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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Inspiration from Olympians and Steven King

Stephen King book On Writing outside on chair with helleborus

I counted on a rainy winter week to hunker down and work on writing, but the woods in our backyard are full of bird song, the hellebores, daffodils, crocus, tulips and forsythia Plum and pear trees have also blossomed. It feels like May. I couldn't stay inside.

While working outside I started thinking about my lack of writing discipline compared to the discipline of the athletes of the 2010 Olympic games, in our backyard to the north. Bodie Miller on the downhill, back after terrible injuries to win the bronze, Canadian skater Joannie Rochette, whose mother died suddenly, yet went on to skate beautifully and many more with determination to proceed no matter what the emotion or pain. It seems to be the message of these last weeks.

On the previous week of bad cold, slight fever, aches and brain mush, which caused me to lay on the couch, I picked up a book from the coffee table that a friend lent to me, On Writing, by Stephen King. His perseverance to write, overcoming tremendous obstacles from a near fatal accident inspired me but once again pointed out my lack of persistence. I want to strive for the following:

1. Write every day no matter what (even sunny days)

2. Set up a space and time of day and stick with it no matter what.

3. Show up at the page and just write.

4. “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things only get better.” P.269

I want to be tough for you Lord. Strengthen me to do your will. I do not want to cave in to the least pressure. Help me to get beyond my fear.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2a

Is fear keeping you from doing what God is calling you to do? What is the next step to overcoming it? Do you have anyone to hold you accountable and to encourage you?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February Weekend Photo Clips

A fun weekend with a surprise visit from our son and grandson. Here are some pictures. Will post blog later this week.
Teaching grandson Dylan about flickers with found feathers

Chef son Chris’ Kiwi Pineapple jam experiment for his restaurant

Chris brought this so Neil could experiment with a fried clam dinner

Summer-like weather brought out the bees

Batman visits too

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God's heart for you

Sunday,  I looked for a garden Valentine heart that I could post, asking God, "Where might I find one?" No answer until yesterday as I came through the gate into the  garden, there in front of me, the wind had blown the dead pampas into a heart.  
Honestly, I didn't do this, and I didn't expect Him to answer in this way. God who controls the wind and all the ways of our life (if we ask) has abundantly more for you than you could ever ask or imagine.

What in your life have you asked God for but He hasn't answered? He wants you to have the mind of Christ not our "in the box thinking" God's timing is not my timing and I am thankful for it....often after the fact.
This heart is sent to you as a reminder that you are on God's heart every day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How uniformity, efficiency and tidiness can stifle

A very quick drawing from memory of the hedge

The juniper “hedges” caught my attention last week as we pushed the girls in their stroller through a 50 year old stable neighborhood in California. They caught my attention first because they were the primary landscape structure in our first purchase 60’s house.

I can see that these owners, who could no longer garden as they once did, hired a “neighborhood gardener” who did not understand the habits of plants but just wanted to make everything trim. There were many undulating, squared edged long hedge-like shapes that once contained separate plants. In the center of one of the undulations, was a bright pink blossom, the bare remains of an engulfed suffocated azalea. The shocking scene was there for the sake of uniformity, efficiency and tidiness.

• Uniformity: In a garden and culture, it is easier to control through sameness. Beauty and life in both areas, however, achieves its fullness from diversity and freedom, which if we are not watching closely can disappear slowly and unnoticeably for the sake of control.

• Efficiency: It provides the space for creativity to happen but creativity does not happen because of it. In the garden mentioned above efficiency took away the space rather than enhancing creativity. (unless you might call this “hedge” creative)

• Tidiness: Clearing out all the dead matter and distractions that are not useful to the vision is beneficial in most ways. But when tidiness becomes the end not the means, creativity and diversity are as lost as the vision.

What is engulfing you so that you lose your identity, freedom and creativity? How can you get it back?

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1                         
 Lord set us free to be all that you have created us to be, by your grace.

Does this make sense?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Escaping to See and Hear God's Heart

Daughter stopping for a picture while heading to the church for granddaughter’s baptism

This week we stepped away from the social media connections and from the garden, jumping off the island onto a ferry, heading to California for our granddaughter’s baptism Sunday January 31.

In one of the books I carried along to read,  Gardens, A Literary Companion,(my exception from escaping the garden), was an essay by Douglas Chambers, “On Reading a Garden”, mentioning “the cybergabble that eats up most of our lives: voicemail, email (now the likes of twitter and facebook), all of it in the chain-mail of an electronic culture that prevents us from really seeing and hearing,” The escape to the garden was his solution; ours joining our family for this important celebration.

We have escaped it all (including a timely posted blog) to "really see and hear" this celebration. Tears welled up in my eyes when our kids rededicated their lives, our granddaughter smiled and gazed into the eyes of the pastor who baptized her, and the congregation promised to pray for her, guide and nurture her in word and deed. Our hearts drank in the importance of the day as we experienced God’s heart. I hope it stays with us all.

“Train up a child in the way she should go, and when she is old she will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

What today will you let go of so you might really see and hear and feel God’s heart?

1.Douglas Chambers, “On Reading a Garden” from Stonyground: The Making of a Canadian Garden, 1996, excerpted in Gardens, a Literary Companion, Merilyn Simonds, ed. Vancouver, B.C.(Greystone Books, 2008, p. 43-44