15. An Ordinary Moment

It’s just the most fun, the Photo A Day Challenge from Australian blogger fatmumslim.com. Each day you take a photo using that day’s prompt as your inspiration, then post your shot on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or your blog. Following the hashtag #fmsphotoaday, you can see the images posted by other people using the same prompt. It’s fun to see a word or phrase interpreted in so many different ways. It’s fun to see shots from around the globe. And it’s especially fun to spend the day looking at your own world in a new, more curious way.

The 15th of January was particularly interesting. Rather than looking for something yellow (#14)

or water (#11)

or starts with “t” (#8)

T-Riggs in a Tie

or circle (#13 )

I spent this day considering the ordinary moments that make up a day, a year, a life.

 

This was my conclusion. When you look at the ordinary moments in your life, there is quiet undertone of grace that runs throughout.

1.15.13 // Morning Commute

Raw and beautiful and constant.

Grace. Always there, even when unnoticed.

 

30 Days of Joy

Let’s kick it off again, shall we?

What better way to launch this Season of Happy than with one of my great joys: Winn Collier’s #adventpicaday. Last year we looked for the light, and this search brought unexpected grace to every corner of my life. This year’s theme is the search for hope. Details here. (Give yourself the gift of Winn Collier’s blog. Smart. Lovely. Rich, in a most beautiful way.)

Do join in, won’t you? Even if you haven’t tried your hand at the photo app Instragram yet, this is the perfect way to wade in. You are so gonna love.

Day I: #adventpicaday #hope

Day 1 #hope #adventpicaday

Grace and peace to you this season of Advent.

 

Counting Sheep

A grove of trees edges our pond, just across the water there, exactly where the sun rises. I woke up long before it peaked over the leafy tops yesterday, an occurrence worthy of mention if only for its rarity. I am a deep and easy sleeper.

But on that day, 9/11/12, I opened my eyes to find the bedroom inky dark. The french door blinds were open, and I looked out at the night, guessing at the time. Should I make my way to the bathroom, reasonably sure it was nearly dawn (and a great opportunity to get the day started a bit early for a change)? Or should I stay still in the quiet, expecting to fall back into dreamland with little hesitation or effort?

I did not get up.

But I didn’t fall asleep either, at least not for a long while. Instead I lay there thinking of the date, thinking of the many families who would awaken to face the day with sad, heavy hearts.

I have so much to be grateful for I thought. So, so much. And I began to count my blessings.

One, two, three. Ten, Twenty, Thirty, Forty. And on and on, for a long, long time. And before I knew it I felt my consciousness rise again, lifting me from another deep sleep. My eyes opened to find the lake trees bathed in a magnificent light, an orange halo, the promise of another day.

A thousand times I looked toward that 9/11 sky, making my way through the day. Every single time, it was glorious.

8:15 am

8:25 am

7:15 pm

7:30 pm

Thanks and praise be to God. Thanks and praise.

On Exercise (See? Even the title is boring.)

Exercise has been on my mind lately. In particular, I’ve been wondering why I refuse to make the the time to work out even though I know it is the most important thing I could be doing. What is it about exercise that I dislike so much? I’ve come to the conclusion I hate it because the entire time I’m exercising, what I’m really thinking is:

There are a thousand other things I could be doing right now that would be way more interesting.

I mention this because for the last eight days in a row I have pulled myself out of bed, splashed cold water on my face, laced up my Way-In-The-Back-Of-The-Closet Tennis Shoes, and headed out the door for a walk. Not Olympic training by any means, but A Start.

On Day Three I was moving along in exercise mode (seriously making an effort not to think of all the interesting things I could be doing) when I looked up and saw this. I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and snapped the shot.

Day 1 #morningwalk

That is kind of cool, I thought to myself. I’d never have seen the gorgeous blue of the lake if I hadn’t come out for this walk at this moment, in this particular light.

I posted the shot to Instagram when I got back home. And then this occurred to me. What if I look for one interesting image every day on my walk? Since I will be taking the same route through my neighborhood day after day, how many interesting photographs could I get? Ten? 100? 1000? How long will it take until I see all there is to see on this 1.3 mile loop?

And that, my friends, changed everything.

Day 2 #morningwalk

Day 3 #morningwalk

Day 4 #morningwalk

Day 5 #morningwalk

Day 6 #morningwalk

It’s a fun challenge, no doubt. Even more important, #morningwalk has reminded me that when you look at the world with your eyes wide open, there is always something interesting to see.

 Note: You can find me on Instagram at @crmonetti. If you are there, too, please leave a comment on this post with your handle. I would love to look at the world through your eyes.

Friday Love 6.15.12

a little roundup of things that inspired me this week

1. An Instagram photo by my sweet friend, Kat. So soft and pretty.

Kathryn White

2. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett. Presented in audio form by Audible, it’s a quiet essay with immense power. Shoots right to the top of the list of things I love—this week and forever. Take 77 minutes and give it a listen. Available via audible or amazon.

3. Murmuration
“Unbelievable” was the only comment my friend, Michael, offered in text of the email with this link. I so agree.

4. Steve, I’ve got news.
From Letters of Note, this fantastic exchange between Becky Klemt, an attorney in Laramie, Wyoming to Steven Corris, a California attorney. It is delish.

5. Summer in a glass
Cava Sangria, from Martha Stewart (recipe via the click to Pinterest)

Source: myrecipes.com via Cathy on Pinterest

The Sunday Post That Just Can’t Wait

You may know I’ve been participating in a community photo challenge via fatmumslim on Instagram. There is a prompt each day, and you take a photograph to share via Instagram and Twitter.

Today is Sunday, February 5. That makes it Day 5: 10am. And that means at the appointed hour, my iPhone and I find ourselves in a Women’s Bible Study class at Providence Presbyterian.

I love this class. And so I sit there, paying attention to the Beth Moore study—but also (let’s be honest) keeping one eye on the clock. Waiting for 10am. Waiting to Shoot and Share.

Do you know what today’s study was about? Chapter 5 of the book of Esther: Time. And Waiting.

Coincidence?

We considered this question in class: Why on earth did Queen Esther stall when King Xerxes asked for her request and (in the same breath) granted it? Beth reminds us of the importance of knowing:

When it’s time.

When it’s time to wait.

When it’s time to wait for someone else’s time.

When the meantime is God-time.

My iPhone clock clicked to 10:00, and I took a shot of the open Bible in my lap.

#day5 #10am #febphotoaday

Time. And timing. And God-time. Things I am pondering in my heart, thanks to a strange intersection of Esther 5, Beth Moore’s Session 5, and #febphotoaday #day5.

 

You can find the Beth Moore study Esther: It’s Tough Being A Woman at Lifeway.

#FEBPHOTOADAY Here We Go

Tomorrow starts the February Photo a Day Challenge, as launched by Australian blogger fatmumslim. I hope you will join in on the fun. It’s a great way to think differently, notice everything, and (if you want) make new friends with other people who are getting as big a kick out of the whole thing as you are.

All you have to do is take a photo every day, then share it. Complete instructions are here.

Come on along!

(for inspiration, here are some of my JANPHOTOADAY shots. Follow me on Instagram @crmonetti or twitter @cathymonetti .)

#day2 #breakfast

#day5 #somethingiwore

#day8 #mysky

#day11 #whereisleep

#day14 #somethingi'mreading

#day16 #morning

#day17 #water

#day19 #sweet

#day25 #somethingimade

#day29 #insidemyfridge

#day30 #nature

 

Day 3: Light Is Coming #adventpicaday

It was quite random, as digital connections often are. I happened to click on Twitter, where I happened to see this tweet from @rickcaffeinated, a fellow Columbian who happens to tweet quite a lot.

“Watching for the light” caught my eye. And so I was delighted to click and land here, at Winn Collier’s blog.

In Advent, we watch for Light. We pay attention to rhythm and sound and cadence. Our hearts look for signals. Our hearts lean forward. Light is coming.

today's light

Winn’s perspective on this season of preparation and anticipation really touched me. I read on to discover his intention to look for images all month long that nudge him “toward hope or joy or light,” to capture those images with his phone’s camera and to share them via instagram and twitter. He provides instructions for getting in on the fun, noting that he’ll choose one photo to post on his blog each day during advent.

A very cool idea, I thought, and promptly tagged #adventpicaday and tweeted a sasanqua photo from my Yuletide post.

Will one of my images ever make it to the featured spot on Winn Collier’s blog? Will one of yours?

It doesn’t really matter. The point is in the looking, hearts attuned, eyes hopeful.

The light is coming.