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.



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--FORGET  
Five minutes to free write about it
The first thought that came to mind was the phrase, "lest we forget." That seems to be something we humans are prone to do--or at least this human (me) is. 

As I pondered the phrase during my quiet time this morning, I thought to leaf through an old tabbed notebook/journal of sorts in which I used to record ways the Lord had revealed Himself to me. Each incident was listed under the tab that best illustrated that particular facet of His nature--Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Rapha, El Shaddai, etc. 

My notebook has other tabs as well, such as God's Grace, Pursued by God, Thus Saith the Lord, and Lessons Learned (some of which seem to have been forgotten over the years). 

It was not by chance the prompt to look for the notebook came to me at this moment in time when I've been feeling discouraged by what seems like a never ending stream of challenges and frustrations. Reminiscing over the memories provided me with some much needed encouragement, as well as a reminder that God never changes. What He did for me in the past, He is more than able to do again.  I can trust that He is in control, and though I may not know what tomorrow will bring, He does, and He holds tomorrow in His hand.

You saw me before I was born. Every 
day of my life was recorded in your 
book. Every moment was laid out 
before a single day had passed. 
(Psalm 139:16, NLT)



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--BE  
Five minutes to free write about it
Two thoughts popped into my mind--the opening line to one of Hamlet's soliloquies in Shakespeare's play by the same name, and the thoughts that infiltrate my mind condemning me for not being all the things I feel I'm supposed to be. 

The answer to both is Jesus!

In his "To be or not to be" speech, Hamlet was trying to decide whether to live or die. Life was so full of trouble and pain, but would death be any better or might it be worse? Thankfully, that's not a question anyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ needs to ponder.

God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our sins and receive the gift of eternal life. Romans 8:1 tells us that there is now no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus.

I'm so grateful that no matter how things may be looking around us, we can find peace and joy in Jesus. I'm also grateful for His unconditional love, His mercy and grace, His faithfulness, His longsufferingness (is that a word?), and that He never gives up on us. 

God knows my strengths and weaknesses and He does not condemn me for just being me. 


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -- John 3:16, NIV

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. -- Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. -- Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. -- 2 Peter 3:9, KJV

The LORD is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. -- Psalm 28:7, NIV

Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. -- Psalm 55:22, NLT

I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. -- John 14:27, NLT



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--CHANCE  
Five minutes to free write about it
Is it chance when you get a Yahtzee right at the beginning of the game? Is it chance when your great-grandson whose turn follows yours gets one too? Is it chance when you proceed to get two more?

Is it chance when you give thanks for a blessing and it gets taken away? The latter is something I've been pondering these last several months. 

I am a grateful person and love nothing better than encouraging others by sharing what the Lord has done, but so often that sharing has been followed by the loss of what I gave thanks for that more and more I've felt reluctant to do so.

As a Christian, there are several things I know. I know there is no such thing as chance. I know that God is good and in control, and that He loves me--no matter how things may be looking in the natural, or what my intellect tries to tell me. I know there is so much I will never have an answer to in this world, and that I need to keep trusting Him anyway.

These last several months I've been struggling with so many issues that it's been tempting to just throw in the towel, but I know that's not an option, so I keep pressing on. It's not the issues themselves that are so discouraging, but that every time there seems to be a breakthrough it never lasts. It seems that as soon as I share about it and give thanks, it's gone. Maybe the lesson here is not to let my emotions be swayed one way or the other in the face of ups or downs? I don't know.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to "Always be joyful, never stop praying, and be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 

My friend, Lara Love, has repeatedly reminded me of this through the pages of her journal, 100 Days of Thanksgiving, which I just happened to be reading during my struggle (I don't think by chance).

I may never know the answer to my question this side of eternity as to why so many of the seeming breakthroughs that I've been blessed with disappear soon after I share my gratitude for them, but I can still be thankful that I got to enjoy them for whatever time they lasted. One thing does not cancel out the other.




Perfect day for a small-town parade. Blue skies, low humidity, a gentle breeze, meeting up with a good friend who saved me a shady spot and provided a chair, and a very kind police officer who guided me into a parking spot even though the road had already been blocked off and traffic was being re-routed.