Walking Away. . .

Walking Away

“This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21 NIV

Taking the less traveled path, today I lay down this blog–this beautiful collection of beautiful moments and memories–as an offering of praise and worship to my creator, deliverer, and sovereign Lord.

I’m off to reclaim the history of my life in its totality through the writing of my redemption story. Afraid, but doing it afraid. 🙂

Let us not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now, receive it with gratitude, and see it in the light of a loving God who guides us day by day.  -Henri Nouwen

May God’s beauty and blessings fill your life every day of your story.

Linda CrawfordLinda Crawford

The Face of Beauty: Those Who Dare Greatly

Cheryl

Amanda

Pope Benedict XVIbailey

Pieta Jesus

LOVE in the Face of EvilThe Legacy of Lygon StevensEvery Tuesday for the last 3 months I have shared a face of beauty–those who have put the beauty of God on display in my life.

There have been dear friends, the Pope, LOVE in the face of evil, and even my dog.

I wish I could share with you ALL the faces of those who display the beauty of God in my life. So many, who dare greatly to serve Him and reveal His love and grace to the world. But I know you see them, because they are all around you in your life too.

So as I say goodbye here, and lay down blogging to turn to walk the less traveled road the Lord has called me to, I have one last face of beauty to share with you. We just happened to bump into each other yesterday as we were crossing paths in the road…

I’m turning right, she’s going left.

I was writing my farewell blog post of yesterday, and she had just written her very FIRST blog post. We both wrote about the less-traveled road.

This was no accidental, meant to be brushed off, “hey watch where you are going” collision of the shoulders. As I read the comment she wrote on my post and then read her blog, I knew God wanted me to stop and look her in the face. See who she was. Hear her story. Listen to her voice.

We’re turning in different directions, but we each have a baton to pass to the other. Mine is encouragement for her as she starts her writing journey. She passes me the courage, along with the spirit of youthful faith, that will sustain me when I start to feel too old for such a change!

ArikaTake a look at the beautiful face of Arika.

She sings for the Lord. Writes of her journey. Smiles. Puts God’s beauty on display.

She dares greatly.

To walk her less traveled path.

Stop for a moment today. See her. Listen to her sing.

Encourage her.

And encourage all whose shoulders you bump into, who are daring greatly to walk into the beauty of the road less traveled.

And dare greatly to walk your own.

salt and sparkleRead Arika’s first blog post: Finding Beauty in It All

Listen to Arika’s first song: Think About It

Like Arika’s Facebook fan page

Keep on sharing the beauty! Keep on sharing the love!

Looking forward to bumping into YOU someday when our paths cross again. 🙂

Linda CrawfordLinda Crawford

Writing in the White Space: Taking the Less Traveled Road

walkalone

In the beginning, when choosing to walk on the less traveled road, there’s no need for a destination–the joy of the journey is enough to inspire and sustain the strength for each step.

So it has been for me on my journey to share beauty minutes.

Joyful. Beautiful. Inspiring. Strengthening.

And then, last week, I found myself at a fork in the road, with an even less traveled path on my right. I stopped and searched for direction:

This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 NIV

I asked. And heard this:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21 NIV

Turn right, said the voice behind me.

Lay everything down here and walk alone for the next leg of the journey.

Write your story, your WHOLE story and finish it.

Pursue your healing, your WHOLE healing, and finish it.

Enter the cocoon of my transforming grace, and allow me to complete the work I have begun in you.

Because the soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.

I must leave you here, dear friends and fellow beauty seekers. I must turn right and follow this road less traveled–alone.

He is always faithful to lead us upon the path He has uniquely crafted for each of us.

We must be faithful to follow.

Even when it means letting go of something dear. Wandering into the unknown. Testing our survival skills in the wilderness. Acting the opposite of what the world tells us to do. Daring to discover. Downsizing. . . to the divine.

On May 1st, 2013 I will turn right. This blog will be laid on the path as an offering of praise and worship.

I thank God for this journey, for teaching me how Beauty chases us, catches us, and propels us forward into living wholly for Him.

It’s been a joy sharing the journey with you.

Praying for His beauty to propel you forward on the path He is revealing to you.

Linda CrawfordLinda Crawford

Beauty From Brokenness: It’s Not the End of the World

Pushing back the dark

Before the resurrection to new life, there was a time of dark.

It's Not the End of the World

Praying for the beauty the Lord is creating in you through the difficult and dark times.

Linda Crawford

Prayer for You: Promise

Promise

Hallelujah! It’s a good thing to sing praise to our God; praise is beautiful, praise is fitting . . .

He launches his promises earthward—how swift and sure they come! He spreads snow like a white fleece, he scatters frost like ashes, He broadcasts hail like birdseed—who can survive his winter?

Then he gives the command and it all melts; he breathes on winter—suddenly it’s spring!

Psalm 147:1;15-18 MSG

Hallelujah for spring!

Lord, we praise you today for your promise of the coming of spring after the cold, dark days of winter. At times, the darkness we experience in life feels like it will never end, never change. But you have promised, you give the command to melt the cold of our sorrows and breathe the breath of new life into us . . . new life that comes from the transformation you have wrought in the dark.

May those who have experienced dark and sunless days break free today.

Linda CrawfordMay we all turn our gaze heavenward and behold . . . the beauty we long to see, and the beauty we are meant to be!

Linda Crawford

 

 

The piece of art above was created for me as a birthday gift by my dear friend Becky Schultea.

See more of her inspiring art at:

Becky Schultea

 

Prayer for You: Gifts of Light

heavenly lights

So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. James 1:16-18 MSG

Father of Light,

Your gifts are so good, given to us from the fullness of your grace. Help us Lord, not to be thrown off course by the darkness we see around us, or the emotions that quake within us. Though the sun sets and the world experiences the depths of darkness at times, your light never fails to shine and your face is never turned away from our needs.

May your rivers of light be poured out upon all the wounded, grieving, sorrowful, and those thrown off course this week. May your beauty be read, your grace be inhaled, and your love be transfused into us.

Thank you Lord, for your good and perfect gifts.

Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse]. James 1:17 AMP

Linda Crawford

Beauty from Brokenness: About Ashes and Crowns

Today’s post is shared by Sue Riger from A Painter’s Journey

…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:

In the 70’s my school showed us film clips of atom bomb survivors.

The radiation poisoning caused unthinkable suffering. Bandaged people walked aimlessly among the ash and rubble.

My school taught that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ultimately saved lives by ending WWII. But my gut writhed with the atrocity. I wondered how recovery could be possible.

Incredibly, post-war Japan produced a group of artists in the early 1950s who believed beauty emerges when something becomes damaged or decayed. The Gutai group professed that a thing’s inner life is released during the process. Breaking from traditional Japanese art, they produced this figure:

electric dress

electric dress electric dress Looks angelic doesn’t it? It’s called “Electric Dress” by Atsuko Tanaka.

The concept reminds me of Lodgepole pine trees.

lodgepole pine

High above the forest floor, their cones are sealed shut by resin. In patient dormancy they wait for the liberating furnace of a forest fire.

Only intense heat will melt the resin and release the seeds from the tree’s crown.

In this way beauty emerges from destruction and ashes.

Borrowing a phrase from the 70’s — this next part really blows my mind.

Isaiah says we are to receive crowns of beauty instead of ashes and that we will be called plantings of the Lord, oaks of righteousness!

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3

Jesus – despised, rejected, scourged, condemned to die – received a crown of thorns.

Brutal beauty.

Beautiful because he willingly took it all for us. Without the suffering Jesus bore, we could not take part in the victory he offers to us. He descended into death. Total surrender.

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24

Oh happy news! On the third day Jesus emerged from the grave. He is alive and we receive crowns of beauty instead of ashes. By faith we join him – sprouting new growth in the midst of a suffering decaying world. Restoring broken hearts. Setting the captives free.

…all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. Col. 1:18-20 MSG

Sue RIgerSue 

I’m sojourner.  Here for a lifetime and hoping to make it count. For me, creativity is a fun gift from God and an avenue to display gratitude for the beauty around us. My husband, three great kids and four giggly grandkids fill my life with wonder and joy. Whether looking through the lens or holding a paint brush, the creative process is a way for me to thank God for surrounding us with so much beauty.

Connect with Sue at: apaintersjourney.com

More Beauty from Brokenness:

Art from the Brokenness of Alcohol

Art from the Brokenness of Alcohol

$5 dresser

The Redefined Dresser

Beauty From the Ashes

Beauty From the Ashes

Six Minute Sabbath: My Passion

Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy. Mark 12:30 MSG

Take six minutes today and give Jesus your all in worship . . .

all your PASSION.

(If you are unable to see the video in email click here to view.)

Give to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness or in holy array. Psalm 29:2 AMP

More Six Minute Sabbaths:

Everything is possible

Beauty from Despair

Need You Now

A Friendship Story

Prayer for You

Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you. For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones. I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roofPsalm 102:1-7  NLT

desert

The Lord hears your cries. The spoken and unspoken cries of your suffering.

May He restore your joy and your strength. May He feed you with the bread of life and the living water to restore your health and revive your heart.

Comfort these I pray for Lord — these lonely owls in the desert — and lead them to the oasis of your love.  Though life may feel like a desert during difficult times,  You alone God, are able to bring water forth from rocks and rain down bread from heaven for food.

bread waterMay you drink and eat today, and know that God will never leave you in your time of distress.

In the wilderness of life–-He is there.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Linda Crawford

Beauty from Brokenness: The Bullies Were Wrong

He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. Psalm 18:16-19 NLT

I had an entirely different post planned for today.

God planned this one.

It’s been a rough week for me, and I’m sure for many others. The physical pain I have battled for over three years decided to attack me with a vengeance again this week.

And on these days, all pains begin to hurt.

On these days, when I can barely breathe beyond the physical pain, the voices of the bullies decide to take advantage of my weakness. They rise up from the past and start to ridicule, poke, punch, and knock me down again.

You are nothing. You are worth nothing. You are ugly.

You think you’re a little angel–but you’re NOT!

Even though I am surrounded by light, life feels dark.  Even though I am blessed with words of love and affirmation,  I struggle to believe anything in me is redeemable.Transformed

I writhe against the pain, battling to believe in the beauty that is me.

And even though the physical pain does not yield, the emotional battle must be won.

The lies of the bullies were not, are not, and never will be true.

We have all been wounded by words, some more than others, and as I fight the lies once again tonight (even as I write this), I wonder if perhaps we can go to battle together…to drown out those voices that sneak in to exacerbate our pains.

Bully Free Zone

Today, let’s create a bully-free zone in our lives.

Let’s speak LOUDLY and OFTEN of the beauty we see in one another.

Let’s share the message of healing–the message of love–the message of beauty.

Share the video below. God put this video directly in my path last night…because I needed it.

I believe you do too. And somebody you know needs it.

Watch, allow God to reveal your beauty, and share. So many of us need to hear the message of beauty…over…and over…and over again.

Praying for all the wounded, broken, and in pain today.

Linda Crawford

 

 

Past Beauty from Brokenness posts:

The Hidden Chair

The Becoming of an Artist

The Becoming of an Artist

The Life Quilt

The Life Quilt