is enough ever enough?

Food for the body is not enough.
There must be food for the soul.

Dorothy Day

At first you think you are merely looking into a flower.
A bloom from a rose of sharon plant.
But upon further inspection, there happens to be a bumble bee deep inside, covered in sticky pollen.

And not only was there one pollen covered bumble bee, there were several…

It was as if the bees simply couldn’t get enough.
They were gorging on nectar while becoming completely covered in sticky pollen.
So much so that many of the bees had become lethargic.
So overtly satiated, that they were almost catatonic…
and yet they kept on with their quest of consumption…

Happily miserable with themselves.

And who among us has not gone after something equally tantalizing with a
similar gusto and vigor?
Gobbling up our fill until we can barely move, able to go no further…
as we are full, engorged and yet unable to push back, calling it quits…
Pressing on until we actually make ourselves sick…

Yet what if we sought God with a similar desire?
With an unabashed hunger…
seeking to fill the bottomless void of our hearts?
As we eventually bask, being happily full and
deeply satiated, in all that is of Him….

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and
into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into
ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
Some people, eager for money,
have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

But you, man of God,
flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love,
endurance and gentleness.
Fight the good fight of the faith.
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made
your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus,
who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,
I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the
appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which God will bring about in his own time—God,
the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light,
whom no one has seen or can see.
To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:8-16

(al pollen ladend bumble bees in various Rose of Sharon blooms /
Julie Cook /2017)

what is Grace

“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices,
so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow,
just in order to become a child again and begin anew.
I had to experience despair,
I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide,
in order to experience grace.”

Hermann Hesse


(even the weeds provide sustenance to the bees / Julie Cook / 2017)

I do believe in a personal God, because I too have had revelations,
answers to my questions, to my prayers, and if the answer fails to come,
which is usually the case because God wants us to work out our own salvation,
I have that assurance God gave Saint Paul and he passed on to us,
“My Grace is sufficient for you.”

And what is grace?
Participation in the divine life.

Dorothy Day

Unconditional invitation to love

To give and not expect return,
that is what lies at the heart of love.

Oscar Wilde

Love means to love that which is unlovable;
or it is no virtue at all.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

We are called to show utter commitment to the God
who is revealed in Jesus and to all those to whom
His invitation is addressed.

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

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(blooming quince / Julie Cook / 2016)

Like a flower, it opens regardless…whether you want it to or not…
It opens.
The heart of God opens…
It opens for you, toward you, for you… whether you want it to or not…
It opens.
You didn’t do anything, of your own accord, to warrant its opening…
On the contrary…
It opens with or without you..
You ignored it.
It opened.
You disregarded it.
It opened.
You never much cared for it.
It opened.

It beckons to you…
Asking you…
Inviting you…
Wishing only to woo you…

The invitation stands…
Wide open…

Small blessings

“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” C.S. Lewis

“Those born to wealth, and who have the means of gratifying every wish, know not what is the real happiness of life, just as those who have been tossed on the stormy waters of the ocean on a few frail planks can alone realize the blessings of fair weather.”
Alexandre Dumas

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(the tiniest of bees, with swollen pollen pouches on each leg, graces a coneflower / Julie Cook / 2015)

Should any received blessing be perceived as being “less than” based upon its size or stature?

In order to qualify as a blessing,
must something be so large, so grand, so luxurious. . .
that we fall into it as if we were falling onto the softest,
most plush, most decant goose down bedding?

Or

Can something so tiny, so small, so demure,
such that it can be missed by the single blink of an eye,
be considered any less bountiful a blessing because it is just that. . .
small, tiny and perhaps considered minuscule?

Are we conditioned for the great and grand?
Are we perhaps too expectant that our expectations should soar upward to lofty heights,
so much so that we are prone to brush off the small as meaningless and insignificant?
Missing what may be the greatest moment of our day. . .

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

May we bee happy

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

― Marcel Proust

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(three little bees having a merry ol time rummaging in the pollen / Julie Cook / 2015)

May we all find the strength and courage today to. . .
offer happiness
receive happiness
and simply to relish in
being happy. . .

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For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

Psalm 92:4

The object of my desire

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
― Epicurus

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
― L. Frank Baum

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(white clover / Julie Cook / 2015)

Clover is actually a member of the pea family with both the white and red / purple varieties being most common in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a plant which produces a bacteria within its root system making it rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. As a protein rich plant, it makes for a great source of feed for cattle as it is highly palatable to grazing animals.

Its showy crown like blooms are a huge draw for bees, in particular honeybees. . .
As sadly noted in the past decade plus, honeybees are in an alarming state of massive decline.
If the honeybees go. . .
Then so goes pollination. . .
As goes the fruition of crops. . .
As goes our agricultural livelihood. . .
As goes our livestock. . .
As goes us. . .

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a rapid spreader that crowds out broadleaf weeds while it grows harmoniously with grass. It will thrive in areas that are poorly drained or too shady for a conventional lawn.
Being a legume, clover has the ability to convert nitrogen into fertilizer using bacteria in it’s root system, practically eliminating the need for additional fertilization.
It is an extremely drought-resistant plant and will keep its cool-green color even during the hottest and driest parts of summer.
Left uncut, white clover grows 4-8 inches tall and produces small white flowers that are often tinged with pink. The flowers not only create a beautiful visual effect, but also bring in bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects that prey on garden pests.

Excerpt from the Farmers Almanac

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(note the pollen sacks on the bumblebee’s hind leg, visible on either side of the bee- – -)

Prayer of the insignificant

There is nothing insignificant in the world.
It all depends on the point of view.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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(mum / Julie Cook / 2015)

Who am I oh Lord that you should consider my worth. . .
That you, the God of all that was. . .
Of all that is. . .
And all that will be. . .
Whose hands sweep across time. . .
Who has masterfully scattered the stars across the heavens
And whose own breath is captured in the rhythmic roll of each and every crashing wave. .
Would look upon me, a tiny speck in the vast churning sea of life and humanity. . .
And call me your own

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(mum / Julie Cook / 2015)

A thousand tiny petals. . .
Each lovingly placed by your hand and your hand alone.
Counted, numbered and perfectly aligned
Tightly woven
Spiraling outward
Unfurling simultaneously
An insignificant happening transpiring daily and unnoticed by millions
Yet You are keenly aware of it all as nothing, absolutely nothing,
Takes place on this planet without your desire and knowledge

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(stamens full of pollen / Julie Cook / 2015)

Each tiny microscopic dot of pollen exists because You have deemed it so.
Every single unassuming spore, necessary to set a miraculous chain of events into motion,
Exists only because of You.
Pollination, a miracle unto itself, yet countlessly taken for granted,
Plays out every day, over an endless expanse of time, as yet another flower blooms.

My mind is woefully limited, unable to grasp the vastness of all that is You
I cannot understand how or why You,
The all encompassing You,
Stops because of the small and insignificant me.
Yet stop You do,
You stop to
Listen
See
Touch
Care
Love

Long before my birth, You claimed me as yours
With both the rising and setting of the sun
The Psalmists tells me that each hair on my aging head is accounted for
And that nothing which transpires in my life escapes your knowledge.
As I often. . .
Question
Wonder
Argue
Curse
And rail against the seemingly random and mindless fates of life that appear unfair and unjust

Yet each life is inextricably linked together
Each breath, each tear, each sound of joy, pain or sorrow
is woven tightly together, as the Master of the Universe
Jehovah-Jireh has declared it so . . .
As You, the Master weaver, Jehovah-Rapha has knit my heart to your own.

May the Glory of the Heavens declare your Majesty, Oh Lord. . .
May the earth and all that is in it sing your praise
And may my seemingly insignificance,
which is held tightly in your hand,
as I am never from your sight,
be a testament to your enduring Love
Forever and always
Amen

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(hope in a flower / Julie Cook / 2015)