through the lens

You guys know how much I love writing about finding God through beauty! I mean, it’s the basis for my blog after all! But what I just keep coming back to over the years, is how present and close I feel to God in the natural world.

I can’t get enough of the sights, smells, and wonders that come with the passing seasons, diverse landscapes, plentiful plant and animal species, weather patterns, sun rises and sun sets.

It’s in these moments that I feel close to God. How can I forget his love when it’s literally painted across the sky, the sea, the fields, the stars?! God doesn’t waste a moment trying to win our hearts and remind us of his steadfast love.

So today I wanted to share a few photos that reflect those times where I felt the immense power and beauty of God, the divine Artist.

Lemon tree in the Angelicum garden in Rome, Italy. Perfect moment.
Prairie sky after a little evening rain. Even a little rainbow if you look closely!
Exploring the city of Heidelberg, Germany brought us to this incredible path leading us to a gorgeous look out point!
Dreamy sunset with colours that melt my heart!

All these photos and more can be found on my instagram account theauthorofbeauty! God bless and keep delighting in all that is truly beautiful…

spiritual seasons.

Hi!

I realized something today. I will never be one of those scheduled blogging types, managing to faithfully post each week… it feels like forever since I’ve written. Sorry for the delay!

There has been a LOT happening in the past few months, because were moving back to CANADA! Back to the land of my ancestors, the land of maple syrup, the land of my childhood. It is a very blessed and beautiful time in my life right now, with so many things (big & small) falling into place. It feels great.

Over the past two years, I didn’t say “things are falling into place” very often. It actually felt like I was constantly faced with one obstacle after the other. Instead of doors opening, doors were slamming. Instead of prayers being answered quickly, waiting was required. Instead of joy overflowing, despair was creeping in.

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Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

I am starting to learn that indeed, there are seasons of the spiritual life. I’m sure there are Saints or theologians who have expressed a similar concept with much greater eloquence… but this is how I have felt the “seasons” lately:

Spring Season– many moments of consolation, growing in the spiritual life, feeling the rays of the Son.

Summer Season; mostly moments of consolation, everything seems to be in bloom, constantly basking in the presence of the Son.

Fall Season– moments of consolation & desolation, lots of change in the spiritual life, seeing yourself/world/God in new “colours”.

Winter Season- primarily moments of desolation, feeling cold and far from the rays of the  Son, faith/spiritual life feeling bleak/grey.

So, whatever season you find yourself in right now, if you can, thank the Lord and remember it won’t last forever! That is sooo much easier said than done. I spent the past two years in pretty wintery conditions… and I definitely wasn’t always praising the Lord for my moments of desolation. But sometimes it takes someone who is in a slightly  “warmer” season, to remind you that you are not alone, it won’t be like this forever, God is faithful, God is working in your life, and the grey skies will turn to blue.

photo lavender flower field under pink sky

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

May God continue to bless and strengthen us as we battle through the spiritual seasons of life. Let’s continue to pray for each other, that we do not take the moments of consolation for granted, or waste the precious moments of suffering.

You are loved! God bless!

thank you.

Happy Saturday & Good Morning ☕️

I wanted to thank you, my followers, for investing in this blog. Thank you for taking time to read the thoughts, poems, and musings that I share here. I usually see people thanking their followers after a significant milestone of followers is met. I didn’t hit any milestone (although I consider each follower a true blessing), but I wanted to thank you nonetheless. It truly means a lot, and this blog has helped me to open up, take chances, and follow many vibrant and beautiful writers along the way!

I am also thankful to the way that God moves and works in our lives! Believe it or not, watching the gladiator last weekend ended up creating a beautiful encounter with God. Sounds crazy I know. But that’s what is SO incredible; God will use whatever it takes to speak to us and show us his love. Often that happens through people, but it can be a gift, a smile, a bible verse, the sacraments, a song, a moment in nature… or even a movie like the gladiator (😂)

Perhaps I’ll share the whole gladiator story another time, but what matters is that God is searching for our hearts, and he wants to share his unconditional love with us! During advent we prepare ourselves for Christmas, where God became a humble, tiny, human child. Our God came to earth to be as near to us as possible. He hasn’t changed his mind since then. He wants and yearns to be close to us, even now! I pray that we might all come closer to Christ and receive His joy and peace this advent 🕯

Sweet Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Hello Again!

Today is a different “style” of blog post, because I’m not writing about any specific topic, but rather letting you in on a few moments and photos of my time in Scotland!

During the trip, I really felt my spirit being lifted as I soaked in the magical feeling, historic beauty, and stunning architecture of Edinburgh. I couldn’t stop saying “this is soooo pretty” or ” I need to take a photo of this”.  I was like a little girl again, enjoying all the sights, smells and moments, no matter how small or insignificant they were!

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Following the river through the city was one stunning view after the other!

Then today, I heard a podcast all about how we ought to marvel and wonder at the beauty of creation! We are lifted and filled with joy when we see the world around us like children again. Children aren’t over serious and bound by their schedules. They are free to enjoy, laugh, jump, sing and shout as they truly live, wonder and delight in each new day.

One of the women on the podcast shared a quote by G.K Chesterton and I think it’s incredibly profound, especially for our time when we’ve become “too busy” to rest, to watch and to wonder:

“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders”

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Oh just a castle in the middle of the city.. no big deal!

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The gorgeous view from our apartment.

I must say, I will definitely be going back to Scotland (hopefully again soon) and I  recommend traveling to Edinburgh for anyone who is looking for a holiday destination!

Even though I’m back to rainy Berlin, I’m going to try and keep this attitude of child-like wonder in my heart. I think it’s such a great way to see the world and people around me. How do you wonder and marvel at the world around you?! Have you experienced something beautiful today that made you stop and stare, something that spoke to your heart, or something that gave you joy?! Please share below : )

 

One thing (…or three!)

Happy Saturday!

So, does anyone else out there love podcasts? I know I’m a little late on the whole podcast thing, but that’s because the headphones on my old phone didn’t work, and anything with audio was on permanent loud speaker…haha!  But things changed a few months ago when I updated to a newer phone. I’m now listening to podcasts almost daily. I feel like a kid in a candy store! There are so many options and treasures to be found.

So far, my favourite podcast is called Abiding Together- it’s just a fabulous combination of three women (one religious sister & two lay women) who speak about their Catholic faith through the struggles and joys of daily life. It’s so inspiring, and while it’s three women speaking, the topics are applicable for men and women alike.

IMG_0580.JPGAt the end of every podcast they share their “one thing” for the week. Something that they are enjoying, something that inspires them or something that they want to recommend. There are no rules for a one thing! 

So today I thought I would share a couple my one thing(s)! I would love if you shared yours as well in the comments below. What is making you smile these days? What is something you want other people to hear/know about?! Let’s share the good news, the happy moments and what is inspiring us!

1. My Orchid– This little guy is a new addition to our kitchen, and I love the element of beauty it adds into our home. I’m seriously becoming an orchid person. They are a ton of fun and gorgeous : )

2. The book “ Searching for and Maintaining Peace; A Small Treatise on peace of Heart” by Father Jacques Philippe. This is a small book, jam packed with so much wisdom. I am constantly highlighting sections of the book.

3. Letters from friends/family– Sending a letter is one of the nicest things you can do for someone. The joy of receiving and sending a letter is incredible! This week I received two letters; from a friend of mine and my 6 year old niece. Man- I’m still feeling the happiness “high” of these letters. It inspired me to buy some cute paper and keep the letter writing train moving.

So, as always. I think it’s truly the small things that count in making our days a little brighter, our hearts a little lighter and the world a little bit better. Let’s receive His love and spread it, ya’ll.

God bless

the very bad, terrible, no good day.

Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of people right now are going through a hard time?

It’s like that kids book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst on repeat. Ugh. And while this Alexander kid in the story had a pretty rough go, I feel like the adult version can be a lot more bleak. Sometimes I just wish it was gum in my hair, no toy in my cereal, or no one liking my painting in class…

I can name quite a few people in my own circle (me included), who just seem to be handed a very crappy set of cards these days. Whether it’s external circumstances, or things in their inner life being brought up, they are swimming upstream.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes it’s really a fight to stay positive, focus on the good, and resist the temptation to despair or give in to the unhappiness. I read a blog today and she posted one of my favorite bible verses!  I really needed to read it today. I think it’s worth keeping in our hearts, especially in these troubling times.

 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”- Romans 12:2

Yessss! We are not to be conformed to this world. The world right now is preaching a lot of stuff that can lead us astray. Money will bring happiness, the rich and famous are more happy, perfection looks like a beauty blogger with the perfect body, you need to have impressive material goods to show off on your Instagram account, life is about cool holidays and eating fun food and documenting them on social media.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these things in and of themselves are great; taking care of our bodies, enjoying traveling (which I love to do!), and celebrating the gifts God has given us through food and experiences. But so often these things become the ultimate goal.

However, God calls us to renew our minds, to discern with Him, what is good and acceptable and perfect! The joys that He has to offer are so much greater than any mega yaht, beach body smoothie mix, perfect instagram worthy scene and amount of money sitting in our bank accounts.

God wants our ultimate HAPPINESS and that is found in Him alone. Even as I write this, I am not necessarily “feeling” completely happy in Him. But I also know that this is true despite any feelings I might have. Even in these darker seasons, God is still rooting for our happiness. It might not come with bright snazzy lights, and warm fuzzies, but it’s going to be a beautiful final product. I guess were like that clay that the Potter is working on. It might be messy, unclear, and a little bit uncomfortable as things are moved around, but that final masterpiece is going to be worth saving and treasuring!

red lighted candle

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

So if you find yourself a little like Alexander on your no good, terrible, horrible, bad day; its alright! Seasons come and they GO, and your not alone. Right around you is someone else who is suffering, working through stuff, and figuring out life just like you. Pray for them, and they can pray for you! Let’s continue to renew our minds in the truth that is of God and His Kingdom!

 

He is good, you are loved

The Holy Spirit can move in the most small and wonderful ways sometimes. It’s been a really tough few days, with lots of things coming up and trying to steal my joy.  But randomly, during my morning jog today I looked down at my pointer finger and gazed on it’s print. I reminded myself that this finger print is one of a kind, non-repeatable, and uniquely mine. It’s simply there as a sign that my Father has chosen me and loves me.

A little later,  I needed to listen to some praise songs to lift my soul. It was a new song that I hadn’t heard before, but I decided to give it a try. The first lyrics were:

“Through your story is My fingerprint” 

Cool hey!? I guess God wanted to continue speaking through this theme of finger prints & identity. God will use even the smallest of things to speak His truth to us. We are apart of His story, and He apart of ours. He wants to speak love, truth, and joy into our hearts!

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Photo by Isandréa Carla on Pexels.com

For anyone struggling right now, finding themselves in a dark place, finding it hard to remain motivated, feeling lost or unable to pray, take a moment to listen to this song:

Good & Loved- Travis Greene & Steffany Gretzinger

This song is upbeat, truthful and inspiring. I just felt that they could praise with the words I couldn’t say, and they helped raise my spirit to a higher place. Sometimes when we can’t do it ourself, we need to let someone else do it.

So today, I want to pass along the message that God spoke into my heart. He wants you to know, wherever you are, and however you are feeling in this moment:

YOU ARE LOVED.

You have a Heavenly Father who crafted and formed you in your mothers womb (Pslam 139:14). He has never left you, nor will he ever leave you. No matter what we have done, no matter how far we have walked away, he is loving us with an incomprehensible love. For those times that it doesn’t feel like it, just look down at your fingerprint. There is only one of you in the world, carrying those precious fingerprints, and that is not an accident.

God bless xxx

 

truth is telling.

“I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about somebody who saved my soul”

 

Wow. These lyrics are SO perfect. I really like this song “Nobody” by the Casting Crowns ft. Matthew West, 

It’s capturing exactly what my heart is feeling. I want to tell people about Jesus- even if I am nobody in the eyes of the world. God doesn’t require years of studying, a few letters after our last name, or being religious to speak about him. The story of how he has saved us, changed us, and blessed us is enough!

“Ever since you rescued you me. You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see nobody but JESUS”

 

I think thats going to be my anthem and song this week: “living for the world to see nobody but Jesus”. Let’s let the love, peace, goodness, mercy, faithfulness, honesty, generosity, forgiveness, and joy of Jesus shine through us!

 

sacred heart of jesus painting with brown frame

Photo by Franck Denis on Pexels.com

a taste of beauty.

Wow! The weekend has a way of running away on us, hey!? Many of us are probably looking at the upcoming week plan already; appointments to attend, household tasks to finish, people to see, sorting out our lives… haha for over planners like me.

But there is still a little (or a lot depending on where your reading this in the world) weekend left! I think it’s worth enjoying. After mass today, we made our way to our favourite cake spot:

I think this was the prettiest it’s ever been! The autumn wind was cool, but not cold. The rays of sunshine were warm, but not hot. The insects were present, but not aggressive. It was truly wonderful. Plus the company I had was comparable to none! (shout out to my fantastic husband).

So I encourage you ( whoever and wherever you might be!!) to let yourself enjoy this Sunday September 8th 2019 with a little touch or taste of beauty! Perhaps it’s a special coffee you whip up at home, maybe it’s an extra trip to that gorgeous look out, maybe it’s a visit with a friend who is a source of joy and positivity in your life.

Whatever it is: enjoy your Sunday & please let me know what made your day a little bit more beautiful!

Ps. I just remembered it’s Mary’s ( like the mother of Jesus Mary hehe) birthday. Even more reason to celebrate!

sunshine for the soul

It’s amazing what a few weeks with family and beautiful scenery can do for one’s spirit! Visiting the Rocky Mountains was definitely a highlight, as I had never been before. Driving in, I could hardly focus on the road because the view was so breathtaking! I had to actively remind myself to keep my eyes on the road!

After crawling over a few rocks, we worked our way to the “front seats” and soaked in every minute of this view:

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Although the million and one tourists behind us were snapping photos, taming wild children, taking wedding photos (complete with dog) renting canoes, and jumping in the ice cold lake, I was captivated. I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off of this masterpiece. Here, God’s beauty and gifts to us were so tangible. I wanted to stay there forever. It was so apparent that God had his hand in this creation. Who would want to leave a place like that?

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Our Father in heaven has crafted this place, simply to bless us. It’s not just in the mountains we find his beauty. It’s in our families, our friends, the woods, the flowers that bloom, the song that speaks to our heart, the campfire that dances, the gentle gesture of a stranger, the authentic laughter of a child.

Getting away over the holidays was a much needed reminder that God is truly present in his creation. He wants to encounter and speak to us there. We don’t have to be in the Rocky Mountains to receive this gift. I think it’s about an openness to beauty. How can we see the beautiful creation that is already near to us? And how can we create spaces and places that are beautiful?

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” Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who have pleasure in them. Full of honour and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever. He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful” – Psalm 111:2-4