Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

That’s Sick! October 31, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 11:43 pm

Years ago my daughter called me from her middle school nurse’s office claiming she had an earring stuck in her ear. My first thought was a small post fell into her ear but no, that wasn’t the case. Her earring, indeed a small post, was stuck in her ear lobe! The back had fallen off and the entire stud was stuck inside the lobe. She was upset and I knew I had to get her to a doctor. But, what doctor?


Our family physician? An ear, nose, and throat specialist? I even thought a dentist could numb the lobe and pull the earring out. But, what did I do? I raced her to an urgent care clinic. Yep, the dreaded “doc in box.” Maybe I should say formerly dreaded, as this type of health care is the health care for many Americans.


I was one of them today.



Momma Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said…

I’ve been coughing for about a week now. A dry, irritating cough with no drainage or fever but the aches and pains started hitting me last night. I thought about calling our family doctor and trying to get in today, a Monday mind you, but that doctor is now a 45 minute drive from our new home and with my luck his only opening would be first thing in the morning. Hello hour-long, rush hour drive to the doctor. Don’t get me wrong, I love our doctor but I wasn’t loving the sound of this scenario.


Plan B. I was pretty certain I had either a sinus infection or bronchitis and I knew an Urgent Care Clinic could take care of it. Do I drive an hour or so to my doctor if I can even get an appointment with him on such short notice, or do I drive 15 minutes up the road to a fully-staffed, no appointment necessary “doc in a box?” The box won and I’m on the road to recovery after a steroid shot, a Zpac antibiotic prescription, and that wonderful cough medicine with codeine. Bingo. Oh, it’s bronchitis by the way, which the uber-professional doctor guessed right away but still checked me from head to toe.


So how does one decide what medical professional to see? There are basically four choices: a doctor in his/her office, an urgent care clinic, a retail walk-up service, or an emergency room. Basically, urgent care is for those situations where you can’t wait for an appointment with your doctor but the injury or illness is not life-threatening. Of course there’s more to consider than just that, so let’s look further.



Primary Care Physicians

Remember the Dr. Marcus Welby days, when you’d simply call (not text or email) your doctor’s office, make an appointment, and see him or her that day? Those days are somewhat gone. Yes, it can still happen, but more than likely you will be given appointment options days away and if it is “urgent,” you will be told they will try to squeeze you in at “fill in the blank” time. Code red word: come then and get ready to sit in the waiting room with hacking, sniffling patients for a fairly long time. Bring a book. Bring a mask.


On the flip side, that primary care physician probably saw you previous times, which means he has comprehensive medical records on you. Have you gained weight? Lost too much weight? Is your blood pressure suddenly high? Are you allergic to certain drugs? They will know this about you. They might also visit with you about other health-related issues like nutrition, stress management, and exercise. I’d say, in my totally unexpert opinion, see them for acute and chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and allergies for sure.


Like I said, I love our family doctor. What I don’t love is when doctor’s offices email you their forms to fill out before your appointment. Um, excuse me, I’m paying you how much and you want me to use my hard-earned printer paper and ink? Not gonna happen. I’ll be filling out the forms while I wait in that germ-infested waiting room. I mean REALLY!?


This reminds me of a scene from one of my all-time favorite TV shows, “Will and Grace.” Grace is sitting in a doctor’s waiting room for quite some time and as she puts a waiting room magazine in her purse she says, “You make me wait, I take things” Classic.


Okay, so primary care physicians are great, and if you’ve got the time, they’ve got the office hours. But, they just might not be convenient. And, in today’s “I need it now” society, this sometimes is just not good enough.




Enter the urgent care center, home of no appointments necessary; acceptance of almost all insurance policies; extended hours that often include nights, weekends, and holidays; and locations everywhere. They are also often fully staffed with real doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and medical assistants.


These places used to be frowned upon by many a medical expert, but some of them have changed their tune, especially for issues like sinus infections, colds, the flu, cuts and scratches, allergies, minor sprains and strains, bug bites, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throats, minor broken bones like fingers or toes, and even urinary tract infections. Plus, wait times are usually less than 30 minutes and co-pays, though higher than those at your primary care doctor, don’t break the bank. Consider them the price of convenience. Convenient health care.


They aren’t surgical centers however, but many offer a wide range of services including imaging like X-rays, orthopedic casting, and the treatment of injuries that require stitches. Most clinics have a licensed physician on-site at all times, which is a plus, but you probably won’t see the same one each time you go. This means that doctor, as worthy as he or she might be, will know nothing about your medical history except for what you fill out on the admission form. And, this information and your visit may or may not be shared with your primary care doctor, leaving what some health care professionals call “the black hole of medical records” and the interruption of long-term “continuity of care.” Both of which raise eyebrows and concern.


I will say the form I filled out today did ask for my doctor’s name and contact info. Whether they send him anything is up to them. If I was that worried about it, I’m pretty sure I could call them tomorrow and make sure they did and if not, request they do.



I’d venture to guess many of you have visited one of these. They are commonly found in grocery store pharmacy departments and nearly all big pharmacy chains have them. Staffed by nurse practitioners, not licensed doctors, they are great for flu shots and vaccinations, but keep in mind they normally can’t prescribe narcotics like cough medicine with codeine.


Their role is to yes, get customers in the store, but to also complement a primary care physician or urgent care clinic. But, don’t think of them as replacements for either even though it’s been reported that up to 50 percent of retail clinic patients have no primary care doctor.




It scares me just to write about these. Emergency rooms are of course for, emergencies. No primary care doctor, urgent care clinic, or retail walk-up service should ever be considered a substitute for emergency care. Mt. Sinai Hospital suggests thinking of an emergency condition as one that can permanently impair or endanger your life or the life of someone else. You wouldn’t go to one for a sinus infection or flu shot but you would go to one if you got bit by a rattlesnake or fell off a ladder. Other emergency situations include severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, compound fractures with bone protrusions, convulsions, seizures, loss of consciousness, heavy and uncontrollable bleeding, poisoning, head or neck injuries, back injuries, and severe abdominal pain just to name just a few.


When in doubt, consider emergency care but also consider that they are, expensive. Very expensive.


Sadly, a RAND Corp. study reported that up to 30 percent of ER visits could have been handled adequately by an urgent care clinic or retail clinic, saving nearly $4.5 billion a year in health care costs.





Urgent Care Clinics began popping up in the early 1980s and today there are nearly 6,500 of them in the U.S. and close to 2,000 retail clinics, both of which are considered many an American’s main source of health care. They are also what some consider a symptom not a cause of our nation’s health care systemic woes.


Busy, hard-working Americans may long for health care’s “glory days,” but they don’t miss the inconvenience of its appointment-based traditions and with both deductibles and premiums increasing at sometimes alarming rates (I’m looking at you Obamacare), those same budget-conscious Americans are looking for medical care options. They want health care to be as much about them and their 24-7 schedules as it is about doctor convenience.


We also live in a very fluid society with jobs being accepted across the country and moving the family is the norm. Where to live and what schools to enrolls kids in are often the priorities but doctors, they come and go so both retail clinics and urgent care clinics seem to fit the bill.


Urgent Care Clinics are also considered a growing franchise business opportunity and are one of few health care industry growth areas. Most centers are freestanding facilities run by private investors but even some hospitals and health care systems are partnering with clinics in hopes of expanding their brand and services.


Proponents of the urgent care clinic system say they consider it not a replacement of traditional health care or the need for primary care and specialty doctors, but rather as an option to a system that is overloaded. Doctors simply can’t be in their offices 24-7, patients can’t plan illnesses during work hours, and accidents happen.


So, I think we’re pretty much in agreement as to where to go for emergency situations, but it’s up to you where you turn for anything else. Diabetes? I’d go to my family doctor. Flu shot? I’d probably head to a retail walk-up clinic. Strep throat? Unless my primary care physician is immediately and conveniently available, I’m off to the nearest urgent care clinic. Oh, and if I ever get an earring stuck in my ear. Yep, that one for sure.



United We Stand. Divided We Fall October 30, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 3:33 pm



Our country is divided. Horribly divided. I’m not sure what can be done but in mass this morning I saw hope.


When we made our recent move, we also moved out of our long-time parish boundaries. We knew we had two choices in our new home: the big, established Catholic church with a school or a small country one with one of our former priests who we liked. We told ourselves we would try both and then decide.


That didn’t happen.


After attending the small, country church and hearing Father Larry’s sermon just twice, we were sold. We knew it’s where we need to be and we haven’t looked back.


Today Father Larry opened his sermon by saying “Our country is divided today. Homes and workplaces are at odds and much depends on who wins, the Cubs or the Indians.” Hah! Everyone thought he was going somewhere else with it, but by making light of it all, he brought it to light.


Yes, the World Series is dividing allegiances but as we all know, so is the presidential race. Sadly, I don’t know if anything can heal us. Then I went to mass.


In church I saw a beautiful mix of people. Men wearing suspenders and carrying red handkerchiefs in their pockets. Hispanic families filling entire pews. Retirees from the many surrounding golf course communities. Young and old. Black and white. Longhorns and Aggies. All, as the communion song reminded us, “one body.”


Funny how, when surrounded by the Word of God, we put aside our differences and worship the one God with one voice. And yet, it seems like that very worship is what’s being driven out of our schools, governments, and businesses. We can say “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Kwanza,” but “Merry Christmas?” Nope. That might offend someone. And don’t come with your “separation of church and state” argument, which I remind you was conceived to keep the government out of churches, not vice versa.


This brings me to something else that’s always bothered me about our increasingly growing secular world. If you don’t believe in something, in this case God, how can you protest it? That would be like me protesting unicorns. “I demand all unicorns be kept out of our public schools!” Oh but wait, they don’t exist so….


Insanity. Even the devil believed in God and even rich men need God. United we stand. Divided we fall.




But the noise is deafening. Sometimes is tough to walk the walk and talk the talk when all you hear is “you’re too judgmental” or “you need to be more tolerant.” What about tolerance for your beliefs? Beliefs that have been around for thousands of years?


Last week I attended a presentation by Catholic talk show host Sheila Liaugminas. It was fabulous and all through it she urged attendees to not be ashamed of our faith but rather get out there and preach it. Spread it. Be it.





“Turning down the volume of life allows you to listen to God.”

Greater Things Today


Today’s gospel from Luke 19:1-10 asks us to be not like the hypocritical Pharisees but more like Zacchaeus, who stood his ground and gave half of all his wealth to the poor, to which Jesus replied “the Son of man has come to seek out and save what was lost.”


Let’s all pray this nation of ours that is so lost can find its way back to a greatness and goodness that only accountability and love can foster. And let’s do it together. United. As one body.







New Kid on the Block October 15, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 5:05 pm



New kid on the block. No one wants to be THAT person. But, it’s what I am right now. I’m the new neighbor. The new girl. The new kid. And, I don’t like it.


Don’t get me wrong, we are all moved in our new home and I’m loving it. I also love the neighborhood and have surprised even myself in how quickly I feel at home. As many of you know, I initially dug in my heels at the beginning of this whole move idea, partially looking forward to it and partially asking “why?” But, we’re here and I have no regrets. As they say, a home is where you make it.


But as pleased as I am with our home and our move, I’m still the new kid on the block. This is something I’m struggling with. I’m not a “go out and meet everyone you can” kinda gal and I detest small talk and big groups. I’m more of a small, intimate group girl and am very happy with the friends I have. But, make new friends I must so rather than host a pity party or refuse to embrace it all, I’ve instead jumped in and gone to everything I possibly can. Adios comfort zone.




Book club? I’ve joined and been twice.

Ladies Spa Day? Oh yeah, you know I was at that one.

Golf? I’ve yet to actually go out on ladies play day, but I will.

Tennis? Racquets are currently being restrung and I’ve been invited to join a team.

Bible Study? Am bummed they meet on a day I work, but will join up when I can.


So yes, I’ve pushed myself to giddy up for almost everything I see posted. It’s been a bit stressful and kinda caught up with me last night for Ladies Game Night.


I’d RSVP’d weeks ago, but thanks to a busy week and horrible allergies keeping me up at night, I just wasn’t feeling it. Plus, the night before I had gone to Book Club so I was sporting a “social box checked” attitude. “But it’s two different groups Carla. Don’t you want to make friends?” the little voice in my head asked. Go away, go away! I just want to take a bath, read my book, take some allergy meds, and crawl in bed.




Then my phone rang. It was my daughter. My voice of reason.


I told her my dilemma and she didn’t hesitate to tell me that making new friends is “like a job and right now it’s your job!” Ouch. This from the girl who has solid and loyal long-time friends and has had no problem making new ones as she moved to both Scottsdale and Dallas after graduating. Guess I should listen to her on this one. Role reversal in full affect.



“You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

Brian Tracy


Feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable. That’s my new mantra so out I went to Ladies Game Night and boy did I have fun! It was a smaller group and there were a few who I’d already met. Yay! I also met several new women I really liked and when I mentioned to one that I’m thinking of getting back into tennis, she and another woman immediately welcomed me to join their team. Double yay!


It’s important to have friends in your life. Girl friends. As much as we love our husbands, dogs, coworkers and the like, girlfriends are vital in a woman’s life. Not all of them will be your BFFs, but many will leave a mark and have an impact. Never settle but always be open. Treasure the old but relish the new. It’s all a balance that may not be easy but worth the effort.


So lessons learned. Get your butt out there Carla. Yes it can be exhausting but it can also be rewarding. Here’s looking at you new kid.



Water, Water Everywhere! October 10, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:47 pm


“Can I get you something to drink?” the waiter asked. “Yes, I’d like a club soda with lime please,” I replied. “Would you care for sparkling water or seltzer?” he asked. “No thank you, just plain ole club soda.”


Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think ordering a simple drink would be so complicated. But if you’ve been to a restaurant lately, you may have also been subjected to a host of questions when you order water. Tap or bottled? Lemon instead of lime? Club soda or mineral water? Insanity!


Granted, there are differences between them all so I’m here to help. Sadly, it goes beyond “sin gas or con gas” as in Spain and “sparkling” elsewhere in Europe. Just take a walk down your grocery store water aisle and you’ll see what I’m talking about.


Flavor and carbonation seem to be what separates each from the others. So what makes them bubbly and which ones taste best? Taste is entirely personal, but carbonation is another thing. It occurs naturally in mineral water but all other effervescent waters get their fizz from carbon dioxide.


When talking “carbonated water,” we’re talking soda, mineral, and seltzer; all of which are called “sparkling water” on menus and store aisles. Basically they are all plain water with carbonation added in varying methods.




Soda water is carbonated water with subtle flavoring in the form of mineral ingredients and sodium.

Mineral water traditionally comes from natural springs.

Seltzer water is also plain, unflavored carbonated water but without added minerals.

Sparkling water is just plain water that is carbonated.

Then there’s tonic water, which isn’t actually water per se.


To make things even more confusing, both seltzer and club soda are called “soda water.” I recommend not using “club soda” and instead ordering seltzer or club soda specifically, because as you’ll learn below, they are not the same.


So, without further ado, here then is a rundown of some of the confusion conspirators.



Club Soda

Probably the all-time favorite. Mix it with vodka or with a refreshing lime wedge and you have yourself a great little beverage. In short, club soda is simply plain water with carbon dioxide added carbonation as well as mineral-like ingredients that enhance its flavor. Whether you choose Schweppes, Canada Dry, or any store brand, soda water is the “go to” drink for many.


Club soda has many clever uses as well, most popular of course being stain removal. Who hasn’t asked a waiter or bartender for some club soda after dripping something on your clothing? Club soda also works well in rinsing chlorine out of hair, minimizing heartburn and indigestion, cleaning stuck-on food from a warm cast iron skillet, making fluffier pancakes, and watering houseplants.



Mineral Water

Think Perrier or Pellegrino. These waters come from natural springs and are often bottled at the source. They also contain minerals like salt and sulfur and for the most part, their carbonation is natural. The bottles look pretty on the table but mineral waters are the most expensive of the carbonated waters so save them for “as is” sipping and choose other waters for mixed drinks.




What Is It About Topo Chico?

Topo Chico water from Mexico is probably the most popular mineral water where I live, and its bubbles are in fact legendary. Way back in 1440 an Aztec emperor’s daughter was gravely ill but her life was saved by the healing waters of Cerro del Topo Chico in Nuevo Leon. This lead to the bottling of the waters, which have been for sale since 1895. The company was also the first to bottle Coca-Cola in Mexico and claims the mineral composition in Topo Chico water promotes good bowel function; helps digestion and brain function; creates a sense of calm; serves as an antioxidant; and promotes improved heart, nervous system, and kidney function. Who knew?!



Seltzer Water

Basically good ole plain water that’s been artificially carbonated, seltzer water is actually named after the German town of Selters and the natural springs in it. Seltzer, unlike club soda, has no added minerals and is salt-free but can be interchangeably used with club soda in most cases. It is also the type of water used to make all those flavored bottled waters you see.



Tonic Water

As I mentioned above, tonic water is actually more of a soda than a water. It is considered a carbonated soft drink and contains quinine, a bitter crystalline compound present in cinchona bark and once used as an antimalarial drug. Quinine is what gives tonic water its distinct bitter taste and helps it pair nicely with gin. Unlike other waters, tonic water has calories: about 130 per 12 ounces.



So there you have it. The 4-1-1 on bottled waters. Drink up!







The People’s Saint October 9, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 7:39 pm



As many of you know, I’m a dog lover. I love their enthusiasm, their companionship, and their loyalty. Someone else who loved dogs, and all animals for that matter, was St. Francis of Assisi. October 4 was the Feast Day of St. Francis and it’s always a favorite of mine. I loved taking Boomer to be blessed during mass last week and I always cherish our “Blessing of the Animals” chapel at work when the kids bring stuffed animals to be blessed…all in honor of the saint who loved animals.


The “Peace Prayer of St. Francis” is also a favorite. Anytime it is sung during mass, I literally tear up. Something about it just touches my heart. I remember when it was played during Princess Diana’s funeral. I about died. How appropriate that the funeral of the “people’s princess” included the prayer of the “people’s saint.” So what is this fabulous prayer? Many of you know it, but for those who don’t, here it is:


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace

Where there is hatred, let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

Where there is sadness, joy

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console

To be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

It is in forgiving that we are forgiven

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life


So beautiful, but what does it really say?




The Prayer

What I love is the use of the word “sow,” as in to plant, to scatter, to spread. In other words, God, help me plants seeds of faith where there is doubt and to scatter light where there is darkness.


The other thing I like is the call to be an “instrument” of God’s peace. Back when it was written, playing an instrument was considered a divine skill and instruments themselves were thought of as sacred. Think about it, to be an instrument of God’s peace. That was saying so much back then.


Some versions use the word “channel” instead of instrument, which I also love. By praying “make me a channel of your peace,” you are asking to be a passage or a route toward God’s peace. Beautiful.


In the end, we are all instruments in God’s plan, right? He is the great symphony and we are merely players that only together make a beautiful sound. He is our composer and we are the reeds through which His music is played.


The Man

St. Francis is indeed one of the world’s most popular and beloved saints. His brown robe is known to many and his love of nature is legendary. But who was this peace loving man?


Francis was born into wealth, his father being a successful merchant. Ironically his father wanted him to not be a man of God, but a man of business like himself so he changed his baptismal name of Giovanni, after John the Baptist, to Francis because he loved France and all its finery.


Born in Assisi, Italy, young Francis enjoyed an easy life and was loved by all. He was happy and charming and took care of the sick but he did poorly in school and was known for his partying ways. He later enlisted to fight in the battle between Assisi and Perugia but was captured and imprisoned. While in prison, he received visions from God telling him to spread the word of Christianity and live in poverty.


Upon release from captivity, Francis abandoned his life of luxury and began serving Jesus. He begged for food and shelter and told people to return to God. Seeing how close he was to God, many became his followers and later evolved into today’s Franciscan order of priests and brothers.


The power of St. Francis only increased when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took his name and became Pope Francis. A simple man himself, the pope explained his choice of a somewhat unorthodox name was inspired when his friend Cardinal Claudio Hummes hugged and kissed him and told him “don’t forget the poor” when he went over the 77 votes needed to become pope.


“I took the words of my great friend and chose to be called after St. Francis, the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation,” he told journalists upon his inauguration. In doing so, the “people’s pope” took the name of the “people’s saint.”


St. Francis is considered the Patron Saint of animals, merchants, and ecology.


The Legends

Francis is said to have had the power of miracles and was the first person to receive the stigmata of Christ – marks resembling the wounds Jesus suffered when He was crucified. They would remain visible for the rest of his life.


Francis’ ministry of telling people how much God loved them also included his love for all animals. His devotion to God’s creatures resulted in them obeying his commands, which is why depictions of St. Francis almost always include animals surrounding him. It’s also why churches worldwide conduct “Blessing of the Animals” ceremonies in October.



Yet another legend about St. Francis is that we have him to thank for today’s nativity scenes. Francis is credited with creating the very first Christmas Eve nativity scene back in 1223. He had visited Christ’s birthplace in the Holy Land and was so inspired by its simplicity that he recreated it during a mass. He literally set up an empty manger inside a cave, complete with animals, in hopes of promoting more poverty-centered spirituality rather than the rampant greed and materialism that prevailed at the time. Remember, Francis at this time was devoted to poverty and seeing for himself that the King of Kings chose to be born in a humble stable amongst animals only reinforced him and his religious order to imitate these virtues.


St. Francis died on October 3, 1226 and was canonized a saint less than two years later on July 16, 1228.


The Crosses

St. Francis is associated with two crosses: the San Damiano and the Tau cross. One of my most treasured objects is the Tau cross made out of Italian olive wood that I bought at The Vatican. I love its simplicity and how you can easily hold it in your hand.



The Tau cross was very dear to St. Francis and today is an essential element of the Franciscan way of life. He reportedly sealed the letters he sent with it and began all of his actions with it.


The last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Tau was also used symbolically in the Old Testament. It was later adopted by early Christians who saw in it the prophecy of the Last Day much like the Greek letter Omega, as well as its cross-like form.




I’ve also been given a San Damiano cross as a gift from Assisi. The cross is believed to be the one St. Francis used when he was praying. The original one hangs in Assisi’s Santa Chiarra Church in Italy. It is considered an icon because it contains images of people who took part in its meaning.


Back to the Peace Prayer, which wasn’t actually written by Francis. It was first sighted on a holy card bearing a picture of St. Francis during World War I. The prayer bore no name but because of the holy card, became known as the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, and totally embodies his spirit of simplicity and charity.


So after learning all of this, I revisited the prayer and have included some ways in which to not just recite it, but live it.


Peace Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace

We are the strings on which the music of God is played and the reeds through which the breath of God is blown. Show me how to sing your praises.


Where there is hatred, let me sow love

When faced with hate, show me how to plant love.


Where there is injury, pardon

Help me seek healing and reconciliation, not approval or acceptance, so the flower of forgiveness can bloom in my soul and in the hearts of others.


Where there is doubt, faith

Show me how to minister to another’s doubt and focus on the needs of their soul.


Where there is despair, hope

Help me be simply present where there is despair. Sometimes all someone needs is a listening ear and a kind word.


Where there is darkness, light

Show me how to give light in darkness by not just entering another’s darkness, but by holding the door open so light can shine in.  


Where there is sadness, joy

Help me bring not just comfort and solace to others but to also remember that a cheerful heart is good medicine.


O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console

Let me have the courage to give what I can to help another know he is not alone.


To be understood as to understand

Teach me how to truly understand others and respect their dignity.


To be loved as to love

Let me not yearn for others to love me but for me to love others unconditionally and for no receipt.


For it is in giving that we receive

Remind me that my spirit is nourished by giving.


It is in forgiving that we are forgiven

Show me that each day is an opportunity to forgive myself and others and to live in the freedom of being less than perfect.


And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Allow my self-interests and negative attitudes to die so that I don’t live separate from you and remind me that not only am I promised eternal life, but that all of my words and actions have eternal life on earth.