In which ice cream and Anna Karenina won’t do

by Craig on December 27, 2011

I feel like hiding…like isolating…
eating a gallon of cookie dough ice cream…


and replaying the movie Anna Karenina again and again.

Poor Anna – things go from not so good to worse, to worse, to worse.
You keep pulling for her, hoping things will get better, but they never do.
The sweet girl has no hope but she keeps clinging until, in the end, she loses her grip.

It’s the movie I watch when I’m feeling sorry for myself…
and I want to keep feeling sorry for myself…
rather than face whatever it is that’s making me sad.

I don’t see our Lord watching Anna Karenina with a bowl of ice cream so he can feel better about his own tough circumstances by watching someone else’s misery.

I haven’t put it on…yet.

The next one of Bernard of Clairvaux’s steps of pride is what he calls “Foolish Mirth”.

A thing about Bernard’s steps is that the names of them are a thousand years old. What some of the words meant then – they don’t mean now. “Foolish mirth” sounds silly – but not so bad. But what he means is choosing the easier way…the more “happy” way…over the right, but less “happy” way.

It would be like Jesus skidaddling off to pick berries in the garden of Gethsemane when the soldiers came.

What has happened recently, that started here, and has had repercussions that are actually not nearly as nice, the details of which I want to spill – but it involves people that many of you know and I’m not sure that opening this up publicly is the way to go.

So we’ll just say it started bad…


and that led to worse…
a little like Anna Karenina.

I’m feeling awfully humble now…
acting humble, low, meek…
but it’s not because I’m humble…
it’s because I’ve been humiliated.

Not so humble, not so noble, not so “happy”.

But this lesson of humility, choosing to study humility at the beginning of this month – well before any humiliation – it’s awfully well-timed. I don’t think God brought about these sad events to teach me. I think, rather, he brought the lesson to me at this particular time to match the events he knew would be happening right now.

God is smart that way.

If I yield to the lessons…

I’ll be the better for it.

If I walk the tougher road with Him…

if I drink this bitter cup (MT 20:22)…

instead of the “foolish mirth” of ice cream and Anna…

I’ll be more like our Lord…

and isn’t that what I want?

I think I want another day to ponder this step of Bernard’s…

This foolish mirth – that’s every bit foolish, but not really so mirth-ish.

Please come back.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando December 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm

“He brought the lesson to me at this particular time to match the events he knew would be happening right now.”
Even in our saddest, most dejected, “I-want-to-eat-ice-cream” moments, He has a plan. He has a focus. He knows what we need. What will see us through . . .
And, when there is no easy way out, He drinks that bitter cup right beside us.

I will be back tomorrow, Craig . . .


Craig December 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Martha, in case you haven’t already come back – “tomorrow” – which is today now – I don’t have a new post here – but I do have a giveaway on Deep into Love – come over for that – you’ll heart it! And about that statement – the timing thing – I really think we have that so backwards – so often – we think “this” happens – and then God brings about a lesson – and we never think that God has prepared the lesson long before the event. Silly humans. Oh me of little faith. This is been horrifically hard – and humbling – but if I believe what I say I believe – our Lord is here – all through this. And I believe. God bless you Martha.


Sylvia December 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

You’re right. At least about Anna. The ice cream, well… Seriously, what good perspective! And I am learning a lot from these posts about humility — and what Bernard meant by those words we think of so differently. Looking forward to the next one.
Thanks, and God bless.


Craig December 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

oh that poor girl – poor poor Anna – I haven’t put the DVD in yet – I still might – but no ice cream – and no spaghettios. And Bernard – I think he was a tough guy – tough on his monks – tougher on himself – but I think he understood that not a single one of us are humble as our Lord was humble. Humility – that’s a HUGE part of Christianity. I wish I didn’t have the humiliation to go along with the lessons – but maybe I needed both. God bless you Sylvia. And I have a giveaway going on over on deep into love – go grab you one!


Debbie December 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm

The statement that Martha noted, that’s the one that got me too. Thank you Craig, for taking the hard and sharing it and helping us through our hard places too. God bless you and keep you and open doors for you to walk through.


Craig December 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Debbie, I’ll share what I shared with Martha – I really think we have that so backwards – so often – we think “this” happens – and then God brings about a lesson – and we never think that God has prepared the lesson long before the event. Silly humans.

this world is a hard place isn’t it?

And bunnies have closed a whole bunch of doors – a whole bunch – I thought they were gone – they were just hiding – I think there will always be bunnies. I have some re-evaluating to do. God bless you Debbie.


Sidda December 29, 2011 at 9:34 am

Hi Craig, please don’t take offense I know you have been through so much lately and I don’t want to add to that but I really feel like the pictures that you posted in this post of the woman are a little seductive looking. I just wouldn’t want to see you have any more problems.


Craig December 29, 2011 at 9:39 am

Sidda, really, REALLY good point. I was going for artistic – to convey the feeling – artists and photographers use pretty models – and as I look at these pictures again I see what you’re saying – I’ll find better pictures and have them up soon – thank you for your “truth in love” – that’s the way we need to be with each other – iron sharpening iron. God Bless – and thank you again.


Craig December 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm



GLENNA December 31, 2011 at 10:34 am

I just read your comment on my Multitudes this week and I just had to share what W O G G L E is
its women of GOD growing loving encouring and the back of the shirt says
Merry CHRISTmas its ok just SAY IT !!
their web sit is
thanks for stopping by my blog


Craig January 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm

and so I guess that would make me a Moggle ツ God bless you Glenna!


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