Words I Wish I Wrote that I Wrote Down (in my journal)

It’s all Stephanie’s fault.  The journals that is- all of them, piled up in various degrees of instability in various locations throughout my house. 

Stephanie is one of those instant forever friend/heart sister people that I don’t really remember meeting for the first time.  She was actually my little sister’s friend first (ok they are in their 30s now but still….). At some point she became my friend too and I don’t have time or words to tell you how grateful for her I am.  If you know her, you don’t need me to and if you don’t, well- I’m sorry.  I can only hope you have a “Stephanie” of your own.

 My Steph is brave and honest and kind and hilarious and boy does she love to laugh.  She loves Fleetwood Mac and The Cure and has a sweet set of teeth (as opposed to one single tooth) and she hates downward dog as much as I do.  She introduced me to Aspen tree shimmers, which in itself is enough of a gift for a lifetime and she is the definition of loyalty.

One of my earliest and most intense memories of Stephanie was of a happy, skinny girl with a Louisiana accent standing in a group of girls in our living room during a sleepover.  She was clutching a book that she was frantically writing in in-between jumping on the trampoline and laughing hysterically at something and everything.  I saw the words spilling off the pages, and couldn’t help but ask her “What is that”?  To which she replied the words that changed my life: “My quote book”.  OH. MY. GOSH.  I didn’t even have to ask another question, but headed right upstairs to start my very own quote book.

That was more than 20 years ago and I have now lost count of how many quote books aka journals I’ve been through.  I’ve recorded words in Mississippi and over half of the other states in the US.  I’ve filled books in Europe and South/Central America and most recently in Bali.  I may have set a record in Iraq and some of those I’m not quite ready to read again. 

But through it all, when I write and read and think of words, I think of Stephanie.  It’s our words- spoken and written- that bind our friendship and tie it up in a triple knot that can’t be broken.  We’ve written letters and books and bonded over song lyrics (which almost led to a trip to New Orleans to hear Third Eye Blind in the middle of a hurricane). We debated the inflections behind the way Blane told Andy “I love you” at the end of Pretty in Pink for HOURS (seriously, it was a very certain way he said it.  He should have won an award for that one line).  We’ve skyped  while she was in China and I was in the Middle East.  We’ve texted, IM’d, emailed, called and face-timed.   She lived with us in HI for a few weeks when she needed a space to be silent and she flew to WA within days when I scared and alone and had no words of my own.  We’ve laughed, prayed, cried, yelled and been silent together. 

We don’t talk every day.  Sometimes we don’t talk for weeks, but when we do, there’s no catching up just picking up- talking about everything and nothing until one of us has to go- pulled away by work of some sort, whether it’s wearing camouflage or diapers.

So in honor of Stephanie and the gift she is to me and gave to me, I’m starting a new end-of-month post called:
Words I Wish I Wrote, That I Wrote Down (in my journal).  They are from as many varied sources as you can imagine but what they have in common is that for me they were important or meaningful enough to write at a specific minute in my life- to capture the message they had for me then.  At the end of each month, I’ll share them with you here, and in doing, will remind myself of the power of words.

For you Steph, I have two words: Cinnamon Street.


September Words I Wish I Wrote that I Wrote Down (in my journal):

I found hope, love, recovery and life in running.  In so many ways, it changed my life forever.  Christine Casady

Every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.  Oscar Wilde

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.  Charles Dickens

Tell the world to wait: when I wake up, my mind is like a dry sponge.  What I soak up first will saturate me most deeply.  If I don’t want to be consumed with the stresses of my day, I must put the world on hold to soak up what will renew my mind- God’s word.  Lisa Terkeurst

Prosperity doesn’t best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.  Francis Bacon

I don’t like people who have neer fallen or stumbled.  Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value.  Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them.  Boris Pasternak

Expect people to be better than they are; it helps them to become better.  But don’t be disappointed when they are not; it helps them to keep trying.  Merry Browne

My greatest skill has been to want but little.  Henry David Thoreau

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  Epictetus

Preferring one another is truly the highest way to live, not just for the health of community but for ourselves.  Honestly, it is exhausting maintaining the dissenting view all the time.  The anguish gets old.  There is actually more pressing kingdom work to engage in than kicking everyone else’s tail constantly.  Let the teenagers duke it out in the parking lot behind the Sac ‘N Pac in the glow of their headlights; they’ll settle down in a few years.  How about the grownups sit on the porch together and pour some sweet tea?  We’re old enough to know no one actually wins those fights.   Jen Hatmaker

Live simply, so others may simply live.  Mother Teresa

A spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe- a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.  Einstein

“What day is it?”
“It’s today” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Poo.       AA Milne

I often hear someone say “I am nota real runner.”  We are all runners, some just run faster than others.  I never met a fake runner.   Bart Yasso

Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.  Phyllis Theroux

Being different means you stand out, which is a good thing in a world where everyone is trying to blend in.     Leo Babauta

When you make it easier to be successful, you make it more likely you’ll start.   Leo Babauta

Running allows me to set my mind free.  Nothing seems impossible, nothing unattainable.  Kara Goucher

There can be no joy in living without joy in work.  St Thomas Aquinas

The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.  Gaylord Nelson

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too?  I thought I was the only one”.    C.S. Lewis

Comparison is the thief of joy.    Tattoo on Karin Bergquist (singer- Over the Rhine)

Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than upon what they make us see in ourselves.    Sarah Grand

We embrace what is given to us- people, spouse, children, forests, city- just as they are given to us, and sit and stare, look and listen until we begin to see and hear the God-dimensions in each gift  and engagte with wat God has given, with what He is doing.  Eugene Peterson

How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us and keeping that picture (vision) in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and do what really matters most.    “Requested Manna”

When people keep telling you that you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try.  Margaret Chase Smith

The weight of carrying the responsibility for someone else’s unwellness is too great for anyone.  Better to share the load.  Barry Pearman

When you are inside your prayers, you can clearly see the weaving of God, but it is often difficult to explain to an outsider.   Paul Miller (A Praying Life)

Running has thrown me into adventures that I would otherwise have missed.  Benjamin Cheever

I believe that I’ve become a better person through all this, and that attracts people.  People are attracted to the type of person you are.   Andre Kajlich, USA paratriathelete of the year

Life isn’t about having it all.  You take what you got, enjoy it, and push to see where you can take it.   Andre Kajlich, USA paratriathelete of the year

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.   Bill Cosby

Remember what you practice, you get better at.  When you choose to practice self-acceptance, compassion, and kindness toward yourself and others, you’ll cultivate peace, courage and joy.   Michelle May

Experience has taught me how important it is to keep going, focusing on running relaxed.  Eventually pain passes and flow returns.  Frank Shorter

This is the paradox of any creative discipline.  The rules that form the framework for expression can become the very prison from which you must escape.  Jeff Goins

The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.  Bruce Springsteen

Run in places you love, with people you like.  Enjoying your surroundings and training partners will strengthen your commitment to running and bring out the best in you.  Deena Kastor

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.  Mark Twain

And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works.   Hebrews 10:24

14 thoughts on “Words I Wish I Wrote that I Wrote Down (in my journal)

  1. Stephanie September 30, 2013 / 10:06 am

    Oh Dawn, I wish I had the words right now to express what a gift this post is. In church yesterday, our pastor spoke on friendship. He suggested that perhaps we find it difficult to find friends because our ideals are all wrong. I see where he was going, but he doesn’t know you. You are the reason why I have a lofty idea of what friendship really means.

    When I read this, I laughed and I cried (and my heart gave that little sigh on some of those quotes- the sigh that lets you know there is truth and there is something real after all. The sigh that I have most often found in books, but also at the end of only the best movies). You see, I don’t recognize this person anymore (you didn’t mention my strange fear of coins- that’s still here :). These last few years have begun to erase the parts of me that you have helped me remember, and “thank you” just doesn’t cut it.

    God is good, and He used this to give me hope. Hope that though He makes all things new, He also made me ME. I don’t have to throw that away to be His. That He made me exactly who I am to show His glory in those things. I thought I had to start over and get rid of it all 🙂

    Why do words always fail me when I SO don’t want them to? I will stop now as otherwise i will just keep rambling and never say what i wanted to say anyway. I love you, Dawn. So, so much…

    • Dawn Muench September 30, 2013 / 7:57 pm

      Ooooh! I love that! “..though He makes all things new, He also made me ME. I don’t have to throw that away to be His”. Wow- that’s an awesome quote in itself 🙂 I am grateful that He uses us constantly to encourage each other. It’s so creative and efficient don’t you think? Love you!

  2. Alene Snodgrass (@AleneSnodgrass) September 30, 2013 / 12:38 pm

    Oh how I love your words, your heart, and your quotes. Friends like your Stephanie are so precious. Such gifts God gives us in the blink of time. I’m so thankful for our blink of time and how He connected us. Looking forward to Guatemala again!!! May God stir us up good and then pour us back out again for His glory.

    • Dawn Muench September 30, 2013 / 7:58 pm

      Thanks Alene for YOUR sweet words- I treasure ALL of my friends, and you are right- just a blink and some of the strongest friendships are formed. See you so soon friend 🙂

  3. Rachel Stankowski September 30, 2013 / 2:18 pm

    This is so excellent, Dawn! Stephanie sounds won-der-ful! I love her and I don’t even know her!

    I read this and thought ” A BOOK?! Brilliant! So much better than all the scraps of paper I have laying around and tacked to the wall…”

    But then I looked down at the scrap underneath my computer monitor and read:

    “Because when I asked God to please, make another way, He showed me THIS way. A way not fueled in the darkness, but rather in the light. It wasn’t the answer I wanted… I wanted a miracle. But He showed me another way…” from Bridget of Stumbling Towards Perfect

    … and it was so fitting and I wouldn’t have even glanced at it today if it hadn’t been for your post, but I NEEDED to not just glance at that today, but also read it and think about it, to roll it around in my mind. And… just thank you! Beautiful!!!

    • Dawn Muench September 30, 2013 / 8:00 pm

      I love that quote- thought it great when you referred to it in your post..I think I’ll have to put that in my quote book!

  4. Laura Lee Nelson September 30, 2013 / 4:08 pm

    Even though we’ve not met yet, Dawn, I know our friendship is already born, and once again I find myself saying, “What! You, too?…” I keep my long list on my phone and a shorter one in an old note on my FB profile. I’ll be appropriating a few of yours above for my own! Thank you, thank you.

    • Dawn Muench September 30, 2013 / 8:01 pm

      Laura Lee- yes I know right? I feel like I”ve had coffee with you a million times. (You DO drink coffee right??!). Spring 2014- we meet 🙂

  5. Katie Axelson September 30, 2013 / 4:30 pm

    This is awesome, Dawn! I collected quotes all the way through high school. For my graduation party, I had a powerpoint running with quotes and (sometimes) corresponding photos. In college I didn’t know how to share said quotes and eventually Wacky Wednesday was born.

    • Dawn Muench September 30, 2013 / 8:02 pm

      I LOVE that! PP with quotes in place of photos- brilliant!! I LOVE your Wacky Wednesday post- makes me laugh out loud every single time!

  6. afmccann October 1, 2013 / 11:01 am

    Just so we’re all clear, she was MY Stephanie first! 😉. But so glad WE grew up friends and could SHARE such sweet, one-of-a-kind friends that just make your heart smile (and a great big belly laugh at some of the memories) when you think of them! LOVE this post and you’ve inspired me to pull those old quote books out again!

  7. Dolly@Soulstops October 19, 2013 / 8:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing your quotes, and I am happy we were on the same team in Guatemala…I appreciated our talks 🙂 Hugs to you 🙂

    • Dawn Muench October 24, 2013 / 5:59 am

      Hi Dolly! Sorry I’m just now seeing this- great to meet you as well and am grateful you stopped by to read! Keep in touch!

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