Life is Grace

Seeking the Blessings in the Chaos

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are hidden moments and life itself is grace.

Fredrick Buechner

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May 24, 2014

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers the fear.

Nelson Mandela

Allied troops prepare to storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, 74 years ago today.

My dad, who was one of those troops so many years ago, once told me that only fools are never afraid. Being afraid doesn’t make you a coward, he told me. Brave people learn to go ahead despite being terrified.

This applies to all of us, he made clear at the time, and now I can see what he meant…me dealing with trauma therapy, my friends and family who have faced cancer, my friend who was suddenly widowed when her husband died of influenza several years ago…countless painful and scary situations, that so many of us from somewhere, deep down inside, find the wherewithal to face and overcome. I think that we are, all of us, braver than we realize.

Courage is not simply having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.

Theodore Roosevelt

There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves.

Thomas Merton

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It’s Memorial Day here in the United States today, and the weekend wouldn’t seem complete if I didn’t post some kind of tribute to my dad, Sgt. Leonard Henry Resch. He fought from Omaha (“Bloody Omaha”) Beach in Normandy to Leipzig in Germany, seeing action in the Battle of the Bulge, liberating a concentration camp and oh, yes, helping liberate a continent along the way.

He never made a big deal about any of it, but he has always been my hero, he always will be, and darn it, I just wish I had told him more often while he was still here.

.

(PS English friends—he was stationed in Selsey before D-Day, if any of you know it? A small village on the southern coast.)

This, from a dear friend of mine in California. Please read and take her closing words to heart.
And if you are hurting so desperately that you can see no way out but to take your own life, know that you will take many others with you. And, I beg you, seek help.

a life developing

My loving, kind, hilarious, and talented brother took his own life this week.  Why and fuck are two words I continue to say at least once an hour.  The tears flow as I think of his beloved wife and the days, weeks, and years ahead of her. My heart breaks as I think of my other two brothers that are grieving their best friend and faithful companion.  And I fall into a puddle of grief as I imagine the heartbreak of all our parents.

Why?

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Why?

When I was little, we would go to the beach and play in the waves.  Sometimes a wave larger than we were expecting would crash over our heads and take us under the water.  Sometimes we would swallow large amounts of salt water.  Others, the wave would tumble us into the sand and we would be dragged along the ground.  Others…

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You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.

–Thomas Merton

I’ve begun trauma therapy after living with PTSD for thirty years, and I’m finding it, well, traumatic. Please God, may all of this pain lead me to the peace Merton describes.

Welcome to my new (second) blog! I have decided to add a photography blog, and keep Life is Grace more focused upon writing about spirituality/chronic illness, etc. I hope you come on over and check out my new photography blog—although it is still a work in progress—and keep following Life is Grace, which will still contain lots of photos too. Thanks friends!

Gingerfancy Photography

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A couple of weeks ago I was hospitalized for severe depression and PTSD. I am slowly, with the help of some amazing doctors, fighting my way back. It’s hard, I’m waiting for a new antidepressant to kick in, but I am attempting to focus on living day by day. It’s worth it. Maybe I’m worth it, too.

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