Excerpt from Chapter One: Live La Dolce Viva
Do you ever have those days when nothing makes sense and you wonder if anything matters? I certainly do. I live with an ache in my soul for my real home.
This life certainly isn’t heaven. I have good days and bad days. Actually I have some really fabulous days and some really devastating ones. I even have days when I still question the point of my very existence. But I do have a love for life—when I’m not wishing myself out of the discomfort of this world. I am eager to live my days with passion and a spirit of adventure. I am determined to live life richly and to let its bouquet romance my soul. I am committed to give life all I’ve got.
• I love to laugh till my belly hurts; I have cried
• I enjoy people, but they can hurt me.
• Friends love me, and I can hurt them.
• Bread comforts me. So does pizza…and Oreos.
(But I hate how these delicacies can so easily end
up around my thighs and my middle.)
• I love to sleep, but I hate the sound of the alarm
• I am always amazed when the sun sets. I wish
I got out of bed more often to see it rise.
• I work really hard, but I can play with just as
In the midst of cell phones and e-mails and pagers,
we’re losing the art of conversation. We’ve stopped reaching
out to the person we don’t know. And we miss so
much. Those are the ways God shows Himself to us and
to others. Those are the very ways God increases our
hearts’ capacity to a size that makes room for Him. When
we generously share a word, a thought, or a story, our
hearts enlarge. Our own experiences can jade us, leaving
us judgmental and close minded. When we participate in
sweet moments with others, however, we beautify the
landscape of our own territories. We see farther and feel
At the core of the sweet life is the enjoyment of people.
Participating in their lives in ways that bless and encourage
and lift up. This exchange most of the time will present
itself in unexpected places. I am frequently in airports,
and at any gate in any airport right now you will see more
people engaging with technology than with another
human soul. Then we wonder why some of our kids just
grunt at us and our guests. Many of us grownups have
become apathetic and self-absorbed, never even entertaining
the thought of just asking people how they are.
It was quite common years ago to sit on a porch at the
close of a day. Young mothers asked advice from the lady
next door. Kids played with actual toys and used their
imaginations. “Game boys” were nothing more than children
playing—not robotic kids losing a sense of life and
time and relationship because a tiny machine in their
hands hypnotically entrances them. Don’t get me wrong.
It is all exciting and cool and fun. But somehow we are
losing balance. We’re falling off the edge of the mountaintops
from which God has designed for us to have
clear vision. That is where we will keep a passionate heart
about His concerns for the world and for one another. We
lose that, and we will slowly lose our souls.
I was at a Subway sandwich shop in Nashville
recently and ran into my friends Dick and Melody Tunney.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and they were having
lunch with their two twentysomething daughters. I
watched them through the window as they sat at a table
outside and talked. It was clear that they were thoroughly
enjoying one another.
As I left, I took the time to tell them how encouraging
it was for me to see them chatting away. I told them how
unique I thought that was in this day and age. It was glorious
to witness the sweet life through this family. Simply
and purely. It was a drastic difference from the day before
at Borders bookstore. A man and a woman sipping coffee
at a table with their daughter. The entire time they sat
there, the daughter talked nonstop on her cell phone. The
parents seemed numb and used to it. It saddened my heart.
Life flies by, time ticks away, and we miss out on all
the richness of love we could be sharing with one another.
Most of the time it takes awareness to stop the slippage.
Sometimes it takes work. But you will find yourself a
wealthy person when you arrive in heaven if you’re willing
to grasp la dolce vita now.
For where your treasure is, there your heart
will be also. (Matthew 6:21)From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from Live Like You Mean It by Kathy Troccoli. Copyright © 2006 by Kathy Troccoli. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.