“No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
Nature is a Retreat of Hope
“All my life through the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a child.” Marie Curie
Thank you to my brother John for these stunning photos. 🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂
I found a terrarium kit and a Green Bean Peperomia plant at a nursery. The clerk’s comment still warms my heart, and I thank God for people like her.
So what really is joy? I used to criticize myself more for not feeling “joy,” because I thought of it more as exuberance. But I know now that in a spiritual sense, it is more a deeply-rooted, inspired happiness within us. A depth of contentment in Christ.
“The word that describes happiness, joy, well-being in the Bible, is shalom. And it’s a term that covers all the different parts of who we are. Emotional, psychological, spiritual, relational. It’s really what we crave when we are talking about truly being happy with that sense of deep well-being.” ~ Holley Gerth course of 7 Ways to Thrive as an Introvert
So in that sense, plants do give me joy. 🙂 They bring life into our home. When colder weather settles into my bones and winter weariness drains my limited energy supply, they warm and rejuvenate my heart. They are visible testimonies that the life of every living thing is in God’s hand. They are beacons of hope and light, reminding me that our Life-Giver also has our every breath in His hand.
Reminders of God’s faithfulness revitalize me. Birds remind me of God’s faithful loving care. And you know how much I love butterflies. 🙂 My sister once surprised me with some flowers, and she had asked the floral shop to include a butterfly. After the flowers died, I slipped the butterfly into my cactus pot.
It seems these uncertain days and the increasing troubles in life require us more and more to open our eyes to beauty, to wonder, to what reminds us there is still hope. To refresh, refuel, and revitalize our sinking spirits.
What gives you joy? What refreshes your heart? Do you take time for it? Or do you think it’s a waste of time to pause in life to do something that revives your spirit? Maybe an uncompleted to-do list weighs you down? Perhaps depression has smothered the longing even to look up and search for joy?
“You know what makes your heart refreshed, the things that make you come alive. We need to drink in beauty wherever we can get it— in music, in nature, in art, in a great meal shared. These are all gifts to us from God’s generous heart. Friends, those things are not decorations to a life, they bring life.” John Eldredge
In the way God has designed you, what makes you come alive? What gift from God’s heart especially enlivens your spirit and helps you to remember God’s truth and faithfulness?
Messages and chalk creations on lawns and sidewalks or in windows breathe hope as they encourage love and kindness.
Every seed of kindness we plant,
However small, noticed or unnoticed,
Can bloom hope in the heart of a hurting soul,
A soul aching to be loved and cared about.
Every tiny seed planted will grow
And sprinkle seeds to others,
Making a difference in the lives of many.
Lessons from Charlotte’s Web
Recently Charlotte’s Web was on TV, not the animated one, but the one with real life people and animals who talk. It brought back such fond memories. I loved that book as a child!
♥ The right words can change someone’s world for the better.
♥ Kindness unrecognized doesn’t make it any less of a kindness. (When Wilbur was taken back from the fair to the farm, Charlotte died alone at the fairgrounds. She showed kindness from her loving heart, not for recognition.)
♥ Having a true friend is a tremendous thing. (Charlotte had saved Wilbur’s life, and Wilbur wondered what he could do for her. Charlotte told him he has been a friend.)
♥ Acts of kindness have a ripple effect in many lives. (After Charlotte’s kindness to Wilbur, many people started acting kinder to each other.)
♥ Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
Nature is a Retreat of Hope
“All God’s creatures are a unique expression of life,
whether on earth for 100 days or 100 years.” Anthony Douglas
Thank you to my brother John for these stunning photos.
(🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂)
Here in SD, I have only seen one Dove species, the Mourning Dove, but John was able to capture photos of the five main dove species in his area of Arizona.