• This is a variation on a theme for me. That still, small Holy Spirit voice says, "Live each day, listen each day, do the next right thing." .
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It seems so trite to say but I want to climb a mountain or cross a river in one fell swoop instead of taking one day at a time.
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Then God reminds me that each step along the way, each pull on the oars is needed. I can see Him and hear Him better when I go slow.
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Let's remind each other shall we?
#spiritualpractices #friendswithpens #onedayatatime #tritebuttrue #Godspeaks #holyspirit
  • "It is particularly nice to have Valentine's Day fall in the depths of winter, for it suggests that spring is really just around the corner." . . . "The seed catalogues are a further promise of warm days to come. I class them as fiction and love to read them. Oh, the beautiful roses and tall spikes of delphinium and the flowering bushes---not to mention the carrots as big as telephone poles and the peas that practically shell themselves.
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We get some pretty fine vegetables and some nice flowers, but they definitely do not resemble the champion parade in the catalogues." -Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Seasons
@christiepurifoy
@amberchaines @jodilenz
@_fernwood_ .
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#hopespringseternal #seedcatalogues #gardening #flowersofInstagram
  • Sometimes the most remarkable miracles are right underneath our noses.
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I'm just about to send out my February newsletter, "Random Acts of Writing,  Miraculous to Mundane, and would love to tell you more about what I've learned lately by looking and listening.
Everything from the wisdom of @mariekondo, Mary Poppins, and the dynamic @christiepurifoy & @lisajobaker at #outoftheordinarypodcast. .
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If you're not already signed up for Random Acts of Writing,  there's still time. The link is in my profile. 
#friendswithpens #beautymatters #heartandsoul 
#Christianauthors
  • Last night I was standing in my kitchen (twirling is more like it) looking for a place to begin tackling the mess and chaos. My mind was swimming about what I thought I "should" be doing, you know, to make Jesus happy. I have a funny inner voice that often gets me with the 'shoulds', as if God is keeping track of how I use my time, clipboard in hand and all.
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Several tasks/needs/wants were calling: a book I wanted desperately to read (who am I kidding? Many books.) some poetry to attend to and gasp! bills to pay. All I really wanted to do was sit and  watch another installment of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Then I heard a still small voice say, "just do the next right thing." The next right thing was obviously to deal with the clutter, so I began clearing and cleaning up my kitchen.
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Sometimes (most times) I want to get to The Next Big Thing and dive right into God's plans for me. Skip right past the daily and mundane and get to work that actually matters. As if the dishes don't matter.
I've some ideas percolating right now about what to pour my creative energies into next and I'd rather get right to it. You know, change instantly and see some of my ideas come to fruition without putting in the time it takes to make adjustments and do the work. Sort of like Mary Poppins; I'd snap my fingers and find 'voila!' the job is done.
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Alas, we cannot nor should we expect to, change in an instant. Nor can we get to wherever it is God wants us to be personally, creatively, spiritually without walking all the steps first. Whether it's the direction of our inward lives or our outward selves, the dreams we have percolating or the ideas scribbled on scraps of paper, they all take time.
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And time is something God's got plenty of. All of it is His and all of it is sacred if we offer it to Him. The dishes and the dreams. 
#creatives #friendswithpens #MarieKondo (dragonfly photo from my friend Becky's yard.)
  • My word for the year in 2018 was 'listen.' A friend pointed out that if you mix up the letters they also spell 'silent.' I spent most of my days last year being reminded about my penchant for spending too much time on noise. The 'noise' of social media, for one. ((Yes, I see the irony😊)
I couldn't hear myself think and even more than that, I couldn't hear my Father God and His gentle whispers to attend to what He had called m e to do.
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For 2019 I sensed the Holy Spirit saying 'quiet' was the focus going forward. 'Quiet' I suppose is nearly the same thing, but for me it is a particular way of reminding myself not to talk so much. I run at the mouth w a a a a y too often with all my good ideas and opinions and boy, does it get me in trouble.
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Next month I'm attending the @refineretreat, a small gathering of creatives united by @kriscamealy`s vision and inspiration. As part of that gathering Kris has launched the inaugural edition of #TheRefineRetreat journal which I am honored to participate in. 
The theme of this issue? "Listen." There is no such thing as coincidence imho.
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In the journal you can read my essay about healing from the loss of my mother, along with other contributions by remarkably gifted artists and poets. Profits from the sale of the journal go towards scholarships for next year's retreat (the cost is $1,000 so the $$ helps). I hope you'll give the Refine Journal a look see. The Amazon link is in my profile.
#creatives #friendswithpens #beautymatters #wordfortheyear #silence #spiritualpractice #listening.
  • Although I unravel the world with words and writing I'm leaning into learning how to be more creative with color and paint...
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 Inspiration has come from many different places.  One of them is through @5ftinf (Philippa Stanton) and also @gardenercook Lorene Edwards. .
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I love the garden and I'm grateful for all the color that is out there which has been an inspiration to me and my painting endeavors.
My creativity quotient has gone up because of it.
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I have a little mini post in my stories about it. Friends, what kind of art are you adding to your life today?
#creatives #beautymatters #findingcolorinthegarden  #consciouscreativity
  • Today is the first day of a new month on the last day of the week. We are always faced with the beginning of one thing on the heels of something else that has ended.
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God's redirecting my steps these days and calling me to a different kind of rhythm in my writing. I want to get to the finish line with a lovely piece of work to show for it but He keeps reminding me I need to walk (not run or sprint) all the steps along the way.
Some of my steps these days look like 2-hour long phone calls with my insurance company (cue the groaning.)
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However, other sights and sounds along the way include conversations with friends and loved ones, in person or online or via text, that I cannot do without. Cue the grins.
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What steps are you walking through today? Embrace each one--the groans and the grins. It's part of the journey.
  • Singing Bowl -Malcolm Guite (Canterbury Press, 2013)*
Begin the song exactly where you are,
Remain within the world of which you’re made.
Call nothing common in the earth or air, 
Accept it all and let it be for good.
Start with the very breath you breathe in now,
This moment’s pulse, this rhythm in your blood 
And listen to it, ringing soft and low.
Stay with the music, words will come in time.
Slow down your breathing. Keep it deep and slow. 
Become an open singing-bowl, whose chime
Is richness rising out of emptiness,
And timelessness resounding into time. 
And when the heart is full of quietness
Begin the song exactly where you are. .
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***** I've been collating and re-reading notes from a week-long workshop I attended with Malcolm Guite last August. While I copy and gather and jot notes, I can still hear the intonation in his voice with each poem, many of which he knew by heart. .
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Of course he knew the poems H E had written, but had a wealth of others at his command, reciting from memory lines and phrases that had taken root in his soul. 
Ephesians 2:10 says we are God's workmanship, his 'poiema' from the Greek. Poiema literally means 'a made thing.' We are God's creation, His 'made thing.'
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And He knows us by heart. 
What words do you know by heart? . 
#poetry #Christianpoets #malcolmguite #Glenworkshop #friendswithpens
@gthorton
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*poem spacing did not translate correctly on IG. Sad face.
  • When I first began writing online 7 years ago this week, I found myself surrounded by welcoming writer friends & readers. It was an astonishing event; the community was encouraging and kind as I connected via the comments in my own blogposts and those of others. .
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Many of those people became personal, in real life friends; in fact many of you, dear readers, are those kind souls whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know in person over the years.
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7 years is a long-ish time. Seven is also a number in God’s economy that signifies completeness. Through very surprising circumstances and another silent nudge from the Holy Spirit, I found pieces like breadcrumbs on the page of my journal, all leading to an ‘aha!’ decision that surprised me a great deal.
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I heard a still, small voice say “What if you stopped blogging regularly?” And just like that I was not only shocked but incredibly relieved. (Sometimes we don’t know how wound up we are about something until God releases us, yes?)
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However, my regular writing will now be via my newsletter ‘Random Acts of Writing–Miraculous to Mundane.’ Every other month beginning with February 1st I’ll be penning a multitude of thoughts I haven’t shared elsewhere. .
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Next month’s edition will feature notes as varied as my review of “Mary Poppins Returns” to thoughts about 2 new book projects & links to other places on the web where my work has appeared.
I hope you’ll come along for the ride by subscribing #linkinprofile
#christianbloggers #friendswithpens #newsletters
  • #Fridayfollows In the midst of a world that wrenches our hearts at every turn, alternating with joy and beauty still, we need voices that soothe the soul. @sarahwanders is one of those voices.
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Sarah Clarkson's weekly encouragements on truth, beauty and the treasure of a good book are a balm to me many, many days of the week.
Do yourself a favor--find her here on Instagram. Take a few moments to read her prayerful posts and watch her videos. Just listening to her read will calm your heart, I promise. She is a gift to the world. And find her book about books @tyndalehouse #Bookgirl. A wealth of loveliness.
#ReadUpstream
#beautymatters #beautywillsavetheworld
#Christianwriters
#christianbloggers #Bookgirl