Life is a Garden Party

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Transformed

Haven't written any new material in quite some time.
This one was written over the past few days.


Transformed

Here I am crawling on the dill,
chowing down, I'm never still.
I need to grow fast
then I will change in a flash.

Do you see me here
slightly camouflaged, just peer -
I'm dressed in black and green stripes
with yellow and black spots.

Munching,
munching,
munching,
munching.

I'm quite content to quietly consume
dill or parsley morning, night, or noon.
I'm growing bigger every day.
Soon I will change in a big way.

This change is only one of my transformations.
Altogether I'll go through four transitions.
I started life as a small egg, a little yellow dot.
You won't notice me unless you play hide and seek.

Soon this change will take place.
I can't wait to begin this race.
Here I am wiggling and wiggling,
my strips and spots miraculously exchanging.

Wiggling,
wiggling,
wiggling,
wiggling.

Now I am encased in a brown sack,
which completely covers me - it's a fact.
This funny looking sack is known as a chrysalis.
I'm camouflaged once again in this tan dress.

Another name for this change is metamorphosis.
I transformed from a caterpillar to a chrysalis.
In a few days I will change once again.
This change will give me beautiful wings.

My chrysalis will change from opaque to transparent.
It really is a miracle to watch this change in my appearance.
One day soon I'll break free and you'll see me fly,
flutter, and waltz - free - up in the blue, blue sky.

I hope you get to see this transformation.
I know you, too, will be filled with exaltation.
Look for me when you're outside.
I'm the black swallowtail, see me glide...

as I dance to my own music
then stop at a flower for a sip
of tasty nectar which gives me energy
to fly, fly, fly up and away. Did you see me?

There I am dancing in the sky
with wings that allow me to fly.
I couldn't do that when I was an egg so tiny,
or a caterpillar or enclosed in a chrysalis, not hardly.

It was my transformation that gave me wings.
Wings that allow me to fly free in the wind.
This transformation was what is best for me.
No longer bound. I'm free! I'm free! I'm free!

Flying,
fluttering,
dancing,
waltzing.

* * * * *

The Bible also talks about transformation.
You could compare your spiritual transformation
to that of a new-born butterfly,
when you say goodbye to the old. Bye.

Transformation involves taking off the old
and putting on the new, that's a fact we're told.
Like the butterfly, we need to change from the inside out.
Our old nature needs to be exchanged, without a doubt.

Would a butterfly want to go back to being a caterpillar?
Would you ever want to go back to being a toddler?
Don't you want to grow and mature surely,
both physically and spiritually.

Would you choose to keep your old nature
when you are given a choice of a new nature?
Would you want to stay encased in a chrysalis of fear,
doubt, disappointment, depression, anger, year after year.

God has provided a new way to live.
The answer is found in "forgive."
Realize God's Son offers you forgiveness
then simply receive this free gift, when you confess.

Forgiveness is the beginning of a transformed life.
A life honoring God with a dilemma of choice:
the old way
vs. a new way.

Your lifelong journey now involves putting off the old
way of living and thinking that is formed by this world,
then putting on the new transformed way of life pleasing to God.
This new way of life begins in the mind and is secured by the heart.

Like the butterfly, God gives us wings "of faith"
that allow us to fly free, protected, safe.
Don't remained cocooned in your old chrysalis.
Shake it off through prayer. Rise above. Persist.

You are meant to fly free,
without worry,
unburdened,
unencumbered.

Spread your wings of faith today.
Be transformed in every way.
Let God replace your old way of thinking.
He'll direct you on a path worth living.

Do not conform any longer
to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory,
are being transformed into his likeness
with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord,
who is the Spirit.
II Corinthians 3:18

If anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
the old has gone,
the new as come.
II Corinthians 5:17

Put off your old self
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires,
to be made new in the attitude of your minds,
and to put on the new self created to be like God
in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:23-24

Will transform our lowly bodies
so that they will be like his glorious body.
Philippians 3:21



Life Is a Garden Party,
a gardening observation
followed by a spiritual application
in rhyme
with scriptures,
is available via Amazon.


After the Heavy Rains 8/11/18

After the heavy rains,
branching sunflower stalks broken off,
annual flowers are somewhat uprooted,
potatoes are uncovered.
After the heavy rains,
humidity rose again.
An afternoon spent at the computer.



After the heavy rains,
currant tomatoes ripening.


Partially stabilized by a sunflower,
the currant tomato,
a volunteer from last year,
is taller than I am.

After the heavy rains,
tomato plants fell over.


After the heavy rains,
cucs grow larger.
This one grows up the sunflower stalk.
Enough pole beans to freeze again.

After the heavy rains,
butternut squash seen.
This seed was a volunteer
from last year.
The vines are 20' long,
the length of the garage.

After the heavy rains,
this spaghetti squash grew by pounds.

After the heavy rains,
pumpkins are showing their true colors.
This month of August has already shown
darker mornings and shorter evenings,
louder crickets, and leaves falling.

After the heavy rains,
the hibiscus can't wait to bloom.




After the heavy rains,
dill is ready to harvest.

After the heavy rains,
bees return again.

After the heavy rains,
day lilies bloom.
A reminder to let your light shine!






Thursday, August 9, 2018

Entertainment


Sunflowers are beginning to bloom here.
Reminded me of one year when I tried to save the seed heads to share.

ENTERTAINMENT

Intending to share sunflower seeds,
sunflower heads are cut to dry.
Each head is filled with hundreds of seeds,
so friends will not need to buy.

But yesterday's procrastination on my part
has provided this morning's entertainment
for garden guests have come in
this sunny morning.

A feast, a banquet, a smorgasbord awaits
for those who came this morning to swipe.
They were here before first light
to feast to their heart's delight.

Gray titmice arrive
eating side by side.
Yakking up a storm
this sunny morn.

Mama cardinal with her orange beak
is here for a free breakfast she seeks.
Does she have a nest
where her young ones rest?

Look there...a chubby squirrel scampers in
causing feathered friends to fly in the wind.
His checks are full
with black seeds stored.

I see two striped chipmunks
peeking out behind the tree trunk.
Quite comical they are as they hustle,
then with each other romp and tussle.

But when the chipmunks see me
they're off as quick as can be
hiding in the drain pipe
now hidden out of sight.

Gray mourning doves and brown sparrows
have eaten fallen seeds down low.
They don't mind dining side by side
though others guests seem to vie...

for little chickadees
I no longer see
as blue jays chased away
these black-capped guests today.

The ground is littered with hulls
from sunflower seeds which fell
after the buffet was consumed.
There's nothing left for this afternoon.

The mourning doves have left.
The titmice are no longer guests.
The squirrels are taking a snooze.
The chipmunks left without a clue.

It's now quiet.
No entertainment.
No feathered friends.
This story ends.

The smorgasbord of creatures have gone
but if I listen I can hear their song
as they entertain someone else
at another banquet where it's help yourself.

* * * * *

This true story really happened one autumn morning
as I had procrastinated the previous evening.
This story reminds me of another story regarding leftovers.
We read it about in the Gospels, between the Bible's covers.

One meaning of leftovers, let's stress,
could mean we are not once, but doubly blessed.
Today we'll focus on what remained, the leftovers,
or the "broken pieces" as referred to in Scripture.

The gospel writers refer to these leftovers as broken pieces.
We all know life is filled with heartaches, some which never ceases.
Our heartache left us with broken pieces or brokenness.
Confused. Hurt. Discredited. Rejected. Damaged. A mess.

Do our heartaches or broken pieces serve a purpose?
For our maturity? Definitely, YES!
It's when we seek God fully.
The God of all comfort - truly!

The Japanese will repair pottery that was broken
with gold, creating a beautiful reminder, that mends.
In the end the object is more valuable.
That's what our brokenness does: we're more valuable.

Our broken pieces have value and worth.
Don't stay in a state of depression, come forth
into the light of God's mercy, grace, and love.
He's here, right now, for you, with a ready hug.

Nothing goes to waste in God's economy.
Not leftovers, not broken pieces, not you or me.
Let God use your brokenness for your good
and for God's glory, as only He could.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish
and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves....
They all ate and were satisfied,
and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces
that were left over.
Matthew 14:19a,20

Taking the five loaves and the two fish
and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks....
they all ate and were satisfied,
and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls
of broken pieces of bread and fish.
Mark 6:41a,42-43

Taking the five loaves and the two fish
and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them....
They all ate and were satisfied,
and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls
of broken pieces that were left over.
Luke 9:16a-17

Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed to those who were seated...
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples,
"Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."
So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets
with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over...
John 6:11a-13

The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.
II Corinthians 1:3b

He knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me,
I will come forth as gold.
Job 23:10


Life Is a Garden Party,
a gardening observation
followed by a spiritual application
in rhyme
with scriptures,
is available via Amazon.

Firsts

FIRST Rose of Sharon of the season.

FIRST hibiscus of the season.

 FIRST sunflower just waking up.

 Baby bees.  FIRST nectaring.

 FIRST perennial sunflower.

Breaking the fast.
He chowed down so fast, I missed the blade he was chowing on.

Breaking the fast first thing this morning.

Froze the FIRST of the pole beans this morning.

FIRST week sunflowers started blooming:



These two day lilies keep blooming:


One of the FIRST things I do every morning
is go out to listen to the bee symphony in the squash blossoms.

The word perseverance comes to mind when I see these violas perseving in the crack.


The Lord will guide you always - Protector;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land - Provider;
and will strengthen your frame - Preserver.
You will be like a well-watered garden - Productive;
like a spring whose waters never fail - Promise.
Isaiah 58:11

Life Is a Garden Party,
a gardening observation
followed by a
spiritual application
in rhyme
with scripture,
is available via Amazon.



Friday, August 3, 2018

Storms


Storms

Clouds gathering in the sky,
the sun now hidden waves bye,
distant thunder draws nigh,
lightning flashes by and by.

The wind comes from who knows where.
There's the smell of rain in the air.
Raindrops
start to plop.

Raindrops turn into sprinkles, then
sprinkles turn into showers, then
showers turn to pouring rain.
Will the sun ever shine again?

The temperature cools
as the storm comes through.
Vegetation
takes a beating.

Limbs sway
all which ways
as trees take a shower
in nature's awesome power.

Torrents of rain
and thunder reigns
as this afternoon's storm
leaves leaves and limbs torn.

Puddles form
before too long
then flooding from the downpour
as thunder continues to roar.

The sky is laden with gray.
Nervous dogs are heard bay.
Though rain was needed, "enough already".
The storm turns into a shower steady.

Sooner or later the storm blows through
then gray clouds make way for skies of blue
for behind the clouds, the sun
was waiting to shine all along.

When the sun does finally shine through
a rainbow's spectrum will surprise you
with a promise,
nature's kiss...

lovingly bestowed
on everything below
assuring that God is in control
even when storm clouds continue to blow.

* * * * *

Yes, behind the storm clouds the sun
was hidden but still there all along.
Yet our focus was on the storm,
of our new fears being born.

Behind our personal storms the Son
is forgotten, but still there all along.
His focus is always on us
even when we forget to trust.

Sometimes it takes a storm
for us to finally learn
that the Son knows what is best.
It's when we learn His faithfulness.

Next time there's a rainstorm
think about this lesson learned,
that the hidden sun is waiting to shine
and the Son is there for you - all the time.

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love.
Psalm 107:29

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging water;
the storm subsided, and all was calm
Luke 8:24

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son
and believes in him shall have eternal life.
John 6:40

The life I live in the body,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son
to be the Savior of the world.
I John 4:14

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,
and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.
This is how we know that we love the children of God:
by loving God and carrying out his commands.
This is love for God: to obey his commands.
And his commands are not burdensome,
for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcomes the world,
even our faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world?
Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God
I John 5:1-5


Life Is a Garden Party
is available via Amazon.

My part of the world has had a rainy two weeks
while I know friends are dealing with flooding or drought
and a lot of areas combating forest fires or tornadoes
and many other disasters in the form of storms.
Please remember, behind the storm
the sun is still shining
as the Son of God is abiding.
Storms are meant to mature us,
so whatever the storm you're going through
remember God is there with you.





Thursday, July 26, 2018

My Guy


MY GUY

Hostas flower stalks spring up in the month of July;
soon trumpet flowers will be visited by my guy.

Just who is my guy?
My guy is quite shy.
                        My guy is seen nigh.
His two wings are dyed.
With others he vies
for nectar sweet as pie
from hosta flowers high
above where green leaves lie.
He comes to say hi
then quickly waves bye-bye.
Just why?
He’s shy.
My
guy.
He flies with his wings dyed.
Who is he?," you reply.
Here’s the answer. It's a tie
between hummers and butterflies.

* * * * *

Have you ever thought
or wondered about
butterflies that
flutter then float,
hummingbirds that
dip,
sip,
zip
quick.

Did God create them for more than our enjoyment?
So we would consider what the Creator meant?

Monarchs who journey from Mexico
then return when the weather turns cold.
With a butterfly brain so small
yet responds to the Creator’s call.
Created with intelligence
and also graceful elegance.

Hummers, the smallest of birds,
who don’t sing, yet can be heard.
Who dines on gnats and bugs so small
and pollinates red flowers – all.
Created with a purpose and plan
and can be seen across this great land.

If only we used our God-given intelligence
for the plan and purpose it was intended, hence
great things would be accomplished.
Those in need would not just wish.
Their needs would now be met
and there would be no debt.

God tells us to take care of the fatherless,
the widows, the poor, the weak, and oppressed.
Is that what our God, the Creator, meant
when He designed small-headed creatures we’ve met:
to teach us to use our minds
and to everyone be kind?

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and needy.
Psalm 82:3-4

Hummers in the bee balm, monarchs in the cone flowers, and swallowtails in the lilies this afternoon.















Life Is a Garden Party
is available via Amazon.