Category Archives: Hyacynth

Waiting for Beauty in the Creating Process

A few weeks ago, a crew of strong, thick-armed men wrapped their hands tight around bushes and yanked the roots of overgrown bushes and weeds from the soil in our front yard, leaving the Earth freshly tilled and ready for the beauty I’ve been dreaming of:

wild purple cone flowers

tall, billowing prairie grasses

lush, thick-leafed bushes with tiny budding white flowers

I waited for the beauty of color to drip from the black, barren dirt for a week.

And on the day our seedlings were planted it didn’t come like I had hoped.

Our plants drooped, some leaves withering into brown despite the watering, the sunning,  the weeding.

A week, almost two passed and I’d found myself still waiting on the beauty for which I’d hoped despite so much care, so much babying and so much attention.

Finally, yesterday, I stomped out into the front yard of floundering plants, standing in the front beds all but cursing the very ground while quickly, rigidly cutting off the trampled bush branches and the dried yellow leaves.

I left the front yard in a huff, dragging my little ones’ feet away from the delicate beds, abandoning my efforts and wondering if I’d been too harsh in my pruning and all but destroyed any hope of the beauty I’d envisioned.

A few hours later, in the glow of sunset before I went to bed, I peaked out at the front beds to look at the damage I might have provoked from my ruthless hacking away of branches and leaves and stems.

And there, to my shock, was some of the beauty I’d been long seeking: greener leaves standing tall and grasses perked up toward the horizon.

Still a long way to go, but not nearly as far.

As I stepped back and looked at the garden beds, my thoughts immediately drifted to writing and creating.

How often do we expect beauty to grow in our creative endeavors by trying to make everything perfect the moment it’s been planted?

Sometimes ideas need to take root.

Sometimes branches need to be trimmed.

Sometimes inklings of imagination need to be saturated with thought-water and sunlight.

Sometimes while we’re waiting on beauty to emerge as we baby words or thoughts and gently bathe them without really pruning, we never get that fully alive-and-leaning-into-the sunlight-while-standing-tall blossom.

As writers and creators often we neglect the hard work of editing and really pruning the words we’ve written, editing and tweaking the pictures we’ve captured or painted.

So while, yes, we need a season of gentle babying to help establish those words, those pictures, those ideas in the soil of life, we also need a season of steadied, focused pruning, too, to bring our creativity into its full state of beauty.

Let’s not just plant and hope and wait for the beauty, friends.

Let’s prune, too.

{Perhaps, you should join one of our Writing Circles and let the pruning begin?}

2011 Best of Bigger Picture Moments {Hyacynth}

We’re easing into 2012 and looking back at our favorite Bigger Picture Moments of 2011. You can join in on Thursday by coming back HERE and linking up your favorite moment from the last year.


This is Hyacynth’s

“Look at me, mom,” he half requests, half demands.

Ok, I say, glancing over at my 3.5 year old as he dances in circles around the kitchen explaining the logistics of fire hoses and relates the art of firefighting to me — ideas that are really, really important to him.

The veggies sizzle in the wok on the stove, and I turn half of my attention back to dinner preparation.

“Mom, you’re not looking at me,” he says. “I need you to look at me.”

“G.,” I explain, “I AM looking at you. I’m also looking at the stove so I can stir dinner. We don’t want it to burn, do we?”

“I don’t care if dinner burns,” he laments. “I want you to look at me. With both of your eyes. Turn your head.”


Increasingly, G. has been demanding our fullest attentions.

“Look at me!”

“Play with me!”

“Sing with me.”

“Help me!”





“WHAT?!” I finally explode.

I catch the impatience in my voice often.

But not all of the time.

Like yesterday.

I needed an escape to do my homework for Vantage Point 3, the emerging journey class, because he would not engage in any form of quiet time whatsoever.

My sister generously offered to watch the boys.

On my way to the coffee shop, book in one hand, Bible in the other, I determined that G. does not have to have my fullest attention at every moment.

He needs to learn patience.

He needs to return to being happy playing by himself sometimes.

He needs to give me five minutes of peace a few times a day.

I settled into my favorite orange chair and begin reading about Jesus’ life.

And how He interacted with those around Him: patiently, deeply, particularizingly, hospitably, prayerfully.

As I dig into the material, I come face to face with C.S. Lewis:

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature, which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

All day long we are in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal,and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. …

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses.”

I mull this over in my head, slowly letting the words sink into my mindset, blend like cream in black coffee until the colors are no longer two but a soft brown.


I’ve been trying to get things done all day — the laundry, the dishes, this post, Curves stuff.

But one kid or another has run smack into my knees and asked for milk or snuggles or play or whatever.

Or an email or phone call has come through that’s asked for some of me, a piece of my time.

Though it’s gone against every one of my desires, as I really want to continue with my plans, I’ve been trying to listen and respond to these needs to be heard.

Not just nodding my head and smiling.

Really listening.

Not just glancing over in my son’s direction when he asks for me to look at him.

Really seeing.

Because we’re all just walking around waiting for someone to really see us, to really hear us.

The posts we publish into the vastness of the blogosphere.

The glances we cast over the top of our book at the coffee shop when an acquaintance walks in.

The status updates we send into our friends’ news feeds.

The spoken words of good or fine that have been carefully dressed in a reassuring smile when a friend asks how we’ve been.

The tweets we blast off into the unknown.

We’re not all actually saying aloud “look at me, notice me, play with me. MOOOMMMEEE.”

But we’re all saying it somehow.

And the question Lewis gave me was loud and clear:

Can I press the mute button on my own words and thoughts long enough to hear and recognize and acknowledge the other lives around me?

Can I let go of the irritation that I feel when my boys interrupt me from building those dynasties that will fade away — the spotless house, the comment on a blog that’s really only chatter, the scarf that doesn’t really need to be knit — to engage with my boys meaningfully, positively.

I don’t mean can I be everything to everyone, sacrifice myself into the flames of only tending to others’ needs.

But I do mean can I pause my busy life, my busy agenda long enough to really take the time to lovingly interact with my sons, my husband, my friends, push them toward greatness?

Because I can quash the irritation brought on by a burnt meal.

But I can’t go back and change the inadvertant way I’ve impatiently interacted with the very souls that will live well beyond last night’s dinner.

Live. Capture. Share. Encourage.

Bigger Picture Moments: On Anxiety and Amoebas {Hyacynth}

Every Thursday we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the bigger picture through a simple moment. Won’t you join us?

Simple BPM

Brain-eating amoebas and anxiety are like two peas in an uncomfy pod: they both attack at the control center and begin trying to take over while hidden in the darkest recesses.

Thankfully, these amoebas are relatively uncommon; but the same can’t be said for anxiety.
At least not around my head these days.

To read the rest, and share your own moment,  please head over to Hyacynth’s.






Simple moments make up the bigger picture in this puzzle called life, What’s yours?




Share your moment in prose, photos, whatever. Grab a hold of it and savor it’s simpleness.




Stories and memories are best shared with friends.




Try to visit the other participants and encourage each other in this journey we call life.