Anything of true beauty casts away darkness.

"The more I study the character of God, the more I see that God is not a kill-joy grump. Rather, in some ways, he is wild, whimsical, transcendent, and like a playful dancer, weaving steps and songs into the pattern of our days. As the author of humor, delight, tastes, sounds, feelings, touch, and affection, he tucks beauty along our pathway to show us more of his artistry." 

"God's personality is to be a provider of beauty as the very expression of his nature." from Dancing With My Father

This afternoon, I am sitting in my little blue, Queen Anne chair with my legs propped up, looking at these tall, elegant flowers in front of me on a table ablaze with flickering candles. Celtic Vision, a favorite violin album is bringing me great comfort, as my mind sings along with  the familiar tunes.  

Since I was a little girl, I have delighted in purple iris. I won a blue ribbon at a garden show, (my only show!) when I was a little girl, with a cut iris from our garden lovingly placed in a vase. Perhaps all the children won blue ribbons, I don't know. But from that time I have loved them--they are elegant, vibrant, touching deep places in my heart that celebrates beauty.

I find I am in need of drinking this tonic into my weary heart and soul. Getting back to my center is what I long for---as I well know that I cannot long give out without replenishing or I will become dry. There is not and has never been a lot of time for quiet in my life, but I have to make it happen--I have to be the one who carves out time, gets away, ponders and rests and dreams--so that I can finish well. 

It happens to be one of the topics I have spoken on repeatedly the past few conferences--but it also always true for me. There is no one else who will see that I get what I need to continue conducting the symphony of the Clarkson's lives, so I must take care to keep myself in tune with the life I have been given.

And so, as I find myself a little worn at the edges, I am seeking to figure out just how the Lord wants me to plan my time in the next week before our last conference in Raleigh--amidst our busy life--so that I can be and remain refreshed at the core of my life--for me it will mean seeing that I get enough sleep--leaving some things undone as I can get to them when I get home; simplifying life and meals; staying away from the emails and internet more--even if I am letting a million emails and letters fall by the wayside--but keeping my family, me and the Lord first. It is essential to a enduring long distance run--to shed what is unnecessary and to run intentionally and with diligence and simplicity. 

Everyone have a grace-filled and refreshing weekend. Take time to rest! Blessings.............