Monday, May 23, 2011
Ah, Lord God!
You have made the heavens and the earth
by Your great power and outstretched arm.
There is nothing too hard for You.
This past Saturday lots of folks were watching the skies waiting for the end of the world. The thing is, nobody knows when that will happen. Today brought stormy skies, but nothing parted the stormy formations to reveal the return of Jesus.
I was out trying to solve a few problems today when I noticed the awesome clouds. I didn't get anything accomplished, but instead got a new set of decisions to make. Several of those in a row make me a little nuts. However, asking advice and not making quick decisions was the path I chose to take.
No matter when Jesus returns, it is a worthy goal to walk in the spirit: pressing in to think, do, and be in line with his return at any time.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Wildflowers this season have been filled with those seeking their nectar. I especially loved how these two butterflies entered deeply into the pink primrose blossoms. It is as if the flowers are cathedrals that draw the butterflies, moths, and bees in to seek the sweetness of the Lord. It is their purpose to carry the sweetness and pollinate other flowers; to serve in spreading the splendor of the Lord; to enable others to bloom.
The fragrance and quiet places of these blooms helps me, as well, enter into a cathedral of the spirit, teaching me to be still and taste His sweetness. When I have been quiet and filled with this splendor how can I do less than the butterflies and carry in service the message of his great love and beauty?
Worship the Lord
in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Depending on where thistles are found they are poisoned, dug up, cursed, or admired. These were not in my front yard, and I found them exceedingly beautiful. The whole ridge of thistles afforded a periwinkle invitation to the beautiful pastoral scene beyond.
As I began to take my focus from the crowd to the single thistles I found each to be very different from the other. I don't think I have ever seen two entwined thistles like the couple in the second photograph. I have rarely seen thistles with white centers like the first and last. But I am often drawn to photograph the bees, bugs, and butterflies that find them irresistible.
It is fun to watch the stages of flowers in the field as they speak of the miracles and mysteries of God's creation. Even if they are but thistles, they have their 'day' before they are gone. Though they are small, we can see God's hand in the masterpiece of each one.
When you send your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
Sometimes I cannot help but feel that a wildflower cropping is nothing less than one of God's courts. The flowers are glorious as they all turn their faces to the sun. Be they tiny or grand, they fill my heart with gratitude as I perceive how wonderfully each one is made.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Last night, since there was no choir practice, we headed out after dinner to enjoy the sunset and find some water. We are well trained from our travels to know the wildlife sightings increase at dawn and dusk as they are out finding food. We are also prone to sit awhile at a riverside, or walk around a small lake, taking in the tranquility of ripples in the water and the wind blowing through the grasses and trees alongside.
We are fortunate to still have a lot of undeveloped country around us, and even where there are neighborhoods they have been nestled to wisely use the creeks and ponds to add to the water elements being enjoyed by the residents. Last night we enjoyed seeing a white egret, many flocks of birds, a blue heron, and several ducks and geese. I love seeing the large water birds. Hope you will enjoy these as well.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul...
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Hubby opted for a long run instead of another motorcycle ride this afternoon. Yesterday and today were glorious. I blessed him to go out on foot as I left to drive through the country roads savoring the tail end of the wildflower season in Texas. We will soon be in the sweltering, dry and crispy Texas summer. Wildflowers will have to be sought after by visiting other places.
We finally got some decent rain and the Indian blankets are rallying. They were the first I saw this year, and are now covering fields along with later bloomers. I was also seeing, in the last week, the field cacti starting to bloom. For the most part they are yellow. But sometimes there are mixed blooms of orange, coral, and yellow on the same plant. I went out today mainly searching for the multi-colored blooms. I came by these this afternoon.
A blooming cactus reminds me that we are not promised a thorn-free life. We will have trouble. Jesus certainly had his share! There is such beauty in life not to be missed by dwelling on the thorns. We don't lose heart because we know we are being renewed daily as we continue to fix our eyes upon Jesus.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Cor. 4:17
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I was coming home from choir practice tonight and stopped at the grocery store, then the pharmacy. Upon leaving the grocery store I saw the sky, looking like hail clouds. Beautiful, but ominous. I headed for the pharmacy off the next freeway exit. I noticed the sky was losing the dangerous look and becoming an awesome sunset. This was after a day of high winds and repeated heavy rains.
When I got close to the pharmacy I took a turn off to look back at the western sky. This is a road I have traveled hundreds of times, mind you, but I never saw this pond from this direction at sunset. It looks like lowland swamp with apartments at its edge looking from the freeway to the east. IT ALL DEPENDS on your perspective if something looks messy, hopeless, scary, or beautiful, peaceful, and hopeful.
My perspective at the grocery store told me the sky was possibly dangerous. My perspective on the other side of the pond gave me a wonderful new place to watch the Texas sunsets reflected in water. God had me in a position to discover something wonderful right under my nose. It would not have been a road I would have taken in the day, but the beauty of the sunset made me take the first available turnout to see it before the color faded. A single tree in the pharmacy parking lot offered a wonderful focal point to be framed by the coral painted sky.
Our perspective, staring at scary clouds and the underside of the tapestry of our struggles looks pretty messy. But on God's side looking down, the stitches are being woven together to make us beautiful. He has a future and a hope for each of us. We can depend on God's power to transform us not on our plan, but His.
Paul encourages in Ephesians 6:10:
Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord's mighty power within you.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
My girls both gave me gifts of writing for Mother's Day. I have told them that I would much prefer a love letter to stuff. They gave me my heart's desire.
It is also great fun to pile up for a picture. It was interesting that Papaw, Faith, and Ashlyn all had on turquoise. Gram and Riley had on outfits of blue and green. Charlie was happy to be wearing the orange shirt with a big bug on it that I found him the day before.
It is wonderful to play together. I hope as they grow into times where they will want to spend more time with their friends instead of their grandparents that they will cherish the memories of these times when they were young and piled together on our laps giggling, smooching, tickling, and just loving each other. I find these times we are being able to be close to children and grandchildren in the spirit of love are so precious.
And may the Lord make you
increase and abound in love
to one another and to all.
1 Thessalonians 3:12
Monday, May 9, 2011
I had an amazing weekend with my husband. Most of it was centered around Mother's Day, but some was about our regular attempt to really spend time with each other on the weekends. We had a lovely dinner in the West 7th area of Ft. Worth on Saturday night. I got a delicious gluten free pizza at Fireside Pies, then some wonderful frozen yogurt for dessert.
Before retiring he asked me if I wanted breakfast in bed or to go out somewhere for breakfast. I opted out of both, since we would be going out for dinner with the family, and had to be at church early to rehearse for choir. Upon rising I found this lovely vase of yellow roses on the counter. What a guy!
After church we went shopping and made a pretty big purchase of new, smaller living room couches. Since downsizing our house, our overstuffed couches with a million pillows are really too big for the smaller room.
We met our kids at Bobo Tea House Noodles and had a yummy dinner, then returned home to make some freshly baked cookies to go along with Kroger's Private Selection ice cream flavors of Chocolate Ganache and Black Raspberry Dark Chocolate Chunk. Believe me when I say either flavor will make your eyes roll back in your head. Yummo!
It was an outrageously special weekend. I will continue tomorrow with some kid/grandkid stories. My entire family was so loving, but I can tell you it all began with this wonderful man I married. How sweet it is to be loved by him. I think more than any other person I have ever known that he exhibits the fruits of the spirit. Living with this man has helped me be a better person, no doubt. I am truly blessed.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Finally all the work was done on the five big banners I made for the Easter season. Hanging them was an amazing experience, seeing them catch the light and decorate the walls at church. Some of you that were following the process live in other places and had asked to see them hung; so here they are.
The bottom two photos are of the stained glass panels that were in storage from a former church. Some needed repair, and were then hung lighted in the sanctuary. It is a beautiful place to gather as a church family.
Gather together and praise the Lord!