Thursday, July 21, 2011

Main Street

When I visited the Farmer's Market downtown Midland this morning, the lush landscaping in full bloom around the parking lot and along Main Street took my breath away. Later I returned with my camera. . . .














Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lexi's Lego's


“I don’t want to!” three-year-old Lexi protests, bursting into tears.  Undaunted by her tantrum, I scoop her into my arms and swing her onto my hip. “Lexi,” I speak matter-of-factly, “Now is time to clean up the classroom. You need to obey with a good attitude. Let’s pick up the Lego’s together. Do you see that Lego horse on the floor? I want you to pick it up, and we’ll take it to the Lego bin together.”

She stops crying, and for the next two minutes she is engaged in picking up Lego’s independently. She has another meltdown (it’s almost the end of the day, so I assume she is tired). “Lexi,” I pick her up again. “You are a good helper with those Lego’s. Now I want you to help me put away the Connect Four game.” Again, she stops crying. After we clear away the game pieces, we move to the last table to put away the toys scattered over it. I set her down so she can do the job independently. A minute later she is in tears again. “Lexi,” I pick her up a third time. “You’ve been a good helper. Thank you for helping put the toys away.” As I hold her on my hip, her crying stops and her smile returns.

Embracing the little girl, I reflect how much like her I am. How often I protest, “I don’t want to!” in response to God’s directive. Yet God doesn’t let me evade the calling. Rather, He draws me into His arms. Held close to Him and carried by Him to do the very thing I initially resist, I find to my surprise the fulfillment I’ve been craving all along.

“Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunflowers

Did you know that sunflowers turn to face the sun? I recently learned from a gardener friend that the flowers twist throughout each day so they can bask in the direct rays of sunshine as the source of light moves through the sky. No wonder these vibrant flowers are called sunflowers! The way sunflowers crave the sun reminds me that God names us sons of light (see Ephesians 5:8) and beckons us to live in His Son’s light. Like sunflowers, we too need to desire the Sunlight and regularly turn our perspective in order to keep His light in our focus.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Innumerable

My latest impromptu photo shoot of flowers in my neighborhood brought the number of images I've taken on my Canon Rebel to over 10,000. The counter automatically reset to begin the numbers again from IMG_0001. While I've taken thousands upon thousands of pictures of the beauty I notice around me, I'm awed to realize that God has created so much for us to enjoy and admire that innumerable pictures couldn't begin catalog His handiwork.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alaska Adventure!

To celebrate my parents' 30th wedding anniversary this summer, the four of us (Mom, Dad, brother Peter, and I) took an Alaska Inside Passage cruise from Seattle. What an amazing time we had seeing so much breath-taking beauty and splendor along the coast of America's Last Frontier. We cruised with Insight for Living, which made the experience all the more fabulous. (For more information about cruising with Insight for Living or another Christian group, visit Inspiration Cruise Tours or Insight for Living Travel Events.) We all agreed that it was the best family trip we've ever had! Here are some picture highlights of the scenery we saw on our fantastic family vacation.

video

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dog Hugs

Have you ever been hugged by a dog?

Yesterday evening as I was walking my usual loop around the neighborhood, camera in hand, I stopped in front of one of my neighbors’ homes to admire the gorgeous lilies growing in the front garden by the sidewalk.



Focusing my camera lens on the vibrant blooms, I was startled when the owner of the home opened the front door. “Do you like flowers?” she greeted me warmly.

“Oh, yes,” I replied with enthusiasm. “I live here in the neighborhood and admire your flowers every time I walk past.”

“Well, I have a whole garden in the backyard,” she answered. “Would you like to come see,” she invited.

As she showed me around her garden, we got to chatting. Her dogs were there in the yard, and the largest of them was the friendliest, most affectionate dog I have ever met. He just loved giving me hugs! He kept getting on his hind legs in order to embrace me with his front paws. It was so sweet!

When I mentioned that I’m working on my master’s degree in elementary education, my neighbor said that she’s the chemistry teacher at one of the local high schools, and she eagerly provided me with valuable contacts for our local public school district that for some time I’d been hoping for.

Lovely photographs, a new friend, dog hugs, professional contacts—what delightful surprises come to us when we take God at His Word, quite literally, to “consider the lilies”!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Style Secret: Too-Short Pants to Capris

On the deck of the Westerdam,
overlooking the Seattle pier.
The night before my latest trip I was last-minute shopping for a pair of navy pants, when I found a rack of twill pants on clearance. I didn't see any in 4R, the size I was looking for, but I did notice a pair in 6P. I decided to give them a try, even though I knew they would be too short. Sure enough, they fit well, except for the length. Having the idea to refashion the too-short pants into capris, I bought them and quickly hemmed them before packing them in my suitcase. Score!