Jan 20, 2014

Adornment of Inner Self

Evergreen boughs bear clusters of beautiful pale blue berries all through the winter. In twilight their color is accentuated, a heavenly hue. Branches hang low at the point of the berries heaviest abundance. 

Arctic gales blow hard across the months of this season, shearing the blue orbs, spilling them to the ground like pearls from a broken string. The female Cedar loses the tiny bits of her adornment with every gust of wind, every icy freeze, and every pelting rain. 

The loss does not diminish the value or the character of this tall spire. She extends her branches with or with out their pale blue adornment. Creatures – winged, footed, or slithering perch, burrow, and huddle within its massive frame. Standing sure, standing strong, standing quietly across the years; simply offering the gentler gifts of refuge, shade, and shelter. 

Prudently placed in the flood plain of frequently overflowing creek beds, the voraciously thirsty Cedar absorbs the over abundance of flooding waters following every storm. This towering life quietly serves her divinely designed purpose within the ecological community through the workings of her quiet, unseen, inner life. 

Season after season I walk past her. A guardian at her post. Season after season, God’s creation provides examples for human living. Here, through a living tree, the words of 1 Peter are given roots. Her berries are attractive, yet transitory. Cedar's deeper life contains the greater portion of her beauty and purpose. A living creation to emulate.

Let your adornment be your inner self,
with a lasting beauty 
of a gentle and quiet spirit.
1 Peter: 3-4

*The Cedar Berry tree of the southwest is technically a species of Juniper.

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Jan 10, 2014

Humbled and Honored ~ Sunshine Blog Award

Coffee cup in hand,
I was perusing my inbox this morning 
and happened upon to this comment 
from a reader of a recent post on my blog:


I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award! 
Please accept this award for the wonderful way your blog has blessed others."

Well how kind is that! 

After some further link hopping I learned from Peggy Hale that the Sunshine Blog Award originated to highlight blogs that:

"positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere." 

Such an honor to have my writing and photography included in that category!

I'm delighted that the original photos and thoughts of praise for divine blessings that are posted here at Reflections – Beside Still Waters has touched the heart a reader in a way that prompted her to confer such an honor and to share this recognition with me. 

As a Sunshine Blog Award recipient 

I'm asked to share some random bullet points about myself:

Love cool, moist air; think fall or northwest coast
Trees and water inspire me
Walking is my exercise of choice
Educator by temperament and calling 
Traveled extensively across America 
Extensive Reader {still prefer hard copy book-in-hands}
Prefer green tea, crave oatmeal cookies, love one pot meals
Passionate life long learner
Spiritual, devoted Christian
Painter in training
Weaver of words

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Jan 5, 2014

Time Dawns as Blessed Potential

Time Dawns as Blessed Potential

The present moment, 
the present day, 
the present year –

Present time is always new. 
The arriving minutes unfold endlessly,
gifting us with continuous possibilities.

How do we receive this breath following breath of time? We may chart the unfolding in advance. 
Listing bullet points, planning timelines, orchestrating outcomes. Intent on molding the future. 

Or we may scarcely heed the tick marking times arrival, detachment brooding from an attitude of time as abundant, mere grains of a common resource, unceasing, unremarkable.

At times the arrival is taken out of the grasp of the recipient, spent by exterior demands limiting freedom, overshadowed by grief in the loss of the stolen, quickly spent moment.

Consider the gift that is time, 
among God’s first creations.

Ponder thoughtfully the rolling wave of arriving moments, potent with every possibility.

“Teach us the brevity of life, 
so that we may grow in wisdom.” 
Psalm 90:12

“The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.” 
Arnold Bennett