This post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--REPRESENT 
Five minutes to free write about it

My thoughts on this week's prompt may be a stretch, but I've already skipped several weeks and did not want to miss yet another one.

Yesterday was the first day of fall, and with it came a sudden and unexpected change in temperature. What started out as a hot, humid, rainy morning had turned into hoodie weather by the end of the day and me scrambling to get my outdoor plants inside when my plan had been to leave them out on my balcony for at least a couple more weeks.

One of the definitions I found for the word "represent" was to present a picture, image, or likeness of something. Yesterday's weather, and my life at this moment in time, seem to be good illustrations of not taking things for granted. One moment A/C weather, and needing to switch to heat the next; one moment living what seemed to be a functional life, and the next moment not. 

The last several weeks have been a Job-like experience. One thing after another has been taken away. Permanently or temporarily, I do not know. All I know is that I do not know what the next moment will bring, and that I have reached the point of total surrender. There is a great peace that comes with giving up the struggle and trusting God to do what only He can do--in his perfect time, and in His way.



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--ROOTS 
Five minutes to free write about it
Roots make me think of anchors and stability.

For plants, roots are the lifeline that moves water and nutrients from the soil up into the leaves and branches, as well as providing an anchor that keeps them grounded. Without roots plants could not survive.

People need roots as well. Roots provide a sense of identity and belonging, and a lot of other important things such as self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, a sense of purpose, and a way of relating to your surroundings.

Because of my Jewish heritage and the fears for me my parents had, I was very sheltered and our family origins kept a well guarded secret. At school I envied friends who came from large, close knit families, and wished I had family ties and roots too. I wanted to feel as though I belonged, but never seemed to fit in, and that is what down the road led me to embark on a very dangerous path.

After my husband's death I went on a search for roots and purpose, and thought I had found them in New Age and occult doctrines. Karma seemed like a perfectly plausible explanation of the things that had happened to me, and what lessons I was supposed to learn this time around. It was also comforting to know that my personality, talents, and even the events of my life were all predetermined by the position of the stars at the moment of my birth. It gave me a sense of peace and security I had never experienced before. Except, I was sincerely wrong.

But God! But God, in His infinite grace and mercy did not leave me there. Who am I that at a time when I believed I had all the answers and was no longer seeking, but rather persuading others to believe in the lie as well, God rescued me from the darkness I thought was light and set me on the right track. Now my roots are firmly anchored in Jesus, my sure foundation and I know whose I am and to whom I belong. My gratitude at His not just leaving me where I was so sure was the right place for me to be cannot be expressed in words. It is astounding beyond belief.


And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thakfulness. -- Colossians 2:6-7, NLT

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. --Ephesians 3:16-17, NLT

But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. -- Jeremiah 17:7-8, NLT



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--SHOW 
Five minutes to free write about it
This week's prompt, Show, made me think of show and tell, where kids used to be encouraged to bring something to school to show their classmates and tell them about it. Do they even still do that today?

Anyway, the prompt made me think of a devotional I read several days ago about wounded oysters and the origin of pearls. What a great show and tell that would make.

The "show" would be the beautiful pearl, and the "tell" would be all about how it became what it is today.

Pearls start out as an oyster's response to an internal wound caused by something irritating such as a grain of sand. The oyster coats the injured area with layers of fluid that eventually harden to form a lustrous pearl.  Thus something beautiful is created that would have been impossible without the wound.

The devotional ended with a reminder to suffering people that "No wounds, no pearls!"



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--VIEW 
Five minutes to free write about it
One of the things I'm most grateful for about my apartment is the view. Without going any further than my balcony, I get to see the majesty of God's creation displayed right before my eyes. I have been regaled
 with rainbows, full moons, sunrises, sunsets, and the changing colors of the trees in spring and fall, as well as by a variety of birds and wildlife. 


I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. -- Genesis 9:13, NLT

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. -- Psalm 19:1, NLT

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. -- Romans 1:20, NLT



Saturday was a perfect day to be out and about. Blue sky, temperature in the 80s, and best of all, no humidity, so I agreed to go on a little photo expedition with my daughter.

We went to Butterfly Hill Farm Store in Waterford, Virginia, a quaint little country store that sells alpaca wool products (made from the wool of their own alpacas), items made by local craftspeople, and some antiques. 

On weekends, the owner brings over some of her alpacas and puts out alpaca feed that visitors can feed them.

This one has quite an underbite. 

There is also a colorful butterfly garden on one side of the property, which was our main reasons for the visit. Unfortunately, the large butterflies such as monarchs must have been on a break, because we didn't see any. That was disappointing. However, there were many small orange, yellow, and white ones flitting around.