Tag Archive | Photography

I’m Really Sorry!

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.

We all know that little ditty from our childhood.

Today. Here. In the Midwest – not the most popular song.

The rains just never seem to quit.

Families that we love are having many issues due to water, in their homes, outside of their homes.

Some are simply irritated, while others, sadly, have lost everything.

I in no way want to down play the tragedy and drama that they are forced to deal with.

I AM really sorry for that, but I am a sky watcher of the heartiest sort.

So I tend to look toward the skies.

The drama there is undeniable.

Just this morning, my husband and I put our air conditioner in the window.

It’s huge. Thankfully we only have to move it twice a year!

But I digress.

We had not had it installed for five minutes, when the clouds began to roll in.

Our home is surrounded on three sides by trees.

Sometimes they speak.

And just as severe weather begins to approach, we can hear a rustling sound. It’s the sound of movement.

Leaves and grasses blowing.

It’s the sound of the timber creaking as the winds try and sway them off their trunks.

And then it happens.

The clouds. The lightning. And the thunder rolls.

Enjoy the photos I grabbed just before the downpour!

And the thunder rolls.
Light vs. dark.
Sometimes the storms stomp right across the valley.
Nearing the end.
My friend Ray Oehme took this photo in town! (Used by his permission)

So yes. There is heartache with all this weather – no doubt about it, put there is also raw power and beauty to behold if we look for it!

Stormy Weather

It’s been raining for days.

Rain in April is great. Not so much all through April AND May.

The joke here in the mid-west is some variation of “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, it will change.”

Or “9:00 AM – Winter, 11:00 AM, – Spring, 1:00 PM – Summer, 3:00 PM – Fall.”

We have often used the furnace and the air conditioning in the same day.

An annoyance to be sure, but relatively harmless.

This constant rain has some long lasting repercussions.

On the the small side – mowing grass is really difficult.

On the larger, more impactful side, the farmers cannot get to their fields. The impact will be far reaching, and most likely the costs of everything will rise.

How does any of this connect with “Quiet” or “Quietude” or “Quiescence”?

The answer is simple. Not easy. But simple.

Weather is among a long list of things that we have absolutely no control over.

If I cannot control it, then what must I do to get through it without bringing myself and those around me down?

I have found that when I take the time for quiet. Five minutes. Fifteen minutes. Thirty minutes. Whatever I can, then my mind can calm down.

When my mind is no longer running amok, then I can think rationally about what steps need to be taken next.

If we leave our minds to their own devices, they can get crazy in a hurry, and it can take a really long time to come back from all that trauma and drama.

So take a moment, or four, with me, and gather your thoughts. Calm your mind.

Be able to be constructively helpful, even when times are tough.

You may even be able to enjoy some flowers in the midst of the storm.

Are You Hearing Voices?

I’ve gotten out of the habit of hearing His voice.

I have some questions here;

First of all – Who is “He”?

Nehemiah 9:6 from the Holy Bible says this; “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

If that’s the case, and I believe it is, then that is a voice I really want to hear!

Why do I want to hear His voice?

Beginning to hearing His voice, for me anyway, began with an intense longing inside of me to find out what more there could possibly be to my life.

You know, the life that goes through the same cycles of disbelief, low self esteem, caring so much what others think, at my own expense.

Expensive, because the voices I was hearing were telling me just how worthless I was. I had a longing to hear just one good thing about myself that I could hang my hat on. Something I could believe and hold on to.

That longing wanted to know who I was; all the while knowing that I could believe a lie, just as easily as I could believe the truth.

To avoid the lie, I had to find the right voice. There are cacophonies of voices out there just trying to be heard. Which one is the right one?

I believe it’s the maker of heaven and earth!

How do you hear His voice in the first place?

In order to sort through that longing, there has to be quiet.

Now MY quiet, will likely be different than yours.

When I want to get to this place of hearing, I require three things.

  1. Absolute quiet.
  2. My Bible.  
  3. A pad of paper and a writing utensil.

The absolute quiet is to get my mind off of everything that distracts. Even lovely music can be distracting. (I’m finding that now even while writing this)

I need my Bible. It has a great concordance (an alphabetical list of the words present in a text, usually with citations of the passages concerned.) in the back, so I can look up scripture by words or topics. I can search out any topic that is on my heart.

Then I can meditate on this word.

This meditation is not the same as emptying the space between my ears. Instead, it fills up all the empty space inside, by telling me the truth; about me, about God, about my life; past, present and future.

The pad of paper? My brain is notorious for running me off in a different direction while I’m trying to concentrate on being quiet. Anything that pops into my head and interrupts gets written down.

It’s safe on that paper, I won’t forget. I’ll pick it up later.

It’s calming, when you know you won’t forget every little nuance at it passes by your brain.

How do you continue to hear His voice?

I hear his voice by being quiet enough to let the words I’ve read roll around in my heart and mind.

I let them roll until they make sense. Until they become real to me.

I really dislike the way the word meditation is used in some forums. I’m speaking of the meditation on God’s word, and what it means to me. Not meditation that is emptying my mind. That is a whole different thing.

Instead, I prefer a meditation that asks; What do these words say? What do they mean to me? How can I put them into practice?

Once you have hear His voice, you will recognize it when you hear it again. John 10:27 says clearly; My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Wow. He knows me – I want to know His voice!

How do you get back to it again after being away?

The dangerous part is in the drifting away. You release the habit for a day, and then a week, and then a month. No big, drastic changes.

You still hear His voice. But here’s the catch; after a month, the voice gets quieter, and you realize (maybe) that you have been going on memory, and that you haven’t “heard” anything new for quite some time.

Memory, like muscles, can get flat after periods of not being used.

Notice, the first thing I said was that it is a habit. It is most definitely a habit.

The first step to take is to get back to your DAILY reading. It need not be chapter upon chapter. Just a few paragraphs maybe.

We used to have a pastor who told us to “Read till you burn.” That sounds funny coming from a pastor, whose job is to insure that you don’t burn 🙂

But what he was trying to tell us, was that we needed to read the word until something came alive in our heart; until our heart caught that spark.

When that happens – You’re hearing God’s voice. He is speaking to you.

I’ve read the same thing several times over my lifetime, and then one time I will read it, and it is like the words jumped right off the page.

They bring something to life in me. They spark a realization in me about _________________! Whatever it is I’m reading about.

When I begin to roll those verses around in my heart and mind, they become a part of me. My soul and my spirit; my insides; are renewed. I can see an action that needs to be taken, or a mind set that needs to be tweeked.

James 1:22-25 (ICB) says this; Do what God’s teaching says; do not just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. A person who hears God’s teaching and does nothing is like a man looking in a mirror. He sees his face, then goes away and quickly forgets what he looked like. But the truly happy person is the one who carefully studies God’s perfect law that makes people free. He continues to study it. He listens to God’s teaching and does not forget what he heard. Then he obeys what God’s teaching says. When he does this, it makes him happy.

This quiet time, this hearing His voice; it gives me peace, and it carries with me throughout my days.

It makes it so that even the harshest of circumstances can be faced with some sort of calm, peace and joy.

A Tiny Trip

Every April, and for the months running up to it, my hubby is very busy. Sometimes twelve hours a day. Taking a break only on Sundays.

The month before our event is when I get busy.

The event happens on the last Saturday in April, and then, we are bushed.

This year, we decided that when the hub-bub was over, we were going to “run away from home”.

Just a tiny trip. Just a day or two. Just us.

Only two people knew where we went, so we left an air of mystery.

Our decision was to drive four and a half hours south to the town of Hermann, Missouri.
It is a beautiful little German town nestled in the hills next to the Missouri River.
For over forty years we have driven THROUGH Hermann, always on our way to or from “Down home” in southern Missouri.

We always said we’d stop. But we always had some where to be. Someone waiting on us.

Hermann’s claim to fame is in it’s wineries.

Since we aren’t drinkers, we took advantage of the many antique shops, and had delightful conversations with the occupants therein.

We enjoyed the charming architecture, and the little pocket gardens hidden absolutely everywhere in the town.

What we really went to see was the glorious display of the Dogwood trees.

It was just the right time of season, and they did not disappoint.

We could see these beauties splashed all through the timber on our drive.

Imagine our surprise when we found this lovely one on a hillside next to the city cemetery.

The closer we got, the more beautiful.

Do you know the story of the Dogwood?

Please allow me to share it with you.

The following picture does not belong to me, but rather, it was found on Pinterest. If it belongs to you, please let me know so that I can credit you properly.


So I hope you’ve enjoyed this “Tiny trip”.

Join me again soon!

Whisper

The world we live in, will not just give us a quiet place.

We must find it, or create if for ourselves.

So if that is what you need, I’d like to help you with that.

A tiny slice of quiet time, just for you.

Any time, day or night. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

 

 

 

 

Choices; Useful or Not?

 

 

 

There is a limb, a little one, shaped like a Shepard’s crook.

It hangs upside down, broken off the tree.

2019-03-09 11.17.12-1

This is the end of the second year it’s been there.

Hanging upside down. Broken. Yet hanging on through every season. Through the calm, and through he storm.

If in the Spring, I rescue it, I’ll never know how long it could have held on.

What would it mean if I left it there? Just to watch it?

Would it serve a purpose , or only be a image of something lonely, broken, and serving no purpose at all? Useless.

If I take it down, it could be used for kindling for a fire, or be reused as in some sort of house decor.

So the choices are; leave it or rescue it, knowing it’s purpose is over, or re-purpose it.

It rather reminds me of a broken life.

I know that personally I have held on to many of the broken parts of my life for far to long.

Many times, because it was the right thing to do, and others because I was too afraid to let go.

At least in the brokenness I knew what to expect. May I just say though, that when I let God my savior rescue me, my purpose became more clear?

Some of those broken things were ready to be disposed of, while others, were re-purposed into things that were useful both for myself and others.

Some of those broken things became the most beautiful treasures in my life. 

I only needed to be quiet long enough to “Hear His voice”. It speaks loudly on the inside, when I take the time to calm myself.

How about you?

What parts of you are “broken”?

Do they need to be let go of, or can they be re-purposed into a beautiful treasure?

I encourage you to take a few moments to quiet your heart and mind; you may be surprised to see the outcome.

You may find some help attaining some quiet by visiting here.

Be sure and let me know how you do!

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen February

The world we live in will not give us a quiet place
to be, we have to find it for ourselves.

My hope is that this little video will
help us to find that quiescent place.

A quiet place to rest our body, our soul,
and our spirit, if only for a moment.

My gift to you. A few moments, in a quiet place.

 

If you enjoyed this time of Quietude, you can find more on YouTube at DeborahSPC