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Monday, February 29, 2016

Inspired by . . . February - a look back

How fun to have an "extra" day this year! Especially for all those leap-year babies. Retailers are certainly taking advantage of the 29th, how about you?

February is a bittersweet month for me. It will forever be the anniversary of my dad's passing, as well as the anniversary of my Dreamer's birth. 

Today I'm sharing a look back in photos, and also a short list of what I learned this month.





Things are usually not as bad as we imagine them to be: Yes, I survived the dentist!

If you don't tell people your book is free on Amazon, no one will know: I scheduled a free giveaway of Act I of No Tomorrow in honor of my Dreamer's birthday, but forgot to announce it! So, if you're interested, mark your calendars for this Friday and Saturday, March 4, 5th. No Tomorrow, Act I will be a free download for two days!

Everyone loves spring: the post featuring our early blooming pear tree was a favorite this month!

Buffer makes it easy: to have a consistent presence on social media. Have you heard of them? You can check them out here.

The Lenten season is perfectly timed: For some reason this time of year is usually busy and rushed. Observing Lent this year has allowed me to slow down. To be intentional about how I spend my time. When we move more slowly through our days, it's easier to see the moments three dimensionally, rather than in a blur as we rush past. 3D moments are easier to grasp and hold onto, to examine and find the deeper meaning.

My favorite quote this month:





When you look back
at February
what do you see?

Blessings,


Sharing inspiration here:
Mona's Picturesque
Emily P. Freeman

Friday, February 26, 2016

Inspired by . . . standing within her gates



A Song of Ascents. Of David. I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD!" Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!" For my brothers and companions' sake I will say, "Peace be within you!" For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good. (Psa 122:1-9)

This psalm stirs in me a longing to assemble with the saints in God's house. For many reasons, my Dreamer and I are currently without a church family. Being fed weekly, sometimes daily, by the gracious ministry of Truth for Life, and the teachings of Alistair Begg.

But for those of you who have been in this place of in between before, you know it's not the same. God means for us to be in fellowship together, for our mutual edification and encouragement.

 "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. " Heb 10:24-25

While I may be in a season of worshiping God in solitary, my heart is no less glad in doing so. I look forward to my daily time with Him, reading His word and sitting quietly at His feet. There is a warmth and JOY that fills my soul when I think forward to these times. There is an eagerness to tune into the next message from Alistair. My spirit soars with David's as I read the words, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!"

Would that my spirit always longs for the things of God.

The Walls of Jerusalem
Painting by Dan Livni

"Jerusalem - built as a city that is bound firmly together." There is a beautiful picture here of what the church, the people of the church, are to look like. Jerusalem itself is a beautiful city. Built uniform, the houses strengthening and supporting one another. Just as we, Believers, are meant to do.

When I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I think of, not only the physical city and the nation of Israel, but of God's church, His people, around the world. 

There is much that comes against us. Against Israel. Against us personally, and the against the church as a whole. But evil cannot stand against the prayers of the saints. (Matt 16:18)

"There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David." Here we are reminded that Jerusalem was, and will again be, a royal city. 

As such, Jerusalem reminds us that God looks after our civil interests as well as our spiritual ones. We can trust that justice will be administered.  And when justice is not administered as it ought to be in this world, we may be reminded that we are a royal priesthood. We take comfort in the fact that in the end, God's justice will be, and has been served.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 1Pe_2:9 
We'll be there one day, standing within her gates on streets of gold. But you know, it's not the streets of gold or pearly gates that stir my soul. It's the thought of standing in His presence, with eyes that finally see, and a heart that will finally grasp how deep and how high is the love of Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Shalom,






Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
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

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 8:52

The pear tree is in bloom, and I am like a bee caught in it's intoxicating web.




It always blooms early, usually to it's own detriment. However, this year has been warm and the pollinators are out in droves! So I have a hope of pears for the first time!


Eastern Phoebe

I visit her every day. Drinking in the weight of her nectar. Her garments are dipped in honey and laced with sugar.


Variegated Fritillary


American Lady

Red Admiral

The bees and butterflies dance a cadence that woos me deeper into her sacred speech. Whispered blessings that only my heart understands.


Cucumber Beetle
 "If an [pear] blossom or a ripe [pear] could tell its own story, it would be, still more than its own, the story of the sunshine that smiled upon it, of the winds that whispered to it, of the birds that sang around it, of the storms that visited it, and of the motherly tree that held it and fed it until its petals were unfolded and its form developed." Lucy Larcom


What are you seeing
through your lens
this week?

Have a wonder-filled day!


Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Photo Friday

Friday, February 19, 2016

Inspired by . . . the Maker of heaven and earth

Growing up in Vermont, I was well acquainted with hills and mountains. Mt. Washington, the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi river, could be clearly seen from our front porch. Our farm is situated just north of the area pictured below.

Spring time in Peacham with Mt. Washington in the distance by john knox on Capture My Vermont
Spring time in Peacham with Mt. Washington in the distance by john knox

The hills brought beauty to our lives, and a sense of protection. Nestled in their bosom, I grew and thrived.

A couple of years ago, the Dreamer and I took a trip to Colorado. The Rocky Mountains took my breath, and my heart. Unlike the gentle protectors of my youth, these strong sentinels stand fierce and bold, even when adorned in their soft golden coats of autumn.




A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psa 121:1-8)

It's easy to look toward a mountain, or fortress, or even to men for our protection. But Psalm 121 reminds us that we must look beyond these earthly things. Our help comes from the Creator, not the creation.

Here is a blessed reminder to rely on, and trust in, the promises of God. The help we receive is bound up in His power and goodness, His providence and grace. As children of God we should lift our eyes to Him, expecting to receive as He has promised.

It is the Lord, Himself, Who is our keeper, and our protector. He shades us from every foe, whether sun or moon. For sometimes the things we think are good for us, He knows are not. So under His shadow we may sit with delight and assurance, because we trust in Him.

Just as God went before Israel in the wilderness, a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, the Lord will preserve our going out and our coming in. 

The promise here is not that we will never need help, but that these things which cause us to need that help will never separate us from the God Who is our help, or from His purposes for us.





When we look to Him as Lord and Savior, 
He will indeed preserve our souls 
from this time forth and forevermore. 

Even to the end of the world.

Blessings,


You may remember that I'm joining Kimberlee Conway Ireton for this Lenten series of meditation through the Psalms of Ascent. You may find her offerings here.


Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
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

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

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

This week has been all about counting birds and preparing for butterflies!

For those of you who enJOY birding, you were probably aware that this past weekend was the Great Backyard Bird Count. Others of you may have noticed an unusual number of people out-and-about looking up into trees and sky. 

This is no small event, with over 132K checklists submitted, and over 14M individual birds being counted - around the world. The count is over, but you can see the results, and some fabulous photographs, here.

This was my first year participating and I stayed, literally, in my backyard. My count was small, 10 species, 15 birds, and included all the usual suspects. I observed for just under an hour, before the wind chased me inside.


Goldfronted Woodpecker, Western Scrub Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren
Eastern Phoebe, Northern Cardinal, Lesser Goldfinch
Black-crested Titmouse, Northern Mockingbird, White-winged Dove

There has been a lot of talk lately about the declining number of bees and butterflies, due mainly to the use of pesticides. This is a concern for all of us, because pollinators make two out of every three bites of food we eat possible! If you enJOY gardening, even in pots, and want to learn how you can help, Monika's website, Texas Butterfly Ranch, has good information, and great resources.




If you live in Texas, you may have heard that San Antonio has been named the first Monarch Champion city in the country by the National Wildlife Federation. This status will bring a lot of opportunities for learning and will implement ways to help the monarchs as they migrate north through our area.

One of the ways I'm helping to "bring back the monarchs" is by incorporating a monarch waystation, or habitat, into my existing flower garden. 




It's difficult to find milkweed plants at our local nurseries (although I'm hoping that changes with our new Champion status), so I purchased a seed kit through Monarch Watch. This past week I started 150 seeds. The kit included three milkweed varieties, which are host plants for monarch larvae, and six nectar plants. I was delighted (and shocked!) to find that the Tithonia Torch {Mexican Sunflower} and the Zinnias are already sprouting!

Gardening is a lot of work, and I'm praying my back will tolerate it. It will all be worth it to encounter a beauty like this again!





What are you seeing
through your lens
this week?

Blessings,



Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Photo Friday

Monday, February 15, 2016

Inspired by . . . preparation




As I've worked this week to prepare the soil of my heart to receive the blessing of Lent, I've tried to be mindful of habitual sins. Sins that some would say, "Oh, that's your personality. You were made that way." Sins that our churches and our culture don't give the time of day. At times we may be tempted to look at our sin, and compare ourselves to others. "I'm not as bad as so-and-so."

But God doesn't compare our sins to the sins of others. 
"Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7)
These are the sins that we tend to be indulgent of in ourselves, but intolerant of when we see them in others.

Sin, any and all sin, separates us from God.

If Lent is a time of emptying, of clearing out to make room for God, then the best thing we can clear out is the sin in our lives.

It is appropriate for us to enter into the sorrow and the darkness, where we can hear the voice of God, and face our sin.

And repent.

Because just as this Lenten season ends in Easter, the resurrection, and new life, we don't dwell long in that place of sorrow and darkness.




Our repentance peels back the dead layers of offense surrounding our hearts, and allows us to be who we are meant to be in Christ.

Reborn. Made new.




We walk from darkness into His glorious light.

Shalom,







Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
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

Friday, February 12, 2016

Inspired by . . . Psalm 120: Deceitful Lips

It seems strange somehow to be meditating on the sorrow of the cross during these weeks when the earth is budding with new life. But our walk with Jesus is a walk toward darkness. He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. 




Sunday's coming, but there is a high price to pay to get there. Focusing on the price now, makes the prize that much more meaningful.

At first I thought, did we get it wrong, this church calendar thing? Shouldn't the rhythm of God's created line up with His creation?

But then I realized how perfect it is to be walking this road to Calvary while the earth is exploding with new life. What would winter be without the hope of spring? The days of mourning without the hope of gladness? The cross without the resurrection? Death without the hope of eternal life?

As we meditate on the sorrow of the cross, and walk with Jesus into the darkness, God's creation reminds us of the light and grace that is to come. It gives us hope to bear the sorrow.





A Song of Ascents. In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered me. Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, you deceitful tongue? A warrior's sharp arrows, with glowing coals of the broom tree! Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war! (Psa 120:1-7)


In Psalm 120, the first psalm of ascent, we find David crying out to the Lord for deliverance from those who hate peace. From those who lie to cause him harm, and spread deceit for their own gain.  

We remember that our Savior also endured the pain of deceitful lips. Those whom He came to save, caused Him the most harm.

In the psalm, David is speaking of real men who sought to destroy him. Maybe you have deceitful people in your life, too. Or maybe you are your own worst enemy. Sometimes, when we begin an emptying of ourselves, to make room for God, the enemy decides to step up his game. He whispers half-truths, and lies to make us critical of ourselves, and take our focus off our Savior.

When this happens we need to take a lesson from David, and cry out to the Lord for deliverance! Yes, it's really that simple. God will hear our prayer and act. Just as He did for David, just as He has always done.





Remember, we don't walk this, or any road alone. 

There's not a place where you'll go, 
He's not already stood. 

Shalom,






Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
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, Still Saturday

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Inspired by . . . ascent into darkness

The room is bathed in a heavy golden light. I can feel the warmth of it, even though there are walls between me and the source.

I'm thinking about hell. 

The darkness  that Jesus descended into after He finished the work of the cross. This time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, these forty hours, is where the season of Lent, as we know it today, began. A forty-hour fast, mirroring the time Christ spent in the grave. In darkness, separated from God.

For my sin.

I've never celebrated Lent before. I wasn't raised, and have never attended churches that followed the "church calendar." I didn't even know there was such a thing. To me the church calendar was a list of scheduled activities: game night, baptism services, Mother's Day, Fall Festival, etc.

But last year, during a time when I was entering my own period of darkness, God began to show me that there is a rhythm to His days. Just as He created the seasons, Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, there are seasons to our walk with Him. There is more to celebrate than Christmas and Easter.

I began learning about "ordinary days" - which aren't ordinary at all. I began to see that each moment, each day is sacred, when we invite God to be actively involved. 



This isn't easy with the lives we have and the culture in which we live. It takes attention, and a measure of discipline. That's where Lent comes in. 

It's a time of emptying. A time of sorrow over the cause of Christ's death.

My sin.

To me - a non-churched in the ways of Lent person - fasting {or giving something up} is not the point. Creating space in my life for my relationship with God, is the point. Maybe I have to give up something to create that space, maybe I don't, either way, the focus is on God, not MY sacrifice.

This year, I have decided to join my friend, Kimberlee Conway Ireton, in meditating on the Psalms of Ascent during this time. As she says,
During Lent we get to journey with Jesus as He makes His way to Jerusalem for the last time. What better songs to sing in this season than these Psalms of Ascent, sojourning songs of the faithful? What better way to prepare for the Triduum than to meditate on these pilgrim songs, songs our Lord Himself sang as He climbed the mountain of the Lord, to offer Himself as our Passover lamb?
Will you join me? 
We begin later this week, with Psalm 120.

Shalom,

Footnote: If you're interested in learning more, Kimberlee's book, The Circle of Seasons, will introduce you to the rhythms that help us slow down, and  enable us to invite God into our every day. You may find it here



Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
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, Still Saturday

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 6:52

We've had some glorious sunny days this past week, but I confess, the cold north wind has been keeping me inside. I just do not like the wind. The sun teases me through the windows with her warm golden rays, and I fall for it every time!  I venture out onto the porch, all seems warm and sunny - and then, I'm blasted by Mr. North Wind!

If I had to guess, I'd say the birds don't like Mr. North Wind either. He teases their feathers, and slithers underneath to bite their soft skin. Their only defense is to puff up, and bear it!


Lessor Goldfinch (Texas form)
I'm sure it's the cold that is driving them to my suet feeder so often. The added fat helps them stay warm. 

I shared my Scrub Jays with you last week, but I like the shadows in this capture, so I'm sharing him again. He's got his eye on the prize!




The black-crested titmice are back again, too. They are so fast, and difficult to capture. I think these are two of my best so far.




I haven't seen very many Lessor Goldfinches around this winter. But the finches that do come are eating my sunflower seed, not the nyjer I put out for them. They've always eaten the nyjer before. The seed is new, and doesn't have a funny smell, so I'm stumped.

Anyone experiencing the same? Ideas?


Lessor Goldfinch {female}


I'm hearing more bird song these days. I always know when the House Finches are in the yard. Their song is one of my favorites. So JOYful! You can listen to it here.


House Finch

Did you know that our ears are designed specifically to hear birdsong? It's true!
“…we have a very discreet bandwidth of supersensitive hearing and that's between 2.5 and 5 kilohertz in the resident frequencies of the auditory canal,” Gordon tells host Krista Tippett. “Is there something in our ancestors' environment that matches our peak hearing human sensitivity? Because most of what I'm saying right now, except for the "s" sounds and the high-pitched sounds, falls well below that range. And, indeed, there's a perfect match: birdsong. Birdsong.”  - Gordon Hempton, a self-proclaimed acoustic ecologist

I think that's pretty special!
What are you seeing through
your lens this week?

Blessings,


Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Photo Friday

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Inspired by . . . worship

Some of you may remember the book club I mentioned a few weeks ago. The book we're reading, The Yada Yada Prayer Group, by Neta Jackson, is about a multi-cultural prayer group, how it gets started, and how the group impacts {mainly} the main character of the book. 



One of the things I really liked about the book was the portrayal of the diversity of Christian worship. Most of the women attended different churches, had different ways they prayed and worshiped, and different comfort levels in doing so. 

Yet, they were all united in Christ.

From almost the first scene of the book, the main character was impacted by the style of worship at a Christian conference she attended with a friend. She was struck by the music itself, the worshiper's response, and the length of time spent worshiping, all of which were very different from her church experience. Ultimately, it was through the words of this style of music, a CD given to her by a member of Yada Yada, that God chose to speak to her heart, and she received a measure of His grace in a time of great need.

Most churches begin with a time of worship. The style of music, the nature of expression {raising of hands, or not, etc}, and the length of time spent in worship varies greatly from congregation to congregation.

But I wonder how often worship is a part of our personal "quiet" time spent with God. Up until a few weeks ago, I'm sorry to say it wasn't a part of mine.

But God is dong a new thing. I enJOY music, but it's never been a huge part of my life. As I've said before, quiet is my chocolate. But God is doing a new thing. He's changing the way I relate to Him, and to others. Breaking down barriers of tradition in my mind that have constrained brave thinking.

One of the women who shared during Jeanne Oliver's online course, Listening / Finding the Quiet shared a song by Lauren Daigle. Some of her words echo the longings of my heart. Words I've prayed, and sang back to God. Things surrendered, and proclaimed.

I've found that incorporating worship into the beginning of my quiet time is often the conduit I need to quiet and focus my spirit away from the chaos of life. 

Certainly, there is a need to, literally, sit quietly with God. But there is also a time to dance before Him, as David did, when our hearts are full to overflowing with praise.

This behavior feels awkward at times, I admit. This white-girl has about as much rhythm as a stick-bug. I'm not an overly demonstrative person, and come from a conservative church background, but there is something about praising God in song that calls to my spirit. 

[D]uring my first “quiet time” of the summer, it occurred to me that that was an odd phrase. “Quiet time.” That’s what they called it at church camp when I was a kid, what every pastor or teen group leader or Bible study I’d ever been part of had called it— that, or “personal devotions.” No wonder I had never included out-loud praises to God in my devotions, or turned up the music and danced. Jackson, Neta (2013-12-17). The Yada Yada Prayer Group: Book 1 (Yada Yada Series) (pp. 297-298). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

Have you ever watched the Hasidic Jews sing the psalms? I can't understand a word they're saying - but it doesn't matter. My spirit is praising our Lord right along with them!

God is spirit, and we are to worship Him in spirit and truth. We should not feel as if we have to confine our worship to a particular style or tradition. I think, too, as we grow in our relationship with God our intentional time with Him, and the way we relate to Him changes.

As individuals we all have our own way of communing with God. As children of God, we can learn and grow from watching how others, from different church backgrounds, and different cultural backgrounds praise and worship the One true God.




Do you incorporate praise into 
your private time with God?

What style or expression of worship do you feel drawn to,
that you're not currently engaging in?

Shalom,



Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
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, Still Saturday

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Inspired by . . . January: a look back

I'm a couple of days late with my January post. I enJOYed participating in Mona's 'a month in photos' link up so much last year, I knew I wanted to continue.  But with the new year upon us, I also knew I wanted my month in review posts to be a little different.

Mona's fabulous new {free} template took care of my new look. Thank you, Mona! And Karrilee's enthusiasm over Emily P. Freeman's link up convinced me to include her 'what I learned' format into my monthly reminiscence.

So here's a {new} look back at what I learned in January!



Christmas doesn't have to be celebrated on Dec. 25th: Our family got together on Jan, 2nd this year. It was a time of sweet fellowship and laughter.

Pain affects every aspect of your life: Between my sciatic {or sacroiliitis, whichever it is}, my tooth pain, and my allergies last month I feel like January was completely wasted. I know for many of you, this is a constant struggle.

Prayer matters: Not only does God hear and act on our prayers, but knowing someone is praying for you has a positive, calming affect. Thank you for responding to me with love and prayer when I share in this space.

It's important to never stop learning: I'm so thankful for friends like Kim Klassen, and others, who offer online classes on a variety of subjects. Many of these lovely ladies {and gentlemen} offer both free and fee-based classes. Kim's Leap Into Lightroom class has been transformational to my workflow!

There is no where we can go that God has not already stood: I know this, but God impressed this truth upon me once again, in a profound way, last month.

When you look back at January,
what do you see?

***

And now, let's embrace
February, and all it has to teach us.


Blessings,



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 5:52

Sad to say, with everything going on, I haven't been out and about much. Which makes it even more amazing that I got these shots! I've been trying for three years to get pictures of the Western Meadowlarks that winter here every year, and I finally succeeded!



As you can see, they blend in very well with the grasses.  They are nearly impossible to spot, and very timid. They always fly before I even know they are there.



Normally, I can't get within 10ft of them. And this time was no exception. These are taken with the zoom on my Canon Power Shot SC50 HS.



The field had been mowed earlier in the day, and I just happened to spot these two foraging when I stepped out onto the front porch.



Pardon the "butt" shot, but it's the only one that shows a hint of their brilliant yellow fronts. The little buggers never turned around for me! So technically, they are still on my bucket list, since I'd love to get a shot of their beautiful yellow fronts, marked with a distinct black V.



Hmm, maybe I should install a few fence posts.

My other delight this week was this American Lady butterfly.



You can distinguish the American Lady from the Painted Lady by the small white dots. I was so thankful that my purple lantana has continued to bloom. I can't imagine where else the butterflies are finding food!

I've lived in TX nearly nine years now and this is the first time I've seen butterflies in January! If you're snuggled in under a warm blanket of snow, wishing for spring, I hope this brings some warmth to your day!


What are you seeing
through your lens
this week?

Blessings,





Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community GlobalPhoto Friday at Pierced Wanderings