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My feet touched the trail in the bliss of red dirt. I’m forever in awe on my runs. Breathing life in; my lungs and soul crying for more. Breathing out what’s hard and what’s left and leaving it with the dust on the trail.
The song of my night is camels that kiss, a moon rising amongst the rocks- turning as red as the dirt and rock beneath. The song of my night is the electrifying sound of nature’s voice on the air, of an eclipsing moon, the dance of cedar, pine and sage on my nose and mountain air on my skin. The song of my night is nearly overwhelming; there is such sensory wonder in this place.
The song of my night; His song, yet again fills me up. I always find a new song with a familiar lyricist; what a beautiful night. – Sept. 27, 2015

 

Tonight it’s the awareness of many little moments of breathtaking joy that fill the fabric of who I am. The things that wash over and soften the hard like water over a river rock….The gift and comfort of the very best family…more beautiful people in my life than a person deserves, tough boy heads on my shoulder when they hurt and bike rides in the sunset, drinking in tea and stories of a teenager’s life with my girl after she comes back from youth group, dreams for tomorrow and savoring today. Learning to be present right here, right now. Soaking in the smiles and tears, sunsets and golden leaves, flickering candles and my beloveds’ laughter.

Despite what muck is stirred up in life, it’s still good. So very good to be here right now. -Sept. 23, 2015

 

Here. Sitting with the clouded half moon tonight, I am aware of the fact that I can sit with the same moon as the entire world. This moon that hangs out with my grieving and grateful heart is present with billions of others. It’s a peaceful presence and has been for time eternal. I somehow feel connected to every soul that has sought out the quiet night for comfort.

I ponder the cries of hearts it’s heard, the shudders of despair it has witnessed and the tears that have been shed before it. I think of the kisses of lips that connect two souls beneath it, the walks and talks that have happened in it’s soft present light, and I am grateful. I’m present here tonight and full of weary wonder; it’s a beautiful thing. Present with the beautiful and wondrous Maker of this moon. -Sept. 21, 2015

 

There is a whisper in my home tonight. Many whisperings, in fact. The soft voice of life swirling all around me as I sit in the quiet light of the tree.

Too often there is a thundering noise in my heart. In my soul. The shout of doubt that I’m doing enough, that we will ever ‘get ahead’, doubt that I’m living this life as well as God would like me to be. The terrifying shout of too much and never enough drowning out the little whispers of truth. Truths of life well lived.

As I sit tonight, I hear. The pictures on my wall softly tell stories of delight and sometimes of the honest grit of life. Linked hands, tears falling, soap suds on a girl on a horse. There are handmade crosses and smiles, The Beauty Project board, dirt, sleds and joy. Even the irony of my ever-crooked sign proclaiming my desire for help in seeing God’s grace. The voice of love and life from the wall increases in volume as I soak in the soul it reveals.

The gifts the kids have chosen, wrapped, and stacked under the tree whisper consideration, selflessness, tenderness and joy. My worry for tomorrow fades as I hear the voice of blessing over and over reminding me I am raising up the greatest gifts of life in the three growing bodies and beautiful souls that sleep in the other room.

The tree whispers history and future. The traditions we participate in remind me of my history, and more so of my overwhelming gratitude for the precious gift of grace- daily, minute by minute sometimes. The history of Jesus and gifts given- out of love and selflessness. The ornaments of history are memories of my past, and the kids past, but in no way hold us there. My heart perceives the whisper of Christ reminding me of all He has done and all the future holds- new ornaments, unfolding dreams and plans; expanding the offering and experience of our lives, just as each year’s tree holds new adornment and arrangement.

The little whisperings that I so often miss are audible tonight. Perhaps it’s an extra awareness and perception of the tiny minutia of living- the small voices I too often let get drowned out by the swirling din of life. Tonight I’m listening. I’m present..filled with joy and gratitude for the overwhelming sounds of a beautiful and brimming life we are living today. -Dec. 15, 2015

Erika Barrett Chowning's photo.
Erika Barrett Chowning's photo.
Erika Barrett Chowning's photo.
Erika Barrett Chowning's photo.
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About Erika Barrett

Endlessly curious and a strange mix of too simple and way too complicated, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers, celebrate resourcefulness and finding simplicity in life. I am a certifying LifeCoach, specializing in helping others find a way forward towards crafting a life of joyful purpose. I'm also Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be outside, adventuring and exploring, laughing, playing in the water and hugging those around me. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is too short to be so serious, yet there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

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