Wednesday, January 12, 2011

collecting beauty, wrapping myself in the word

I love buttons.  Jar of buttons, trays of buttons, buttons on pillows and purses and journals.  I collect buttons.  And I use them.  Something small, simple, often overlooked, but beautiful.

Ann Voskamp talks today about forming new habits.  She specifically talked about two habits that so resonated with me, that I could not just chat on one, and neglect the my merged topic of beauty and the word...and truly those two DO fit together well, don't they?

I think I mentioned earlier this year, or late last, that I joined in on Beth Moore's scripture memory team/challenge.  Twice a month we memorize a verse.  My first verse for 2011, scrawled with my best penmanship in my little purse/pocket notebook  is Philippians 1:6:

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion, until the day of Jesus Christ."

See, I needed that. I needed to know this year would go on, be different, progress.  That the good work in me and in my children, was not up to my stumbling, failing, inconsistent attempts and efforts at success, but up to something bigger, greater, more powerful, more loving, more gracious, ....more patient.   My confidence of this being carried on to completion, is my confidence in Him.   Not me.

That verse has tumbled over in my mind, as well as off my tongue time and time again over the last two weeks.   Reassuring, going deeper.   Breathing in life and hope.   Ann quotes Dallas Wallace in this: 

“This practice of memorizing the Scriptures is more important than a daily quiet time, for as we fill our minds with these great passages and have them available for our meditation, “quiet time” takes over the entirety of our lives."

That, my dear friends, has been my true and actual experience these  past two weeks.   Not every moment, 100%, every day, but a far greater swatch of time, as I continue wrapping myself in His word and feeling the presence of His hope.  This is a wonderful habit I want to wear.  It is never too late to join, us...would you like to?

The other habit that Ann talks about is seeing beauty, everywhere...seeking it out.   I collect beauty.   Often in pictures, either ones I try to take, or ones I see and just keep, because of what they do to me.   Also in objects, spools of thread, jars of buttons, a scroll on a vintage plate, a worn thin embroidered tea towel, a pile of rocks.   I collect with my eyes all day, my doggies head tilt, my kittens leap, my son grappling his football, my others fingers poised on the keyboard, my daughters dripping curls, my others sleeping eyelashes.  Amidst the backpacks and lunchbags, dishes and meals and laundry, and laughs and cries and goodnights and hellos, and hugs and pouts and puppies and living out of beauty.  

One line she wrote affected me so strongly, I had to keep it, place it on the sidebar, to remind myself of it. Ann mentioned how she keeps a candle lit in her home, to remind her it is a holy place.  Then she said:  "There are children in this place and there is hope and there are prayers buried under it all."

And that says it all to me.  This season of my life full of my children.     There is hope there...and there are prayers.

So in echo of Ann, those are my first two habits of 2011 too, and I did not even realize it.   Thank you Ann for helping me articulate my heart.

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