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Friday, February 27, 2015

Inspired by . . . a month in photos: February

 

I’m joining with Mona once again for a look back at the month, in photos.

February continued on where January left off. My dad once again has a new home. This time an eternal one. I can think of few events that would have such a profound effect on my world as his passing. Except for a few years in my early twenties, my dad and I have lived together all of my life. His absence is profound, and it will take a long time to  settle into this new normal.

My dad’s life-work was genealogy. As an on-going tribute to him I’ve created a blog www.arandompost.com For those of you who are interested in personal stories, or anything with historical significance, you may eventually find something of interest there. Postings will be very random, and my dad’s last name was Post, so it’s a bit of a play on words. {smile}

In the meantime, here’s a look back at February 2015:

Quote of the month:

 

Grief never ends . . .

but it changes. It's a passage, not a place to stay.

Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith . . .

it is the price of LOVE.

~ Author Unknown

 

FEB_Collage

 

Favorite photo of the month:

 

WordOfTheLord

 

 

Sprinklings of God’s mercy and grace:

1. Gifts of love and new life from a dear friend

2. A gentle and compassionate man that helped us with end of life decisions

3. God’s strength to get through each day

4. Prayers and support of family and friends

5. Cards and letters filled with memories of Dad

 

When you look back at your February,

what do you see?

Blessings,

June

 

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Mona’s Picturesque

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Inspired by . . . always near the cross: sacrifice

Continuing the series.

Love

Humility

Sacrifice

Obedience

Submission

Faith

Trust

 

PearBlossom_VofV

It is not feeling the Spirit

that proves my saved state but the

truth of what Christ did perfectly for me;

~Valley of Vision

 

Does sacrifice come easy for you? Or is it something you do only when it’s convenient? If the latter is true, then it is really not sacrifice at all.

We all have different things that we’re selfish about. Mine is time. I have so little “me” time, that I tend to hold it tightly when it comes. There are very few people who I will sacrifice my time for, and even then I do not always do so willingly - -read: “I’m doing this but I’m grumpy about it.”

Whenever we make a true sacrifice, whether it’s our time, money, material things, resources, the object doesn’t matter, the act of giving out of our need identifies us with Christ and brings us near the cross.

There is a balance here. We should be watchful of our motives. In most cases, our sacrifice should be known to only us and God.

There is no carpet of moss or bed of roses at the foot of the cross. The ground here is hard and rocky, littered with stones that pierce the flesh.

But our discomfort is minor to Him Who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,

worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 2 Cor 4:17

 

Blessings,

June

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Inspired by . . . Always near the cross: humility

 

This is a series I began back in January. You can find the first two posts here.

The thought comes from a line from a Puritan Prayer included in The Valley of Vision prayer collection.

. . . so that I may live always near the cross.

This post is a continuation of my ponderings.

Love

Humility

Sacrifice

Obedience

Submission

Faith

Trust

 

Wonders_of_Love

 

There is humility at the cross. Oh, you can come to it with sneers and jesting, accusations and challenges. But only those who are humble can dwell there.

Our worlds can be so small. Even with technology that allows us to see other galaxies, our minds don’t often move past our home and family. The influence we have over our “world” can seem so large, yet every life, no matter how influential, is a but a vapor in the eyes of God.

Yet, He condescends to love us with such a great and sacrificial love. He abides in us and we abide with Him, the Creator of the universe!

Do you feel worthy of this great privilege?

If you do, the very pride that causes you to feel such will bar your heart from entrance. If you do not, be careful that you do not reject His love with the pride of false humility.

Instead, let us respond with wonder, gratitude and thanksgiving for Christ’s great sacrifice.

Dwell near the cross in humility, always in remembrance of what He has done for us.

 

Blessings,

June

 

 

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 7:52

 

The call of the Eastern Phoebe outside my bedroom window this past week has alerted me to the change in seasons. It may seem early to most of you, but although the Phoebes have been here all winter, the back and forth calling has only recently begun again. My alarm clock is back. You can read about that here, if you want. They are such an adorable bird. I love watching their in-flight aerobatics!

 

Eastern_Phoebe

 

The absence of green, red, and gold, silver, blue and white dripping from nearly every surface is another sign of the season change. Time to decorate with pastels and think about the awesome and the profound. The true meaning of Spring: rebirth!

 

Christmas_Bow

 

The birds are happy about the warmer weather and, I like to think, happy about me being outside to play hide and seek with them again. As I walk along, they flit, over and beside me, from limb to stalk to leaf.  They know the true meaning of self-less abandon and my spirit soars along with them.

 

Chipping_Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

 

Then I see what all the excitement is really about . . . the pear tree is just beginning to bloom!

 

Pear_Blossom2

 

Breathe deeply, my friend. Can you smell it? No fragrance made by man can compare!

 

ChippingSparrow_Pear

 

I walk around the tree as if in a trance, intoxicated by the scent. Do the birds smell it too? Is it the smell that draws the birds and the bees to the beauty of the bud?

 

Pear_Blossom

 

There is new life here – bursting forth. Can you feel it?

The birds look down at me from the upper branches, wondering why I linger.

What did she come for? What does she seek?

 

WordOfTheLord

 

The answer tumbles forth on the slant of the morning sun.

 

Blessings,

June

 

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Inspired by . . . God’s Love Letter to Women

I hadn’t intended to do another post for St Valentine’s Day, but then I remembered this letter, and wanted to share it with all of you, my sweet friends.

 

HeartPetals_mp_earth

Mona’s earth texture

 

Dear Woman,

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being.

When I created man, I formed him and breathed life into his nostrils. But you woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you.

Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. From one bone I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects his heart and his lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do. Around this one bone I shaped you. I modeled you. I created you perfectly and beautifully.

 

WillowTreeFigure_rose

 

Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life. The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart.

Support the man as the rib cage supports the body. You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head, to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side.

 

WTFigurine_Rose_kk_heartfelt

Textured with kk_heartfelt

 

You are my perfect angel. You are my beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtues in your heart. Your eyes - don't change them. Your lips - how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose, so perfect in form, your hands so gentle in touch. I've caressed your face in your deepest sleep; I've held your heart close to mine.

Of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like me. Adam walked with me in the cool of the day and yet he was lonely. He could not see me or touch me. He could only feel me.

So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you: my holiness, my strength, my purity, my love, my protection and support. You are special because you are the extension of me.

 

WTFigurine_Rose_kk_poetic

Textured with kk_poetic

 

Man represents my image, woman my emotions. Together you represent the totality of God. So man - treat woman well. Love her, respect her, for she is fragile. In hurting her, you hurt me. What you do to her, you do to me. In crushing her, you only damage your own heart, the heart of your Father, and the heart of her Father.

Woman, support man. In humility, show him the power of emotion I have given you. In gentle quietness show your strength. In love, show him that you are the rib that protects his inner self.

Love,

God

 

WTFigurine_Rose_pdpa_cherish

Textured with pdpa_cherish

 

As much as I wish it otherwise, I did NOT write this letter, however I’ve long since lost the name of the author.

If you know who wrote this, please share in the comments.

In is my prayer that you’ll take these words to heart, and may we all learn

to show our strength, in gentle quietness.

 

Blessings,

June

 

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Inspired by . . . natural love

Being that St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated this Saturday, I have a love story to to tell you. It’s a bit unconventional, but I think you will enjoy it.

One day, last July, while I was sitting on my front porch, I noticed a pair of cardinals building a nest in a nearby cedar tree. I had already enjoyed watching the scissor-tail flycatcher family grow and fledge, and looked forward to meeting the cardinal family littles.

 

Cardinal_BuildingNest1

 

Cardinal_Watching

 

Cardinal_BuildingNest2

 

Cardinal_Watching2

 

Within a day or two the nest was complete and momma cardinal was soon sitting on the nest full-time, which alerted me that eggs had been laid. Then, my husband and I went out of town for a few days and when we returned I was disappointed to see that the nest had been abandoned. I wondered why, but really didn’t give it much thought.

Time rocked along until one late afternoon when my husband set up the sprinkler to water the lawn. I’m always on high alert when we’re watering, because the water attracts the birds and animals.  Today was no exception. The sprinkler was hitting one of the trees in our front yard and a pair of cardinals had come to bathe.

I took about a million shots! But it wasn’t until I downloaded the images onto my computer that I realized, to my horror, that the female cardinal had a terrible wound on the back of her head. I marveled that she was even alive. Birds are not hardy creatures and I was saddened to think that she would likely soon die.

 

Cardinal_Bathing1

 

Cardinal_Bathing2

 

Cardinal_Bathing3

 

Cardinal_Bathing4

 

I began thinking a lot about the wounded cardinal and her mate. I greatly hoped to see her again, to know that she survived. I watched for the pair, and listened for their call {one of the few bird calls I know} whenever I was outside.

A couple of weeks later I spotted the pair at my bird feeders. The female seemed to be healing, but what really surprised me was the male! I hadn’t noticed earlier when I photographed them bathing, but he looked like he’d been in a battle too!

 

Cardinal_birdbath

 

Cardinal_Male

 

Cardinal_birdbath2

 

I began to wonder if it was this cardinal pair that had built that abandoned nest in the cedar tree in early July. Perhaps the nest had been attacked and the female had been hurt defending her eggs. Male cardinals are very attentive to their mates and their young. It is not uncommon to see males feeding their mates, and caring for their newborn chicks. Many experts even believe that cardinals mate for life.

I could only imagine how this male cardinal fought to defend his mate and unborn chicks!

 

Cardinal_Male2

 

Instinct? Sure, you can argue that, but it’s been my experience that most non-dominant animals flee from attack, they don’t engage their attacker. Song birds are some of the most innocent, and docile creatures on our planet. It may be a purely romantic notion, but I believe these two are a love-match!

 

Cardinal_Pair

 

Love…

is a fruit in season

at all times,

and within reach of

every hand.

~Mother Teresa

 

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

 

Blessings,

June

 

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