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Spirituality

Among the people I grew up with, certain experiences were considered spiritual and good. People used specific vocabulary to talk about spirituality. By the time I was a teenager, I felt that my spirituality could practically be measured and judged and had to meet expectations.

I had to break free from all of that during young adulthood. It was painful but necessary. One blessed evening, I realized that “spirituality” wasn’t really up to me. I could receive it, participate with it, and enjoy it, but I could not manufacture it. My life of faith was resurrected then, and my later life has remained focused not on judgment but on grace.

— Vinita Hampton Wright, in Daily Inspiration for Women, p. 236

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Many of us struggle to picture God having a sense of humor. Our default image of God is of a stern, unsmiling judge, someone who can kill with a glance and who never cracks a smile. And yet every one of us knows the power of a good laugh. We’ve all been rendered delightfully speechless by laughter, and we all know the relaxed, depleted-yet-happy feeling that comes afterward.

Why do we find it so hard to imagine God feeling the same? It’s time to consider that maybe God gave us the ability to laugh because God knows firsthand just how marvelous it feels to do so.

— Ginny Kubitz Moyer, in Daily Inspiration for Women, p. 47

Ordinary days

Life’s milestones often involve special outfits: a wedding dress, a graduation cap, a christening gown, a prom dress, a new interview suit. You can usually tell a Big Day by what a person is wearing.

Yet the days I spend in rumpled jeans and old pajamas are every bit as important as the ones where I’m dolled up. On these ordinary days all sorts of personal and familial milestones take place: kids learn how to share, sibling bonds are built, spouses discover new little things about one another, parents learn to give without counting the cost. These ordinary days may not make it into our photo albums, but they make us who we are.

— Ginny Kubitz Moyer, in Daily Inspiration for Women, p. 37

Faith

Doubt

isn’t the opposite

of faith;

it is an element

of faith.

— Paul Tillich

I opened the door one afternoon to find my neighbor holding a tiny, mewling calico kitten. “She’s the sweetest thing,” he said. He handed her to me and headed hoe before I could gather the wits to object.

The cat had countless ticks, sear mites, fleas, worms — all the usual ailments of a stray. My daughter and I bathed her and cared for her, and within forty-eight hours the kitten transformed from a scared sickly thing to a merciless sprite. My seven-year-old was delighted, feeling the satisfaction of loving something back to health. My three-year-old was overjoyed to find something slow enough for him to catch. And my husband’s blood pressure dropped when he finally paused long enough to hold the sleeping kitten in his lap.

— Jessica Mesman Griffith, in Daily Inspiration for Women, p. 100

Importance

There is no such thing

in anyone’s

life

as an

unimportant day.

— Alexander Woollcott

Inner light

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.

— Albert Schweitzer