October 31, 2012

beauty along the way...

Thank you for walking through October with me... encouraging me along the way, and loving me through this season of grieving. Thank you for extending grace to me... when I published three days worth of beauty seeking all at once, all late.  You have blessed me, which is something beautiful in itself.

There were days, and will be still, that I sought beauty from morning til night. I wandered the house... frustrated. I wasn't necessarily looking for something big and bold... a tiny sliver would have done. But sometimes I just don't see it. It makes me wonder what is beautiful anyway? And why cannot I not see it?  But I believe it lies in practice and perspective...

We can see life as a sticky mess, or the artwork of God... but only we can make the choice.
This October has reminded me to choose the latter...

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen
 or even touched, but must be felt with the heart.
-Helen Keller

October 30, 2012

there is beauty in the words...

Embrace change.
Take the journey back to yourself.
Love with abandon.
Speak of your gratitude.
Wear red shoes.
Unleash your creative spirit.
Dance in the moonlight.
Be positive.
Believe in healing.
Share your inner light.
Surprise yourself and do the things you didn’t think you could.
Live as if you’ve only been given one chance.


October 29, 2012

beauty is...home

Coming home was... beautiful.
A fifteen year old boy, who of late, only offers a kiss begrudgingly, wrapped his around me and gave me a welcome home kiss.  And my grown-up girl, who is not know for her hugs, threw her arms around me and held on for that extra moment.

There is no place like home...


October 28, 2012

beautiful friendship...

For years, our friendship has been heart to heart... words, emails, gifts and so many prayers. But for more than a year, we have been planning this weekend, setting it aside to turn our heart friendship face to face.  Weeks ago I told her that I would probably cry when we finally met... but this past week has had me only giddy! 

I might have jumped up and down a little bit when she pulled up to the curb and waved, but when we standing face to face, the tears started to escape. And when we were on our way, the conversation was that of two old friends, picking up where our emails and notes left off...

There is something about blogging friendships that makes them true and lovely. Perhaps it is that they are solely based on the heart, and not appearance of self or life. We return to read their words because they mirror the author's soul... and touch a corner of ours. We zip messages back and forth across the country with more honesty than we might even admit to our own hearts... because the written word is so much braver than one spoken...
tracie & me... billy graham library
 These few days have been filled with so much treasure... laughter and conversations and stories and more stories!  Beautiful memories that tie us and our friendship into something very real. 

We are to be catch basin for the fullness of God.
Like a freshly running spring, we are to overflow and let
our lives touch the lives of those around us.
-Billy Graham


October 27, 2012

footsteps in beauty

Crisp air, bright sunlight.
Autumn leaves, friendship.

And a brisk pace, as we wove our way through the woods...


October 26, 2012

a beautiful legacy

I can't imagine there is a soul around who hasn't heard of Billy Graham... but until now, I never knew his story, and really, his place in history.  Just approaching the Billy Graham Library brought a light to my face... the glass cross cut from the big old barn... and we entered there, at the foot of the cross. As we wandered and explored and listened, I was in complete awe... and enjoyed every minute.

When the Gospel of Jesus Christ is presented with
authority- quoting from the Word of God-
He takes that message and drivves it
supernaturally into the human heart.
-Billy Graham


October 25, 2012

beautiful anticipation

It has been years and years and years since I've seen real fall. I call it real fall because that was what Camden called it all of those years ago, his first and only time seeing fall outside of Florida. But this weekend, along with finally {finally!} meeting Tracie, I might really get to see the trees in all of their autumn splendor... I'm giddy!


October 24, 2012

beauty in... making due

The temperatures are still reaching towards 90 degrees.
The rain pours down and the humidity lingers heavy...
All I want is fall.

So here I am, making due...

celebrating the orange and pretending that sunlight on cypress is really some lovely fall color.  I am hoping, hoping, that maybe there might be some fall waiting for me around the bend...

October 23, 2012

beauty in what i see

He knew I was so weary... and was having a hard time picking myself up, let alone finding beauty in anything. But with just a few words, he made my heart melt... do you want to go to sunset tonight? Oh yes, this man knows me by heart. But what we did not know, was that red tide was blooming... so instead of sunset at the beach, he took me to the safari road...
and it is hard to decide on which holds more beauty... the scenery or his heart...

October 22, 2012

beauty & the beast

This made me laugh... 

The inside of my wedding band reads to my beauty, love the beast.Way back when {20 plus years ago} we saw the movie together, and fell in love with it. I love that he calls me his beauty.  Perhaps it means more, because so often I feel like he sees the side of me that can be far from it. But love loves at all times...  And is he the beast? Maybe... his job demands that he can be rough and tough... but if you look into those deep blue eyes, you can see what lies in his heart. Love and fun, the softer side... the side of him that knows me by heart...

October 21, 2012

beauty in marching on {days 20 & 21}

He has worked hard all season... enjoying it this year far more than last. I love that I can find him out there, with those brass cymbals, and during practice, with those alien eyes that look out from his hat {his favorite, from Roswell, NM}...

It was a big weekend. Full. Friday night football, the county band show, and then a Sunday afternoon parade and football game at the Buccaneer's Stadium in Tampa.  I skipped Sunday, while Eric rode along to chaperone, and while I was sitting home, I realized how much I missed going. I do so love seeing them out there on the field...

But my souvenir was more than perfect...

this photo, in daylight. No red eye, and a half smile... I've been waiting for it all season...


October 19, 2012

beauty in rest...

I didn't have any idea how hard I was working to hold myself together. As much as I thought I was giving it over to God to carry me, I was holding tightly to the task at hand.
Today... I am weary.
And thankful.
Today, I rest in Him, knowing that He did indeed carry me...

Then Jesus said,
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest."
-Matthew 11:28


October 18, 2012

beauty in a tribute

I prayed and prayed that He would not only give me the words, but that He would also hold me up. There were so many people praying for me, and I am so thankful for every prayer. By the grace of God, I made it through. I stood up in the church and read my tribute to my beautiful friend.  Though my voice was unsteady at the finish, not one tear fell...

I met Ann on the school bus… chaperoning with the marching band.  We were both new parents, and as it turns out, there are not so many differences between a freshman and a freshman parent. I know the parent is supposed to be the example, big and brave, having banished all insecurities, but some things never change… and so a school bus ride is always better when you have a buddy to ride with. She became that buddy… and through the years, I was so honored to call her friend.

We tried to set aside one Friday a lunch out. Those lunches always brought us to the Cheesecake Factory, and more often than not, the same booth, and the same waitress. Christine, Ann & I would share hours of laughter and conversation over lunch, and of course, cheesecake.  It was after one of those first Friday lunches that we ventured into the mall and stopped at the Lancome counter for mascara. The make-up girl was friendly and kind, and she had a couple of piercings that seemed out of place in Dillards. I was wandering the counter when I heard Ann ask “Did your piercings hurt?” I felt my eyes grow wide as I listened, but my shock quickly turned to amazement as the conversation continued. The  girl assured Ann that “No, it hadn’t hurt too much,” and Ann then asked her if she had her tongue pierced too? This time it was this girl’s eyes that widened and she said “No ma’am. My mama would kill me for that!” I would never have acknowledged the gap between pierced and unpierced, but in her caring way, Ann recognized that this young girl longed to be noticed.  The conversation may have lasted under five minutes, but it has stayed with me… the way she showed love to a stranger. I imagine that this young lady walked a little taller after we left… that she, having been seen, might in turn, pass the love along.  Or at the very least, have a conversation to share across the table that night with her Mama.

In the spring of 2011, Ann shared that her greatest wish and prayer was to see Michael graduate. I added her prayer to my heart’s most desperate desire, which was for her healing on earth. A full year went by, with lunches and hundreds of texts that flew back and forth, all in the effort to somehow fit a lifetime of friendship into too little time. The weeks that stretched to June and graduation were filled with joyful blessings: The news that David & Claudia would be here, a working lunch, with cheesecake, to create corsages for three beautiful girls, school concerts and senior celebrations. Her eyes filled when she shared how thankful she was to be here to see it all. The Friday morning of graduation, I woke up and knew.  I knew that I would be witness to His glorious YES, the answer to our heartfelt prayer.  I was humbled and full of joy.  That night she was far across the gym, but I could see her, and I knew she was beaming. The weekend celebrations were woven with so much joy, and those few days will remain some of my most beautiful memories.

It was the end of June when I saw weary peek out from behind her beauty and grace, but she continued to embrace all that was within her reach. Through it all, she taught me life.  That maybe cancer really is about God. That somehow He can use the awful and the ugly to show His glory through someone as beautiful and grace-filled as Ann.  Never have I seen Jesus more vibrantly than through her. 

I believe it is true that only God can truly change a person, but my dear full of grace friend, God has changed me through you. This world is less without you, but heaven promises to be so much more.

October 17, 2012

beauty in the reaching out...

Friendship isn't a big thing...
It's a million little things. 
~Author Unknown

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