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Posts from the ‘Art’ Category

Mustard Seed

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20

The Cathedral of Saint Paul was built between 1907-1915. Eight years with none of the equipment and tools that we have today. The workmanship is magnificent. Those who started in 1907 had the vision, the faith of a mustard seed followed by a heavy dose of fortitude and patience to finish this national treasury. Most days, we don’t have the patience to put eight minutes into something much less eight years.

The Cathedral is two blocks from the end of the Twin Cities Marathon and 10-mile run. During my three marathons especially, I would visualize seeing that beautiful sacred place many times along the long path. And when I saw the tip of the dome, I knew that I really was almost done.

A tiny seed planted takes hold, carries us along and mountains are moved. So often we try too hard to figure it out or do more. Rather than more activity, plotting and pining, we just need to be still long enough to hear that still small voice directing the next step.

Not knowing is o.k., believing in greater things than ourselves is required to live contently with deep joy rooted in optimism.

Go move mountains today, not by doing, but by faith. A mustard seed, that’s it.

Design Your Life

“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.” – Samuel Butler

“The fullness of one’s soul evolves ever slowly. We’re asked only to go within to gestate the newness God is trying to form; we’re asked to collaborate with grace.” – Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits

Each day is a blank slate. Shake off yesterday’s marks that serve no purpose in your becoming and transformation. We write our own story or it is written for us. And our story unfolds one day at a time with an abundance of grace.

Seize the pen and fill that blank page with words and lines that shape into art. Design your life as only you can.

“As the memory evaporated into the autumn afternoon, I walked on, hope rising in me. Hope for you and me and the journeys we undertake. Hope that we would trust our waiting hearts enough to risk entering them, that we would listen for the Voice that bids us come to the edge, and that we would welcome the gentle push of God, who is both our wings and the wind that bears them up.” Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits

Walk Into It

“And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk into it.” – Isaiah 30:21

So often we force things. We try to make the puzzle pieces fit where they just don’t fit. Square peg, round hole activities. There is value in allowing things to arrive rather than to always be in hot pursuit. When we allow God to do his work in us, we unfold. A good place to be and remain, a holy sacred ease.

Trust in the mystery. Don’t assume you know the final chapter before you write the first ones. The path appears as we walk into it and at the right time which is often not on our watch. And as the chapters weave the story together, we can find joy in each day, no matter the circumstances.

If you’re at a crossroads or you can’t quite find the road right now, it’s alright. Trust, listen and be open to that soft yet firm voice that whispers, “this is the way, walk into it.”

“A painting is not thought out and settled in advance. While it is being done, it changes as one’s thoughts change. And when it’s finished, it goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it.” – Picasso

You are an unfinished beautiful work of art that is being revealed, finished and yet never done, unfolding as you should. Ease up and enjoy the walk.

The Journey

Poetry, music, a sunset all have the power to put everything in perspective slowly and then suddenly. Tune out the voices that produce no fruit. Focus on thoughts and activities that drive you on the journey to your purpose. For when we live out our purpose daily, we make the world a better place.

“One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice —

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voice behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do —

determined to save

the only life that you could save.” – Mary Oliver, The Journey

 

Renewed Tires

“And suddenly you just know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” -Meister Eckhart

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

We have the capacity and calling to transform. To become new and be renewed.  From cocoon to butterfly. From 40,000 miles on the road to colorful plant holders on the curb.

Never underestimate the potential in the dawn of each day, in a new beginnings. Magic and beauty. Delight and awe. Sheer wonder. We have many lives within our one life. It all ties together despite the our understanding in this moment. Trust is good. Faith is real.

Let it unfold and dive into uncertainty and discovery. Into the holy and sacred. It’s happening now. Your tires are being retreaded as you trod on.

More change, more mystery? Hell yeah – bring it on!

Chisel

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michelangelo

Daily life is often unclear, messy and loud. With an abundance of options and directions, we bury ourselves in the mundane pursuit of tasks and find ourselves in a hole of scarcity. We don’t see the exact path, so we don’t take the first step.

But just one step beyond the noise, grey and cloudiness, we are called to carve out our lives with what we are given in this very moment. Each step prior has prepared us for steps unseen. Discovery and delight  are found in daily pursuit of joy, unfolding the statue inside.

So instead of over-analyzing and over complicating, simply start chipping away each day to carve out the life you are meant to create. Take the chisel back from others and hold it in your hand firmly. Set the angel free.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

Sculpt

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michelangelo

“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.” – Michelangelo

“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.” – Michelangelo

The clean edges, the grace of form, the transformation to a work of art comes with time, patience and effort. And the statute is never really done. What life are you sculpting for yourself? What is shaping you and what are you shaping in return? Shaping or chasing?

We want to know the ending before we begin. But that’s not how life works. And when we forego the mystery of the journey, we miss the heartbeat of life, the beauty of it really. Open up and let life in. Trust that you are where you need to be and immerse yourself in each moment. The task of the sculptor is to discover it.

Saunter

“It is a great art to saunter.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Every day brings new choices.” – Martha Beck

“Every day brings new choices.” – Martha Beck

It was hot today so Abby and I sauntered once around Como Lake. In our sauntering, we came upon the same bunch of flowers we that we run past again and again. This time, they jumped up and down in brilliant deep purple calling us to stop and take it all in.

Familiarity brings comfort and ease, a feeling of being home. We often take for granted that which is most familiar, seeing past what’s right in front of us in hot pursuit of whatever we so frantically chasing.

Spend some time, each and every day, sauntering more. You never know what will jump out to embrace you and pull you deep into gratitude and delight.

Trust the Color

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

“I prefer living in color.” – David Hockney

“I prefer living in color.” – David Hockney

No matter the storm, no matter the wind that tries to break your sails, trust the color. When you don’t feel it the most is when you should trust the most. Know that as you search for color in each day, you are not alone. We all long to harness and hold it tight. And when trust comes to fruition, become the color to brighten the world, even dare to do so in the waiting. That’s real trust.

With open hands, eyes and heart, color will suddenly pop out, loud and clear, a symphony fills the air with hope and joy.

Trust the color. It is there. Always. Look.

Blossom Time

“It is the hour to rend thy chains, the blossom time of souls.” – Katharine Lee Bates

Easter proves that  light shall always overcome darkness. When we think it’s over and nothing remains but mediocrity and despair, Easter breaks through the clouds and shows its brilliance and strength.

“The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” – Pablo Picasso

“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” – Pablo Picasso

Often we may not see or feel it, but, the light remains, especially behind the thin clouds, sustaining and pulling us through.

This year, life has felt like a Picasso painting , abstract and out of order. And yet, glimpses of light keep breaking through the cracks and soften the heart.

Redemption, rest, realignment, hope, faith, light and, of course, love. Easter has come.

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