Wednesday, April 17, 2024

In the Details

On a walk this week, I noticed how pretty the maple tree seeds 
(we always called them helicopters) appeared. 
When the leaves bud and begin to grow, the tree releases the
helicopters, and they twirl to the ground.

Does anyone else remember trying to catch them?

God's handiwork never ceases to amaze me.
When those seeds fall to the forest floor, more trees grow.
When they fall into the hands of a child, they entertain their imagination.

What small detail of God's creation have you noticed this week?



 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Breathtaking

Revelation 22:1-5
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Behold the beauty.

Have you ever seen something so breathtaking you can’t look away?

On our walk, through Sycamore Park, the Virginia bluebells are in full bloom. A day after the solar eclipse, we trekked along the paved trail where there are signs to stay on the path and not walk in the wooded area. The park personnel are working to restore the flora and fauna. This particular day, the sky clouded and light rain fell. In that lighting, the blue of the bluebells shone in gorgeous contrast to the spring green.

All along the path, I couldn’t stop looking at the beautiful shade of blue that blanketed many areas in the woods. You just don’t see blue flowers that often and when they’re in clusters, they are simply stunning.

As in awe as I am of floral beauty, I can’t begin to imagine the splendor of heaven. We catch glimpses of what John saw in his vision in Revelation. A river, a tree filled with fruit, eternal light from God himself, oh the glory. The picture painted in Revelation 22 pours hope into my soul. Nature’s beauty in perfect harmony will surround us in heaven.

I hope as you imagine heaven, you see yourself standing at the throne and praising God. I want to sit by the river and bask in God’s light and taste the sweet fruit of His presence.

Take a moment from the chaos of this life, imagine heaven, and fill up on hope.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What's in the Woods?

I love to hike in the woods with Tim and Rosie in the spring. 
The wild flowers are poking their heads out of the ground.
Their blooms are not as glamorous as the tulips or the daffodils, 
but they're just as beautiful. 

When I see the toadshade trillium and the yellow trout lily, 
I know spring has arrived.
I also spotted the delicate, lavender blossoms of Jacob's ladder and flox.

God created so many lovely blooms for us to enjoy and appreciate.
Take a hike and discover what's in the woods.


 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

The Tree's Knees

Psalm 46:1-7

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The trees had knees.

In Congaree National Park, my daughter, Maggie, my grandchildren, Dylan and Zeke, and I hiked along the boardwalk over the swampy areas. I’d never seen anything quite like the park. The other-worldly feeling made me wonder when the dinosaurs or gnomes might appear.

Maggie and her family had visited the park before, and she knew I’d love it. And I did. The vegetation was like nothing I’d seen before. The trees were huge and fascinating. The Cyprus trees appeared to wear pleated skirts, and they were surrounded by little stumpy looking knees. Maggie told me the knees grow up from the roots and help anchor the trees in the muddy soil, so they offer the tree an extra layer of strength against the wind and storms. The knees also act like a protection against erosion, which reminds me of how God anchors me and provides protection and strength.

The verse that mentions the nations in an uproar and the kingdoms falling brings to mind the headlines today. So much turmoil is in the world, yet in the Congaree National Park, I felt God’s protection and presence, especially when we encountered a timber rattler.

With God as my refuge, I embraced His presence in the forest, and I hold tight to it today, at home. He is my strength and He holds me in His hands.

Wherever you are, if you are a child of God, He sees you and cares for you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

New Life!

As I walked around my flowers, after a rain, 
I considered the new life blooming this spring.
The daffodils nodded and the tulips opened to the sky.
They embraced the rain and the sunshine. 
They withstood the storms and the wind.
As a new creation or an old one like me, 
I can withstand life's storms 
as I cling to the one who created me.

Thank you, Jesus.


 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Children's Book Day!

Children's books are works of art and heart.

 Have you read Betsy and/y Bailey, a bilingual English & Spanish 
story of twin sisters who discover the differences that drive them crazy 
are the characteristics they love most in each other?

Read with a child today and be blessed.



 

Illustrator, Hannah Wickline, had the privilege 
of reading the story to children in Guatemala.