Category archives: Beauty

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[...]

When You Go Looking for Beauty

I remember the day I first felt the ache. The insatiable longing to see beauty, to gaze upon it. To savor it. To be near it. I was just a young girl still, and we had moved into our house in town. Before then, we had lived down this dusty road. There was a river in our backyard and this big wooded field across the dirt road from our front yard and I had fallen in love with woods and fields and dirt and a flowing river. There my soul had room to breathe and most of my days were spent outside looking for caterpillars and digging up blooming weeds from the yard and planting them in my "garden". I was a strange girl. Didn't quite fit in with the girls at school who were perming their hair and shaving their legs. I just wanted to be outside with the wind and the sky and all the living things. [...]

What I Do When I'm Afraid of Life

Sometimes I get afraid of life. I can't explain all the reasons why, but I just kinda go through these spurts or seasons when I'm more prone to be fearful of things and my heart feels fragile and I have a hard time roping my imagination in.And it's strange because it's something that happens on the inside of me and I'm finding that it has nothing to do with what's going on, on the outside of me. Like, today for instance. Today is the most lovely, breezy, warm, full-of-light kind of day. And there's nothing in my life to be afraid of. At least nothing that I can see. But, for whatever reason, I have a lot of what-ifs running through my head, and before I know it, I'm plumb sceered! Scared of the world. Scared for my kids. Scared of what could happen in my life. Just scared. And I don't like[...]

Captivated

Photo creditSo, while we're in the desert, we visit this zoo and aquarium. We always do that when we go to new places--it's just our thing, we love zoos and aquariums! I think we're drawn to God's art. And as much as I love the zoo animals, there's something even more spectacular about the aquariums. I'm absolutely mesmerized by sea creatures. Photo creditAnd by mesmerized, I mean that I'm utterly spellbound. I could stand speechless in front of a seahorse for the longest time. And I have. Just speechless. And when words do escape, the only thing I can get out is this quiet whisper, "God...You are amaaaaazing." And then something in me wells up and I nearly turn into this psycho girl who just let's loose with this crazy laugh and I have to restrain myself from shouting out to whoever's nea[...]

How I'm Learning to Live: Resolutions for Mental Health

When I was a little girl, I would play for hours in my yard or in the woods after school because there I felt the remedies of God in nature. I still do. Even now as I sit at my desk and scribble these words down, I can't help but look up again and again to drink in all the beauty filling up my view outside this window. There's just something about all the wild things. God speaks volumes to me through a tree, a leaf, a blade of grass. I know it's strange to say, but when I'm outside, something inside me heals.As I've grown older and have looked around at life, I've found that most of us go about our days with this busy rush of living. I wonder if our frantic pace has impaired our vision? It isn't that we don't see enough, it's that we don't see well enough. The sky [...]

A Medley for Your Soul

Today I marry Gungor's music and lyrics with my pictures, in hopes that it will encourage you deep and minister to your soul. Just push "play" and scroll down.Would You believe there's a great Redeemer who can take the mess of our lives and make it beautiful? It's what He came to do--to make the ugly beautiful. He's not through yet...Listen close...All this painI wonder if I’ll ever find my wayI wonder if my life could really change at all. All this earthCould all that is lost ever be found?Could a garden come up from this ground at all? You make beautiful thingsYou make beautiful things out of the dust.You make beautiful thingsYou make beautiful things out of us.  All aroundHope is springing up from this old ground,Out of chaos life is being found in You. You make[...]

Why I Love the Snow

I love the snow. I love it because, unlike the rain, it falls so slowly, so silently, so gently. No hurries. Just drifting down, down, down...then rest.  Sometimes in the early morning, I get up to look out my window. I turn on the outdoor light and look up at the sky, just to watch it snowing. All is hushed. It makes me feel quiet inside.  When it snows, all the people have to slow down. And I like it when all the people slow down because it seems like, most of the time, everybody's always in a hurry. It feels like we're always just busy trying to get to the next thing. Sometimes I wonder if we've lost our way a little bit. Like, we think we're somehow more valuable or more important if we always have a next thing to get to. So, we fill up our whole lives with lots of things to [...]

When You Feel Like You're Just Existing

Yesterday was a struggle for joy. Some days I just forget the meaning of life. I actually forget why I'm here and what's the point of everything and I sit at the table at the end of the day and mention to Brent that I feel like I'm just existing.My brain gets fuzzy and I feel confused because I look around me and there are so many things to be happy about and to be thankful for...but for some reason, joy just isn't there.What if Who I believe in isn't true? What if we just come to the end and find that all there is, is nothing.Doubt. Worry. Fear.Now, why am I here again? What is it that's so important? Would someone please help me see?I whisper prayers and voice my thoughts. Questions still come.I ask for eyes to see.I stop to gaze at black-eyed Susans. What is the meaning of all thi[...]

What the Sky is Saying Today

In the early morning, I find myself wide awake. I keep rolling over and close my eyes tight, in hopes that I could just get a little more sleep, but these thoughts keeps rolling and my soul is feeling hungry. So, I shake off the drowsiness and find my Bible and a chair and sit outside.Today I want to see the sky. I want to watch the light breaking in and see the clouds shift and swirl like eddies in the ocean. And it's good for me to observe the birds fly across that great expanse of blue. I open up the Word--food for my soul--and am reminded that God speaks loud and clear and all I have to do is look up to see His existence written out on sky-canvas.The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies proclaim the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1)The Lord is God, and He has made His light [...]

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