You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Part 2

Rather than drive to Vantage, WA for the day, we hooked up our trailer on Friday planning to return on Monday. While our intention was to attend the James Nesbit Whirlwind Tour PNW on Saturday, our tidy little Escape allowed for a long weekend of worship, hiking, photography and, of course, camping.

Saturday evening we chased the setting sun and the rising moon. Maintaining an ever watchful eye for the possible rattlesnake, we scoped out some great views.

Setting sun 2

As the light waned, we caught the last of the climbers exiting the spires at nearby Frenchman Coulee. Can you see the tiny red dot five spires to the right of the missing tooth? These columns are taller than they appear!

Frenchman Coulee 1

Walking through the gap, Clark counted 36 car loads full of tent campers in the bowl below! It is not as deserted as one might think! I was more interested in the light coming through the gap.

Frenchman Coulee 2

B&W seemed the way to go with this final shot.

Spires in B&W

Sunday morning we set a wake-up alarm so we could head across the Columbia River Bridge and watch the sun rise from atop the Wild Horse Monument hillside.

Ponies 1

I love this view of the lead pony with the Columbia River Bridge drawing the eye to Vantage just above his head.

Ponies 2

Hey–wait for me!!!!

Ponies 4

If you have never climbed to the top–and it is a dicey climb–the last pony boasts a pedestal!

Ponies 3

That conquered, we turned the Ford F-150 toward Quincy in search of the Dusty Lake Trail and some more opportunities to elude rattlesnakes.

Dusty Lake1

By noon we were famished. Did I mention we did not eat breakfast before heading out for the sunrise? Sunrises don’t wait for breakfast. Photographers are crazy like that.

Back at the Escape, I put some homemade soup on to warm while I stretched out my sore muscles some distance away in the shade. A small car pulled up and stopped. A couple about our age emerged. They approached my husband. I caught enough of the conversation to know they were interested in our trailer.

The Escape, manufactured in Canada, boasts a fiberglass shell and good looks. Curious people often ask to poke their heads in for a look see. We enthusiastically share! (And if you buy one, tell them Clark and Marlee Huber sent you!) The manufacturers are great folks!

I thought this was just another curious couple until I sauntered over and noticed the man wearing a crisp looking Nebraska Big Red golf shirt. I asked the obvious. Was he from Nebraska?

“Yes,” he replied.

I responded, “So was my mother.”

“Where was she from?” he asked.

I thought I would respond with the name of the tiny hamlet no one beyond Keya Paha County would know. I said, “Burton.”

What he said next seemed absolutely impossible!

Ok–I have to stop the story right here. Because of lack of wi-fi in Vantage, I am one day behind on my daily blogging intention and I have already exceeded my 300 words. If I don’t stop now, you’ll stop reading.

But just before I go, let me remind you that being in the right place at the right time is key to moving your process forward and walking boldly into your destiny! Oh, and may the rattlesnakes elude you like they did us that day.

Dusty Lake2

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!

 

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! Part 1

Saturday found us at The Pavilion in Vantage with a throng of radical people of faith.

hands in worship

Led by artist and musician, James Nesbit, we entered into worship of the King of Kings in a fresh new way.

James Nesbit

The sound while bold, was not prescribed or pre-written but on the spot released for this moment and this place.

drumset

Rita's feet
What does this have to do with process? Process is about time and place and being in the right place at the right time. You might call it convergence. Perhaps serendipity.

I am coming to a new understanding of how your identify that your timing is in time with God’s timing. Stuff happens. Connections are made that could not have been made had you pre-planned for six months or six years!

Just like that music on Saturday. It was fresh and vibrant, for that moment, and for that place. It united so many peoples–First Nations people from around the state,

Rita and Pat

with Fijians, Hawaiians, Hispanics, Afro-Americans, Caucasians.

dancing with the whirlwind scarf

 

Gary Dancing

Yahweh

So what could I not make up? After three and a half hours of extravagant partying with each other, the Holy Spirt and the angels, we had food and fellowship. In the food line, I met another woman from across the state who had graduated from the same high school as me two years earlier. We knew the same people; we shared stories of friends and whatever became of so and so. Our conversation filled a gap in my past; it refreshed me; it answered questions. It presented the kind of insight that makes you ponder.

Granted this event at Vantage did bring people together from around Washington State. It is a meeting ground that is easy to access from all over the state, but what are the chances I would stand in the food line with someone who shared memories that went back to my early childhood? I knew her grandparents; she knew my parents.

You can’t make this stuff up! Was I in the right place at the right time? I think so. Maybe.

Of course you could say, well, she lives a couple hours from Vantage and you live a couple hours from Vantage in the other direction so it is entirely possible that your paths could cross. Perhaps.

But wait until my next post! You can’t make this stuff up, part 2!

And remember, process is so much about convergence. Time and again!

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!

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TIming is Everything

Last week I spent few days in San Francisco with an old friend. Of course, we visited Golden Gate Park. I was in search of a lone tree to photograph. I am always in search of that lone tree.

Z tree

The best I could do was this tree. We called it the “Z tree.” I took this first shot to reveal the whole structure of this natty tree.

Then I caught it in a more partial cropped view. Interestingly, my timing was perfect as a bird is framed by Z tree.

Z tree with bird

How much more interesting is Z tree with bird than without.

Z tree without bird

You say, “It’s a little thing. Yes it is.

It reminds me that timing is everything. Timing is a little thing that can make a huge difference.

Being in the right time and the right place is about entering into mystery and avoiding chaos.

No one wants to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It invites misery!

I realize part of process is understanding timing. Not just my timing, but God’s timing.

God loves process and process involves time and place. I am committed to being in this time and place with this process. Meanwhile I am holding the vision for the product.

How is your process? Where are you in time and place? What assurances do you have that you are in God’s time?

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life.

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Unveiling the Mess

May 1, 2015. I promised myself and any readers who care to join me that I would blog for 30 days during May on process. We all get excited about products, but as Austin Kleon writes, involve people in your process. Let them see your mess. You’ve got to be kidding. I’m the girl who rushes through the house picking up the piles when company announces they’ll be here in ten.

pile of books

Hello! We all hate process. I once attended a break out session entitled, “God loves the process and I hate it.” I’m with that speaker. I want product. Process is a drag. No product; no process. Know process; know product. Invite mess!

Lest you think all my pictures are beautiful? No–there is chaos behind the mystery.

messy desk

Today is day 1. “Show your work,”Kleon writes.

Where to start unveiling my mess is the question. Today I will be real.

My process began in my kitchen at another house a couple miles away and nearly 30 years ago. I was elbow deep in a mess. Meanwhile, our two daughters commanded my attention. As an only child, my aging parents required more and more concern. My very patient husband stood by wanting his turn. And the cats–they loved me best. I felt the paraffin flowing over me like a freshly made jar of raspberry jam.

In the midst of dirty dishes and a sticky floor, I flipped on the radio to hear Dr. James Dobson interviewing an octogenarian by the name of Jean Lush. A counselor for many years, Jean was discussing the seasons of a woman’s life. She finally got around to the post menopausal years. You think sad? No way! I can still hear Jean’s voice crescendo with enthusiasm and possibility as she outlined how these years could be the best and most productive years of a woman’s life. I still bask in the glow of her voice.

That glow got me through thirty years of cleaning toilets and washing dishes. I have hung on the promise of Jean’s words like a dishtowel hangs on the refrigerator handle.

A better day is coming for full expression! My day will come!

I returned to sweeping and mopping and hugging and comforting always living toward the vision. The vision of my time.

Ooops–! I know better now. Part of the process is knowing that my time is God’s time.

More about that next time.

Marlee Huber ~ For YOUR FLOURISHING LIFE.  

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San Francisco Can Wait

I thought I would be on an airplane to San Francisco at this very moment. That was until I tried printing my boarding pass last night. I discovered I am not going today. I’m booked for Friday.

Today is a FREE DAY. It’s a “get out of jail free card.”

I about freaked out. What would I do with a free day? I had no plans in Everett; my mind was on the city where people leave their hearts.

Slow down. Breathe! You were just bequeathed 24 luxury hours without obligation and no big tab. You can do something astonishing. What will it be?

In my mind, luxury always starts with a fresh book. This morning I sat down and opened Austin Kleon’s book, Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share your Creativity and Get Discovered.

Kleon says your work doesn’t exist until it is whirling around on the web. Wake-up call! Mine is in journals. I’m a bl—ging procrastinator!

He then talks about the sharing process. Maybe I should delineate:  “sharing the process.”

I thought I had to get my product published before I could tweet about it. Trust me. I have a product–it’s spread across 10 years, dozens of journals, and hundreds of charts. It came in the 3 AM wake-up call that transformed my life!

With these thoughts whirling around in my head I used some of my luxury minutes to walk my neighborhood cleansing the palate of my mind.

I came up with two ideas. 1. Invite some neighbors to dinner. 2. Blog daily during May.

Once home, I opened my journal and considered what might happen if I wrote 300 words on process for 31 days?

As someone has said, “You never know until you try.”

Whether you stick around to watch my process doesn’t matter. What does matter is that one woman is not succumbing to retirement and snow birding in a generally southern direction. Instead, she is considering today and the next who-knows-how-many-tomorrows-she-may-have as luxury hours in which to let the world know how the Transforming Intruder invaded her life during a long succession of early morning encounters.

Who knows? Maybe you’re not ready to go south either. San Francisco can wait; so can Arizona–and mini-golf.

It’s time to investigate the underbelly of a flourishing life.

under side of tulips

Marlee Huber ~ For YOUR FLOURISHING LIFE!

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It’s 2:37 AM and I’m Wide Awake!

At 2:37 this morning I pushed ‘purchase.’ Why would anyone purchase a Catholic priest’s theology of beauty in the middle of a night when sleep evades her?

Here’s why. Yesterday happened. Yesterday, I was overstimulated by beauty! I know. Crazy ! How? It’s a God-thing!

Let me tell you about yesterday. Early in the day, I reread passages from Phil Mason’s book Quantum Glory:  The Science of Heaven Invading Earth. He writes how beauty and truth are seemlessly interwoven. Where you find one, you find the other. I note his references thinking perhaps I should purchase the one on the theology of beauty.

This was followed by a photo shoot with a beautiful friend under sunny backlit skies (ask me another time about beautiful light); to be followed by a meet up with a couple new photography friends where we shared our most beautiful images; to be followed by a beautiful family dinner with our lovely daughters and spirited grandchildren (they’re beautiful, too, but I thought perhaps I was overusing the word); to be followed by–oh let’s just go with it–a (beautiful) movie about (beautiful) food (beautifully) prepared somewhere in the (beautiful) French countryside.

You see, yesterday I over dosed on beauty. My mind was awhirl!

Let me tell you how this obsession so innocently began. It hit me at a writers’ conference a couple years back. Not just any boring, grindingly competitive–which-editor’s-ear-will-you-try-to-bend conference.

It happened in Redding, California.

For those of you familiar with Bethel Church/Redding, that’s all you need to know. For others, let’s just say Bethel is where people get ruined for the ordinary. With a conference title like  “Writing Unto the Glory Conference” I should have known. It struck when Barbara Nicolosi-Harrington spoke on Beauty. I’ve not been the same. Not for a moment! Barbara undid the banal for me.

I returned home with a thirst that could not be quenched. I packed home Mason’s book from the Bethel book store.

Three weeks post beauty transformation, I attended my very first Awakenings Prayer Institute event facilitated by a local pastor who leads a church called, you got it, Bethel. We were instructed to write a breath prayer of our soul’s deep need. Deciding on a prayer–that was easy. Somehow, I had to release beauty. I tried to define how I would release it. Pastor Wes advised to keep it open ended.

He also instructed us to pick a name for God that would apply to this prayer.

Bright Morning Star–“The Promise of Full Light to Come” from Revelation 22:16 became my name for God in this prayer.

Bright Morning Star–Release beauty through me!

It was such a simple prayer, rather elegant I think, but simple. Bold, yes, bold, outrageously bold and simple. Who was I to pray a prayer like this? A grandmother? YES! You don’t have to be 15, to be outrageous!

I’ve never stopped praying it. Other breath prayers have come and gone. This one clings to me like a baby tightens his grip around mama’s neck when all the out-of-town aunties descend on his home for a visit.

I love this prayer best.

I love what happened to me at Bethel–both Bethels! Do you know what Bethel means?  I’ll leave that for another post. Stay tuned. Right now, I must pick up where I left off. I’m hot on the trail of beauty. Hand me my Kindle, please.

pathway to beauty

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life. 

 

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A Ladle of Love

On Friday the 13th of February, our family hiked in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Now that might not sound so far-fetched to some of you, but to those of us who frequent these parts, beginning a hike at 3000+ feet elevation in mid-February is highly unusual! During normal February’s, we would snow-shoe from the point where the US Forest Service road leaves the highway, miles lower than the trail head.

Today the sun is warm, the skies blue, our jackets too hot. Shirt sleeves are just fine! We cross a few snowfields, but nothing too daunting. We shudder as a tiny owl flits right over our heads with a mouse dangling from her jaws. The waterfalls are spectacular, but a little too far off to really capture the silky water in a photograph.

At two and a half miles we stop. Mt. Ruth is right before us. Next to us a snow chute that looks a bit dicey, due to the rushing water beneath it, halts our progress. Shucks! This is as far as we have ever gone on this trail. The last time the snow halted us at the same point–except that was mid-July!

The only other hiker we see on the trail approaches us. He picks his route successfully making it across the snow chute, then disappearing around the bend in the trail.

Today we pause soaking in the sun and contemplating that even Tucson could not improve on weather like this. I find it a plus that we don’t have to worry about rattlesnakes or scorpions hiding under one of the warm rocks we choose for a rest spot.

My tripod comes out; my camera settings are chosen; I aim at Mt. Ruth just as the heart-shaped bowl of a ladle dishes out a serving of love above this remote mountain. Here is the picture of the day! I know it! You can’t make this stuff up! You can play around in Photoshop all you want, but there is nothing like coming upon the real deal and just click-clicking away!–and then dramatizing it a bit in Lightroom!

We start back to our vehicle heady with the beauty of this February day. Soon the lone hiker overtakes us sharing that six minutes beyond where we stopped he spotted a family of mountain goats not forty yards away. What a day for a hike!

We might have missed the mountain goats, but we caught the heart-shaped cloud. He didn’t manage to catch the goats with his camera either, agile little climbers that they are. Happily, back at my computer I download my shots to celebrate the heart that danced over the mountain! I’ll see mountain goats another day, but when again will I spot a ladle of love looking like a heart on the day before Valentine’s Day?

As I reflect on the great time we had with family over the long weekend, I think about a scripture verse I happened upon on Valentine’s Day.

From the Revised English Version of the Holy Bible, Titus 2:11 “The grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all mankind.”

I think it goes quite nicely with this photo. Don’t you? A ladle of love, indeed! That’s what grace is!

Mt. Ruth Valentine's Day_

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!

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