What's It All About?

It's all too easy for days to pass without reflection. It's my hope that through a greater active awareness on each day, that I will be able to consider God's presence in my life and in the world around me. Writing has always been a way for me to round up my thoughts. This blog seems like a good place to park those thoughts for my own benefit as well as the benefit of others. Please take a moment to read what I have written, to offer comments, and to share the ideas with others.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Some Thoughts on Acceptance

View over back hillside-early AM-photo by Libby Fife
This past week has been one of slow acceptance. The firestorm that has been raging in our county is now down to a very low roar. From reading the news, it seems as if people have been slowly returning to their properties. Whether or not those properties are still standing seems to be a toss up. Some areas that were devastated by the fire stand right next to other areas that were spared. Some people lost everything and some people only lost an outbuilding or a car. It's incomprehensible what happened here.

There are more tangible things to grasp onto however. The smoke in the air has cleared and the smell is slowly dissipating. The weather is gradually cooling as we move towards Autumn. There is a noticeable crispness in the air. As I walked in our backyard this morning looking for photo opportunities, I reflected on the fact that much of life is about the acceptance of both the good and the bad coexisting. We had dinner with our family last night. They have two of their friends staying with them who are victims of the fire. They lost everything. Absolutely everything except the clothes in their suitcases and whatever they were wearing. It's beyond my ability to understand. And theirs too I imagine. Yet, there has to be acceptance. The worst has happened and what do you do? Rage against it? It's already come and gone. 

I find it somewhat helpful to recall something that I read years ago. Rabbi Harold Kushner, noted author and progressive conservative Jew, wrote a book called When Bad Things Happen To Good People. My take from the book is that bad things are not a judgement or an omen or retribution from God. They are just part of what's what in this lifetime; what constitutes the human condition. That's very hard to accept and yet, I do accept the explanation. I imagine that God is just as offended at awfulness and grieves just as much in the face of tragedy and human suffering as we all do. His presence and partnership is the comfort. 

And as I look at my beautiful backyard and cherish what I have right now, I know that my time will come too. I will have to accept the bad along with the good; the up and the down at the same time. It makes me want to hold on to things just a little bit tighter and with much greater awareness and acceptance.


  1. Yes, there has to be acceptance but it has to come when the person is ready. Forcing it never works. The rage just wells up and bursts out.

  2. Debra,

    I understand your point and don't disagree. A person has to get ready over time mentally to accept an outcome. I think the kind of acceptance I mean is more along the lines of understanding that both things can (and often do) exist at the same time. as an example, even as I was preparing for surgery and digging my heals in, I was intensely grateful for all of the people that were helping me. or, our family friends lost their home in the fire but we are glad that they are alive and can start over eventually. it's the mix of things that is hard to accept and not necessarily where you are on the spectrum of acceptance. That is what I find so difficult and where I most often eventually feel the possibility of support from something outside of myself.

    Always glad that you visit. I don't know why your comment got sent back but I found it.

  3. The good the bad and the ugly.....it is what the mix of life is all about...and we must move through it all as best we can. Those times of "good" are times we must cherish and hang on to and remind ourselves of when the times of "band and ugly" present themselves. We can not control it...it will happen unexpectedly and even in the midst of "the good". However, it is the bad and the ugly that make us stronger more appreciative of the good. Now as I age, I can look back and wonder how I ever had the strength to do some of the things I have been forced to face in my life....and this is where God comes in....when you need to dig deep for that strength..deeper then you thought you could go... it is my belief that that strength is him taking your hand , giving you the strength you need to move forward and weather the storm.

    1. Really well said, Barbara! I find the mix of up and down to be so difficult and holding on to faith and belief to be really fragile. It can be tested for sure! And I find that when things are good for me and bad for my neighbor it's just really tough. But, as you said, strength is found in having a good "partner" to help you and lead the way:)

      Hope all is well. I appreciate your comments!

  4. Beautifully written Libby. I find it heart warming to hear that your family is helping friends who've lost everything in a disaster. That's a wonderful way to step up and be there in such a difficult time.

    Your blog is well written and I read it as accepting life on life's terms. Easier said than done, but no one is immune to loss or hard times as much as we might hope we will be. Comfort in God, family and friends is what will get us through.

    Glad you and your family and home are okay.


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