ] Ireland: +44058457909090
  • [ ] Italy: 800860022
  • [ ] Japan: +810352869090
  • [ ] Mexico: 5255102550
  • [ ] New Zealand: 0800543354
  • [ ] Norway: +4781533300
  • [ ] Philippines: 028969191
  • [ ] Poland: 5270000
  • [ ] Portugal: 21 854 07 40/8 . 96 898 21 50
  • [ ] Russia: 0078202577577
  • [ ] Spain: 914590050
  • [ ] South Africa: 0514445691
  • [ ] Sweden: 46317112400
  • [ ] Switzerland: 143
  • [ ] United Kingdom: 08457909090
  • [ ] USA: 18002738255
  • [ ] Veterans’ Crisis Line: 1 800 273 8255/ text 383255

💗💗
songs that could make you happy 🥺
Personal by HRVY: @YJpE
I like me better by Lauv: @ozwA
Classic by MKTO: @A4Ds
Just friends by JORDY: @eINM
Eastside by Benny Blanco,Halsey,& Khalid: @UvGY
What makes you beautiful by 1D: @-A4E
Cheerleader by OMI: @QfW8
Everybody talks by Neon Trees: @84lE
Dear future husband by Meghan Trainor: @D_40
Backyard Boy by Claire Rosinkranz: @shy8
Shut up and dance with me by WALK THE MOON: @lx6Q
iSpy by KYLE: @gMPU
Trap queen by Fetty Wap: @NKio
LMK by Lil XXEL: @IC24
Dynamite by BTS: @WNZg

  • fun facts!
  1. Otters hold hands when sleeping is they don’t drift away from each other
  2. Penguins only have one mate their entire life, they also propose by giving them a pebble
  3. Cows have best friends
  4. You’re perfect ❤
  • another message: –

💗💗

To all those people being bullied

  • To all those people who have lost a loved one
  • To all those people who have lost a pet
  • To all those people being abused
  • To all those people going through depression
  • To all those people with anxiety
  • To all those people in poverty
  • To all those people going through a breakup
  • To all those people having a bad day
  • To all those people with insecurities
  • To all those people just having a hard time

Don’t forget

  • Your weakness today
  • Is your strength tomorrow
  • It always gets better
  • Your loved ones will remain in your hearts
  • You always have the memories
  • Love yourself
  • Stand up for yourself
  • Money can’t buy happiness
  • Those lovers
  • Just weren’t right
  • Don’t abuse yourself
  • Don’t abuse others
  • Kill them with kindness
  • Treat people with kindness
  • We’ve all had these times
  • There will always be a hole in our chests

But

  • Let’s all be each others’ strength
  • whether you’re
  • Black
  • White
  • LGBTQ+
  • Christian
  • Atheist
  • Etc
  • Love yourself
  • Love others
  • Don’t cut
  • Don’t kill
  • Don’t criticize
  • Don’t do drugs
  • Don’t starve yourself
  • Don’t starve others

We aren’t supposed to do any of that

  • Just keep your strength
  • Keep your faith
  • Don’t change because you were told to
  • Be yourself
  • Sometimes holding in all your pain isn’t the best thing to do – sometimes you need to let somebody know how you’re feeling.
  • Have a great day, and don’t stop spreading awareness about things that are happening currently in the world.
    ⚠️ this is not my text, that however doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with every single word said here. out of the experience, it destroys people. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help.
    Please, I beg you, please don’t do it. You are worth it and there are people who love you.⚠️
    I need everyone to pass this on.
    💗 ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿
    Copy this…. Save this… Share this…
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faith, Wonder

Order of Operations

I am largely uncertain how to organize anything in my life, much less the big things.

Whenever I see these Dollar Store Stones, I feel impelled to arrange them in some kind of shape.

What comes first: Hopes or Dreams?

Where does Belief fit into it all?

Is Love the beginning or the end of all of this?

Or is each virtue like a stepping stone,

arranged in a endless cycle

of better seasons?


The pragmatic in me has for some time thought of Hope as the fundamental thing; what else can be done deliberately and also well, after all, if it is not first hoped for?

But then, what good is it to hope for something to come to pass, if you can’t bring yourself to believe it is possible also?

Is it worth hoping for anything which you cannot also believe to be possible?

And can you hope anything without first being able to dream it?

And then… where do dreams come from? Where?

Some say that God is the ground of all things, or the Source, or just Love…. it seems God might be in all of the things, and also the source in which all things are. What does this mean? I don’t mean to suggest I have any answers – I barely understand the vocabulary of faith, and I don’t know what to believe, or even how to express the possibilities, or enumerate the components.

Is Love where Dreams, and then Hopes – and then the Belief in these things as possible – come from?

Or is it the Belief in the possibility of Dreams Hoped for where Love is finally found?

Is it both, or is it neither of these?

How would you arrange the stones?

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