favorite words {02.15.16}

sometimes life gets a bit crazy, and it takes a bit of catching up to get back on track. such is the last few days for me.

but last evening i got reacquainted with my life a bit, and got caught up on some reading, so now it's time to get caught up on some favorite words.

this is something from February 14's reading from Henri Nouwen's Bread For The Journey...
There is beauty and goodness right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness on our travels far and wide. There are trees and flowers to enjoy, painting and sculptures to admire; most of all there re people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.

Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects. But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation to restore ourselves. Let's try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us before we go elsewhere to look for it.
this one has really hit home for me. since one of my words for 2011 is beauty, obviously there is that. but even more, given my day job as a graphic designer, too often do i use the beauty that surrounds me daily solely for my job, instead of to restore and renew myself.

i need to find a way for both...

favorite words... {02.08.11}

i found a new writer i love yesterday. her name is Enuma Okoro, and you can find her blog {and the rest of the post below} here.

here are the first words of hers i have read. by the end of the paragraph, i'll be surprised if you don't love her as much as i...
I am learning to dwell in daily meditation, to rise and seek after God out of necessity. And it can’t be lost on me, the small miracles inherent in this. Small, but who knows how the smallest miracles expand and stretch wide like canvas covering a host of unspeakables. I ask boldly for small things. Then I watch and wait for God, clenching a fistful of mustard seeds. My other hand wrapping around Psalms and Epistles, Prophets and Gospels like a bouquet of flowers, Gerber daisies perhaps, colors that leak boldness and hope like water. I poise ready to tiptoe behind the holy ascent up a holy hill. My mouth parts with breath, preparing breath, centering breath, prayer breath. If I can at least speak the truth from my heart, regardless of a shaky gait and what is right...may I too abide in God’s tent? Am I too far from blameless? {Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011}
see what i mean?

favoite words {february 7}

"We make our way through Everything like thread passing through fabric: giving shape to images that we ourselves do not know."
from: Letters On Life: New Prose Translations
by: Rainer Maria Rilke

favorite words, weekend edition

What can we say about God's love? We can say that God's love is unconditional. God does not say, "I love you, if..." There are not ifs in God's heart. God's love for us does not depend on what we do or say, on our looks or intelligence, on our success or popularity. God's love for us existed before we were born and will exist after we have died. God's love is from eternity to eternity and is not bound to any time-related events or circumstances. does that mean that God does not care what we do or say? No, because God's love wouldn't be read if God didn't care. To love without condition does not mean to love without concern. God desires to enter into relationship with us and wants us to love God in return.

Let's dare to enter into an intimate relationship with God without fear, trusting that we will receive love and always more love. {February 5}
from: Bread For The Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith
by: Henri Nouwen

favorite words... {02.04.11)

...from Henri Nouwen's Bread For The Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith:
Kindness is a beautiful human attribute. When we say, "She is a kind person" or "He surely was kind to me," we express a very warm feeling. In our competitive and often violent world, kindness is not the most frequent response. But when we encounter it we know that we are blessed. Is it possible to grow in kindness, to become a kind person? Yes, but it requires discipline. To be kind means to treat another person as your "kin", your intimate relative. We say, "We are kin" or "He is next of kin." To be kind is to reach out to someone as being of "kindred" spirit.

Here is the great challenge: All people, whatever their color, religion, or sex, belong to humankind and are called to be kind to one another, treating one another as brothers and sisters. There is hardly a day in our lives in which we are not called to this. {February 4}

favorite words... {02.03.11}

every once in a while you make a discovery.

yesterday i discovered Ann Voskamp, and her beautiful book, One Thousand Gifts {click on 'read now' under the book to read the first chapter}.

here is an excerpt from chapter one...
From all of our beginnings, we keep reliving the Garden {of Eden} story.

Satan, he wanted more. More power, more glory. Ultimately, in his essence, Satan is an ingrate. and he sinks his venom into the heart of Eden. Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave.

Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins?

Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.
i encourage you, go to the link above and read the whole first chapter. and then do yourself a favor, get the whole book, read her blog. you won't be sorry.

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p.s. i finally decided on a reading goal for this year, and for this year i'm going a little more conservative, and will go with a goal of reading 60 books in 2011. it works out to five books per month, and since you can see by the widget to the left that after january, i'm only at two, well, it looks like i have already got some catching up to do.

do you have a reading goal for this year?

favorite words...

Exodus 33:15-17

Then Moses said, “If you [the Lord] don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”

The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”

favorite words...

i love my Kobo. so many books, so compact, so {or perhaps too} easy to buy books and begin reading them immediately.

but tonight, i made a cup of tea, and read a good, old fashioned, paper book. one that i got a while ago, but twistedly enjoyed it so much, i didn't want to keep reading it, because then it would be over. yes, my logic is faulty, but at least it's my own.

A Homemade Life
by Molly Wizenberg, creator of the Orangette blog, which i love, wrote these words in an essay entitled, 'Summer of Change'...
"There's been so much said and written about Paris that it's daunting to hazard a statement of my own. That city just has something. I can't think of any other place so idealized, so longed for, so sighed over. My Paris isn't always such a sweet one, with kisses a la Doisneau on every street corner, but I like it better that way. It's the place where I've been loneliness, and where I've been happiest. Sometimes I've been both at the same time. It's where my father introduced me to croissants and pain au chocolat. It's where I met my first love, and where, six weeks later, he stopped calling. I sat on a bench at the Champ de Mars and filled an entire Kleenex mini-pack with my snot and tears. It's a place where even crying feels romantic somehow, where heartbreak makes you feel like part of history. It's who and where, for a long time, I wanted to be...

I say Paris is the place where I've been loneliest, and also where I've been happiest. But what I mean is harder to say. The thing I call loneliness is delicate and lovely, like a blown-out eggshell. It's both empty and hopeful, broken and beautiful."
i couldn't agree with her more.

favorite words...

every once in a while, as i read myself through life, i come across a combination of words that takes my breath away, causes me to stop reading, go back, and read again, simply for the sheer brilliance of the words.

my favorite sentence of all time comes from The Book Thief, and even though i am reading it for the second time, when i came across this sentence on the weekend, even on my second time through, my heart beat a bit faster.
"When she came to write her story, she would wonder exactly when the books and the words started to mean not just something, but everything." {Markus Zusak, The Book Thief}
i can tell you exactly when and where i was the first time i read them {December 24, 2008, pearson international airport, waiting for an airplane that was going to be six hours late due to too much snow}, and in that moment, i knew that i was in the presence of brilliance.

call me a word nerd if you want—wait, that rhymes—i'd be happier if you called me a book nerd, but i really don't care. when you are in the presence of genius, you must give credit where it is due.

so, since i haven't yet decided on a reading goal for this year, i have decided to do something different. i will share with you the best words that i've read {or listened to} every day.

today's words are from Listening To Your Life: Daily Meditations With Frederick Buechner...
Long after Roger Mouse's death, Godric bids him a proper goodbye:

When friends speak overmuch of times gone by, often it's because they sense their present time is turning them from friends to strangers. Long before the moment came to say goodbye, I think, we said goodbye in other words and ways and silences. Then when the moment came for it at last, we didn't say it as it should be said by friends. So now at last, dear Mouse, with many, many years between: goodbye. {January 31 reading}
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what's the best thing you've read today?