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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Woven Web of Wonders

Hope this doesn't scare you off and creep you out too much, but I have been wanting to take a photo of this little guy's web for about a week now. His web is still attached to my mailbox, and I just cannot make myself tear it down. I am really not a fan of spiders at all, but look at the detail of that web!  I just took this with my 18-55 kit lens and it was terribly windy (really needed a macro and tripod), but I wasn't really after the details of the spider as much as the details of the web he has woven. Stay with me now…and excuse me, while I ponder this woven web wonder…
Woven with pattern...this is a work of art…flawed, yes…but do the flaws enhance the interest?
     Makes me wonder about my own flaws. Do they make me more interesting? 
     Why do I often try to cover them up then?
Woven with pain...looks like he dropped a stitch here and there, but that seems to make his home all the more unique.
     Life's pains have made me drop MANY a stitch along the way, 
     but that doesn't void the value of the stitches I have sewn with care, does it?
     I get insecure. I get worried and depressed. I get distracted. Then, I make a mess. 
     I keep trying to tidy up…but do I learn to make a masterpiece with the material God has given?
Woven with passion...he was hanging on for dear life with every gust of wind that blew. He showed such strength and courage.
     My huge face was causing him to be frozen, but it wasn't causing him to flee. 
     Maybe he did flinch, but who wouldn't have with all the racket I was causing in the bushes!
     My life has been full of gusts of wind strong enough to blow my feet from under me… 
     but I have always managed to get back up….not by my own strength, mind you.
Woven with perseverance.
     With all the stuff life throws at us, we keep going. Honestly, sometimes I just want to
     give up. Things sure are out of my control. 
     Life doesn't always fit together the way I planned it. 
     Friends come and go.
     People don't behave as I expect. I don't behave as hoped. 
     Tragic things happen. My head hurts. My mind gets numb. 
     Do I give up or throw a tantrum, because I don't understand it all?
     Or do I choose to feel blessed to be a part of the bigger picture and learn to see the beauty 
     each and every moment? 

Makes me very glad that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. 
(Hebrews 13:8).
Woven with a purpose...look how he has his little lunch packed in different spots. What higher power has given him such intricate instincts with such an itty-bitty brain?
     Charlotte and E.B. White would be proud of this little guy. He is really "Some Pig"
     and terribly "Terrific."
     He was thinking of his kids. Saving for their future. He was sacrificing his momentary
     fears to provide a promised inheritance.
     I think that is a "Radiant" way to live! I do hope that I can choose to live more sacrificially
     in the future and be thinking more about others than myself.
     (Sorry, you have to be a Charlotte's Web fan to get this last part).
There are so many more webby wonders I could add, but that is enough for now….
So, yep, that is how I feel right now….just woven. Woven with all the colors of the wind….isn't that a song? Ha!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It isn't easy being a mom.
Especially when our little ones, and maybe not so little ones,
somehow manage to fall from our neatly knitted nests.
Our hearts cry, our minds struggle, and our souls scream.
It is a pain like none other.
So deep and searing, 
it can make our every hair stand on end,
our heart and hands grope for answers, 
and our mouths fall open 
to utter an astonished 
We cannot manage more.
Our vocal cords are too tight from worry
and our hearts too broken for our mind to think.


And then there is the other side of motherhood.
Our mommy joys run just as deep,
if not deeper, than the mommy sorrows.
Our minds replay the memories of tummies tickled,
boo-boos bandaged, backs scratched, books read,
hands held, and hearts happy.
Joy juxtaposed against sorrow.
The joy always wins.
We forget even the pain of child bearing.
And yet, a Mother's love, 
as deep and vast and all-encompassing as it is,
 cannot compare to the love God has for all His children.
His love is so deep that He gave part of Himself, 
His only son, so that we might have life...
abundant life...and to receive His 

Heavenly Fatherhood.

Makes me wonder if I'm living life abundantly.
How could I not choose to honor and serve my Father in heaven 
who so graciously gave up so much
for me...His child...with joy.
Yes, I have taken a tumble or two.
Yet, He forgets the sorrow I have caused.
His heart and body have been unrecognizably broken and bruised
by the sorrows of us all, yet He chooses to remember our sins no more.

Prodigal child...

Do I really live each day as if I truly know that 
the days I am given are gifts from above?
Do I live like I know that tomorrow my child 
or your child or your neighbor's child
may fall from the nest forever?
And it makes me wonder also about the many tragedies people face today.
What am I doing to help those who have fallen from their nests?
Those who have literally been blown by an outer force from their homes,
and those who have been blown off course from some inner wind.
How do I impact my nest and the rest?

"'For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
but my lovingkindness will not be removed from you, 
and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,' 
says the Lord who has compassion on you," Isaiah 54:10

Mom Quotes:

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~ Elizabeth Stone 

Dear heavenly Father, please give me the strength to cope with my blessings. ~ Unknown

Behold, children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. 

How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them! ~ Psalm 127:3-5

As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible. ~ Ruth Bell Graham

Many a man has kept straight because his mother bent her knees. ~ Glen Wheeler 

It was the tiniest thing I ever decided to put my whole life into. ~ Terri Guillemets 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pony Rides Make Magical Moments

We had so much fun at a recent farm birthday party that included
pony rides and all kinds of creatures to touch, hold, and/or observe (and smell)!
Wish I could share pics of them all! Not sure which one I like the best,
but this is one my favorites as it captures the mood of the party,
 the gentleness of the pony (like his green lipstick?), and the excitement of my little girl.

In the past, she has been a bit afraid of horses, but seems to be warming up to them now.
She has finally gotten comfortable feeding them grass. She says their lips tickle her palm!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!

So, you know how I love a good photo challenge and look forward every week
to seeing how other photographers interpret the theme for the week over at
This photo was entered into the "Pets" challenge.
You can view some of the cutest pet faces EVER, by clicking on the link below

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Swing Song: Colors of the Wind

You can own the Earth and still

All you'll own is Earth until...

You can paint with all the colors of the wind,

oh, the colors of the wind!

"Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it,
but do not know where it comes from and where it is going;
so is everyone who is born of the Spirit," John 3:7-8.

This is my entry into the challenge. The theme is Wind.
Click on the link below to see more entries 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Childlike Perspective

"He must increase, but I must decrease," John 3:30 

"Don't I often desperately want to wriggle free of the confines of a small life?
Is this too, why I am often joy starved?"

Doing laundry, paying bills, scrubbing toilets, or sitting in car line....
are these trivial matters? Do they really count in the scheme of things?
Does anyone notice my faithfulness in the little things?
Am I just living to get noticed? Or do I truly desire to get God noticed?
Do I notice Him? His amazing work is all around me.
Who has eyes to notice or time to see?

"The quiet song of gratitude, lures humility out of the shadows
because to receive a gift the knees must bend humble 
and the hand must lie vulnerably open
and the will must bow to accept 
whatever the Giver chooses to give," Ann Voskamp.

"Because God needs knees more than hands"...something to think about...

"How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it," G.K. Chesterton.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Favorite Face of March

True beauty begins in your heart and shines in your smile!          

My daughter often leaves me dumbfounded. 
Even though language is not her strength, 
she sure comes up with some pretty deep questions
that always seem to melt my heart. 
One question she posed this month....

"What does Jesus laugh like?" 
I could not even fathom an answer. 
But I if I were a betting soul, I would say it would be childlike,
free and bubbling like a brook.
You know the kind.

My daughter is no exception. She loves to laugh. 
Her full belly-laughing giggles are part of her free spirit.
And I love her smile. And especially her laugh.
This is my favorite face of March.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wide-eyed Wonder: Slice of Life

Dress-up and playdates are a big part of my life right now. This photo was taken one sunny day this winter when one of our neighbors was over playing dress-up with my daughter on our screened porch. They were dancing around modeling their dresses for me (they changed about every five minutes), while I had one eye on my tasks and one eye on them. I should have been soaking in their joy with both eyes instead.

The longer I looked at this image, the more I realized my longing to possess the wide-eyed wonder it captures. Stray strands of sunlit hair swing carefree, while delighted dances sing sweet with girlish giggles. The light captures and frames the chubby hands and pinch of cheeks that will soon be gone. Why do I sometimes wish it away too quickly? How have I lost this crazy, happy joy? Has growing older made me taller, yet smaller? Could there be an advantage to the childlike vantage point?

Yes. Yes, I think I agree with the writer, Ann Voskamp, who says it is the"perspective of smallness that cultivates surprised wonder, that grows gratitude, that yields joy." Smallness. Small on our knees. Small in our expectations. Small in our services. And so, I also agree with the words of F. B Meyer who said, "it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower, and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts." Epiphany! I must become smaller in the world for it to seem bigger! To be filled with joy, I must be filled with the moment. Oh, look at the moon! Look at the wildflowers! Look at the moment! Maybe, I will not always enter every single moment with childlike wonder, but my joy moments can greatly increase simply by refusing to look over them. Instead, by looking them straight in the eye, I can capture many of my moments with childlike wonder and frame them with the beauty God has given to each.

"Anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 18:4.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Full Life: Thankful Hearts

"You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all of your heart," Jeremiah 29:13.

My daughter loves life. She loves to smell flowers. She collects clover and dandelions in the spring like they are clusters of precious jewels. She told me just today that she loves the cold winter wind blowing across her face (and then she refused to wear her coat in our 30 degree weather...ugh).

I wonder why I don't love those things as much anymore?

Sometimes, in my hurry to the next thing, I forget to marvel at the wildflower. I forget that each flower contains a miracle of microscopic wonder. Why have I grown weary of pondering the pistils and stamens of the world? And why do I turn up the collar of my coat and resist the refreshment of the wind?

Is it this childlike wonder that makes for a full life? If it is, I want it back!

I want to see that each fleeting moment holds a tiny miracle to appreciate. Ann Voskamp says in her book, One Thousand Gifts, that living life fully begins with the giving of thanks. But to be thankful I must first recognize the things that I should be thankful for. That means I have to slow down and intentionally enter life moment by moment.

Ann also says that thanks makes now a sanctuary. "But the busyness of life often leaves little time for the source of your life," says Voskamp. (find out more about Ann and her book here:

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." John 1:4. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cherry Vanilla Chocolate

Last week was definitely a winter wonderland around here! Schools were closed all week, as we had up to eight inches of snow and ice...something we don't see too much around these here parts! :) It was also cold....brrrrrrr! It was hard, but I got this body out into the snow a few days to play with my daughter, and even my terribly cool teenage son ventured out with us to go sledding in the "Narnia-like" conditions. 

We made some good memories, including making hot-chocolate with a dip of cherry vanilla ice cream added (you should try it)...this became our daily "healthy" does have lots of calcium plus fruit, you know! :() 

I tried to capture a memory of a minute in one of those days last week in the above photo, and am including it in the winter wonderland theme over at  or click on the icon below.  Check it out! Many more memories captured there!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hopes and Fears of the New Year

Two bluebirds perched on a brown branch.
Barely visible from the fog, they twitched and twittered and puffed-up their plumage, while winter's barrenness brought forth their brightness. Childlike wonder and delight flew open the door of my muddled mind. Then the fog lifted, and they were gone. Out of sight and hidden in the light.

I felt a pang of emptiness with their going. I wanted to follow. To capture their vibrant colors and feel their winged spirit. But I knew they had flown to their hidden home. A secret place.

The scene caused me to sit in silent reflection. The years past, present, and future loomed with fear and with hope. Simultaneous conflicting emotions.

Could both the barrenness and the beauty bring forth flight? 
The answers seemed elusive. Frozen in conflict.

Their secret home was one to which I could relate. But their's was a nest of natural beauty, simplicity, and song; they flew with swift confidence, and sang their joyous little songs to themselves. Mine was often a cottage that shifted too easily from freedom focus to fear and forebodings.

What was their secret? 
"This is the joy of all winged life above--happy it is to be able to love." from Hinds' Feet on High Places. "Every inner response of the human heart to Love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of Love...the little flowers have a lesson to teach. They offer themselves so sweetly and confidently and willingly, even if there is no one to appreciate them, as if they have a song they sing to themselves--that it is so happy to love even though one is not loved in return."
How do they soar and sing and rise above to the elusive blue mountaintop?
"Humble yourself, and you will find that Love is spreading a carpet of flowers beneath your feet...for it is only on the High Places of Love that anyone can receive the power to pour themselves down in an utter abandonment of self-giving."
How does the barren brownness bring forth the blueness? 
"The valleys looked very green and peaceful, while the mountains to whose foot they had come towered above them like gigantic and threatening ramparts...The choice...Fear she knew all too well, but Sorrow and could she go with them and abandon herself to their power and control?"
Trust is too hard. 
"We must leap down into the canyon...Supposing she had thrown them away, discarded  her trust in His promises, had gone back on the surrenders to His will? There could have been no jewels now to His praise and glory, and no crown for her to wear."
Flee into the foggy darkness and rise with the Living Light. 
"I will write upon her a new name, the name of her God. The Lord God is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." Pslam 84:11
"His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me,"  from Matthew 10:29.