Nature’s Smile

During a walk through the woods last spring, I saw a bunch of gumballs and pine cones and thought it might be fun to play with them. So this happened:

Don’t worry – be happy! πŸ˜‚ And then I thought maybe it might like a branch for a hat:

A little while later, I found two dogwood blooms that I accidentally knocked off the tree. (Oops!)

And I decided to completely redesign the whole thing…

My dad said that this was the result of having too much time on my hands, but it was really nice to unwind on my stroll and let my creative side come out. πŸ™‚

**Thanks to Incomplete Thinker for inspiring me to write this post. πŸ™‚

I Marvel At Thy Marvels

More than night sky stars,
And tiny specks of sand

That litters the beach,
Are the marvels of Thy hand;

For the numbers are
Out of our mind’s reach!

Galaxies that swirl in space,
Intricate design, scale magnificent.

Delicate pattern of flowers;
Royalty isn’t dressed as opulent

As the bloom’s exquisite face;
I marvel, Lord, at Thy creative powers!

Whether it be large or small,
I marvel at Thy marvels;

The creation of the universe,
Or the creation of a cell,

Thy cosmos and all,
Therein of Thy glory, tell!

John 5:19&20: Then answered Jesus and said unto them, β€œVerily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel…”

**You may have noticed that the second photo of the moon is obviously more than my 3X zoom camera can do. My parents saw that my old camera had about reached its end (seriously, the rubber band and Coke Cola cap that was screwed into the bottom was not keeping it alive anymore and it required twisting the camera and pushing on different parts a certain way to make it work at all), and so instead of waiting until my birthday in October, they put in $200 to go with the money I was saving and we picked out a Cannon PowerShot that has a 50X zoom. I think I have fallen in love, haha! 😊 I plan to post soon comparing the two cameras; taking the same shot with both to see how much better the new one is! I sort of did that in this post too; the first photo was the best my old camera could do with the moon. A white glowing blob. πŸ˜‚ What a difference!!!

Faith Is Like A Tea Bag…

Thanks to Angela for having a discussion with me about tea – I couldn’t stop thinking about tea after that, and then I remembered a quote I’d read once by Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” I propose that faith is like that as well… you never know how strong it is until you end up in hot water.

And I’d love to take this analogy a bit further. If faith is like a tea bag, then what does the water represent? Trials and hardships, perhaps?

If this is so, then here there is only one thing left to ask: When placed in hot water, does your faith make tea, or do you turn the water lukewarm with an icy heart?

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15 & 16)

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4)

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 )Β  And now, you all get to see the process too. πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜‚) 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, 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. β™₯