Taking A Moment

Have you ever stopped to consider overwhelming magnificence of the things around you? I was sitting in the woods trying to take a picture of a little caterpillar with a tiny flower petal stuck on its back. While I was there on the ground I stopped to appreciate one of our rare sunny moments of spring in western Oregon. As I sat there a flash of bright color caught my eyes. There, up on an old snag, beautiful little bird perched. I prayed I’d get a clear shot with my 300mm lens. And there he sat patiently waiting for me it seemed. Oh I revel in these precious moments. The beauty stuns me to happy tears of wonder. Then I went home to make sure I identified the bird correctly. A Western Tanager. Have you ever taken a moment to look up a bird in a bird book? There are so many colors, so many different varieties. Why? The simple answer is that God loves to create beauty, beauty that you and I will love to see. In birds, in flowers, in trees, mushrooms, insects…. The list could go on forever. Not only is it beautiful and amazing but there is purpose in every aspect of each flora and fauna. Please, take a moment to consider a love so vast, beyond words.

A Wooly Bear with a tiny petal on its fluff.

The Return of Spring

They days are longer and the sun keeps trying to warm the earth. The trees know it. The green is coming back. This has been a tough season for me, wading through winter has taken its toll. Usually I just push through getting out rain or shine, freezing or not. Not this year. Maybe it was just a time to rest like the trees do every winter. Getting my momentum up again has been hard. But I am envisioning success…it will just take some time and patience. For now I prep our garden with many wheelbarrows full of new dirt. We are getting ready to plant for the summer of growth and harvest of our own food. Praying for blessings of the harvest we hope to have. I pray the same over my life and yours as we move on each day. Growth, blooming, plentiful fruits of the labors.

Wild

A beautiful winter day brought us out to enjoy our countryside. We got to visit a local wildlife reserve and the elk that live there. We just sat and soaked it in. So very beautiful. These moments away are a respite from our normal busy, tech filled lives. Simple beauty and tangible blessings. I want to fill our days and months with these moments.

Insignificant

How is something so small and insignificant become meaningful? It is useless even, especially to the spider that made it, and yet so beautiful. How in this dangling web with dew drops on it make a difference in my life? Something that is here one moment and gone in the next. Knowing how fleeting it is, how delicate, yet intricate makes me want to sit in that moment soaking it in. Being completely present and just appreciate the simple wonder of it. It makes me dwell in gratitude for where I am. It is one of the very best ways to have peace in this life.

Just Right…

Fernhill Wetlands, Forest Grove, Oregon

Sometimes things just fall into place. The right light, the right scene, the perfect details. And usually I don’t know it happens until I get home and start looking at the pictures in detail. I love this photo! The details of the snow on that bridge are beautiful. It is the perfect snowscape I think. Peaceful on this side of the photo, in the comfort of our home. Boy that was a cold walk…we had pink cheeks and noses by the time we left there. Makes you feel alive! I hope you enjoy this snowscape too. It brings me joy to share these things with you.

Quiet in the Storms

How do you weather the storms of this life? How do you keep your joy from being smothered? This right here is one of my ways to push aside the difficulties that are just a part of being alive. Seeing the beautiful details in the common place things. A weed growing by the trail covered in droplets that defy gravity. Getting outside when I don’t really feel like it or don’t have time is another. Also the use of my camera comes into play. To focus completely on these small details. Shutting out the noise around me and being able to capture the clarity as I see it, to share with others hoping a small part of what I know and feel comes through into someone else’s hectic life. Sometimes I can’t make it outside, like in the middle of the night, and then I have to rely on other resources to keep me on the level. It is a work in progress for me every single day. Being grateful, helping others, giving my anxieties to the Lord in prayer. Faith, hope, truth, praise…

Through the Eyes of a Child

The beauty in a tiny fall flower covered in droplets is there, waiting to be noticed. It is a matter of choosing to take the time to see it. Daily life tends to steal these moments from us. It’s not bad or good, it just is. I notice in my work with preschoolers that children stop and are in awe of the glitter of frost on concrete in the sun while the grown ups are completely consumed by being cold. Walking from place to place a leaf that is an odd color is noticed and picked up by little hands, or a rock, even a piece of bark from the playground that stirs their imagination. Taking a lesson from the children, putting aside some of our grown up logic and enjoy the magical frost making diamonds everywhere. They are the fingerprints of God, oh how He loves us.

Multnomah Falls Oregon

We took our hike to Horse Tail Falls recently and then stopped at Multnomah Falls for lunch. It had been years since I have attempted to visit this historic site. It is far to populated for my taste (if you are wondering, I edited out the tourists). But I have to say no matter how many people you wade through, it is still an incredible view to behold. We went in Autumn and it had been raining a lot. There was so much water pouring off the cliff it was captivating. You can still see the scars from the vast wildfires that tore through the gorge in 2018. But the land was healing itself in beautiful ways. We used to visit these falls as children and we would play in the creek that pours from the frigid falls trying to catch the little minnows living there. Things I will never forget. As we were leaving, right by the main path, three large salmon were resting in the outlet to the Colombia River. It was very exciting to see. They didn’t care about the twenty some people gawking at them. Such a good day to get out and breath the fresh air and get our hearts pumping! I suppose any day is a good day for that.

Basking in Beauty

Some dear friends invited me to join them on an outing back in November. I had to choose, take one of my few days off and rest up for the coming week or put myself out there and work for some much needed time out. I chose wisely. It was worth the time and energy. My at home duties waited for another day and I got to take in these beautiful displays of grandeur. It didn’t even rain! Today I am looking at these photos, my heart is a bit heavy over some disappointing turn of events. But just basking in their beauty and the experience we had makes me get fresh perspective once again. If God Almighty can weave together such masterpieces far before I was born, He surely loves me enough to bring me through these darker moments. We get to choose everyday. Bask in the beauty or dwell in the darkness.

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