The Beautiful Journey of Becoming

Dear Reader:

I was delightfully surprised yesterday to discover the HOPE cloth letters were still hanging from my back deck rails…being held up by little pin tacks (left over from teaching days!) Way to go HOPE I thought to myself!

Upon closer scrutiny, however, I realized the letter “O” had taken a beating and was now tattered and torn…but still waving in the merry breeze. (I had a “deja vous” moment that this is how Francis Scott Key must have felt seeing the American flag (the Stars and Stripes) tattered and torn, still flying over the remains of the bombardment of Fort McHenry!)

The more I thought about it, the clearer the metaphor crystallized in my mind….it was only the letter “O” that was torn and isn’t this true of us humans when we begin to lose hope in our own individual problems throughout life? We lose hope when we lose faith….the “Oh me…this is never going to work”  “Oh my goodness, there is no way out…all hope is gone or “Oh no…there is no solution to my problem.”

How quickly we forget that we mere mortals can not solve the problem but there is absolutely no problem, no matter how mammoth it is in our own psyches, that God can’t handle. It is when we lose sight of this most important fact that our “Oh, I am doomed” mentality takes over and brings us down. We never gave God a chance to help because He wouldn’t compromise His own time-line for our personal solution. He knows the answers to the where, what, when, and why questions that plague us.

Like in the popular old sitcom…“Father Knows Best.” He really does!

In order to see God’s plan unveiling we have to become human “beings” again….not human “doings.

I have noticed that every time we walk Tigger when I am staying over at John and Mandy’s… whoever has his lease is constantly pulling on it (or calling out to him to hurry along, or keep up) to make Tigger stop sniffing leaves, trash, or whatever else he finds along the path. He is in the moment…blissfully unaware of anyone else’s schedule…just loving life with each sniff and leg up calling card.

Tigger has little memory of the past and none of the future…which makes him the happiest member of the family…taking everything in stride at the moment it happens, then completely forgetting about it and moving on.

I sometimes think that man paid a high price for having three time zones built into our psyches… a past, present, and future. All other animal creations on earth have no concerns outside the present…thus they are never bogged down with past and future worries.

Tigger has his daily rituals (which include a lot of naps) and his bedtime playtime with Tiger, his favorite stuffed animal that Joan and W.T. gave him as a puppy. Life is simple, life is good for Tigger.

Isn’t it a shame that we humans can’t lock up our pasts and futures each evening in a secret “attic” of our mind so we always sleep peacefully and dream only of the moment?

So until tomorrow…We must remember that there is real joy in slowing down and ‘smelling the roses.’ If we eat more slowly we savor the tastes of the meal, if we breathe more slowly we allow oxygen to circulate more effectively throughout our bodies, and if we walk more slowly…we arrive back home feeling a lot less flustered and we certainly had more fun getting there.  (So did your dog!:)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh







*I let Jane Powell, owner of Random Arts know I was putting a ‘shout-out’ to her and her amazing shop in yesterday’s blog. Look at this sweet response of gratitude I received.

It reminded me how important it is to slow down and write or send those notes, emails, or texts that we know will mean a lot to the recipient. We here at Chapel of Hope Stories wish you and your store all the best life has to offer Jane! Until we see each other again…

Hi Becky,

You are so sweet to have sent me the link to your blog and I thoroughly

enjoyed reading all about your Saluda adventures.

Thank you for mentioning Random Arts and thank you for spending time

here in our shop. It’s moments and times like this and your visit that

remind me of why owning this shop is so important to me. It is an emotional

and financial challenge sometimes and after 24 years of doing this I continually

reflect on times like this with you and your friends and realize again

that this is why I do this.

Thank you so much and thanks to Honey too.





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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