Here are three of my favorite posts from my Facebook newsfeed over the last few days. The posts are written by my Facebook Friends, the words are their own not someone else’s, and they’re published with their permission. I appreciate it that these Friends have taken the time and thought to express something in their own writing that is positive, meaningful, uplifting, relatable, and sometimes hilarious. To me, their words are important enough to be preserved, published, and not left to fade away on the Facebook feed. So, job well done, ya’ll. May your words live on to encourage and entertain for many days to come. If you haven’t already, you can “Follow” this blogsite at the end of this post, and future “Best of Facebook” posts (and other fine essays and articles) will be emailed to you when they’re posted.
Funeral takeaways: Rosemary and ribbon, and why do I do that?
By Neva Edmunds
“I get to meet Jesus today.” I’m hoping my last words are similar and not something like, “Could someone turn up the AC.” I think with Covid and quarantine and the fact that I’m going to be sixty next year has certainly put me in a different mindset. What is important? John is only six years older than me. Will I have a such a legacy?
I attended John’s funeral this afternoon. I didn’t notice anybody talking about the heaps of cash he had stashed away, or how exquisitely educated he was. What I saw was a beloved wife, mother, loving children and grandchildren, and blessings of generations together to honor a life well-lived.
Sadly, I am very angry at myself. I don’t know why but I always busy myself with meaningless things. At the last minute, I decided I needed a bow to go around the rosemary plant I bought for John. So, before the funeral I went to a dollar store and rummaged around trying to find a ribbon. I was only a couple minutes late to John’s funeral, but it ruined the peace and the majesty of the day in my heart.
Why do I do that? Why can’t I let those things go so that I can relax and rest in that sacred time? Whether it’s my mother’s eightieth birthday in 2006, or my fiftieth in 2011, or dad’s funeral in 2000, or just cooking dinner for friends, it’s like I have to be rushing around so that I cannot enjoy the moment, or feel the pain, perhaps. My new goal is to be present always. To plan better and not become distracted by shiny objects or last-minute thoughts. This will be a hard one for me. I don’t think it’s in my nature.
Most funerals are such a wonderful time of remembrance. Bringing together hearts. There were many songs today at John’s Catholic funeral, and, oddly, I knew the lyrics to most of them, even though I could hardly sing along through my tears. I was surprised; typically, Catholic songs tend to be different than those sung in Protestant churches. But kudos to Saint Frances Cabrini Parish, where the funeral was held, for stepping a little bit into the present music scene. One of the police officers sitting in the pew in front of me told me how wonderful it was to hear me singing (as no one else was, except for the musicians up in the front). Leave it to me to sing anyway! This of course started me crying again and thanking him for his service. I raise a hallelujah.
Then this is what I will do today
By Renee Harp
In the midst of sadness and loss, and so much anxiety and uncertainty about the future, the only thing I know to do is to love as best as possible, and even that without hugging today. If it’s true that the best thing I can do is think of you with love and adoration and belief in all good things and, most especially, your innate goodness, then that is what I will do today.
Life is difficult — So how shall we live?
By Mary Heathman • Founding director of Where Grace Abounds
“Life is difficult.” At first glance, the first line of The Road Less Traveled wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t know. But as I continued to read, I realized this book was going to challenge a bedrock belief upon which I had leaned my whole life for hope, support, and encouragement to keep going when things were hard.
Until 1978 (by then I was a thirty-something with a career, marriage and children), I had believed that life’s difficulties were an aberration, a temporary setback on the path to eventual mastery of life’s challenges — surely that mastery was just around the corner. But as I continued to read, I was increasingly troubled, yet also intrigued, by M. Scott Peck’s ideas.
Troubled because I sensed my entire way of motivating myself getting shaky. Intrigued because I had already been fighting against a growing disillusionment with my way of coping with life’s difficulties. Peck wasn’t encouraging his readers to “hang in there” and all would be well. He wasn’t saying life is difficult sometimes but that you will learn to master those difficulties and one day life wouldn’t be so difficult. He was actually saying “life is difficult” and it would likely always be so.
Bad news. But once the wave of disappointment washed over me, a peaceful acceptance took its place. Peck’s well-reasoned rationale was important in the process of trading what I now knew was a lie for the truth. But a more influential source had already done the work of plowing my heart, sowing seeds of truth. In the gospel of John, chapter sixteen, the thirty-third verse, we read, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Ok, if life is difficult, then let me recalibrate my approach to living life, I thought. Two decisions I made during that season that have taken root and born much fruit in my life. I will share them without comment. Try them on for size. What have you got to lose except a false belief or two?
I never again want to make another decision without God. In all things, I will seek His counsel. I will read His word, pursue His principles, pray for His guidance. And I will obey Him.
When God and I disagree, I am the one who is wrong. I will look immediately for the fallacy in my own thinking and trade it in for His truth. I will wait on Him to show me the truth; when He shows it, I will walk His path with Him.