Monthly Archives: July 2014

Considering The Lilies


Beauty at every stage…

Summertime in East Tennessee is filled with the scents, sounds and colors of nature.  All manner of blooming things burst forth to bring joy and beauty to the world around us.  From roadside patches of wild daisies and Queen Anne’s Lace to the fluffy blooms of the mimosa trees, the world seems awash with the glory of flowers.

Right now I am fascinated by the golden hues of the daylilies in various stages of development around my workplace gardens.  Unlike human beings, these flowering beauties never seem to have an awkward stage.  Even in the flower pod phase their detail is exquisite.



From here they start to unfurl their trumpet-shaped blooms and reveal the yellow-orange flowers that contrast so beautifully with their green leaves and stems.  No interior designer could create a prettier color scheme.



I always marvel at the simple, yet miraculous, way that our natural world perpetuates itself.  Perennial plants and flowers that return year after year with little or no intervention from humans amaze me.  We have a little patch of peonies in the front yard that we inherited when we bought our house.  Neither Sweet Pea nor I are wizards with outdoor plants or landscaping, and our peonies have never received much care from us.  Yet, every May, they return with their fluffy double blooms and sweet fragrance.  Some years they have been affected by poorly-timed cold snaps, and other years we’ve enjoyed bumper crops of them.  But they have never failed to come back.

The flowers remind me of God and His masterful craftsmanship.  He could have made our world a sterile, grey place…but He chose instead to delight us, His ultimate creations, with color and beauty throughout nature.  As I consider the lilies, I like to ponder how God must view us at our various stages.  Does He see beauty in all the phases of our lives…of MY life?

Lord, make my life a lovely, fully-flowered blossom whose color and fragrance point people to my Maker, Savior and Friend.




A Two Feather Day


 Mama’s 75th Birthday and messages from Heaven…

Friday, July 4, 2014 would have been Mama’s 75th birthday.  It was a work day for me, and I was grateful to be at work.  Otherwise I probably would have just brooded at home and felt sad and lonesome for Mama.  At least with work to keep me occupied, I was able to have a bit of a distraction and some productivity.


The workplace was quieter than usual since most of the building had the holiday off, and that extra quiet atmosphere was a relief.  I couldn’t help thinking back to the countless birthdays of Mama’s that she and Aunt Ruby had spent canning green beans at Aunt Ruby’s house.  Sometimes there were firecrackers and sparklers once dusk began to settle.  I can still hear the crunching of rock salt in Uncle John’s old-fashioned ice cream freezer, and feel the anticipation of the frosty, creamy deliciousness it would eventually render.  Such sweet memories of simpler, younger days brought me a homesick feeling for the times and places of my yesteryears.


I decided to leave the building for lunch.  The day was uncharacteristically balmy, with low humidity and milder-than-typical temperatures for July in East Tennessee.  As I strode toward my car, a feather on the ground caught my eye!  Since I collect them, I was thrilled to find one on this special day, and I looked skyward and said “Thank you!” to God for this wonderful blessing.  


Instead of spending the whole hour eating lunch, I went to the nearby arts and crafts store to look for inspiration for my latest scrapbook project and grabbed a quick bite on the way back to work.  After parking my car I headed back into the building to resume my work day, refreshed and grateful for my new feather, when lo and behold, I spotted a second one!  My first thought was, “NO WAY!”  My second thought was, “God and Mama must be looking out for me today because they both know how much I miss her.”  


I talked to Dad on the phone last night and told him about my two feather day, reminding him that I collect feathers and babbling on about how special it was to find these on Mama’s birthday.  He asked why I started collecting feathers in the first place, and I explained that, while it may seem childish, I see feathers and like to imagine they dropped from the wing of some guardian angel God placed in my path to watch over me.  I half expected him to laugh at the silliness of such a notion, but, to my surprise, he said that it was a good outlook to have.  Maybe I didn’t give him enough credit.  


Who is to say where a person can or cannot find God’s presence?  I think one can find Him anywhere, in anything.  The key to finding Him is just to look with open eyes and an open spirit.  Lord, thank You for the reminders all around me that You are indeed looking after me with watchful, loving care.  Thank You for sending feathers on Mama’s milestone birthday, and for releasing her from the ailing body that trapped her for so long, for freeing her spirit to soar in Heaven with You and so many of our loved ones.