A Bloom Amputated, Askew. And Alive. (#smallwonder)

Crape-Myrtle-close-upIt’s been almost a decade in this place where the crepe myrtles bloom long and heavy in the summer days that are long and heavy, too.

And still it shocks me to see them on the opposite side of the calendar.

What once was lush, fresh, and full of color stands more than just barren, but limbless.

Life. Amputated.

Cut. Deeply. crape-myrtle-photo

It seems harsh. A long road to rebuild what it already once possessed. To regain the bloom already held tenderly. It must be such an ache. To start again.

But the new growth comes.


Awkward at first. Tentative. Askew. Fragile.

crepemyrtlemidNot at all beautiful. Not yet.

But alive despite the look of it.

Then stronger bit by bit.

Until the bloom returns to the heat again.




Linking this reflection of Small Wonder with my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Chripczuk, who has recently launched a Community of blogging Beauty Hunters at her site. So grateful for the reminder that our Big God shows himself in the most amazing small ways. And also linking with #threewordwednesday at Kristin’s place.

When God Showed up in My Kitchen

kitchen-cabinet-clean-200364123-001-resizedI did not expect cleaning my kitchen to be a spiritual experience.

But as I began to empty the shelves and inventory the spices, I could not help but know I was not alone.

Pandora will tell you its online radio station uses sophisticated algorithms to determine a playlist. I know better. On that unsuspecting Saturday, it was the Holy Spirit singing — literally singing — over me.

Words about His sufficiency. His all-consuming love. Invitations to know Him more. To live in His grace.

Everything I need. Immeasurably more. Life from dry bones. Making me brave.

And there between the crumbs and the casserole dishes,  as the Tupperware soaked in the kitchen sink, my soul began to absorb the message, too.

That I have confused the volume of stuff in my cabinets with the weight of my worthiness. That more things can be the exact opposite of more joy. That letting go of what is no longer needed doesn’t mean it was a waste.

I mingled in the mystery of How I dwell with Him as He dwells in me and how He loves hanging out in my kitchen on a Saturday afternoon.

As I sorted and tossed and uncovered and built a pile for Goodwill, He was there. Not on the other side of my mess waiting for me to get my act together, but near me. At my side, working with me to make something new. Something simple. A space uncluttered and without distraction.

In my kitchen. And in my soul.


Linking this reflection of Small Wonder with my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Chripczuk, who has recently launched a Community of blogging Beauty Hunters at her site. So grateful for the reminder that our Big God shows himself in the most amazing small ways.

For When Life calls for Silence

psalm 62-5Perhaps my One Word for 2015 should have been Shh.

For as I learn to sit with Jesus, I find myself hushed. Each time I go to open my mouth, the words that begin to exit are held back by those The Spirit is breathing in.

I want to listen well.
I am being reminded often to listen well.

Listening means sitting still. And silently.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. (Psalm 62:5)

Luke tells us that as Jesus grew, Mary “pondered” — treasuring moments and minutes. I don’t think that’s because she didn’t have access to a blog. I think that’s because she knew the value of quiet reflection. Of listening well.

This is the message my pondering has produced — Some things are meant to be said. Some are meant to be treasured.

Knowing the difference between that which is sweeter in the sharing and that which gets diluted in the discussion is an ongoing piece of my training in what it means to DWELL.

So I will settle myself at His feet. And hush.


Linking this reflection of Small Wonder with my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Chripczuk, who is launching a Community of blogging Beauty Hunters at her site this week. So grateful for the reminder that our Big God shows himself in the most amazing small ways.

Under the Tutelage of The King

psalm 25-4Before I could walk, my heart had already been imprinted with the words, “Jesus loves me.” Faithful nursery workers rocked and sang on Sundays the truths I heard at home all week.

I have always known I am a daughter of The King.

And like any princess of position, I enjoyed mostly comfortable days unfettered by the worries of the kingdom — and largely ignorant of the happenings outside its safety.

I flitted about carefree in the courtyard without fear of intruders. Or snakes. Or storms. I was blissfully confident in my Daddy’s ability to keep all things well.

And while this may be the proper place for a child, an heir must eventually invest herself in kingdom itself.

To step in the footsteps of His forgiveness in order to learn His gait.

To listen carefully to His words in order to speak in His dialect.

To receive His grace abundantly in order to cast its residue on others like He does.

It’s time to learn the family business.

Lord, tell me your ways.
    Show me how to live.
Guide me in your truth,
    and teach me, my God, my Savior. (Psalm 25:4-5)

I come close and study His moves. His words. His patterns. His rhythms.

I apprentice under the tutelage of The King. I Dwell.

Linking up with Kelli and the other lovelies at Unforced Rhythms.

One Word 2015: Dwell

logo by tracimichele.com
logo by tracimichele.com

It did not arrive in a gold envelope. Nor was it announced with a Hear Ye, Hear Ye.

It started as a whisper in my periphery. A wish from the middle of my soul. A slow drawing towards a fresh experience. A message repeated in my every day.

Until I knew it was a royal invitation.

Come sit with me, Beth.

Stay close. Learn from my ways. Hide in the shadow of my wing.

        Remain. Abide. Tarry. Nest.

                 Reside. Lodge. Settle. Rest.


I have started multiple blog posts intended to announce Dwell as my 2015 One Word. But nothing got further than a sentence or two. And I think that’s because I was trying to rush what I have found to be a slow unfolding of wonder over the course of a year. I cannot yet know all that Dwell will lead me to and through in the coming days.

It’s too soon to give you an event report when I have only now returned my RSVP.

But I can tell you what I hope for.

I hope to be more Mary and less Martha. And to know more of Him, not just more about Him.

I hope to discover rest in the midst of routine life. And magic in ordinary moments.

I hope to have long talks with Him. And to be refreshed in our brief meetings, too.

I hope to listen well. And learn to speak His dialect.

I hope to know what David knew when He sang:

              Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
                     will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
              I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
                    my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)


If you are interested in meeting others who have selected One Word for 2015, head over to the One Word Link-up. Fellow One Word bloggers, please add your reveal post here so I can meet with and pray for you throughout the year.

If you are interested in my Words from previous years, check out these links … 2014: Grace; 2013: Fullness; 2012: Float; 2011: Courage


Enjoy this blog? Find Beth in these Places, too.