I Have a Question for You: Pursue the Art of Noticing – Peabiddies Podcast

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In a few hours I will be heading off to begin the first leg of a journey—one that will take me to Our Lady of the Pines, a retreat center in Ohio. This lovely place will be home for me for four days as I attend Refine the Retreat. Last year when I attended, I hoped and prayed for an opportunity to return. And so I do. I’m headed into the pines for the second time as a retreat attendee.

I’ve been waiting for months for this opportunity to gather with 40 or so other artists, many of whom are writers. My hope is to carve out time for fellowship, rest, restoration, regeneration, and for filling back up the well of creativity by listening closely to God’s whispers and to seeking inspiration within the walls of this sacred place—as well as among the winding paths of the prayer labyrinths.

The retreat falls during the quieter more contemplative season of Lent. I’m grateful for what feels like perfect timing for carved out time and space, space set aside for sacred reflection. My hope is to seek respite and rest, paired with creative discussions on faith and art to equip me to come back to this space to offer refinement and renewal reflected in my own work with words.

Until next week.

peace and grace,

Elizabeth

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(Click to listen to this episode of my podcast, Peabiddies: Pursue the Art of Noticing, Season Two – Episode 8) https://anchor.fm/elizabethwmarshall/episodes/Season-Two—Episode-8-e38plk

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A Conversation with Libby John of Art and Faith Conversations Podcast – Part Two

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Dear Friends and Subscribers,

Thank you for listening to this episode of my podcast, Peabiddies: Pursue the Art of Noticing, Season Two – Episode 10. 

As always, I’m grateful that you carved out time to both listen and to share the podcast with friends on social media, and for referring us to others who would perhaps also choose to say yes to the invitation to pursue the art of noticing—noticing more beauty, awe, and wonder. More of the poetic, more of the winsomeness, the “whatever is lovely” in this one extraordinary life.

In this episode, I continue my conversation with artist Libby John, host of Art and Faith Conversations Podcast. Libby is a singer/songwriter, a dancer and choreographer, and both a gracious podcast host and guest.

I hope you will explore more of Libby’s music on Spotify, take a listen to her podcast, which is in its second year. And of course follow her here, on instagram @artandfaithpodcast. 

Remember that you can also subscribe to Peabiddies Notebook: Pursue the Art of Noticing, a weekly subscriber-only newsletter containing show notes, book recommendations, news regarding upcoming guests, as well as highlights from my real life and around the inter web — highlights of my own beauty and noteworthy noticings. I’m digging around, and sharing my own discoveries with you on the pages of the notebook.

Click here to subscribe: Peabiddies Notebook

Listen here:

https://anchor.fm/elizabethwmarshall/episodes/Season-Two—Episode-10-e3cgjv

Again, thank you for listening. And thank you for saying yes to the invitation to take note of this one extraordinary life.

warmly,

elizabeth wynne marshall

@Instagram – elizabethwynnemarshall

Promise Me

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Promise Me

You will
find love in the places where love is hard
and learn to know it there
Walk the trail that’s hard to blaze
Pressing on, though tripping up
On a broken wing and a cryptic prayer
Your walk will be marked by the limp of grace
Mercy, your salve on every blistered place
Remember the Psalms of Ascent
Came before

Contemplate every word that expires from your lips’ breath
And know with certainty
That each word was first birthed
From the inspiration placed in the well
within (where the echoes grow)
Remember that “think comes before speak and pray comes before it all”
And pride comes before the fall

Promise me
That excellence will find you seeking it
And it will mark the work of your hands

You won’t permit perfectionism
To entangle you, hold you captive
Wrap you up in the bonds of your own creation
Bury you in the mire of doubt
“Carry on” will be your anthem song

As you blaze root-laden trails
Settle without settling
(the third cousin of compromise)
Compromise, the first cousin of grace,
Can yield “and it was very good.”

You’ll always remember
That proximity of heart can be hard to maintain
But never let distance, brokenness, and pride
Place a wedge the size of east Texas
Between you and anyone
You love big back

Promise me you will make peace with
Both and
And
Tough and tender
Fragile and strong
And there are more
You know them well
Just promise me

You will always remember
The world is filled with grand and glorious wonder
Waiting
And there is more where that came from

 

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On The Things We Thought Would Come

I would have bet my life on it. I would have said there was a one hundred percent chance it would be. And then the things didn’t happen. They just didn’t.

We planted tomatoes in the late spring or was it early summer. I even wrote about the bounty that would come. I planned and dreamed and even longed with great expectation for the day. I announced, prematurely that we would have more than plenty and more than enough. And that we would share and give away. Joyously gift what I knew we would have to give.

I was hoping on things not seen. Longing for things to come. I had based my hope on the past. It had been this way year after year. We had experienced abundance. And thriving. And more than we could possibly enjoy. And so we would share this year. My mouth watered with anticipation at hot from the oven tomato pie and homemade pasta sauce made with basil.

Our tomatoes didn’t thrive. Yes, we had a few. But they would not win any awards. No matter how biased the judges would be (the growers). The cucumbers were “meh.” I thought we had planted squash, maybe they just didn’t come up or I missed the one that did while I was away for a few days.

And then there is the issue with our figs. The early spring cold front damaged the tree. Now the few figs we seem to have are being eaten by the birds and squirrels. We cherish the ten or so we pick everyday, rushing out to pick them early in the morning and late in the day. It is us against the cardinals.

I have lived my life as a glass half full person. And I am still that person. I am not Pollyanna but I am hopeful and mostly optimistic.

But I am learning that what we have now, what we have in these present moments are a gift. That looking forward and longing and dreaming are good. Even necessary and so integral a part of our humanity. I am a dreamer too. But these things we hold in our hand now are fragile. Sacred. Tender. The right here right now is what we have.

I will miss the tomatoes and the figs. I am missing squash from the garden with basil and onions four nights a week.

But the lack of fruit and vegetables from our backyard garden  has been a physical reminder, a needed remedial lesson. With the mild disappointment of a rather pathetic garden, I see through the lens of continued hope. Hope that holds fast and hard and firm. Even through disappointment. Even when we felt so sure we knew the outcome.

Life went a little off script. And that is increasingly more than okay.

Hope and faith which have permanence and staying power are hope and faith which ride out disappointment. Which wait for the tide to turn, for the next time, for redemption to color it all in technicolored grace.

As I work through the final stages of a writing project, I am reminded that the outcome is held in a place of unknowing. And I am increasingly okay with that. Because every step of the process, every word I have put down, deleted and re-written has somehow changed me, formed me anew.

Thank you for being here. For reading and journeying with me. You are a bountiful harvest for which I am grateful. You are friend. You are reader. You are co-journeyer.
You are subscriber, follower. You take time to read and to be here.  You listen. You listen well.

And I am grateful.

It would be an honor and I would be filled with gratitude for your continued support in these ways: if you would support my writing by liking my Facebook writer’s page, click the link here and if you would consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter, click here or at the tab at the top of this homepage. If you are on twitter or instagram, I am @graceappears there and there.

As a writer and artist it is always difficult to ask for help in these areas. So thank you. Thank you. Know that I am grateful.

 

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