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Monday, March 27, 2017

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 13:52

Spring enters with a chorus of bird calls. This is the most active time of year for the birds and I want to camp out on my front porch and take it all in.

The Mockingbirds are deliriously animated in their courtship. Sitting high atop the oak trees, reciting every playlist they've ever learned in hopes of attracting a mate. 


The smaller birds, like the Black-crested Titmice and the Carolina Chickadees, chase each other through the trees, chattering as they go.



The Carolina Wrens are a fickle sort. Building a nest here, only to abandon it for a better location over there.


My sweet Phoebe's are a joy to watch and wake me every morning just before dawn with their gentle calls.


Yesterday, I watched two red-tailed hawks ascending the thermals, the sun burned their undersides golden as they dipped and soared. I'd love to follow them back to their nesting site but my world has boundaries that theirs will never know.

The Vermillion Flycatcher and his mate dashed through in a flash of tangerine-red. So brilliant my eyes can barely hold the color. 


The black-chinned hummingbirds are back. Two so far. I have two feeders in the yard and they still don't want to share. When the ruby-throats start north the real wars will begin.


The finches are at the feeders again after feasting in the fields all winter. And the sweet chipping sparrows are enjoying the suet I keep stocked.  



Soon the migratory birds will begin passing through and I'll have fun trying to identify them one-by-one. If you're interested, allaboutbirds.org is a great resource site.

Bird watching is a great excuse to slow down and take note of the world around you - you'll be amazed at what you can find in your own backyard!

So tell me, what are you observing through your lens this week?

Have a wonder-filled day,



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Inspired by . . . His good pleasure

The percussion of the seed pods on the cottonwood tree call the chickadees to frolick in her branches.



I don't think the trees tolerate the birds. I think they glory in the touch of those tiny nails against their skin, reminding them of their purpose. Their reason for living.

Were the trees made for the birds or the birds for the trees?

It matters not when you consider the great Truth. The circle of life connects us all.



God made all. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. (Jn 1:3)

Why?

For His good pleasure.

And ours.

He is a God Who delights in giving good gifts to His children.
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luk 11:9-13)
When we embrace the gifts He has given us and respond with praise and thanksgiving for all He has done we are freed to love others as He has loved us. [click to tweet]






How are you embracing the gifts and blessings He is pouring out on your life?


Blessings,





Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments

Monday, March 20, 2017

Inspired by . . . do the next thing

Sometimes I get stuck.

Overwhelmed by all there is to do or all I want to do, I end up doing nothing.

Sometimes nothing can be good. Like when it amounts to rest, stillness before the Lord. But sometimes doing nothing amounts to unproductive [mindless] activity. This is not good.

I hate days when I can't focus and go from one mindless activity to the other. You, too?

The balance between rest/stillness and mindless activity can be challenging. Especially when physical circumstances force you to slow down.



Every day, hundreds of times a day, we all make the choice to do the next thing. The motivation behind our choice is what makes it mindful or mindless.

Often we're simply responding to basic needs. Our bodies need to be fed and cared for. Financial obligations met. Houses cleaned. Yet even within these tasks, there are choices.

I know how easy it is to fall prey to allowing Life to dictate my choices. Getting into reaction mode, rather than being pro-active. Because it's easier when Life is coming at you full force. But easier is often not better.

So how do we keep our motivation pure and make the right choices when we do the next thing?
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isa 26:3)

The simple answer, which isn't simple at all, is to keep God at the forefront of all we do. I'm learning that this is more about establishing a habitual discipline than it is about taking chunks of time out of the day.  We don't have to stop and go into our prayer closet for 30 minutes every time we need to make a decision. Certainly, there are major decisions that require significant prayer. But when we are conscious to involve God in our everyday routine, simply pausing to acknowledge that we need Him throughout the day, we will find ourselves breathing prayers for guidance naturally. [click to tweet]

He has given us the Holy Spirit to direct and guide us. So, why do we mostly ignore this precious gift!? Imagine running on the power of the Holy Spirit throughout the day rather than your own? I expect that sounds good to a few weary souls out there. I know it sounds good to me!
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (Joh 14:26)

These breath-prayers have been a challenge and a focus for me this year. As with any spiritual discipline, they take time and I'm nowhere close to having this all figured out. But every time I remember to seek Him and acknowledge my need for His presence during the day I am blessed and my choices and actions honor Him.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Rom 8:26)
How about you? Are you mindful of God during the day? Do you acknowledge your need for Him in the daily minutia of Life? 


Blessings,


Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments