The Final One – Grace, God,and What’s Next

Today is Day 31. It’s the end. It’s the beginning. The collective is here for the unwrapping.

Chapter One

Thank you for walking out October with me. Or just joining me today. Its Grace that you do.

The words. They have been stirred up and scrambled a bit. These words our tools.

And they have been fragile, tender, chosen with some care. Delicate the words. And each a shade of different.

As prayers, worshipers, delighters, praisers, writers, poets, bloggers, mommies.

It is  our words. They are our tools.

To pray to our God, to worship our God, to raise our children, to sing our songs, and lift our voices.

They lift up, they give voice, and they give Hope.

When I began I started this series walking out a plan to write daily. You can reflect with me on my dailiness. here. (Or lack thereof, or good intent, or best laid plans).

What grace it is to write at all. If writing is your passion. What grace it is to write and meet a friend along the way.

What is this writing journey but a step and a step and another. To touch a soul with a phrase or a word. To write of life and have another lean in soft or lean in hard and say I understand or better, so much better that speaks to me and it is sweet. And it is tender.

Your eyes here with me are a gift. He brings them to the page.

Your heart beats, steps in stride with me, walking it out with me. Gift.

And all these words that have been and words to come, are reflecting, praising, processing, speaking, telling, of this life He gives. And to Him glory.

Of the Grace He gives, and its delightful amazing.

Of the Hope that’s in Him and its radiant.

May He be the audience of one for whom we write the words of our life.

To serve Him, praise Him, seek Him, and abide in Him.

Chapter Two

Once upon a time there was a blogger who found a hope-filled community of writing friends along her way.
And it is good.  And it was very very good. And it is great and safe and a wonderful delightful place.  And there were the  words woven, words shared, words prayed, and words passed like the peace in love, back and forth, from and to. And a life was richer because of the words. Shared.

And stories were written, life was written, and bumps and bruises were written out, and fears released, and hope captured, and God praised.

And she thanked her God for the words , for  breathing through them. For bridges built with them, to others and to her Gift Giver. For Joy found in them. Each one full and rich, like figs picked from the tree,  placed on the lips to delight and consume.

And there was Grace, abundant and amazing. Grace when time was multiplied, time was hard, times were filled with questions and seeking.

And there was Grace, abundant in the extending of words, out. Releasing them. Freeing them. Sending them out, to go and tell.

Out into the bloggy world.

This very imperfect prosety. These very flawed proems.

The voice that trembles, seeks to be and form and speak.

He gives another day to pick it up and form the words. To build community and simply sing a song. To tell of Him and His amazing Grace.

Another Day. A gift.

Its Grace.

And I am writing of those moments, when Grace has appeared, wrapped in Love, dipped in Love, signed in the wet ink of Mercy.

The eyes of the heart record and tell. And thank. And the words keep marching out, prancing out, dancing out, this narrative, this story, of this one wonderful life.

The one He so graciously gives.

Chapter Three

What’s next?

Surprises. Trust. Expectancy. The beautiful. The wonder. The very very ordinary.

And the leaning in and bending the ear to Him, for words and inspiration.

Thank you for reading, journeying and always encouraging.

As a thank you I am giving away a piece of wonderful jewelry from Tracey Anderson Cooper, a friend. Just leave a comment to be entered. It can be a word. (These are examples of her line,.I will choose a piece in stock. It will be lovely, truly.)

{And when you leave a comment or a word, would you consider your own little dream of what would be next, here. Your own little wish of what you would want to read here. If you do. If you shall. An idea, a thought. Its Gift that you would.}

Are you journeying daily, here. Humbled if you would. Be here daily, just me and you and the words. Click here to receive daily emails and join this community of words.

Joining Duane, Emily, Ann, Mary Beth, and Jennifer.

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On Writing

Today is Day 26. The collective is here

What is there about writing, recording thought, expression and dreams? Dropping your heart on the page, like The Bomb over Japan.

It feels like that sometimes. A writer knows that earth-shattering feeling when all gets dropped. Like raw egg on black hot asphalt, the words of the soul land and spill, drip, spread out.

And live or breathe or shrivel and die.

The words on the pages of the journal, the book, the back-lit page, the spiral-bound rule lined holders of the heart.

That pulls the writer in like a Hoover, cap off, intense sucking reeved up for maximum draw of dirt and dust.

That pulls and sucks the unsuspecting writer in, unable to rest or sleep until the deed is done.

Until the words land safely on the page. With seeming importance given them, as though they were the Mars Rover landing on red planet surface.

The investment large and looming. The safe arrival, of critical import.

The words, in need of a policy from Lloyds of London, assuring they are placed and put, carefully so carefully in their proper place.

Gingerly, tenderly placed for optimum understanding. Like a gemologist shines the jewels, the writer hones the words.

And will not rest and cannot rest until the blood is poured, crimson red on page.

What is there in wrangling of the words. How placing them in the desired place, the writer cuts and pastes, slices, dices, arranges the puzzle pieces, carefully to make the pieces fit. Finds her peace and makes her peace, wrestled words lay flat out on the mat.

Squinting the eye and nodding the head, tilting and turning and reading the phrases, turning them over in the mind’s eye. Adjusting the lens and re-reading the phrasing.

Searching for meaning, looking for clues. Seeking something. Framing the words, wrapping them up. Giving the gift of the heart. The soul.

Leaving nothing, giving it all. A story, a poem, a narrative. Art.

The one which makes the picture. Makes the point.

The one that states the case or paints the dream, in words, all black and white.

Preparing the words for Fancy Dress Ball, tuxedoed black tied words. Dressed and ready, ready for a gala telling, celebrants of all life’s worthy hurly burly wonders. The words shout, trumpeters of praise.

Dressed up, sent out, dust brushed off, rolled lint brush dances up and down, catching all imperfections, of the words, your soul. They arrive decked out beauties on the page.

What is there in the picking up the pen and writing down the day, the life, that feels for all the world like giving birth. Like dropping hope, pregnant possibility on pages virgin white.

What makes the writer want to make her point, write her art, translate emotion make it fit in a line and on a page?

Pure and white, brittle, fragile. Words.

Isn’t paint a safer way to tell and show? Brush strokes color vibrant swoosh and swish. They make a sumptuous painting suitable for framing, galleries and museums are built to house the work of painters. Guilt gold frames grabbing glory, proving worthy artist’s work.

Why does spilling on the page, words, the one dimensional wonders that they are, bring joy and indescribable release?

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.

–F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed

.

–Ernest Hemmingway

It is the need to use the voice. A hunger to taste it formed. To see if birthed. To feel it fly. To smell it baking, all senses swimming, juices stirring.

It is desire to tell of life, the way that only she can tell.

A contented release, as blowing out candles on the cake. A calm comes after holding in, the breath puffed cheeks, skin turned blue in the holding tank.

The air escapes, and new comes in, the intake and release.

A rhythmic ebb and flow of living and recording.

A form of rebirth.

Life is new, life is recorded.

The chapters told and stored.

And the words flow like life-blood through the writer’s veins. The pulse, the beat, the vibrant crimson river.

The writer’s life of words.

In the beginning was The Word.

And in the living is the word.

Delight, Refresh and Restore – A Trio of Words For Healing

Today is Day 24. The collective can be found here by taking a hop, skip and a jump over here.

Yesterday I wrote of the words standing in line with their resumes.

It is as if the words have their own hourglass tipped over measuring the days left in their series. They watch the time slipping like particles of sand and they shout choose me, choose me.

So I do. I choose to bundle some words, package them in prose, let them out to breathe and serve. To  pack them up and let them run with me,  play,  escape. To shout and dance. Release and restore.

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.

Twyla Thorp

So I pick and I bundle them  like fresh cuts from the Fresh Market and plop them down to both soak and suck the water through their straws. And to  give life-affirming beauty to the eyes. Even one. And especially His. Because there will be a day for audience. It has been planned since the beginning.

There is a struggle in focusing on the audience of One. Of writing and art making just for Him and Him alone. The day is coming soon for audience.

But today. For today I give the day to delight.

For delighting in the simple. Delighting in the restorative refreshing power of soaking in the absolute remarkable of a single moment.

A memory blazed in blues.

It is worthy of delighting under the microscope.

Viewing it closely, squinting intensely at the art. Peering at it all, while seeking the seemingly unseen beauty in everything.

I see anew when my soul is delighted by beauty. By a walk by the water, splashing childlike, dodging the surf. Seeking the simple in the treasures washed up on shore, strewn like confetti after the ocean threw a party for the world.

I am restored when my eyes wrap around driftwood masterpieces anchored in sand for study. I stand. Feet planted, toes wriggling, in October sand. Bleached and beautiful.Looking at the bleached woods, worn smooth , its limbs of death.

It was waiting to meet me this day, this wood. To meet me in the salt and sea.

With my child, grown, a man – by my side. WIth the dogs laughing, pink tongues wagging, they swim out and back in. Each a furry metaphor for living, the old the young, the brave, the timid. The energetic and the weary.

All in a dance on the shore. All in a restorative time by the blue blending, water with sky, sky with water, inseparable blues, a melange and mix of azures and others.

So the young call me out, and build me up and restore my hope in possibility and longing for living. And we laughed.

And all looks hopeful and healed at the art gallery by the sea.

My soul delights in the beauty of family and blue looks as blue should look. Strong and beautiful, a backdrop, a canvas for the art of simply living.

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton

Linking with Ann at A Holy Experience dot com and Michelle. And continuing on the 31 Day journey at The Nester.

To follow along this blog on a regular basis and for the rest of this series click here to subscribe. It is a joy to have you along. Grateful for co-travellers.

Encouragement – A Letter To A Friend

Today is Day 22. Today’s word is Encouragement. To read the collective sashay sway  shimmy  swish and swirl over here. To read others in the Series go here, to The Nester’s place.

Dear Encouraging You,

Today is your Birsday. Can I tell Webster that he has a new word for his book?

Have I told you lately that I love you. I bet I have. But I am telling you again. Beautiful you are Day 22. You are laughing that you have a day in my series.

Because you are the reason there was ever a Day One, in this writing life. And you would say it was God and I would too, but you helped Him. And we would both say He doesn’t need my help.

But you were an encourager. And you have been. The accountability partner I lean into. What richness my life has with your flesh and bones, hands and feet, lungs and laughter, heart and soul, and words and words and more words, and love rooted in my own.

You have given birth to hope and held a sister’s hand right smack in the middle of the yuck. Sweet you have had a word, a prayer, a dream and a strong arm of encouragement to grasp hold of a sinking drowning spirit.

The day I said I was done with writing. Or was it writing was done with me. Or was it I give up or was it I am through with this. You may be my memory here, but I know your words were brave and strong.

And you spoke into burying and putting under rocks things the Lord gifts.

Friends don’t let friends give up.

Encouragent reaches the long limb of grace into a life and drags it back like a mother cat moving her kittens into safety, out of a ditch.

You have shown that encouragement knows in her knower, deep in her inside places, when to speak and when to listen and when to love.

Tough and tender co-exist in the life of an encourager, the life of the precious you.

And when desperation despair dysfunction depression, an army of d’s show up, we put on the armour and together we battle, and together we stand, and together we fight.

For our lives, our children, our husbands, our families, our God. And His glory.

And there is always the beautiful. There is your lense, your eye behind the camera sharing the beautiful, calling it out, like a Southern Debutante at her coming out. Here she is, Beauty, give her her Day, present her for all to see.

When we swim upstream in a river of tears, like salmon seeking a place to spawn or float our boats down the outgoing tide of tears of joy, you encourage.

We’ve known death and life and you’ve said “though He slay me” more than once.

We’ve know some prodigal stories lived out and built trust and hope as tall as the Empire State building. We’ve cried to the Heavens and screamed to them too.

We’ve pounded the pavements and pounded our fists. And we have celebrated, because that heart of yours links up with mine and we say we have today, we have today, we have today.

There has been building homes, and nests. Designing and decorating .Hanging art and hanging out, journeying far and near. We have Glamped,we have Aqua-glamped and we  have stood against the Great Recession, sticking out our tongues, saying nay nay nay you can’t get me.

There have been literal Hurricanes and the other kind too. We have stood.

But never alone. Always with Him, three strands of a cord. Encouragement weaves that way.

And courage sits firmly in the middle and holds her ground.

Happy 60th bursday, H.  Thank you for inspiring and encouraging this sister. For walking out, talking out, and praying out this wonderful glorious life we have this side of heaven.

If you go first I will never forgive you. But if you do save a place for me. And yes I know it doesn’t work like that.

We have a lot of rocking left to do on the porch. A lot of sorting out and figuring out.

My heart needs more encouragement from you.

Thank you for showing the world how to live a life as an encourager.

Happy Birthday sweet friend. Your life is a work of art.

And thank you for encouraging me to pick up the pen and always live the highest and best, with joy and a spirit of celebration.

There are no words. And that may be the first time.(You know I know your thoughts).

Beginning your 61st year with laughter and love,

elizabeth

Counting Gifts because of Ann –of hope for a child, joy in family, praise in worship and worship in praise yesterday in church, time with family, conversations with a child restoring possibilities, expectant hearts for a birthday celebration, new writing friends friendships strengthened, new encouragers in my life, hearing my daughter’s praise music on her radio instead of the other station, watching her worship our Lord in church, hearing my son sing soft and low during worship yesterday, cold air, tough love, smiling face of my sweet friend Monica, a visit from the young man and his girl who has already flown the coop (tomorrow can’t come soon enough), their future and God’s plan, the flowers from The Patient One which still warm my spirit with their autumnal colors, life.

Joining Ann, Michelle, Laura, and L.L. Barkat

Thank you for traveling with me through this series. To subscribe click hereand we will keep journeying together.