LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Through sleep-filled eyes, I tuned in to the day's weather forecast. The forecaster said, "There's a lot of fog out there. Fog is basically a cloud on the ground." A cloud on the ground? There's a poem in there somewhere, I thought, yawning as the dog and I ambled to the kitchen, both of us hungry for breakfast.

When my daughter and I left the house, the air was heavy with the fog. Beautiful but dangerous, especially in the dark. The sun had not yet risen, so I drove slowly, acutely aware of the deer and other creatures in the area, not to mention children on their way to the bus stop. The beams from the headlights seemed solid enough to cut through the wet air while somehow bouncing back at us at the same time. As we rode through the neighborhoods on the way to school, street lights, stop lights, and house lights put off a hazy glow as though they were wrapped in spider webs, wet cocoons that softened and diffused the light.

While I was gone, a friend emailed me Carl Sandburg's poem, Fog. And by the time I read it, the fog had just about moved on. But not before I had thought, there really is a poem in there somewhere, and made a note to myself to push through the fog of everydayness until I find it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Premio Dardas Award

My blog has been awarded the "Premio-Dardas" Award today by Brenda Leyland of It's A Beautiful Life. I'm flattered! Here's what Brenda says about it:

"This award 'acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write.'

Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It's a way to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

I understand this award comes with a couple of rules, and they are:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted it to you, along with his/her blog link.

2. Pass the award to (15) other blogs that you feel are worthy of this recognition. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen as recipients.

*Please note: when copying the award picture, please download it to your own computer first and upload from there to your own blog site. I understand you could unwittingly use up other people's band width. Anyone know for sure if that's the case?"

Like Brenda, I find my time limited today more than usual (I don't have my regular post up yet!) so I'm going to keep this list short. I'm passing the award along to these bloggers:

Crystal Miller of Chat n Chew Cafe

Nancy Ring of Anchors, Signposts & Wanderings

Terry Whalin of The Writing Life

Bonnie Bruno of Macro Moments

The marvelous team at Books & Such blog

and at Novel Matters

Thanks, Brenda, for passing the "Premio Dardas" to me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Words to Read Aloud

For a while now, I've been reading scripture aloud to a sick friend. She's not always awake when I read, but I believe that the words comfort her anyway, that they soak into her heart and mind and soothe her. It's the Word of God. How could it not reach her in some way?

As I'm reading the passages, I'm thinking about her life, her journey thus far, and the lengthy path she has ahead of her to recovery. I'm thinking about dark times in my own life, about loss, about suffering. I'm thinking about the hope she and I have in Christ--hope for today and for always.

Sometimes I read Psalm 104 to her. It's one of my favorites because it reminds me that He is bigger than sickness and sadness and suffering. He is the Creator of the universe--and of us, too. He is the Author of beauty, and His work stuns us with His glory.

Here it is. Read it aloud, and see if your circumstances suddenly seem smaller.

Psalm 104

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

2 He wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent

3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.

4 He makes winds his messengers, [a]
flames of fire his servants.

5 He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.

6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.

7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;

8 they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.

9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.

11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

12 The birds of the air nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.

13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.

14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for man to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:

15 wine that gladdens the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart.

16 The trees of the LORD are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

17 There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the pine trees.

18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the coneys. [b]

19 The moon marks off the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.

20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.

21 The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.

22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.

23 Then man goes out to his work,
to his labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.

26 There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 These all look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.

28 When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.

29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.

30 When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works-

32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.

35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Praise the LORD. [c]

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Beauty of Order

With the new year, I'm celebrating the beauty of order. I'm taking a clue from the order that appears in creation and trying to transfer that to my office. I'm well on my way but still have some things to deal with. In the meantime, I'm enjoying an empty floor, margin around my computer, and the now visible wood grain of two vintage tables that serve as my desk. You wouldn't know it to see my office on an average day but clutter drives me crazy. I'm good about "editing" clutter from other rooms but my office can get out of control at times. When it does, I put my blinders on and look only at my screen or out my office window to the view of the woods below. For the last several days, I've seen a male cardinal come and go to a certain spot in the brush, strikingly red against the browns and dull greys of the trees and shrubs. He reminds me that creation is filled with order. He, or rather His creator, inspires me to invite some of that order into my office and other areas of my life as well. And this new year is the perfect time to do that.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve

Happy New Year! And may 2009 be filled with moments of beauty and wonder for you.

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