A Few Things I Learned In June {Joining Emily Freeman}

I learned a few things in June. What a month. Packed with life in all its wonder, glory, joy and pain.

I am still processing so much of what this month revealed to me. And if you have been reading along here for awhile you have heard me say “I am a slow processor.” Think the crockpot of cookeries up against the ultimate microwave. I process the things of life which I ingest over a longish period of time. Hours not minutes. Days not hours. Often.

That is to say, I am not ready to share all that I have learned. But here are a few things which I am longing to share.

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1. When we choose to do that one small thing, its impact is multiplied. Simply put, simple things can and do become grand things. Small gestures can and do become life-impacting.  The Small and The Simple are to be embraced, cherished and sought after. They take on the attributes of the magnificent. Capitalizing the lowercase things of this world.

They, after all are the game-changers, the life-changers, the emotional softening of the hard and crusty places. In June alone, I have seen this played out over and over and over again. My eyes leak and my heart hurts at the beauty and wonder of the transformative power of small. Look with me. Do you see how beautiful the small things of this world are. In a wink, a blink and a nod there are pieces of beautiful waiting to be captured, recorded and cherished. Cataloging life this way fills me up to over-flowing.

And I am learning this again and again. I am learning and believing that this is the way we are meant to see the world. I am a slow learner. And slow is really okay.

2. As a writer, I am called to use my words. And as a reader, you are invited to enter in and see the picture on the canvas that is the page. Have you seen the gold balls that drop down from the heavenlies. I found two pods this week.

(If you follow my instagram feed you may know I am in the glorious Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for a respite). You can Google with me….there is a tree which drops gold, rounded pods. And they are fragile as parchment paper, bumpy like a golfball, golden like Oriental silk. And beautiful. I am always looking for wonder and posting what I find on Instagram. It helps me to stay awake at the wheel. And no I did not take a picture of the golden balls. But we will find them on Google together.

The day I found one, I proclaimed. Gold balls are falling from heaven. No anomaly was that. I found a second. Don’t we love Google for solving the earthly mysteries, like gold balls which nature has made. Amazing.

3. Voxer is my new best friend. This I did not learn in June. This I have had amplified in June. As I am writing this post I am Voxering my very special friend Shelly Miller in London  (which by the way this “What I Learned Series” is a favorite tradition within the bloggy world  – thank you very much Emily Freeman)

Voxer is a phone app which allows you to talk, walkie-talkie style, text and send photos. Welp. That is pretty much a communication dream package, you hit the lottery, what more could you ask for. I know there are some downsides somewhere in there, but for me (and I haven’t even up-graded to Pro yet) it is the bomb-diggity. People. I get to stay in touch with writers, bloggers and friends all over the whole wide world.

4. Releasing often, maybe always involves trust. A young couple approached me at the gas station last week. They asked me for one dollar and fifty cents. For the bus. I cannot stop thinking about their need. Their circumstances, because they told me the Reader’s Digest version of their story. I am still thinking about them. Hoping for them. And when I remember to I hope I will pray for them. That small interchange, eye-ball to eye-ball, exchange of money from my hand to theirs leaves me changed. Who asks for so little. Why didn’t they go for a 20 or more. They had a need for a bus ticket from one town to the next. Small again. I wish I had been willing to give them more.

5. People like to talk about their gardens. If you know anyone who has a garden, ask them. How are your radishes this year. How are the rainfall and the soil in your world. Ask them what is thriving and what is wilting. I think the vocabulary of gardeners is the vocabulary of the soul. And if you want an ice breaker, conversation starter, or if you just want to connect on a human level with another human being, ask them about their garden. Open the garden gate and see what transpires. And you can ask yours truly about hers or follow me on instagram, where beginning July 1, it is all about my garden and chickens. AGAIN.

Gardens are a beautiful, never-grows old, metaphor for life. A place of paradox. Life and death, thriving and struggling, flourishing and floundering.

How does your garden grow?

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A Wink, A Blink and A Nod: Guest Post at A Field Of WIldflowers, #SmallWonder Link Up

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Today I am guest posting at Kelly Chripczuk’s blog, A Field Of Wildflowers. Join me, won’t you?  I am honored to be joining this beautiful community this morning for their #SmallWonder link up. My words begin like this…

I am measuring beauty and grace in increments of fragmented seconds. Small flakes of wonder, and flecks of time the size of a radish seed are grabbing and holding my attention, turning my chin with fingers, with skin. The hand of God calls me to look. The Trinity corals me into a hemmed in place for my soul to rest. ( to  read the rest of A Wink, A Blink and A Nod click here.

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Do you know the writing home of Kelly Chripczuk? Visit A Field Of Wildflowers to read more of Kelly’s own words. And find her at @inthefieldswGod on Twitter.

Perhaps: A Prayer

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Perhaps: A Prayer

If I speak at just the right time
With just the right words
With well-chosen volume, tone, tenor and pitch

Perhaps
There will be an ear to hear the real sorrow in my heart
Of the one’s who bear a real generation after generation hurt

Perhaps
If I pray at just the right time, under the steeple that holds all the people
With well-chosen words
In four-walls, holy and hallowed, sacred and filled with appropriate  thee’s and thou’s

A crack in the hardness will melt a bit
Mercy and grace will find a way through it
Healing will look and find her way in

But what if I do
Much more than I have
Bearing more weight than the things that I’ve said
Imagine each of us
Able
Perhaps
To do and make change
Touch someone, reach someone
With acts of reconciliation, healing and love

Every word
Every prayer

Maybe they will be multiplied over and over again
Rippling and ebbing
Flowing from this shore to that shore
East coast and west coast
Flooded in acts of loving our neighbor
Asking forgiveness
And simply doing the one thing we all can do
Love

Love is a verb
Do justice, love mercy

Make my days matter
Multiply my remaining
Give me a heart for the hurting
And place me on roads inward to work toward
A long season of sacred healing

Take all I have
And use it for good
Amen
And amen, again and again

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The Unwrapping

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I was a ripper. A peaker. An unnoticing receiver. Noticing by default. The things under my nose. You can’t miss what lies in wait to capture you, hold you and wrestle you to the ground. By grace, we are entrapped by the beauty of surprise and ordinary miracles.

By grace, He holds our chin and turns our heads. With beauty.

We are the walking dead if we miss it all. I glanced a ways away and I was no longer there. I was gone. Hurled into the land of Alice’s world and a Narnia place.

I had to leave. Forgive me. The crowd was a cacophony. The china on chargers held me too. But for awhile. And then I left, to keep my peace. To go and find it. To hold fast to my soul and to open my eyes to the better banquet. One nestled in trees and leaves and lawns.

I was always an eaves-dropper. Picking up and honing in. Not missing the sounds surrounding a soul on the run. Even when I was barely awake.

And so I have some small gift. That I must unwrap. So that I may unwrap, the beauty.

Oh, how grievous I would be, if I had missed the blossom, as big as the Queen’s head or the Cheshire Cat. While dining on the finest of fine.

Seeing the shadows dance on white linen and spotless glass. Silver to the right and to the left.

I left to find more. Avoiding a melancholy grief.

Missing the divine, the holy, the huge?

Never unwrapping the gifts?

Oh how dreadful it would have been. To have never seen. Those ordinary, most extraordinary of things.