Taco Bell, I Didn’t Expect This Gift From You! {Linkup}

Remember in May when I gave a shout-out to Denver’s Botanic Gardens and the Chihuly blown glass exhibit? Just to feed your soul a bit, here are a few pictures:

Chihuly art

I know right? How does he do it? How many injuries are there with blown glass? So many questions.

Thank you to my friend Gloria for this picture. She has also lived in China so didn’t mind I was pushing the rules a bit by leaning in. Wait, it might have been her idea in the first place.

Amy at the gardenIt really is a stunning exhibit. It’s also open at night and lit up. Wow. Just wow. Here’s one:


Saturday was one of those near ideal evenings (other than the crowds). The weather was lovely, everyone was in a good mood, and then we added to the mix what that man and his team can do with glass. There comes a point where “stunning” and “Wow” and “Oh I LOVE this one” lose their power and wordlessness speaks more profoundly.

On the way home Mom and I had peeled off from my sister and her family. We were sitting at the final stop light before we were home when Mom said, “Oh look … never mind.” It’s amazing how quickly our souls got used to looking for beauty  in the dark. Out of the corner of her eye she had seen the pink and purple of a Taco Bell and for a moment her soul fluttered.

That is the power of tuning in. You start to expect and see things you might otherwise have missed. And suddenly a Taco Bell can be a reminder of an evening spent with beauty and loved ones and nature.

I felt a turn in my soul this past month when it came to my word for the year: Trust. Months of intentionally noticing have paid off with a settling in my being. It’s like after spending time intentionally looking at blown glass in the dark, you now seewhispers of it outside the walls of the garden. No, I don’t have trust all figured out (and this is part of the joy of the adventure.).

But if you haven’t chosen a word for the year, how about choosing one for the season. There is power in focusing on one aspect or word. And there is paradox. For I no longer see “trust” in the expected places, I’m starting to see them in the so-called Taco Bells of the world.

What might your word for this season be? Do you love Taco Bell as much as I do? Have you seen an art exhibit at night? So many questions, I know :).

Trusting Tuesdays button (Mobile)

Here’s the deal for the link-up:

  • Every third Tuesday I’ll host a link up. Trust + Tuesday + Third = three T’s and I don’t have to mark my calendar with different dates! Just remember TTT. The next one will be on October 21st  and you can get more details here. The link up will be open for one week, after one week, you’ll need to wait until the next month.
  • Please link back the link-up, either by using the Trusting Tuesday picture or simply a text link.
  • I’ve also started Pinterest Oneword365 board and want it to be a community board (meaning let’s have our Oneword365 posts all in one place!). Check it out!
  • If you miss a month, don’t beat yourself up. This will go on for the next twelve months and isn’t meant to overload you or make you feel guilty. We’re going to be a group of cheerleaders.
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When the Burden Is Heavy

One of my friends has started jokingly referring to herself as Jobetta, Job’s little sister.

In the last few weeks friends have taken hit after hit. Death, cancer, accidents, broken bones, sick kids, drunken drivers involved, plane crashes, car crashes, life plan crashes.

It’s heavy stuff.

When the burden is heavy


The first few hits certainly connected and I felt them.

But the blows have been coming fairly steadily since the beginning of September. I’m tired of having bad things happen to people I love. There is no magic dust to sprinkle over these situations. Yes, God is at work and hope is present; but that doesn’t shorten the path, does it?

No it doesn’t. (I’ll answer my own rhetorical question, wink.)

But there is nudge in my soul to look for small mercies and name them.

And they are there. Again and again. Small mercy upon small mercy.

No, the path may not be shortened, but it can be sprinkled with twinkling lights at night and small flowers during the day.

I do not understand how small mercies work. They feel a bit like facing Goliath with a sling shot. But right now, I am leaning into the power of mercies and in this season the mercy offered is paradoxical. The more I notice, the more there are. No, the road may not be shorter, but the burden carried on the road is lighter.

I lean over, find another small mercy, pick it up and load it into my slingshot.

Thank you Jesus for the small mercies offered. Please help me have eyes to see them. Amen

What small mercies have been extended to you this week?

9 Ways I Have Been Mentored by People Who Didn’t Know They Were Mentoring Me

A few weeks ago we talked about mentoring at Velvet Ashes. I think all of us are FOR people pouring into and investing in others! If only it was always so simple. What can you do if you can’t find a mentor? Does that mean you can’t be mentored and are a hopeless case? No. While […]

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Ten “Americans Really Do THAT?” from Chinese Scholars Living in the U.S.

Mooncake nutritional info

Loving more than one land means having lots of holidays to celebrate :)! Monday was the Mid-Autumn Festival in China. Traditionally it is at harvest time with the family gathering, looking at the full moon and eating mooncakes. Now, it’s a good chance to comment on the sky and “share the love” by giving friends […]

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I am too am a Spiritual Misfit

Too much this

One sign someone is a decent human? When you write a person you haven’t met and they don’t know you from Adam (other than a few comments here and their on their blog). In the email you ask to use a photo you saw on their blog, and they write you right back sending the photo. Michelle […]

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Can Labor Day be a holy day?

labor day

Happy Labor Day for those of you in the U.S! This weekend a conversation I had last May with a visiting scholar from China keeps coming to mind. I wished him a Happy Labor Day, telling him it wouldn’t be Labor Say in the U.S. until late August. He gave me a quizzical look and […]

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Is Jesus a Liar?

Already not yet

My friend’s mom died recently. In her late 80’s she’d been a nursing home for 44 months. Another friend celebrates today (how macabre!) the five year anniversary of her dad being medevac’d to the hospital on he eve of his birthday. The hospital he ended up dying in months later. Others I know are dealing […]

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What’s your breadcrumb legacy?

I was in the States in 2008  because of the Beijing Olympics and was able to be with the Family on Dad's birthday. Looking back at pictures I had forgotten that was the day #4 was dedicated and we went out for Dim Sum for lunch. Oh, and Dad had present helpers :)

Sunday would be my dad’s 75th birthday. Given that his parents lived to 83 and 92 and my mom’s parents lived to 95 and 101, 74 feels like Sesame Street’s “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong.” But then we remember he had Hepatisis C for […]

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A fool, a word, and The Giver {link-up}


Sometimes we are spared from our own ignorance. When I first taught in China I was assigned a class called Selected Reading. To keep me on my toes, there was no textbook and in the pre-internet era I had to find short stories in our small English library and weekly make copies; cutting and taping and learning […]

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3 headlines you might have missed

3 headlines

The headlines of late are sobering and saddening. And though certainly worthy of being given space and time and attention and prayers, they are not the only news. I repeat. THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY NEWS. I don’t want to be the kind of person who lives in denial of the pain and suffering around […]

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