My son was helping me take out the trash when he came upon this lil’ fella’ tangled up in a nasty spider web. It wasn’t any ol’ web! It was the stickiest web of all; the black widow web. Cringe…. Of course he calls me to help. Now you have to understand. My nickname in the past has been spider woman for the simple fact that spiders are attracted to me. I don’t like them. I don’t like squishing them, and I certainly don’t like them dangling from my hair! (Yes, that happened). Sooooo….. I graciously and ever so delicately (with my fingers…I know), pulled the webs away untangling this gorgeously painted butterfly. I worked intricately and masterfully to save him from this evil plot to end this butterflies life of grace and beauty. As you can see by the photo, he was rescued, but in his effort to free himself, he had damaged his wing. You may see where I’m going with this. You see… There’s a few things. First, there is a beauty in each of us. We are a creation of the Master Himself. Then, there is a plot. The evil one wants to destroy that beauty. He will masterfully and invisibly place his sticky tricks out there to entrap you and I. Often times we unknowingly step into it, and there are times when we partake; even listening to the lies. It’s only a matter of time when we become so entangled that it’s almost impossible to step away. Our nature won’t let us. I know for myself, when I hear that tug of the Holy Spirit, I cry out and ask the Lord to intercede on my behalf. I am honest with Him. I tell Him that I need Him right now. I need Him to change the situation with His ever gentle hand and wisdom. I am so thankful that I have this most precious opportunity as a believer in Christ, to come to Him and ask of Him to FREE me!!!!! Even when I am in direct opposition to His will. He comes running to save me just as I did for that butterfly. Broken and spent, yet He comes running. What a thought. I’m so grateful.
There are few things better than taking a stroll outdoors, whether through a neighborhood, at the beach, in the mountains, or even out in the desert. God is ever-present and His glory is radiant in the sunshine, the breezes, the grass, trees, and flowers. He is shown through the cloud formations, the rain, the waves and sand. God is also shown through our experiences and circumstances. We live and learn. We grow and make mistakes. It’s all part of God’s liberty given to us to reach a victory in our lives. Our time on this earth is minimal. As we are living, we feel as though we are invincible. We turn away from the possibility that our life could be cut shorter than expected at any time. The Bible says in Psalm 103:15-22, ” As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children. To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.” This flower I found, caused me to be in awe! I instantly thought of how awesome God is, and how in the world He formed this amazing creation. Each time I pass this garden, I remember that flower. I want so badly to see more blooms and yet, the garden is barren. There are a few object lessons that could be shared here, but my mind gravitates to these verses and reminds me that I ought to live a beautiful life in God’s eyes to leave a pleasant memory and remembrance of who I was and what I lived for.
This photo was taken one evening in January 2014. The beautiful Hues paint a thoughtful background to this little church that I hold close to my heart.
As I look back over the years, I have a fulfillment in so many ways. In fact, I really can’t believe some of the accomplishments I have made. There are things I have done that actually make me shiver just thinking about. If I was asked to do them again, I have been so far removed from them that I don’t see that it would be possible. Although, I have done them in the past so, what makes me think I could not do them again. There are tasks we face that seem daunting, to say the least. I am known by those around me, to be a worrier, and I get really nervous to the point of wanting to throw in the towel on some things. And yet, when I complete the challenge, I feel overjoyed and accomplished of what I was able to achieve! I guess the point I am trying to get across is, I feel like I have lived. If I didn’t live another day, I can honestly look back and say, I have made an impact. Sometimes, probably not the perfect impact. In fact, I can look back and see some dreadful mistakes or poor choices I have made. There were times that I was impatient or ungrateful. I have complained or worried instead of trusted in God Almighty! It is so good to reflect because I can learn from the past. Reflections can be beautiful such as this photo taken on one of my mini trips to the desert to visit Grandma Metta and Grandpa Terry. It is one of the most serene places that I frequent. It is one of my favorite places to go. Desert Hot Springs is definitely just that; hot. And yet, it’s hot springs are crystal clear with calming pools and spas that bring relaxation and a calm. It’s a place that forces me to meditate and reflect. Reflection can sometimes bring a shadow of regret or shame. If that happens, it is important to shut down those thoughts through prayer and a grateful heart. Prayer to ask God to renew my spirit and gratefulness that I have been brought through and out of some dreary times. The most important reflections we can make though, are in the Words of God himself. His Word is truth. Many that have gone before us have paved the way and been recorded, whether by mistakes, or good deeds. It is wonderful to learn from this record called the Bible. I am forever grateful for this reflection, for if it wasn’t for this book, I would be lost in this life. I would have no hope. I am thankful for the hope of the Lord.
This is a painting my Dad did while in a college art class. He is obviously very talented. And in more ways than one. He has that art brain and is incredibly creative. It comes out in so many ways. What is special, is that his children and grandchildren have some of that artsy creativity. My older brother has crazy painting skills through oil, acrylic, airbrushing, and then there’s photography. I remember my Dad, when we were kids, got a video camera. Those things were massive back in the 80’s. He really took to that thing to create some memories. He has the side of him that appreciates life and all it has to offer. He becomes devoted to a hobby. I believe that is part of the creative side of him that he imparted onto his children. My younger brother is amazingly talented as well. From canvas paintings to landscaping, even pottery and mini gardens in planters. There is actually too much to list in his case. Then there is my sis and I. Candie is creative in ways that express her love and compassion to others. She doesn’t have an art talent that I know of or that she has developed, but she knows how to bring joy and delight to family and friends through her cooking, sweet notes and creative ideas. She takes a lot after my Mom who is wonderful in this area! My Mom and I have a lot in common too. Give us a bulletin board and we will bring a theme to life straight from the heart with the learner in mind. Give us a classroom full of students and a scope and sequence of what they will learn and we can use the kids artwork and literature assignments, or whatever, to make a beautiful book to send home at the end of the year. I have been blessed in so many ways through my parents and their talents. What is more special than just their gifts alone, is how they use their talents. They have chosen to use their gifts for God. He is their motivation for life and all that they do. I think that is what we have been blessed with more than anything else.
Since the title of my new blog is “Lifescape Sweet,” what better way to open than with a little talk about the sweetness of life and all its beauty! Although life is not always bloomed roses and often feels as if you are a “bloomed out rose,” life is actually something of a million buds waiting to blossom. Yes, there is an end to that beautiful blossom, but when pruned, there is always a new blossom on its way. With some patience, love and care, there is nothing but beauty awaiting the eye of the beholder. For a time, the thrill and fragrance of that perfectly created rose, is there to enjoy and revel over, in
its remarkable qualities. We have seasons in our lives where we feel full of love, and maybe more joy than at other times in our lives. But, then there is the dry, bleak moments in our lives when we feel squelched of all we have put into our souls and spirit. But that is okay, because we can always have peace that with patience and persistence, not of ourselves, only through the strength pulled from God and His grace, a new day is dawning and joy unspeakable remains. The beauty of a rose…so sweet.