It’s What Sunflowers Do

“Keep your face to the sunshine, and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller

I admire sunflowers, for…
They spend their whole lives
Growing roots in the sod
Trying to mimic their God
With their faces to the sunrise.
Producing sun-bloom galore!

They need the Son’s rays
And Living Waters
In order to stay alive.
In order to thrive.
Yes, their Creator
They do always praise!

Focused as they grew,
Gazing not at the shadows
Or the foreboding darkness;
Only seeing their Rest
That they are to follow.
I try to do as they do!

On a different note – I bought this black-eyed Susan plant by mistake last year thinking it was a sunflower. Hey, they were both yellow. 😂 I was glad to see it was a perennial, and I planted it in the middle of the garden, hoping it would attract bees or any other pollinators. It scared me a bit when it went dormant – but it came back this year with a vengeance, and it has exploded with flowers!

(And as you can see, a bag of fertilizer and a bag of potting soil along with black-eyed Susans – I thought I had moved it out of the way before I took the photo but I guess I didn’t. 😂) Anyway, buying this plant on sale for $1.00 was a lovely mistake. 🙂

However, unlike the sunflower that points east (thanks for the sunflower facts, Peggy!), these flowers seem to point in all sorts of directions – especially up. 😄

Heavenly Father

I’d like to give a shout-out and thanks to Miriam from The Shower of Blessings for inspiring me to try the Villanelle poem form! You can read her poems here and here. 🙂

Heavenly Father

Heavenly Father, the Creator of all things
How can this Someone love little ole me,
This Lord of Lords, The King of Kings?

The incredible blessings that He brings
For all of mankind to see,
Heavenly Father, the Creator of all things,

To Him, the fowls of the air sing,
“How worthy and good is He
This Lord of Lords, The King of Kings!”

The universe’s expanse and butterfly wings
Display His holy ingenuity.
Heavenly Father, the Creator of all things,

Oh how to My Savior, I cling,
The One Who died to set me free!
This Lord of Lords, The King of Kings,
Heavenly Father, the Creator of all things!

I Lift Your Precious Name High!

When I feel I’m on my own,
I remember I’m not in this alone,
God’s sitting upon His throne.

I need a Wise Guide,
My Shepherd to abide,
Here, right by my side!

Gone astray; I need to be led.
Defeated; I’m in over my head.
So scared; fears I want to shed.

I pray without a sound,
When I’m feeling down,
And feel His peace surround!

“I know that You are always there;
You’ll never go anywhere;
For some reason, You care.”

“You paid the price that was due;
Holy Spirit, come dwell here too;
I need you, Lord, I need you!”

“You love me, and I don’t know why,
For a sinner like me, you’d die;
I lift Your precious name high!”

Humility – Simon Peter And The Fish

If you read my post Humility – Jesus In The Wilderness, then you know I have been studying the Gospels and Andrew Murray’s book, Humility. These are a few notes I made while in Luke 5. 🙂

Luke 5:1-7: And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And He entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

Now when He had left speaking, He said unto Simon, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”

Okay, so put yourself in Simon Peter’s place. They have already fished the whole night and caught absolutely nothing, and then Jesus comes along, preaches, and then tells them to launch the nets. “Why, Lord? We’ve already done that without results. Why do You want us to do that again? There can’t be any fish there.”

And Simon answering said unto Him, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at Thy word I will let down the net.”

I love this response. Basically, “We’ve tried that and caught nothing; but because You asked, we will do it anyway.” Acknowledging that they tried and failed (with their own power), yet, also acknowledging that He is superior and they listen. The fish weren’t there earlier, but they are now!

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

They caught nothing all night on their own, but when Jesus says “Fish, and here’s where to do it,” they catch so many that their nets broke. XD He can give more than anyone ever asks for, in His perfect timing.

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Then they call for help and there are so many fish, their ships start to sink! That’s a lot of fish.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.
And Jesus said unto Simon, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”
And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.

Jesus says they will from now on catch men instead of fish. And then they trusted Him and left the boats and fish to follow Him.

It is really interesting to read this and then read John 21:1-6: After these things Jesus shewed Himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed He Himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His disciples.
Simon Peter saith unto them, “I go a fishing.”
They say unto him, “We also go with thee.”
They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
Then Jesus saith unto them, “Children, have ye any meat?”
They answered Him, “No.”
And He said unto them, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.” They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

They cast the net this time without the “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing…” comment. They had been through this before. I assume that as soon as He told them to fish out of the right side of the boat, they knew it was Him, and they knew to follow His leading and just do it. Humility – knowing that He is God and that we are not. (That line about Him being God and we are not came from a song called Thy Will by Hillary Scott & Family. My Internet connection isn’t good enough to load YouTube videos, but I think this is it.)

Even if it doesn’t make sense to us at the time, His way is the best way!

How Mighty is His Power

I’d like to give a shout-out and thank you to Pete from Walking In Christ for inspiring this poem’s subject. 🙂

– I could fill these blog pages a hundred times and not begin to tell how many wonderful things He has done for me. I bet you can do the same. The goodness of God overwhelms us every day, and many times we just forget to think about it. The air we breathe, the trees and flowers, the sun that rises every day, the stars that glow at night are just the beginning of the good things He gives us. Let us never again forget all the good things He has done for us. – Pete

How Mighty is His Power

Let us give our Lord praise!
His goodness is overwhelming,
He blesses us in so many ways –
Let us never forget these things!

He made air so that we can breathe,
For beauty, He made the flowers;
For fruit and wood, He made trees –
Oh how mighty is His power!

He created emotions so that we may love,
He created music so we may sing,
And words so we may worship Him above –
Let us never forget these things!

He created the stars that twinkle in the night,
The sun that rises to end the dark hours,
Giving us their warmth and light –
Oh, how mighty is His power!

Drastic Measures

It’s week 23 of 100 Word Wednesday, and here is the photo and my response – barely before the deadline, haha. 🙂 It was hard to cram this story into anywhere close to just 100 words, but I gave it a try! 😂

Image Credit Jesse Williams

Walking alone at night
Dangerously eerie
Diner’s beckoning light
Welcoming to see.

Order special surprise
Person comes inside
Wearing frightening guise
Nowhere to hide.

Demands currency
“Don’t hurt us,”
Waitress asks leniency
Safety, she asks Jesus

Get a notion.
“You hungry?”
Questioning reaction,
But plain to see.

Fallen on misfortune
Drastic measures taken
Family would stave soon
He felt forsaken.

Slides in the booth across,
“You don’t know me.”
Shrug as if at a loss,
“I was once you, see:

Life’s not kind, I know.
But you’ll be okay; it’s true!
For He feeds the sparrow
And He cares for you!

For He sent you me,
Your angel,
Didn’t He?
All will be well!”

Emerging From The Cocoon

On a Thursday night in May, God showed me one of His many miracles in His creation. He is so good.

I had the most exciting opportunity. About a month ago while raking leaves, I happened upon a cocoon attached to a leaf. I saved it and brought it home with me.

Fast forward a month. I rescued a beetle that was in my sink, and when I put it in a potted plant outside, I saw that the cocoon was missing. That was startling. I found it under the leaves of my potted plant and I picked it up – and it wiggled. o_O

If you look really close in these photos, you can see the legs and wing design through the transparent cocoon.

I didn’t expect to be present when this was happening, so the fact that God brought a beetle into my sink at the right time so that I’d go outside at the right time – just wow.

I got to see the whole process, which took about an hour and a half. I may have taken 120+ photos of the process. (That means that I did. XD )  And now, you all get to see the process too. 😀

The little guy didn’t like me showing the underside of him, so I had to hold him to get this shot. The cocoon at this point was flexible and tender, so I had to be careful in order to not hurt the little fellow.

I put the cocoon into a glass jar (because quite frankly, I didn’t know what was coming out of there and I was convinced that was a stinger on the end 😂) to carry it to my baby peach tree and on the way, I heard a “CRACK.”

Sorry for the quality; the flash kind of wrecked it, but you can hopefully see it. It happened very quickly and I didn’t have time to get another shot off. He was very freaked out about being in a jar, so I hung him on my peach tree limb.

He seemed to be screaming, “HEEEEEEEEELP!!!” Poor thing. He eventually got a better grip on the leaf, after his legs dried out a bit.

Isn’t he something?! 😍

This is a head-on shot. He almost looks like a bird. XD

When I saw the underside, I was half convinced that it was a monarch butterfly.

But the top was all wrong. And then the wings started to unfold…

How cool is that? The colors were so vibrant.

And he had a very good grip. XD

Another head on shot. And then the wings unfolded more…

I like how the legs are a bit spiky and have little rings on them.

At this point, I seriously thought I was wrong and it was a Monarch butterfly after all.

The colors under the wings were right.

It’s hard to tell in these photos, but the wings weren’t straight as they appear. In the next one, it’s easier to see that.

And then all of the sudden, in one quick motion, and its true nature was revealed…

It’s a moth. XD But for a while there, it had me fooled! A friend of mine identified it (and linked me to a website she found) as a Ilia Underwing Moth.

It was much bigger than the moths I usually see. (Sorry about the blur; I didn’t realize it needed to be retaken until it was too late to retake it. But at least the numbers on the tape measure are readable.)

And then he stretched his newly dried wings…

..flew onto my camera lens to say goodbye, and flew off into the night.

I learned so much from this experience. For one, we are moths and butterflies. When we shed the old man to put on the new (as spoken of by Paul in the fourth chapter of his letter to the Ephesians) and become a new creature (mentioned in second Corinthians chapter five), He no longer considers us the greedy, selfish caterpillar we once were; only that we went into the dark night of the cocoon, to emerge a beautiful creation in Christ. ♥