Thursday, March 29, 2012

If You're Looking To Connect

You may have noticed the blog's been a little quieter of late.

To be perfectly honest, the writing hasn't come easy these last weeks and months and there are days when I wonder if the words will ever find their way back to me.

But if you're wondering what this woman is up to in her ordinary, everyday life?  Well, there may just be a way for you to connect when I'm not strong enough to write the kind of soul stories you've come to know here at Growing Is Beautiful.

If you've visited the blog recently, you've probably noticed a few new additions to the sidebar.  If not, let me introduce you:

Follow Me on Pinterest
Pinterest is where I'm pinning up recipes I'd like to try, art projects I'd love to create, and all the things that are inspiring me to dream and plan and hope for whatever future He is making for me.  If you, too, are on Pinterest--I'd love to connect and see what you are dreaming of.  If you're not on Pinterest, you can still click on the link to see what I'm pinning--and you might just decide you'd like to join in the fun.

Twitter is where I'm tweeting about the very ordinary things of my everyday life--what I'm making for dinner, what kind of tea I'm drinking, what the crazy weather is doing here in the Pacific Northwest, and many more things you may or may not want to know about me.  You can see my latest tweets in the sidebar or click on the link to see my complete Twitter page and join in the conversation.  If you're on Twitter--I'd love to connect with all your everyday ordinariness, too.  Of course, you're certainly free to tweet about far more interesting things than me!

Facebook is where I have the privilege of staying connected with friends near and far.  It's where I can comment on pictures and updates from friends and family and be reminded to say "Happy Birthday!" on the appropriate day.  If you're on Facebook and want to connect this way, feel free to send a friend request--just be sure to mention you're a blog reader so I know you're not a crazy spammer.  Or a regular spammer.  In case there are any of those.

Ravelry is where I find patterns for knitting and crochet--and where I try to post pictures of finished projects, though I'm a little behind on that part at the moment.  This site is for members only (free to join--a great pattern resource for knitters and crocheters), so if any of my fellow stitchers are using it?  I'd love to see what you're making these days.

If you choose to connect with me on any of the above, drop me a note somewhere to let me know?  I'd love for this to be a two-way street, from one real-life person to another.

And if you're not all that interested in my very ordinary life?  Well, that's quite okay, too.  I hope to return to more serious writing in the weeks ahead.  I have a feeling God's doing something amazing and I'd love to write His story whenever I am able.  Keep me in your prayers?  You are all Grace to me and I am so very grateful to be walking a bit of this road with you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When The Whole Earth Is Full Of His Glory

 Giving thanks this week for...
The fourth day of Spring
dawning blue and clear,
afternoon warm enough
for wandering

Garden all aflutter
with the birth pangs of Spring,
me with the camera in hand
and the coat laid aside

The crouching and the reaching
just to catch a glimpse
of all the new life coming
straight from the ground

Those tiny daffodil trumpets
waving in the breeze,
their chorus of "Praise Him!"
almost loud enough to hear

A few leaves still clinging
to the branches of the Oak Leaf,
surviving every last day
of the long cold winter

That magnolia tree
with its buds all a-fuzz,
and the discovery of first blooms
opening wide to greet the sun

Me clattering over rocks, plants,
trying to reach the beauty unfolding,
and that joy thrilling deep and long,
right in my chest

Hunting around for
every little sign
that winter's letting go
and He's waking up the world

Then putting the cat on a leash,
us both soaking up the sun
and rejoicing just to be
here, now

Him hiding under
the rhododendron bush
with that tail swishing
back and forth

Me just laughing,
letting the wind
whisper across my face
and wash the winter away

Yes--He's waking up the world,
washing us all clean,
filling the whole earth
with His Glory

Praise Him!

Just a few of His gifts this week...more can be found on the Joy Dare page

Linking up with Ann Voskamp...and look!  I'm only a day late this week.  His Grace abounds.

Friday, March 23, 2012

When God Makes Himself At Home

hawthorn leaves

A woman writes
about the silent sacrifice
on an altar no one sees
and I'm left to ponder
how the cross of
chronic illness
can be that way, too.
It's only me inside this body,
seeing, feeling, carrying
all this weight--
only me and Him.

Now I'm pondering
fragile earthen jars and
the way flesh and bones
can become the
House of God.
Maybe the only sacrifice
is His--
the One Who lays it all down
to make Himself at home
in the broken body
of His beloved.

Linking up a few days late with Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How To Give Thanks In The Waiting

 Giving thanks this week for...

Sipping new teas on rainy afternoons
and pondering just the right one
for a party with friends

Unpacking teacups, teapots, tea linens, tea decor
and laying everything out to say,
"Welcome!  Would you care for tea?"

Friends arriving one by one
eagerly accepting my offering of tea,
my offering of myself

That one fruity tea that brews up pink
and the way everything looks so
happy, beautiful, perfect

Talking tea, laughing, connecting--
drinking life in,
one sip at a time

The ones who stay behind to clean up the mess
and that moment, late in the evening
when everything's done

Staying in PJs until 3 pm
and climbing back into them by 8--
a day to rest, breathe, find my feet again

Dreams of dresses and colors that inspire
and the way you have to give up the search
to find what you're really looking for

Counting down the days of treatment
Waiting, hoping, praying
Believing Him for a miracle

How the misspoken words
turn into a family joke,
leaving us breathless from the laughter

Learning to knit in cables,
rescuing that one lost stitch
from wherever it's wandered

That moment when an art project
finally begins to take shape,
lets you see how beautiful it can be

Homemade tomato soup
and grilled cheese sandwiches--
comfort food for grownups, too

The way winter whips fierce
at the dawn of spring,
all of us waiting on Him for rebirth

Yes, waiting on Him for rebirth

#1340 - #1367 of the Joy Dare

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When There's Nothing Left to Give

When words elude and courage fails and strength drains clean away--when I've nothing left to give, nothing left all, I give thanks and find that He's enough.

For the frost glazing the rooftop shingles on a morning in March
and the seagulls circling, soaring as the day's breaking open

For the tinge of pink spreading across the Eastern sky
and those snow-covered peaks all aglow, pointing straight to Him

For late-night readings of a hobbit's tale
and a morning full of baking, baking, baking

For all the dirty dishes lining counters, filling sinks
and that moment when the kitchen's finally clean again

For those rows and rows of scones and muffins
and how the hard labor really seems worth it somehow

For the snow falling in huge flakes while we're warm inside
and the friend who lends hands, heart for a task that needs doing

For someone I've never met, offering to share burdens, carry me to the Throne
and those words she writes, the ones I need to hear:  You are not too much.  

For her sharing the pieces of her story, trusting me to pray
and the God Who orchestrates this whole dance of love and relationship

For the counting down of days until news from the doctor
and the breathing in and out through all the days of exhaustion

For a Smart Phone that's actually smart, gets me safely to unfamiliar places
and a trip to the tea cafe on a rainy, rainy day

For that one house painted blue amidst all the browns and greys
and those daffodils beside the road, still dancing in the rain

For making it to the bottom of the mending pile
and wearing a favorite sweater that's been out of commission for weeks

For staying up late when the story's too good to put down
and whispering late-night prayers to the God Who knows what I can't say

For knitting round and round on the waiting room couch
and the way busy hands keep the heart from running away

For hearing the hoped-for news straight from the doctor's mouth
and one more piece of the long mystery finding it's place

For the walk to the car in a downpour of snow
and me laughing giddy over the unexpected white

For driving straight to the pharmacy to pick up a bottle full of hope
and all those tears stinging the back of my eyes because--

God's always faithful on the long, long road

#1306 - #1339 of the endless grace.