The third quote goes a little something like this….
I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
Two noteworthy bits about this quote; it’s by one of my favourite authors since childhood. And I only decided to include it this morning, when I saw it on my page-a-day calendar. I’d been considering “Better angels of our natures” by Abraham Lincoln, or a Pauline verse from Romans. But the above quote, from Laura Ingalls Wilder, truly fits in with my current faith-walk, that of relevancy vs. irrelevancy.
That comes directly from Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus, my latest lunchtime read. Nouwen’s reflections upon Christian leadership have touched me deeply, mostly due to his idea of what is relevant and what is not. More vaguely I’ve been pondering this notion over the last several months, but Laura Ingalls Wilder sums it up perfectly today.
Simple things are indeed best, like babies, quilts, love. Oh, and a coming-together manuscript is a nice addition too. I just finished going through what will be the next installment of The Hawk, and I have to say I’m quite pleased with how this story is shaping up. I’m also happy with my latest attempt at floating squares.
I wanted to practice with this score before trying it out on an Advent wall hanging, and maybe it’s the hues, or perhaps I’m getting the hang of eschewing rulers and straight edges. Laura and her sister Mary didn’t have rotary cutters and Japanese cutting mats to make their quilts, and it all went fine for them.
Or maybe I’m nostalgic for simpler times due to immersing myself in the early 1960s; yes, life is a little complicated for Lynne Snyder, but she’s a homemaker at heart, what with baking pies and tending to her husband. While I don’t bake pies, I am a stay-at-home…. Wife, artist, writer, and I’m blessed by that existence. And I’m equally graced by realizing the worth of my role, which isn’t loud or flashy. Nouwen writes that seeking relevancy isn’t required for future leaders in the priesthood or ministry. He states that leaders in the twenty-first century should strive for irrelevance amid modern times, permitting him or her to enter into “a deep solidarity with the anguish underlying all the glitter of success and to bring the light of Jesus there”.
Two quotes for one in this last of a three quotes in how many ever days it takes challenge. These ideas aren’t sexy, nor easily hash-tagged, but they are the elements that make up my beliefs, and how I want to live my life. Sometimes I feel stuck in two worlds, and I am, one in which I now dwell, and that for which I am destined. It’s hard, at times, because being relevant seems all this world wants to be. As a writer, I’m supposed to make my work easily marketable, branded even, as if it’s merely commodity. As an artist, my unique view puts the proper depth in whatever medium I am putzing around in. As a Christian…. And there it become murky, one realm spilling onto another in an ethereal manner that perhaps most can’t see. But I see it; I feel it in everything I do, say, consider. And more and more I want my life stripped of all that is not relevant to my growth as a lover of Christ.
Thankfully Jesus doesn’t seem to include forgoing sports in that day-by-day alteration, whew! Yet other pastimes have slipped by the wayside, leaving room for tending to family, admiring grandchildren, fashioning improv quilts, and building stories. All of these parts, many others too, are stepping stones to another life which is veiled from most, even from myself at times. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” John 16:12 makes it three quotes in one post, dude! Yet all that Christ has to say comes simply, thank the lord, or my poor brain would be lost. Simplicity that might look archaic to some is my goal, a foolishness at times, certainly. Yet so easy, blissfully so, if grasped with hands eager for the effortless love that comes not from our own making.
Special thanks to Laura Bruno Lilly for inspiring the last three posts. Quotepeace my friend.