Tag Archives: faith

To sparkle


I drink in the beauty long delayed and so welcomed. No matter the time of day, these lily-like flowers enchant. Life locked in bulbs with a mysterious time clock – leaf, bloom, rest – go round the seasons.


I’m honored that my minor contributions to their wellbeing allow the cycle to continue and they flourish. The name Amaryllis means “to sparkle”.


Outside, the same clock of life ticks. Green leaves push hard through frozen ground, leaf litter, snow and ice.


And morning surprises with snowdrops seeded into lawn and weed patch – nature’s seed time and harvest continues.  In the gentle rhythm of seasons, the light of life can shine deeply into dark and hidden places. In prepared soil or hostile environment, in tender care or neglect, snowdrops grow and bloom.

I’m observing lessons of both hope and warning to consider what is growing in the soil of my life and heart. Today, I choose hope for myself – to see in these blooms a willingness to embrace life, the new thing springing forth even in what seems to be wilderness. Choosing life, growing in obedience to Creator God, persevering as from a seed growing through harshness of soil, sometimes bitter cold, flood or drought and even life’s mowing seasons and on to maturity, bringing forth beauty to delight the soul of another whether or not they understand my name or words or calling. Perhaps then I would sparkle too.


Growing Oak Trees

I found this poem to share. It is a wonderful metaphor for the life of faith, I think. Scripture calls us to yield and to become “oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord” – Isaiah 61

Can you see your life in these lines?


 The Acorn

In a small green cup an acorn grew

                On a tall and stately oak;

The spreading leaves the secret knew,

                And hid it like a cloak.

The breezes rocked it tenderly,

                The sunbeams whispered low,

“Some day the smallest acorn here

                Will make an oak, you know.”

The little acorn heard it all,

                And thought it quite a joke;

How could he dream an acorn small

                Would ever be an oak?

He laughed so much that presently

                He tumbled from his cup,

And rolled a long way from the tree,

                Where no one picked him up.

Close by him was a rabbit hole,

                And when the wind blew high,

Down went the acorn with a roll

                For weeks in gloom to lie.

But, one bright day, a shoot of green

                Broke from his body dry,

And pushed its way with longing keen

                To see the glorious sky.

It grew and grew, with all its might,

                As weeks and months rolled on;

The sunbeam’s words were proving right.

                For, ere a year had gone,

The shoot became a sturdy plant,

                While now the country folk

Can sit beneath the spreading leaves

                Of a mighty forest oak.


Reflections – true or false?


Sometimes, it seems that I get very out-of-focused in reflection.

And everything turns topsy turvy.

There is only one way for me to right my mental world:

 Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.

The Voice Biblereflection 2

Filling my mind with beauty all around. What beauty have you found today?

Beautiful Sunday

Maple leaves

For the beauty of the earth,

     For the beauty of the skies,

For the Love which from our birth

   Over and around us lies:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise

     This our Sacrifice of Praise.

                                                                    Folliott S. Pierpoint

Cloudy with a hope of change

Last night’s storm left a slow-to-lift cloud cover. Waiting in traffic, I watched it hovering behind the communication and power lines that cross here. I thought about how sometimes mental or emotional dark clouds seem to hang like a backdrop for life and communication.


As I drove on, I remembered that as a child, stories and poetry gave me the impression of softness and comfort in clouds and then how shocked I had been on my first plane ride through clouds to find them anything but! Turbulence is hidden within.


Those are not cotton balls! Unseen turbulence swirls in all the beauty. Unseen turbulence swirls on earth these days too. It is unsettling to say the least. For your life, I pray that the storms pass and you will see the earth is refreshed, the air is cleared, and a beautiful day awaits you.Clouds


Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Bonnie's book

I’ve been reading Bonnie Gray’s blog, Faith Barista, for a few years now. It was in her writings that I learned about “whitespace”; not an empty, mindless place but rather a set apart, intentional space to let my soul breathe and to nurture it in ways that are unique to me.

I could relate to Bonnie as she wrote of taking time in coffee shops or walking or even just sitting out of doors. Time to rest, to wait, to be inspired, to write. I knew this was a need in my life and with the encouragement of her words I began to be more intentional to experience this rest. I began to take my camera with me and make space in my life to see, sometimes being wonderfully surprised by what the lens would capture.

As time went on, Bonnie began to write this book and to deal with the additional trauma of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disease.  Some of us have very broken places in our lives. We cover them well, for a time. As Bonnie is healing, she finished writing this book that not only shares her story but encourages me to took into living my own better story now by learning to care for my soul, to let it heal and to grow.

I could have just quickly read through the book and put it up on a shelf, but I’m committed to this journey with Bonnie. A journey to find healing and more rest for my soul.  Each chapter ends with three things: first, a thoughtful place to “Pull up a Chair” and uncover pieces of my story and to journal, for as for Bonnie says, “words are more than ink on paper. They are the soul prints of God’s voice – carrying the unique timber of heaven-on-earth that only you can speak.” Then there are Whitespace prompts – think-about-its that challenge me, make me squirm about or get up restlessly and go dig in the garden or pull weeds or sleep and dream till the answers come, and a pause for rest comes in this journey to awaken my heart to be fully alive to God – where I can – just. be. me. Then the last thing that Bonnie suggests are conversation starters. Needful, ’cause Jesus and I haven’t talked much about many of these things.

One of the things that still holds my attention was the answer I realized to a question posed in chapter 2 – “What realities have I accepted living with for decades that have become immovable parts of my identity?” No, I’m not going to tell here. But perhaps it is a question you might like to consider for your own life?

Thanks for reading about this journey I am taking; if your soul might need breathing space, some rest or healing, come along! Here are links for more encouragement:

Again, Bonnie writes at http://www.faithbarista.com/  Her book is available here. A blog tour to read how others are experiencing  “Awakening your soul to rest” can be found though the blog tour button on the right.

And May Came!

April seemed determined to linger on and on. She seemed sullen this year. Finally, on a clear day, the cleanup from February’s gift of ice was done and the overwhelming piles of broken limbs and down trees were gone. In the last moments of that very long day we had to decide where to dispose of the last of the pine logs. The crazy result is our new rustic bench.

benchYou can’t tell from the photo, but it has been carefully placed among viburnum and dogwood to the back and sides. Ferns grow near and groundcover will fill in. In time, it will just be part of the growing forest floor. For added charm, I found another chunk of pine log for a plant table. I will post another photo when the “room” is more decorated!

I was sad that the tree, which already had considerable size over 40 years ago, was so damaged in the storm. But as I have found through the years, once removed, it is hard to really remember a tree for so much new fills the eye. The young dogwoods are just coming into bloom now and will become that new and different focal point on the hillside.


April did bring fresh greens and early wonder-full bloom. Bluebells, Bleeding hearts, Violets, Trollius and Vincas followed Jonquils and Lenten Roses.

April bloom

And then, an almost spiteful ending came with pounding, relentless rain drowning the grounds and roads. After days and nights of storm, it was such a relief to change the calendar page on a sunny day and enjoy the beauty of lingering raindrops on growing leavesraindropsThe afternoon was spent keeping appointments. Then clouds came again and rain poured through sunlight. We were driving home, rounded a corner, came out of the woods and were startled by the beauty so poorly captured by camera. rainbowRainbows! In them I see all the promises of compassion – grace and mercy – for the storms of life. I love them! Have you seen a rainbow lately?

The Roses of Lent

“Delectable”, “luscious” are used to describe Lenten Roses in Seeing Flowers by Teri Dunn Chace with photography by Robert Llewellyn. Exquisitely complex comes to me.

first signs

Nourished in shade and deep composting tree litter, they are shy blooms rarely lifting their heads to gaze back at you. rose colonyTo see their beauty requires determination and the humility to bend low or even kneel in the woodsy damp round them. lenten rose bloomI’m sitting in the coffee shop surrounded by human bloomings and thinking about the passing of time and people and how difficult it can be to see the exquisite beauty of each person. How difficult it can be to lift my own head to look into the eyes of others. In the Book of Malachi, these lovely words are found, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;” Lenten roses in morning sun

I think about how hard it can be to lift my face to the Sun of righteousness Who has healing in His wings so that I might then serve others with humility.

The journey is a grand adventure, The reward to see exquisitely complex beauty is before me.

Do you find it easy to find the amazing beauty in others? I know I have often walked by without even noticing.