Leaving Quite An Impression

Counting gifts with Ann over at a holy experience dot com. This is a beautiful way to start a Monday.  A day of new mercies.   Before counting gifts, and there are many, I want to express my gratitude to readers.  Thank you that you are here. Thank you for your encouragement.  You bless me with your feedback.  I look over my shoulder and see and hear you there, on this journey.  I am praying for each of you, may His grace mark your day with a deep groove of the holy on this day in the midst of May.  May the landscape of your life be touched by His Mercy, in the joy, in the hard, in the soft, and in the muck.  In the mundane middles,  in the fresh new starts, and in crossing the finish lines.

Looking down the bridge of this nose on this face and counting the right smack here gifts in this very messy living. This life.  The one  with the bumps and the bruises, the turns and twists, the highs and the lows, the peaks and valleys and the ebbs and flows. The gifts are underfoot and might even get stepped on if we don’t step lightly and walk softly through the very messy living.

Counting the multitudes on monday:

middle son’s weight loss, still amazed and impressed by his determination(90 pounds is a lot to register on this momma’s heart)

sweet unexpected surprise in my comment box from my daughter, love in the words, love in her heart

kayak’s and how they offer a way to quietly see life, slow paddling with The Patient One and sitting for hours in solitude while the kiddos took the SAT

Our favorite worship song in church yesterday led by beautiful voices and an elbow in the rib from sweet girl of mine, followed by her singing loudly her praises….grace IS an ocean…..

Going to take home communion yesterday as a trainee –shifting the lense of life and seeing the bread and the wine bless one who is bound by a wheelchair.  

How A Bird’s Song Can Lighten The Heart Of Man ( And Other Gifts In The Mix)

Answering Ann’s call at A Holy Experience dot com after reading her book One Thousand  Gifts, A  Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are, today I am counting gifts of the week.

In a prosey sort of poetic sort of my own weird way.  Just writing gratitude.  Just writing words of a grateful heart.  Just diving in with thanks.

Because when we are up-close pressing hard against the store-front windows of this life, nose cold, nose pushed down with a bit of pain, the focus is a blurry kind of not quite right. Sometimes just too raw in the moment, present yes, but needing a freshening of perspective.  Stepping back.  Looking back.  Past the big window pane of the right now, into the sweet days back. Looking back for gift counting.  For today. And then thanking for this day.

We sit together after the curtain has come down on the stage of his work day.  Club chair facing club chair, mano-a-mano, but not really.  And we are still.  Cracked open wide window, spring air wafting in, and he says, “Do you hear that?”  “She or he is doing his repertoire for someone.”  And we listen mesmorized by the mockingbird running through all that she knows and all that she’s learned and all that she can give– one delightfully perfect song of something in her world after the other.  She mimics baby birds, and he laughs.  He is tired and he is very gray and the day was long.  But the mockingbird singing like baby birds brings child-like wonder to his face. “Do you hear that, now she’s doing a song bird.”  And whatever has transpired in his day in the before this moment, pales beside this moment of wonderment.  Of resting on birdsong.  And she is so loud.  And she is so very determined.  I listen to him listen to her.  I study his face while I listen to her.  He says it may be a male showing off for a female.  And the romantic in me measures the sweetness of how invested he is, this bird, in this moment.  How such volume can come from a creature so small.  And it is oh so simply sweet and then its over.

It is quiet and he is worn out, both bird and man.  I wait hoping this is a much needed break and that he will return with the second act of his beautiful performance.  But it is night and he is tired and he has run through at least once, all that he knows and delivered it, performed it, with all of his power and might.

But he reminds me that we will have all summer with this mockingbird.  I am grateful.  We will park our tired selves by the cracked open window again and wait to be sweetly entertained by one who pours out his gifts and talents with reckless abandon. And the baby bird imitation will always be my favorite.

And I am grateful for this child who took big steps this week farther into his life as a man.  And for his interview next week.  God knows His plan and it will be good and it is a gift to watch Him match up a career to a young man’s heart.  A man who will need provision for a wife and children in the one day off.  Who loves home and nesting like the male mockingbird.  Singing loud after life, about life. Always turning up the story of life with passion on the dial of life.

I see a child sweetly nurturing friendships after desert times, and dry seasons in this arena of his world stage.  Broken and busted up times in the past, healed with the sweet balm of good, kind friends.  Walking in all happy strided after the fellowship.  Calling to report that he’s just being with them.  Learning how to be a good one and invest in others.  Bending an ear to the need of them.  His little tribe, his little community.  Grateful.

Grateful for washing dishes with friends after a luncheon celebrating a community bible study.  The drudgery of dishes and sink and wet sloppy washing can take on new meaning when there is community and there has been such sweet laughter and roasting in love.  Flowers, and fellowship and food and celebration are justified rejoicing–we know God and His word deeper and different after this season of study, of community dwelling in His word.

Today will write her story as she unfolds.  And it will be good.  With its surprise, and mystery and delight.  Its twists its turns, its delightful birdsong.

The bellowing out and proclaiming will be done tonight, looking back on today. The nose pressed  against the glass, looking hard at this today. And counting gifts………

Listening for the birdsong, listening for the JOY. Wrapping it in a word of gratitude.

Five Ways To Slow Down and Yield To Grace

Five Ways Slowing Down Can Yield to Grace:

One –  Slow down the tongue  so  words may give way to Grace.

Two – Slow down judgement,  making way for forgiveness, an apology and reconciliation.

Three– Slow down and listen to a child when she/he speaks, looking them in the eyes and holding hard in love to the thoughts of their heart and the words of their mouth, finding Joy in the gift of their speech.

 Four – Slow down thoughts of  despair and discouragement, making way for  Hope restored, Hope reborn.

Five – Slow down an agenda, a plan, a goal, making way for God’s will, His Grace and His Best in all things.


And oh you know this list is written for Me.  And oh you know how many, so very many more I have thought of and want to add.  In trying to keep it simple, I am stopping at five. But you can add yours.

How do you slow down and make room for grace-filled living?

How do you find ways to slow down and savor the all that He wants for us, all that He has for us.

You can encourage others by leaving a comment and slowly shift our eyes to new ways to slow down and yield to Him and to His Grace in our lives.

Why Seeking The Silent And Simple Soothe The Soul

simple soothes with her less and her love

quietly providing the just enough

she raises up the now and crowns her as glorious

all the eye needs to see is framed by her sweet fingers

all the ear needs to hear is spoken by her soft breathe

all fragrance rests in the still and the calm and lingers for inhale

grace and gratitude flow  in her presence

and the present is just as it should be

a restful place for the soul