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June 23rd, 2010 | Uncategorized | Ruth Bresson | No Comments

…in only a few days….on this upcoming Saturday afternoon in the beautiful Virginia mountains my son, Abe will marry, Susan, the love of his life….

…it is a significant, life changing event…for Abe…for Susan….for those who love them…

and this wedding will complete the marriages of all three of my children…

after having lived through the difficult divorce of their own parents, these three adult children have courageously, sincerely, boldly chosen to love well….to be family…

it is, for me, a singular, momentous gift…

having witnessed the flaws and failures within their own parents it would have been understandable if they had chosen to be a bit calloused, a bit cynical about the values and commitment of forever love….

they didn’t…they chose to swim deeply in those unpredictable waters….to love well…and they do….every day….

and now all three of them…my son and two daughters have invested in healthy, honest to God adult relationships for some time now and they have taught me tons about loving well….

i am amazed….inspired….humbled….

and here’s something i have learned….often from watching them….

when i served as a staff pastor i often suggested to parents whose children were to be married that the best gift they could give them would be several appointments with a great counselor or coach or mentor…

i call these appointments “well baby check ups”

much like young parents who willingly schedule time and money to take their new babies to the doctor long before fevers appear…to be proactive…to check vitals and have immunizations administered to prevent life threatening disease….

new marriages benefit from strategically scheduled “well baby check ups”

i’m not sure why we seem to have a propensity to avoid much needed help until our relationships mirror stage four cancer…

especially when safe, confidential, objective help is available to aid us in navigating this thrilling, complicated roller coaster ride called “marriage and family”

everyone…absolutely everyone can benefit from a wise, objective, true listening ear and voice….

i know i have…

and i know my kids have…

i want them to have those persons on their team..cause loving well forever will require a team of sorts…it is tough to do it solo and it is best done with strong support and back up….

and on this upcoming Saturday…when we joyfully join together to witness and celebrate the decision Abe and Susan have made to love well….

my heart will soar because they, along with my daughters,  have chosen to run strong…run true…run together….

with an immutable, incredible team of family and friends surrounding them…


June 19th, 2010 | Uncategorized | Ruth Bresson | No Comments

It is 90 plus degrees in my corner of the world. It is a hot day to run. It is a good day to try anyway.

So, as i was running…a bit more slowly this morning….i was reflecting on a question a friend had asked a few days ago. The question arose as she was trying to make sense of the somewhat radical words spoken by Jesus and quoted in his good friend, Matthew’s book….

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting upon you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

My friend asked, “What does “unforced rhythms of grace” mean?

Fabulous question.

So, as i’m running a bit more slowly and heavy this morning….feeling a little like i am lugging an ill fitting backpack stuffed with named and unnamed bricks …it occurs to me that i am wondering the same thing about the mystery of rhythm….especially rhythm flowing with grace….i realized that i am constantly moving within both arenas of discipline and abandon…I run as a sort of discipline but then so often abandon myself to the very thing I had hoped to outrun.


But, maybe “unforced rhythm of grace” is that “perfect” (and by perfect I mean the Greek definition of perfect meaning “whole, integrated” – not “Little Miss Perfect”) is that perfect run that seems to naturally, unobtrusively power one to simply empty the unnecessary bricks from one’s back pack so as to lighten the load and run less forced.; less burdened.

If “running one’s race” is to be a mysterious integration of both discipline and abandon then maybe what really matters is why one is disciplined and to whom or what one is abandoned to.

I fear I have often practiced discipline for no other reason than discipline itself…puffing up one’s self just because I ran…with no real finish line in sight. And that sort of discipline did not empty one single brick from my back pack. Nope, it loaded more and more bricks.

And abandon…oh, my….how many times did I choose abandon for the sake of sheer abandon with no thought as to whom and what i was abandoning to only to discover I had abandoned myself right into a big fat hole.

Running, for me, is the closest movement I share with dance. And I am grateful every day that my legs still move and my heart still beats.

But, running forced….running to prove something….or running scared….is absent of the beauty and seemingly effortless flow of dance…of grace.  And yet, brilliant dancers dance brilliantly as a result of loving, grace filled discipline that frees them to dance with reckless abandon to the music within.

It is poetry in motion.

It is grace unforced.

It is the perfect integration of discplineandabandon….

Grace doesn’t seem to give a rip about pace or speed or distance. Grace is the music that creates the rhythm that moves my heart that disciplines my legs that abandons my fears and empties the bricks.

Could be that though grace is the most natural gift on earth…it is also sometimes the most illusive….so jesus invites us to watch how he does it….could be that running with just such a partner….one small run at a time….mysteriously joins one out of rhythm runner to one perfectly in rhythm runner blending even the missteps so that, side by side,  an unforced, perfect rhythm is created…

and one runs, oh so much lighter….

even in ninety plus degree weather…..

June 9th, 2010 | Uncategorized | Ruth Bresson | No Comments

today was a good day for an early morning run….

i had gone to sleep rereading one of my favorite memoirs, A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas, in which she very honestly shares the unexpected, jarring journey  she found herself in when her husband suddenly suffered a catastrophic accident while walking their dog.  He suffered irreparable brain injuries and required full time care until his early death.

June 5th, 2010 | Uncategorized | Ruth Bresson | 1 Comment

….when i was growing up in a sleepy, backwoods little community in middle tennessee – other than december which held christmas – june was always my very favorite month for two reasons:

1. it always meant the end of the school year – we had none of that bureaucratic belly aching demanding that school calendars spill over into summers…june meant no school whatsoever…june meant swimming, staying up later, ice chips to cool you off when you tried to sleep in a much too hot house, and homemade ice cream by the gallons…

June 1st, 2010 | Uncategorized | Ruth Bresson | 3

Today is June 1st.  I so love the beginning of a new month. I love turning the page of the calendar; justifying the purchase of a new, very clean journal. I even love making promises to do this or stop  that even if I have made the same promises for the past twelve months and failed.  I love the power of forgiveness and leaving the past  behind me.
I love new beginnings. I am grateful to have been given more than my fair share.