Category: Nature

I’m a horse!

horse-2087265_640

Psalm 32:8-9 says: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”

Meditating on this verse I imagined myself a horse that God was riding. At first He led me beside still waters and into green pastures, saying “Eat, drink, rest.” But I’m wanting to take Him somewhere! I tell Him I’m ready and fully expect Him to tell me where we’re going or show me a map.

pointing map

That’s when it hits me – I’m a horse! I can’t read a map! I remember riding horses as a girl when we lived in Arizona. I knew the direction I wanted to go on my rides and what I wanted to see, but never once did I make a map and show it to the horse!

I didn’t even tell the horse what my itinerary was. And yet I would not expect the horse to be frustrated or angry if it didn’t know the length and direction of our journey in advance. As we’d leave the stable, I would gently guide it where I wanted it to go.

God is like that with us…Even though we are created in His image, He is so far above us in wisdom and power that we could not possibly understand from His perspective, the plans He has for us.

love-for-animals-2479734_640

But we can be assured that He has a good plan for each of us. We can know without a doubt that from His perspective on high, He knows what is in our best interest, and we can trust Him.

So when God tells me to rest, eat and drink, I had better do that. He knows what is ahead and knows what I need to be doing. I can trust that He has planned our journey and is preparing me for it now.

morocco-555348_640

He doesn’t promise to tell each of us what the plan is or spell it out in terms we can understand in advance, but like our horse, He will guide us in the right direction. And we will reach the destinations along our way if we will but attend to and yield to His hands on our reins.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 assures us that He has a plan for us: a prosperous and protective plan, full of hope and with our best future at its heart. These verses also assure that He hears us when we call on Him in prayer and that He is accessible when we seek Him with all of our hearts.

 

 

Color, Beauty, Hope

Spring has finally come to Colorado!
eidelweis2021
We have Evergreens: Spruce, Pines, Firs, and Junipers, that stay green all year round so there’s always some color. But now lately those trees that don’t stay green here are putting out leaves. It’s so beautiful to see!

The edelweiss is out and the roses are leafing.

firstpoppy 2021

My first poppy has bloomed. And the lilacs are out and the iris. And even though we’re only a couple of weeks from our latest snow, the ground has finally committed to Spring!

It reminds me of renewal, rebirth, which inspires me.

firstiris2021

God has created this earth, this place for us to live in, with seasons that remind us of His plan and purpose to care for us. He knows so well that we need change as well as stability. We get bored when nothing changes, but we also rely on the constancy of the order of the seasons. And each one brings with it a freshness. Something new to enjoy.

For me, Spring is a season of hope. And this year, it feels like we all really need it.

lilacs22021

Seeing the new life in the yard, the color, the beauty, even smelling the wonderful fragrances, is so satisfying and hopeful. And gives me that sense that goodness lies ahead.

I pray it will for you too.

Will you Squat or Soar?

carssnow321

It may be warming up where you are, but in Colorado, we are having what may be the snowiest March on record!

And there are still lots of birds wintering here from Canada.  They’re fun to watch as I walk around the nearby lake.

Picture a cold snowy day. There is a white, icy bed of snow on the ground; ice creeping slowly across the lake.

Your eye moves from the white of the ground, to the gray of the freezing water, to the haze of the sky, hemming in the horizon with a veil of frosty air. The sun is only a bright spot in the gray blanket of low, snow clouds tucked in around the lake. Not much is moving as you gaze out across the expanse of grayness.

harlequin-2011512_640

There are groups of ducks and geese, tightly tucked and asleep on the ice. Another group of nondescript white birds is clumped together near the water. But there is none of the clucking and chatter that usually accompanies their presence. Not a sound is heard. The frigid air threatens to stop any communication cold, as it freezes every breath taken.

Then, above the lake, a bird appears: silently soaring, in seemingly slow motion. Its graceful wings, stretched to its farthest reach, give it a look of majesty as it hangs upon the air. It is joined by another. They turn twice, together, and are joined by a third.

The mid-air ballet continues for several moments before they separate and go in three different directions. As one flies towards you, you can see the graceful curve of its pure white, broad wings, and the delicate black tips that reach out to capture the air that lifts it higher.

seagull-1550224_1280

You recognize this bird. It’s the same kind that you noticed before, squatting, clumped together with others like it in a huddle on the ground. This same little nondescript bird that blended in so plainly with the frozen background displays a Godly majesty when flying. But of course! Flying is exactly what God created it for!

Soaring, is what God created you for. What is keeping you squatting in the snow?

It’s so easy to stay on the ground with our friends, huddled against the circumstances of our lives, fearing the cold, the wind.

But the air is warmer higher up. And the wind lifts you. And God has prepared you to enjoy using the gift of soaring He has given you! And His glory and majesty that you reflect, will inspire others and honor Him.

But, the choice is yours. Will you squat? Or soar?

Take the leap!  See you up there  smiley-1635449_640

Are you praying Apples or Potatoes?

praying-5406270_640 (1)

I’ve been praying a LOT lately – maybe you have too.  So many things happening in my life, my family, with Covid-19, in our nation, the world!

sunset-2535751_640

And I trust and thank God that He hears all of my prayers, and your prayers too. Whether we are singing out in praise, calling out thanksgiving, whispering out our needs, or crying out in brokenness, I know that God hears and answers every time.

I love it when I can see God’s hand at work in the relationship or situation I’m praying about.  It’s so encouraging! It’s like watching an apple tree:  you can see the leaves appear, then the buds come, the blossoms open and then fall off, and you can see the tiny fruit form.  The apple grows and matures on the tree right before your eyes.

apple-1873078_640

An apple farmer can see his harvest before he ever starts collecting it.

Some prayers are like that. You get to see how God is working and preparing the answer for you right before your eyes. You can see change in the person or the situation, or in yourself.  It is so rewarding.

potato-839465_640

Other prayers are like potatoes. We keep praying and praying for a person, relationship, or situation but see no change, no growth, no hint of an answer on the way. The potato plant is like that: the leafy vine can be seen.

But the fruit or tuber, the part we eat, is formed underground. The vine remains unchanged above the ground as we water and fertilize. All the while the fruit, the tubers are developing and maturing under the ground where we can’t see.

digging-for-potatoes-1319302-640x480It is only by faith that a potato farmer begins the harvest, trusting there is a crop there under the ground!

Potato prayers are harder because you feel like nothing is happening in the situation you’re praying about.  When the truth is God is surely at work answering your prayer, just not in ways visible to the human eye.

Both kinds of prayers yield an amazing and fulfilling harvest. Both have the same promise of an answer from God. And both will build our faith.  If you are praying an Apple Prayer, thank God that He is allowing you to see His hand at work in the person or situation. Be encouraged.

underground-885206_640 (2)

If you have been praying a Potato Prayer, thank God for being at work beneath the surface.  And be encouraged!

Trust in God and in His timing and purpose. We are the workers but the harvest belongs to the Lord!

people-2604834_640And especially for those Potato Prayers, Father, help us wait and not fall into discouragement, self-pity or giving up.  Keep our faith strong and our trust in You solid; so that at the end of the waiting, we will sing of the wonders of the Lord!  Amen

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Geese: Silly or Smart? Part 2

Still seeing and hearing the geese around – even in this below-freezing weather!

Here’s 3 more lessons to add to the last post about what I’ve learned from these silly/smart birds:

canada-goose-3190675_640#3   Communicate with those around you

Geese are not quiet birds. They seem to always have something to say to each other.

Whenever a group is already on the water and another group comes in to land, all kinds of honking commences. Similarly, when a group is preparing to take off, there is much ado.

We should share with other believers what we have learned: how to get along better in life, where there are traps and how to avoid them, praise and thanks for God’s bountiful provisions.

I don’t know what the geese are telling each other, but it could be: “Hey there’s great grain over here!” Or “Watch out for the foxes at the end of the lake!” Wouldn’t you like to receive helpful direction and encouragement?

wild-geese-1148985_640#4   Circle before you land

Geese will always fly around an area before they actually touch down. I have seen them circle the lake 3 times before the first one touches down on the water or in a field. It’s as if they’re scoping out the location for danger and suitability.

Too often, we jump right in without checking things out and counting the cost. We need to use the brain God gave us and seek His wisdom as we make decisions, accept commitments, and move forward. Pull back to get the big picture and know what you’re getting into before you jump in with both feet.

goose take off#5   Travel light

Before a bird takes off, it offloads all excess baggage. Every ounce counts when you have to physically carry it, especially over long distances. So before it takes off, it poops! If you live in a flyway, this is a common sight and the result makes for very messy walking or picnicking.

We need to remember to take only what we need on our journey. How often do we travel with so much past hurt, anger, disappointment and upset that we can barely move forward? We need to expel envy, malice, bitterness, and hate because these things weigh us down and keep us from flying high. Drop off and leave behind discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, and whatever else entangles you.

Get the help you need to be rid of those poisons that will steal your joy and sap your strength. Read books, get counseling and pray to be able to forgive and let go of past hurts and failures.

canada-geese-826022_640We may like to think of ourselves as more majestic creations, maybe like the swans or eagles of the bird world.

But God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created.

Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.  And be a little Silly…or Smart!