LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Messages of Love

My husband has a knack for picking out the best cards, whether for my birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, whatever. Usually the card has a visual element that makes it special--a die cut heart or a small handmade collage or my favorite colors. What I like best are the handwritten notes that he adds at the bottom. My first Mother's Day card from him remains a favorite because he wrote a sentence or two about why he thinks I'm a good mother. I really needed to hear that from him then as we were learning how to be newlyweds with a five-year-old in the house.

Through the years, my daughter has given me many notes to treasure as well. One that she made in art camp as a kindergartner rests in the stand-up file tray on my desk. It's a pastel picture of a sunset across the sea, complete with a desert isle and a palm tree. In the colorful sky, she wrote: "Mama, you take good care of me!"

When I get a note that's meaningful, I keep it out or keep it accessible so I can pull it out whenever I want to see it. Re-reading those messages of love or encouragement lifts my spirits again. It's just for a moment, but a life of beauty is made up of little moments of beauty. And I want as many of those moments as possible.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Word

The beauty of the written Word. Familiar, well-loved scripture filled with metaphors that become richer every year. Here are two of my favorite poetry passages:

"You turned my wailing into dancing; 
you removed my sackcloth and 
clothed me with joy, 
that my heart may sing to you and 
not be silent. 
O Lord my God, I will give you 
thanks forever" (Psalm 30:11-12).

"He tends his flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young" (Isaiah 40:11).

This week, reread your favorite passage--for the beauty of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Music That Inspires

I'm listening to Handel's Messiah. I don't usually listen to music when I'm writing because I'm easily distracted. I like to sing, hum, and even dance sometimes, and I don't get much work done. I've been singing along to Messiah, though, and boy, are those soprano notes high! I can still hit them but occasionally it sounds like...well, it sounds like shrieking. When my dog's ears start twitching, I stop.

I can hardly keep from singing, though. The music is gorgeous and so familiar--my concert choir sang the Christmas portion of Messiah every year in high school. To me, that was the highlight of the season.

So why am I listening to Christmas music when it's only September? I'm writing an article and Handel's genius is inspiring me. I should be working on that article right now but I wanted to take a minute to ask you this: What music inspires you? Do you have a favorite piece from your past that you haven't listened to lately? Pull it out and turn it up. See where it takes you. And leave a comment later.

Oh, "For Unto Us a Child is Born" just came on! I've got to go. Enjoy the beauty of music today.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Looking for Beauty

I love this quote:

"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing." Camille Pissaro

This week, look for beauty in humble places and then please leave a comment about what you find. I would love to know about it.

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