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tea&BibleIt’s that time of the year again.  My boy and girl started back to school for the fall and I am refilling my cup.  A cup that had become so empty that I could almost see the pale blue bottom.  We had a good summer, really.  My boy and girl, husband and I.  Drinking-in the ocean air, cheering on my girl during her first summer of swim team, holding my first art show,  reading and napping on the couch in the afternoons, sitting poolside, visiting amusement parks, and even celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary (just my husband and I!) on a cruise to the Bahamas.  All good things.  At the same time, by the end of August, I found myself feeling empty.

Those last weeks of August always seem to be the hardest weeks of the summer.  We’ve done just about all the summer activities on our bucket list and everyone is just a bit bored and antsy.  Antsy for the next season to begin.  For my boy and girl, the next season entails seeing friends and favorite teachers, soaking-up new information, recess(!), and the comfort of familiar, predictable school routines.  For me, fall means quiet-time.

For an introvert like me, quiet-time is like morning coffee.  Quiet-time to meditate, pray, read uplifting words and scripture, reflect, and really hear God whispering to my heart.  And while I had the best intentions of making this a daily routine during the summer, somewhere along the way, it became easier to spend those opportunities sleeping just a little bit later, checking-in on what everyone else was up to on Facebook, or fitting-in a phone call while my boy and girl were occupying themselves.  So, it’s no surprise that I found myself running empty during those last weeks of August.  So empty that I started to wonder where my art and words would come from when I did finally settle down by myself.decktable

And then, the big yellow bus came earlier this week.  For just a few moments, I felt a little lonely without my two sidekicks beside me, chattering away.  But after making a cup of tea in my new favorite blue tea-cup (a beach vacation treasure), grabbing my journal, favorite devotional, and Bible, I stepped out onto the deck and smiled.  This is nice.   I pulled a wrought-iron chair up to the table and initiated a long, needed chat with God.  Not just the few phrases that I hurriedly prayed throughout the summer, but heartfelt words and questions penned in ink across my journal pages and then long, luxurious spaces of quiet, just spent listening.  Listening to the cicadas.  Listening to the birds. And listening to God.

I am intentionally leaving room for lots of these quiet-moments over the next few weeks.  I trust that once my cup is full, once again, there will be plenty more inspiration spilling over the sides.


I stepped into today just like pulling-on my favorite fleece sweatpants.  For various reasons, I have not been taking my morning walks this week until today, Friday.  The cool air brushes against my skin and with each step, I think to myself, “It is well.”  Fall’s vibrant reds and yellows delight my eyes and the sounds of birds chirping against the background of chainsaws buzzing through a neighbor’s tree fill my ears.  An early morning thunderstorm washed away any tracks left behind from the day before, making the wooded path feel all the more luscious.  A once dry creek bed gurgles gently.  I stand still in the middle of the path.  In the middle of God’s most beautiful painting.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve felt at the mercy of both planned and unplanned schedules.  Life and obligations coming together all at the same time.  Packages to be mailed, meals to be delivered, prescriptions filled, pills counted and dropped-off at school, all amidst the unplanned – a broken dryer and a stone blocking a saliva gland on one side of my neck.  So, I’ve been moving through the days with one side of my neck swollen-up like a chipmunk storing nuts and hauling laundry back and forth to a most gracious neighbor’s house.  Yes.  My body has been a bit more tired and fragile than usual.  At the same time, though, I am noticing the absence of a most familiar friend – anxiety.

I started noticing the calming of my heart after pushing through the first few weeks of my challenge to write for six-weeks in the raw while taking a writing class at the local Visual Arts center.  You may remember those first few posts written with sweaty hands and a pounding heart.  Fear of just letting go and putting myself out there.  Well, I finished my last class for this course earlier this week which also marks my last totally “raw” post.  With each week and each reading of my work, I noticed my body relaxing and my thoughts less focused on how things sound and more focused on just putting my thoughts down on paper.  I have done this before, in my journal, but never in a context where I have to share what I have written with others.  I’m not really sure whether I am a better writer because of taking this course, but I do believe that I am a more peaceful writer.  I am at peace with where I am in the world.  At my core, I know that I am supposed to create with words, paint and glue.  I don’t know where this need will lead me and for the first time, it is okay just to walk the path without knowing where I will end-up.  It is well with my soul.


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