Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Today !

All 4 eggs have hatched!! They cannot yet make noise, nor are their eyes open. The focal beam of my camera makes the one open his mouth. The opening of the nest is less than 3 inches across, so it is nearly impossible to get an image inside. I knew you would want to see as soon as possible. As they grow to overflowing, pix will come easier.

For "Busy Mama"

My home is full of mismatched furnishings, knit together by sentimentality. I recently read that this is a sign of an artist. I find a lot of comfort within my home. The arts & craft style chair once belonged to my paternal grandfather, himself a photographer. The similarly styled bookcase held my father's college texts as he & his bride worked to build a life on the GI Bill. The blue couch reminds us of new friendships. Countless pieces bring to mind long-held friendships & laughter. The bulky, tiger-grained, oak buffet recalls my mother's childhood days...of the Dust Bowl & the Great Depression. The blue recliner was a gift from my dying father-in-law to his dying wife, Juanita. It would bring her comfort in her last days without him by her side. Passed down from her mother-in-law, our century old, wooden rocker is a relic from the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. In her last days, Juanita gently rocked in this chair. She told me stories of soothing her baby (my husband) in this chair & assured me that I would one day rock a child of my own in it...& I did. The odd bookshelf that holds my sons' toys once held mine....

Society has so many double-standards. It seems perfectly acceptable to loudly proclaim how "skinny" someone is or to give a lecture on the evils of nicotine addiction & yet, one dare not mention the obesity of the orator. This double standard also shows up in the keeping of one's home. Over half of our culture would be classified as right-brained, globals, who find comfort in apparent "chaos". The left-brained, analytics, with their spartan orderliness find it necessary, even their right, to judge & lecture the rest of us. I actually find "collectors" to be more frugal, less judgemental, & far less materialistic than many who keep an "orderly home".

I love to say, "Pardon the mess, but we LIVE here". In left-brain homes, my soul cries out, "Don't you DO anything (besides clean?)" Look at the forest & fields, the coastlines, & even the skies. God may bring order out of chaos, but He created a world brimming with richly packed treasures. That's what "watching" & "attention to detail" is all about.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not Every Day....

My son had a nightmare last night & in the morning said that he wants to live in D.C. He explained that with the president there, they have lots of tanks. He asked if S.C. has tanks & I said that we do. No sooner had I said that when the phone rang. It was my brother. He was on his way to work & passed a train loaded with tanks. It would soon pass our home. London & I rushed down to see it.....

There were over 100 !!!! How is that for timing !?!


Sometimes I avoid something due to an anticipated, negative outcome...only to find myself in the midst of the conflict I had imagined. Suppose God has allowed things to unfold in order to give me new eyes. Despite my attempts to the contrary, perhaps He even led me there to alter my my faith, or my beliefs about a situation, or even about people. Perhaps.....
(Who said being a Christian is an easy out?)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Night Lights

My spirit rails against leaving home. I just hate to leave, but I love being away & travelling. The night before I left for D.C., I was anxious. My husband had rearranged his backyard lighting & I decided to relax in the pool. I turned on all the floating, colored lights, including a new one that spouts a colored fountain 18" high. I also lit the torch, to keep insects at bay. I called up to my husband, "Oh, pool boy ! This would be even more wonderful with a fruity, wine cooler.... in the fancy, [tacky], flowery, pineapple cup...." My wish was granted. I floated and relined, with the colored lights playing on my closed eyelids. The cicadas & frogs sang for me. The fireflies twinkled through my drifting lids. It was all good.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Till the Bats Dance

It has been spiritually unsettling travelling in & out of town so much, with guests in between. Last night, I took a candle lantern down to the dock & spent some time making a heart-shaped basket of kudzu vines &, of course watching....God was painting the sky & it's my favorite time to meet with Him. Sitting on the water, I am literally surrounded by the colours. I wove & watched until long past the bats began to dance. The usual 2 in this area, were joined by a 3rd ... offspring? (There is at least one bat in this last image, if you can spy him.)

I returned home through the darkened forest by lantern's glow. I continued my therapeutic weaving, wrestling, & praying amidst fires' glow at home.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Tenants

The day I was to see my sleep doctor I didn't have energy for much of anything. I sat on the deck & watched a pair of our wrens build a nest 9' away from me. Babies themselves, they are among those who were raised in our carport. They built their nest in a basket of geraniums, 30" from our sliding door. It is but 42" off the ground. The male was very timid & took many,many attempts before he would take his gatherings to the job. Momma was much more confident, though she did peek out at me while she worked.

I thought they had given up on the project, once they realized what a high traffic area it is. Yesterday my brother saw them adding to the nest again. Today, a friend of mine discovered a tee-tiny, speckled egg. NowI understand momma's urgency. Hopefully, the parents will return to tend it. (In this last image, you can still see baby spots on it's breast).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mustard Seeds

Many of the people I know don't just live paycheck to paycheck. They live wondering where the next check of any sort will come from. A lot of them don't believe in God, but strangely enough, blame Him. Those who do believe in God know that He is not the source of their woes and have the deepest faith I have ever been privileged to be around. In my experience these people have witnessed more miracles than those of more adequate means. Things like an unclaimed insurance check suddenly appearing or a "stranger" delivering Christmas with only days to go...Yes, I do believe these are miracles. I call them,"God moments".I believe wholeheartedly that this will happen for you. I believe that God uses our greatest struggles for His greatest purpose.
One must have faith for things to become "miraculous". Most often growth comes through difficulties & hardships. When the disciples implored Jesus to increase their faith, He said it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed.(Luke 17:5-10) When you have exhausted all of *your* resources & only have Him to rely on, it will be time to watch for a miracle. This is not due to a lack of faith on your part; quite the contrary. I know you feel you it can't possibly get any worse~ you already ARE at rock-bottom. You are wondering when & where is He going to *finally* come through~~the closer you get to the edge correlates directly with the depth your faith will grow. It will not go beyond your faith, but it will grow it.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge Him & He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5&6)
You are more blessed in more ways than you realize. I've been there & I know it doesn't feel like it. He has chosen to let it go this far to grow you in your faith. I know you already feel that it has, but it will be deeper & stronger than you have ever experienced before....and how many others will be impacted by your experience?Start thanking Him now.
Get ready & get excited ! You are on the verge of the miraculous !

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Breezes

South Carolina's sky is so rich in hue, that is has it's own name. This summer is gloriously dominated by our "Carolina Blue". It is incredibly peaceful to lie in my hammock, under the trees & watch the ever-morphing, cumulous clouds roll by. The forest murmurs in the gentle breezes that carry them, dappling the forest with glistening reflections from the lake. The rise & fall of the cicada's summer song seems choreographed to the moment...& I am lulled to sleep.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Silence is...?

Last week, I had for the most part, 4 days of "silent retreat". It was so spiritually renewing. This is the forest scene I beheld as I enjoyed the soothing, therapy of maintaining the pool. It was peaceful, save for the incessant cries of a young hawk atop the tallest tree. Anxious either to be fed, or to be free of it's parental shackles,it's cry punctuated the forest. Once, I nearly found myself cursing the disruption. I caught myself however, knowing that very soon he would travel on to claim his own territory. That very afternoon, I gazed in awe as his momma, (who I have named Sienna) took him on his first open-air flight. They repeatedly flew low over our forest home. I also watched as she tutored him in the art of hunting. Throughout the following days, this pattern was repeated, until now the nest is silent~~~
HA ! HA! As I wrote that last line, the familiar cry of an adult streaked through the sky. It was My Girl, with the missing feather. She & her mate,are making their afternoon hunt~~~ right on time !

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Closer Look

You have probably seen these countless times....but never looked closely at each one.

We see them together in groups and miss the individual beauty. Yuccas are beautiful together.

Like people, they are more exquisite when seen individually.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Images of Disbelief

From the time I was a teenager, I foresaw images that had flames comprised of demons. I built a fire and shot pix to use as a resource to finally work on my you see what I see? The shoulders? The 2 eyes & flame across the middle of the face?
How about the next one? The mask of "Tragedy" rising from the flame? I have an uncanny ability to see subliminal images...perhaps I knew they were there all along....

Most people find it easy to believe in angels & even ghosts... but, demons? the devil? "Now you're talking just, plain crazy," they say. I say, "Just because you don't believe in something, doesn't mean it can't hurt you." The Bible is clear that the devil exists. Jesus calls him, "The father of all lies". Why wouldn't he have himself caricaturized as a harmless, red, cartoon guy? Angels are perceived as pretty girls in long, white dresses. The Bible repeatedly states they are either messengers or strong & mighty warriors, armed and waiting... waiting for us to ask God to give them power to fight on our behalf. We have to pray. We just have to ask.
I once saw a John Walsh video in which he asked children,"What does a stranger look like"? Even tweens described them as a stereotypical bad guy / villain with pointy teeth & dark, slitted eyes.....Is that true? No, strangers are people we haven't met. Most "successful, bad guys" blend right in, appearing nice and "normal". That is the secret to not getting caught... they fit right in.

Paul writes,"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, & the dead will be raised ...& we shall be changed."(I Cor. 15:52). This is as when we wake from hours of sleep & it seems that only seconds have passed. That doesn't leave room for ghosts. Our adversary, Lucifer, stalks & hunts us. He watches ~ for the right moment & the right means. He knows all of our favorites as well as all of our weaknesses. Demons wouldn't appear to us as a child sees a "bad guy". We would know & avoid them. They may appear as pretty girls in long, flowing dresses or the images of loved ones who have died...or even as balls of light. They would appear harmless, "cool", or even helpful.

So many people are quick to believe in conspiracy theories. The biggest one of all has been documented over thousands of years, by disconnected people from all walks of life & is written off as a fairy tale. That is how he works...disbelief. If we don't believe, than we don't guard our self against it.

An active force of evil IS truly real. I say again:

Just because you don't believe in some-thing, doesn't mean it can't hurt you!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Not of This World

I recently wrote on how someone can become so "drunk with anger" that they lose their self-control. That involved a short burst which resulted in a lost turtle. God was gracious to answer the prayers of a young boy & his mother. More often, we have to wait a lifetime to see the results. Self-control will also crumble in the face of pride, arrogance, selfishness, & so on. Why?

Peter writes: "Be sober, be watchful; because your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brothers in the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish, & strengthen you." (I Peter 5:8-10)

Bitterness, resentment, envy, power-struggles, etc. are tools he uses to keep us from our Father & Savior. When people are quick to go on the offensive with me, rather than talking like adults, it is hard not to blast right back. To maintain my cool, I think of something they have apparently not. A still, small voice whispers, "I don't think you know who you are dealing with here! I am a child of God and heir to His Kingdom!!" (Romans 8: 15-17) I have to remind myself that it is not people that I wrestle with, but "...against the authorities, against the powers, against the rulers of darkness in this present age." (Ephesians 6:12) When I focus on this, I so clearly see how such people who cling to power & control are actually being used~ & I empathize. It is then I can pray for them. " I beseech you," writes Paul," to have a walk worthy of the calling for which you were called, with all humility & gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in a bond of peace." (Eph 4:1-3)

I am reminded of something our pastor said recently: "When you stand before Jesus what treasures will you lay at His feet ?" Things in this world seem so long...Tomorrow will mark 21 years since a beloved friend stood before Jesus. It was abrupt & agonizing for us...suddenly, it is 21 years later. Our time here really is more fleeting than it seems. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Rom. 8:18).

**NOTE: Romans, chapter 8 is so inspiring & hope-filled. I really hope you will find some quiet time & read it through. So many people believe that God casts people into hell. This chapter reminds how much He does to bring us TO Him!!!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Few Favorites of Mine

Forest Bling

Insect life is a wonder to watch. Here is a beautiful, jewel-like beetle,over an inch long. There are dragon & damsel flies of all colors & sizes. Beatiful butterflies & moths arrayed in an amazing variety of textures & tones. Multi-colored banana spiders harmlessly adorn the forest with their beautiful webs.

I was able to capture images of both male & female cow-killers. Here is a male. They are hard to shoot as they are so fast.

We watched as cicada killers dug out their prey and dragged them up into the trees.