Sunday, January 26, 2014

Slow Me Down That I May See

My pastor showed this video in church and to much chagrin...I believe this is so true.

A social experiment was done in a Washington DC subway, captured in the Washington Post article, Pearls Before Breakfast, showing how busy and pre-occupied we are as a society that we are not present to the goodness around us.  Joshua Bell is a Grammy-award winning violinist and conductor, once a child prodigy, playing on an instrument worth $3 million.  Watch as he plays in the subway area of DC as people go to work.

I believe he earned approximately $30 in his open violin case and very few paid him any attention at all.

This strikes so much conviction in my I know my heavenly Father is lavishing wonderful gifts upon me continually that go unnoticed because I fail to notice.  If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?  Am I missing???

I'm sure I am not alone.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Weekend Highlights on a Textured Tuesday

I'm linking up today with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday...

Edster and I (and the dogs) went to Berlin, Ohio this past weekend...right in the middle of the largest Amish community in the world.  It was my birthday...and it was good to escape from the city to the simplicity of this rural life.

This man, a blacksmith, had just replaced this horse's shoes and took him for a walk to check his work.  Of course, the dog had to go along...

I came across five horses standing along the road...used most likely for transportation.  Here is a photo of three of them with Kim's waterfront27 texture.  They were all black...

except for this one.  This gorgeous Percheron (shown with Kim's 0212 texture) was stunning...

And I could not take my eyes off of him and those white lashes!

There is nothing so pristine as Amish farms...where nothing goes to waste. (Texture used is Kim's brisbane and sybil.)

I was moved as I contemplated how materialism complicates our life so much...and what we miss because of it.  I saw this buggy in the distance while it was snowing and the sun peeking through.  (Texture used is Kim's waterfront17.) One phrase came to my mind..."live simply."

Now, I must say that I am very hesitant to photograph the Amish, respecting their beliefs.  I try to be non-intrusive, never photographing a full face...often photographing from behind or from a distance.  At most...a profile.  But I was blessed by this bonus of ice skating youth on a frozen pond.  Watching them for nearly a half an hour, watching their smiles and their antics.  They were living their lives.  And one phrase came to mind..."simply live."

It was a beautiful weekend with those I love in a rural land truly and simply all its own.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

When Five Plus Seven Does Not Equal Twelve

Where has the time gone?  I cannot believe this is the 28th anniversary of my 29th birthday (smile)!

But it does go by so fast!  I'm taking Becky Higgins' 12-week course, Project Real Life.  The first two weeks have focused on two of the principles from Stephen Covey's best-seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

  • Begin with the end in mind.
  • Put first things first.

When I think of the end in mind...I think of eternity and what impact will my life have on eternity.  I think about the kind of legacy I leave my children and grandchildren.  When I reflect on priorities come clear.

And while they may become clear, keeping our priorities in check, i.e., putting first things first, is a daily challenge.  So many distractions compete for my attention.  And sometimes the tyranny of what is urgent can be disguised as what is most important.  Often it is not.

I think of Christ's advice in the promise of Matthew 6:33,

Seek first the kingdom of God's and His righteousness, and all these things
shall be added unto you. (ESV)

I think it is pretty clear where my first priority should be and that will influence the rest.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Making an Attempt ~ Making Brushes

They used to talk about "the blue screen of death" when your computer monitor would just show a blue bank screen if you had your PC on when a buried virus was set to activate.  Well...I had the failure of an external hard drive...four years of photographs!

Did I have it backed up?  Of course...but I hadn't backed it up for 5 months...and off to The Disk Docktor it went.  So with limited access to photos, I want to show you a few of the brushes I made in my class with Kim Klassen using my Wacom Bamboo tablet.

A year ago I read Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That is Always Talking...coupled with my Ali Edward's class of One Little Word word was "embrace."

So in honor of embracing my introversion in 2013...I made a brush set with "introvert" words.

Introverts re-energize by stepping away and spending significant time in solitude.

We are most "active" in our inner life...

Our minds are very active...even if we are quiet.

Does the saying "still waters run deep" come to mind?

Very little is done without least the important things.  We have intention...

We love to reflect and process experiences...

And in our authenticity...we embrace who we really are.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Verse and A Word

The Bible app "YouVersion" challenged its users to choose one verse as a focus verse for 2014.  I chose I Peter 5:6-7...

Several things pointed me to this me specific direction for focus:

  • Just be humble...don't worry about impressing or appeasing.  Who am I anyway?
  • God's timing is perfect...and in His time (not mine)...He will exalt me FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE (which should be my only concern).
  • Worry and anxiety is pride that basically states God cannot handle it or is unconcerned, so I must figure it out.
  • And that through the next 365 days, I am under His care.
Stay tuned and I'll refer to practical ways I'm applying this verse in the coming year.

I'm also doing Ali Edwards' One Little Word...where the challenge is to focus on one word as you travel over the next 365 days.  Last year my word was embrace.

My word for 2014 is "pursue."  Where will this take me?  Can't wait to see!

Thanking God today for these images found on my New Year's Day walk!