3.3.20 The Stargazer, Seeker, & Voyager

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So … one of the best four days in the year happened … Bella Grace’s Spring Issue was released. Let me tell you friends, Issue 23 is as beautiful as ever. I hope that you will take a minute to visit your favorite quiet place and treat yourself to the renewal of having words wash over you. I was especially excited to be asked to write about self-renewal. Here’s a tiny sneak peek of my piece, “The Stargazer, Seeker, & Voyager.”

Hugs and sparkles,

Elle

“The human body was designed for renewal. Our blood cells have a lifespan of just over 100 days, our skin cells change over each month, and every seven years, every single cell in your body will have died and become replaced with a life that is brand new. We are designed incredibly, meticulously, and miraculously for restoration. Isn’t it astonishing to think that our cellular biology is glittering with revival?”

12.11.19 Being “Bella”

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Being “Bella” is a state of being that I have embraced since the birth of Bella Grace. I have never been so fully captivated by a people group, perspective, or purpose than I am every time I hold these stories, poems, images, and emotions in my hands. Bella Grace has satisfied a longing within my writer’s spirit to contribute to a larger body of voices that empower, inspire, and protect dreamers such as me.

If you too have coveted being a part of a community … let this be your tribe. Join the writers, photographers, idealists, and storytellers. Join the relationships, romance, beauty, and promise of something magically beyond the scope of the everyday. There is a reawakening that happens when you belong to more than that which fills your days – overflow them with grace personified in pages.

This Bella Grace’s winter issue is as enchanting as the season itself. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my piece, “Winter’s Undoing.” Please drop me a line, as you, dear friends, have become some of my most precious.

All my love Bellas,

Elle

11.3.19 Find Cozy

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“We are human doings, not beings. We strive and we make and we plan and we do, and at the end of each wearying day, we feel unaccomplished with the amount we’ve achieved, focusing instead on what we absolutely must get done tomorrow. Beautiful ones, I don’t think this was life’s plan.” – “The ABC’s of Cozy” – Bella Grace Cozy Issue 2

I was so thrilled to be “on assignment” for Bella Grace Magazine’s second installment of the Cozy issue! I was asked to write, “The ABC’s and 123’s of Cozy.” Friends … it was a delicious experience going A-Z and 1-10 with ideas, suggestions, and comforting conversation about all the ways we can be cozy!

When we moved into our new place, we found that one of our closets was especially large. My husband, being the prince that he is, didn’t even bat an eye when I asked if we could transform the space into a book nook. We took the door off, painted the trim aqua, got some cool drawers for favorite books and hidden surprises, and created a miniature getaway.

I cannot wait to read the rest of “Cozy” in it! Where do you most like to go to escape? Where do you hide in plain sight? Where do you feel most “yourself?”

Enjoy it! Share it! Send me a picture! Be inspired!

Elle

 

8.6.19 National Friendship Day

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“I have learned that friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest, it’s about who came and never left your side.” Yolanda Hadid

A few months ago, Bella Grace asked me to write a post for National Friendship Day, celebrated on the first Sunday of August! It was an absolute delight to do so, and I hope that you’ll click on the link below and check it out!

Love and the best of best friends are wished for you today,

Elle

15 Special Ways to Celebrate Your Friendships

6.18.19 Slipping Into Summer

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“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”
John Keats

Isn’t that a wonderful thought? To live three days as a butterfly, flitting and flying free in the warmest of summer breezes? Delighting in the presence of the present moment and never giving credit to a future you couldn’t plan for if you tried. It is that feeling that gives summer its magic and glory. Summer days have a way of lengthening and stretching twilight to dawn with minimal effort. The sun shows herself off brilliantly, complimented by her suitor moon, glowing brighter at the mere reflection of her.

It is a beautiful, anything-can-happen time of year and I encourage you to embrace each glittering moment of it! The summer Bella Grace Issue #20 is an absolute delight! I am featured on the cover! Please join me and read, “25 Whimsical Ways to Enlighten the Light of Summer.” I would absolutely love to hear how you are planning to delight in the days before you.

Be glitteringly fabulous and enjoy every fleeting butterfly-wing breeze,

Elle

2.26.19 Spring

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“Spring is the season of what’s next? Of not quite what I was and still stepping into what I might be.” 

Friday marks the distribution of the next Bella Grace issue, of which I am blessed to be a part. Two articles made their way in this time, and with the winter we have had, I can honestly say that Spring is where my heart is. New possibilities … the winds of change … the blossoms of hope … this is a time of year I can find myself leaning into. I close my eyes to imagine a street of Cherry Blossom petals,  a whisper of wind scented honeysuckle, or fresh puddles daring me to splash. What is it about Spring that sets you to satisfaction? I’d love to hear! Dream with me dreamers. It’s not too far away.

Elle

1.8.19 Right Here

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Some days my writer’s heart is more fragile than I’d like to admit. I think it is because writing is such a personal art, and so when you’re rejected, it doesn’t feel like a teacher telling you to edit … it feels like someone saying they don’t like you and that hurts worse. For as many accomplishments as I have been blessed to have this past year, I still pray fervently that I’ll be able to push this passion toward something more. Last Saturday I sent out twenty query letters … I already got three rejections. And sometimes my thick skin isn’t as thick as I like to pretend it is … and my upper lip isn’t as stiff as it should be … and my chin might just wobble a little as I heave in a breath and tell myself, “Just keep going.” 

When I’m feeling a little bruised –  and maybe just a little bit broken, I am instantly given the gift of my parents – of my mom who tells me I’m her inspiration to keep going – of my daddy who reminds me of Neverland.

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And then I smile and write some more. Tonight … quite when I needed to hear it the most, I received an email telling me that two more pieces are getting published. I might not be there, but I am here. I might not be then, but I am now.

And here …

and now …

might just be exactly the place I’m meant to be.

 

Carry on word-filled hearts. Like my daddy says, “I’m always right here,” with you.

Elle

12.30.18 From the Bottom of My Illuminated Heart

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Sometimes in the quiet, or not-so-quiet of my mind, I wonder if my words will matter. This is a dark fear, and it creeps upon me like a shadow, threatening to dash my confidence to carry on. But carry on I always do, because I just can’t seem to help it. Words are a part of me … maybe the best part, because somehow, they have the most chance of actually helping … of being there when I can’t be there … of soothing a heart that stumbles upon them.

Having the “what’s next” type of personality, I often see what I have not accomplished yet, and rarely take time to reflect on what I have. Today, so close to the new year, I decided to look back.

In the past four years I have …

Spoken multiple times a year for both educational and writing audiences

Reached 89 countries through my blog

Gained 1,110 followers

Had my website reached by 17,777 visitors

Had my articles, poems, and posts reach 23,520 views

Written one or more posts a week for four years for a total of 320 posts/articles/poems

Continued writing/editing most of my 17 book manuscripts (I even finished a few)

Published 18 total pieces for Bella Grace Magazine and their affiliate blog, Grace Notes the past two years

Met countless lovely individuals who shared their hearts with me and allowed me the same courtesy

So – in the ways of the publishing world … I have a long way to go. But, I guess I am going to take my daughter’s advice and “Enjoy the ride.” There are so many moments of bliss in the reality that not only do I have something to say, but I have unbelievable, artistic, creative, kind-hearted, kindred-spirits that actually want to read it!

Thank you my friends! Thank you for caring enough to read these ruminations of mine and continuing to believe in me and keep my light lit, even when the shadows threaten. You are my jar of fireflies … my lantern … my fairy dust. Thank you effervescently from the bottom of my illuminated heart.

Elle

10.9.18 Picturesque Song

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Every once in awhile, when I quiet my busy long enough to feel – life finds another way to bring me back. Sometimes it’s in the unexpected shift in the clouds that reveals an iridescent promise. Sometimes it’s the smile you didn’t see coming from the person who never does. And sometimes, it’s the words you didn’t know you needed to hear until you heard them.  Lately there’s a song that I’ve been loving called “Testify” by the band Needtobreathe. Although all of the lyrics speak to me, there is one line … isn’t there always … that draws me in and holds me.

“Mist on the mountain, rising from the ground – there’s no denying beauty makes a sound.” 

Doesn’t it just make you breathe slower? Close your eyes? And hear it?

What does beauty sound like to you?

I’m not sure I ever thought about it before, but now that I have, I often find myself wondering at what beauty sounds like, and little by little, my list grows.

Beauty sounds like the recession of a wave, pulling back the might of a swell.

Beauty sounds like the contented breathing of love sleeping evenly beside you.

Beauty sounds like the rustle of leaves … the hint of change swirling underfoot.

Beauty sounds like the quiet voice urging you one more time, to carry on.

Beauty sounds like a chance.

Beauty sounds like a choice.

Beauty sounds like a prayer, offered up without anything but remaining hope.

 

What do you hear? I’d love to know what beauty sounds like to you dear ones. Let’s make our own picturesque song.

Elle

7.9.18 A True Fan

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“It’s always compliments from people you love that mean so much.” Maria Bamford

Today I have the shortest, sweetest story. To drag it out would be to diminish it’s utter serendipity, and as I delight in fortuitous happenstances, I will tell it as it was. This lovely one is my sister. She is bright of eye, sharp with wit, generous in love and I have admired her forever. A sister through and through, she faithfully buys everything I am published in and reads every post, article, and poem I write. My mom, dad, sister, and husband generously fight over who is my “biggest fan,” and though I trust them with my life, I usually don’t believe a word of it.

That being said, the other day, my sister and I sat poolside, and she was thumbing through my newest Bella Grace summer edition magazine. She came across a spread of “65 Heart & Soul-Saving Reasons to Say No” in which writer’s responded to a Bella Grace’s prompt on Instagram. I’d not gone through that particular section yet, and she scanned and read the responses to herself, finally stopping on the third page of quotes to read me one that said, “Saying no is brave. It is an act of choosing ‘you’ when the world plays tug-of-war with your heart. Reclaim your right to what fills, not empties you.” Pointing to it before reading aloud, she burst out laughing.

“It was yours!” she bubbled. Sure enough, looking down, I saw that I had indeed written that post to Bella’s Instagram months before. “I guess now you’ll have to believe me when I say you really are my favorite writer,” she smiled.

I cannot tell you what that moment meant to me. If I could bottle it, I would, just to let the magic of my sister’s approval wash over me each time I opened the jar. She always says the right thing, but having her mistakenly identify a favorite quote and then find out it was mine!?! That was an authentic compliment I finally allowed myself to believe was real.

So my sweet sister, thank you from the bottom of this quote … our quote …

“I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart).”  e.e.cummings

 

Love you forever, Elle