Butterfly Blessings from God

Nature is one of the channels God uses to breathe life into fainting spirits and to give assurance that He is still in control over all, no matter what happens in our lives and in this world.

At the end of May, my youngest brother was admitted to ICU with severe pancreatitis. I cried out to God to heal him and spare his life. I was afraid, and I could not trust God’s plan for him. Other anxieties for those struggling emotionally, stories not mine to tell, were also storming in my heart, threatening to drown me.

One day I took a walk and spotted a Monarch and a Painted Lady on a lilac bush. As I gazed in awe, the storm in my heart stilled as God whispered, “I’m with him, My child. I’ve got him. I’m with those who are emotionally in pain. I am with you.” The heavy load that threatened to crush me drained from me, and I could release all of them to His care and His plan.

Some time later, I was with some of my siblings and families in a park. It had been my turn this year to plan a reunion, and I needlessly worried about it for months. I love them all dearly, but crowds aren’t my thing. I’m more a one-on-one gal. I was also worried about over-doing it, because sometimes when I get out of my slower routine, health repercussions follow. Probably deeper though was the anxiety I have for anyone hurting and the helplessness I feel that I can’t “fix” things. (I’m still a work in progress in surrendering everyone’s needs to God.) As I sat at a table underneath a shelter, my heart felt grieved, my spirit disconnected, and my body tired and achy. Then there it was! A butterfly fluttering near me! And God whispered, “I’m here. I’m still with you” as He breathed His sufficient grace into my weariness. Later on, the butterfly flew by again with its reassuring love note. Thank You, God!

God continued to send me love notes through butterflies at timely moments throughout the summer. I could be looking out the window at home, driving along in our van, or taking a walk.

What was your summer like? I know many of you are suffering from losses in one way or another, and I’m so sorry. It can be hard to open our hearts to God’s messages of comfort when we are weighed down with grief, can’t it? I pray God strengthens each of you.

Did God sometimes strengthen or comfort you through His creation? How? Please feel free to share with us!

“The Lord Himself goes before you
and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8
Some butterflies have battered wings,
but they still fly and spread God’s encouragement.

♥️ A lesson for us that God can use us, no matter how broken we are. ♥️

He Is With Us
by Love and The Outcome

“Remember when your hope is lost and faith is shaken
Remember when you wonder if you’re gonna make it
There’s a hand stretched out through your deepest doubt
We can’t pretend to see the ending or what’s coming up ahead
To know the story of tomorrow
But we can stay close to the One who knows

We can trust our God
He knows what He’s doing
though it might hurt now

We won’t be ruined
It might seem there’s an ocean in between
But He’s holding on to you and me
And He’s never gonna leave, no
He is with us, He is with us (always, always)
He is with us, He is with us (always)”

(P.S. My brother’s life was spared!)

Summer Break Time

Dear Readers,

I’m feeling the need to unplug again this summer. It’s time to take a step back to renew, replenish, and refocus my body, mind, and soul. I’m not certain yet how long, whether 1, 2, or 3 months. I may write a post once in a while, but only if I feel the nudge to do so. I’m going to try let go of the pressure I place on myself to “perform” each week with a blog post. I want to let myself float and go with the flow of where God leads me. 🙂

If you aren’t signed up to receive new blog posts, you’re welcome to sign up in the right-hand column, so you will know whenever I do post again. 🙂

I’ve been getting some news about some General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect this month. But as I research it, I don’t think it applies to this website. I understand it applies to businesses who sell to Europeans. I am definitely not a business, and I don’t sell anything to anyone. 🙂 I also understand WordPress has GDPR-ized their privacy policy.

Just in case you’re not aware of it though, when you sign up to “follow” me, WordPress does collect your emails, and I can see them. But I assure you it is strictly for the purpose of delivering new posts to your email. I highly respect your privacy and never, ever share your email with anyone else.

Whether or not I post, you all will remain in my heart and prayers. Even if you are silent readers, I care about you. Feel free to roam around this site, whether to read old posts or to check out the various pages of ABCs of Jesus’ Love, Hope Harbor, Books, Quotes, and Nature Retreat.

You are always welcome to email me (email in the right-hand column) if you have a prayer request, need someone to care, or just want to keep in touch.

Above all, God cares about you. He is always accessible and available 24/7. He loves you so very much and longs for you to let go and allow Him to love you.


I AM WITH YOU

Anonymous
If you know the author of this poem,
please let me know!

“I am with you when things are going good,
when the way is bright and clear,
I am with you My child when life looks bleak,
and your vision is blurred with tears.
I am with you when Happiness fills your heart,
when the sun is shining bright,
I am by your side when you feel alone,
and you’re surrounded by darkest night.
I am with you when you have many friends,
when others for you care,
I am always with you when you’re alone,
your loneliness to share.
I am with you when you’re radiant with health,
when you don’t lack a thing,
I am next to you when you’re in pain,
I am there to comfort bring.
My child, I will always be there for you,
remember that I care,
Remember that you’re not alone,
I am there to your sorrows share!
I will always be with you til the end of the world,
I’ll be there each step of the way,
I am with you every moment, each hour,
and each and every day.”
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.”
2 Corinthians 13:14


“He Will Carry You”
by Scott Wesley Brown

Beyond Blind Faith

© Jack Dawson Painting – used by permission

Do you see the man walking across the log? Do you see his white cane? More importantly, do you see Jesus watching over him? How about the cross on the rock?

I live in one of 14 condo units, placed on either side of a hallway with a Commons area at the end. Some residents almost always have a puzzle in progress there. Many of these puzzles are framed and displayed on the hallway walls. Most of them relate to U.S. or state history, but there are occasional exceptions.

Earlier this year, Nathalie had a puzzle she wanted put together, framed, and hung up across from her door. One had to look carefully to see Jesus in it, but once I found Him, I was awed. Yes, He is with us even when we can’t always “see” Him. Not long after the puzzle was hung up, Jesus took Nathalie to Himself. Her family graciously left the puzzle there. Every time I see it when I take a walk in the hallway, it reminds me of Jesus’ promise to be with us always. We may not always see Him, but He’s there, faithfully watching over us, His loving heart channeling His sufficient grace into our hearts and lives.

“And be sure of this:
I am with you always,
even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20b NLT
“For God has said,
‘I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.'”
Hebrews 13:5b NLT

Recently, I looked up the author’s name in the corner and found out it was titled “Beyond Blind Faith.” Finding out more about it has deepened the meaning. I hadn’t noticed the man using a white cane. I just figured it was a man balancing himself and walking across the log, taking it as meaning we sometimes have to go through risky trials, but we need to trust Jesus is watching out for us. When I realized the man was actually blind… Wow! Isn’t that how it is? Blind faith. Uncertain. Afraid of taking the wrong step, because we can’t see it. Depending on Jesus to guide us in the right way.

The website for this painting describes it:

“It would be almost impossible for this blind man to walk across safely to the other side.  Many times we feel like we are walking in uncertainty and confusion, without hope.  But just as Christ is seen watching over the blind man in the painting, He watches over us as we walk “Beyond Blind Faith,” in confident hope and faith in Him.”

The following 1-minute video about this painting is inspiring:

“Beyond Blind Faith”
by Jack E. Dawson

Sometimes in the midst of loss and troubles, we don’t see that Jesus is with us. We don’t feel Him warming our hearts with hope. But He truly is with us, no matter what situation we are in, because He is faithful to His promises. He is never going to leave us or abandon us! We may flounder in our trust and faith and may even fall and feel like we’re drowning, but He will always pick us up again!

“God Is With Us”
by Casting Crowns

“Love is raining down on the world tonight
There’s a presence here I can tell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
He’s the Savior we have been praying for
In our humble hearts He will dwell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel”