Today, I am thankful for quotes. I love quotes. Snippets of language that encase wisdom in neat little packages. Neat little packages that can hurt, heal, open minds, create debate, and more. I love to unpack them and ponder them, and pass them on. Here follows a few of my recent favorites, that have burrowed there way into my very soul, one for each day I’ve missed posting:
Day 12: A quote from C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce that has been driven home to me quite a bit lately. This is pieced together out of a dialogue in the book, and while there are gaps, I have left the meat of the quote.
“Pity was meant to be a spur that drives joy to help misery. But it can be used the wrong way round. It can be used for a kind of blackmailing. Those who choose misery can hold joy up to ransom, by pity…Did you think that joy was created to live always under that threat? Always defenceless against those who would rather be miserable than have their self-will crossed? … Can you really have thought that love and joy would always be at the mercy of frowns and sighs? Did you not know they were stronger than their opposites? … That sounds very merciful: but see what lurks behind it. … The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven. … Either the day must come when joy prevails and all the makers of misery are no longer able to infect it: or else for ever and ever the makers of misery can destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves.”
Long story short, this quote reinforces the fact that one’s misery does not have the right to quell the joy of another. It is good and right to allow joy to rule one’s heart, even if others are miserable. Pity is what drives joy to reach out a helping hand to draw misery into itself and turn it to joy. Misery does not have the right to drag joy down with it. In other words, it is joy’s responsibility to have pity. It is not misery’s job to coerce joy into something that looks like pity.
Day 13: I cannot find appropriate credit for this quote, so if you know who said it, please enlighten me!
“Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitions. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right, and your head up. Do well, live well, and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It’s time to start living.”
I have started collecting motivational and positive quotes, in an attempt to reverse my negative thought patterns. I’ve incorporated Scripture verses, quotes, and even Pandora stations that all encourage me to keep looking up, but this one hit me because of its simplicity. It’s like a daily to-do list that I can lean on when I feel overwhelmed. What do I do today? Oh yeah! Wake up. Drink coffee. And so on… From there, I can’t really go wrong, even if the day is hard.
Day 14: Colossians 3:23. I will never forget the day the Lord gave me this verse. I had had “one of those days” as a new mother. Alone, 87 poopy diapers, 48 loads of laundry, the dirty dishes from the night before still in the sink, and I felt wasted. I felt like I was throwing my life away by wiping behinds, tables, noses, walls, and toilets. Like a flash, this verse paraded itself before my eyes. The Holy Spirit crept close, and whispered into my ear: “It is my diapers you are changing. My tables you are wiping. My meals you are making. None of this is wasted. I see you. I am pleased with you.”
While I continue to have bad days now and then, and even wonder if what I’m doing is really important, I cling to this rock of hope in Colossians 3:23. As long as the Lord is pleased with me, and I am following his calling on my life, what else matters? This is the sunshine in my soul. It’s the silver lining in my clouds. The rainbow of promise to my very heart of hearts. I will never let go. What can man do to me?
Day 15: This quote is one of the quotes residing on a green post-it note on my bathroom mirror. It’s another short, sweet one, and ridiculously practical. I love it.
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” ~Nora Roberts
Well, duh. Right? It just reminds me never to assume anything. To refrain from deciding for others what they can or cannot do for me. I am speaking up and asking more and more, and I am leaping out in faith more than I ever have. And each time I do, I gain strength and confidence in the One who leads me.
Day 16: This next quote is one I came across while browsing Pinterest. And it dawned on me that this is what I have done for years. I’m not doing it anymore. Ever again.
“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” ~Raymond Hull
I don’t know who Raymon Hull is, but wow. This quote has been a powerful reminder that the only people worth changing for, ultimately, are Jesus and me. I, after all, am the only one who will stand before God to answer for myself. I answer to no one else, ultimately, but Him. My very Creator and King and Friend. It will benefit everyone around me by default. I am feeling more and more free every day as a result, and who can argue with that?
Day 17: Last, but not least (and boy, did I have a hard time narrowing it down), this is my all-time favorite quote and sums up my very heart. I have come through a darkness in my life, and come out stronger and more myself. I have shed pretense as I stepped once again out into the light. And this sums it up perfectly:
“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people know more… though I know that is the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.” ~Anne Shirley (Anne of Avonlea)
I was christened “Sunshine” the very day of my birth, and I have lived up to it as best I could for most of my life. It wasn’t until I walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with Dad, and caught the gorgeous sunrise at its end that I realized that I am Sunshine. That is my name. My heart. My soul. I know better now, though, that being Sunshine doesn’t always mean that I am forever chipper. It means that I am bright, hot, shining, and I fill the sky with brilliant light and color and warmth. I am not delicate. I am vast and brilliant. (Borrowed from Shinedown)
And I intend to affect the whole world.
What is your favorite quote, and how does it impact you?
Grace & Peace,