Stand Upon Grace

Homesteading with heart~Cultivating the art of intentional living

Category: believe

An Instrument of Peace

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Last night’s soft blanket of snow envelops the earth in loving warmth as dawn comes slowly this morning, shaking the cobwebs loose as I endure the wait for the kettle to whistle it’s shrill signal that coffee will soon be here. Chilled hands wrapped around a hot mug provide the comfort that my soul needs this winter morn. I watch out the homestead window, as light slowly but unwaveringly begins to permeate the day, wrapped snug in blankets, cocooned in warmth.  My heart searches this winter holiday season for purpose, and I realize the prayer that my heart has been feeling deeply into.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Yes, this.

An Instrument of Peace.

Let me let go of hurting, and pain, and perfection; instead receive peace.

Let me forgive who needs forgiving, and ask for my own forgiveness from others when I fall.

Let me soften my face, my eyes, my body, my heart so that I can open to receive.

Let me fill my cup with love so deep and divine that it runneth over to my family, my community, and the world.

Let my heart and hands open to serve in love.

Let me go where I am needed. Let me serve who needs serving. Let me do what needs doing.

Make peace my prayer.  Make prayer my language. So that the peace and prayer become one, and I too become at cell level, peace.

Yes, make me an instrument of peace.

Breathe peace.

Let peace become me, and me become peace.

Let peace permeate all that I do.

Let all that I do be done in love with a peaceful heart.

Let me let go of expectations, of busyness, and instead become an instrument of peace. A vessel for divine work to flow through, a channel for love.

Let me still my soul so that I can hear.

Let my heart and home become permanent residences of peace. Let all who enter my hallowed walls feel peace, and leave restored.

This is my prayer, make me an instrument of peace.

 

 

Perpetual Jar of Iced Tea

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The rooster crows indignant of the stifling heat and humidity that is already billowing in through open windows of the old farm house. He seems to be daring the day into being, his mighty crow a lusty, bring it on dare. I, on the other hand, am not feeling so bold this morning, longing for a reprieve to the stifling, bone roasting heat, coupled with the thick weight of the air makes it hard to breathe deep. Ah, summer.

Those fabulous days by the lake, sunshine and happiness radiant everywhere.  Slowing the pace to really soak it all up, take it all in, before winter overtakes us all once again.  Creating intentional moments, fire-crackling nights, the faintly musty smell of canvas and sleeping bags hauled up from the basement wrapping us all in familiar tradition.  As the garden grows and bursts into bloom, we also get to grow and bloom.  The intensity of heat, the fire of our soul, cracks us open creating ash and fertile ground to feed our growth.  To help nourish us into the next season.

So I, like that brazen little rooster out there, say a wholeheartedly, bring it on!  I am here for the journey, I can take the heat, at least well enough to know that this is what it takes to move forward.  This burning in my soul, my heart, embers on fire breaking me open to be more, give more.  I stand in the flames, no longer willing to be afraid of the heat.  My soul gently smoldering in love.  I got this. We got this.  This is how you do this parenting thing, you give your heart fully, the weight of the love cracks you open, makes you more, dares you to give more, and the soul gives way to the heat of it all, breaking open charred cracks making room for more love.

With the heat of the day on the horizon, I quiet my blazing heart.  I search inward for Jesus, for an example of how to give more, how to be more, how to love more.  And the answer is right there, you let the cracks bust wide open, you stand in the fire, you surrender to grace.  You lay it all down, the fears, the anxiety, the old patterns, the what ifs, and let it all go up in flames, smoke puffing hard, burning you back to faith, back to big love.

Because that’s what its all about.

Love bigger than all of us.  That’s what we need to put out the fire of the moment, a splash of icy cold refreshment washing over the five-alarm bells clanging in my head, bringing peaceful restoration to a parched and heat-worn soul.  God of the Universe holds us all in His hands, and His love is big enough to put out every fire.

I lean in, lean on perpetual love.  Love that does not end, love that is always there, love that is bigger than me, or any heat tested moment.  The grace of heat filled days are never more than we can stand, but it might crack us open, just a little wider so His love can seep in through the cracks.

 

The Perpetual Jar of Iced Tea

I love this idea, to quench the heat, restoring body, mind, and soul.  Iced tea always goes fast in our house, and it’s hard to keep up.  This solution solves that problem, by always having a gallon on the go.

The simple solution is this:  Cold Brew Tea.

The idea is to always have a jar at the in the fridge. This is brilliant with a house full of thirsty teenage boys, and a parched and smoldering mama.

Directions:

Fill a glass gallon jar with cold water.

Add 4-6 tea bags*, cover with a lid, and place in refrigerator overnight, and in the morning you will have tea.

Remove tea bags add lemon and desired sweetener, or leave unsweetened and allow each to sweeten their own glass to their liking.

 

*the rule of thumb is approx.. one tea bag per quart of water, but this may vary depending upon how strong you like your tea.  Also, the beauty of this simple notion is, you can make as much or as little as you like…so as those teenage boys take flight, you can adjust accordingly, some days, as people flow through the revolving door of this old farm house, a quart of iced tea is just right. 😉

I first saw this fabulous idea on Carmella Rayone, Assortment.

 

 

Home

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Breathe in the cool sweetness of early morning air, as I am quietly coaching myself back to center, back to the breath, and back to home.  Filling the handmade artisan mug for maybe the 20th time this morning, from a fresh pot of rich black coffee, I take to outside into the softness of first light.  Warm mug in hand, bare feet in cool grass, bedhead and bathrobe to the garden I go.  The dew greets me like a welcome friend, gently moistening and protecting seedlings and tender hearts from the heat and unknown of the day ahead.  I pause here.  I open my eyes and really see the dew lacing the edges of leaves, smell the freshly tilled earth, feel my feet in the wet grass, and my heart a softly opening rosebud revealing it’s pungent sweet perfume.

The surprise of tears well in my eyes, I am yet to get used to the leaving.  The coming and going of children growing and stretching their wings, leaning into dreams and living courageously helps me also to be faithful and courageous.  After all, this is what we have all been working for.  Independence, bravery, living big and full lives.

And it’s good.

It’s just new again.  A new chapter, a new rhythm, a new family dynamic, one which will continue to ebb and flow for the next several years, maybe the rest of this precious lifetime.  I am learning to soften in as I unfurl my hands and let go.  I am learning to lean in, to count the moments, etch them on my heart to cherish and keep close when we are apart.  I love this opportunity to be fully all in, to experience every single feeling, and live it big.  The simple everyday moments are truly what make this life.  Big hands reaching for small, only this time, mine are the small ones.  Smiles and silly faces, and laughter, oh the laughter that comes with raising four boys.

So for now, and probably always, home is where my heart is.

All roads lead back to home.

Enough

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Golden light stretches its gentle fingers over the pastures this morning as dew dances delightfully diamond like over the tall grass.  The windows are still open with cool moisture streaking down, saturating wooden panes.  The week begins as usual, with a list of to-do’s a mile long.  Such is my life.  Regardless of lists and things that feel urgent, I remember that they aren’t.  Life is not an emergency.  It is not a frantic running from one task to the next, crossing off with strokes of ink, each moment.

I want to breathe it all in.  Savor.  Love.

I want to live fully through this body, the vibrance of gloriously red ripe strawberries, purchased from a roadside stand of berry stained beautiful little faces of farm children.  I want to feel their shape in my hands as I clean and prepare them for jam, smell their tantalizing sweetness as juice runs down my hands when I slice through.   I want to remember the light as it shines through quilted jelly jars, and the loving feeling of preserving the harvest, quietly working with my hands to nurture and nourish my family through the fruitless winter months.

I want to believe that my mama heart is enough.  That my life is not lived in vain.  That living a simple, quiet life truly is a calling.  That I don’t have to save the world, all Wonder Woman like.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Wonder Woman.  I believe that we all have that fierce warrior-ess heart, and we get to direct it where we will.  Some will save the world, all very dramatic and exciting, and others of us will save or change the world right here in our very homes, our very hearts, and the worlds of those around us.

What if how we change or save the world is by how we live our lives?

What if rather than striving for something bigger, better, we just start living each day, each moment to it’s maximum capacity of beauty, joy, and delight?

What if we embrace our children, look deeply into their eyes, walk hand in hand, and heart to heart, rather than be immersed in the computer, or building a business, or career, or distracted by whatever.  What if we just don’t miss our life, while trying to create it?

Letting go of big ideas, big children, big hopes, and big things is not always easy, but it is a part of this wild and wondrous life.  What if we try, and we don’t like who we need to become to make something work?  Do we stay the course, just because we tried?  Sometimes.  And Sometimes not.  What if we let go and they fall?  What if we fall?  We dust them and ourselves off, we love deeply, look into those eyes, and say that we are enough, this life is enough, and experiencing these moments allows us to understand what our deepest core truths and desires are.

We hold tightly to those who know, those who love, and those who understand that striving isn’t living, falling isn’t dying, and trying doesn’t mean we didn’t give it our best shot.  It’s in the trying, the falling, the depth of the journey that we learn the oceanic deep lessons.  We learn what we want and who we are.  We understand our own grit, tenacity, that we are stronger than we know, and we get to choose how we want to live, and experience the beauty of this life.  The beauty includes the bones.  The stripping away, the raw, naked experience of soul.

It is in this state of origin, that we can come back to simple. Back to basics. Back to what it is that feeds our soul, ignites our fire, and fuels our days.  Back to home.  Back to love.

For me, it is the beauty in the mundane, the sacred in the everyday.  God among us, angels we meet on streets, in stores, or along dirt roads and veggie stands. It is the ordinary routine, the nurturing those souls under my own humble roof, and the eyes we may be aligned with to gaze into daily.

This is what enough looks like to me.

Loving, living, working shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, in the here and now, the everyday ordinary.  This is sacred work.  This is soul work.  To simplify, to grow your own food and children, to nurture and love those that you are blessed to be a part of their lives. To walk barefoot on dusty trails, to hold hands, and shape hearts, to talk of dreams, and desires, spending evenings over s’mores and firefly lit campfires.

This living is what counts.

The day to day.  The quiet moment.  Each breath.  Each heartbeat.  Each kiss goodnight, and good morning. Every meal gathered round the family table.  Every prayer and blessing poured out of hearts.  This is our calling, this is our journey home.

It is more than enough.

 

A New Season

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The winds are changing a bit here on the homestead.  Shifting from the North, beginning to gently whisper warmth from the South.  Soon we will be planting.  I have been preparing for this beautiful abundant new season for months.  There is soil to tend to, and perhaps spring babes, if we are lucky. There are new seeds of life being planted, on many levels.  I have been welcoming and preparing for this new season.  I have been working diligently on exploring and expanding into what is it I would like to create with this one wild and wondrous life, and how can I share the gifts of it with others.  I have prayed about this for years, “God, what would you have me do?”

Slowly, softly, the answers have come.  As has the healing.

Miracles happen when we open to them and allow God to work in our lives.  When we release control, over and over again, for some of us….and allow the flow of love to lead the way.  It has taken work, devotion, and discipline to daily lay it down, and understand that some things are not mine to carry.

Thank you Jesus.

It has taken courage to listen to the answers to prayer, and not only listen, but take action.  Make it happen.  It is coming through me, but I still have the privilege of doing the work of being who I was created to be, and using this life for the highest good of all.  We all have a calling, a purpose.  Our purpose continues to evolve as we do throughout our life.  There is no one concrete, this is it till you are pushin up daisies, we get to heal, grow, expand, and evolve into each cycle and season of life.

I feel that I have been doing what God has asked of me, so it’s not as if I wasn’t listening before, BUT there is more, the Doing and the Being needed to catch up to each other.  My internal process, healing old wounds and letting go of patterns that are no longer serving me, needed to happen, so that I can authentically share myself and this beautifully sacred, abundant, gentle life with others.  Nurturing myself, tending the garden of my soul, has allowed the seed to germinate, sprout and blossom into tender new life as the growth has continued.

Empowering and supporting women and children has always been work that I feel strongly about.  It is time for me to expand into a wider reach to teach other women to elevate, empower, and rise into the divine sacredness of who they are.  As a society women have lost their sacred.  It is stripped away in the media, in attitudes, in how life is lived and approached.  The overarching idea/feeling is that in order to succeed in a man’s world, we must harden ourselves, we must act like men, and we must divorce our feminine essence.

This is not how creation was designed. We need both the masculine and the feminine to work together, to flow into sacred union.  It is out of balance.  We feel it on many levels, whether we are aware of it or not.  The planet, mother earth, is desperately in need of a softer, gentler approach, this ripples into our bodies as humans, our food sources, and the air we breathe.  This is important.  Society is exploding in violence and greed, and a new approach to abundance, success, and contentment is needed.  The old paradigm is no longer working.

A new season is upon us.  We all have choices and ways that we can be the change we want to see in the world, to quote Ghandi.  What is it that God would have you do today to be that change?  How can we release old patterns and rise up out of the ashes, phoenix like, to fly again?

It starts with you.

When we begin to heal our hearts and stories, we can rise up to lead others to do so.

I am starting now.

This is what I choose to do with my one wild & wondrous life.  The winds of change are blowing here on the homestead.

My mission is to teach every woman, child, and person on this planet, that THEY are Sacred.

Life is sacred.  AND we can start living sacred.

It starts with you.

I love you. You are sacred.

 

www.everydaysacredliving.com

Everyday Sacred Living

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Yesterday was a big day for me.  One I had been planning and preparing for.  It was the culmination of my hearts desire and my soul’s work, both coming together quite beautifully.  Amazing what happens when you trust your inner guidance.  When you listen to the answers to prayers whispered.  There is an opportunity for miracles when we open to them.

A blessed gift gave me courage and comfort in this time of expanding myself and stepping fully into my rising soul while allowing others to accompany me on this journey.  Quiet driving into town, radio-less, left me space to think, and breathe.  In a moment when some doubt was creeping in around the edges, grace came through.

It came through a beautiful dove flying low right before my windshield, visible, but out of harms way, carrying with her a lengthy, supple supply of dry grass obviously to be used to build a warm, safe nest for her eggs.

In that moment I knew.

I felt that I, as the dove, am working to also build a warm, safe nest, expanding myself, flying through the discomfort, and diligently gliding toward a desire to create and build a beautiful, abundant, vibrant life for myself and my family, while also elevating and empowering others to do the same.

The dove was a reminder and affirmation that we are all sacred, and life is sacred.  We have an opportunity to seize it, and create it.  We only have to step outside of our comfort zone and learn to fly.

http://everydaysacredliving.com/

Miracles

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I believe in Miracles

Miracles happen when we open to them.  God wants us to be whole, holy.  He calls us to him, he uplifts, he heals.  He sends Angels to hold our hands to witness our becoming, to gently guide us into alignment.  All of creation sings our birth song.  Calling us to our divine truth of wholeness, of health, of sacredness.  I can feel the loving vibration elevating me into being, into pure form, into my own sacred essence, into wholeness–holiness,  that I was created to be.

Perhaps this is what ‘holiness’ actually means, a sacred calling to your highest wholeness.

A sacred expression of what is intended and created to move you and through you.

I am expanding and unfolding more deeply and tenderly with divine love than I ever dreamed possible.

I feel the movement of the holy rising within my own beautiful soul.

I believe in miracles…..I can feel it in my bones.

A New Frontier

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I have often wondered when we have traveled down roads, what it must have felt like to be a pioneer in the days of new territories and lands undiscovered, wagons and horses, families, and critters all traveling together into the unknown promises of it all.  They packed it all up, gave away the extras, made provisions for people and animals, prayed over their journey, and then one day they loaded the wagon and started out.

Hearts full of the unknown, brimming promises of new beginnings, prosperous perspectives, faith that this is the way that they should go.  A path less traveled, but nonetheless they started out.  Looking for faint wagon tracks in the dust.  Whole families all in it together. All following a leading of heart, a whisper of God’s goodness, a promise of a new frontier.  Bonded together through thick and thin, not knowing exactly what they would encounter along the trail, but still they started out.

Today is that day for our family.

We are starting out.  The wagon has been packed, provisions made, prayers spoken, hopes and new frontier dreams brim our hearts.  Side by side, and hand in hand we will be making the journey.  All in for the long haul.  We don’t know quite yet what this new frontier will hold, this virgin territory of our lives, but we trust in God’s goodness that this is the way we should travel.

What this means for our happy little homestead is not quite clear, but is beginning with a new frontier.

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We have been keeping a little secret.  Nurturing the seed of an idea, that has been incubating quietly in our hearts.  We have been leaning in, learning, and taking inventory on what is really and truly important in our lives, and where our loyalties lie.  We have been talking more and more about what it is we believe, who we are, and who we are called to be.  We are beginning to see more clearly through the thicket, the path that is lying before us.

Prayers have been said, hearts have been sought, and wisdom searched for in the still moments.  This one glorious and beautiful life that we have been gifted with should be lived with intentional, meaningful, heart-filled work as we prepare to take the next steps in a new beginning for our lives, and also on this blog site.  It is a time of high creativity, love, excitement, yet also some trepidation.  What if we put it all out there only to be returned by blank stares and the chirp of a rogue cricket????

Faith is where we are at.

We are trusting the small quiet whispers of angels in our hearts, that this is the direction we should go.  We cannot see the outcome, but know in our hearts and our guts that this new beginning is where we must start.  Our home is changing.  With one child flown from our little cocoon nest the reality of this next season of life came with a sharp wind of change.

Our time here is never as long as it seems, and all the tomorrows seem so distant, yet the reality of it is, today is what matters.  All the plans and good intentions in the world matter not what the gift of today brings.  We love that our eldest child is independent, spreading his wings ready to soar, but it all caught us a little by surprise that the time, the whole of 18 years, could actually pass in a blink of a moment.

Wow.

So here we stand, my man and I, hand in hand, brimming hearts and burning gaze peering out over the horizon, wondering much like pioneers on the verge of a new frontier, where do we go from here….?

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The answer is forward, as we cannot turn back now, we’ve come too far.  The dust and dirt mixed with the laughter and tears of the trail muddies the tracks of where we have been, the miles we have walked together, the joys and sorrows that we have witnessed bonds souls deep, and moves us quietly forward to follow the subtle wagon tracks on the path that lies ahead.

We are pioneers of our own lives, and that of our family, on the cusp of a new frontier, trusting that the trail will bring the blessings as promised.  We have also come far enough to know that together we can, and we shall, walk along hand in hand, heart to heart.

 So pack your wagons, make your provisions, pray your prayers, and get ready to pioneer into a New Frontier alongside us as we journey together down the path less traveled.

Giddyup!!!!

The Sacred Everyday

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Sunshine dances across diamond dunes outside the homestead kitchen window.  Late afternoon stretches across shadows as light plays fairy-like ascending into ether. Sparkling crisp breezes call my soul out of doors, while my mind and body tend to the bread rising and baking in the oven.  Comforting wisps of fragrant ferment permeate the air and tickle nostrils, reminding me to slow, and allow the process.  The sunshine pulls on my heartstings, as I know how fickle it can be, yet I breathe in the smells of fresh bread baking in our homestead kitchen and know in my bones, that the unfolding of time for sunshine will come.

All this reminds me of the inner conversation I have been having with myself, the unfolding of a new awareness, a new pattern, an expedition inward to find what I hold sacred, what I am coming to know are non-negotiables, the everyday sacred, and how to create the space  to hold them with intention.

We are all souls living a very human experience.  Our physical body is the home for our soul, our temple, our link to our source.  Our connection to God.  How we view and care for the body we were given for this trip around the sun, refracts into our soul, and reflects in our lives.  Learning to live this takes time, more so for some than others, and intentional action.

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Self-care does not come naturally to most, especially in this age of fast paced technology.  The energetic drain is like a slow leak, a dripping faucet, that slowly depletes both body and soul.  Joining the drops of water from a slow leak are tributaries of energetic rivers moving at mock speed, especially if you just so happen to be a type A personality, a people pleaser, a go-getter, a hard worker, a driven to the point of cracking your own whip over a bruised and bloodied back.  Rather than a slow leak, dripping constant, you now have a raging river, whitewater style, an outlet of energy rushing away from you.  So where do you begin when you realize you need to stop the leak before it sweeps you out to a tumultuous sea?

Creating calm waters within your own soul, and in your life takes practice.  It requires you to take inventory, size up what makes you feel connected, peaceful, content, and joyful.  What brings you energy, and what is draining you.  What in your life are you ready to let go of to make space for something new.  Whether that newness is of spirit or manifests itself in a new choice, decision, or pattern matters not, they are both one in the same.  Most often creating the space for the waters to calm, opting for peace, choosing more of what feeds your soul will allow things to slow, time to appear, and energy to renew.

For me, these are becoming my non-negotiables.  The everyday sacred that I need to be the best me I can.  When I make time to do the things that I need to do to care for me, time and space open up to give more of my best self to those I love, and even to those who I meet on the street, or in the grocery store.  When I  maintain my everyday sacreds, the blocks are lifted, stress is released and relieved to free and open my heart, so love can flow through me nourishing myself, and others around me.

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I have long held the pattern of caretaking.  Making sure that everyone’s needs are met, but not so much my own.  I always put off the shower when the babes were in that stage of needing constant care, I put off my own feeding to nourish others, grabbing whatever I could in between, never being conscious of feeding my body, let alone nourishing myself. Recognizing and understanding this pattern helps me to remember to take care of me as well.

My yoga practice was my sacred everyday through the season of babies, and still is my lifeline, my self-care routine, my soul care.  Time on my mat combat the stresses and the exhaustion that can come with mamahood, and open me instead to the joy of being present as a mama.  Time spent in nature has always soothed my soul, left me with a deep peace and connection to the divine presence that is creation.  Meditation, prayer, and devotion allow me to fill the well, deepen my faith and trust that the entire universe is supporting me, lifting the weight of the world from my shoulders.  And when all else fails, music sings my soul, dancing motivates a deep release, reminding that we are here on this earth for a purpose, to connect with each other, to experience and share joy. I continue to need the routine of intentionally and repeatedly choosing peace, embracing love rather than fear, creating space to breathe, and consciously releasing that which is no longer serving me.  This sacred act of choosing frees me to elevate and uplift myself and others.

I believe that we are always learning, healing, and revealing new layers or levels of this expansion of expression into our lives.  Sometimes to learn something deeply, we must experience a depth that may be uncomfortable.  God guides us to the healing, into the light, allows us to choose peace, or fight against it.  Sometimes life happens and we forget  the sacred everyday holds us together, makes us who we are, completes us, and we let it go in ways that trickle downward eroding away the solid foundation we have built.  The trickle builds and soon giant waves are crashing down, washing away everything we thought we had.

This is when I remember and cling to the everyday sacred.  Those practices that hold the space for healing and renewal.  For me, I have come to know, and am coming to know with greater depth of certainty, that these are the things that calm the raging waters, slow the leak and buoy me through the day, elevating me above just surviving, but allowing me to thrive.  Find joy.  Breathe peace.  Serve with love and compassion.  They allow me to participate fully, body, mind, and soul with the moment at hand, and be the best most lovingkind self I can be.

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Here is a list of my Sacred Everyday.

Yoga

Meditation

Prayer

Spiritual/devotional reading

Outside Everyday, movement in nature.  Skiing, walking, snowshoeing, breathing.

Heartfelt time with my hubby and kids.  Screen free, looking into eyes, speaking soul to soul.

Nurturing myself and my family in the kitchen.  Passionately cooking and creating together.

Creativity.  Writing, crochet, sewing, creating.

Music.  Sings my soul, elevates and unites.

Dancing.  Movement creates spontaneous joy and allows me to fully experience my physical body in a creative and healthy way.

I invite you here to reflect, make a list and acknowledge, What is your Sacred Everyday?  Those practices that hold the space for healing and renewal?  What would you like to cultivate in your life, more peace, more love, more joy, more quality time with friends and family, health or wellness, or more creativity?  What sings your soul, fills your well, and elevates your spirit?

Be the Light

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Gently, slowly, softly, light diffuses particulate through snow filters, allowing it to gently recede into stillness, into calm, into peace.  Dark of night comes on gradually enveloping the homestead in soft, inky, reflected light.  Midafternoon fades into eve, and all slows.  Lighting candles brings me joy this time of the season.  It’s as if in the lighting we are joining a procession of light.  Ever present, yet not always seen, flickers and fades, dims perhaps, but still light persists.

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Persists in our hearts, in our hands, fills us within, radiating beams into everything we do.  Crystalline clear light flows through us to bring us closer to the joy that is ours to claim.

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What brings you joy?

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What lights you up?

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How do we share our light with others?

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Simply by being the light.  Be filled with holy wonder of the season.  Share your heart, your joy, your light with others.  Gather near those hearts that fill you up, that make your light shine more brightly.

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Shine on lovely ones, Shine On.

 

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