Monday, August 27, 2012

Times for Silence


There have been designated times, fought-for times, times set apart for silence and listening.  And there are times when stillness is required.  Mine has been the later, and it was not a joyous time. But, out of it comes new perspective and new understanding, and for that, this heart is grateful.

Ps 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Ps 46:11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Run to You


When I am hit unawares and comfort is so needed,

I run to You, even as a little child,

seeking Your radiance and Your refreshment and Your consolation

when no one else’s will do.

I lay in the bosom of Your peace and rest there,

knowing I can linger

and wanting to.

I am ever-grateful for Your presence and Your touch of comfort.

May I always remember where You are found.


Matt. 19:14-  But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2012



The air has cooled,

refreshment has come in the night storm

and I am reminded of Sparrow.

Diligent in work,

yet taking time for refreshment,

only dipping briefly at water’s edge

with a moment to dry,

then work quickly resumed.

There will be time for leisurely immersing,

but for now, work waits.

1 Cor. 15:58-  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lady’s Mantle


The Lady’s Mantle in the garden is in full bloom and  laden with fresh dew.  It sparkles with an almost iridescent glow.  I am intrigued by the name as the implication is function, even responsibility bestowed. Strong’s  reference in the Greek says this: something thrown around one, i.e. a mantle, veil:--covering, vesture. May our mantle of commission hold beauty and refreshing as sweet as this garden imagery.

Monday, May 7, 2012



The fog is hovering over the fish in our pond like a soft, wet blanket of cover, and they are unhindered in movement.  It is a picture of their natural state, often unseen when they have detected my presence in the garden.  Their pond is fashioned in sections, and a water barrel filters and pours into a middle pond, where most of them reside.  Its gentle flow spills over a waterway into a deeper third section, divided by a stone bridge.  Some small fry have been found there and my assumption is that freshly laid eggs have tumbled  through the waterway, finding shelter under the reticulating pump cover.  There is safety there from the danger of predators, as the pond is host to toads, peepers, untold numbers of birds and an occasional water snake.  These little fishes are allowed to grow in safety.

I am reminded of the parable of seed sown.  Wheat can grow among tares, as small fry can grow even in the presence of predators.  (Matt. 13:36-43)

Another picture is unfolding even now in the fog, of protected growth.  A bulb, long forgotten, presented new growth and a stalk rising up toward windows light in a dark basement, found on a day of storms when spring warmth had given way to returned cold.  Bulb became flower in an unlikely display of beauty, protected, thriving in a place not conducive to growth to bring encouragement, even on the darkest of days.

I am reminded of a Son petitioning a Father, even for brothers and sisters that live in the world but are not of it, that they might be protected, as I look upon  flora and fish. (Jn. 17:15)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Second Glance

I once heard someone say it is good to clear the “endolphins” in our brain with a walk. I laughed, but quickly realized that is about as much as I, too, know about the scientific aspect of perception.  I do know, from personal experience, that I can “see” and “perceive” differently when my head is in fresh air and I am displaced from the distractions of the norm by a hike. Creation holds my eye in a new and different way. Imagery is a way to convey that new way of seeing to others.


This day I see a cleft in the rock, bathed in dappled light that presents itself, and I move in to take a closer look . Has the opening been a lair for one unseen? I look for signs of leaves disturbed, but see only rock.


Blue, a color sweet to me, is highlighting that rock. It draws me and my gaze becomes fixed on form, shadow and shape, and I “see” anew.


Almost as with a sonogram, I see a form and I am reminded of One- So-Small, a baby bird. My eyes adjust and I see it tucked into a place of safety and rest, in the cleft of the Rock.


Beauty and reminders can be combined in Creation to delight and encourage. A second glance showed me that again this day.

Ex 33:22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
Ex 33:23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen


In the season of new beginnings

He is risen,

a marker of promise

made visible

in reminders of new life.

Where there appeared to be death,

barren trees now flower

and brown grasses grow green.

Hope rises in our hearts

as we see life

and remember Life given.

He is risen!


1 Cor. 15:20- But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Strength of Order


Result of search for "order":

631 'acar aw-sar' a primitive root; to yoke or hitch; by analogy, to fasten in any sense, to join battle:--bind, fast, gird, harness, hold, keep, make ready, order, prepare, prison(-er), put in bonds, set in array, tie.


Tiny droplets, an almost Pearl-like stringed beauty that speaks of order…the kind that fastens and holds in place, exquisite in symmetry and balance, rain-soaked, glistening, holding onto Vine. Symbiotic strength is in the joining.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm…

Song of Songs 8:6a

Monday, February 20, 2012


Birds know.

I watch from my own perch behind window's sash

as they feed steadily

in preparation for the coming snow.

They feed, I watch, and morning's peace is sweet.

Suddenly there is a quick flurry, an exodus that erases the scene.

Not one Little One is left behind,

and my senses are alerted to movement in the underbrush.

He has flown in silent,

still and waiting.

He hunts alone

with patience and cunning.

The bird books say he frequents feeders for easy prey.

Moments pass like hours until another Little One,


flies into what has been a safe haven and familiar surroundings,

until this day.

I have seen a reminder.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking shom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowin that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Pet. 5:8-11

Tuesday, February 7, 2012



Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.                                                                        Heb. 11:1



the belief in things unseen.

What is not clear is no less there…

fields resplendent with grasses, flowers and that which abides within.

Perspective skewed, vantage point obscuring what is sure;

do we believe any less because of it?

Does it change our heart?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


from htc 054

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know, just as I also am known.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.

1 Cor. 13:12,13 NKJ

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Forward Movement


Imagery can convey a statement.  This picture speaks to me of a mode of movement that is not acceptable or safe under given conditions, posted not as a restriction, rather a protection.  It is indicative of law, established that safety might abound.  Moving forward is not the restriction, rather the mode of movement. 

To move in Kingdom fashion often requires a certain mode of forward movement, not restricting, rather affording safety in the choosing.  The choice may be unfamiliar, even distasteful in the moment, but the promise is protection, that forward movement might continue. Our choice and opportunity is to seek a possibility for a new and different way for forward movement to be established. Joy may be found in the discovery that new movement may be even more to our liking, once the decision and adjustments are made.

Ps 119:35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Ps 119:36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Ps 119:37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Ps 119:38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Ps 119:39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
Ps 119:40 How I long for your precepts!
Preserve my life in your righteousness.

Sunday, December 25, 2011



Lk 2:10 But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people.
Lk 2:11 For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! [Mic. 5:2]
Lk 2:12 And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [ after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. [1 Sam. 2:34; 2 Kings 19:29; Isa. 7:14]
Lk 2:13 Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven ( a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying,
Lk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [ men of goodwill, of His favor].

Monday, December 5, 2011



My impressions are often visual. I see juxtapositions, color and shapes. Can you see them? There are some things often not observed at first glance. Seeing is often the first step to a deeper understanding, a “knowing” that becomes experiential through practiced observance. What you see in this photograph is not my emphasis, rather the second glance it can afford. The Word is much the same, giving us opportunity to take a second look, a third and forth, even a lifetime of looking more closely. And, as with a photo, we can discover much.

Pr 6:23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light,
and the corrections of discipline are the way to life…

Tuesday, November 29, 2011



Wind blows and seed is dispersed, falling where it will. Years pass, as water moistens, soil nurtures, and growth culminates in a mighty presence standing on forest’s floor. A seedling transformed into One- So-Mighty…shall we settle for less? Is our growth so visible, so splendid? Can we feel the strength of height of stature and know our roots have grown deep? Can we now see beyond what surrounds us, looking futher? May it be our intent and privilege to imitate this magnificent growth, made visible that we might see it’s Beauty, and long for it to be our own.

Ps 1:3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].

Thursday, November 3, 2011



My sister is a shepherdess. She tends a small flock on land she forged with her own hands. She is tenacious and passion-driven about her sheep. She loves them and they love her, giving back to her in wool. She labors to clean, card, color, and spin all the soil and hay-encrusted wool that she is given. The result is objects of beauty and utility that are knitted and crocheted, beautiful things from those that are beautiful to her heart. She intertwines the threads of her life with their woolen threads and gives substance and new life to what has been something else, even ordinary to see as their wool is removed and stored in a bag, then spun and fashioned by her hand, that something extraordinary might come forth. Her example to me is extraordinary, and I am thankful for the reminders that her life of working quietly with her hands brings to my heart.

IMG_0189 IMAG0257

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Recorded impressions

of One So Beautiful

speak of wonder


cause me to wonder.

I think of sight


perspective changed

even in the ascension,

after metamorphosis occurs

and new vistas are revealed.

Wonder is realized again

in my heart,

and surely in One So Beautiful taking flight.

Like words hummed for so long,

there must be a sense in each of us,

"I was blind, now I see".

Jn. 9:25

Friday, October 7, 2011

In the Garden

I come to the garden alone,

while the dew is still on the roses;

and the voice I hear,

falling on my ear,

the Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me,

and He talks with me

and He tells me I am His own;

and the joy we share,

as we tarry there,

none other has ever known.

C. Austin Miles

copyright 1912

Monday, September 26, 2011

That Which is Hidden

In a crevice of the pond

there is movement, ever so slight.

It alerts my senses

to something hidden,

only partially seen.

It takes a moment to realize what I am seeing,

and in that moment

I stop, breath stops, heart stops.

Fear is quick to come, slow to leave, and often irrational.

I smile now realizing

it is not Snake,

the movement is Frog's.

He has come unawares, preferring a solitary existance,

hidden in the darkness of pond's crevice.

The alert came through my senses,

as spiritual symbols often do.

There is a message...

be alert to that which is hidden in darkness.

There is another message...

a reminder of words,

hidden in my heart.

Precepts taught, declared, and lived.

Your words hidden there,

then declared,

that darkness cannot hide

even in their remembrance.

How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought you; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Psm. 119:9-11

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beautiful Reminder

Three birds on a wire,
synchronized in stillness, overseeing,
Have you come that I might know peace as well,
in a backdrop of beauty and symbol?
My gaze is fixed.

And then in a soft flutter, there is one.
Are you forsaken?
Only for a moment,
soon to be united again with your Companions,
even for eternity.
It is my promise too, made visable
and available by
One Who is worthy,
One who will never leave or forsake
because He has endured being forsaken,
but only for a moment in time.

And so you float down among the flock,
Little Ones who gather seed,
until fullness of time has come,
Beautiful Reminder.

Planted Ones

Obscured vision
becomes clearer
as fog dissapates,
and tree forms are revealed.
I can see vibrant life
held within the beauty
of their leaves
and I remember
sweet words, spoken of Planted Ones.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its root by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of the drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Jer. 17:7,8

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Test is in the Tarry

The hope of every season is tested in the tarry of its wait.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Hab. 2:3

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Garden’s Other World


Clouds withhold rain

and swell blue-black, as thunder moans deep.

We thirst, but quenching does not come.


Then morning's light reveals the rain soaked petals

of grape anemones. Their leaves resemble those of grape's vine,

but soft flowers bloom in place of wine bearing fruit.

They are a sign

of summer's heat slowly cooling.

Morning's misty fog enshrouds my view,

so I point my camera to look deep within garden's other world.

Tiny Creature clings to the flower that holds his sustenance

and I am transfixed, looking into micro eyes, upside down.

Water's droplets hang as draped diamonds,

suspended against a blued background.

Above, Indigo Bunting's flight marks his last visit of the season,

his first always in the early spring,

and I wonder where he nests in the interim.

This last sighting of blurred blue is a mark in time,

as are the young hummers diving, practicing, preparing

for flight to come.

Fall colors will grace this garden in days soon to come

and I wait

with heart bittersweet,

already missing the refreshing of this season,

yet expectant for the one to come.

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Is. 58:11

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Season of Bees

I have been stung six times this season, maybe seven. It has caused me to think much about bees, about their work, and about their meaning. I have a neice named "Deborah", so I know the name to mean "bee", likened to a diligent worker. I have laughed that there are an army of Deborahs in my garden this year! I have been the interupter, getting in the way of their work with my camera and with my gardening. They have just been doing the work of bees, industriously going about the tasks at hand. Strong's Concordance says that bees "move in the sense of orderly motion with systematic instincts". It is how they are made, and what they are created to do, combating anything that would hinder their work. This year, I have been the one to stand in their way and they came against me, effectively stopping my intrusion with a very tiny but effective weapon...a venemous stinger. I have read they die afterward. They are willing to give their very life for what they are created to do. Not many of us could say that. Pondering all these things has made me know we have much to learn from these tiny creatures, who are steadfast workers, and fearless and mighty warriors.

Judges 5:1-3

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nameless One

The day was warm

but Nameless One was bundled

in heavy, soiled clothing.

He read intently, not noticing my camera

and I felt like and intruder pointing it his way,

but there was something I knew my heart needed to remember

from the unsolicted moment.

I wondered if he sought escape

from the world he had come to know,

or if the words he read were the very thing

that helped him feel connected to it.

I wondered what had led him there,

and if there had once been days of

intently reading his paper

with coffee in hand

and family all around.

My heart was crying

and I wanted to ask him

if he'd like a coffee now,

but the car was already speeding away

and he moved out of my vision

as quickly as he had come into it.

I think of him now

and the many he represents

with a prayer.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In My Father’s Garden



In my Father’s garden

there is a tree

whose branches now bow low,

soon to become sweet harvest

made bountiful by my Brother’s hand.

His eye knew what was not seen by others.

His pruning and grafting have afforded

increase and beauty.

My gaze is held in wonder

as prolific blossoms

have now multiplied,

a bountiful and sweeter harvest to be had.

My Brother has made a way,

and the fruits of His labor will be seen.


 Ro 11:17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
Ro 11:18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
Ro 11:19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Ro 11:20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. Ro 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Ro 11:22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. Ro 11:23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. Ro 11:24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Secret Place


I happened upon verdant green moss-covered steps leading to a clearing, surrounded by rhododendron in full bloom on my walk. The canopied ground displayed as white carpet, blanketed by fallen flowers. There was the faintest scent of sweetness, even in the rain. The second flush of rhodos bloom pale pink and looked almost pristine white against the composted soil. When I was a little girl, I sought out places just as this, secret places of which no one knew. I sought solace then, and seek it even today. It is in those secret places my heart becomes settled once again. It is where He walks with me. I hope for you this day such a place to hear His heart.

O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. SS 2:14

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Light Piercing Darkness


There is no imagery to accurately depict what was seen… night sky that gave way to elusive illumination.  Lightening bugs and heat lightening in tandem display that  commanded remembrance of promise from long ago,

“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” Rev. 1:7

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Severe Pruning


Morning light drew me, and soon I was severely pruning and amending soil at rose beds edge.  I thought of sheep and their nakedness at shearing time.  My roses look no less naked this day, after the clippers found their way into my hands. My heart dislikes this gardening chore, as I am sure shearers dislike theirs. It is hard to see beloved plants and animals suddenly made unlovely.  And yet, my heart knows it affords increased growth, and health, and beauty. It affords an increase in harvest for my roses that would not be there otherwise.  I think upon things that have been pruned in my life, sometimes as severely as roses and sheep, and like them, I know that I am better for it.  Thank You Tender Shepherd, Master Gardener, Abba Father.

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.   Jn. 15:2

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

When a Door Closes…


Tears were still flowing, as our grandson’s visit ended all too quickly. I glanced out our kitchen window and saw the bluebirds. The creepy crawlies and nastiness of their old nest was removed after the first fledge, so mama and papa are starting again from scratch. The added joy is that this time the first fledglings are in tow, waiting on close-by branches and even on top of the nesting box to be fed as their parents address the added responsibility of the work of building, again. It is the forth clutch in two years, two per year, in the same box. I like that they like it.

God knew I was feeling a little sad and at loose ends when the house suddenly got still and quiet. It’s not that there isn’t plenty to do in the way of catch-up, but the joy of nurture is a different thing. I enjoy it most of all when our grandson is here and with home and family, but also when I am growing things in the garden and watching things grow, like our bluebirds. I am blessed to have those things around me, and I thank God everyday for them. After a lifetime of thinking much else matters in the world around me, I’ve come to realize these are the things that matter most. It is where God speaks to my heart, and lessons come, and where I get stretched and where I learn. It is God’s classroom, and though I didn’t so much love school when I was younger, I look forward to it now, every day.

I think of the saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window”. Certainly the door is not permanently shut, only for this visit with the Apple-of-Our-Eye, but until the next one I can look out my kitchen window. God has made a way for me to see what soothes my heart in the absence of my grandson. And when he comes again, maybe there will be little blue babies for him to enjoy. And most definitely there will be lessons for him too, in this little blue schoolhouse and the gardens that surround it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Urgent Call

P1011331 P1011292

A storm was forming in the west after a beautiful day of sunshine, and we watched to see how it might affect the activity of the bluebirds. We knew it to be close to fledging time, and there were new behaviors by both parents this day. While each were bringing increased amounts of food to the birdhouse just outside our kitchen window, the father had begun to issue an urgent call. He brought spiders, grasshoppers and grubs, but withheld them, hovering close to the opening, as if to say, “If you want it, you’ll have to be brave and come out to get it.” We saw little baby bird faces peek out. The female seemed to come less, though she still brought her catch, and delivered it to hungry and open mouths. We never heard a call from her. This went on for much of the afternoon, before the storm started to stir, and when it did, my mother’s heart wondered if it was a good day to fledge after all? There was not only a storm coming, but a black raven sitting on a light pole, just beyond the birdhouse. He looked very big and very black.

God uses my yard and the habitat around us to teach me much. The babies didn’t fledge yesterday, and they still haven’t. They heard the call, and they responded by coming to attention and peering out, however briefly. It was like a ‘dry run’ of sorts, and their little heads were tentative at first, growing more curious and coming out a little further each time. It was a time of acclimation to something that was clearly very new and different from their newborn surroundings. Today, they are peeking out, even without being called, though there have been periodic increased and more urgent calls from the father throughout the day. A change, while clearly challenging and maybe a little scary, is now being anticipated and prepared for by these immature and not-yet-very-beautiful little birds. They look unsure and gawky. I’ve watched that birdhouse most of the day, and there is lots of activity within. I can’t help wonder what they feel. I have known feelings of newness and anticipated change and my response may not have been so very different from theirs. Anxiousness and excitement have kissed in those times, and I’ve felt immature, unsure and gawky. I don’t think our responses are so very different. Often those feelings have come to me, even before a storm, when only gray clouds are visible and there is no silver lining in sight, but a call has been issued from my Father, and even if I am initially tentative, He gives me courage to somehow heed. And when He has issued the call, and I have heeded, then, in His perfect timing, practicing through the ‘dry runs’ and growing in confidence, however awkwardly, I can take flight. It is His plan and design. And, I believe today, the timing may be right for them as well, that they might take flight. Another storm is on looming, but my heart soars in knowing that just as there is a design and season for my flight, there is one for these little ones as well. They will finally heed their father’s voice, and they will soar. It is His design to know the voice of a father.

Ecc 3:1 TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:
Ecc 3:2 A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, [Heb. 9:27]
Ecc 3:3 A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,
Ecc 3:4 A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
Ecc 3:5 A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
Ecc 3:6 A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,
Ecc 3:7 A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak, [Amos 5:13]
Ecc 3:8 A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. [Luke 14:26]

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Landscape of My Thoughts


The landscape of my thoughts

is like a roadmap

and I ponder the path,

strewn with old and new.

And like packing my backpack,

I must decide

what is necessary

and needed.

You listen, as I think out loud,

and order begins to take shape.

I must remember the gravity

of the choices I make.

I know, as with backpacking,

They could mean life or death.


Pr 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. [Matt. 12:37]

Friday, May 6, 2011



I tried to lower the net very slowly. Fish are very skittish after a long winter of stillness at the bottom of our pond, and they needed to be dispersed among the other ponds, now that winter was past. The count still not known, I am anxious to see how many have survived this year.

They began as fourteen. The conversation with the pet shop boy made sense to my noviceness, “Try feeder fish. That’ll let you know if you are going to have problems with cats or raccoons, and it won’t cost you like koi”. That sounded wise and do-able. A dozen feeder fish were only $1.89, and one small koi was $8.95 at Wally World, which I hesitate to write after seeing the threads about what is clearly considered a sacrilege- buying koi (or anything) from Walmart. I started laughing and quit reading after “Dude, you’ve got issues! Let it die!”

Those tiny little fish, all fourteen of them, less than an inch and a half long, thrived that first summer. We never had a single floater. I would have thought we might end up with one or two survivors, IF we were lucky. And they not only survived, they got big! My children caught fish smaller than they are when they were little. And while maybe I did feed them like a nurturing surrogate mother, they also had the benefit of our pond having been established a couple of years earlier, teaming with aquatic life. They thrived.

When fall came, my mother’s heart worried about so many things concerning those fourteen now not-so-little fish. The depth of the pond was crucial for survival, and while we have three ponds (a story for another day), only one is the necessary depth. We live in the mountains of North Carolina, and it is common for that deck pond to stay frozen most of the winter. It’s also above ground. The good news is that the motor on its bubbler is a workhorse, and it has historically plugged right along through many winters. The bad news is, now I was worried this would be the year it would finally die. But if it did its job, I was a little reassured in thinking they could go deep and still have oxygen. But, there were fourteen of them…too many to house together? The pet store said ‘yes’, but I didn’t have a tank big enough to bring them in, winter was practically upon us, and so it literally became a sink or swim situation!  P1016568

That winter was one for the books. We had an ice storm like no other. It set records. Damage was severe everywhere. The Blue Ridge Parkway made the news and tourists fretted about their summer trips. In our yard alone, old pines lay on power lines and emergency crews battled high winds and frigid temperatures to prevent those big guys from puncturing our windows and roof. Their branches lay over the pond, and my heart sank again, first in seeing the devastation, then in worrying about what I couldn’t see under the ice. It seemed the jarring alone could have been like an earthquake effect to those little guys, and I found myself wondering if fish could go deaf, or have brain damage that might cause them to swim in circles, if they lived through it at all. I thought of fish-ciles , little skewered fish like you’d see on the barbeque, and of course I had visions of spring thaw and lifeless bodies rolled around in my head, too. These were my babies, practically raised from fry, and I wanted them to swim again…in a straight line, not in circles!

When spring finally came, after holding my breath all winter, I saw signs of life. There were flashes of color around pieces of floating ice, and I smiled all that day. There weren’t frozen fish-cicles in the ice, and there weren’t any floaters! AND, miracle of miracles, there were eighteen fish, at least that I could count. We had grown fish, and we didn’t even know!

This past winter was only slightly kinder. We didn’t have felled trees, but the freeze conditions were harsh and I wondered how the fish fared with a little less worry, assured that we have a strain of pretty resilient fish. This year they are twenty-seven strong. That is the miracle of multiplication. If conditions are in order, many prayers are prayed, and hope is in place, it can happen. It is a lesson for this hour. While conditions may be foreboding, multiplication, even miracles, can happen. And like the sage advice of the internet thread guy, we need to realize we have issues that are based on what our eyes see, or our hearts anticipate. And as he so wisely counseled, we need to “let them die, dude!”.

The memory of all this came as I read this morning, knowing afterward I needed to turn on the news to see the outcome of Osama Bin Laden having been shot, to see the devastation still faced by Japan and Alabama. Something of not looking at circumstances, rather to God has been prefaced. I smiled now, as I did when Prince William and Kate married, an encouragement, in the midst of storms.

Hab 3:17 Though the fig tree does not bud

and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails

and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen

and no cattle in the stalls,

Hab 3:18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Hab 3:19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;

he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011



I am tucked in, enjoying the garden view from my kitchen window today. My throat is raspy with a spring cold and storms are continuing to move cross country toward the South, making the ground way too wet to work outside even if I felt up to it. It’s a good day for planning projects for when the sun dries the earth and the winds and rain have passed. It’s also a day to watch and see how the birds respond to the turbulent weather. I love watching their antics, and today’s blackened sky and heavy rains haven’t interrupted their routine. Song fills the air, as they diligently go about the work of courtship and building for spring’s first clutch. The bluebirds are back, and my heart is elated that they are settling into the same box they raised their little ones in last year. The hummers are doing their “swooping dance”, I think to establish their territory and place around the feeders. Towhees and Thrashers and Doves have come in pairs, as have Cardinals and Nuthatches. The Jays and Robins seem to still be in family groups, though we have both nest in nearby Pines in past years.

I rationalized that I needed to rest today, allowing me to do some of the still work of gardening, laying out color and plant position plans for spring, but I realize it’s a good excuse to sit a watch my little friends. We have had both Crows and Ravens this Spring, as we do most years, but this year I have watched them closely, learning their distinguishing features. They are from the same family, and at a glance, it is easy to mistake one for the other. In pondering that, I have thought of the need to discern things that look similar that are not always so. In this day when things look the same, but are so not the same, sometimes a lesson in discerning the distinctions in our feathered friends can be a good training ground for looking more closely and discerning the not-so-obvious. At first glance our eyes can be fooled, and assumption can lull us into thinking we know what we really don’t. There are subtle differences in Raven and Crow, and unless they are side by side for the comparison, it is easy to confuse them. I am smiling as I realize I don’t have to rationalize not “working” today. The necessary lesson and work of discernment is there to be learned, and there is joy in the way that it has come. Thank You, Abba Father.

Ps 119:130 The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.

Ps 119:131 I opened my mouth and panted [with eager desire], for I longed for Your commandments.

Ps 119:132 Look upon me, be merciful unto me, and show me favor, as is Your way to those who love Your name.

Ps 119:133 Establish my steps and direct them by [means of] Your word; let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

Ps 119:134 Deliver me from the oppression of man; so will I keep Your precepts [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]. [Luke 1:74]

Ps 119:135 Make Your face shine [with pleasure] upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes. [Ps. 4:6]

Ps 119:136 Streams of water run down my eyes, because men do not keep Your law [they hear it not, nor receive it, love it, or obey it].

Ps 119:137 [Rigidly] righteous are You, O Lord, and upright are Your judgments and all expressions of Your will.

Ps 119:138 You have commanded and appointed Your testimonies in righteousness and in great faithfulness.

Ps 119:139 My zeal has consumed me and cut me off, because my adversaries have forgotten Your words.

Ps 119:140 Your word is very pure (tried and well refined); therefore Your servant loves it.

Ps 119:141 I am small (insignificant) and despised, but I do not forget Your precepts.

Ps 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth. [Ps. 19:9; John 17:17]

Ps 119:143 Trouble and anguish have found and taken hold on me, yet Your commandments are my delight.

Ps 119:144 Your righteous testimonies are everlasting and Your decrees are binding to eternity; give me understanding and I shall live [give me discernment and comprehension and I shall not die].

Ps 119:145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord; I will keep Your statutes [I will hear, receive, love, and obey them].

Ps 119:146 I cried to You; save me, that I may keep Your testimonies [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them].

Ps 119:147 I anticipated the dawning of the morning and cried [in childlike prayer]; I hoped in Your word.

Ps 119:148 My eyes anticipate the night watches and I am awake before the cry of the watchman, that I may meditate on Your word.

Ps 119:149 Hear my voice according to Your steadfast love; O Lord, quicken me and give me life according to Your [righteous] decrees. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Way of the Cross


A storm is rumbling behind the greens of spring and the cherry blossoms floating down in the increasing wind have an almost  fairytale quality about them. This is a picture of the juxtaposition I see often around me these days, splendor and storms. The light, cast by the blue-black clouds, cause an even more beautiful color to be seen on the garden’s Tulips and Forget-Me-Nots. On this day after Easter, I think of the hope of spring and the storm of the reality of the Cross, side by side, ultimately the Guarantee of Eternal Hope. While I don’t always understand the pairing, I am learning to look for and to embrace The Way of the Cross.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Change Continues

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Sun is shining,

snow is swirling,

and temperatures are changing,

as is the season.

Emerged Beauty in light reflected

is almost missed,

catching breath

and warming this heart.

Moment by moment change continues

and adjustments are made in newness seen and felt.

Lens and skin know

what words cannot express.

Birds and butterfly take cover

and winds increase…

a roller coaster day, even season

and I smile, holding on for the ride.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beauty and Splendor Kiss

Morning light shines even more brightly

as white blankets

and jonquil's beauty and snow's splendor kiss.

It is a time of unsolicited cover

and yet the gift is felt and seen

in the moment that will soon fade,

leaving only a smile of remembrance

of the glory revealed.

Spring brings what no other season can...

an understanding of the fragility of life

so quickly gone.

Drink deeply of this beauty

made available only between blinks.

And the glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the verdant valley, like the first fruit before the summer...

Is. 28:4a

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Place Where Joy is Found

I've been given a place
where joy is found
in little things
like water heard
and gentle breezes felt.
It holds quietness of heart for me
and brings smiles in tending the beauty there.
Tender orchids thrive
and treasures reside all around.
You have given me this place,
and in it,
Your heart.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

That Which I Have Come to Know

On quiet days
when only rain is heard
and barren trees blow gentle,
I hold a truth deep within
that Spring will come.
Whether early or delayed,
hard or soft,
it will come.
Rains will soon birth green
and rivers will swell
with blessing poured out
that covers and nurtures,
and with it,
beauty unmatched
in colors vibrant
with new growth and new joy,
that hearts might soar.
Renewed earth awakens,
as does hope
that is seen and felt deep within.
That which I have come to know
will be made manifest.
Spring will come

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as

crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river was

the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its

fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the

healing of the nations.

Rev. 22:1,2

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Newness of Season and Song

Newness of season and song
proclaimed in Logos,
felt and heard in hearts
even before its time.
The song is being sung,
a moment made known,
that lamps might be filled
with precious Oil
and preparations secured.
Gold and white linen,
available to be purchased
fitted and worn,
radiance and beauty
to be bestowed and seen,
replacing the shame of nakedness.
Rev. 3:18