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Archive for the ‘Sources of Inspiration’ Category

Beauty in things

There are so many awesome things to be found on the internet.  Here’s what been inspiring me and making me smile lately.

  1. After so many years of feeling like I always failed the “good Christian quiet time test”, I love Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project. I’ve finally found a meditation practice that feels like it fits who I am.
  2. I know I’ve mentioned Michael Nobbs’ Sustainably Creative website before.  I love his One Thing Today podcasts.  They’re my favourite listening on my way to work in the morning.  You can listen to his 400th podcast here. I also can’t wait for my pre-ordered copy of his new book Drawing Your Life to arrive.  Love the video he made to celebrate its pending publication.
  3. I had the pleasure of meeting Kristin Noelle last summer.  I love her artwork and Trust Tending is a fabulous place to find inspiration. Each week she has an giveaway of one of her drawings.  I won this one and one of my tasks this weekend was hanging it up in my bedroom, right where I will see it every morning as I wake up and every evening before I go to sleep.
  4. Don’t remember who pointed me in the direction of this list, but I think I actually cheered out loud when I read 25 Things You Don’t Have to Justify to Anyone.
  5. If you’ve seen pictures of my niece’s hedgehog Oliver, you know why I have to try making these adorable hedgehog cookies the next time she’s here for a visit.
  6. I love the community of women who are part of Flock. Rachelle Mee Chapman has created a beautiful and safe space that has played a huge part in me finding the spiritual practices that make sense to me. I’m loving our practices for February and her new Relig-ish series of videos.

What are you loving?

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Which one of these would catch your eye more as you walk or drive down the street?

The picture perfect star … or the not-so-perfect star?

Picture Perfect StarSlighty warped star

These two stars live side by side on a downtown street. For the last couple of months I’ve walked or driven past them almost every day.

Even though the one hides partially behind a tree, it is the one I look for.  It’s the one that has brightened my commute to work all season long.

It caught my eye shortly after the decorations were put up. It stood out.  It was different from every other one on the street.  It had personality and character. It was unique and special.

If you look at the star up close …

Warped up close

… it’s a little warped.  A little bent. A little twisted.  A little broken. It seems a little insecure. You might wonder how it’s holding on, or whether it might fall down on some unsuspecting passer-by.

But at the same time, you see it’s beauty.

You know it’s off-kilter-ness is exactly what makes it stand out.

Its beauty comes from its brokenness.  Not in spite of its brokenness.

It is beautiful exactly because it is not perfect.

It is beautiful because it is broken.

Its brokenness is beautiful.

Sit with that for a moment, and then imagine …

Our brokenness is beautiful.

Why is that so hard to hear and to believe for ourselves? We can believe it of other things and for other people, but when it comes to ourselves, it’s so easy to fall into the trap that being perfect makes us beautiful.

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

– Leonard Cohen

Do me a favour?  Go watch Kyeli’s video Broken Open.

She says it so well and with such a wide open heart.  Maybe like me, when you hear her words, your eyes will get a little damp and you’ll believe just a little bit more that your brokenness is beautiful.

I’ll be sad when they take my star down. I suspect it won’t look the same when it returns next fall. Someone will probably have given in to the need to fix it and make it appear perfect again.

And if they do? The star will lose what makes it perfect just the way it is.

Perfect just as it is

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Writing Date

An empty coconut creme frappuccino and words scribbled in orange pen might not seem worth a photo.

But I don’t know a better way to take a photo of our weekly, cross-continent, writing date.

Tara and Joanna, I am so grateful for you. Meeting you was a wonderful and unexpected gift. You inspire me. You make me laugh. You challenge me to be a better writer, and, more importantly, a better person. I don’t know when, but some day I hope we get to have an in-person writing date. Hugs!

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I adore my nieces.

This is my fantastically amazing niece Grace, and her equally fantastically amazing, brand new haircut.

Grace's Fabulous New Haircut

While we were taking photos, we were blown away by the size of the hydrangeas blooming in the side yard.

Crazy Huge Hydrangea

Then things got a little silly.

Brave New Hair, Scary Bee

The hydrangea is crazy huge, but not actually scary.  The bee buzzing just behind the flower? That’s another story!

I don’t want to embarrass her. I’m really glad that she said yes and let me celebrate her new haircut as part of my August Break photos.

But I have to say this.

I am so proud of you.  You are a wonderful, brave, beautiful, compassionate and strong young woman who sees the best in the people and world around you.  You inspire me and I am so grateful that I have the privilege of being part of your journey. I love you more than there are words to express.

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When I decided last week to take more photos, I thought it would be fun to take at least one picture each day of something that caught my attention or brought me a moment of joy.

Thanks to Emily Quinton for the inspiration of her It’s the little things blog posts. The glimpses into her world never fail to make me smile.

So, here are a few moments from last week in my world.

Monday Snap DragonsTuesday Blue Hydrangeas

And yes, for those paying attention, it’s the same blue hydrangea you saw in last week’s post.  It really was my Tuesday picture.  I’ve been having fun watching how the colour grows.

Wednesday BannersThursday Purple SidewalkFriday Round Chai Latte HeartSaturday Red Rose

No Sunday picture, but I couldn’t resist sharing an extra Saturday pic.  I actually turned the car around and went back to take this picture.  I needed to.  I was giggling too hard to be driving anyhow. =D

Saturday Sign

I haven’t decided yet how long I’m going to keep taking a picture a day, but there are already Monday and Tuesday pictures on my phone.

It was a fun exercise that helped me slow down, pay attention and savour those moments of joy.  That definitely can’t be a bad thing.

Give it try … and if you do, I’d love to see a glimpse into your week.

Feel free to leave a link in the comments below.

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