Category Archives: Nature

aim purposefully

dancing leaves

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24

It’s a good afternoon for a walk.  The rain has stopped for now and the pup is longingly looking at her leash.  The weatherman says there’s a cold front coming our way making the skies to the north dark and grey, so we decide to take advantage of the break in the rain and head out to enjoy the outdoors.

Walking through the neighborhood, the dead leaves are crunching beneath my boots.  Suddenly the wind begins to gust by us, ushering in another blast of cooler air around these parts.  The lifeless piles of leaves seem to come to life dancing around in circles.  The wind blows them this way, and they go this way.  Then the wind blows them that way, and they go that way.  They swirl and twirl, they bounce and skip, they tumble and glide wherever the wind aimlessly carries them.  Aimless and lifeless . . . full of motion, but void of life.

How many days have I walked around just like those leaves?  Full of motion, going here and there, drifting aimlessly through my day.  How many times have I let the circumstances of my day determine what I do, how I respond?  Do I wake up, roll out of bed not even thinking seriously about the hopes of my day?  That’s not how God intends my day to be.

Instead I need to take time, time to be purposeful about my day.  I need to take the time, time to focus and time to aim myself intentionally asking for His guidance and His strength for every moment of my day.  Remembering, I was created in his image by Him and for His Glory, I was not created to wander about my day aimlessly like those leaves that dance across the street ahead of me.  I was created to be purposeful in His Love. 

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


new every morning

sunrise

One of the beautiful reminders of a sunrise . . .

His compassions do not fail us 

They are new every morning, no matter how dark the night has been.

His faithfulness is there from sunrise to sunset . . . and through the night.

He is my Hope. 

I have deep appreciation for sunrises, which is really kind of funny because I’m not really an early morning person.  My husband loves to catch a sunrise whenever he has an opporutnity and I’m usually just trying to “sleep just a little bit longer. . .” But you know I am never disappointed with losing that little bit of extra sleep, even if I haven’t had my first cup of coffee.

Sunrise – the beauty of Creation paints the morning sky, a reminder of His mercy and His faithfulness.  A reminder that I have been called out of the darkness into the Light.  

Yes, there is something very special about a sunrise.  Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow is yet to be.  With the rising of the sun, I have His promise of today.


stay alert

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“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)

It happens when I least expect it.

The room is filled with smiles and laughter as friends come together. Each one brings uniqueness to the mix. Lively chatter is flowing around. Yet, there’s something unsure looming in the air. And then it happens.

Or maybe it is a smaller gathering, just a few people around. Someone says something that strikes a chord, uses a similar tone, or a personality quirk continually surfaces. And then it happens.

Or maybe it’s in a personal conversation. A friend or a loved one is sharing a hurtful experience, asking for wise counsel. And then it happens.

What happened . . . ?

Minutes before, my heart was full of joy, and then I seem to be swallowed up by a torrent of hurt, painful reminders, a raging sea of confused emotions. Sometimes anger seems to well up and simmer inside me.  And when I see this happening in my life, I ask, how do these things happen to me?

So I pray.

On the surface, I’m sure these thoughts seem silly to others, and yes, at times, even ridiculous to me. I ask, am I allowing these outside coincidences to inflict such emotion in me?

And so I pray. I pray and I wait. I go to the One who knows my heart. I go to One who knows me better than I know myself.

In that place, I am reminded there is someone else who waits. Someone else lying in wait, hiding around the corner, prowling around looking for those places in my heart where there has been hurt and rejection. My great enemy, the devil, is waiting. Waiting for the chance to swoop in and hijack my emotions. He is looking for any opportunity to trip me up, to cause me to stumble, to fall back into the emotional wreck of the past.

The enemy scouts around like a roaring lion, prowling, looking for the perfect opportunity

  • To resurface hurts caused by another through the personality of someone who crosses my path.
  • To remind me of past mistakes.
  • To rub me wrong causing division or discontent.

holding back nothing to get into my mind and my heart.

So I pray to be alert, asking for supernatural protection of those places when I see those red flags, detection of the enemy.

Alert. I can only be alert when I daily pour myself into the Truth that I am loved and adored and pursued by The One who loves me. I must trust Him to be the cushion, to be the distance, to be His Perfect Love in my heart.

So when the enemy comes with rejection or hurts or disappointments {which I know are going to come}, my heart and my mind will be less vulnerable to the sea of offense.

 


waterfalls

waterfall in yellowstone

Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls;
all Your breakers and Your billows have swept over me.
Psalm 42:7

When it seems that one trouble comes after another . . .
one disappointment comes on the heels of another . . .
one day of silence follows another . . .

Like the deep roar of the waterfalls, He calls to me . . . reminding me His Mercy covers me.

His Love washes over me . . . reminding me He is always faithful covering me in His Grace.

He calls to me, as I call out to Him in the depth of my soul . . . this is where He meets me.

Linking up at:
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desolate places

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Dry, parched land begs for water.  A picture of desolation.

It wasn’t too long ago that our land was dry and parched.  Cracks were spreading out in every direction across the soil.  We were praying for rain to pour out on the thirsty land.

Just like the land, there have been seasons of desolation, parched places in my life.  Not physically, but spiritually.

“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground.  I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your descendants.”  ~ Isaiah 43:3 

How does God see those areas in my life?  He promises to pour out water in those dry places – what mercy!!

Then the rains came.  The dry, parched land soaked in the quenching rain that eventually covered the land and the land began to flourish again.

And so I go to my desolate places and plant myself to seek Him.  I plant myself next to the streams of Living Water and the falling rains and bubbling springs of pure Mercy saturate the places where He knows I need it most.

  Remember God is more anxious to bestow His blessings on us than we are to receive them.
Augustine


my lighthouse

My Lighthouse

 

Lighthouses for anyone living, working, or traveling along a coast are a symbol of constancy.  

A lighthouse provides the light that points out dangers and hazards in darkness and times of storms.

A place of safe entry.

A marker of navigation along the journey.

In my life, the lighthouse is an image of God.  A symbol of His faithfulness and His constancy in the inconsistencies of my own life.

In the hazards and dangers, the trials and the temptations that are part of my life – He is my Lighthouse.

Everyday, He is my haven of safety.  When I am abiding in Him, I am safe.

As I walk on this journey, my Lighthouse marks my way, as a source of constancy that never hides from me.  He is the Light in the darkness of the world.

I am trusting in the promise that Jesus is the Light of the World  and the darkness will not overcome it.  No one, nothing can extinguish it.

So for the last month or so, the song “Lighthouse” by Rend Collective has been bombarding my mind and my heart – kind of like it’s been on repeat on my playlist!  The more I listen to the words, I have my Abba Father speaking to me with HIs loving arms wrapped around me.

He is reminding me that He will not walk out on me when I mess up, when I fail or when I doubt or question.

He is there in the silence – when it seems that there are no answers.

When the way seems clouded or a full-ranging storm, He is my Peace.

He is the fire that goes before me.  He leads me through, no matter if the skies are sunny or stormy.

  

“My Lighthouse” ~ by Rend Collective

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are my peace in the troubled sea
You are my peace in the troubled sea

In the silence, You won’t let go
In my questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are my peace in the troubled sea
You are my peace in the troubled sea

My Lighthouse, My lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, My Lighthouse
I will trust the promise, You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to Shore
Safe to Shore
Safe to Shore

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I’ll rise and sing
My God’s love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Fire before us, You’re the brightest
You will lead us safe to shore


those times in between

Waiting.  Watching and waiting. It’s that time of the year around here again.  Our bluebird houses were completely cleaned out in the early days of spring.  But with the unusual weather we’ve had, it seems that our waiting time for the houses to be filled with nests and eggs has been even longer than usual.  Walking the fence line last weekend to check on the progress, I thought about this season of waiting.

1st bluebirds 2014

1st bluebirds 2014

It seems in a number of areas of my life, that’s exactly where I am –

waiting . . .  watching . . .  waiting

Those times of waiting often seem to be the most difficult.  It’s that time that is either “going to make me or break me.” It’s those times when things aren’t clear, it’s like waking up to some of the foggy mornings we’ve had lately.

Confusion sets in.
Hopelessness sets in.
Doubt sets in.
A lack of understanding sets in.
Coping sets in.
Disillusionment sets in.
Cynicism sets in.
Unbelief sets in.

The time of waiting often seems to be unrelenting.  Those times in between are often difficult, when I begin to doubt. The days turn into weeks.  The weeks turn into months.  And the months even turn into years. Those times of waiting are the times in between . . . the times in between of being on the mountain tops.  While I love those times on the mountaintops, I have learned that it’s the times in between the mountain tops where I experience His greatest Joys.  

And so with the discovery of several nests with those beautiful blue eggs waiting to hatch, I ,too, am reminded that those times in between – in waiting and watching – there is Hope.

It might be waiting for the birth of our newest granddaughter, the return of a colleague to work, for a new home, for reconciliation in a relationship, the return of a prodigal, the end of a career and the beginning of a new season in life. Whatever the wait . . . I hold onto His Promise 

I know that You can do anything
and no plan of Yours can be thwarted.
Job 42:2

Because He is I AM.

He sees me in my waiting.  He shows me His faithfulness in looking back over all the many seasons of waiting in my life.  And although there are times of confusion, of not understanding the why, times of doubt and cynicism, of mistrust in the fog, I am confident that He is my Hope in the times in between.

So I continue to wait, to watch for His Hand in those times in between. 


rest in the stillness

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Rest in the stillness.  

There’s a quiet . . . a hush . . . a stillness . . . the sun quietly rises over the lake.

The fish are waiting . . . but more importantly, the quiet calls.  My Abba Father, my Daddy, is waiting for me. He calls for me. 

Rest in the stillness of My Presence while I prepare you for this day.  Let the radiance of My Glory shine upon you, as you wait on Me in confident trust.  Be still and know that I am God. 

In the quiet . . . in His quiet . . . I am quiet . . .  quietly trusting Him.

As you rest in My Presence, focusing on Me, I quietly build bonds of trust between us.  When you respond to the circumstances of your life with affirmations of trust, you actively participate in this process. 

The quiet of the morning breaks the dark of night.  The quiet of the morning calls me to rest . . . to rest in the stillness of His Presence.

Trusting Him with my day. 

taken from Jesus Calling


stillness of soul

 

being still (CHR - spring break '14)

I meet you in the stillness of your soul.

It is there that I seek to commune with you. A person who is open to My Presence is exceedingly precious to Me. My eyes search to and fro throughout the earth, looking for one whose heart is seeking Me. I see you trying to find Me; our mutual search results in joyful fulfillment.

Stillness of soul is increasingly rare in this world addicted to speed and noise.

I am pleased with your desire to create a quiet space where you and I can meet. Don’t be discouraged by the difficulty of achieving this goal. I monitor all your efforts and am blessed by each of your attempts to seek My Face.                                                                                                     

from Jesus Calling


 Stillness of soul . . . increasingly rare . . . world addicted to speed and noise.

It’s all around us.  Surrounding us from our waking moments to the ending moments of each day.  Speed and noise.

I crave moments of silence.  Especially those moments of silence with the One who is seeking me.

Seeking to be intentional in my stillness of soul.  Each and every day.  No matter where life finds me.

 


all things new

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Behold I am making all things new.  ~ Revelation 21:5

On the hunt for signs of new life.  Spring has been teasing us for the last several weeks here after an unusually cold and pretty dreary winter in Texas.  The days of biting cold, icy roads, and winter storm warnings (school closures!) are surely behind us!  Now the signs of His breathing new life into the deadness of nature are showing all around us.  The anticipation of what God is going to do brings a fresh hope.

The little green leaves of the bluebonnets poking through the dirt . . .  bring hope.

The lone clump of Indian paintbrush . . . brings hope.

The mother bluebirds building their nests in the houses lining our fence  . . . bring hope.

The sounds of a hosts of different birds awakening the woods . . . bring hope.  

The massive old trees budding out with tiny spurts of green  . . . bring hope.  

The freshness in the air as I walk outside . . . brings hope.

All signs of spring!  How I love spring because it’s the season that wipes away all the dead, the dreariness and brings the promise of new life.  But you know it’s not just the in trees, the flowers, the birds that new life is promised.  His promise is for us!  He makes us new.

So in looking around the promise of new life all around me today, I am reminded that there was a time in my life I too was dead, dead like much like things in nature in winter.  But He made me a new creation!!

It’s not just a seasonal event that happens.  God is constantly at work in my life.  He is continuously working the soil of my heart through His Spirit.  Even when it’s hard to see from my human perspective, I know He is at work even in the smallest details of life.

I know I can trust HimSo I cling to His promise, anticipating with fresh hope the day when all things are made new.

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