“Ah, but a man’s reach should extend his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

~Robert Browning

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(p.s…In my classroom, in this crazy culture of serious divides between black and white…

we choose purple and blue… and realizing we’re all of the same hues ❤  )

 

not so..https://wordpress.com/tag/wordlesswednesday 

 

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Garden in Stockholm, Sweden

I recently read this quote. Love it. It’s kind of an eye of the beholder thing. A mindset thing. A what-do-you-see-beyond-what-you-see thing.  …A faith thing.

“David was always there in the marble.

I just took away everything that was not David.”

Michaelangelo

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Milles Garden in Sweden

Maybe eyes of faith can help us look in the mirror of our lives and see that some of the painful chip-chip-chipping away of things is merely grace at work in our lives. Because maybe eyes of faith would recognize that He who began a good work in us is indeed doing the work.  But maybe it doesn’t look quite like we thought it would.

 

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Milles Garden ~ “The Hand of God”

It’s funny how we can spend so much of our lives ‘adding on’ to our idea of who we are with experiences, family, friends, professions, accomplishments, stuff, etc.. But am thinking if Michaelangelo had laser vision to see David within the stone, how much more does our Creator see beyond the exterior ‘add-ons’ to the heart of who we are.

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Milles Garden

So if you find yourself in some circumstances that feel like they are paring you down, making you vulnerable, or laying you bare…am thinking it’s good to ask God to help you see yourself through His eyes…to see the situation through the eyes of the Master Sculptor. Michaelangelo could see that “David was always there in the marble”….and “just took away everything there that was not David.”  How much more can God look at us and see what needs to stay and go? Might be a tedious process, with chisel and point circumstances that we wouldn’t choose. But the end result?  Faith accepts that we might not see things that our Master Sculptor knows and that His Masterpiece is quite a bit better than what we could think or dream or even imagine.  Am thinking His ‘less’ is so much more than our ‘more’…beyond what we could even dream. I’d rather trust the chisel in His hands than in mine, that’s for sure.

Blessings ~
Heather

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3: 17-20

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Yesterday, I took a little time out to sort beads. I went outside on the deck to be in the sunlight where I could see the difference between navy blue and black, and dark purple and brown. Amazing the difference of sunlight versus inside light on color. True colors show through so much more in the natural light of the sun. And on the deck, I get fresh air, and hear the birds, and, it’s amazing how people from inside the house will come and sit next to me outside of the house when I just sit down out there. Love that. Tanner came on out and started sorting beads with me…

IMG_5258So why am I even wasting the time to write about sorting beads?  Because the thing is that I had one of those awful gut feeling, restless, unsettled nauseous kind of vibes today. Woke up with it.  I couldn’t shake it. Not with prayer or reading or even coffee. I had even had a sweet session of playing guitar and working on a new song, but that restlessness kept creeping back in. Like a slow moving fog that fills a void, it kept taking up space. My mind kept racing from one thing to the next, and speaking truth to myself to calm the crazy feelings was just not working.  There were no new worries…but today, my take on things was just not good. And I couldn’t concentrate for the restless thoughts racing around my brain.

So…that’s when I decided to get some mind-less chores done.  I did laundry. I finished the dishes. Then I decided to sort beads. Because my mind could race all it wanted and I could still tell the difference between blue and green. Yep, mindless work can be a good good thing. It gives a way to be productive when my level of productivity at more complex tasks wouldn’t be so great. Not so great at all.

As I sorted the beads, I was thankful for the light. Because some of the beads I had previously sorted were  in the wrong spots. I’ve learned that purple can look like brown and deep, deep greens can sometimes appear black until the light shines. Sunlight helps me see. I was thankful for the beauty of the colors…all of those beautiful colors….a spectrum of light.

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There’s that word again. LIGHT.  You know the cool thing about light?  ROYGBIV always gets in line perfectly. Every  shade and hue of each color knows their place…it’s part of the Grande Design. When a design is in place, when there’s a master plan, there’s no effort in having to recreate the (color) wheel. Every color has its place and every place has its  color.  They just naturally fall into line.

My life sometimes feels like an array of a million beads splashing the surface, in all different colors in mish-mash mess.  (Tanner said today, as a bead bounced across the deck,  “You sure drop beads a lot don’t you, Mom?”  Yep, no doubt. I sure do….  Not just literal beads…am dropping balls all the time….”) But see, that’s the thing. I think of God as that Master Artist who uses that color spectrum to paint beautiful things. In the Universe, in the world, and even in me. And what may appear to be a mish-mash mess of beads in disarray to me, may one day be beautifully aligned just the way He wants them to be. God can change things in an instant, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. He can and He does and He will. And the cool thing is, the more I seek Him, the more I see Him, and the more Light just invades my world. And when His light,…Son-light…shines in my world, it’s amazing how I see things in a whole different light and can say…”Oops…that bead is not black…it’s dark green…that goes over here….”

All of us may have a different array of beads, but oh the beauty when they are aligned by the One who created us with a purpose, with a plan, with a Love that surpasses all the darkness in a world that often has the lights turned off or down low.

Here’s a funny thing…as I thought about the colors and the beads and the Light, that queasy uneasy feeling in my stomach, that restlessness that invaded my thoughts and had my mind racing in the morning, it all started to fade away. Sometimes when we can’t figure things out, well, we’ve just gotta keep moving our feet and staying busy. Sometimes the mundane tasks in a day can be a great gift of diversion. Fogs that cloud our thoughts can invade the empty spaces in our hearts and minds, but so can light. Light can flood any space and fill it. And today for me, thinking on God’s love and light did just that for me. I’m sure hanging out with my Tan-man  helped too. Thankful.   Just sharing a few thoughts and gratitude for being able to sort through some issues by simple tasks like sorting beads and laundry.

Blessings ~

Heather

P.S.  Funny…today is the day that many have been waiting for…total eclipse of the sun.  So I can’t leave without this little thought. May we be me moons that reflect the Light rather than block it. Reflect. Light. See. Shine. Good words for a world that sure does have a lot of darkness.

 

 

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Silent Sunday

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“We want big directional signs from God.

God just wants us to pay attention.”

~Lysa Terkeurst

 

Wordless Wednesday

 

 

 

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than

sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

~Martin Luther King

 

LIGHT VALUE OF ONE

Some ignorance is bliss. Like when you don’t know something that your child did but it was all worked out and you find out ten years later and are mortified, but realize that everyone survived and lessons were learned without you having to be the key interventionist.  There’s an element of bliss in that. Or when you don’t know about a meeting that you were supposed to go to but didn’t really want to go to but would have gone had you known.  Or ignorance is bliss when you get to walk in sweet oblivion of conflict that doesn’t concern you and it’s all worked out by the time  you get wind that there was even an issue in the first place. Or ignorance can be bliss when you have little awareness of the price of something and you just get to enjoy the beauty without the expense.

Yes, some ignorance is bliss. It frees from responsibility for a lack of awareness. But some ignorance is not bliss. It’s downright dangerous.  Ignorance that moves to quick judgements and rash words is dangerous. Ignor-ance that ignores principles of respect, truths, consequences and makes blanket statements that rile the masses…this kind of ignor-ance is lethal. People die because of words. Not even just the ideas behind the words.  They die because of ignorant reactions to the words. They die because of perceptions that might or might not even be consistent with what the words were intended to mean in the first place.

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Seems to me the most dangerous “ignorants” are those who don’t even know that they are. People who make rash decisions without thoughtful consideration or contemplation or education (not formal, just a desire to learn) are often those who are the most extreme…because balance takes into consideration views other than our own. Balance comes with a weighing of more than one side. Balance comes with awareness of variables outside of our own sphere of importance.  Ignor-ance IGNORES. It becomes more and more extreme the further it gets from being aware of views that differ from it’s own.

There are good things to overlook in life. But there are basic rights that should never be overlooked. In a country that calls itself “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”, there should be freedom to speak and stand. Brave stands up for the oppressed, but doesn’t glorify that which is making them oppressed.  Acceptance of diversity is different than a glorification of differences. That builds walls once again. To me, “Brave and Free” are  balanced. “Brave” guards, protects, …”Free” accepts and respects. The walls they build are to protect, the walls they tear down are to accept.

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It’s hard to stare into the trauma of all that is going on in the world. And it’s crazy, because we can literally do that in this day and age….Through social media we have a birds eye view (or skewed representation) of things going on all over the world. Good things. Terrible things. Like the ignorance that is bliss, some can be ignored. But some things…some injustices should never be ignored. Ignorance is like darkness in which extreme views  breed and grow and thrive.  Awareness is a turning on of the light that dispels the dark views. It’s calling things what they are while still having the heart to protect and accept… It’s having the courage to not just see, but to speak words that protect and accept balanced views that protect and accept human rights.

Teeter-totters are children’s playground gems. Up and down, up and down, up and down they go. And in the middle is a fulcrum, a strong base on which the teeter totter rests. May we become fulcrums in a world with extreme disparities that serve as eyes and ears that listen before speaking, see before reacting, and consider before counteracting. May we turn the light on the darkness of ignorance and avoidance. May we not turn away when it’s too hard, but be tenacious in our determination to keep the light turned on.

I do not want to be ignorant…therefore, I can’t ignore injustice. And it’s rampant in the streets. And people are dying…not just physically. Some ideas and philosophies are so full of hate that it’s my view that they’re eating people from the inside as well. As a Christ-follower, I must hold tight to the belief that God is love and calls us to love Him and love others. Period. No room for narrow-minded views that plow over and trample people under their feet (or tires). No room at all. Hate kills. It kills. And giving credence and tolerance to ideologies that kill is dangerous and ignorant because it ignores the power that hate has. Because hate has power. We’ve seen it through history.

I know there are no easy answers. Just giving my two cents to scratch the surface, and lighting my one little candle. Because I know that one candle plus one candle plus one candle ….makes a thousand candles and a flood of light. This darkness is not gonna thrive in the perimeter of my little light because I aspire to be a lot of things…but never, never ignorant. And the world needs  light. Who’s to say what impact a little light can have, even for a person who’s full of hate?  Who knows what a little light can do. Yes, the world needs light shed on darkness. The temptation is to fight hate with hate. Doesn’t work. Just makes more darkness.  And the world desperately needs people to stand with their lights turned on.  Darkness cannot be ignored, but light…light won’t be ignored. Light changes how everything is seen.

I started out with a MLK Jr. quote that was new to me. But this quote is one of my favorites, and a go to for me at times. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  One candle at a time.

Blessings ~

Heather

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Silent Sunday

DSCN2115.jpgSummer sky, summer sigh

Periwinkle Blue

Summer Sky, summer sigh

Warm wind breezes through

Summer sky, lows and highs

Quiet winds resound

Summer sky, drawing nigh

Calmed by sights and sounds

 

(Not so….)  Wordless Wednesday

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Backyard view, Shelby, North Carolina

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

~Helen Keller

Amen ❤

Maybe because dear friends reflect the light we so need to see during darker times.

Maybe because sometimes we need others to remind us of what is true, who we are, who God is.

Maybe because perspective changes when we know we’re not alone.

Maybe because friendship is a gift that gives and takes at the same time…gives encouragement, takes a share of the load.

Maybe because courage to take the next step into the unknown can come from being encouraged by one that’s in there with us, through it.

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Shelby, North Carolina

And sometimes we might not want to share the darkness…we might want to pretend that all is light, that all is al-right or “fine”. We might want to isolate ourselves to protect others from any of the “darkness” going on. Not a good strategy I’d say, no matter how noble it may appear. Here’s a tidbit:…”isolate” comes from the Latin root “insulatas” which means, “made into an island.”  And we all know, “No man, (or woman) is an island” (John Donne).

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Am thinking it’s kind of cool that friend-ship has the word “ship” in it because sometimes we need a ‘ship’ to go rescue a friend that has a mental blip when they think maybe they need to be an island…and that ship sails in and reflects and reminds and rescues one that’s emotionally needing to be drawn back in. In the same way that a ship navigates the very waters that isolate the island, friendship can permeate the walls that keep us locked up ‘in our own worlds’ and keep others locked out. Friend-Ships sail through those rough waters to bridge the gaps…

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Yes,”Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” And here’s the cool thing that Helen Keller seemed to know as she wrote the above quote, There is often beautiful-pared-down-for-real connection that comes when things aren’t all smooth sailing. There’s an awareness of need, a gratitude for others, and a sincerity that often comes with darker times. Silver linings don’t only come on clouds. They come in stars. And stars shine when it’s dark.  They seem to shine really bright when they are furthest from the light.  Friends that walk along side in the dark can help us see clearly the beauty that’s there in the midst of the reality of what isn’t. They can remind us of the truths of scripture that are anchors to our souls and hope to our heart.

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

So I’m not sure whether life is smooth sailing for you right now, or whether you’re on rough seas. Or maybe you’re finding yourself drawn to become an island. Am thinking we all feel that desire to just check out for a little from time to time. My encouragement is to draw near. Draw near to God. Draw near to friends and family who know and love you well. (Not perfectly for that’s way too much pressure for any of us to bear, but well….well like a deep well that knows you to the depths…and what they don’ t know, they’re willing to…)  Yes, draw near…fly that white flag of surrender if you find yourself isolated on an island and call in the ships.  Friendships, that is. Call. Seek. Move toward.

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Austin, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Take it from me…there’s treasure when the ship meets the island. Even Helen Keller who lived in darkness chose friendship and companionship over light and sight. That’s incredible! Am thinking she really knew what she was talking about for I’m sure she knew a thing or two (hundred) about isolation. Yes, there’s something to be said for smooth sailing, and light-er times. But oh, the depths of knowing that no matter what you’re facing, there are those who are with you in it. That’s a tangible heart-encouraging gift. And I’m so so thankful for it. More thankful than I’ve ever been for you see, I’ve had my turns at being ships and islands.  But recently took my turn as an island. And am so very thankful for the sweet ship that sailed on in. Thankful. Renewed. Back on track.

Blessings~

Heather

P.S. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) That’s the verse ringing in my ears right now. When we fly our white flag, He’s the “ship” that will always, always come in, no matter how far the island or stormy the seas. Love that.

 

 

 

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Silent Sunday

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