Showing Up for Life is the Bravest Thing We Can Do!

Dear Reader:

How many times have we seen an elderly person or perhaps a physically/mentally challenged individual in a grocery store or at a gas station…doing something that for most people is routine and habit…until you see this particular fellow man struggling to accomplish the same “simple” endeavor?

Does it ever dawn on us as we watch in a grocery line or gas station that the person ahead of us is an example of the purest form of courage for simply showing up for life that day and every day?

And what about people who show up for medical routines that are difficult and challenging physically-even painful- but still they arrive on time each session with a smile on their face and a positive comment from their lips. What drives these individuals?….faith and hope!

I love the quote  by Anne Lamotte in the title visual…it is a favorite of mine:

“Hope begins in the dark…the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work…you don’t give up.”

In one of my all-time favorite books Life’s Extras by Archibald Rutledge (1928) he reminds us that faith and hope are examples of “life’s extras.” God didn’t have to give them to us….they aren’t a physical need like food, clothing, shelter…in order for us to survive. But then God has never been a “minimalist” when it comes to providing for His children’s love and delights in life.

He created and then gave us all the beauty of His world…not a necessity but a token of His love. Rutledge writes these words that are just as timely today as they were in the twenties. (1920’s that is) 🙂

I realize that we live in a time when force seems to be the prevailing power in the world; but it is always temporary. The finer things that make the good life are not subject to change.

The stock market may go down but the man or woman with a heart of “gold” always stands above par in value. 

All spiritual qualities appear to me to be extras; generosity, aspiration, courage, beyond the call of duty, and the love that outlasts the years. These things did not just happen; they could not appear in an accidental world. They were so ordered by the Hand Divine which made our spirits what they are and tenderly ministers to their needs.

Faith is one of life’s extras. We do not need it to live; but it is essential to the development of our spirits. It is the covenant which, if kept with God, will keep our pathway clear and our feet from falling. Life is instinct with mystery; but that very fact makes faith both rich and necessary.”

So until tomorrow…

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
‘Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


People can also be Life’s Extras’…One of my Life’s Extras is when God sent me Michael  Salvo…fireman, lawn maintenance expert, construction carpenter…definitely a man of many talents and gifts. The best one being kindness.

Remember when Susan fell coming down my last deck step Mother’s Day weekend…Michael showed up today and started fixing the step and will return later to finish it with another plank.

I simply showed it to him when he arrived to cut the grass Monday and yesterday morning he was back at the house ready to fix it. Amazing….what a “life extra” he is. I am so lucky to have him help me with so many house and yard problems that I just can’t do by myself.

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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3 Responses to Showing Up for Life is the Bravest Thing We Can Do!

  1. ambikasur says:

    Hi Becky… Hope u all are doing well.. Indeed, showing up on a daily basis needs loads of faith, courage and hope… So far, that’s what God has been teaching me in this journey of Motherhood..

    I came across this beautiful poem named ‘Let me hold you longer’ by one of my favourite authors Karen Kingsbury.. One teacher dedicates a tribute to the class of 2020 graduates in a short video with this book…
    And since u are a teacher, mother and grandmother, I feel you can relate to every line and bit of this poem… It’s so touching and emotional… Please watch it…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      That was beautiful Ambika! I cried happy tears throughout the story…I must order this book for a special graduate I know. Thank you for the gift of this book. Love you!


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