Monday, November 30, 2009

treasured words.

over on my other "blog" - the one that is a journal just for me - i have a column in the sidebar full of things people have said to me or written to me. wonderful things.

some of the quotes are the ways my family has told me they love me. others are encouragement from friends - or just acquaintances. there are a few things that kids have said, even. (how is it that a child can tell you that you're beautiful in a way that you can't possibly doubt?) sprinkled in are several verses - ones that tell how amazingly God loves me.

the column is titled, "hear this." and i'll be honest - some days i forget the words are even there, or i catch a glimpse of them and smile (that's what prompted this post, actually). but other days come when i really need to be reminded by someone else of the truth about myself; it's on those days that i scroll down to find the quotes and read through each and every one. i soak them in, breathe my body and spirit full of them. and then, i end up feeling as though i could fly.

so, thanks for your words. they are powerful, i tell you. every time i read the ones that you all have given me, i am reminded to spread encouraging words myself.

who knows? someone else might be collecting them, too.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Captivating Colors of Creation

"And God said, Let the earth put forth [tender] vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees yielding fruit whose seed is in itself, each according to its kind, upon the earth. And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed according to their own kinds and trees bearing fruit in which was their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day." -Genesis 1:11-13, Amplified Bible

Saturday, November 28, 2009


so it's the 28th day of nablopomo. i don't really know what to write, and yet i'm feeling ramblish at the same time. so do you want to come sit on the sofa with me and just chat? i said i wasn't going to show up for this football game, but the cheering was irresistable. and here i am.

earlier today i set up the (artificial) tree here in the living room. now the warm white lights are glowing. there's a quiet comfort and anticipation in their light. i'm so glad to be looking forward to Christmas, settling into the spirit of the holiday.

i told you i was feeling ramblish, right? that means little bits of things with little to no connection. here's the next bit: i was at the library the other day just browsing around, and a book titled quotations for kids caught my eye. (naturally. i love quotations.) it's a pretty cool concept - the quotes are arranged by subject, including everything from "accomplishment" to "zoos." here's one on "music:"
"even after a big bell is silent you can put your hand on the metal and feel the last tingle of vibrations, as though it were still singing to itself, private music of its own which we can't hear." -Peter Dickinson
and one about "names:"
"names are strange and special gifts. there are names you give to yourself and names you show to the world, names that stay for a short while and names that remain with you forever, names that come from things you do and names that you receive as presents from other people." -Michael Dorris
aren't those good? the book is really enjoyable to flip through - you always find something new! (oh, look - now i'm rhyming. *grin*)

oh - one more thing - i've been thinking about what happens after november ends. i've really loved writing consistently here. it takes away the "should i write?" question. i just write. and i like the routine-ness of that. every day might be a bit much, though. so i've been considering maybe something like monday-wednesday-friday posting. that way there would be some days that i wouldn't have an option (which is a big part of what has made nablopomo so effective) - and i could do more if i want to. best of both words, right?!

alrighty. enough rambling. thanks for listening...and have a happy saturday night!

Friday, November 27, 2009

On the day after Thanksgiving...

On the day after Thanksgiving, I had a wonderful time spontaneously crafting with my mom - and creating the first card in I-don't-know-how-long! (That's a long time!)

On the day after Thanksgiving, I fed and loved on and romped with a chocolate lab - and remembered how great big dogs are. So sweet. (This is totally not a put-down of my family's own small dog!)

On the day after Thanksgiving, I lit my last autumn candle and let it glow until the wick sputtered out at the end of the wax - and basked in that quiet, slow light. (Now I've soaked in my last bit of autumn and can light the Christmas candles with full abandon!)

On the day after Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


My heart is full tonight. I'm sitting here on the floor, typing with one hand and petting the sweet, snuggly dog with the other. I really don't know what to say. Where to begin.

I have been richly blessed. I look at this life I am living, and I am truly awed by how God has worked and what He has given.

You know the poem I linked to yesterday? Four of the lines capture my gratefulness: "Yet far beyond full knowing / There's a strong unsleeping Light / That reaches round to hold me / Through the watches of the night." It's that Light - that Presence - that fills my heart to bursting and opens my eyes to the beauty surrounding my life - the beauty that comes from seeing imperfect things illuminated by His light.

I am grateful. For Light. For unseen arms holding me. And, for the growth of being guided through scary night watches.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

{today} through the senses


lovely soft wool winding its way into a pattern beneath my fingers.


more bulb growth. watching these beauties truly is mesmerizing.

rustling leaves underfoot. i believe there are now more leaves on the ground than in the trees - making for delightful autumn noises.

mexican dip for supper. *so* yummy in my tummy (to borrow the phrase from some of my favorite little friends!).

apple pies fresh from the oven and ready for a festive feast tomorrow. be it known that the creation of pretty pie crusts is a wonderful creative outlet. *smile*

here's one for you! go listen to these lovely words read in the most delightful irish lilt. beautiful in the truest of ways.

Monday, November 23, 2009


It's actually kind of serendipitous that November is National Blog Posting Month. November is the month I started writing online. It was a year ago. I'd actually been planning to celebrate on the 28th - to celebrate that I've been writing consistently for a whole year - but I realized just now that I have been mixed up as to the date I wrote my first post. It was on the 21st, not the 28th. So I've missed it by two days.

But it's still been a year. A year, since I opened my first Blogger page and created a private journal sequestered away for only my own eyes. A year, since bits of my heart started trickling through my typing fingers and into print. A year.

I can actually remember exactly where I sat as I wrote 52 Mondays ago. I remember the warm bricks at my back. I remember squinting to see past the sunlight to my laptop screen. I remember the fellow students streaming through the door at my side - and how the words flowing into my post dampened my acute awareness of those students. I remember feeling a little frustrated that what I was writing seemed to be just a random observation, and yet still doggedly typing away - determined not to undermine the purpose of my journal. And I remember how satisfying it was to see those finished words; how it felt as though I were a tiny bit lighter.

It was a year ago. And they were just words - they still are. But by writing them, I see more clearly. Both myself, and the world. That's why, a year later, I'm still writing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

this day.

breathing in.
breathing out.
being filled.


Friday, November 20, 2009


my eyes are a little bleary tonight. my nose stuffy. i came home after a (quite pleasingly successful) shopping trip on which i embarked on a whim after school - and realized how tired i actually am.

that's ok. it's the simple things that matter, right?

simple things like comfy at-home clothes and a movie with a brother and sister. simple things like macaroni and cheese. simple things like sitting cross-legged on the carpet with a sleepy dog lying beside you and losing your fingers in its soft fur.

like the rhythm of slipping stitches between two knitting needles.
like the steady glow of a candle.
the promise of His Words.
the growing sliver of moon.
smooth hand lotion.
and the solace of a familar song.
knowing that tonight is for rest,
and a new day is promised tomorrow.

it's the simple things.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

cast offs.

so, i bought this yarn, and i could have sworn from the online photo that it was gray. it does look like gray with hints of red, no? that's what i thought.

the yarn is actually brown. which i should have guessed if i'd thought about the name carefully. "marron oscuro." yes. that would be...brown.

i amended my expectations, and optimistically cast on for a hat. not a gray one. and i finished it in record time (seed stitch and all - just over 48 hours). it was delightful. intriguing. and brown.

exactly like my hair. and my eyes. and you know, even as much as i truly love the color, that is just too much brown. i promise - i tried it.

so...while i go find some yellow material to wrap around my head in order to approve the shade before i order new yarn (because the malabrigo really is delicious. no kidding - i think i'm spoiled for life)...does anyone want a brown hat?

i'm serious, folks. let me know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


i'm really liking the settled-ness of this blogging rhythm. the every day-ness of nablopomo. the intention of it.

i did something similar in september. it was in a tangible paper format, and it was for myself. the coolest thing happened in that month - it was as if time slowed down and at the end of four week i had a pocket full of meaningful moments, frozen in memory. it gave a great perspective. gives a great perspective still.

november, on the other hand, has been different. not bad. just different. the days haven't slowed down. (if anything, they've sped up!) it feels like just yesterday that i wrote this. and now we're more than halfway through the month.

i like it. i like that, even though life has been crazily busy, there has still been this solid undertone of consciousness - of listening and looking for something worth writing about (do you know i write blog posts in my head throughout the day? only a fraction of them make it onto the screen), of finding the words. and sometimes, of doing a google search of a favorite poet just because you can't think of anything else. whatever. i like it.

so, anyway, all that to say...thanks for listening. *smile*

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

another e

ah, moon—and star!
you are very far—
but were no one
farther than you—
do you think I'd stop
for a firmament—
or a cubit—or so?

I could borrow a bonnet

of the lark—
and a chamois' silver boot—
and a stirrup of an antelope—
and be with you—tonight!

but, moon, and star,
though you're very far—
there is One—farther than you—
He—is more than a firmament—from me—

so I can never go! 

-emily dickinson

Monday, November 16, 2009

monday {tid bits}

}remember how i said i was loving the yellow and gray? imagine my delight when i stumbled across this just this afternoon. after squealing and grinning, i promptly printed out the pretty pattern to dress up my magnet board. (do you like my alliteration? *grin* i think i might be a tad high from my run this afternoon.) i thought i would share - it's too lovely not to!

}i've been attempting to grow out my hair, but i am so over this funky in-between stage. in an effort to trick myself into sticking it out a while longer, i ordered yarn to make this hat the other day.(really, i just wanted to make the hat - telling myself it would go well with long hair was just my rationalization...)

}the semester is almost over. early this month i contemplated counting all the projects that have been crammed into three and a half short months of would go something like this: 1 semester. 6 classes. 3 dozen papers. a million tests. 17.5 presentations. and 200 commuting hours. (yes, i least on the tests and the presentations...the commuting hours are fairly accurate and it sure felt like that many papers!) *chuckle* i love my life.

}ooooh, and the end of the semester leads too: i have more than a month off before school starts again! i can't begin to comprehend what i will do with myself. oh wait - i'm just kidding! i'll be knitting hats, growing hair, dreaming over yellow and gray...and reading and sewing and generally having a life. one which i love. that's what i'll be doing with myself.

}for the moment, though, i'm scrambling for another tid bit so my list won't have an even number of items. (along with having a favorite number, i have an affinity for odd ones.) and i'm off to study for one of those million tests. and write the 37th paper. i want to make the most of this energy burst over here.

happy monday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rest in This

"God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
-I Corinthians 1:9, Amplified Bible

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seven Things

Caroline quite kindly tagged me yesterday to write seven things about myself...and since seven happens to be my favorite number, I can't resist playing along. So here we go!
  1. Yes. I have a favorite number. Stop gawking at me!
  2. I love figuring out new things. Things like how to make my own custom blog background - what do you think? Interesting (and cool) tidbit::the kit I used in Photoshop Elements to build my pretty background is actually called "Bird Song." No joke. I was browsing through digital kits looking for the perfect one...and there was this one, waiting. With my name on it. Literally.
  3. I'm sitting on my big sister's bed and we're having the greatest time chatting and just being. It's pretty much the best. We need to do this more often! (That's for you, Julie - you're supposed to comment and agree. *grin*)
  4. We have a picture of me as a little girl in which I am holding several cucumbers picked from the small family garden. Both of the cucumbers have a single bite missing from the end. Hey, I was a girl who ate her greens and I had to make sure we had grown those cukes right!
  5. Some conversations at school are hilarious. One of the girls I sit near in Psychology class was talking today about the Logic class she is registered in for next semester. At 8:00 in the morning. "And, really," she said, "Who is logical at eight o'clock in the morning!!!" "Not me," another girl offered. This one is extraverted and fun, easy to get along with. "I'm not logical until after twelve o'clock." I laughed. "And sometimes not even then," I said. She laughed, too. "Exactly!"
  6. I discovered an amazing new (to me) etsy shop recently. Check out all of those gorgeous, nature inspired necklaces! And she has some brass earrings listed that would coordinate so nicely with my newest dress-up necklace. Don't you think?
  7. There's an Andy Griffith on downstairs. And I'm going to watch it! *waves*
And since this is a game of tag...You're it!!! Write seven things about yourself in the comments - anything: serious, funny, completely random. I can't wait to hear.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


it's me. the blog writer.

i'm sitting in my college library. i'm supposed to be working. writing the last big paper of the semester. instead, i'm just staring at my computer screen. trying to talk myself into typing. trying not to eat my optimistic words from yesterday about rain.

i can hear the research librarian - coaching other students through the online catalog, offering help to passersby, wishing rotc students a happy veterans day. he just asked a student how their semester has been so far...and whenever he finishes helping someone, he says, "happy researching." calmly. he's not overly enthusiastic, just stably cheerful. it's not only today, either. he's been like this for the whole year and a half that i've watched him. the quiet backbone of the library.

i could use a backbone today. someone to coach me through, not even to tell me how but just to look into my eyes and say, "you can make it." because even though i know that i *can* do it - i know that the paper will be finished and done with - i hate doing it alone. out of my own emptiness. i hate (mentally) slapping myself into shape and ignoring the tiredness and the ache for love and just doing it - doing it just to survive. doing it without my heart present and accounted for. so i could use that backbone. someone to lean against and just to be with me and believe in me as i write, as i tell my story.

the story feels so close today. it's not a chapter i've told here on my blog, even though this voice i have here is something that came through the tale - a result of the happy ending (that was - is - really a beginning). somehow leaving the house in a downpour and driving through the storm and walking around campus huddled against the rain...somehow sitting here in the library while my feet turn to raisins inside my sneakers...somehow with cuw this morning being about how, even when we don't hear His Voice or feel His Touch, we aren't alone...somehow...the story feels as near as a wind that brushes my cheek and lifts my hair.

i don't want to run away from that. from the memory, from the wind. i want to stand here and face the gusts tugging at me, and stretch out my arms and let the wind blow against my body...and feel my roots hold fast. feel my soul lift, fly, even against the strain. i want to remember the story not because i am bound by it, but because it has set me free. i want to stand, victorious.

but i'm not the one who has won the victory. He is. my story only set me free because He wrote it. the one way that i *can* do it - can do it out of a wholeness of heart, with nothing missing or broken - is because He is my Backbone. my Roots. and my Wings. my Freedom. my Victor. and the One who Loves me.

it's Him. sitting here with me in the library. reminding me who i am, because of Who He is.

hi. it's me. His girl. free, secure, loved. safe. whole.

and going to write my paper. with Him.

{written this morning.}

Monday, November 9, 2009


"why did some words seem more elegant,
more graceful than others?
why were some words peanut butter and jelly sounds, and others caviar?
what made the words 'onion' or 'tea bag' so plain?
why did a word like 'ice' or 'exquisite' sound so lacy?"
-chasing vermeer, by blue balliett

words. there's something about them - the way they sound, the way they feel on your tongue. tonight i was reading a bit of a spanish magazine aloud - the lightness of the sounds in my throat made me stop and savor the words.

finding the right words - the perfect ones - is like a game. it's a puzzle, an equation to be balanced, to find the exact rhythm and lilt within a sentence or a paragraph. it's like painting a picture - juxtaposing the precise perspective with the creative energy and life.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Following the Light

I almost forgot about posting tonight. It's been a good day. At the beginning I had planned to post my day today in pictures. I took a picture of my breakfast. I took a picture of my cozy Bible reading spot on the sofa in the sunshine. I took a picture of my study spot dappled with light, and one of the dog snoozing in the concentrated patch of midday sunlight on the rug. And, I took a picture through the open windows, facing out into the afternoon glow.

The pictures are still on my camera. Because, after looking at them, I realized I really didn't capture "my day." The pictures aren't so much about what I did. They're about what I saw. And today as I slowed down (even as I stayed busy), what I saw was light. I followed it around the house, soaking in every bit I could. When the morning sun flooded my bedroom and the kitchen, I sat right in the middle of its beams. And when the autumn afternoon slanted light into the living room, I basked in the glow. Kind of like the dog. And you know what? I think the dogs have something going there.

I like the slow intention of the light's path. How it's predictable, and yet always has a surprise in store. I like following the light.

You can tell by the pictures on my camera.

Friday, November 6, 2009

favorites right {now}

{favorite color combination: yellow and gray. isn't it scrumptious? (image is from this shop.) i haven't really used this pairing yet, but every time i see it or think of it i breathe a happy sigh.

{favorite discovery: dunkin' doughnuts coffee. i really didn't want to know how good it is.

{favorite reading material: chasing vermeer. it's like a puzzle, in a book - really cool! i've just begun this one though, so don't take this as a full endorsement.

{favorite autumn photos: here. leaves and gorgeous glowing light.

{favorite verses: "and the effect of righteousness [which comes from the pouring out of the Spirit that turns the barren wilderness into a fruitful field in which righteousness abides]will be peace (internal and external), and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever. My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting places." isaiah 33:17-18 (italic context from verses 15 and 16)

{favorite relaxing project: this skirt. those pleats are so satisfying.

{favorite around-the-house outfit: fleece pants and a hoodie. goes especially well after a run in the fresh autumn air and a cooling rinse off - and also with the promise of yummy soup for supper.

what are your favorites?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

bedtime stories

this afternoon i stopped by the library and exchanged this stack of books:

for this one:

ummmm, yeah. i happen to enjoy kid's books. :) it's only natural, considering that i want to work with children when i grow up, right?!

we'll choose to ignore the idea that by the end of a long week, these books are perfect for the functioning level of my brain. yeah. we won't say anything about that.

i'm off to read myself a story...goodnight all!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

moral of the story...

this morning i walked into the kindergarten class in which i had observed and helped out  for 6 hours last wednesday. as i came through the door, one little girl glanced up and then beamed at me. "miss beach!," she cried. i couldn't help beaming back.

it was that simple. a five-year-old remembering my name and using it with enthusiasm totally made my day. and i was really glad i could call her by her own name in return.

{find your own moral - there are several hiding in there, i promise.}

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

God is amazing.

i thought i'd just let you know. *wink* here's just a tiny bit of my proof from today:

}He gave me a great academic advisor - one who's willing to pull strings and make exceptions to get me the classes i need in the time frame in which i need them!

}He's making it possible for me to earn a four-year teaching degree in three years. (the end of this semester marks the halfway point of that process.) this has been the goal for the past year and a half, and today i held in my hands a plan to complete the next three semesters. seeing that reality - and having all the requirements fall into place - made it seem, well, real (yes, i know that's redundant).

}and just as an extra bonus...He "work[ed] all things together for good" so that i only have classes three days a week next semester! not only does it free my schedule, but it also cuts four hours of driving out of my week. i really have just two full days of school plus one evening class - so that gives me virtually three "free" weekdays.

needless to say, i'm pretty psyched. and amazed.

God's good like that.

Monday, November 2, 2009

what don't you love?

there is a series of books that are just so good and down-to-earth and almost warm enough to wrap around you. (it's the mitford series by jan karon. if you haven't read those books, you're missing out! such good relaxing reads, just like the laid back town in which the stories are staged.) and in these books, there is a recurring question that pops up in the dialogue. it goes like this:

     "Let's play a game," he said to his wife.
     "I love games!"
     "What don't you love, Kavanagh?"
     "Jeans without Lycra, lug soles on barn shoes, age spots..."
     "And," she continued, "any sitcom more recent than M*A*S*H."

or, like this:

     "I'm taking you to see a sunset."
     "I love sunsets!"
     " the pickup truck."
     She pulled on her fleece jacket with the hood. "I love pickup trucks."
     He laughed. "What don't you love, Kavanagh?"
     "Twenty-five-watt bulbs in reading lamps, cats that throw up on the rug after devouring a mouse, age spots..."
     "The usual," he said.
     "Just look!" She showed him the backs of her hands.
     "Freckles," he said. "Trust me."

see how those lists are just so ready at the tip of the tongue? they always make me grin...and then wonder, what would i put on that list? somehow i always had trouble coming up with answers - and they never sound half so clever. but the other day i had just washed my hands and turned to where the hand towel should be - and stood there dripping water over the floor because the towel. wasn't. there. and i had the start of my list.

so, if you ever ask me what i don't love, here is what i would say. *wink*

}realizing the towel is gone after my hands are dripping
}sweeping piles that have been stepped in
}non-functioning gas pump credit card readers
}scratched dvds
}and...when the sewing machine bobbin runs out two inches from the end of the seam.

so. i'm off to watch a movie...and write a paper on it. what don't you love?

quotes from light from heaven, by jan karon