• Today I am sitting with the cosmos. It is the eve of their impending demise and we have much to catch up on before they slip away. For months, I have been watchful of their progress. After a few moments of […]

  • @s-v-hobbie Thank you for mentioning the Shel Silverstein poem! I haven’t read that since I was little, and I know I didn’t feel the same appreciate for it then as I did just now while reading it again. I think the theme he is conveying is a practical version of what I’ve been pondering on in the writing of this article. I’ve been brainstorming…[Read more]

  • So good!!! “May our persuasiveness be the fruit borne by seeds planted in struggle and watered by our own tears, sweat, and blood.” Thank you so much for this!

  • I once heard a wise woman talk about enjoying things during times of want that had been stocked up in times of plenty. Like myself, she was a gardener. She told a tale of a lovely patch of strawberries. I could […]

    • Such a delightful article to read. A new way of looking at things…preserving joy. I love it. Thanks!

    • This is so good to read on (yet another) gray, damp day. Thanks, Gina. Love you! 💛

    • Gosh, Gina, this makes me want to go make some jelly! And what a wonderful metaphor, too. I needed to be reminded of the “preserves” of joy sitting on the shelf of my heart, waiting to be opened and enjoyed during this current winter.

    • @s-v-hobbie Thank you for mentioning the Shel Silverstein poem! I haven’t read that since I was little, and I know I didn’t feel the same appreciate for it then as I did just now while reading it again. I think the theme he is conveying is a practical version of what I’ve been pondering on in the writing of this article. I’ve been brainstorming what are the applicable ways to actually accomplishing this desire I have. I’m never one for cheesy answers, EVER! But I have been actually considering creating a Joy Journal, that I only put in Good Things I can find in my memories, and then also will write down future ones as well when they happen. That may be a real way of putting effort into the act of preserving and keeping joy. I love that you mentioned the difference between the Tangible and the Intangible. I know that is a particular area of struggle for me to remember that EVERYTHING He has includes those things too. I always find it funny that we as humans don’t just have “Faith” as a whole thing, but rather we part and parcel it out. A personal example of my own is that I can have much more faith for His provision in finances than I can for the pain in my back, and so on and so on. I wish that Faith were experienced more as a blanket the covers everything. But I think that’s something many of us are working through. Thanks so much for your comment and thoughts. I appreciate how it helps me in my own processing of it all.

  • I love this so much! The work of spring is overwhelming and invigoration all at the same time. It is simultaneously exhausting and refreshing. And ss much as I dislike winter, I know it creates a forced rest that I would never take if Spring could last forever. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this!

  • How many of you have specific events that are a yearly marker in the journey towards spring? I have several. My computer currently has a browser open counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the […]

    • I love this! Every year I think this might be the year that I start a garden or flower beds. Regardless if i do or not, the sight of seeds and plants at the store has the same reaction for me. Such hope and promise in those little packets!

    • I just spent yesterday morning planting seeds, along with peonies and day lilies. I especially loved this: “As a gardener, I can never escape how significantly gardening mimics life. It is a wonderful parallel that fills me with awe and reverence.” So much of my own writing has been a direct result of truths God has shown me in the garden. Parables are everywhere!

  • Jennifer this is beautiful! ” I can either do nothing at all, or (wake up, little dream!) I can do the little something I can do. ” Thank you for this needed reminder!

  • I am an artist. I am a singer. I am a songwriter. I am a musician. I am a poet. I am an author. I am, however, also married to Joe Sutphin. The end.

    For many years, that would have been the end of this […]

    • This resonates with me. I do not really see myself as being an artist, probably because I have a twin who is much more artistic than I am. I have always been the practical one, and my strengths are more in line with organization and efficiency than creativity. But ultimately, I am also capable of making things and expressing things to some degree. While I think it makes sense to use my strengths, I don’t have to dismiss or neglect the more creative part of me in the process. I need to leave room for that in my life too.

    • Gina, THANK YOU for writing this, for allowing us this peek into your heart. I love it. Vulnerability in this very topic is so hard for me–thanks for the reminder that no one is alone in this. Big hug.

    • Such a beautiful piece of writing. Deep, complex conflict is vulnerably exposed, thoroughly explored and gracefully resolved. Really wonderful and encouraging.

    • Thank you, Gina.

    • This is such a good reminder! Thank you for this.

    • Love this, Gina! You and Joe were such an encouragement to me at Hurchmoot 2015… I’m grateful for the honesty, care, and generosity you guys have shown to me and so many others.

    • Much needed. Thank you, Gina.

    • Thank you for this! It is something I always need to be reminded of.

      Also, that wood bowl is gorgeous.

  • How many of you wait and watch for spring all winter long like I do? For me, the longing for spring sets in the moment I see the first leaf change color in the fall. It’s a heart aching that grows ever deeper w […]

    • “Our actions of taking what we think is ours, recognizing it as God’s through surrender, worshiping God though working towards our desired outcome, while we wait for what only God can do, this is the dance of work and worship.”

  • Rebecka, I love this.
    “That cold spell was long and often bitter but how sweet is the warmth of the sun (my Lord’s tender mercies bestowed as answered prayers in His season)” 
    There is no sweeter feeling than the first few times in spring, when the sun is warm enough to actually feel it on my face. Just breathing in that sweet warm light is s…[Read more]

  • Thanks Pete for all your hard work. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to help me see some these things so I can improve as a writer.

  • I am so glad this is was timely for you. Sometimes we look at where we’re at and it doesn’t make sense. We feel unrecognizable to ourselves and we create this outward shell so it won’t be obvious to others. The shell looks like us while the inside is something completely different. The inside is in hiding, in self-protection mode trying to disap…[Read more]

  • As a gardener, I’m aware of how many things are necessary for success when you “put your hand to the plow.” Some of my knowledge was gained by growing up next door to my great grandfather’s farm, and some through […]

    • These are timely words of wisdom for me. I relate to your words of frustration with others. I have recently been convicted by my similar thoughts, lacking grace and love towards people precious to me. I can’t say I’ve been really busy. I can say I’ve been distracted, escaping, self-medicating. I dread the consequences of choices my loved ones are making, and lament my powerlessness to intervene. Instead of staying present with the pain, I have been hardening my heart and giving in to frustration and anger. I’m in self protect mode instead of love and sacrifice mode. I need to pray for guidance on ways I can respond in love, and trust God’s love for them.

      • I am so glad this is was timely for you. Sometimes we look at where we’re at and it doesn’t make sense. We feel unrecognizable to ourselves and we create this outward shell so it won’t be obvious to others. The shell looks like us while the inside is something completely different. The inside is in hiding, in self-protection mode trying to disappear. Escapism can be a form of self-medicating. In a session at Hutchmoot last year, Pete Peterson spoke on Acedia and the writings of Katherine Norris. He referred to it as the noon day demon that convinces you the best use of your time is to do nothing. That really stood out to me as a signification struggle I have faced during this season of self-protection. Thomas Aquinas identifies acedia with “sorrow of the world” saying it is “sorrow about spiritual good in as much as it is a Divine good”. And that sorrow and disheartened place can lead to “a flight from the world that leads to not caring even that one does not care.” It’s easier to stay behind our thin shells and just look pretty to everyone around us. But how many other shell people do we know? Maybe it’s best to just be bravely transparent so others know they are not alone. Thank you so much @jbfullyalive for taking the time to comment.

    • Rebecka, I love this.
      “That cold spell was long and often bitter but how sweet is the warmth of the sun (my Lord’s tender mercies bestowed as answered prayers in His season)” 
      There is no sweeter feeling than the first few times in spring, when the sun is warm enough to actually feel it on my face. Just breathing in that sweet warm light is such a similar feeling to God’s love and mercies. Each have their own way of almost making the cold season seem unremarkable and forgettable in comparison.
       
      It sounds like we’ve had some similar experiences and struggles with ourselves.  I would encourage you to click on Emily’s “For Your Weekend” link in the comments.  I was honored to be included, but one of the best parts of being included was reading the other articles.  I especially needed “You’re Never Going to Be Fully Ready” by Shauna Niequist. I feel certain it will speak to you in your current situation as well.  Thanks Rebecka.

  • This is wonderful! I became aware of her music because of Rabbit Room. Her latest CD is amazing! Really looking forward to this!

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