Bouquet of Bubbles

Bouquet of Bubbles

Bouquet of Bubbles

I took my friend to the Dollar Store. We were looking for something to do. It was not a good beach day, so we went to find some cheap fun. We came out with two trays made to make bubbles and about a half-gallon of bubble solution!

It was one of the days Abba told me to take my camera. I had already taken shots at a drawbridge, but they did not “speak” to me, even though the action was fun. When we found a prime place to begin our fun, I made a few bubbles, but quickly decided taking photos of bubbles was much more fun. My most able assistant became a “master bubble maker” with the help of God’s gentle breeze.DSC_0610

When I look these over I see the variations, colors and reflections. I am amazed by God’s creation. Some of these remind me of the definition of multifaceted that touches on the bugs eyes, like flies and dragon flies. What seems like a bazillion eyes all working together.DSC_0648

I took HUNDREDS of Bubble shots that day. These are just a few.

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I hope you enjoy the view. I may not have stopped to smell the roses, but I sure enjoyed capturing and studying the bubbles! I hope yo do too!

How do you find beauty? Do you slow down enough to notice what is outside you door? What have you found? Please share!

Bird TV is gone!

This was the front of the house Wednesday morning.

Bird TV. The gieat Rhododendron below the bay window that holds my bird feeder.

Bird TV. The giant Rhododendron below the bay window that holds my bird feeder.

A friend came Wednesday and chopped down Bird TV. I had arranged for him to come at a time I was sure to be here. The leaves were off quickly.

Bird TV shrinking.

Bird TV shrinking.

Bird TV greatly diminished!

Bird TV greatly diminished! The “TV” window exposed. Can you see the Lucite feeder to the left of the bay window above?

The birds were VERY unhappy! They chirped, tweeted, chattered and even a few screeched! some came to land before the empty branches were cut, but were surprised at what they found, or didn’t find and swooped away to a not too distant tree or sat on the gutter above. Once the major work was done, I went inside and looked at the feeder on the window above the former Bird TV. There were three or four birds of different types on the feeder. Two on the top of it yelling at those below to move along so they could have their turn. The Bird world on my end of the street has been thrown in to a tizzy.

They had no warning!

I, however, had taken months to prepare for this day. When it came, I was actually happy. Well, nearly. The house looks REALLY different. Better. Tidy with my brand new brick walkway and lots of sun light to show it off.

The new look with plenty of sun!

The new look with plenty of sun!

The house in the woods will need some new, manageable….little, plantings. The birds will get more exercise flying from 30 feet rather than three. They have already proven they will not miss a meal if I offer it. The downstairs window will likely never be Bird TV again, but I will enjoy the many that vie for space on my upstairs feeder.

I was asked how I felt when it was over. I guess I feel another new beginning. One more thing of the past I once enjoyed is exchanged for new possibilities. I think I actually feel lighter.

How do you feel when something inevitable you were dreading finally comes to pass?

 

Becalmed

What to you do when you want to sail and the wind does not blow? Literally and figuratively does not blow?

DSC_0485My literal experience recently was…no sailing.

I like the old made for TV movie series of Horacio Hornblower, about a young British naval officer in the 1800’s. The big old sailing ships and their adventures! In one episode you see the whole crew hanging out on deck with NO, I repeat NO wind blowing at all. Some are board, some frustrated, others are looking to create some action that can only lead to trouble while some; literally whittle the time away. No one is able to move the ship in any direction. A ship full of men, unable to control their circumstances, hoping for God to blow the wind again and all they can do is wait.

So I ask, how do I respond when I am “becalmed” by life’s circumstances? My responses may vary according to how grounded I am in believing that God really does work all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to His purposes. I honestly do not like that verse sometimes. (Rom 8:28) It feels as if it paints such a happy face on things when I might prefer to lick my wounds of self-pity and anger.

For my literal situation recently, it turned out well. I took my house guests who had hoped to sail, but couldn’t for lack of wind. We climbed in the car and used that power to sightsee and find a place for some genuine conversation. The kind of heart to heart that is of eternal value when tender hearts allow those who have walked before to reach over and pull them a little closer to Abba’s heart. That’s a good outcome.

But…

Figuratively, what do you do when you are becalmed? You are stuck where you are, and only God can move you to the next point. You may not even know where that next point is. There are many choices; anger, frustration, and sorrow among them. I have tried all of these! Honestly, they are not very satisfying in the long run. They also put me in positions where I, or someone, must clean up the mess these negative emotions make of relationships and circumstances. When I am becalmed in any area of life and choosing the path of frustration, those who know me have learned to give me a wide berth. I have been known snap at anyone in my path. The sorry thing is I am usually not angry with them, but myself. Fortunately, this does not happen nearly as much as in the past.

One response I am learning to cultivate is peace. I most easily find peace though worship. God is good and faithful, ALL the time. He cannot change. So why not think about the good I have in Abba instead of focusing on what I don’t have? Worship for me often begins with thanksgiving. 1 Thes. 5:16-18 says: 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

These are another few verses I bristle at if I am in a frame of mind to lick my wounds. Yet I have learned from experience that releasing the frustrations to God and pressing in to the truths of these promises and commands really make a difference!

Choosing to “look up” is the key. If I keep me and my circumstances at the center of what I am thinking, I cannot get very far. If I focus on the author and perfector of my faith, with His character and complete ability to meet me wherever I am, I can rise above my circumstances, opening the door for God to act. Then I begin to sense hope.

Do I always, or even often make that choice myself? I wish I could honestly say I do. I like to think I do consistently more than not though. Sometimes I find myself choosing the lesser options, but from enough experience…in both directions, I find I am able to right my course before negative reinforcement knocks me silly.

I did get out to sail a few days later. We were becalmed part of the time. Again, it gave way to some quality conversation. It also was a place of rest on the ocean. I do not take as much advantage of the calm places in my life as I would like, so having them presented to me without another option can be therapeutic. I am learning. Eventually the wind picked up and we enjoyed the wind blowing in the sails and at our backs. It is so much better when God is filling the sails.DSC_0637

So what happened to Horacio Hornblower and his sailors? Well, they had been becalmed in fog. When the fog lifted, they found themselves dangerously close to an enemy ship! They snapped to action! Feats of trickery and bravery ensued and they won the battle. They nearly always did, and we do also, with the help of Christ.

What do you do when you are “becalmed?”

What do you do to bring yourself back when/if you find yourself reacting negatively?