No, I'm not deleting this blog--at least, not yet--but I am putting it to rest for a season while I focus on two of my other blogs--At The Foot of the Cross, and The Splendor of God's Brushstrokes.  I hope you will come and visit me there.



This was my first blog.  I started it almost seven years ago with the hopes that sharing my experiences would brighten someone's day, or perhaps offer encouragement to someone who needed it.  I enjoyed making and following new friends.  Then along came Facebook, and I got so caught up in that, my blog posts became fewer and further apart. I increasingly found myself wondering why I was even keeping it alive, as a little voice in my head whispered, "What's so special about you that makes you feel you have something to offer?  What do you have to say that hasn't already been said by someone else, and said better?"

Today I decided to listen to that voice and delete this blog.  But first, a trip down memory lane.  As I scrolled down my list of posts I came across one I had written several years ago, entitled A REMINDER TO ME (AND YOU TOO IF YOU NEED IT).  I was curious to see what I had been reminding myself of, and opened it up.  Wow!  Talk about a Divine encounter.  

Apparently, I had been having some very similar thoughts back then, and the reminder was:  BEWARE OF FALLING INTO THE TRAP OF COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.  

I won't copy the whole post, because you can read it by clicking on the link to it above, but the following story from the  Streams in the Desert devotional I had been reading at the time was an awesome reminder that I'm a Divine original (as are you) created for a special purpose that no one else can fulfill.

It's the story of a king who goes into his garden one morning and finds everything withered and dying.  He starts asking the plants what the problem is. The oak says it doesn't want to live any more because it's not tall and beautiful like the pine tree, the pine tree is upset because it can't bear grapes like the grapevine, the grapevine bemoans the fact that that it doesn't produce fruit as large as the peaches on the peach tree, the geranium is disheartened because it's not tall and fragrant like the lilac, and so on it goes throughout the garden until the king gets to the little violet and and comments on how happy he is to see at least one flower bright and perky.  To which the violet responds, "I know I'm small, yet I thought if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach tree or even a lilac, you would have planted one.  Since I knew you wanted a violet, I'm determined to be the best little violet I can be."

I don't know if anyone else will read this post, or if I even have any followers left in Blogland who might be encouraged by it, but I do know it has convicted me to keep on keeping on, and that it's not time to throw the towel in yet.  



I hate shopping.  Maybe it's because more often than not, I'm disappointed with my purchases.  Nothing seems to look the way I thought it would once I get it home, and my latest experience was no exception.

I had gone shopping for some accessories to wear with a dress a friend helped me choose for a very special occasion.  A necklace and bracelet set caught my eye, as did a pretty ring.  I was excited to have so quickly found what I thought were the perfect pieces to wear with said dress.  Alas, they turned out not to be perfect at all.  Furthermore, to add to my chagrin, I discovered that the ring I had been wearing was no longer on my finger.  I must have left it at the store.

The next morning I went back to return my purchases and look for the ring.  I searched all the jewelry racks and checked the Lost and Found, but it wasn't anywhere.  I felt crushed.  It was only a cheap little ring, but it had sentimental value, and I really liked it.

When I got home, I called my friend and told her about my misadventures.  I asked her if she would be willing to help me pick out the jewelry I needed since I wasn't having much luck on my own.  Unlike me, she loves shopping, and was eager to comply.

We arranged to meet the next day, and while she happily rummaged through the racks, I went back to the Lost and Found.  My ring was not there.  Dejected, I returned to the jewelry department and asked her to keep an eye out for it.

Not five minutes later, she walked over to me with a big grin on her face and an outstretched palm.  There in the middle of it was my missing ring.  She had found it on a ledge near the floor.  Was that a miracle, or what?            



"Two are better than one, because ... if
either of them falls down, one can help 
the other up."  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

Some time in February, a pair of ravens took up residence on our town’s water tower, right across from my balcony, and ever since I read about it in our local paper, I've been following them closely, taking a gazillion pictures, the best of which are posted on my photo blogIf you'd like to see them, click here for Ravens on the Water Tower, here for Ravens -- Part II, and here for Ravens -- Part III. 

Just to recap, though, their nest rests in a sheltered area behind some wires near the top of the structure. which doubles as a transmission tower for the local power company, and because ravens are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the birds cannot be disturbed without Federal permission.  Electric company maintenance workers were ordered to suspend all routine maintenance on the tower until the birds leave the nest.  

Well, due to a misunderstanding, the ordinance was not strictly followed, and some work was done at a crucial time when mama raven needed to be warming her eggs, and yet, despite this disturbance, a snow storm, and some heavy winds, the nest remained safe and secure on its perch, the eggs hatched, and four babies were born.

As I've watched them grow and learn how to fly, I've been impressed by the way they seem to watch out for one another, and communicate.  

They squawk when they leave the nest, and also when they return.  They also sometimes squawk to let each other know where they are.

When the fledglings started testing their wings, there was a great deal of very loud and frenzied squawking which seemed to be a combination of the parents instructing, exhorting, and guiding the little ones through the process, and the little ones excitedly responding as  they discovered they could fly. 

As they got better at it and could go greater distances, the squawking became more subdued.  

What I enjoy most is watching the whole family take off together, flying higher and higher until they're way above the treetops, almost out of sight.  Then they spread their wings and just soar around and around in slow circles, gliding on the wind. It is beautiful to behold, and I've been trying, so far in vain, to get a group shot.  It's much easier to capture just one.

Flying in the rain
Looks like a long way down there 

Sadly, one of the babies landed on the road and got run over by a car, so now there are only three. 

I thought of the Scripture verse at the top of this post when I saw one of the fledglings on the roof of a building in my complex call for help and get rescued by a sibling.

The little bird was hopping about with what appeared to be a limp.  Every now and then it would stop, ruffle its feathers, flap its wings as though getting ready to fly, then bring them back down and hop some more. 

I wondered if it was hurt, or had forgotten what to do next, or maybe both, but didn't have to wonder long because after repeating the process a few times, it just stood there squawking until one of its siblings flew over from the tree it had been sitting in, hopped up next to to it, and they flew off together.


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