• My Susan Branch calendar notes that tonight there's a 'Snow Moon.' How a propos. We don't normally get snow in the Seattle area, and certainly not more than 20 inches in a given two-week period. Folks are so done with it. The slush, the mess, the wrench thrown into everyone's days.
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The snow has something to teach me, though. I've been asking God to help me see His kingdom truths through His creation--those invisible facts that dwell in an unseeable yet entirely real world. Nature is God's 'divine language' as I read recently, and as I stand still to look beyond the tangible I'm reminded of God's grace. 
Out my window I wonder at the whiteness which continues to cover the dormant, dull grass then marvel at the way it lingers. . . . . .
The snow reminds me of the blood of Christ, as red as it can be, that miraculously turns me white as snow. It covers my mistakes, my missteps, my mishaps every time I turn around. Which is what repentance is. 
There is much I can learn from the lingering snow, a lesson in forgiveness and love that covers my life. I'm grateful for the sun and the moon and God's mercies every single day that cover me with a blanket of white.
#Godspeaks #creation #lessons #seasons
  • Sometimes people knock us around, don't they? As I daily rub up against friends and strangers, family and loved ones, it certainly seems that way. When that happens, my prayer is they would see Jesus at home when they come by. .
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Psalm 93:5 says, "Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days." David is speaking about God's presence in the world, the majesty of His creation. But He also lives in me as I make room for Him, which is what becoming holy really is, I think.
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When God is at home in us his light shines through our windows. That's what I want to share when people come knocking.
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#Jesusisinthehouse #dwell #abide #Scripture #evangelism #becomingholy #holiness #Psalms
  • I just found a $1 bill in a pair of jeans I bought from Goodwill. Another reason to love Saturdays. . . .
What surprised you today? 
#recycling #KonMariMethod #surprisedbyjoy @MarieKondo #Weekendsforthewin
  • 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 taken at my friend Parris' house in Mandeville, La.)
  • 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.