Hello, November!

 

Last Sunday, Jeff and I took a drive to the mountains, and though the winds were bitterly cold, I got some pretty great shots. Isn’t that view amazing? Though I was planning to use one of the ‘Novembers’ I had done in calligraphy, I liked the look of this practice one I’d just done with a pen.

November is going to be a really great month. Besides the obvious return of my favorite cold and dreary weather, there’s the start of the holiday season, and I’ve been itching to try this recipe and this DIY.

I’ve been a little shy about broadcasting Wander the Wild to the world, but it’s been nearly a year and it’s time to share it with all my family and friends. Stay tuned for the launch and chances to win some giveaways.

Grime

I’m a little too proud of the grimy fingers I earn while doing man things. Cleaning guns. Making fire. You know.

Well yesterday, after working on the motorbike and having some significant wins, I came in from the garage to check in with Allison and let her know of the progress I had made (read: seeking validation).

Whilst making known the extent of my victories and overall motorbike-wrench-monkey prowess, I noticed that she was at her art desk working on her calligraphy. Genuine pen and ink. I love this about her. So I stopped talking about myself and noticed her work.

Then I noticed her fingers. They were black from the ink.

The more macho among you may cringe a bit, but my face brightened as I processed how appropriately blackened our fingers had become, and the reasons they had become so for each of us. Greazy motorbike grime, on the one hand, and classy stains of Sumi ink on the (literal) other. We make a good team.

I thought it might be a good photo. Life imitating something. You get the idea.

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Words to Live By: The Love of God

could we with ink

I happened upon this hymn the other day while browsing through my Tumblr called The Love of God by Frederick Lehman (although there are other authors who contributed to it). The first of these authors, Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, a Rabbi from Germany penned this beautiful verse in Aramaic as a part of his poem, Hadamut, near the end of the 11th century.

Many centuries later, Lehman was seeking inspiration for the third stanza of his hymn and remembered a poem someone had given him. As he read the words, he knew this was exactly what he had been searching for. He then noticed this writing on the bottom of the card:

“These words were found written on a cell wall in a prison some 200 years ago. It is not known why the prisoner was incarcerated; neither is it known if the words were original or if he had heard them somewhere and had decided to put them in a place where he could be reminded of the greatness of God’s love – whatever the circumstances, he wrote them on the wall of his prison cell. In due time, he died and the men who had the job of repainting his cell were impressed by the words. Before their paint brushes had obliterated them, one of the men jotted them down and thus they were preserved.”

As I read these accounts, it reminded me of some of my favorite scriptures I came to love in high school,

Romans 8:31, 35-39
If God be for us, who can be against us?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

This image is free for you to use for a desktop background or it would make a lovely gift as a card or fridge magnet. If you use it, I’d love to hear about it, so leave me a note in the comments section. Enjoy!

 

Words to Live By: Listen

This beautiful quote is oft attributed to Shakespeare or George Santayana, but only recently was it discovered to be written by an unknown poet, Reginald Holmes, as part of his poem, The Magic of Sound.

I’ve heard the soft whisper of wind in the pine trees,
The silvery ripple of brooklets at play;
I’ve heard the low voice of a sweet singing mother
As she sang to her child at the end of the day.

I’ve heard the faint rustle of sails in the sunset
And blue waves caressing the wild, rockbound shore;
The whistle of trains as they cross the green prairie
And mountains re-echo the cataract’s roar.

The notes of the organs in ancient cathedrals,
Where hearts of the faithful are lifted in song;
I’ve heard the gay laughter as children were playing,
The chatter and buzz of a large, happy throng.

The earth has its music for those who will listen;
Its bright variations forever abound.
With all of the wonders that God has bequeathed us,
There’s nothing that thrills like the magic of sound.

Isn’t that last part lovely? Now that it’s finally Fall here, I’ve spent more and more time out in the wilderness, and I think of this quote often. I wonder how many gifts that have been bequeathed to us, go unnoticed only because we fail to really listen. How much time do we spend distracted, worried, anxious, busy, angry, unforgiving, self-absorbed?

I wonder what would happen to our hearts and souls if when we pray, if we ask God to help us ‘listen’ more to the blessings that are being showered upon us, instead of only just asking for things we need and then hoping they show up in exactly the way we asked for it (why do we always think we know best?).

I think too often our prayers are answered in a way we don’t expect, and because we don’t recognize it, we keep praying and over time feel unheard, unloved, or bitter. It would do us well to add that listening part to our prayers, and I think we’ll be surprised how abundantly we are answered.

For a helpful reminder to always listen, you are welcome to download this quote for use on your desktop background. Enjoy!

Design by me. Photo by Joe Floyd

 

Welcome October!

JF-and-AT-October

No one is as excited for Fall as I am. That seems a bit high on the hyperbole, but I’m sure it’s true. Though I missed a lot of the heat during my cross country travels with my sister and mom this summer when we were blessed with unusually cool temps across the mid-West, it was still more than enough heat and humidity for me. All summer I dreamt of the crisp days of Autumn and they are finally here. Utah may not have much of an Autumn season, but it’s sure gorgeous here. The canyons are full of warm hues and the skies are streaked with cotton candy colors at sunset.

Jeff and I have had a number of projects that have kept us here locally for a time, but Spain is nearing quickly. We still don’t have a solid date yet, and we may not yet until relatively close to departure, but we love that flexibility that we can stay as long as we want or we can go as quickly as want. We are excited to go and can’t wait to get there, but we feel good about staying here to get these projects completed. It’s nice to feel at peace with where we’re at right now and not longing too much for our future wanderings. Besides, it’s October in Utah. What more could you want?

Feel free to save this handsome image to use as a desktop background or check out the calendars I made for October.

HAND LETTERING BY ME, PHOTO BY JOE FLOYD