Sometimes I wonder how I could ever begin to thank God for the beauty which surrounds us. Right now, Kip and I are watching a film series by Ken Burns. It's an excellent series which highlights the history of how the first national parks of america became protected. John Muir's passion for preserving the magnificent, untouched beauty of yosemite was the beginning of his lifelong journey as a vigilant advocate for protecting God's Masterpieces of natural wonder. The mountains, apline meadows and valleys which meandered through the forest gave John Muir an overwhelming awareness of God as well as an intense feeling of closeness to Him.
I can relate to those feelings--a deep sense of awe saturates my soul when I seek nature's solace. My senses are awakened by shimmering waters, rainbow-covered waterfalls, soft moss carpets, jagged rough cliffs, round coloured pebbles along a shoreline, and the scent of pine or the smell of the sea.
Like John Muir, I believe that God's Hand formed all of this and that, at times, we stand in the most beautiful sanctuary of all when we immerse ourselves in nature, whether it is at a city park, wandering through prairie fields, climbing mountainous terrain, combing coastal shores, or finding solitude in our own backyard. When we commune with Him while surrounded by His Creation, we are much more likely to hear His voice.
When you read through Scripture, particularly the psalms, God's Creation, His Tapestry, is described in powerful ways when the author speaks about Him, or speaks to Him. In the book of Job, God boldly and firmly reminds Job how sovereign He is as Creator of the World, and all that is in it...including us.
I am so grateful to God for weaving this intricate tapestry of astounding beauty....for us. I encourage you to look at nature more closely: the duplicate patterns on a butterfly or caterpillar....the intricate and delicate design of flowers....the definitive change of course as one season transitions into the next....individual birds with their own distinctive pattern of flight and song...and so on.
And, God's best design? Us!!!!! He makes that very clear in His Word! When I look at the incredible design of the Dahlia in the photo above, I can only give unbridled thanks to the One Who created me [and you] with even more intricacy & complexity. Wow!!! He is our God, He is our Creator, and He is our Heavenly Father. And we are His most precious and priceless creation. Thank you Lord!!
"Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are His deeds, and His righteousness endures forever. Psalm 111: 2, 3 NIV
"I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory.....I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands." Psalm 63: 2, 4 NIV
This morning was very special. We had been invited to speak to members of our local stroke recovery group. Although different forms of disability, many similarities are present between acquired brain injuries and strokes. Kip and I always talk as a team. The first time we spoke at a brain injury group in the interior, several folks related in a unique way to Kip's side of our story. His is a personal testimony of what it is like to have a loved one suddenly acquire a life-changing disability. He talks about the changes, the frustrations, the fears, the courage and the commitment it takes to travel the rough journey.....together. He also shares the victories, the joy and the deepening of a marriage where two life-mates hold onto each other, their love and the Lord, through everything.
Yes, there has been change, tremendous change in our lives. But through the past 13+ years, God has been leading us on an exciting new journey. Without this disability, we would never have met so many amazing people. Today, we once again looked into faces of courage....a group whose arms are linked to each other for support, help and hope. Shouldn't we all be doing that for one another anyway?
We named our website "Seas Today" because that is the message we are passionate about. It is reflected in our vision for the cottage, our photography and my blog and book. Don't live in fear of "what could happen"---rather embrace each day and ask God to open your eyes to the blessings He has placed all around you. Don't be blind to His gifts. Reach out your hand to someone else and help make that link of support, help and hope even stronger. one day you may even find that link supporting you.
[special thanks to B.L. for her warm invitation, and to K.B. for your wonderful setting by the sea---WE left feeling blessed by everyone who attended! You are all very special!!]
"a person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4: 12 NLT
"SEIZE TODAY FOR IT CANNOT BE REWRITTEN IN LIFE'S JOURNAL"
~Kathleen M. Pritchard
It has been a super busy week.....and summer! Thought I'd attach a pic of Kip--doin' what he LOVES to do! I tucker more quickly during summer's busyness.....I'm so eager to write another E4U Entry but want to wait until I can be still [and awake] before the Lord [for about 3 hours as that is how long it takes me to write one post] It will appear soon :-) Thanks for being patient!!!!
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 91:12 NIV
God has not placed a "conditions" sticker on our lives that reads, "This life will lose its value if scratched, broken, disfigured or damaged in any way, rendering it worthless." Circumstances, often beyond our control, DO scratch, damage and break us emotionally, physically and spiritually.
In the book of 1 Samuel [Holy Bible], the Lord spoke to Samuel [regarding the crucial selection of a new King], clearly indicating what HE considers to be of great worth in a person, "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.' [1 Samuel 16:7] Although the man before Samuel had a pleasing and impressive outward appearance [strength and size], God made it very clear that the qualities Samuel visually admired were NOT the qualities GOD sought after.
[For me personally] God sees no disability. He does not turn away or remain distant because I am "different." In fact, He sees me the way He has always seen me, as His creation.
GOD sees us much differently than we sees ourselves. HE focuses on our abilities, not our debilities. HE's the ONE Who designed us and knows what we are capable of, regardless of the detour signs we encounter along life's pathway. Embracing this profound truth enables us to look beyond the reflection in the mirror, to the Light of the One Who reassures us that, regardless of impediment or circumstance, we are indeed Worthy In HIS Eyes.
© Kathleen M. Pritchard: Excerpt taken from my book:
WORTHY IN HIS EYES: Looking Beyond The Reflection In The Mirror.
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