2013 Tulip Series – 07

I have been away vacationing with my family and unfortunately had to miss posting an Easter blog.  So, a day late, but better late than never, here is my Easter post.

V is for Victory

Over Sin and Death.

V is for Victory

Resting on Old Wood –

A Reminder of the Cross.

V is for Victory

For Christ,

and the

 Grace,

Through Suffering,

He Bought Us.

copyright Robyn Graham

V is for Victory

 “The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.” – Henry Knox Sherrill

Think of Me

When the days are long,

Think of me.

When things go wrong,

Think of me.

There will be days you don’t feel strong,

Think of me.

When those days arrive, breakout in song,

And think of me.

You’ll have woes to carry along,

And you may not feel like you belong,

Just think of me.

Sometimes relationships are not lifelong,

Some are, just think of me.

And when you think of me,

Feel the harmony,

Of nature, healing, and just, letting be.

copyright Robyn Graham

Think of Me

Think of Me

Think of Me in Harmony

In Harmony

Green represents nature, healing, and harmony.  The white clover flower means “Think of Me” in the Victorian Language of Flowers. The “me” in the poem is representative of my faith, I always have someone to think of to get me through a long day.

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4

Virtue and Chastity

Did you know that white lilies symbolize chastity and virtue – and were the symbol of the Virgin Mary’s purity and her role of Queen of the Angels?

Virtue

Virtue

Chastity

Chastity

Not Yet…

Today’s image is of the Nativity in our church.  I think it is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.  The detail and craftsmanship is amazing.  You don’t have to look close, however, to notice that the manger, the bed of straw, is empty.   This is only temporary though.  In a matter of hours, the Christ child will be placed in the manger.  The children wait anxiously for this.  They love to see the baby Jesus lying in the manger.  The miracle of the original Christmas story touches the hearts of the young and old alike.

Unfortunately, during the Christmas season the primary  focus is on the magical appearance of Santa Clause and the gifts under the tree.  But the real reason for Christmas is that little baby whose coming we anxiously await.    The true miracle.  The miracle of love and joy.  The miracle of grace.  May you experience the true joy of the season.  The love, peace and grace that can be found in the Christ child.

Merry Christmas.

Representation of the True Meaning of Christmas

Representation of the True Meaning of Christmas

Silence

 

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grow in silence;  see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.  We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa

Find Silence, Find God, and Touch Souls

Find God, Find Silence, and Touch Souls

Which Path?

“The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9 NIV)

Not All, Choose the Right Path

The Praying Mantis

I’ve been away from the world of blogging for a few days due to the chaos I call life in a family of five.  Knowing how busy life was going to be during the last couple of weeks of summer, I recently  made a list of the images I wanted to post, and the order in which to post them.  Despite this effort, I did not achieve a blog post the past two days.  Then today, as I was walking by my Dahlias I noticed the difference in each bloom and figured I had to grab my camera.  I photographed the large, beautiful flowers for a bit and then, out of the blue appeared a Praying Mantis on one of the large, fully open flowers. Once again my list of blog topics is pushed back, but I’m hoping no one minds.

After photographing the Praying Mantis, and taking a few more shots of the Dahlias, I had to confirm my thoughts that the Praying Mantis had symbolism of peace associated with it.  Sure enough, I found a plethora of information on this unique looking insect.  One website was especially interesting.  This website is Souled Out.org (http://www.souledout.org/earthday/mantis/pm.html). The information reported on Souled Out.org is below.

The praying mantis is the oldest symbol of God: the African Bushman’s manifestation of God come to Earth, “the voice of the infinite in the small,”* a divine messenger. When one is seen, diviners try to determine the current message. In this culture they are also associated with restoring life into the dead. “Mantis” is the Greek word for “prophet” or “seer,” a being with spiritual or mystical powers.

Meet the eye of a mantis and feel the presence of God. Interspecies communicator Sharon Callahan says, “the I of me, and the I of the creature became one and we rested on the breath of God.” She notes that a praying mantis appears sometimes in person, other times in a dream or even in an object of art, but always with the “shiny conscious eye ~ God looking at me through the eye of the Mantis.”

The praying mantis shows the way. In the Arabic and Turkish cultures a mantis points pilgrims to Mecca, the holiest site in the Islamic world. In Africa it helps find lost sheep and goats. In France, it’s believed that if you are lost the mantis points the way home.   

“Follow Mantis” means putting that core aspect of yourself, your foundation of Spirit, at the helm and let it direct your intellect and ultimately your life.

On other websites I found the following meanings:

  • Symbol of the eye of God.
  • She represents strength, adaptability, and ease of communication.
  • The Praying Mantis will make an appearance when we need peace, quiet, and calm in our lives.  She visits to tell us that we need to be more like her and take our time and live at our own silent pace.

As I was reading all of the summaries of symbolism for the Praying Mantis I thought about how well each one of them could represent the reason she appeared on my Dahlias today.  First and foremost, I believe in the power of prayer and experienced it first hand a couple of times this week.  Secondly, I have had a lot of chaos and emotional unease looming the past few weeks.  I’m not sure if this is because my oldest child will be starting a new chapter in his life and moving onto middle school while at the same time entering the teenage years, or if it is simply the business and sadness that accompanies the end of summer.    I would like to think that this beautiful insect happened to arrive on my Dahlia at the same time I was photographing as a reminder to keep life in perspective, to realize how blessed I am, to slow down and take deep calming breaths, and simply love and cherish those around me.  A little message from God to keep myself in check.

The Oldest Symbol of God? A Reminder to Pray?

Peace, Quiet, and Calm?

Strength, adaptability, and Ease of Communication?

She really is magnificent.  Nature is so incredible.  She blends right in with her environment.  At first look I was disappointed that the Dahlia was not perfect, but had brown blemishes.  Then it it occurred to me that this was the natural process and she was using it to her benefit.  I wonder how long she stayed camouflaged watching me photograph.  The thought of it makes me smile.

Old, Faded Photographs

“Still, if you set your heart on God and reach out to him, If you scrub your hands of sin and refuse to entertain evil in your home, You’ll be able to face the world unashamed and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless. You’ll forget your troubles; they’ll be like old, faded photographs.” – Job 11:13-16 (MSG)

When I saw this Bible verse a week or so ago, I immediately thought about posting it.  The question was how to do so. I decided to post an old photograph, that I did not take, in addition to an image I did take.  It is probably obvious that the term – old, faded photographs in the verse caught my attention.  However, the remainder of the verse has even more meaning.  Words to take to heart.  If only I could muster the strength of Job.  He is a Biblical icon and a true inspiration of strength and faith.

An old faded photograph of my mother on her horse, Topaz. Needless to say I did not take this photograph. But, I found it quite appropriate to post with the verse above.

A photograph I recently took that, in black and white, looks old.

Everything in it’s Own Season

Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Our thoughts shape our lives….

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” (Proverbs 4:23)

If only all thoughts could be as beautiful as this butterfly on the lavender……