Nature Soothes the Soul

As early as I can remember, nature was a solace to my soul. There was always something that drew my heart in and calmed me. Even before I appreciated the Creator of it all.

When I couldn’t be outdoors, photos of nature drew me in. As a child, I loved a large nature scene in our living room. I remember it had trees and water. It was such a calm scene, far from all the evil and pain in this world. When my thoughts were jumbled, troubled, and confused, I loved to imagine myself sitting on the bank feeling the coolness of the water on my feet.

I’m now 66, but I still imagine myself sitting or walking in calm nature scenes. 🙂 When the cold winters keep me housebound, I sometimes search out old photos, including the one above from one of my favorite nature retreats. Now wouldn’t it be lovely to sit on one of those rocks and soak in the sights and sounds?

Here are a few more pics from this soul-soothing retreat:

“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?” – St. Augustine

I am always delighted when my brother in Arizona shares photos with me. They always refresh my heart. He graciously allows me to share them with you.

Monsoon Season
Double Rainbow!
Isn’t this breath-taking? A rainbow of hope!
Mountain Pygmy-Owl
Northern Cardinal (Molting Juvenile)
Green Kingfisher
American Coot
Clark’s Grebe
Clark’s Spiny Lizard
Chipmunk
Cicada

Summer Hope Whispers

Words from iBibleverses.com

Who God Says We Are

When times are tough, it can be easy for us to slide back into the rut of our insecurities and feelings of worthlessness. But the truth is, that even though we may “feel” insignificant and inadequate, God declares and maintains we are beloved, chosen, and favored!

🦋 What Would You Name Yourself? by Vaneetha Risner

“What we tell ourselves in our suffering powerfully shapes how we experience it.

Are you telling yourself that you are beloved? If you are certain that you are unconditionally and extravagantly loved by God, it will give you courage and hope, convinced that whatever is happening to you cannot be anything but God’s best for you. 

So what would you name yourself today? Would you name yourself by how you feel and the narrative that you subconsciously replay in your head… forgotten, unloved, undone? Or can you name yourself as you truly are… beloved, chosen, favored?”

🦋 Who God Says You Are by Nancy Beach

“One morning I opened my Bible and read today’s key verse: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. Beloved, we are God’s children now” (1 John 3:1a, 2a).

Beloved. Valued. Belonging. Accepted. Wanted.

Regardless of what others say or do, our identity rests secure in who God says we are. He says we are beloved. He says we are cherished for who we are in His eyes, not because of something we’ve done or not done. We are precious in His sight, one-of-a-kind, created for a unique purpose.”

God’s Whispers of Love

When we feel unloved
God whispers His Truth
My child, I love you with an everlasting love!
With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself!


When we feel ugly
God whispers His Truth
My child, I have wonderfully created you
And I delight in your beauty!


When we feel dirty,
God whispers His Truth
My child, I have purified you
And made you whiter than the snow!


When we feel defeated,
God whispers His Truth
My child, in spite of everything that happens to you,
You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you!


When we feel rejected and deserted,
God whispers His Truth
My child, I will never ever abandon you
I am with you always even to the end of the world!


When we feel at a loss about what to do,
God whispers His Truth
My child, no matter the situation or the chaos,
I am still in control and will get you through this!
Just keep taking one step at a time.
You don’t need to understand,
You just need to hold My hand.


(Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 139:14, Psalm 45:11, Romans 8:37,
Psalm 51:7, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20)

“Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
    Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    Your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is Your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
    in the shadow of Your wings.”

Psalm 36:5-7

Nature Retreat

”Go out, go out, I beg of you
And taste the beauty of the wild.
Behold the miracle of the earth
With all the wonder of a child.”

~ Edna Jacques ~

I love walking along the trail near the river, soaking in the sights and sounds of “the beauty of the wild” as the author of this quote puts it. Every bit of it still fills me with “the wonder of a child.” The heaviness in my heart over all that’s going on in this world seeps away as I remember how God has clothed and preserved the beauty of His creation and He is still in control.

Now for the grand finale of photos… My brother John recently discovered Great Blue Herons cough up pellets of the indigestible parts of the food they eat just as owls do. Okay, so I said “Gross!” when I first saw it. But it still fascinates me how God has equipped some birds to do this. Can you imagine what a belly ache all those indigestible parts would cause otherwise?

April Hope Whispers

“Hope is the silver shaft of sun breaking through the storm-darkened sky, words of comfort in the intensive care unit, the first spring bird perched on a snow-covered twig, and the finish line in sight. It is a rainbow, a song, a loving touch. Hope is knowing God and resting in His love. 
~ NLT Life Application Study Bible: Zephaniah introduction

We Have a Living Hope

So many are feeling hopeless and seeking for hope that I’m not surprised that the two posts read the most this month are about the hope that is still alive for us.

🦋 Hope is Still Alive Because Jesus Lives!

🦋 How the Sand Dollar Points to Hope, Love, and Peace

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
In His great mercy He has given us new birth 
into a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

1 Peter 1:3

God’s Whispers of Love

Are your hearts sometimes sinking in the mire of despair?
Are you feeling forsaken by God?
God whispered this to my heart and He is whispering it to all of us!
(Is Life’s Journey Too Great For You?)

My precious child,

I’m still the same God today.

I was there for Elijah

And I am here for you.

Arise and eat, My child.

The journey is too great for you.

Eat the manna of My love

Drink My life-giving water

Relax in the arms of My grace,

My power and My will.

And you will find rest

For mind, body, and soul.

I hold you, My child,

In the arms of My everlasting love,

No lies can snatch you away from Me.

You are safe with Me.

Marvelously made and enough.

Ssshhh…

Be still, My child, be still.

Be encouraged

You don’t have to journey alone.

Rest in My Truth,

And I will refresh your weary soul.

Nature Retreat

” I love to think of nature
as an unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks to us
every hour, if we will only tune in.”

~ George Washington Carver ~

I was looking through Shutterfly at some old photos and found ones from our 2013 trip to the Black Hills. Such beautiful views bring back memorable quiet moments of awe. It’s a comfort to know that the same God who has such power to create such beauty will also take care of us. 🙂