"The day came when the risk
to remain tight in a bud
was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom." ~ Anais Nin
Sweet bellas, that day has come....and so here I am.....head in the clouds, feet on the ground....where the path will lead with all of this I do not know...this blog, the food, the contest entries, the cookbook, all of it....all I know is that I take each of you with me... and it is through this blog that I invite you to taste life with me, through me, beside me...mangiabella!
I want to take a moment to thank you....each of you know who you are....you have played a vital role along this journey, even unto this moment... my arrival into the right here. right now. You see, it is YOU who have been the very hands and feet of God, carrying me along this long and winding road, wiping the weariness from my brow, encouraging me to keep moving, pushing me forward, forcing me to abandon what is "comfortable"....to shine....it is your glory, your radiance, your quiet beauty that has spilled over onto me and has given me illumination when the path was dark. Your friendship has given me a safe place to retreat and rest - it has truly been a breath of fresh air amidst the most suffocating moments - your healing words have strengthened me and refreshed my soul - thank you for lending me your ears, and opening your hearts, you have been the most wonderful "traveling companions"....here's to the next adventure!
I'll close by sharing this: My sweet little Sophia and I were walking back to the house from getting the mail today, hand in glorious little hand. As we passed the rose bush in our front yard and began approaching the door, she did a double take, halted and turned around with fierce determination. She was truly captivated by the beauty of the fresh blooms on the rose bush, and she simply had to get another look up close and personal. She insisted that we stop and smell not just one, but every single rose blossom on the entire bush. *sigh* Didn't she know that I had phone calls to return, laundry to fold, domestic "to-do's" to tend to????
It was obvious she would hear none of that, and so I obliged.
After each sniff, she would beam and say "ooooooo" before going on to the next one. And so she continued, and I followed, mimicking each motion and exultation, until I found myself uninhibitedly taking in every moment of this most pleasant distraction, such a beautiful release...intoxicated by the delightful fragrance, listening as birdsong danced in my ears, each unique bird competing for my attention. I welcomed the gentle breeze that wrapped around my face....I contemplated the peace and serenity of this beautiful day and allowed it to fully overwhelm and enrapture me into absolute complete and utter bliss until every single one of my five senses were completely and totally AWAKE!
Today, I was reminded to stop and smell the roses. I know...cliche, right? Perhaps so, but I believe it's cliche because there is a profound truth there....God wants to slow us down and bring us into His presence....we need to GIVE HIM ACCESS!!! Wherever you are today, won't you take some time today to be still....to escape the deafening noise and abundance of demands around you....take a walk, ride your bike, climb a tree, sit on your porch, and listen. Be Still and Listen. And if you will do that....if you will really listen.....you can hear them......all of them.....all of creation around you......screaming "HE MADE US!"