Category archives: Beauty

Capturing Beauty With a Cheap Point-and-Shoot

Someone asked me recently how I became interested in photography. First of all, I want to just say that I am not a photographer. True photographers have studied apertures and light and other words that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about when I say them. And real photographers are willing to make serious investments in their craft. For example, they usually have nice cameras and some pretty amazing lenses. When I was about thirteen, I bought my first camera. I think it was like $30. Still, I felt important, you know, because this was back before everybody had a cell phone or an ipad or even a lap-top. So, to have a little device that worked on batteries and had its own film cartridge and could capture images of life felt pretty significant. So, I’d walk around the y[...]

The Power of Unplugging. (So You Can Enjoy Your Life More)

So, I'm kinda addicted to the internet machine. Because I really like Facebook. And email. And my favorite blogs. And there's always something entertaining on the Youtube device. And Pinterest is intriguing but then it always makes me really hungry. And angry. Because I never seem to have all those ingredients in my kitchen. And there's this thing I've noticed about myself. This thing that I do that I don't like when I notice myself doing it. I often come to the computer looking for love or fulfillment or something. I know that sounds strange, but do you know what I mean? Like, I click on my email box to see if there’s anything in there that will help me feel significant. And then I check my Facebook to see if someone has posted something that'll make me laugh or if enough people[...]

When You Just Want to Know God

Dear Jesus-following believer, Make it the aim of your life to know God. Not to know about Him, but to know Him. His Person. He tucked down deep into your heart this longing for Him. But, you may not have recognized it at first. You just know that daily you desire to set off on a beauty-hunt. You want to be ravished by wonder. There's something in you that wants to gather up all the glory. To hold it in your hands. To bring it in. God is there. And He's seeking relationship with you. He's not interested in your religion. He wants your friendship. But, He won't force that. He waits till you come looking and seeking and knocking. He wants to be found. We can be students of God, you and I. We've got this ability to be captivated by Him. But, our eyes are broken and so[...]

When You Wonder What the Winter is Good For

      It's so cold here. Just so cold. Today the wind blows the snow from the trees and everything is still the whitest white and I've been staying inside much more than I care to admit. I've got these daydreams that keep me warm. I'm there at the camp lake with my kids. They're playing in the shallows and  hunting for shells and tadpoles while I'm sifting sand through my toes with the sun on my cheeks. I'm smiling in my daydreams. And I'm warm. Toasty warm. About this time every year I start wondering why in tarnations I moved to the north country and what the winter is even good for anyways. But, I've got this friend who strings wooden beads in her hair and paints with hemp and she tells me that there are so many good things about the cold and winter. This friend who grows [...]

On Liking Yourself (In Case You Don't)

Samuel found his feet the other day. He was pretty impressed. I loved that I got to witness it--the first time he reached out to grab hold of his little toes. And once he figured out that they were there, and that they weren't going away, his toes became his new favorite toy. All day long, he'd kick his feet up and just stare at them in wonder and I was tickled that he could be so easily amused. And a couple weeks before he found his feet, he had discovered his hands. I had left the room to go grab something and when I came back, there he was with his little fist curled in front of his face and he was just staring so intently. I tried not to make much noise because I just loved watching him watch his own movements. He's still in utter amazement over his appendages. It's the coolest [...]

Letter from Home

Dear people that I made,Why do you live like I don't exist?It's not like I don't make it plain before your face. As if I'm not daily shouting it out, "Here I AM!"I do. I shout it. I very much shout it. I made this whole wide world in such a way that you would clearly see Me. So you'd see My glory. And My grace. I gave you breath and beauty so you'd go looking for Me, so you could find Me.  Why walk here blind when I would have you see? Take a long and thoughtful look at what's right in front of you. This art I spoke into existence with My own words. My Personhood is reflected in the wildflowers at your feet and the sky above your head.Look up. Look out. Open wide your eyes and really see! Those leaves are crimson letters on the branch, spelling out the reality of Me. And why do [...]

Seeking To Find

I go out looking for You, to find You. You, who are Love, can do nothing but loveNothing but.And You are always whispering Always shouting it outThat You are real and You are hereI think I see. Only dimly, I see at firstWalking this earth half-blindBut then the clouds shiftAnd the light bends this way and thatAnd for one sheer brilliant second I see clearly.Your red-hot crimson loveSpilling downHealing this heart of mine.You are real and You are here.So I believe.  There at the kitchen tableAnd later on my pillow in the dark of nightI stretch my hands up toward YouAs if to touch Your faceAs if I could feel You on these fingertipsYou who made these handsAnd these eyes and all that I seeAnd can't seeYou are real and You are hereI feel You now.You were always all around meAnd I knew[...]

When You're Looking for Peace

I step outside to a fall breeze and walk the long yard through leaves, some gold, some brown, to gather green tomatoes from my garden. And I heap them up in a tin pale with a wooden handle, 'cause there's something that makes me feel a bit like a pioneer woman when I've got my tin pale with it's wooden handle. I'm barefoot and glad that it's still a smidgen warm and I can do this.  The day's been peaceful. Because last night before we fell asleep, Brent and I prayed together and asked God to help us with our lives. And I'd confessed how I'd been on the internet too much again. That lap-top seemingly attached at the hip and it's got this grip on me that I don't like. And if Jesus is the greatest treasure, then I simply wanted more of Him. And this morning, soon as my eyelids fluttered[...]

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