Miracle in an Apple

Fields and fields,
endless acres of apples.

One crisp, juicy bite… miraculous.

All the ingredients and elements, the most intelligent scientists, all the time in the world, and still, only God can make an apple.

He makes us in His image
and gives us apples…

and we create:
apple pies,
apple cider,
apple sauce,
apple butter,
apple juice,
apple crisp,
apple jelly,
apple dumplings,…

The apple wasn’t the forbidden fruit. But, we were we not content with apples.

or peaches, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, mangoes, pineapple, blackberries, raspberries, pears, plums, grapes, watermelon, oranges…

There is no shortage of yummy blessings. Oh, what is it in a soul that longs for the forbidden? Even when tied to the promise of pain, the out of reach is the goal of the eye.

Oh, contentment, be my close companion. Remind me of my blessings and the possibilities.

Inspire me to creative creation!

I miss out on heartache when I remain inside my own garden;
so in this garden I will stay!

Lord, You have hemmed me in behind and before. You have placed Your hand on me. Thank You. You have established my boundaries, and they have fallen for me in pleasant places. Thank You!

You have been generous, and I will treasure the abundance that You have given. It is more than enough. You are more than enough.

Seeking Freedom

Birds in flight…

Children playing…

Sailing…

Aaaaah, freedom…

A quiet moment to be still and take it all in:
the sun’s warmth,
a cool breeze,
sand between my toes…

Oh, to bottle this moment, take it home, and pour it out over a stressful day!
When winter is too long, the days too short, my patience even shorter;
to stop, be still and remember the feeling of freedom!

There is freedom in each moment,
a freedom to choose…

my response,
my mood,
my perspective,
my thoughts,
my disposition,
my words,
my attitude,
my actions,…

My emotions will follow based upon my choice;
and thus, I have the ability to choose my feelings.

There is a poem written in 1916 that sums up my sentiments well. I have often quoted it to my children. I have even set a few lines of it to cross-stitch and made my children memorize them.

One Ship Sails East

But to every mind there openeth,
A way, and way, and away,
A high soul climbs the highway,
And the low soul gropes the low,
And in between on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.

But to every man there openeth,
A high way and a low,
And every mind decideth,
The way his soul shall go.

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
‘Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I don’t need to escape my circumstances to find freedom. I have a choice, and I will find the beauty, peace, and joy in this moment!

Lord, help me to patch up my weathered sail and cheerfully greet the gusts of this day. When I lay my head down tonight, I want You to smile on how I faced the adventures. However blustery the winds may blow, I know You are with me and will guide me to a safe harbor.

Life’s Little Extras

I need to be packing; I have so much to do. Yet here I am snuggling my dog and looking at old puppy pictures.

When we brought him home, he fit in a cereal bowl. Mostly fur, he barely weighed one and a quarter pounds.

Now, he is a year old and a whopping 6 pounds!

Until last summer, I did not understand how deeply a person can love an animal. But, now I have a dog. I love our puppy, and Bern loves me! Always at my heels, he is wonderful company. When I sit down, he’s either in my lap or right at my feet. He knows when I am up-set and snuggles right up trying to comfort me. He licks away my children’s tears and rubs his furry head on their cheeks.

Still a bundle of energy, he is eager to play. He will bring his ball over and drop it at my feet, prance about to say, “Throw it! Throw it!” He knows to sit, stay, come… what a genius dog! He does not beg for food; yet, he cleans up all the crumbs under the table that the kids drop. What a helpful little fella!

Except for my infants who wiggled and giggled with delight when they heard my voice in the mornings, no one has ever seemed as happy to see me! Running circles around my feet when I get out of bed or come home, he can hardly contain his joy.

I can’t help but cry a little whenever I have to leave him for a few days. I love this tiny one. I hate to think that I could have lived my entire life with out a dog, but oh, what I would have missed!

Pets are a wonderful privilege and responsibility. In a culture of convenience folks are often too busy for life’s “extras”. We think pets (and people) will slow us down, but that can be a good thing!

They need to be walked, brushed, bathed, fed. They get sick and need vet appointments. They demand attention and love, but the rewards are infinite!

(And, children are a million times the blessing!
 More work,
but more fun,
more entertaining,
more loving!)

My life is richer and my character deeper because of the little “extras” in my life!

The Flood in Our Back Yard

Just a bit ago, my little one came running in with another “present”. In the last few days I’ve been given half a dozen handfuls of wildflowers, 2 frogs, and countless drawings and notes.

(FYI: My favorite gift was the letter I found under my pillow last night that read, “Der mom I Love you Amen.”)

I knew she and her brothers had been down by the pond; so, I was prepared for something wet and slimy.

What she had in her precious hands totally took me by surprise!

Mom, I found a “special rock” for you!

This rock, larger than my hand, was covered with beautiful impressions of shells on every side! We counted more than 50 fossils!

I asked her to show me where she found it, and in just a few moments of looking we found several smaller rocks.

It is mind-boggling to ponder the flood covering the entire earth, even our back yard!

I am in awe of God! So much water, so much power!

Amid all that destruction, He created something beautiful… in my little one’s hands, it looks like an art project!

I totally believe the Bible,
every word,
every story,
especially the account of the flood.
We are holding the evidence.

Here are a few bonus close ups…

Laughter – tasting the sweetness of life!

The men were away; so the ladies had tea.

We set the table…

Invited the guest…

And poured the tea…

(some guests ate more than others)

“Would you care for sugar?”
“Certainly!”
“Of course!”

(I’ve been informed that dolls love sugar.)

When sugar is offered, a little one never passes, but after the first syrupy-sweet cup I was served, I decided to pass on the sugar.

Lots of sugar made for lots of laughter today!

With all the pleasant conversation, I hadn’t paid attention to just how much sugar the hostess had dished out. Until, when the party had ended, I found the sugar bowl empty.

Generous sweetness. That’s my little girl.

Generous with hugs, kisses, and laughter!

She laughs freely when, too often, I hold back. She find humor because she’s always looking for a reason to laugh! My little girl is wired for fun. What a stuffy-old mama I might be were it not for this pretty lady’s contagious laughter!

Too much study and not enough play, I would learn a lot of information, but I wouldn’t be very smart. The best of lessons are learned from living, not from books. And, if I want to learn to laugh, the best teacher I could ask for is a silly girl living under my own roof!

Who can have a tea party without thinking of Mary Poppins and tea parties on the ceiling? As we washed the tea-set, my little one was still all giggles.
She “loves to laugh, loud and long and clear”! And, what about me?

Wanting the “deep” stuff, I’m often too serious!

Wanting to study, I’ve been too busy to learn.

But, not any more…

When it comes to the sweet things of life, I want two scoops!