When Sacred Is A Walk Down The Hall – TOYS Guest Post by Shelly Miller

Shelly is one of my dearest friends. She is on the top of my list of bloggers I long to meet in person. She is gracious and kind, and her words drip with wisdom. The lessons that she finds in the common are uncommon, and the beauty she finds in the ordinary is extraordinary. If you aren’t a regular reader of her amazing blog Redemption’s Beauty, you should be. I savor her posts like Cadbury’s chocolate! So, sit back and relax and read her stuff, I think you’ll begin to understand why I love her so much!

A few weeks ago, I touched the hallowed walls of destiny in England. Leaned my head back to gaze upon the intricacy of church ceilings built one thousand years ago by the hands of those budded from my ancestral tree. I wiped my palms across the back of sturdy wooden pews, combining my DNA with those of centuries past.

Meandering around headstones, I read of a life’s imprint to the world once etched deep and now fading. And with every step around mossy pediments, I unlace my soul, allow room for history to reveal more of who I am.
While I don’t have the luxury of daily strolls of awe under vaulted ceilings of incense ribbons and angels waving, I experience the sacred of place right in the abbey of my own home.

When I began this intentional writing journey less than one year ago, I created my own room reserved for reverence. Not with clustered columns and arched windows but a quiet space to welcome His voice tucked away from stacks of mail and sinks of sudsy dishes.

On special occasions, this space is my guest bedroom, a place where friends and family spread out for coastal visits. During ordinary time, it’s my sanctuary. A space consecrated to God, a spiritual place.

My pew is a writing chair from Pier One, my altar, a re-painted childhood desk. The window that casts the first ray of sunshine’s welcome isn’t made of stained glass but it does reveal a secret garden outside my cathedral walls.
This is the place where I meet with my Savior, my friend, my Father, in the early morning hours of silence. The space where He guides thoughts that spill onto keyboard, into arrangements of words that tell His story.

In England, I marveled upon portraiture that resembles the profile of my children, admired the spoons from which ancient fingers curled in the breaking of bread. Today I look upon the words of friends and colleagues hanging memory board, eat from the Bread of Life in stacks of inspired writing, admire His creation cut in a vase beholding beauty.
Because surrounding ourselves with what tells the story of who we are today, sheds light on God’s providence in the future.

Susannah Wesley, the mother of nineteen children, pulled an apron over her head in the kitchen for moments of sacred space. Jesus slipped away to the side of a mountain in a secluded spot; in a rowboat to the middle of the sea when life pressed hard. (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16)

And when my heart hangs dripping from the clothesline of life, I look out my abbey window, watch the birds eating riches from the feeder, and remember who much He loves me, who I am. And I am thankful.
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? ~Matthew 6:26

Do you have a sacred space where you meet with Jesus?

Won’t you join me on Fridays for a new series and linkup called, “Take Off Your Shoes, You’re On Holy Ground!” or TOYS? Each week a post will be shared about the significance of a place and you will be able to share as well!! Just 1) Write a post about how a place has ministered to you. 2) Add your post to the linkup. 3) Add the button to your post. 4)Visit and encourage your neighbors!


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When Fear Postpones the Birth of Dreams – Guest Post by Shelly Miller – Painting Prose

What more can I say other than that I adore Shelly’s writing? I am thrilled beyond words to hear her mention the four-letter b word, “book”, and can not wait until she shares her thoughts with the world. Her prose is full of images both visual and experiential. In this piece, I see daffodils waving in the wind, and I feel the heartache of letting a child mature…and as usual, she stirs my emotions with her poetry in prose. Please accept my invitation to visit her beautiful blog…Redemption’s Beauty.

Daffodils stand at attention in perfect rows, their yellow faces saluting the sun. Branches sway windy, waving pink fairy dust as I breathe the beauty of what blurs past my windshield. New life pops confetti on bare branches and today, I let go of my daughter’s hand. Watch her dance the last stanzas of childhood in this circle of life we share.
She turns sixteen today. A day she begins to collect her own packet of seeds to scatter. (Mark 4)
Because aren’t we all farmers of what he gives?
Yesterday I squeezed her dimpled knuckles. Today, wearing wet hair and tall boots, she drives away in her white Volvo with cardboard owl swinging from the mirror, pop music vibrating.
Later, in the quiet empty, I wipe off the syrup pitcher, put her dirty dishes in the sink, notice the pile of cards holding checks from friends stacked neatly beside her place at the bar. Pieces of hope paper stacked for the promise of a mission trip to Jamaica.
Sixteen years ago, H caught me standing in the closet sobbing silent tears over my pregnant stomach. Fear puddled out in knowing what my mind could not comprehend. That this life inside would change me, change us forever. I didn’t know how to master cultivating a successful life.
Who can master a life He gives with a story already written?
A book of invisible pages revealed to the muse in whispers by the author, at the turn of each day.

Last night, I crawl into bed next to my husband, sigh deep and he asks me what I am thinking.
I share my brick on the chest feeling over the birth of this book-writing journey. How words stumble when someone asks me why I haven’t started the book yet. Because I don’t know how to conquer this petrifying perfectionism that needs to know the outcome before I start something new.
Sixteen years later, I am pregnant once again, gasping for breath and knowing I won’t know the outcome about this either. The fear of failure postpones birth.
When He gave me my own packet of seeds all those years ago, they came with simple instructions. Just plant, water and weed. The outcome, well that is His job.
I cannot see all of the beautiful blooms yet on the life that is my daughter; what color they will be, how tall they will grow, how long they will remain on the vine. I cannot linger over the engraved letters on the spine of the book penned in my name, know how many hands will hold it, or how it will transform a life.
But I will continue to do my part: plant, water and weed.
I will wait on Him for the outcome.

But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. Mark 4:20 ESV
Are you stuck because of fear of the failure? Has it kept you from birthing a dream?

Please take the time to comment and let Shelly know how much this piece blessed you!

If this is your first time here, let me explain what we are all about. We are a community started by Emily Wierenga. It was called Imperfect Prose. She is on a bit of a vacation as she has some extra responsibilities at the moment.

If you are new, please check out Emily’s blog. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and you need to be acquainted with the woman who made all of this happen!


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