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another voice


photography: hannah | honey and jam

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones, just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
“Praying” from Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver

And for me, the voice is His. And I strain harder. Press in closer. Most often, He comes by way of a whisper.

So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD ” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13

her words


photography: gina | bright and blithe

In the early morning light, I sit. Her words, tapped out across miles and space, hours before, stare at me framed in pitch. Bit by bit, I take them in. Savouring. Lingering. Once through, and then again. I swallow hard. Blink back salt. Whisper thanks. On this day, in these tasks, I will worship.

let everything happen


photography: molly | remedial eating |

Please read this post, by Michelle at Give A Girl A Fig.

a place to show up


photography: maile | maile photography |

One of the best gifts of a journal is that it gives you a place to show up.
As you write, you may discover where you actually are.
Helen Cepero

Do you journal? Is it online or on paper? Or both?
Do you journal daily or is it sporadic?
What helps you to maintain the discipline of journaling?
What are the greatest hinderances to journaling?
Do you encourage your children to journal as well?
How has journaling shaped your life – as a person, a wife, a mother, a friend?
If you don’t journal, but would like to, what is holding you back?

†Helen Cepero, Journaling As A Spiritual Practice, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), p.32.

the present


photography: joana | dans les nuages |

God is already present in the hidden depths of the present moment;
it is just because we were skimming along across the surface of what is happening
that we were unable to know and rest in that presence.
Gary Moon

How much do I miss because I am only skimming, too rushed to pierce the surface and discover what lies beneath? How much more would I see of Him simply by slowing down?

†Gary Moon, “Experiencing the Presence of God: A Conversation with James Finley,” in Conversations 4, no. 2 (fall 2006): 21
Quoted by Helen Cepero, Journaling As A Spiritual Practice, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), p. 20.

crafting the day


photography: dani | little fists |

Loving yourself has a lot to do with slowing down…
Rather than adding one thing more every day, why not try adding one thing less?
…Try editing your days; craft them to sing concisely like memorable lines of poetry.
…Rushing is anxiety in motion.
Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People

These words stopped me in my tracks, turning my eyes away from the face of the clock and onto the face of my little girl. Life will afford us many opportunities for rushing and busying ourselves, running here and there and everywhere. So today, let’s enjoy the slowness. Let’s celebrate your being small and free. Let’s just be.

†Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1999), 79.

still here…


I’m posting here this morning. Happy Friday!

needing rest


This weekend, I realized that I am tired, on several levels. We’ve been on a different sort of schedule for the past two weeks and I’m in desperate need of some rest and extra snuggle time with my little one over the next few days. I know you understand. I’ll miss being here but hope to return more refreshed and renewed later in the week. Thanks so much for understanding. I’ll probably post sporadically at bright and blithe in the meantime. I’m celebrating 30 days of beauty with Erin.

journal: week 2


Here are the links back to this week’s letters:






Thank you all for the kind comments and emails that you’ve sent my way over the past three weeks. Each one has meant so much. Some days I write and feel that my words disappear into thin air and my heart leaps when you tell me that you can relate to something I’ve rambled about here. So thank you. I’ve been meaning to set up a guestbook – a place for you to introduce yourselves. I think everyone else will enjoy visiting your blogs as much as I have. I finally got around to it. I’ll be adding a sidebar link later. It’s here. Thanks! Enjoy your Saturday.

a slow thank you


photography: cindy | quaint handmade |

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single life –
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration…
Rainer Maria Rilke

While I’m quite certain that Mr. Rilke and I part ways theologically, his words resonate something within me. I have collected a few ill-matched threads in three short decades –

Threads, that at times, have twisted themselves into a tangled web of doubt and distrust.

Threads that, in my finite understanding of things, clash terribly with the fairytale version of the story I would have chosen.

Threads frayed from constant, worrisome, shifting and stretching.

Threads faded from long soaks in warm salty tears.

Threads I prefer to keep hidden underneath.

But as I grow older, the looks back become more frequent…less frightening. And I’m seeing the lay of the land in a different light. The fiercely beautiful moments of this life I’ve lived woven in and out between the unsightly fibers makes for a sturdier tapestry than the one I would have spun entirely on my own. And somewhere past the confusion and the questions, I’m slowly learning to say thank you.

And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten…
Joel 2:25

†Rainer Maria Rilke, quoted in The Attentive Life, Leighton Ford (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 167.