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Tuesday, May 31

May 31, 2011 (133/365)

I love buttercups. Such a simple little flower. So small, and unassuming, not taking up too much space. So sunny and warm looking. It makes me think of sunshine. And sunshine makes me think of joy! Oh what a little bit of sunshine does to a weary spirit.

I am so thankful for the restful weekend. My husband worked hard - weeding my front flower bed this weekend. Yesterday (between the parade, memorial service for veterans, and barbecuing some ribs and chicken for my boys) I went out and picked up some annuals and a few more perennials for that flower bed. As he weeded, I planted. It is the one we enjoy most - as we are often out on our front porch. I just love being surrounded by beautiful flowers.

As we sat on the porch at the end of the day last night - filthy and exhausted, there was a feeling of joy, in a job well done and the day well spent.

Hope in the week ahead you find moments of sunshine, joy, and peace.

(and those thoughts all came from looking at that little buttercup!)

Saturday, May 28

May 28, 2011 (130/365)

This quote made me think of the old Mac Davis hit "Stop and Smell the Roses"

Before I started shooting pictures with my slr - I never took a moment to look at the details of a flower - or blooming bush. We miss so much when we are in a hurry.

Life can be rough and rocky - but when we take time to see the intricacies of the situations and people we are surrounded by - we can surely take time out of our 'busy-ness' to bring a smile to someone else.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, May 27

May 27, 2011 (129/365)

I've been listening to, Louie Armstrong's "Wonderful World" this morning. God sure has created a beautiful place for us to share life together in.

Thursday, May 26

May 26, 2011 (128/365)

I am a sucker for a great singer. After not watching American Idol last year, I admit, I was hooked again this year. From the beginning I really enjoyed several of the singers. There was so much talent. I loved Pia, Haley, Stefano and Scotty. Casey, James and Jacob had some excellent vocals and performances, at times, but there was just too much drama connected to them.

My hopes were either Haley or Scotty would win, and if you watch the show, you know that the 17 year old Christian, Scotty, won. I was very happy for him. I look forward to hearing more from him - and hope we do.

But once again, I felt dirty watching the finale. Thru out the season one host continually brought foul language into almost every show. But last night, a host of very scantily clad woman shimmied and shook everything they had for the audience of millions. Lady G... - so totally NOT a lady in my book, just disgusted and embarrassed me with her make out performance on top of the make shift mountain. The Idol Women sang her 'Born This Way" song to start off the show - which should have warned me away. What has happened to keeping your clothes on in public? What has happened to moral integrity?

The music culture in our country is scary. Singers aren't just singing anymore - they are giving peep shows for free on national television. Reminds me of everything I have read about Rome before it was destroyed.

I pray for our nation and the corruption that is eating away at the soul of who we are. How easy it is for the world to just go along with the flow and be deceived by the deceiver. Little by little, the unacceptable has become acceptable - it is scary, and people are so sucked up into it, that they don't even realize how foul it is.

I guess that is why I woke up this morning with a heavy heart and one word on my mind. Integrity. The quality of having strong moral principals, moral uprightness.

People of integrity are becoming fewer and fewer . . .

May God continue to protect the hearts and souls of our children.

Tuesday, May 24

May 24, 2011 (126/365)

I am not quite sure what the name of yesterday's flower was. I had stopped by the town hall and they had a whole flower bed full of them - in various stages of bloom. I was saving them for a mosaic to use for Mosaic Monday and Macro Monday - but I have found if you don't get linked up to them in on Sunday night - not many people look at them anyway - and well, I waited till yesterday morning and then - yesterday was not a good day. Some strange flu bug I think. Still not 100% today - but at least I can stand up with out feeling like I am going to pass out - so I will try to go to work today.

But I tell you, it never fails. Whenever I am not feeling well - something neat happens that I miss. Yesterday my youngest finally got a baseball game in for the school team. I didn't get to go, as I laid in the recliner - ALL DAY - I just couldn't even get up. But my husband was there. Jake pitched the whole game. And the game was only up to the 6th inning (they usually play 7) until the other team forfeited the game ( the score was 16-2). He also went 3 for 3 in hitting and one of the hits was a triple, bringing home 3 runs.

I guess that is why I try to make it to every game! Oh well, hoping to get another rescheduled make up in today, and I am hoping I can make it thru the day to be there.

Now about my 'weed' above ... it was a windy day when I tried for the shot. Couldn't get a clear shot of those seeds to save my life - but I loved the way the purple weeds blurred in the background. So I decided to use it. I placed a filter over the top to add a little more texture - and perhaps make the blur a little more forgiving.

I did like the softness of the top of each seed and how the white all feathered together though. The colors warm my heart though and made me smile. Even a weed can bring a bit of joy!

Hope you find joy in many hidden places throughout your day today!

Saturday, May 21

May 21, 2011 (123/365)

The quote above - came from a novel I read recently. When I first read it - it struck me as one I wanted to think a bit more on and I have - and still am. . . thinking about it.

With all this talk of the world ending today - (side note: I am NOT a follower of Mr. C a m p i n g) my heart has been aching.

I do believe that Christ will return. I do believe there will be an end to this world. Will it be today? I don't know. It could be in the next hour, the next year, the next thousand years, and so of course I pray fervently for my sons and loved ones who may not come to accept the free gift of Salvation that God offers to us all or perhaps at some point did, but have strayed far from a relationship of knowing, loving and having confidence in God. I worry about the choices they have all made.

But I have been very saddened by the flippant attitude of so many - joking about the end - that will come - and could be - at any time. I am sad that we don't live our lives in a state of preparedness for this event.

No, I don't mean selling your belongings and sitting on the front porch to wait, as countless blind followers have done in the past. I mean, having a relationship with our Savior, cultivating it, and sharing in the peace and contentment, of knowing Him. Rejoicing in his amazing love for each one of us.

I have heard TV hosts, radio folks seriously - making a joke of this -

That is why my heart aches. There is a God, who created us in His image, who wants a relationship with each one of us, and died to create a way for that -

How awful it is to watch 'the deceiver' being successful in pulling people away from the One who can save them.

Friday, May 20

May 20, 2011 (122/365)

I love the way this photo turned out. It is straight out of the camera - not even cropped.
The unopened buds of the blue lilac bush in my front yard along with a few that have burst open.

This verse spoke to me this morning - as I have been whining and complaining a lot lately. I know that I have to just let go and let God. I guess sometimes I think I am in control of things that I truly am not. And when decisions are made that affect those around me - that are so hard to deal with - well - I have been too free to share my opinions of late.

God is in control - we know that He will overcome evil and death. And yet, I make free with my opinions at the injustices I see happening.

Oh the power of the tongue - to spout evil.

And so I read again - Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Oh the power that God has to conform the world, and to transform me to who He wants me to be. I am grateful!

Thursday, May 19

May 19, 2011 (121/365)

The sun is shining this morning . . . very brightly!

It makes me smile. We have not seen it in a long while!

I do smile in the rain too.

I know God is God, in good times and in bad.

He is Creator, He is Savior, He is Father, He is Alpha and Omega . . .

He IS!

So glad to have the opportunity to praise Him - just for Who He is - today and everyday!

Tuesday, May 17

May 17, 2011 (119/365)

One of the tulips outside the door of the school I work at. Now when I see the flowers as I walk in the door, I will remember the beauty of each child - is within. There is a spark that hides in the eyes, or deeper within. It is most likely the one we often miss in the moment of misbehavior or purposeful disobedience - that is the one looking for and needing acceptance.

Every child is special -
Everyone is unique -
Every person worth loving.

Sunday, May 15

May 15, 2011 (117/365)

Above is the base of a Catlpa Tree in my side yard. The forget me nots used to be prolific in my front flower bed - but the past few years when they went to seed, I would pluck them up and spread them over in this little wild part of our side yard. I love forget me nots.

Whenever I see the forget me nots in spring I hear the old hymn "Pass Me Not" of which my favorite version is by Fernando Ortega.

Pass Me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded broken spirit;
Save me by Thy grace.

Thou the Spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in heav'n but Thee?

What an amazing comfort those words are to me. He will not pass us by, He will not leave us, He may answer prayer in His own time, but He always knows best and will provide what is best for us in the big picture.

Praising God for that this morning!

Friday, May 13

May 13, 2011 (115/365)

Sorry for the late post - Blogger was down this morning when I usually do this.

Thursday, May 12

May 12, 2011 (114/365)

MY whole post from yesterday and all the comments disappeared. Sorry!!

Wednesday, May 11

May 11, 2011 (113/365)

*I had an early morning visitor, stealing suet from my feeders today: Composition-Life

Have a wonderful day today!!

Tuesday, May 10

May 10, 2011 (112/365)

This past weekend I went over to our Town Hall Park / Library to get some shots of the flowering trees and shrubs, and was rewarded with these two little guys just huddling in the middle of the parking lot. Luckily, there was no other traffic and so I watched them for a bit. I love seeing how a dove can close it's eyes. When I looked at the photo this morning, the first thought that came to my mind was the lyric to Bill Withers "Lean on Me."

Some personal events of the last week have led me to wonder, am I really the one that can be strong and help support those around me who are in need? I know in some relationships, I have not been. So I need to make a conscious effort to be better at that.

Monday, May 9

May 9, 2011 (111/365)

I am much more at peace, now that the colors have begun to spring forth everywhere. This winter seemed a hard one for me. Last year I enjoyed looking for the different shades of brown, yellow, and rusts in the drabness of winter. This year I struggled to get out side in the temperatures at all.

How thankful I am for the spring. New color brings with it new life. And as the quote says, the tiny bits of color, the tiny details of each living thing - are not just details - but they are the whole. Without details then ... is there nothing? Is this just a play on words?

God created each one of us full of uniqueness, each in our own way. The sometimes tiny parts of us and sometimes bigger parts of us are what make us different, and what make us the same.

It is comforting to know that God knows everything about us. He knows our successes and our struggles. Who better to go in those hard times, than our Creator?

(*These azaleas are planted around the public library in my town.)

Sunday, May 8

May 8, 2011 (110/365)

I was able to get some nice shots of a blossoming pear tree yesterday. I loved the hint of pink on the buds! How each little bud blossoms to become a beautiful flower and then perhaps fruit will be born from the flower.

I can't help but compare it today - to a mom - carefully nurturing her young - from tiny buds - to blossoming flowers - soon bearing fruit in their lives to (hopefully) help others.

Since my mom died - I think May has always been the most difficult time of the year for me. With my birthday and Mother's Day so close to one another - I am usually an emotional wreck during the first week of the month.

I thought when I found this anonymous quote - that it was very true for the way I feel about my mom. My joys are greater, my love is deeper and my life was made fuller - because of who she was to me, and the brief moments of time (37 years) I shared life with her. My mom was not perfect. She had her faults - just as we all do. But as I look back now, as a mom myself, I have a much better understanding of her now. I see past all the difficult times - and think how rich my life is because of her.

I can only hope that one day . . my sons might think the same . . .

Friday, May 6

May 6, 2011 (109/365)

Thank you for all your kind words and birthday wishes yesterday. It was a wonderful day and better evening. We were supposed to have a baseball game - but we have had soooo much rain lately - even though the sun was shining beautifully - the game was postponed to a later date.

So off to the Olive Garden we went - where even eating just half of my dinner (Chicken Parm) was a huge number of calories( I really did send the other half home with my oldest son) - but as my husband said . . . it was just one day - and oh so yummy!

But back on the straight and narrow today! I am trying not to look at this as a diet, but as a life change - and well - celebrations are part of life - and we can have a little extra once in a while. (btw - I am down 30 pounds now!!)

I was so glad to have all 3 of my boys with us last night. And so we have come to Friday once again - and next up is Mother's Day on Sunday. So how does this post relate to that?

The quote above I found at the end of the book I just finished reading "Mine is the Night" the sequel to "Here Burns My Candle" by Liz Curtis Higgs. A fabulous retelling of the story of Ruth and Boaz and Naomi - this time in the Scottish Highlands in the mid 1700's. I love Christian fiction! So uplifting and encouraging!

Back to the quote - and the bleeding heart. My bushes are not in full bloom this year (yet) so this is a photo from last year - My mom first introduced me to this flower. She had a bush in her garden - and well - I have always associated it with her.

I think I have come to realize that when we are teary eyed - with broken hearts - that is when we perhaps might be most open to the comfort and strength of an awesome heavenly Father - I saw that over and over again in the two books - and thru out my life as well. In those times we are most willing to accept Him and allow Him to work in our lives.

So many often ask, why do bad things happen? Perhaps it is when we are most vulnerable, that He can make the most difference.

Hope you have an awesome Friday and wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 5

May 5, 2011 (108/365)

I love these words. Even though this is a repeat post from last year on this day, why redo something that has already been done well? (Although my lilacs are not quite this far yet).

Today I celebrate my 48th birthday. I remember my mom always said she celebrated Mother's Day - on her birthday, thankful for the day her mom became her mother.

Although my mom has now been gone 10 years now - her love, support her influence on my life is all very much a part of who I am today. I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't think about her.

How blessed I was - to have her for my mom.

One comfort I have . . . my mom knew how much she meant to me and how much I loved her.

Wednesday, May 4

May 4, 2011 (107/365)

I learned this past weekend that our family doctor (from when I was a child) passed away. So very sad to see the generations before me slowly going on.

When I read this quote, I thought of him. He was one of the first doctors in our area to try the new practice of "Family Medicine." My mom had actually worked with him when she was a nurse in the Emergency Room, before my siblings and I were born.

When I was in high school, we had gotten to the point that mom felt she needed to go back to work - after staying at home with 5 kids for 25 years - on my dad's 1 salary. She had always kept her nursing license up to date, just incase, but she said, "If God wants me to go back to work, he will make a way for it to happen, and someone will call me."

Well my mom never sent in any resumes or went looking for a job, but one day she got a phone call from the doctor she had worked with in the operating room so many years ago, asking if she would consider coming to work for him as his office nurse.

We all marveled knowing this was an answer to prayer.

Needless to say, she went to work for him, and had many wonderful years until he retired. My siblings and I would run into him about town after our mom had died, and he always spoke so highly of her. "She was a great nurse and a wonderful woman," he would say.

And we all remember what a great doctor and man he was.

So very sad to know he is now gone.

But his name is one I carry on my heart.

Tuesday, May 3

May 3, 2011 (106/365)

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart,
yet no one can fathom what God has done
from beginning to end.