Tuesday Photo Challenge – Sunsets

I really like sunsets. I rarely get sunsets from anywhere other than home, but I do have a few from Willow Beach that I’d love to share for the Tuesday Photo Challenge. 🙂

And I’ll share these two oldies but goodies from the past:

Playing With Fire – Again

Yup, I’m playing with fire again. 😅 Last time was when my uncles were burning old magazines and newspapers. This time, it was a burn barrel with sticks. 🙂 The photo challenge this week from Dutch Goes The Photo is Heat, and here is my entry.  😀

Zoomed out shot of the fire in the barrel.

Zoomed in shot of the fire. It was hard to photograph fire because it jumped all over the place. It refused to stay still!

But I enjoy a challenge, and after about 100 photos, these were probably the best shots. I like the way the fire looks behind that stick. Whimsical and wispy.

Is it just me, or can you almost make out an angel in there?

And lastly, here are a few experimental shots of the fire that my camera did with the special effects. Sadly, I don’t know what the different effects are called:

Rainbow-like effects.

Reminds me of really old photos. I especially like how this one turned out for some reason.

Ever wondered what fire looks like in black and white? Well, wonder no more! 😉

I had a lot of fun playing with fire that day. Hope you enjoyed seeing the results of that. 🙂

Shining Yellow Lilies

Dutch Goes The Photo’s photo challenge last week was “shine” – though I fear I’m a bit late in posting for the challenge. 😅 My yellow lilies seem to almost glow in the dark in these photos – as if the flowers were made of sunshine. 🙂

And here is a glimpse of the journey that they took to get there:

Plants but the buds are not visible yet.

The plants are bigger but the buds are still too small to see.

Here come the buds!

Fully grown buds – it was only a matter of days. 😀

Hello, yellow Asian Lily! 😍 One of my favorite flowers! God added such detail to the petals.<3 In addition to these, I have orange ones, which are also open now (keep your eyes peeled, that post will probably come later this week), and red ones that are a little further behind and will probably open at the beginning of June. I bought pink ones this year and they already opened and died back. (If you missed them, you can see them here.) I hope to add a new color every year! I really want purple, but I’ve never seen them locally… but I’ve never seen one I didn’t like so I’m sure I’ll find something. 😁


Also, on a different note, I want to thank you all for the support – I got this in my notifications bell a few days ago:

And a special thanks to Keri L, who told me that my posts weren’t showing up in the reader because I was using too many tags and categories. ❤ Looks like it’s working now and people are seeing my posts. 🙂

A Walk Down Memory Lane & A Short Story Excerpt

 

On April 1st, this blog turned two years old. (And that is no April Fool’s Day joke!) WAHOO! 😀 It’s hard for me to believe. 😄 It’s equally hard for me to believe that yesterday, I had my 700th follower.  🙂 I don’t know what to say, except, thank you guys for your support – it means the world to me. ❤

This post will be a small collection of my favorite posts from the past two years – a walk down memory lane – and something new at the end that I’m excited about. 😉


What is Our Purpose” was my first blog post. It was published on April 9th, 2016. I remember being so nervous and then convincing myself that only my friends would be reading it anyway, so I had no reason to be nervous about strangers. And then ten people total liked it and I was like, “WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE.” It was a shock, but a good shock. But no one commented (which was probably a good thing at the time because I was still so shy then 😅), so I soon went on to post a book review and other posts.

For that post, I had a purple wildflower as my header image.  I was also just starting to experiment with close-up photography at the time. I didn’t post the images in the post itself then, and with my dial-up connection, I had to compress the images a lot to get them to upload, so sometimes they would appear grainy. With that said, here is the original uncompressed photo:

And a bonus photo – the same flower at a slightly different angle:

Soon after that post, I started getting comments and followers. And I started getting minor panic attacks from posting – though I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time – so I stopped. It wasn’t until June that I started posting again.


When I returned, I went back to posting short articles and book reviews, alternating between the two. That is, until July of 2016, when a friend asked me if I ever planned to share any of the poems that I had been writing. Many of them were personal, and I was unsure if that was something I wanted to do, or if anyone would be interested in them. After a bit of prayer, the Daily Prompt aligned with one of my poems, so I decided that was a sign to post one and see what happened.

Show Me Your Light! received so many encouraging comments. My heart felt like it might burst with happiness. I posted two more shortly after; Stained Glass, and He Saves. Then I went back to my articles and book reviews but felt a nudge to post more of my poems. Soon, poems seemed to be overtaking everything else.

And then I was surprised to find that it felt like I found my niche. It wasn’t only articles and book reviews – poetry is where my heart belonged. So then I started posting more… a lot more.


Also during this time, I was experimenting even more with photography (and photo editing software), and realize that this was also where my heart was. Here are a few examples from September 2016, when I started posting more photography:


I believe that Fall Magic was the first time I used my own photos within the same post as a poem, which was the start of posting two of my favorite things together. 🙂


Jericho Heart is one of my favorite poems that I’ve written and I have fond memories of writing it. After posting it, I started writing a short story, which reflected the poem a bit, so I named it Jericho Falls. It’s a western – and my first attempt in this genre. And with that… here is a sneak-peek at a chapter I call “Humility Hurts.” I hope that you enjoy. 🙂

(Context – Don had been shot in the arm, and Lissa had run barefoot for a mile or two to find him help and had sliced the soles of her feet something awful. Now she is supposed to be recovering, but in her pride, she doesn’t want to and thinks she can still do everything for herself.)

She stood and immediately wished she had not done so. The pain was almost too much for her to bear. With a cry, she fell into Don, who was standing beside her and caught her with his good arm.

“You’re fallin’ for me already, I see,” he quipped.

“Do you always make terrible jokes and use those awful one liners?” she snapped.

“I do,” he admitted, “and you are one of the few who didn’t laugh.”

“I guess I’m one of the few with sense,” she told him as he dropped her into the chair.

The doctor came back in with a second pail of water and took out a rag, which to the doc’s surprise, Don took ownership of.

“You’re recovering,” the doc said, pointing to Don’s arm.

“I don’t mind. Just get the salve.”

“You a doctor?”

“No, but…” his voice trailed off for a moment before continuing, “I knew of someone with a similar condition.”

“What are you–” Lissa’s question ended with an exclamation of pain as Don began to gently wash her right foot. “Don’t do that, it’s—ooohhh.” She bit her tongue to keep from crying out.

“Painful?”

“And humiliating.”

“Jesus washed His disciple’s feet, so surely I can wash yours.”

She did not expect that answer and it hushed her. She had no comeback. All she could do was watch quietly as he scrubbed the dirt from the soles of her damaged feet. As he dipped the dirty rag into the bucket, the water turned cloudy and brown.

Tears ran down her face, not from the pain, but from her icy heart as the cold that had taken residence there began to melt from the warmth of love. The waterworks was mistaken for pain and Don stopped.

“You’re fine,” she told him. “It’s okay, the pain isn’t that bad.”

And with that, Lissa had her first lesson in humility, and Jericho’s hardened cold walls began to crumble.


And speaking of stories and writing – you may notice that I haven’t been posting as frequently lately. April is Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’ve been preparing my project! I will probably be doing more novel writing than blogging in April, but I won’t disappear completely. 😉 I can’t wait to see what this next year of blogging has in store! 🙂

Raindrops

In response to the photo prompt, Shapes… circles! Here in Arkansas, we’ve been getting a lot of rain; so much, in fact, that few schools were closed due to flooding last week. I went outside to take some photos of the flooding and got stuck out there during a shower. Instead of running inside like a normal person, I hunched over the camera to try to shelter it from the water and took these photos because I thought it might be fun to see the circles as the raindrops hit the water. 😄

As Time Goes By

(If this looks familiar to you, I originally posted this last Friday, but then Dutch Goes The Photo posted the photo challenge this week – Hour – so I’m moving the post to today for the challenge.)

As time goes by,
I try to know You more;
Time sure does fly,
As sands from the glass pour!

Decade by decade
I see Your marvelous glory displayed

Year by year
It is You, my Lord, that I revere

Month by month
I wish to be with You, but I’m here for the nonce

Week by week
It is You, my King, that I seek

Day by day
I kneel down before my Lord to pray

Hour by hour
I fall down before Your power

Minute by minute
I know only You, are infinite

Moment by moment
I’m thankful You sent your Son for my atonement

Second by second
I feel Your love for me beckon

 


 

There are 86,400 seconds in a day.
There are 10,080 minutes in a week.
There are 8,760 hours in a year.
There are 521.429 weeks in a decade.

How will you use them?

 


 

** All these photos were taken with my new camera; I was experimenting yesterday with the special effects that are built in. Here is a photo without any effects:

This clock is the last thing that my grandma gave to me before she died, so it’s extra special to me. While going through her old papers, we found the original paperwork from when she bought it, which floored me:

I’ve had the poem written for several months, but I had a lot of trouble figuring out which photos to put with it. Yesterday, it came to me; it just took some time, I guess. 😂