Thursday, June 2, 2011

on the hunt.

As we wandered along the tree-lined streets of Rochester, I know I rambled. I know I probably wore her ear off about porches and hanging plants, victorian spires and the beauty of a wilderness tucked in the middle of the city.

For those few hours, I needed to find it. The wrestle in me to run was strong. The temptation to say "nevermind" to the move and head back to Texas was tangible.

I love Texas.
And I wonder if I will always want to go back.
I miss everything it symbolized for me.
Healing. Community. Growth.
And really, I miss being known.

But we drove and I pictured walking these streets in spring, shoveling through snow in winter, driving these highways to get home.

As Ann Voskamp says in her book 1000 Gifts, I became a "hunter of beauty."

My brother says I edit my life. Last fall we came down off the mountain, and the sun pierced through a grove of trees, across the street from an old church. I asked him to pull over and leaned out the window to snap a photo. I didn't see the dilapidated trailer and trash bins on the other side of the road. Outloud I marveled and he laughed, "You really do edit your life, don't you?"

So yes, I guess it might be true.

Maybe I learned it from editing papers in high school.
Editing articles for the newspapers.
Cropping, tweaking, adjusting, changing files, images, layers, colors, pictures, words.
Really, honestly, it's almost my job.

Finding the beauty and pointing it out. It's not that I don't see the rest. I see it. Every day. Always.

I hear it in e-mails. Grim news from the doctor. Cold shoulders. Broken hearts. Dilapidated trailers and trash bins full of things we've discarded and used, dropped into the dark to not see again. I'm not ignoring my sin-ridden self. I'm very aware, every day, how much I really can't do any of this without the gospel at work in me. I don't discount suffering and discipline. They are very real, raw open things that I too see, feel, experience, witness and grieve.

I see these things. But I'm looking for the spring that fills me to the brim, to cresting and overflowing. The spring that flows for me, in spite of me, with or without me.

On those streets in Rochester, where I search for the place for us to call home, I remind myself that the God is not cradling me in despair. He is good, has good, and does good. I'm on the hunt. Taking the broken pieces of glass, handing them over for this mosaic. Gathering the snapped threads, giving them up for the tapestry.
Cropping makes us focus on the essential. (Sylvio Gagnon)
I ramble to her about the rain that comes in, and I love how it looks bouncing off of the city rooftops. I nervously stutter about the future, a blind soul running my fingers along these new walls. Hunting. Searching.

(adding this to the link up on June 8. love these girls!)


  1. I love that you're headed to Rochester. Love that you'll build a new home there with new community and new edits on life. I pray that you'll breathe fresh and fresh faith in every nook you rest and every life you touch.

    But Texas misses you too.

  2. Thanks Lo. I know you know, which makes it feel a *little* less daunting. :)

  3. Texas does miss you. But your pictures make me wanna be THERE! and so does the heat that's creeping up on us now. your photos and perspective on life, edited as they may be LOL, make that place look and sound like a creative person's dream-town. Mountains, valleys, woods, old churches, creeks, bridges, picnics, berries, lots of family... ugh. I wish I could come visit. But alas... I'm getting married and need to save up my days off! Can't say I'm disappointed with that trade-off ;) This season does make me miss you even more though. Who am I gonna run to "Eagle Press" for now??
    Love you so much. Enjoy every moment. Even the ones you would otherwise edit out ;)

  4. hey mh. come visit and share in this version of life with me :) and yes, i'm learning to even enjoy the moments i would rather edit out. or i should say...i'm learning to see them and not ignore them. :)

  5. beautiful, your cropping. your focus. i say edit away, my dear...unearth the precious in the middle of all our messy existence.

  6. nic - yes. unearthing. thank you for your words.

  7. Finding beauty, even amongst the despair and dilapidated, is perhaps how we survive, or perhaps, a tool that God has given us to escape the darkness. It is away of simply reaching out to the light.

    Are you linking this to SDG today? Because we have missed you!

  8. Blessings on you in your move as you continue to hunt for beauty. I am 8 months into my move and needed this reminder to keep looking . . . keep my eyes open.


  9. I hope your move is problem free and the adjustment goes smoothly.

    Looking for beauty in Indiana,

  10. jen - it does feel like a reach to the light. i like that.
    glenda - thank you. i'm saying a prayer now that beauty surfaces soon in your world.
    pamela - thank you so much. i hope your hunt in indiana is successful and abundant. :)