Friday’s Hunt~ Starts with “R”

I recently found Teresa’s blog, Eden Hills. She has been doing something called “Friday’s Hunt” beginning every Friday that goes through the weekend. She invites other blogs to link up as each blogger makes a “Friday’s Hunt” post. I’ve found this specific style of weekly posting entertaining. I loved her Friday’s Hunt this week, it made me look forward to work on my post. I am pressed for time right now but here goes my quick first Friday’s Hunt post. I like that this weeks hunt starts with “R”.

Here is the Hunt:

For the week of April 29th
1. Starts with R
2. Week’s Favorite
3. texture

Starts with R: This was a collection of Roses that were gathered from the garden last week. I thought they made a beautiful homemade bouquet and display on an outdoor table, surrounded by these large pine cones that were gathered near a cabin in Big Bear.

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Road. The long road close to home.

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This weeks favorite: Spring is here and the flowers are looking beautiful. I love this photo of the purple Irises near the Lavendar, with Barne’s in the background.

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Texture: These pictures were taken during winter when grass on the hills was green.

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In The Morning When I Rise

I took a walk this morning… and thought why not take some photos as I go along. Walking early in the morning has been a ritual I’ve enjoyed since long before I can remember.

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I love standing underneath the trees staring up at them from below seeing the sky from beyond the branches, hearing the birds chirping, singing their morning song, seeing the squirrels run up and down the fields gathering their nuts and grains.

This morning I was approached by a large hawk flying over me. Or so I thought it was a hawk until it came closer above me when I saw it was actually a Cathartes (a turkey vulture). After a period of observation I saw several flying over near a tree where there were much smaller birds from what looked like sparrows protecting their nests.

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I also took a video of the Catharte flying near me. A jet skier was also enjoying the beautiful morning. This lake is part of a small community NE of the San Joaquin Valley. And those gorgeous mountains are the beautiful Sierra Nevada’s wrapping around us facing North East. We are enjoying the nice Spring air while we have it, while it lasts.

Below are more photos I took while on my walk:

Cathartes huddled together.

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As you can see, California needs rain. This morning it was overcast misty and cool, a very beautiful morning to spend outdoors. Here is sort of a close up of one standing on the fence:

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In California, we have the California Condors, they are slightly more different than these kind. I rarely see these in the photos particularly around. They’re smaller and have feathers covering their heads.

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Angus cows grazing in the hills (free ranging).:)

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The Cathartes again flying overhead:

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A view of the hills on the south side of me:

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I hope you have enjoyed these pictures as much as I have enjoyed sharing them. And I hope you are enjoying the Spring weather. Our weather here has been quite strange this past month. Since Easter we have had overcast rainy days, mixed with sunny clear sky days, to dust storms, thunder, rain and hail. I’m not sure what to think of the weather this past month. It’s days like these when I like venturing out for a nice stroll.

Though our forecast says “Sunny”, random rain and thunder or dust storms tend to pop up unannounced. We have had hurricane-like winds and rains over the past weekend and earlier this week.  I’m surprised the weather forecast doesn’t catch those.

Until next time everyone, have a great weekend.

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Healing Is A Process: Forgiveness, Part 5 *** (Moving On)

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There is so much I would like to write, yet so little time. How to to scrumpch it all up in one post? I guess I can begin by saying this: time can heal all wounds, if we allow it to.

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I know I haven’t written as often as I have wanted, but life is busy, though I like that it is. It’s slow and quiet and peaceful in one sense, and in the other it is full of outings and visits and gatherings. It’s a small little life I’m sharing with a great big group of people, loved ones and friends. As I sit here writing, and reflecting on the last several months, I see how good God has been to me. That wholesome feeling of joy can only come from the love of God. I am moving on and it’s so obvious to me now that the Lord is moving me onward further into His embrace.

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I say embrace because, that is where I would always like to rest. But I do see Him in every aspect of my life, guarding me there with the pupil of His eye. Showering me here in the center of His love.

Speaking of love, it’s Spring time alas and I see love in the air everywhere. I think sometimes we need to open ourselves to see the things we would otherwise not see because we tend to veil ourselves with our despair or sorrows. Sometimes we need to refocus. Refocus on life the way ballplayer pitchers look away for a few seconds before pitching a ball. Looking away for a moment helps them to refocus. When we look away from our present circumstances and situations for a moment to refocus on what is important, we’re better prepared to face our condition.

For me, refocusing has helped me move on. I’ve moved on from what once was, to what is. I’ve allowed myself to fall in love all over again with things and people. Several months ago I told myself, it’s time to move on, it’s time to let yourself fall in love again. Sometimes, we have to allow ourselves that. Don’t let your sorrows, or your grief stop you from enjoying life the way you’ve hoped life would have been for you. Continue living, continue basking in the sun light. Dance.   Go outside and  ~Spend time with someone special~  that’s what I’ve been doing.

 

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I took these pictures during winter, they’re a glimpse of a time in my life.

Healing is a process, but I do believe time can heal all wounds, if we allow it to.

I see the sky in the picture below, and beyond where I was when I took this picture was sunny skies. Our life is like this sometimes, we stay in the clouds in the rain but there are bright big blue skies, greener pastures, and sunny days beyond, we just have allow ourselves to move on from where we’re at so we can get there.

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I think sometimes we have to do things a little different than we normally do, that’s what makes life fun.

The video below is an old video, but it’s Easton Corbin and I love this guy. <3  This song is right timing. It’s my special song. I’m learning that it’s okay to move on.

Have a great week all! (please excuse the bottles)

Until next time…

Healing Is A Process: Forgiveness, Part 4 ~ Beauty for Ashes

“I’m painting beauty with the ashes, your life is in My hands…so when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away, you’re not alone stop holding on and just be held.” ~ Those are lyrics to the Casting Crown’s song Just Be Held.

…”painting beauty with the ashes…”

-Beauty for Ashes-

What is beauty for ashes? Isaiah 61: 1-3 explains this clearly. Those who are brokenhearted, those who are grieving, those who are afflicted, those who have been mistreated, abused, slandered, put down, suffering, cheated on, despised, neglected…  Those who have been made to ashes, by whichever suffering has caused it, the Lord’s Word says, he can give beauty for ashes. He can turn Ashes into Beauty.

Through experiences of my own, I understand this now. I understand how he can give Beauty for Ashes.

When you’re hurt, and all your strength is gone, it feels like there’s nothing there within you but ashes. But with the Lord’s mercies and grace, He can truly wipe those ashes away and beautify your life and your living.

Forgiving others is sometimes not easy. But we forgive so that we can move on. We forgive so that we can love again, so that we can feel love again. So that we can know what it feels like to be held, once again.

If there is one thing I can advise anyone experiencing any kind of heartache, any kind of grief, suffering, or loss, it is to let yourself be held by the only One who can truly love you purely, who can truly heal you~ completely.

Many of us are going through different things, but let me just mention this specific experience. I know some women who are going through marital separations due to unfaithfulness in the marriage, which I can relate to some degree. Ending a relationship is not easy, especially a union such as marriage. These women, whom I admire, have advised me in my own situation, to turn to the Lord and just be held by Him first. After letting Him carry us through it all, He will bring in Beauty for Ashes,…and then we will feel free and healed, and able to move on. I can truly say, that advice I was given was truly great advice. It’s wonderful when you have the Lord holding you. As a woman, who doesn’t just need the Lord’s embrace, as I’m human, I can truly say trusting and resting in His embrace first has been the best thing I could have done. Because in the time that I’ve spent with the Lord, I became familiar with Him again, allowing me to recognize Him in others. ~For you Christian women, spend some really good time with the Lord firstly, because that time with Him allows us to get to know Him, and if we know Him, then we can sense Him, and see Him in others. This is especially important when you’re out dating, or getting to know someone. (Sorry men if I got a little off topic for you, I just had to reach out to my lady sisters).:)

Letting the Lord be our healer, letting Him shepherd our soul, and letting Him hold us through our trials and tribulations…supplies us and strengthens us. It supplies us and strengthens us so that we can forgive, so that we can let go, so that we can move on.

 

Isaiah 61 : 1-3

 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.”

Beauty for ashes is what the Lord promises. Have a great week all.

Until next time.

Healing Is A Process: Forgiveness Part 3 (Grief)

What does grief look like?

If you could draw a picture of your grief, what would you draw?

Several weeks ago I was encouraged to draw a picture of my grief. I can show you what I think a picture of my grief would look like…

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Isn’t it beautiful? The clouds are grey, however, they’re just that, clouds. Eventually, they will go away and the sun will shine bright.

There’s a beautiful tree in the forefront which represents life, flourishing life, and strength. Trees are strong, this one in particular has weathered many storms and it’s still standing. And lastly, the hills. The beautiful green smooth hills. Sitting at the very top of these hills makes me feel so close to the heavens.

Time has passed, and I’m learning to let go of the pain and hurt, the bitterness… that follows loosing someone dear to you. I’m learning to embrace the beautiful memories they left behind, the things they taught me, the things I learned from them. The person I became because of them. They are not gone, just resting some place safe.

The picture of my grief is one of temporary grey skies, yet with the knowledge that, losing my loved one is not something to be so mournful about because I know my loved one is with the Lord, hence, the tree which signifies life. And I love the look of the hills and mountains, set right in the middle of this picture, I think it’s perfect. Moses went up to the mountain to draw near to God, to converse with Him. What I feel is special about this picture is that I’ve climbed those hills and I’ve sat right at the top of them, and spent personal time conversing with God. I feel it’s a beautiful portrait of my grief. It says, “Although you’re gone, I’m comforted knowing you’re some place safe. And although you’re there, and I’m still here… we’re still very close to one another because we both have God with us.”

I’ll miss my loved one, but I’m comforted in knowing that they are with the Lord. It is the part of missing them tremendously, that hurts.

Through this experience, I’ve learned that… many times when we lose something we love, the process of getting through grieving can become hindered due to our inability to forgive. I’ve learned that we must forgive; forgive the person or the thing we feel had/has offended us, or hurt us. Monty Williams forgave the driver who crashed into his wife’s car causing her death. Others have to forgive the deceased. And others have to forgive themselves, or their relatives. Some have to do all four. Forgiveness sets us free. When it’s difficult to forgive, we should try to remember at least this one thing: we choose to forgive so that we can be and feel, free.

Instead of attaching a video of a song, I’d like to share a poem with you titled, What God Hath Promised, by Annie Johnson Flint.

It is a poem, and a song, I treasure and keep close to my heart.

Until next time…

WHAT GOD HATH PROMISED

God hath not promised skies always blue,

Flower strewn pathways all our lives through,

God hath not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labor, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

God hath not promised we shall not know

Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;

He hath not told us we shall not bear

Many a burden, many a care

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,

Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;

Never a mountain rocky and steep,

Never a river turbid and deep.

(On a side note. I am going to try to be consistent in posting in this series twice a week: On Thursdays and on Sundays. I will also try to post random updates not related to this series at other times throughout the week.)

Spring Is Officially Here

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Happy 1st day of Spring! It’s finally here, although it has felt like Spring for quite a while now.

Here at home, we are welcoming the seasons first new arrivals~ baby chicks! Well, pullets.:)

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Our little Rhode Island Reds. Today we will be visiting a local farm to pick up three little Ameracaunas, they lay the green and blue eggs also known as “Easter Eggs”. I’ll attempt to give you a sneak peak as soon as I can.

Until next time, Happy Spring!

Healing Is A Process: Forgiveness, Part 2 (Going through the motions)

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As I reflect on what it means to forgive…forgiveness has a lot to do not just with forgiving the other person, but it has to do, I feel, with our own ability to move forward. To move forward and feel free of bondage. I think, well the bible also says we must forgive, but I think when we’re able to forgive, this huge load we’ve been carrying around on our backs gets unloaded, putting it simply. Forgiving others, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to like the person you’ve forgiven, and it doesn’t mean you have to even speak to them again right away or at all, it just means you’ve forgiven them and you’re moving on from ‘that’…whatever ‘that’ was to you.

For me, I know in order to be reconciled to God and to experience the feeling of being free and happy completely without hindrance, I need to forgive someone when they’ve offended me, or when they have wronged me. I know, I need to be careful who I can trust and I also know that when someone I feel has maliciously done wrong toward me, I forgive, but now that’s where I need to put some distance between me and that other person. It is common sense to put people like that to a distance.

Timing is also everything, it heals all wounds. I heard several years ago that God places certain people in our lives sometimes at certain times and sometimes he takes them away. Sometimes people leave our lives temporarily or permanently but that’s okay that that happens. I’ve met wonderful people and have made wonderful close friendships with them, but as time went by and we moved to different places, our relationships slightly distanced and I began to get closer to other people as they were living in the same city as I. And that’s normal that people come in and out of our lives that way.

I feel there are several aspects, or phases of forgiveness. I can tell you that I have experienced several of them. The most difficult ones, are the life changing type. The kind where, you don’t want to forgive, where you say you do because it’s what you know you need to do, but inwardly, the hurt is still too fresh it stings, and you don’t feel you’ve truly forgiven. I don’t think having difficulty like that trying to work out and make right right away is a problem. Forgiveness is a process. We should forgive right away, and not let the sun come down upon our anger, but the feeling of hurt or betrayal, or offense, goes away after a process. I can share with you what I have done about that kind of hurt, offense, and forgiveness. I spoke to the Lord about it, and told Him everything, exactly how I feel. I let him know, “Lord, but I don’t feel that person deserves to be forgiven.” And I can sense the Lord telling me, “Let Me deal with that one”. You forgive, so that you can be free and able to truly smile and feel elated knowing you can be surrounded by everything beautiful as God’s love pours out on you freely every minute of every day, without hindrance because, you’ve forgiven. And confess daily or momentarily or talk to the Lord about all the thoughts and feelings that come around because you’ve been hurt. I feel some things are easy to, as they say, “forgive and forget”. But some things aren’t, and they take time. For example, mistreatment, abuse, malicious things…take time to heal from.

What has helped in my experience, is:

1) Telling the Lord everything (confess if needed or talk to him daily)

2) Turning to the Word as often as you feel led (I say this, because sometimes, when we’re grieving a certain situation…though we know we should draw near to the Word, we don’t always do it). So eat a little at a time. When people grieve the loss of a loved one, or when we are ill and sick, we don’t always have a big appetite, or an appetite at all. So if you’re not drawing too close to the Word as you used to, try to, just a little at time. If it’s even just looking at and reading a picture someone posted online with a verse on it. A little is better than nothing. And while going through the processing for healing and dealing with the matters of forgiveness, reading a short verse here and there helps.

3) Surround yourself with beautiful positive things. Go outside enjoy the weather. Look up at the trees, the clouds, the sun, the sky. Go for a walk. Meet up with loved ones or friends for coffee. Take your dog out for a walk. For us girls, paint your nails or pamper yourself somehow.

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4) But mainly, keep the Lord close to you. Let Him be the person always there with you, even if you’re not saying much to Him, just keep Him close to you. Through the Word, through going to church meetings, surrounding yourself with people who express His love and care to you. And surround yourself with people who you know are just genuinely KIND, and loving. Place yourself among those who have your best interest at heart.

 

Here is a quote for today:
“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.” ~ Chinese Proverb