A Light Exists in Spring

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On Saturday morning the light was shining and shifting through the trees and I grabbed my camera and ran outside in my pajamas, wearing whatever shoes I could find, which happened to be Josh's sneakers. The weeping cherry tree was in full bloom and I knew I wanted to capture it's fragile and fleeting beauty and had been waiting for the right light.

While processing the images a line crept into my head from one of Emily Dickinson's poems. "A light exists in the spring . . ." I couldn't remember the rest so I looked it up.

I decided the poem was the perfect accompaniment to these images. And besides, don't we all need a little injection of poetry into daily life? Poetry of both the visual and the prose varieties?

A Light exists in Spring Not present on the Year At any other period — When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad On Solitary Fields That Science cannot overtake But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn, It shows the furthest Tree Upon the furthest Slope you know It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step Or Noons report away Without the Formula of sound It passes and we stay —

A quality of loss Affecting our Content As Trade had suddenly encroached Upon a Sacrament.

by Emily Dickinson

Do you have a favorite spring poem?

Easter, with Leftovers

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Easter dawned warm and bathed in sunlight. The perfect Easter day. I hosted thirteen around two tables: aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, my mom, and friends. I was happy it was warm enough for one of those tables to be outside on the deck. This is our first year on this property and it's been a delight to discover the spring flowers that make their home here. The house is bursting with daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths.

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And these cuties. My favorite kids. 2014-04-22_002And let's talk Easter leftovers. When there's lots of ham leftover I love to make Nigella's Pasta with Ham, Peas and Cream. Comfort in a bowl. Mmm.

Peace + Healing

Isaiah

Griefs.

Sorrows.

Transgressions.

Iniquities.

They pile up, don't they? They get heavy to hold. But Christ takes them from our overflowing hands and carries them up the hill called Calvary. They're nailed into his hands and feet and pressed upon his head.

Why?

It says, to bring us peace and healing.

And the world needs peace and healing. It's desperate for it.

But it starts with one. With you and I.

Soul-peace and soul-healing.

That's what we need deep inside.

That's why Jesus died.

How the Cross Brings Joy

(Image Credit: iBelieve.com)

I click open my email and scroll through my new messages.

I’ve received a new email from Voice of the Martyr’s prayer project, icommittopray.com. The prayer needs are always overwhelming:

In Nepal a pastor is beaten for giving out Bibles.

Twenty-nine teenaged schoolboys were killed in an overnight attack at a boarding school in Nigeria.

A Moroccan woman dropped her daughter off at school, but then was attacked outside of it by three Muslim women who discovered she was a Christian.

I can’t help but wonder: if faced with the persecution that other Christians around the world are faced with, would I still be a Christian?

I wonder: how do they endure?

***

The physical agony began in Gethsemane as Jesus begged for the experience of God’s wrath to be removed while his sweat pooled like drops of blood on the ground.

The agony extended to his beating, the mockery, the crown of thorns, the long walk down the Via Dolorosa, and the slice of Roman nails into his hands and feet. It continued when Christ cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Many throughout history have been crucified, but Jesus purposed his own crucifixion.

I wonder: why did he endure?

***

Perhaps Hebrews 12:1-2 gives me a clue . . .

To continue click over to iBelieve.com

Pick Your Portion

A month or so ago I was asked to begin contributing to a wonderful Bible reading plan blog called Pick Your Portion. The reading plan used is called the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan which selects four different portions of scripture for each day so that you read through the Bible in one year. Each day during the week there is a post based on the scripture selections for the day. It may be a devotional post or an art response. I've been asked to create an art response once a month. I can use any medium or approach I choose: graphic design, photography, watercolor, oils, collage, etc. I'm looking forward to experimenting with various mediums in the future, as one of my goals for this year was to go back to my fine arts roots and not rely on graphic design or photography as much.

But when I selected the scripture for yesterday's post, this image I took in Emerald Isle, NC immediately came to mind. It spoke of peace and wholeness to me. The ocean is where I feel most at peace in spirit and body, so I chose it to be the image for my art response.

I invite you to join me over at my first Pick Your Portion post!

The Invention of Wings

"I longed for it in that excruciating way one has of romanticizing the life she didn't choose. But sitting here now, I knew if I'd accepted Israel's proposal, I would've regretted that, too. I'd chosen the regret I could live with best, that's all. I'd chosen the life I belonged to."

The Invention of Wings

There have been times this has been the question I've asked myself when I've struggled to make an important life decision: "What is the regret I could live with most?" For some reason, framing the question this way can add the clarity that may be missing if one simply looks at pros and cons.

It is the question Sarah Grimké asked herself before she was catapulted toward "infamy" as an abolitionist and women's equal rights activist.

The Invention of Wings was one of the most inspiring and compelling novels I've read this year. Not because of the prose. Honestly, Kidd's writing is not amazing. Her prose itself doesn't cause me to catch my breath nor does her turn of phrases delight me like some other novels I've read. No, it was the content itself. Kidd novelizes the life of Sarah Moore Grimké, who you probably haven't heard of but should have.

What Kidd does so well is takes the historical facts of Grimké's life and turns it into a compelling novel. The novel follows the life of Sarah and her family's slave, Handful. The chapters alternate between the two women. Handful was originally given to Sarah on her eleventh birthday as a gift. She was to be her handmaid. Sarah, who's father supposedly said "would have made the greatest jurist in the country" had she been a boy, taught her slave how to read, which was against the law. Although Handful actually died in her youth, Kidd uses creative license to imagine what might have happened to Handful if she'd lived.

What I find most compelling and inspiring is how Sarah, a southern girl raised by a typical wealthy slave-owning family, from an early age reacted in strong opposition to her family's views. She later became a Quaker, but still was too radical for even the Quakers at that time in her abolition views. The novel follows Sarah's internal turmoil and misgivings as she slowly comes to act on her beliefs and becomes the unlikely candidate to lay the ground work for change for not only slavery but equal rights for women.

Has anyone else read this novel? What did you think?

Hello, World!