Picking Up the Goat

"Today I will be grateful for the grace people offer when the hard line of 'rules' are counter to human well being." 

This sentiment was recently shared by a friend in her Facebook status, and it has stuck with me. 

That simple act of grace - a willingness to find a way to help rather than a way to not - can make all the difference to a person facing a difficult time.  

While there may be a long standing rule that states, "Do not pick up the goats," I hope that if a goat must quickly be delivered to a family down the road in desperate need of goat milk, someone will find a way.  For the good graces of those people, I am thankful; and hope they serve as a reminder to me to also find a way to pick up the goat.  



To the Good People in My Life

Perhaps it is a fact that as you grow older, you know more and more good, really good, people who have bad things, really bad things, happen to them and because it is so wrong it seems nothing you can say or do can really help. 

In the past few weeks, people who I know as very good and kind people have had really bad things happen in their lives, and while I have shared that they are in my thoughts and prayers – and they are – that just does not seem to be enough.

Over the past couple of days, I have been thinking of the writings of Harold Kushner, author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” and “The Lord Is My Shepherd: Healing Wisdom of the Twenty-third Psalm.” 

These two books have helped shape my own views on how to find peace when life is not turning out the way we had hoped.     

Above all, I do not believe that God’s plan for us includes having terrible things happen in our lives or the lives of others as part of a grand scheme. 

I do believe, although I have to stop and really remind myself of this, that when bad things happen, God is there to offer comfort and healing; and sometimes this comfort and healing comes from those around us. 

Kushner writes, “Should you know someone who has suffered a loss, whether loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or loss of a relationship, and you hesitate to contact your friend because you feel inadequate to the situation, because you are not sure you have the words to help her, please overcome that hesitation and reach out to your friend. Call her, visit her. You don't have to say anything besides "I'm sorry, I feel bad for you." Human souls are nourished by relationships, and your friendship, your going out of your way to show concern, has the power to heal a person's soul.” 

“The role of God is not to explain and not to justify but to comfort, to find people when they are living in darkness, take them by the hand, and show them how to find their way into the sunlight again … when we used up all of our own strength and love and faith, there really is a God, and he replenishes your love and your strength and your faith.”

For the very good people that I know and care for - who have been faced with difficulties, sorrow and loss - I am sorry, I feel bad for you, and I hope God – whether through his direct spirit or through the people who care for you - is replenishing you with love, and strength and faith.   


getting started

So, here I am, getting started in the world of personal blogging. 

For over a year, maybe two?, I have been posting blogs for the organization where I work (The Arc of Indiana), and I am the task master for making others on staff write blogs, but somehow I have avoided actually blogging for work myself.  

The Arc is hosting workshops to train folks how to blog, so I figured I would jump in too.

Our first step was to come up with our blog's name.  To begin we thought about nicknames, hobbies, favorite quotes, things we do, etc. etc.  

One of the first things that came to mind was an old (old) nickname from grade school, "Mander" - an abbreviation of salamander - get it, Sally, salamander.
The other thing that came to mind is that lately it seems I have lots on my mind, and - with my oldest of two just off to college and my youngest of two just starting high school- feel that I am in a time of transition - sort of meandering about in thoughts and actions. 

Not quite sure what I will be saying here - hopefully gaining some focus on not just mandering around aimlessly.  Sometimes it may link back to what interests me or what I observe at work in the world of developmental disabilities.  Sometimes my family.  Sometimes what interests me in the news or what seems crazy right now in the world of politics.  

Urban Dictionary says "mandering," is similar to wandering, but in a more absurd way - seems appropriate - so, "manderings," it is for this blog's name.  If I add a photo of a meandering salamander will it make any more sense?

Um, guess not, but he is kinda cute.