On Orchids, Ice Cubes and Patient Witnessing
Meet my beautiful Hawaiian orchid plant! It is tall with gorgeous flowers that go so well with my pinkish lavender-colored room. It was a just-because-I-love-you present from my amazing and thoughtful Mom. Ahhh, yes! I am quite fond of the love language of orchids (all all sorts of flowers)! Yes, I do believe it is a love language! It is my Mom’s! :)
If you’ve ever taken care of orchids then you know it is best to water these beauties with ice, which allows the water to release in a slow drip as the ice melts. A long time ago I was watering an orchid and poured water like I usually do with my other plants, and quickly learned it wasn’t the best way to water an orchid. Mmm-mmm. As I was wiping the water off the floor I thought, “Note to self: orchids are not fond of drowning.” Lesson learned.
Prayer makes the best “Good morning” and the best “Goodnight”! This morning I’m thankful for the refreshing privilege of coming to our Heavenly Father in prayer at any time of every and any day and just say, “Good morning/afternoon/evening, Dad! Soooo wonderful to spend time with You today!” :)
“I win, I win. I lose, I win.”
Some time ago my dad and I were having a conversation about seeing the positives in life’s negatives. He shared with me a saying from a speech he once wrote while running for the leadership role of student government/body president in college.
“I win, I win. I lose, I win,” he said.
When I asked what he implied with the statement, he told me that either way, if he won or lost the election, he still considered both results as a winning situation. I admire my dad’s optimism and am thankful for the reminder that even when we lose some battles we still win with the victory of knowing we’ve fought the fight. That, I believe, is a winning (and a winner’s) attitude!
Two weeks ago I was in Panama City, FL. The sun was up, the breeze was perfect, the sky was a beeee-autiful shade of blue, the dunes were filled with greenery that swayed in the cool September breeze. The water was just the right temperature…and the sand? Oh, it felt absolutely perfect between my toes. I had gone to the beach with every intention of reading a good book that day, but I didn’t even touch the book while I was at the beach! As soon as I managed to put on some sunblock…well, I was in the water.
Looking back I vividly recall running my fingers through the sand as I carefully selected shells to take home with me. I remember the seagulls that occasionally dropped by to see if we had food with us. I also remember the sound of children’s laughter as they climbed up the sand dunes and excitedly rolled down the ‘hill’.
As I was leaving the beach a couple hours later I noticed the shadows under the beach umbrellas that lined the shore. Those who wanted to stay in the shade had to reposition themselves or their umbrellas if they were to have any shade at all.
…then a thought struck me. Allow me to share.
We know that shadows don’t stay in one place as the earth rotates and revolves around the sun. While the Earth rotates and revolves around the sun, the sun continues to stay in place. Likewise, our thoughts, emotions and circumstances change as we go through the varying seasons of life. People, roles, jobs, relationships, material possessions…these may come and go, but there is one Constant who has been, is and will be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of Righteousness. Being under His ‘shade’ (protection) means being in constant motion in our pursuit of and search for the truth. Everything from our knowledge of His word, our prayers and our faith…must be in a heavenward progressive motion.
As go and grow through life we learn an important truth: as seasons change, so do our prayers. Protection from the snares of the evil one comes from a daily committal of our ways to God. Asking for His divine guidance and wisdom at the beginning of the year doesn’t automatically mean we won’t ever need to ask for His help throughout the year. Similarly, surrendering our day to Him in the morning doesn’t negate our need to pray for divine guidance and intervention throughout the day.
As we go from one variable to another, we will continue to rediscover our constant need of a Constant Savior. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get our prayers and our faith in motion!
I can go to sleep with a smile in my heart now! Got to welcome the Sabbath on a sweet musical note. Several to be exact. Also very happy to be reunited with a really old piano book (above the yellow one near the bottom) with concert transcriptions of favorite hymns. It’s torn and the color of the pages are…so…Shakespearean. Love! :) Events that transpired while playing Joy to The World: multiple crescendos » more crescendos » excitement » torso leans forward for crescendo » head almost hits the piano. Sabbath + music = :) (Taken with Instagram)
Beach day in Panama City, FL [click on photos for captions]
My own private view of the sunrise only a few steps from the tent. My heart is singing the words of a song: “In the morning I see His face, in the evening His form I trace. In the darkness His voice I know. I see Jesus everywhere I go. Let the little sunshine in, let the little sunshine in. Open wide the windows, open wide the doors; let the little sunshine in.” Goooood morning and Happy Friday, beautiful world! :) (Taken with Instagram)
Nighttime reading, ‘Dear Diary-ing’ and gratitude journaling in the tent while also enjoying the view of the water and the silhouette of trees through the screen door. So thankful for headlamps! Might be a late night of just listening to nature’s music though. The sound of the water lapping on the shore is absolutely soothing! The sound of the breeze whistling through the trees is also the perfect goodnight wish! This evening is sooooo refreshing I’d rather stay awake, listen and not miss out on a single measure of this beautiful September evening lullaby. Oh, and did I mention I’m finally getting that cricket serenade I’ve been missing? Makes. My. Heart. Smile. Thankful for moments like this. :) (Taken with Instagram)
Things that make me smile:
- Playing Lowrey, an old and dusty, but still-so-full-of-soul piano for half an hour at an antique surplus store
- Celebrating Mother’s birthday
- Journals galore at the Barnes and Noble’s journal section. They have an entire wall full of journals!
- Going on a mental/visual vacation to Italy at the Barnes and Noble’s kiddie section…something I used to do several years ago
- A quill and a musician’s notebook for calligraphy and songwriting.
- Shopping for organic fruits to use for juicing
- Getting creative and saving money by using Lowe’s free paint palettes as white balance cards for photography. Plus! A new book purchased at Barnes, the StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
- Finally getting a candid shot of my dad laughing :)
‘Real’ Them In
The Bible is full of countless analogies on reaching out to others and leading them to Christ. As fishers of men we are to cast our nets and hooks into the water in faith. We prepare. We cast. We wait. Whether or not we catch fish is dependent on a variety of variables.
A year ago I had my first fishing experience in Panama City Beach, FL. Being a vegetarian then (I’m vegan now), I decided to only fish for fun; several men and women on the pier did the same. I recall the very first time I cast my line into the water. It didn’t take long to discover the importance of having a sinker tied to my line; its weight helped to keep my bait or hook in the water. It seemed to be a perfect day for fishing; I had quite a few catches that day! When the fish tugged on my line, my heart beat fast as I reeled the fish up to the pier and out of the water.
A few times, however, several of the fish fell right back into the ocean. It might not have been a good bite, I thought to myself. …or maybe my bait was not secured well enough so the fish must have managed to wiggle themselves and the bait to freedom. In our Christian life we also find varying unexpected circumstances as we fish for men and women in God’s ocean of lost and hurting souls. In our eagerness to reel them in, we forget to thoroughly prepare our bait and our fishing equipment. Sometimes we are quick to cast our line into the water while forgetting to properly secure our bait to the hook. When this happens, the fish get what they want…without a ‘vice versa’ result for the waiting fisherman. I must confess…now that I’m vegan I’m glad that’s the case…in literal (fishing) situations, that is. Likewise, when we witness to others with insufficient knowledge, prayer and guidance (of the Holy Spirit), our fishing is done in vain.