God

Some Might Call it “Luck”

Yesterday, Jeanne, over at Bermuda Bluez , posted an inspirational quote which basically said that we should use all of our communicative skills to convey our beliefs and dreams.  I thought that was a very interesting quote,  as sometimes I feel that I have not given God the proper glory in my life.  Sometimes, I forget that it is from His hand that life was issued forth.  It is He who sends the rain, the snow, and the sunshine in His appointed times. I mulled Jeanne’s post yesterday, a good part of the day.

This morning,  I watched the little birds outside my window,  flapping their wings and journeying betwixt trees and feeder, moving almost nervously back and forth. As I watched, I couldn’t help but think of the Creator of the Universe….that He would create such beautiful little creatures that we might enjoy them. It seems when I am deepest in my thoughts of God’s great world created for our pleasure, He shows up.  Always in most unexpected ways.

I saw the little female Downy Woodpecker out on the tree.  Boy,  I thought to myself, I would love to get a nice photo of her. She seems rather tame when I lift the window. Perhaps….

I went upstairs and indeed raised the window. She seemingly ignored me!  I began to talk to her a bit and she glanced my way….

It was *then* another of those precious “God moments” showed up.  Totally unexpected.  Totally out of the blue…

I had mentioned the other day that as I was photographing “Mrs.” Downy, she apparently flew off and “Mr.” Downy took her place.  I had found it so curious.  But, in all the years I have been photographing the birds here, I have never seen Mr. and Mrs. Downy together!

The two birds worked away….it seemed that they were unaware of one another, although I doubt that! Mr.  Downy looked right at me. If birds have the capability of “winking”,  I think this is certainly where Mr. Downy would have done so, before both he and Mrs. left the tree.

And in the midst of me happily snapping away with an itching trigger finger,  I imagined my Heavenly Father, smiling down as I so appreciated just one more of His “God moments”! This had nothing to do with luck. Nor coincidence.  Merely a “God-incidence!”

God Moments

Mark had a physical therapy appointment this afternoon, so the kids and I went along with him.  After his appointment,  the kids said they were hungry, so Mark took them on over to Wendy’s to grab a bite to eat.  As they were eating,  I ventured out to catch a few photos of Canada Geese, which seemed to be everywhere along a little stream running to the lake.

I had to cross over a little ravine to get some of these pictures.  It didn’t look too bad, so I went to step over and ended up sinking midway to my thighs in snow!  I hurriedly hopped out of the pile,  looking back to see if anyone saw me almost go down, as I lost my balance. Sheesh!  At least my camera was still in my hand and safe!

I walked past this very interesting little contraption someone had parked next to the stream…

We left Wendy’s and drove down next to the lake.  I had Mark park so I could take a couple more photos.  There were just a few geese and seagulls out on the ice on the lake.

I have taken photos of this particular area in the summer, but I don’t think I have any winter photos here.

I love the way the tree was mirroring itself off the smooth water of the lake.

We discovered a few weeks ago that WalMart has an awesome Tyson Buttery Garlic roast chicken that is delicious.  As Mark went into therapy,  I called WalMart and ordered a chicken to take home for dinner. They will roast one if we call ahead and we can get it fresh, rather than one that has been sitting around.  So, we went to pick it up.

As I came out of the store, I was totally caught up by the spectacular sky. It was, well, awesome!

Michelle wanted to go over to TJ Maxx when we finished up at WalMart.  Mark drove over and parked the truck.  We talked while waiting for Michelle.  I happened to look out the side rear mirror on the door.  I thought it was kind of funny that there was a rainbow in the mirror.  I turned around to see if it was a reflection off something, when I discovered there was a sundog in the sky!

As you can see, it was breathtaking with those unique clouds! As I sat reviewing the photos on my camera, I thought to myself that Carly’s mother-in-law, Madeline, had told me sundogs usually appear in pairs.  I searched the sky, but only saw one.   Then, *suddenly*, its twin appeared.

I took photo after photo, telling Mark this was just too amazing!  I explained to him that it almost seems that some days God is just humoring my picture-taking!  I told Mark I often think of myself as a spoiled princess, as I am sure God is smiling as he sees my excitement. 

I looked out the window once again, and this time, I nearly squealed with delight! Look closely at the photo below….

You can actually see a huge “arch” that encircles the sun.  It looked like a giant rainbow around the sun. It was hard to see, but you can see it is there!  By this point, I was nearly in tears, feeling as though God was overwhelming me with His glorious handiwork.

It was then that I looked up in the sky just above the truck….

This rainbow was above the truck and was totally disjointed from the sundogs or the rainbow around the sun.  By now, tears were streaming down my face.  There was no precipitation. None at all. Only my tears! These are what I can only describe as “God Moments”.  Times when I am thinking about Him and it is as though He shows up on the scene…..

By the way, within about five minutes, the sundogs, arch, and rainbow were completely gone.  Completely…..

Leaving the Country

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I stand amazed at how people really seem to dislike “religion”, and yet the Bible is quoted so frequently….We crossed the US/Canadian border via the Rainbow Bridge.  In the above photo,  there is a portion of Scripture written (in concrete!) regarding God’s promise to never again flood the earth.  I guess it was chosen for its referene to the “bow”.  Hey, they could have etched Somewhere Over the Rainbow in that concrete, eh? Nope…it was from the Bible, instead!

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I should get some points for knowing that the language above was Latin! And, being (once again) so clever, I Googled the words and came up with the this .  Once again,interesting that the motto of Canada came from (imagine that!) the Scriptures.

When Mother’s  Day came (and went) almost three weeks ago, Mark was not able to get out and do what he wanted, due to the sore he had.  He and Ben talked together, and decided that since I wanted  to go to Canada, they would take me for a late Mother’s Day.  So, yesterday was “my” day.

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Canadian and US flags….

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Yup, here we are, in a foreign country!

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Complete with the famous Mounties!!! But, all of this tourist “stuff” is NOT what I came for. No, sireeeee……

Early to Bed, Early to Rise!

Last night, I purposed to get to bed early so I could get up early this morning. I really enjoy being up long before everyone else.

I bounced out of bed by 5:00 and fed the Scotties. After taking them outside, I decided to soak in the freshly-changed water of the hot tub. When I first went outside, I noted that the sky was so black! It was perfect, as the “pallette” was pitch dark, and the stars seemed to pop!

I leaned back against the seat, my head resting at the top of the tub, so I could look intently above me. It was so peaceful sitting there, with only the starlight and small LED in the tub lighting the darkness surrounding me.  My eyes searched the skies above me….the sky was cloudless and the stars were so many!  This brought to my mind the story of Abraham in the Bible……

Genesis 15:5
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

As I thought about Abraham, I wondered how this old man felt, being told by the God of the Universe, that he would be the father of many! As I looked at the stars, I could see that many were much brighter than others….Did Abraham wonder at those who would follow….if some would be more outstanding than others? Or, was his mind boggled just at the thought of wondering the logistics of how this was to transpire?

Abraham was living as a Nomad, and as such, was unencumbered by all the “stuff” we impose upon ourselves today. It seems we need more stuff to take care of the stuff we have! Abraham…..what were his grave concerns? Food, water, making sure his tents were secure. Attacks from wild animals. Attacks from enemies….I am sure his life was not easier, by a longshot. But, I do believe he must have been less encumbered!

As I thought about this, I began to realize that I would certainly love to live this life less encumbered as well! Oh, I love technology and all the advances it has taken, but I pray that all of these things remain less important in my own life and that God and others would be my primary concern. To have the faith of Abraham; Oh, what a noble aspiration!

Amazing, the thoughts while soaking in the hot tub, eh?

Oops…

I was going to add some pictures from a concert Mark and I attended with the kids at Kingdom Bound, but I forgot! Yikes!

The name of this group is Stellar Kart. They are, I am told, from Canada. When I won the tickets from the radio station , I also won a Stellar Kart CD.  They are quite good, but the volume was *just* a tad bit loud for my old ears!

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 Wow! These guys are not only loud, but full of energy, as well! hehehe

As I panned around the crowd, I found this forward-looking couple with their little one protected from the *loud*. Did I mention the music was L-O-U-D?

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 Yes, this concert was held right next to the wonderful (no, I did not ride it, nor will I ever!) Superman roller coaster. So, of course, I *needed* to photograph this group on the vertical drop….wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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 The concert was very good, although the temps were soaring into the 80’s, making it too warm for me. I needed to (sulk) trudge off to the Dippin’ Dots stand to take cold refreshment and revitalize my poor hot self!!!!

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We also saw a few other concerts that I didn’t photograph, but it sure was a fun, albeit TOO hot,  few days! What a terrific way to spend some family time!!!!

Resting in Our Sanctuary

As I soaked away this morning in the hot tub, I was so content, watching as the clouds passed by. There was such a lovely assortment. Although I am not keen on the names of the various types of clouds, they were just so beautiful! They weren’t the *typical* clouds that have shapes hidden in them…..these were more like brush strokes and sponge paintings! Not shapes, but *textures*!  When the pump stopped, after its 20 minute cycle, there was total silence.  But not really!

People love their “white” noise in the background, so to speak. As I listened, I could hear a continuous buzz from an insect. Then I noticed the chirping of a cricket. Off in the distance,  a cardinal was singing. As I turned my head towards the cardinal, I observed a little hummingbird swooping through the air, and landing on a dead maple branch to preen itself.  Does life get better than this? How could the garden of Eden have been more beautiful?

As I sat in the silent hot tub, my eyes closed and I just leaned back, enjoying MY white noise surrounding me. Then I remembered some pictures I had taken yesterday. I hopped out of the tub and scurried upstairs to load the pictures to the laptop. 

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 During the afternoon, this little doe wandered up behind the garage to have a nibble on some crown vetch and various other wild things growing there. She was trying to keep in the shade. She was certainly aware that I was snapping her picture, but was not bothered by my presence in the least bit.

Michelle came out the back door, only to find me there with camera in hand.  She asked if I was done….she wanted to go up to the swing-set and swing. I told her to just go ahead. The deer here know they are safe with us!

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 Michelle walked very slowly up to the swing and was totally surprised that the doe remained, even after she had positioned herself on the swing. The distance between the two of them was only about 25 feet!

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After appraising one another, Michelle began to swing, and the doe peacefully continued to partake of greenery. The doe stayed in the area as Michelle propelled herself on the swing; she left only after getting her fill of goodies.

And, it occurred to me; we have such a wonderful refuge right here in the Bristolwood!

The Newboys!

The Newsboys is a group that hails from “Down-under”.  If you have listened to Christian music, you have probably heard them. If you have little children that enjoy the Veggie Tales videos, you might have heard them sing “In the Belly of the Whale”!

This concert, I had already recovered from my “blond” moments and attended with my trusty old Olympus camera in hand. I was so excited that I finally remembered I *could* take pictures!

The Newsboys appeared in concert on Wednesday, the final day of Kingdom Bound. Earlier in the day,  I went to the park with the kids so they could ride some of the rides before the concerts started later.  Just after walking into the park, wondering how I was going to spend 3 hours in the sweltering heat, I ran into a dear friend and past roommate with her son!

Laurie told me that her son had spent money to bring himself and his mom to Kingdom Bound….When we had to leave the park to go back to the campground for dinner, I kept thinking I wished there was some way we could bless Laurie and Nate.  Before leaving, I told Laurie we would be seated way down in the front so please look for us. Well, she did, and as the concert started, she and Nate were given chairs to sit with us!  Nate *loves* the Newsboys, so he was thrilled to be getting such a good view!

Here are some random photos I took of the concert.

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Laurie told us after the concert that Nate had wanted to camp, so they were going to see if they might find a place to pitch a tent. Well, back at our campground, there were literally hundreds of tents pitched all over! We told them they could stay on our site, as we had so much room on the grounds.  They followed us back to the campground and decided since it was so late (midnight) they would fold the seats in their van and sleep in there instead.

The next morning, I ran to the store before everyone was up and I was able to make breakfast for everyone. It was such a special time, as Laurie and I had not seen one another in years. We had so much fun!

As I was preparing breakfast, Laurie called for me to look….I had taken my Fuchsia plant along with us. (so silly I know) The plant had nearly no flowers on it, as I had placed it in too shady a spot on the front porch. About a week before we left, I placed the plant in a much brighter spot, and it was overflowing in beautiful flowers! Since it needs more frequent watering than most other plants, I saw no option other than to take it! Well, as I was bustling about, a little hummingbird appeared from nowhere and was visiting the Fuchsia plant!  I was too busy to stop and try to photograph the little hummer, but thought I would surely do it on Friday.

I did sit for a few hours Friday morning at the picnic table, camera in hand. The little hummer never made an appearance! So,  we were able to bless Laurie in several ways with her little visit.

Although I felt a sadness at the close of Kingdom Bound, I also felt so blessed and happy that the day ended with a wonderful concert, and a visit with my friend.