You Breathed Into My Soul

With idols, I am through –
I once used them to console

My broken spirit.

I came to life when I met You –
You breathed into my soul

And pulled me from the pit.

My Precious Spotless Lamb,
You bought all of me with a price,

My body, my heart, my soul, my life!

I declare that I am
Thine, My Lord Jesus Christ!

Thank you for Your sacrifice! โค


For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (First Peter 1:18-19)


This poem was inspired not only by the verse above but by a chapter in Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Which I plan to review soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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In Ways Everlasting – Collab with T.R. Noble

If I rise on the wings of the dawn
If I settle on the far side of the sea
Even there Your hand will guide me
You will keep me safe and warm

If I fall from the clouds of the dusk
If I wander the land to and fro
Even there, Your hand will follow
You will never leave me lost

If towering mountains fall upon me
If I am buried under the ground
Even there, Iโ€™m safe and sound
Your loving arms surround me

If darkness swallows me whole
If all that I see are the trials
Youโ€™ve said it is all worthwhile
For Youโ€™ve redeemed my soul

Search me and know my being
Test me and know my thoughts
It was You that I always sought
To lead me in ways everlasting

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your sight?
Where on Earth does Your Light
Not glow, It even shines in the pit!

Nowhere can I hide from You
To nowhere could I flee
I cannot run away from Thee
And why would I want to?


You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. Psalm 139:1 (NIV)

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, โ€œSurely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,โ€ even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You. Psalm 139:11-12 (NIV)

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)


This is my first ever collab with T. R. Noble! This was such fun to put together – thanks for making this happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

And now that youโ€™ve finished reading this post, you really should check out her post in flash-fiction form –ย the link to her blog is in her name above, and the link to the post itself is in this sentence. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wonder Wednesdays: What attracts cats to catnip?

Answer: The catnip plant has oil by the name of”nepetalactone” in it.ย  When nepetalactone hit the olfactory receptors – er – the scent hits their noses, the oil stimulates receptors that sense chemicals called “pheromones.”

This causes a chemical reaction which gives a feline a feeling of euphoria or overwhelming glee.

In other words…

They get a safe high.

It looks like the effect that catnip has on cats is compared to a hallucinogen on humans.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒย Thankfully, the effects don’t last too long.

Some cats have reactions such as growling, drooling, purring, or rolling around on the floor with the catnip like they lost all their senses. Others seem to pay no attention to it at all.

Research shows that only 50% to 75% of cats have a reaction to catnip. It also seems to be in the genes – if a cat who doesn’t react has kittens, it is likely that the kittens won’t react either.

Fun fact: The majority of cats in Australia don’t react to catnip.

Catnip also affects cats besides the housecats – tigers, leopards, lions and other wild cats.

And it repels bugs! Mosquitoes, termites, roaches, and flies hate it. The chemicals are stronger than DEET! Sadly, it loses it’s superpower when applied to the skin. But still, this makes me want to plant catnip all over the place. Arkansas has some serious mosquito problems.

And as for humans… oddly enough, when ingested as a tea, it can act like a sedative.


If you have followed along with Wonder Wednesdays long, you probably noticed that I usually use stock images for them. However, in this edition of Wonder Wednesday, all the photos are mine. These are all lovely cats I’ve had over the years. Some have passed away, and others I gave away as kittens.

The cats (from the top down) are Scout, Bullet, Rabbit, Sissy (the tabby), Skippy (the black one), Lion, and Tux. โค

Happy 14th Birthday, Angel!

I don’t know exactly when she was born. But I know when we got her – it was at the end of August. Our best guess is that my dog carried her here from somewhere. I never found the mother cat or anything, so we kept her.

We took this in the back of our truck on 8 – 22 – 04. My parents said we would never have a cat inside. That lasted until it rained a couple of days later. She was only going to come inside until the rain was over. But… she never went back outside.

She figured out quickly that her favorite place to sleep is my dad’s back.ย ๐Ÿ˜†

She would climb straight up his jeans and shirt and sit on his shoulder. (She’s getting too old to do much climbing like that now.)

This was only September, as you can see. She was so hilarious as a kitten. Still is sometimes.

 

She discovered my dollhouse and really liked playing in it.ย ๐Ÿ˜‚ And playing with those board games in the background was nearly impossible. I spent more time chasing her to get the pieces back than actually playing the game.

She is always so mischevious. She explores everything, gets into everything, is always curious about everything… I love that quality about her though. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Here she is inside a dog treat bag. She got stuck inside. I wish I could have videoed that. It was hilarious watching her spin in circles and then finally just… not caring that she was trapped inside with dog treats.ย ๐Ÿ˜†

She likes clothes and clothes baskets. And pretty much anything new. Even…

Paper sacks. They are ingenious cat toys.

She would hide in them and pop out like a jack-in-the-box. Except instead, a cat-in-the-bag.

She would shred the bag when she was done, of course. And leave me the mess to clean up.

But it was fun anyway.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

It was so amusing.ย ๐Ÿ˜‚ Sadly, as she gets older, she gets less energetic. But this also means less shredded stuff to clean up.

Anyway…

Here she is in a drawer! My parents bought baby locks for the cabinets and drawers because she would open them and sometimes try to see how much she couldย remove before we could stop her.ย ๐Ÿ˜† Or sleep on whatever was inside.

She likes my bed. Back when we first got her, I had a lot of stuffed animals in my room. I still have some but not this many on the bed.

I got the idea that I could stack stuffed animals around her and it might be a fun photo.

And then it was like a hidden object game. So as if this wasn’t enough… can you find her in the next photo? Maybe I went a little overboard. Just a little…

I’m surprised she put up with me.ย ๐Ÿ˜†

We didn’t realize that it would be different having a Christmas tree.

I remember one Christmas, she almost was strangled in the tassel.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑย Thankfully, my dad saved her. We haven’t used that stuff or a string of Christmas lights on the tree since.

And fragile ornaments? Not a good idea. Especially balls. They were removed and then played with as toys.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

Angel made it clear that we would no longer have a star on top of the tree. We would have an Angel.ย ๐Ÿ˜†

The star would be pushed aside as she took her place at the top.ย  I’m sure she felt like a queen up there.

She makes Christmas interesting!

She also has gotten herself banned from most rooms in the house (still is allowed in them if she has close supervision) because of her mischevious nature.

But now that she is older, she doesn’t get into as much.

But I love her personality. ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s a lot of fun.

It’s hard to get a good photo of her. She moves around a lot and that causes her to blur. This was the best I could do yesterday.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

Anyway, I guess this is it. The birthday girl is calling.ย ๐Ÿ˜

My July 2018 In Photos

Hello, everyone! Before we get into pictures, I want to quickly address the lack of Wonder Wednesdays… for two Wednesdays in a row…ย ๐Ÿ˜… I didn’t intend for that to happen, and the series should resume next Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m trying to decide among three topics. We’ll see which one I go with.

Back to the post at hand. I finally have the July updates put together. It ends on a sad note, I’m afraid. But first, here are some happy pictures. First, is a dragonfly that I’ve seen around.

I think this is some sort of butterfly. In this head-on shot, it looks more like a flying alien.

Some of my favorite fruits are back in season – the plumcot! It’s a natural cross between a plum and an apricot. It’s a real treat when these come in season.

I had an idea that an old HUGE cooler that my parents didn’t want anymore could be salvaged and converted into a planter if I drilled holes in it. However, before I got around to it, rain collected in it. I was going to dump it, but then saw this leopard frog having a good time in there. So I put some sticks in it for her (so she could get out easier – but leopard frogs have sticky pads and can climb out with no problem) and a little grass to make it seem more natural, and let her have it. (At least, this year… she won’t be around this winter and I can convert it before she returns. ๐Ÿ˜„)

And as if watching the frog play in there wasn’t enough reason to leave it alone, she laid eggs in there. Here, they are almost ready to leave. Now they are gone. I’ll miss them.

But, in the mudhole, there are new batches of tadpoles! These may be toads, not frogs. Or maybe some of both. I guess I’ll find out when they grow up. ๐Ÿ™‚

After exiting the grocery store one day, we had this view.

Ah, I’ll never tire of seeing how the heavens declare the glory of God. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a view of the pond behind my grandma’s chicken house through what looks like a window opening.

I had a lot of fun playing with angles.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

This little guy somehow got into my cat’s run. Gabby stalked him and Sparrow had her eyes on him and I knew if I didn’t catch him first, they would – and then they would make sure he had an early death. Fortunately, I caught him first. This is him saying thanks before flying away. ๐Ÿ™‚

(Sorry for the mess, but gardening gets messy. ๐Ÿ˜†) You’ve probably seen me talk about this before, but I’ve been experimenting with growing trees from seeds. I had about 20 apple and pear seeds that had sprouted after spending six months in the refrigerator (when they were only supposed to spend three… my mistake).

The aprium (a natural cross between an apricot and a plum) box (and the plumcot box under it) has my tulip bulbs in it – something came and dug a bunch up and stole them, so I decided that if they want the remaining ones, they would have to really work at it and get through the plastic containers. Anyway.

They looked surprisingly healthy for having a “winter” that long, and I was excited to watch them grow up. But the very next day, something dug up every single seed and ate them. And left me the shells. I was not happy. Even though I was sad that that happened, I’m not short on trees so I still have an experiment:

These are from the last three years of experiments. There are lemons, oranges, pears, apples, and peaches shown here. My plan was to give some of the citrus ones to my uncle and aunt who live in southern Texas so they can grow in a climate that is suitable for them because Arkansas winters are too much for them. As for the others… I’m going to plant some outside where they can grow into normal size trees, plant some of the citruses in large pots so that I can carry them indoors, and then bonsai the others.

These are two lemon trees (Aida and Agnes) that I’ve already planted as bonsai trees. ๐Ÿ™‚

Two mandarin orange trees (Mandy the Second and Wren – get it? MandyWren? Mandarin? I know, I’m terrible…) that are now planted as bonsai.

Currently unnamed apple tree. This will not do, it must be named…

The one in the yellow pot is either one of the Five Boroughs of New York or Frank Sinatra. I think. The labels washed off. I think I’ll call it Frank Sinatra and the others that I plan to plant outside in the ground will be the Five Boroughs of New York. The way this one leans, I’m tempted to rename it to The Leaning Tower Of Pisa and start naming the others after famous landmarks. Who knows – it might happen yet.ย ๐Ÿ˜†

And now for the sad ending…

One of my cats, 9-year-old Simone, passed away on the 23rd. It was very sudden. I didn’t even realize she was sick. If I were to guess, I’d say it was something like a heart attack because she seemed normal that morning, except she didn’t eat much. But then, the others weren’t eating as much during the day either because it was so hot.

Here she is as a baby! Gabby chose a cardboard box on our front porch to have her litter in. Simone is the one on the left in both of the photos above. (The other two were Scout and Puma; they passed away years ago.) The plan was to have two of them named after characters in the Lion King movie. Timon and Pumbaa. But what happened was, Timon turned out to be a girl and by the time I realized that she already was getting used to the name. So I changed it to Simone which is similar as to not confuse her and changed Pumbaa to Puma to cover up my error.ย ๐Ÿ˜†

This is my favorite photo of her.ย ๐Ÿ˜‚ I had been gardening and you can see my gardening stuff behind her. She was in my way, so I thought it would be fun to take photos. This is the only one that came out.ย ๐Ÿ˜‚ I caught her yawning.

(Sorry it’s a little blurry – she wasn’t a fan of having her photo taken, so it was hard to find a good one of her as an adult.) She loved rubbing against my legs but was very feisty otherwise. I could pet her twice, and then the paw would go up, daring me to try it a third time. She never did claw me. In the photo above, you can see her raising her paw at me.ย ๐Ÿ˜† She was also the smallest cat I’ve ever had, weighing about four pounds. For some reason, she never grew past that.

She was the fifth cat I’ve lost this year. (I made a post for three of them – the fourth one, Jay, ran away last spring.)

Butterfly! ๐Ÿ˜€ The post was originally going to end with Simone, but right before July ended, I met this little fellow. They like the mudhole. This one was very hard to photograph because he wouldn’t stay still. ๐Ÿ˜…ย And I really wanted to include him.

And this concludes my July in photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rain Splatters On The Windowpane – WWP #51

Rain, rain splatters on the windowpane
And it falls mercilessly as
I peer outside
No signs of stopping
Drenching everything
Rains slows
Outside becomes brighter as the wind blows
Puffy clouds away
Storm has stopped, and I see a rainbow


This was in response to the Weekend Writing Prompt #51, Raindrops. The poetry challenge was to do an acrostic for the word raindrop, so here it is. If you would like to join in the fun, here is a link to the submission guidelines for the anthology. The deadline is August 10th. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Walk Through The Forest At Dusk – WWP #14

A walk through the forest at dusk
Blood red skies
Crickets chirping cheerfully
Deer grazing peacefully
Even so…
Fear is still following me.
Greeted by the cool breeze
Had to pull my coat tighter around me
I shivered, however not
Just from temperature, but
Keraunophobia – thunder and
Lightning, storms
Make me afraid
No, never give in
Only to God will I surrender
Petrified but I trust in Him
Quiet forest no more
Rain falls, pitter-patter
Suddenly an owl hoots
The night is filled with sounds
Until thunder deafens
Victorious!
Walking unafraid,
X marks the spot in time and space where
Yes, Jesus saved me from my fears
Zealously I run back to the tent to get dry and allow the rain to lull me to sleep


**Special thanks to Diana for the K phobia – that really made this come together. ๐Ÿ™‚

This was in response to the Weekend Writing Prompt #14, Fear. The poetry challenge was to do an ABC poem (and the extra challenge was to reach Z, which I did, WHOOOP XD), so here it is. If you would like to join in the fun, here is a link to the submission guidelines for the anthology. The deadline is August 10th. ๐Ÿ™‚