His Creation Rejoices

       http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/

Anna mowed the backyard this past weekend, twice.  It was her first time using a power tool and mom didn’t quite show her the correct way to mow.  She gave our lawn a mohawk.  So dad had her go back outside and do it again, this time showing the errors of her ways.  She had tried to be fancy, trimming on an angle like the neighbor boy.  Dad instructed her not to go beyond the basics, or at least not until she has them mastered.  Lesson learned.

Over the weekend a moth was born.  I am not sure where its cocoon was, but while Jeff and Anna were mowing the grass, Jeff called over to me and I rushed inside to get my camera.  The most beautiful moth I had ever witnessed was resting in the grass, waiting for it’s wings to dry.  I could not help but stand in awe of God’s creation.  I rejoiced with the moth, proclaiming God to be the Father of all living things.  There is nothing in all the world that sings as beautifully as the mountain, the rainbow, the ocean, the sunset…except for a moth in my backyard.

No room for HIS head

Look at the snowflakes, so simple but so intricate.  Look at the human body, the one we take for granted!  Examine the eye itself.  We open them after sleep and it seems so simple that we can view the world, but then the process of what goes on behind the scenes is complicated because of God’s design. 

 Man’s quest to understand is not like the birds of the air, who do not toil, but rely on the creator for their substance.  Man is burdened with the things of this world and how to fix them.  God put him to work from the get go so he would not be sidetracked with “other” things.  Man’s movement is eloquent.  The love of God for HIM is simple.  We are convicted by the Spirit that blows by us to wake us up from our slumber.  Then we are convicted and turn from our lawless ways and follow the creator and sustainer of life.

Primrose

Took a walk in the backyard and discovered many surprises.  The weather has been unbelieavably nice with just enough rain to keep everything watered.  The crocus are finished blossoming, the daffodils are at their peak and many new emerging plants were spotted.  Take for instance the primrose:

You can find these in the floral section of most grocery stores starting in February and if you plant them outdoors after they bloom inside, they will keep coming back year after year. 

So how do you take care of these plants?  Since there are not alot of leaves budded by the time the primrose blooms outside, you shouldn’t worry too much about the light.  I have mine planted in an area that is very rich soil that stays moist (a willow tree is nearby to help keep the primrose from drowning) and it is partially shaded in the summer.  I never fertilize it on purpose but the soil is naturally nutrious because of mulching with compost every spring. 

That is all I do.  The plant is not native to Indiana like the Evening Primrose, but it has been hybridized from native stock and I think I have just found the perfect place for it to survive outdoors.  Look for blossoms coming soon!  And I did purchase a second primrose that I will be transplanting outside in May.

Praying Mantis

The beneficial bugs that we invite to our gardens do more than scare away the bad bugs…they entertain.  There is no bug that is more enjoyable to watch than the praying mantis.  Their eyes catch the smallest movement and once you are in their radar, beware.  It doesn’t matter that you are plenty bigger than them.  They can fly and jump and they will even attempt to scare you, so be aware when walking in your garden.  (Not for the squeemish or very young!)

When they first hatch, around the beginning of June, a swarm of miniature bugs that look just like the mature bugs, scatter in all directions.  They are no bigger than 1/2″ and their biggest enemy is their sisters and brothers.  They will eat each other after hatching, so that is why they make a bee line to safer ground.   

I order my egg casings from http://www.planetnatural.com/site/praying-mantis-egg-cases.html.  They offer 3 egg sacs for $12.95 and there is no shipping charged.  A great deal.  This is my second order from them and the price hasn’t risen since 2008 when I last made an order.  The praying mantis will travel, and are not guaranteed to stay in your yard.  I have had eggs laid on shrubs in my yard before, but this spring when I looked for egg sacs I found none, hence I am making an order today.

Neighbors have told me they have seen praying mantis in their yards and I am sure they migrated from my yard.  Last year we did not have an infestation of Japanese Beetles so I am hoping it is the praying mantis who are taking care of those menancing beasts.  The Japanese Beetle really does a heck of a job on my roses every year.

Breathe

March 1 is my New Year, every year, since 2008.   Do you have a moment in time when you feel the world stopped?  Or better yet, you wish it would stop.  You feel it should stop.  You want to scream at everyone, “Can’t you see the pain this world is in right now? Do you even care?”.  Some may think that is selfish.  Is it?

I’ve been seeking peace in my heart about so many things and I finally feel a little room to breathe.   BREATHE!   My word for today and perhaps the rest of this year.  The freedom I’m resting in is so delightful to my heart!  Like good medicine, a cheerful heart doeth me good.

I wrote about being of good cheer last week.  You must realize that doesn’t necessarily mean you are rolling on the floor laughing at the latest, greatest joke being told around the water cooler.  Instead, we are to be satisfied and content with the way things are.  No amount of worrying will ever bring us back in time so we can circumvent the past mistakes and sadness our life has seen.  In fact, worrying prolongs the sadness.  It eventually will do us in if we let it get its claws around our necks and mouths.  Worrying can suffocate us of every ounce of energy and when we are experiencing such despair and loss in our lives, it is energy we most need to continue on despite ourselves. 

God has been very patient with me.  I feel like I had been in a cocoon for the past three years and my wings have finally dried after emerging about six months ago.  I am just about ready to fly.  I’ve been testing them here and there.  When I have a chance to.  I have learned not to expect, but rather I go forth leary, learning and letting be.    

Contradictory?  Yes. 

Helpful?  Maybe. 

Peaceful.  Absolutely.

Spring bulbs

You are suppose to plant your bulbs by December.  At least that is what the package says.  I always buy too many bulbs while I am at the store looking around.  Whether it is because they are on clearance or my heart starts to dance when all the thoughts of snow melting and sun shining and winter is just about over glee takes me on, I just pick up too many packages.  So with the nice weather I put on a sweater and gloves and headed for the mailbox garden this afternoon.  I cut down my grass and removed a few weeds that have already started to green up.  I dug a few holes and dropped in my Glory-of-the-snow and species tulips “Little Princess” bulbs and patted them in.  No need to water.  The ground is pretty saturated right now. 

 Whether they are able to root this year and blossom is not known, but at least I didn’t end up composting them.

Be of good cheer!

      Just how long did it take this spider to create a web?  It even looks like there are two webs side by side.  So if the fly or other insect misses the first trap, they will surely get caught in the second, right?  Not necessarily.  Many of us will toil till our backs break and wake up one morning to find our work destroyed.  We are told to be of good cheer in John 16:33.  In some translations such as the NIV it says take heart and still in others the word be courageous or have confidence is used.  So being cheerful is to be confident that the Lord knows you are having troubles.   He guards our hearts from despair!

Remembrances

Do you have any memories that are especially pleasing to your mind and heart?  We all need something to hold onto and it usually will be something sweet that balms the hurts in our life.  In the old testament, the Israelites had “Passover” that celebrated God passing over them and keeping them safe.  That was a sweet remembrance for them.  They felt cared for and secure in their minds that God was watching and understood what was happening around them.  Christians celebrate “Easter” which is much like the Jewish celebration in that we are passed over and given life.  We may not be safe from the sufferings of this world, but we are given grace and peace with God and that is so worth the suffering we endure here. 

Life is hard.  Life is bitter.  Take that and mix in the goodness that envelopes us and we end up with bittersweet memories of loved ones who have come and gone  and left us behind. 

Feeling alone we hold onto those sweet promises of God in His rainbow and in His coming in the clouds one day!

Prayer

Give me the wisdom and words to convey your love for all people.  Help me show others the truth of your love  and let me be an instrument of your peace.  Help me when I am overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness and despair.  Give me the strength to see each day as it comes and not worry about tomorrow.  Send your protection around all of us that we may share the words of Your Bible and learn from each other. 

Thank you Jesus.  Amen!

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