Personal Patina…


(reposted from my professional blog at )

I’ve been given some lovely silver trays, bowls, and serving pieces that have been passed down through generations. This time of the year I begin to think how I would love to use them for holiday dinners…but then I think of the polishing…and the polishing…and the polishing and then it never really looking like the shiny version of what I imagine my great grandmother would have used.

What is it in us that always wants the shiny version?

Tarnish is a chemical reaction that can leave a dull finish on silver after being exposed to air. It is rather simple to clean. But the patina of the silver is a lustrous finish that well used, loved and cared for silver pieces develop over time. It is a living finish of sorts that reveals marks of history from all the uses prior. Just think of the personal history each silver piece could reveal…all the joys and sorrows that mark all the times families come together.

So, what is it in us that always wants the shiny version? …

Each of us is an accumulation of a lifetime of experiences and history…our personal patina is the wisdom we wear and share. Our personal patina is nothing to be overzealously stripped…it’s what makes each of us unique.

Are you striving to be a shiny version of yourself? …

Or are you allowing your personal patina to be the wisdom you wear?

“Let the beauty radiate from inside your heart to the outside world.” Imania Margria


Beauty in the Becoming…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

It seems particularly fitting that my last post was the first week of Lent and I am resuming the first week of Advent. This journey of the heart, as of late, has taken me through an intensive internship and onward to a second, mid-life career as a licensed counselor. My blog and all my loyal readers have been in my thoughts and in my prayers in my absence, and I anticipated the time when I could return to regular posts.   I pondered changing the name of the blog to “The Beauty in the Becoming” for that is the profound discovery I am making as I meet with my clients. But “Through Him With Him In Him” will always be home, for it is only through Him with Him and in Him that we discover the beauty in the becoming. I will resume posting and am extending anew an invitation to join me in our combined journeys of the heart through Him with Him and in Him as we each discover the beauty of our becoming.

From the Heart of J

PS Please join me today on my professional site  where I post each Wednesday.

I think you might enjoy my recent post “Fog…Loneliness…and the Man in the Moon”. And if it moves you, please join the Christmas Challenge!

It All Began With A Post-It…

It all began with a Post It note…

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Someone took the time to affirm an anonymous woman wounded by the world.

She smiled from the inside out and too was led to do the same.

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She took the time to affirm an anonymous woman wounded by the world, who smiled from the inside out and too was led to do the same.

All with a Post It.

What is true beauty?

Is it not the light of Him who is beauty shining forth from within…that unique divine imprint that only you can reflect?

Let us throw off the bondage of the world’s definition of beauty…

Beauty Evangelization.

No experience required…just some post its and a beautiful heart.

Will you join me?

With our eyes upon Christ may we discover our true beauty reflected in His loving gaze. May we receive His smile upon us and reflect Him to all who cross our path.

“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” Gen 1:27

Looking For Beauty….

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful…

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We must carry it with us or we find it not. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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“One thing I ask of the Lord, this I seek:  to dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, to gaze on the Lord’s beauty, to visit his temple.” Ps 27:4

When We Forget…

When we forget to worship….

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we forget who we are.

When we lose sight of God…

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we lose sight of what we are.

His Image and His likeness.

(this is what I am listening to today : )

Take Me into the Beautiful by Cloverton

“Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Gen 1:26a

Slice of Life…

The ins and outs of our everyday lives…our routines…our patterns…

Do you see the EXTRAORDINARY in the ORDINARY of your daily “slice of life”?

How quickly our vision dims at the beauty before us….The beauty in the ordinary.

Is it…”Oh no, here comes a new day?”

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Or, the beauty of the morning light splashed upon the pillow?

Is it, “Is the back yard flooded again?!”

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Or the depth of reflection in a mud puddle?

Is it, “Busy, busy day…no time to cook dinner.”

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Or the joy of conversation over take-out?

The things that matter most are treasures hidden in our unique “slice of life”

I have been abundantly blessed to participate in the “Slice of Life” Project e-course taught by talented, beauty seeker, Seattle based photographer, Darrah Parker.

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With Darrah’s assistance and inpirational encouragement, photographers from all over the world (thanks to the internet) have reclaimed the beauty of the ordinary of their lives through the lens of their cameras. There are pros with fancy cameras all the way to beginners with point and shoot or camera phones all learning and being blessed by the sharing of the ordinary turned extraordinary…a beauty treasure hunt.

Darrah on her website shares about the class,

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“Have you ever wanted to stop time? Hold a moment in your hands? Capture a slice of your life and turn into a treasure? In the Slice of Life Project, you will dig beneath the surface of your everyday life with your trusty camera by your side and unearth the beauty that has been there all along.”

“The Slice of Life approach to photography is a way of seeing, noticing, and appreciating the nuances and details that make your life special. It’s a way of embracing and honoring the imperfections in yourself, your loved ones, your messy kitchen, and cluttered shelves. It’s about saying that your life is just right the way it is.”

“This workshop will not require the perfect camera or fancy lenses or knowledge of ISO, aperture, or shutter speed. It won’t even require you to get out of your pajamas or make your bed! It will only require you to show up with a camera (ANY camera), an open mind, and a creative spirit.”

Registration is now open for the next class beginning April 6…take this 6 week retreat and rediscover the beauty in your life! Go to the website  for more details.

Beauty leads to wonder and awe…beauty leads to gratitude…beauty leads to praise!

And we were created to be a people of praise and thanksgiving!

May you be blessed this day with the recognition of the beauty in your life!

The Canvas of the Kingdom…

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Henry Moore was and English sculptor and artist.  He is best known for his abstractions of the human figure, particularly the mother and child, and reclining figures.  It has been said that many of Moore’s sculptures, that include hollow spaces and rolling curves, were inspired by the landscape hills of his birthplace of Yorkshire.  He created many public works of art around the world. Although he became quite wealthy from the sales of his work, he lived very frugally and before he died he created the Henry Moore Foundation (still in existence today) to support the education and promotion of the arts.

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 “The secret of life is to have a task, something that you devote your entire life to, something to bring everything to, every minute of the day, for the rest of your life.  And the important thing is, it must be something you can’t possibly do.”

Henry Moore (1898-1986)

What is your life task? What is that which you devote your entire life to? What is your passion? What is that which your heart cannot ignore?

What is that which you can’t possibly do?

Could it be,” You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all  your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37-39) ?

For surely this radical love is impossible without the love of God infused through grace within us.

And it is in that flow of God’s grace we discover that life task, that life devotion, that passion, that mission of the heart.

By surrendering our total selves heart, soul, and mind, to Him who is love…

We become His artists of all kinds, in all walks of life, splashing forth up on the canvas of the Kingdom our own unique color and brush work.

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 Blessings on your weekend!

Just a Grain of Sand?!….

Professor Gary Greenberg who holds a PHD in Biomedical Research from the University College in London recently spent 5 years searching the globe for sand grains to photo. Using tiny accupuncture needles he sought to to find and arrange the most perfect specimens. Once found, he magnified them 250x real life.

What did he find?….The photos will amaze you!

Each grain of sand….a tiny treasure…

Each grain of sand….a true work of art.

Each grain of sand…an infusion of God’s creative genius.

Each grain of sand….unique and original.

“For you make me jubilant, Lord, by your deeds; at the works of your hands I shout for joy.  How great are your works, Lord! How profound your purpose!” Ps 92: 5-6

Heavenly Father, how great and wonderful are your works. If just one grain of sand bespeaks your artistry in ways unsurpassed, how much greater the beauty of the human person. Each a tiny treasure; Each a true work of art; Each an infusion of Your creative genius; Each unique and original. Give me eyes to see beyond the flesh to the magnificent work of art in each person that crosses my path. Magnify my vision to detect the glorious reflection of You in those I  meet. Through Christ, Our Lord Amen.


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A wise person once told me…

“Leave every place behind better than you found it.  Leave a bit of beauty.”

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In a world that mars Beauty by twisting the beautiful into the ugly and promoting the ugly as beautiful.

Our vision has become distorted.  Deceit saturates truth.

But the Love of God is written on our hearts…

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 And the strength of the Spirit within can bring forth beauty and truth through us.

Leaving bits of beauty behind…

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Untangles the knots of the enemy’s destruction.

Bits of Beauty can be as simple as…

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A smile, a kind word, a hug, a generous act, a song, a single flower…

Bits of beauty left behind paves the way…

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A signpost on the road to heaven.

Be a Beauty signpost this weekend.  Leave bits of beauty behind you for others on this trail home.

“From Zion God shines forth, perfect in beauty.” Ps 50:2