Tuesday, June 30, 2009

difficult circumstances

Often times God demonstrates
His faithfulness in adversity
by providing for us what we need
to survive.
He does not change
our painful circumstances.
He sustains us through them.
~ Charles Stanley

Monday, June 29, 2009

before and behind...

When I was in Michigan last month, we were driving past a pond, and I was treated to the sight of a family of Canada geese. There was a mom and a dad and about 8 or 9 babies as well as a few other adults here and there around the pond. I enjoyed watching the way the parents were caring for their young--leading, following, watching out for them. The parents led them into the water to cross the pond--one parent in front leading the way and the other at times behind them all or in the middle of them.
Then when they reached the far side of the pond and waddled out of the water, one parent took the front position and one the back. They were always aware of where the babies were and were continually on the look-out for any signs of danger. One parent led them through the tall grass and one followed behind to be sure none fell behind.

Once they reached the grassy meadow area where they were going to feed, the parents (and another solitary goose) took up guard positions. They watched the various directions for any danger while their goslings were deep in the grass intently looking for food. The babies didn't have to worry, as the parents were on the look-out for them, protecting them and watching over them.
Watching them, I was reminded of how God, our Father, is with us. He goes before us to show us the best path to follow. He walks alongside us on the journey. He takes up the "rear guard" and watches behind us --He is always on the lookout for the enemy and stands guard over us.
"...for the LORD will go before you,
the God of Israel will be your rear guard."
~Isaiah 52:12

And, just like these geese parents with their goslings, He cares for us with attentiveness and concern for our best. With the geese, it may be God-given instinct which causes them to care for their young in such a way. With us, it is God's intent to guide and to protect and to care for us as we waddle through these lives of ours. "As a hen gathers her chicks" and as these geese guide and protect their young, so our Father cares for us... what a beautiful example.

Before me,
even as behind,
God is
and all is well.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

celebrate the Sabbath...with living water!

Whoever believes in me,
as the Scripture has said,
streams of living water
will flow from within him.
~John 7:38

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. ~Revelations 7:17

...but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. ~John 4:14

Saturday, June 27, 2009

joy is...

Joy is what happens

when we allow ourselves

to recognize how good things are.

Joy is not necessarily

what happens when things unfold

according to our plans.

~Marianne Williamson
(A Woman's Worth)

Friday, June 26, 2009

pure joy...

...pure joy!...

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
~Psalm 126:2
If you laugh a lot,
when you get older
your wrinkles will be in the right places.
~Andrew Mason

Thursday, June 25, 2009

hello, georgia! (საქართველოს)

...and so it begins...

My blog will probably read like a travelogue for the next week or so, but I do hope you will enjoy the photos I share of this lovely country I was blessed to visit!

Today is just a small beginning... and Welcome to Georgia ... or, as it is in Georgian: Sakartvelos (საქართველოს)...

(photo by Anya Polozkova, as I didn't cross a border by land)

This is a beautiful OLD church we visited on my first day in Tbilisi (the capital of Georgia). Let me introduce you to my lovely sister, K, and my nephews, S and J, and my niece, T. They live in Tbilisi and run the Youth With A Mission base there.
I wanted to start the Georgian photo-logue here because it was the first day I was there... but also because God gave me a very special welcome to this land on the very first day:

(sorry, Blogger is up to its old tricks and refusing to post this photo properly rotated!)

God loves Georgia and all its people!
And, I believe He also wanted to make me feel right at home!
Note to all digital photographers:
Perhaps you are already aware of this, but I learned a valuable lesson with my sd memory card this trip! I purchased a 16GB SDHC (high capacity) card for the trip. The package said not all devices can use the high capacity cards so to verify that yours can. I thought "testing" it by taking a photo would be the way to verify the usability since there was nothing in the camera's owners manual. WRONG, I was!! It tested fine before I left, so I joyfully took ALL of my photos on that card. When I got home and tried to download the photos to my computer, none of my photo programs nor my computer itself would recognize and download the photos!!! I ended up taking it to Costco and paying them to download all my photos to cds just so I could get them on my computer!! I'm glad I was able to resolve it, but it's not an ongoing expense I want to have to deal with (especially since I took about 2000 photos... yeah, I know I'm obsessive!!!) :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

happy anniversary to my friend!

This is my dear friend Andrea.
Today is a special anniversary...
a sad one
yet a joy-full one, too.
One year ago today,
Andie traded in her earthly home for her heavenly one.
The sadness...
for those of us who knew and loved her
and had to say "good-bye"
far too early...
The joy...
for she who has now enjoyed a year of celebration in heaven...
dancing, laughing, singing,
"hanging out" with Jesus
and worshipping the Father with the angels!!
What an amazing thought!

We miss you, Andie!

But we rejoice with you... and can't wait to see you again!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

joyful living...

Learn to enjoy what you do;
rather than do what you enjoy.
It is not always possible to do things that one enjoys.
But if you learn the art of joyful living,
even seemingly boring chores can bring you joy.
~author unknown

...and so today I return to work after a two-week vacation...
it is with a joy-filled heart that I return...

I pray that I would learn to always walk in joy
that all my tasks may be joy-filled!

(I was intending to begin to share my Georgia trip with you today, but for some reason, I am unable to download my photos! : ( Hopefully I will be able to remedy the situation soon!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

heading for home...

No soul is desolate
as long as there is a human being
for whom it can feel trust and reverence.
~George Eliot

...as I sadly say good-bye to my beloved family in Georgia and head for home, I am truly grateful that I have loved ones to miss... I am grateful for time spent with them across the many miles... and I am grateful for a Father Who keeps us in His tender care while we are apart...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

celebrate the Sabbath... worshipping His Majesty...

"Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, unti they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God."
~RC Sproul

Majesty (words & music ~Jack Hayford)

Majesty, worship his majesty;

Unto Jesus be all glory, honor, and praise.

Majesty, kingdom authority,

Flow from His throne unto His own, His anthem raise.

So exalt, lift up on high the name of Jesus.

Magnify, come glorify Christ Jesus, the King.

Majesty, worship his majesty,

Jesus who died, now glorified, King of all kings.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Learning to live in the present moment
is part of the path of joy."
Sarah Ban Breathnach

...for our Father did not say


nor did He say

"I WILL BE"...

He said His name is

"I AM."

...May you find JOY in your day today

as you live in the present moment

of God's grace and beauty...

Friday, June 19, 2009

mess? or masterpiece?

There is a wonderful little community on the south east side of our city which is located by and on some canals. It is technically an island and it is well-known for its lovely luxurious homes and beautifully-landscaped yards. Recently I was driving down one of the streets and my eye was caught by the yard of one of the homes. It was totally unlike any of its neighbors and was filled with riotous and chaotic beauty...
Here was this lovely yellow house ...but the yard was completely unkempt and overgrown with "weeds."

...beautiful pink and fuschia "weeds"-- flowers in my book!

tall, overgrown, unsightly? beauty!
dotted here and there with brilliant orange California golden poppies...

...so, I ask you...
crazy, untended, chaotic MESS?

...or, as I find it...
a glorious MASTERPIECE of color and design?!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Trust the past to God's mercy,
the present to God's love
and the future to God's providence.
~ Augustine

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

beauty in white...

I'm not sure what kind of tree flowers these were,
but I think some kind of fruit or ornamental....

I loved the whiteness and the textures...

Beautiful, don't you think?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

as a hen gathers her chicks...

"...how often I have longed to gather your children together,

as a hen gathers her chicks..."

~Matthew 23:37
(in case you miss the connection, this plant is commonly known as a 'hen and chicks' plant)

Monday, June 15, 2009

looking dandy....

I love dandelions.

I don't think I've yet told you how much and why I like them, but that is fodder for another post another day. Today I share with you this photo I took of a couple of dandy dandelions...one in bloom and one in "seed."
Funny, but I was with my mom when I saw this and laughed together. We both thought the same thing about it... this is what it made us think of:

That's right! US!! : )

(can you see the resemblance??!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

celebrate the Sabbath...going away to a solitary place...

When Jesus was tired and the crowds and the 'business of His Father' seemed to become a bit overwhelming...He sought time out with the Father.
He took time to pray.
And to be refreshed in body and spirit...
with a little Sabbath.

"...He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place..."

~Matthew 14:13

Saturday, June 13, 2009

kissing toads...

I've been told that a girl has to kiss a lot of frogs to find her Handsome Prince...

Is that a volunteer I see?

Ummm...yeah. It looks like a toad to me...

...a toad with a purpose...

...and determination...

Hmmmm. I just don't know if I'm ready for this kind of a commitment...?

Pucker up??

Friday, June 12, 2009

look who's chive talkin', too...

And, I think she's lovin' the chives, too!

(I wonder how many steps it takes a lady bug to travel down the length of one long blade of grass or one chive stem??)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

who's that buggin' the garden?

...and here we have another garden creature...
A lovely little "lady"...

We love seeing these in the garden...
they're one of those wonderful "good" bugs!

Quite a little beauty, isn't she...