loveliness amongst the lilies….

The day the power of love overrules the love of power,
the world will know peace.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

dscn4459
(a water lily blooms / Deer Lake, Watercolor Beach Community / Julie Cook / 2016)

Any pond owner can tell you all about the love / hate relationship they have with water lilies.

On the one hand, water lilies are pleasing to the eye as they languidly spend life just floating around.
They help to conjure up thoughts of idyllically kayaking or canoeing around said peaceful bodies of water…as we languidly long to spend life much like the water lily, just kicking back and letting life be….

Lilies provide and offer inviting homes to a myriad of reptiles, amphibians, fish and water fowl.
They provide delightful visual bursts of color across an otherwise barren greenish body water….
They offer shade underneath the water and help to encourage mini ecosystems within the pond itself.

However if left unchecked and unmanaged, they can grow out of control…giving into their invasive
tendencies.
As they will eventually choke out the very fish and aquatic animals who they once provided shelter and nourishment to…
Sucking out the very oxygen and nutrients from the water which helped to
sustain those dependent on such.

Lilies will eventually cover and clog a once thriving body of water…
rendering it dead, empty and useless.

So what is initially considered lovely and even beneficial in moderation,
is anything but lovely when left to its own devices….

Much like ourselves.

We often have good intentions.
We start out wanting to do the right things,
to do well,
to be productive,
to aid our fellow man…

We work on focusing on the positive and all which is good.
We put our best efforts and best foot forward.
We are filled with all things altruistic, looking outward rather than inward…

Yet something happens…
our vision begins to fade…
as our sights shift…
Outward becomes inward
as the ‘theys’ become less and the ‘mes’ becomes more…

We grow out of control…
We allow ourselves to go unchecked, unmanaged.
The negatives become invasive, choking out all the positives

Intentions easily turn…empty.

There is but only One who can manage this unchecked overgrowth of ours…
Turning unmanageable ways…from the negative back to the positive…
It is a matter of focusing,
self discipline
and daily yielding…
Yeilding to the only One who desires to maintain that which has gone awry …

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—–
to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Revelation 1:5-6

Divide, conquer and…NEVER let them see you sweat

“Never let them see you sweat.”
Phil Slott

RSCN3615
(tiger swallowtail / Julie Cook / 2016)

(***this is the butterfly post originally intended for the day following the tragedy in Nice.
And despite our continued horror, sadness and frustration, today is Sunday, a day to glorify and worship our God and our Creator–what better than butterflies as the perfect offering??…)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don’t know…
do you see any sweat on that butterfly?
I certainly don’t….

I was out replanting a bunch of day lilies a friend had dug up and divided…
as they have a tendency to multiple while eventually conquering and taking over their allotted landmass.
I was the lucky recipient of one gardener’s attempt at the whole divide and conquer concept.

DSCN3607

It was a hot Georgia day.
The thermometer was hovering around 96 degrees, the ozone level was again dangerous, making breathing difficult as the humidity continued rising ever higher…
All the while as I was sweating.
Sweating like a pig….

We like saying here in the South that we do not sweat…rather, we glisten…
and if the truth be told, pigs do not sweat…
hence why they roll around in the mud to keep cool…
However there was no denying the water rolling down my face,
into my eyes, stinging each time I blinked…was not glisten but pure unadulterated sweat.

I didn’t know if I was falling victim to sun stroke as I thought I was beginning to hallucinate.
Colorful creatures lackadaisically kept flitting within my peripheral vision.
Up and down, erratically willy nilly.
Happy go lucky and without a seeming care in the world.

Was I seeing stars from bending over too much?
Was I digging too strenuously while not keeping hydrated…
Who doesn’t sweat when it’s 96 degrees???

RSCN3591

RSCN3589

RSCN3572

RSCN3571

RSCN3567

These guys, or gals, that’s who!

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

Psalm 96:7-10