A little over a week ago I went to a butterfly event at Meijer Gardens. Walking through an indoor tropical garden hoping to see a few fluttery creatures was the perfect way to spend an end-of-winter afternoon with a friend.   Butterflies are beautiful creatures, but have you ever wondered what the purpose is to their existence? We know that they feed on the nectar of flowers and similar to bees they are helpful to the pollination process of the flowers.  It isn't a pleasant thought, but as caterpillars, they provide food for creatures higher up on the food chain and to some degree as well … [Read more...]

  Yesterday day was Ash Wednesday. Did you observe the day in any significant way? For the last few years I've attended churches where they smudge a cross on your forehead with ashes.  This year... I live in another place and Ash Wednesday was just another day... as it has been for most of my life. I missed it.  Not so much having ash applied to my face... but the order of going to church... and making a plan for what I will do to observe Lent. There's much good in my world.  But somehow, this year, I feel scattered and unfocused.  I need to feel more grounded. Yesterday I thought I'd sign … [Read more...]

It's Earth Day! As a gardener and nature lover, Earth Day has mixed meanings to me.  I appreciate the beauty of nature, the first shoots of green in the spring, and the harvest of flowers and fruits as the seasons turn. One of my favorite things is to spend time at the beach and enjoy the sand, sunshine, crashing or lapping waves, and the warm breeze. And anytime of the year, I am game for a hike, or even a walk along a rural roadside. Today, we took a walk down a nearby road.  There's a small boat launch onto the river along that road and we strolled on in there to get a closer look at the now receding … [Read more...]

Spring has sprung and my little corner of the world is a fireworks of white, pink, green, and yellow!     Today is the official day for everyone to be... celebrating Earth Day!   Yup.  I'm sure it's the talk of the day at every school and on the television.     Can I let you in on a little secret? I'm not celebrating Earth Day. Nope! But...I am celebrating!     I am celebrating the Creator of this amazing orb we call Earth. My mind cannot comprehend the amazingly detailed perfection that was required and is still required to keep us … [Read more...]

  Did you wake up this morning with a twinge of anxiety? Do you fear the unknown?   Or maybe you have a fear of the future? Fear.  Most of us are afraid of something at sometime in our lives.  I grapple with it.  I bet you do too.   Think back to when you were a small child. Do you remember a time when you were out in the great big world and mom or dad took hold of your hand to keep you safe? Your small hand nestled inside that larger stronger hand.  Firmly holding on to you.  Did it make you feel protected?  Maybe you were completely unaware that there was any concern for your … [Read more...]

 Day 6   As we prepare a feast, or prepare to attend one, here are some words to ponder....     "For, after all, put it as we may to ourselves, we are all of us from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread.  The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet.... Shall we think of the day as a chance to come nearer to our Host, and to find out something of Him who has fed us so long?" ~Rebecca Harding Davis   If you'd like to share your thoughts....please do below....I read every one. Gratefully, Diane To receive bits of … [Read more...]

 Thanks for joining me for another Joy Day! A day where we count blessings. A day where we celebrate God's overwhelming goodness. A day when we take a look around us, with His eyes, and really see.     My birthday was a few days ago.   It was a great day.  And, because it was also Tim's regular day off, we enjoyed the whole day together. Our day concluded with walking "downtown" to the wonderful little Connections Cafe for Sharon's yummy grilled-to-order pizza.  I choose mine topped with grilled veggies, Tim choose his topped with mushrooms & spinach.  This is the most … [Read more...]

  Always be joyful and never stop praying.         Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ.              This is what God wants you to do.                                                                   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 CEV the Bible   Have you had one of those weeks that if you had read that verse, "Whatever happens, keep thanking God..." you would have said, "Are you kidding me?!" I did have one of those weeks. I'm really trying to "keep thanking God."   But, seriously, it's not easy. Since beginning this blog and faithfully publishing a Joy Day! post each … [Read more...]

It's Saturday night. Our time to worship HIM.   Worship.  It's about Him.  It's not about me.  The congregation sings a song I know so well.  A song I sang with the kids' worship team at my old church. It seems that every other week lately we've been singing a song to which "my" kids and I made up motions and led a multitude of other children in singing worship to our great God. "My" kids because I loved them (still do).   "My" kids, because we were a team.   A family.  We celebrated, cried, prayed, and had fun together.  We had the best of times every Wednesday night and Sunday … [Read more...]

I heard the whisper of God this past week.     Why else would I have had the huge urge to completely clean out a storage room?  Especially as I could close the door and no one would see the room, it was a perfect storage area. Monday night I had no idea why I wanted an empty room.   But, I was a woman on a mission.  It seemed that since that storage room was next to the laundry room (that's another upcoming story),  that it would be the best place to put the clothes drying rack. Before the urge to empty the room, it had been called the “Christmas Room”  as it was filled with all things … [Read more...]

    Last evening I stayed up a little late before going to bed.   Now just for the record....I was NOT Pinteresting.  Hee hee. I was sitting in the stillness of the sunroom, contemplating words on the illuminated screen before me, listening to the sounds of the night, observing the sky lighting up in the distance, and glimpsing an occasional firefly dance past my window when I heard the strangest sound, from what I assumed was a vehicle, making its way down the street in front of my house.  If I were a caller on Car Talk, Ray or Tom would probably have had me make the noise in order … [Read more...]

 Joy Day!    A day to say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!"     Shout with joy to God, all the earth!           Sing the glory of his name;           make his praise glorious! Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!" Psalm 66:1-3a     The Bible tells us that God created us in his image.     Have you ever attempted to explain that concept to a child?   The best way I know to do that is to stand her in front of a mirror and ask her to tell me what she sees.  Inevitably she'll say..."I see me." That reflection we see in the mirror is our image.  It's … [Read more...]

  Have you ever thought that you shouldn't pray?   Today I was reading my Streams in the Desert devotional and I came across this statement:     "It is better not to pray until your entire being responds to, and understands, the power of prayer."   ~ P. C. M.       What?  Not pray?   Aren't we supposed to communicate with God?   And isn't the vehicle of communication prayer?   Thinking on this a bit more, I came to the realization that communication goes two ways.  Have you ever stopped to chat with someone and had them … [Read more...]

Do you ever wonder what someone sees when they look at you?   This verse from the Bible tells us what God sees.   scripture art online  But, I really wonder what people see?   Today I was volunteering at my church and I was introduced to a man from Sierra Leone.  His name was Harry.  I chatted briefly with Harry, enjoying his accent and graceful manner.  And then he said to me, "You have a godly smile."  I hope I said, "Thank you."  But, really, I have no idea what I replied.  It was such an unusual compliment to receive. A few days ago, Ann Voskamp wrote about her experience … [Read more...]

Love. I want it.  You want it. More than anything in this world... We. Want. To. Be. Loved. Joy!   We are loved. You are loved.  I am loved. We are loved by the God of the universe. Each of us individually. We are his creation. We are his treasure. Oh... How He Loves Us. Art.  Beautifully created by Chrissie Grace. It's my prayer today. {Chrissie Grace}   Will you make it yours?     Want to feel and know love? My heart was moved by this. Please listen..... Kim Walker - How He loves us - YouTube. What does it look like to be flooded with HIS … [Read more...]

Seeing God demonstrate his love for us in nature. If we just look, God has object lessons of his grace and love all around for us to see and experience.     Almost exactly 3 years ago to the day, my husband and I were sitting in the office of our executive pastor. We were anticipating some new changes in the structure of the children's ministry.  Tim was leading a thriving and growing ministry to children with excellence and grace, and we were anticipating a good meeting.  Several minutes later we were told that we (I was Tim's ministry assistant) would no longer be leading the children's … [Read more...]

A few things made me pause this week.....   Like this quote from Francis Chan.   unknown source Do these words hit you between the eyes, too?   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   Do you ever wonder what kind of legacy you will leave?  New father, Jeff Goins, and guest writer at Chatting at the Sky gives three powerful thoughts on how to begin the journey of leaving a legacy. I loved it when he said this, "...if you want to create more beautiful art, live a better life."  I want to live a better life.  How about you?   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   … [Read more...]