Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dogwoods in the Neighborhood

Where we are living now (in AR) is a small subdivision built in the woods. Since the neighborhoods were not built out completely, and we live on a very underdeveloped street of only 6 houses, there are a number of trees still standing around these homes.

Many of the trees are generic tall trees, and I can only tell what kind of trees they are by the type of acorn or seed laying on the ground below them. This year was exceptionally bountiful in the acorn and nut season, so when I walk around our yard I hear the "crunch crunch" of the acorns and shells under my feet. In the fall the neighbors said that it was one of the heartiest crops they could remember of acorns and nuts, so we all expected a LONG, COLD, HARD winter. It hasn't hit us yet, and we're running out of time... (I sure hope it doesn't hit now!!). Mark built a firepit out in the back yard, and one of the trees he had to cut down became re-purposed into little stools around it. The sun hit just right, and I could see that some spider had spun it's web around the perimeter of the log. I've never seen a spider do that before!

The average last hard freeze is April 15, but we've all grown impatient and put out plants (perennials) and started growing things in the ground. Things are blooming earlier than usual too, and the Redbud and Dogwood trees are in full bloom around us! It's spectacular!

The Eastern Redbud is my favorite tree of all time, and I'll do a series of photos on them soon, but this evening I was taken back by the beauty of the Dogwood trees! I thought I'd take some photos in case we do get a hard freeze (or another strong wind!) and lose all their blossoms...

I hope that you enjoy the photos. I've not added any scripture or sayings to these, but I hope that you will share if God gives you a special thought, scripture, or quote for a specific photo. May your heart be stilled and may you feel God's presence and peace as you view them...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Rains

It's raining. I know that it's rained before... but this is different. I think this is our first REAL Spring Rain of the season.

It's warm out - 68 or's been cloudy all morning, and humid. There's crazy lightning going on around me, and I hear the thunder sounding off when I don't see the flashes. It's not a scary lightning, just consistent.

It SMELLS like rain, with dirt and a dose of hyacinth mixed in, since we've been working so hard on the flower beds. The wind is non-existent, which is hard to believe for as hard as it's been blowing the past few days. I prefer it this way, with just a steady rain coming down.

OH, and the birds! They're so loud today, as if to announce that the rain is here (or all morning, that it was coming). Silliness.

I had a new thought... feeding birds in the winter is like planting seeds in the spring. They bring me joy, settle my spirit, and I need to invest in them to reap the reward of them...whether it's filling feeders and water bowls in the freezing temps, or pulling grass and weeds to make way for the flowers... they bring color and life to my home around me (and YOU!).
Investing in my relationship with God is the same. I need to not only know ABOUT Him, but KNOW HIM. I hope you know that difference too. Sometimes I hear about things He is doing, and I wonder if He would do that for me here. Sometimes I feel distant or afraid. Sometimes I'm just lonely, forgetting He is here WITH me, and He is FOR me!

I don't need to go very far before I realize how close He is, and how present He is in my life. I forget that sometimes I get distracted, and sometimes I'm craving time with Him, and He is there all along, waiting for me... I think I hear Him calling me now...

Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring. - Hosea 6:3 NLT

Blessings on your Wednesday!