Blog: Strengths and Weaknesses (03/02/22)


In my mind today, I think about strengths and weaknesses. We all have them. Right now is a very weak or difficult time for me. Every time I take two steps forward in my family life, spiritual life, church life, community life, and author/writer life, I take three steps back. You notice that I did not mention physical life. It’s because God carries me and I have no worries. If I physically collapsed, I know God and what the endgame would be like. Faith.

Memento mori, students. The world wants us to forget that. My son who takes care of us drew my attention to this quote from Marcus Aurelius. Yes, regardless of your status, we all go from earth. How do you interpret this? Behind you say YOLO? First row: are you saying that it is better to have as much money as possible in order to live as long as possible in comfort? Invest well! And you others? My husband and I are an everyday Joe and Jane. We worked and we invested and we did what the world expected of us. Guess what? No matter how you do it, there will always be heart render times.

Now that we are both retired, we can begin the real work that God wants us to do. I had already started this journey until retirement 6 years ago. ALS took my job but not my mind. Students, do you realize that not even the devil or God can take your will. At first my spirit was broken, then I realized the gifts God had given me in retirement: spiritual growth, teaching religion in high school, Bible studies, time to write and reflect, time to develop my intelligence, time to be quiet and know God, Turn the Book Club page, bond with my middle child, see my Greats, and participate in committees to help our little town. Now I hope my husband can do the same and join me for our “real” earth work before we leave.

Families are so complicated. At Shady Oaks Retirement Home, our home, we have “mishaps”. Some end quickly, but some linger and creep into our daily lives and crush our happiness for weeks. It deflates me emotionally. He is trying to exhaust my spiritual life. Some days like today I cling to a thread of hope. I hope my children won’t be scarred from caring for two fragile parents. Prayers that they see the work of God through me, even though I am often pushed to my physical limits. Desperately trying to lead by example. The last book in our book club was The Kite Runner. I was so connected to the father. It made me think that we always had prodigal sons from the beginning. Look at the first one, Lucifer. There is a struggle in the dynamics of children with parents. There will always be some on earth. This is one of the crosses of having children. No matter how hard we try, we can never make their life “happy”. This is the hardest thing for a parent.

“Lord, be glorified in my weaknesses as well as in my strengths.” That was my simple prayer reflection today. It inspired this blog. God knows how terribly weak we are. God also knows how awfully strong we are. Pray today for God to help us persevere THROUGH our weaknesses and give us strength to do “the real work” in our earthly journey. Have a nice snow day, students!

Sarah Anderson Alley

Sal the Do the Work Gal

Quotes of the day:

“When you retire, that’s when your real work begins.”

George Hirtz

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what about that? You have to have perseverance and above all have self-confidence. You have to believe that you are good at something and that this thing must be achieved.”

Marie Curie

“Perseverance, the secret of all triumphs.”


“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-sacrifice, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.”

Vince Lombardi

“Accept the things fate binds you to and love the people fate brings you closer to, but do it with all your heart.”

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I’m dealing with today will be ingesting, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like that because they don’t know how to distinguish the good but I saw the beauty of good and the ugliness of evil, and I recognized that the evildoer has a nature akin to mine – not of the same blood and the same birth, but of the same spirit, and possessing a part of the divine. they can hurt me. No one can involve me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry with my parent, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. It is not natural to get in each other’s way. To get angry with someone, to turn your back on them: it is not natural.

Marc Aurelius

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