Monday, April 8, 2013

Obey, Bear, Receive, Give Thanks

I've been organizing and going through my virtual sticky notes on my computer over the past few days and have reconnected with some inspiring tidbits that I saved for myself. That's how I use my sticky notes--I type out little ideas, thoughts, special quotes or pieces of advice, lists of pieces I'd someday like to learn, lists of pieces that are on my radar and that I'd like to listen to and study. The sticky notes span about 6 years (the oldest was created in 2007) so all together, even though there are only a dozen or so, they make up an interesting record of my thoughts and experiences and inspirations.

Anyway, this quote above is from C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, which my husband and I gave each other and read together while we were separated by a thousand miles and trying to find ways to stay connected. I don't remember the context of this little snippet, but I do remember reading it a few times and thinking it was a perfect, simple little mantra for everyday life as a Christian.

I've looked at the words and repeated them to myself many times. I really believe these four little directions can be a guide in almost every emotion or struggle or triumph that life offers. A tough decision to make, or a moral choice that seems impossible, an instinct deep in your being? Obey the present voice of conscience. A hard day, an overwhelming job, a tough relationship. Bear the present cross. An unexpected blessing, perhaps undeserved, an answer to prayer. Receive the present grace. A perfect cup of tea on a rainy day, a person in your life who makes you laugh until you cry, good news. Give thanks for the present pleasure.

I love this because it's a reminder to me to not only look for inspiration, beautiful words, healing wisdom--to look heavenward--when things aren't going well. So many mantras are designed for bad days. Well, what about the good days? What about a mantra that works for all kinds of days? Obey, Bear, Receive, Give Thanks. These are my reminders to pray, to reach outside myself, to seek goodness and love, whether I'm feeling kind of blue or doing just fine.

What do you think? I'd love to hear.


  1. This is so lovely! I do something similar with posting reminders on my bedroom wall (and now my office wall, too, I suppose) to breathe mindfully, take notice of creative thoughts, and an affirmation that everything is okay in my world. I really like your mantra because it is simple yet so wise-- aren't some of the most powerful messages like that? We could probably all use a little more of Obey, Bear, Receive, and Give Thanks in our lives.

  2. Simple yet wise--my favorite kind of message! How neat that you do something similar! :)


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