Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jessica's Swoony Blooms With a Side of Thinking Out Loud

The breeze makes wind-chimes of my napkin-curtains clipped to the rod. Calvin shoves around a wooden semi truck, 3 decades old, and the tired wheels creak belligerence. Outside, the lawn mower. Upstairs, two sleeping babies; brown eyes closed, unfair eyelashes lazy napping on chubby cheeks.

This day has been so good to us. We shared a picnic on a pink quilt with friends; two mamas energizing as small forces combine, conjuring up Southern twangs, swine sales, hired farmhands, then onto an elaborate effort for the butterfly to catch the spider.

Our road home is fortuitous, if only in theory. Off-the-beaten-paths teach me something new about myself. God whispers into my heart the start of a new paragraph.

The sun beats down and cooks life into my bones. Who can be tired on a day like this?

This life of ours is a haven. Keeps us warm. Cools us. Holds us together tight. We unfurl the twine, tie up world-weary Delphinium and the twine circles back around, drawing us in, standing us up taller. We nudge new growth and cut back old. We feed our bodies and our souls.

Down-time once spent wrapped up cozy and dreamy-eyed is now spent noticing and soul-searching.

I tap at the keyboard, my insides electric with possibility. Or is it worry? Maybe a little of both, but the ratio is an honest 70/30 and I call that promise.

All at once, the chimes, the squeaky wheels, the whirring blades fade and I hear only quiet. I feel a nudge, very nearly tangible.

I sneak away, to no one's notice except for the one who invited me.

"The Lord will work out his plans for my life - for your faithful love, oh Lord, endures forever."
Psalm 138:8

Reminded again - it is not up to me. We are not the bosses.

I pluck that ruffled stem and find that it fits rather nicely in my pocket.


  1. So lovely. You are an inspiration to us all.

  2. Shannahan - it sounds like you are in a good place. I want to live in your world - but I have to tell you - mine is beautiful as well. Sometimes I think it's heaven. I thought of you today as Glenco came home and told me that he doesn't have to go to work tomorrow because it's so slow. I fretted for a second, and then remembered - I'm not in control. Knowing you are in the same 'boat' gives me renewed strength. Keep on hon.

  3. Your writing is like icing...just beautiful and sweet...and eloquent.
    "God whispers in my heart the start of a new paragraph" is quite possibly the most lovely phrase I've read in a long time.

    You, obviously, have many spiritual gifts heaped on you from above, my friend....but one that stands out to me is the ability to see exactly what you've been blessed with and revel in it...you revel with the BEST of them and I admire you for it.

    I hope all is well with your sweet family.

  4. To put it simply:
    You're a poet; do you know it?

  5. I love reading your words illustrated with such beautiful images.


  6. Shannan, are you sure you aren't being called to write?! A book, poems, songs....I'll be your first fan! (Maybe not your first. You already have hundreds.)

    Your day sounded dreamy. Hugs to you.

  7. We are not the bosses!

    This has encouraged me on a late night, on a day when I forgot about an appointment to replace a window...and you don't want to make the window guys mad by ditching them...and so I Have to angry voice messages and a broken window.
    Popsicle sticks!
    I know this seems like it doesn't have to do with this post, but trust me, it does. This post is a breath of fresh air before my bedtime.
    Thanks, and Amen!

  8. by "to" i mean "two.
    and there's no reason for my random capitalization of "Have"...I was just seeing if you were paying attention.

  9. I read your blog all the time, but don't comment often. I just want to let you know that I love everything about it - beautiful photos, inspiring words, encouraging faith.... Thank you so much!

  10. beautiful Shannan.
    there is some uncertainty in our life at this moment too and I am hopeful.
    thank you.

  11. Just waking up this morning letting my eyes rest on my garden and wishing I could share it with everyone. Thank you for doing it for me. I'm so happy that it has illustrated a hopeful place in your life. I had a wonderful time enjoying your sweet little children and your company yesterday. Bless you.

  12. YES.
    yes. he met me in the quiet of your beauty-post.
    thank you.

  13. What a beautiful post. You are a very talented writer. I felt as though I was right there with you and your family.

    Life is good and when we take a moment from our busy lives, we see that blessings are abundant.

    May God continue to bless you...

  14. Beautiful post and the verse that you shared is one I needed to hear today... thank you.

  15. "God whispers into my heart the start of a new paragraph."

  16. Ooohhh, goosebumps from reading this beautiful post. So lovely,


  17. hi shannan, can we be best friends now?


    still praying for you.

  18. You have a God given talent of writing. That was really beautiful!

  19. First off, I want to use the word damn here, b/c two other people already stole my damn favorite line! ugh! Oh well. you know I don't miss a thing.
    I guess that's all I wanted to say. Someone stole my comment, so I'll just leave this for now. ps. I thought at first it read "Jessica Swoony Blues" and I rather liked that title just as well.

  20. This post is bursting at the seams with beauty. I'm swooning here.;)I loved every word and every photo!

  21. you have such a way with words. sometimes the things you say speak straight to my heart. you are a little messenger?!

    fpfg...what are those yellow flowers in this post? i have been dreaming of them for weeks and i have no name for them. i can't find them at any shops in colorado. those are flowers that remind me of childhood and green fields. i need them in my life:)

    hope you have an amazing day. xoxo

  22. Psalm 57:2....Who brings to pass his purposes for me and surely completes them! That is the Papa we serve. Your writings were awesome today I love you!!

  23. Ummmm... never mind me having to look up every other word on dictionary.com - I adore this and thank you for the reminder to savor the moment and who gives them to us.

    Like in Madagascar when they are feeding Alex salmon (sushi) at the end of the movie - "Savor it!"

    This is something that always goes through my head. I tend to wish my days away. Daily efforts have to be made on my part to slow down and listen for his whispers of encouragement to abide in him...

  24. And to think a former boss told you your writing was too prosey.
    Just beautiful, Farmgirl.

  25. In that day they will say,
    Surely this is our God;
    we trusted in him,and he saved us.
    This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
    let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.
    Isaiah 25:9
    You are in my prayers. Your post was beautiful!

  26. OH my gosh, you have my SIL saying SWOON! It's turning into an epidemic!

  27. *Love*

    Also, I picked up an Elizabeth Berg novel on your recommendation. The Year of Pleasures. I am adoring her writing and think I will quickly become a fan. Thanks for mentioning her!

  28. Oh my goodness. Could your writing get any better? Seriously girl it's like reading a novel I can't put down. Thank you for describing such a perfect summer day!

  29. Shannan - This was beautiful and so encouraging to me at this moment in my life. Thank you.

  30. I love how you write! You're such a creative, inspireing writer!
    Still praying for you. :)

  31. I enjoyed going back and reading about your 2 engagements. It looks like both definitely made the right decision. What a beautiful family!

  32. So sweet to enjoy your heart in these words.... what a gift to receive, to read this post. Thanks friend...

  33. Sweet tears are pooling in my eyes, dripping down my cheeks. This touched me deeply and I can't even tell you why. Thanks.

  34. For goodness sake, PLEASE tell me you WILL write a BOOK! You MUST...you simply must. I will tell you that I have a friend who wrote a best selling math book and she sent our ministry around $50,000 USD this year. With unemployment possibly pending...uhm...I'm just sayin'... ;)
    Love ya!