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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fall in the Mountains

I really did get way behind this past fall.  I had so many trip photos I wanted to share, but with the moving and settling in, visitors and Christmas, I just couldn't keep up.  Things are quiet now, the kids are gone, back to school and this mom is left with time on her hands.  When we planned our trip for October, we were hoping for good timing, spectacular color.  We were disappointed a bit.  Fall color in Zion came late this year, however, as we drove to higher elevations we did run into a little color.  The aspens up in Bryce Canyon had turned golden and a lot of them had already dropped their leaves. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is one of the most breathtaking places to visit.  You literally drive to the canyon and you can't see a thing until you walk up to the edge and this is what spreads out before you.  The spires coming up out of the ground are called Hoodoos.  We hiked down in them, but it started to rain and it was freezing so we headed back up.  We had an early cold front come in while we were there, lots of low hanging clouds, made for some interesting shots.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Robin's Gift

It's late in the morning.  There's not one bit of sunshine as I walk by the big picture window in the family room.  Movement catches my eye.  She flies into my view and it makes me stop.  She lights on a tree, fat from fall foraging.  It's the coldest day of winter so far, but here she sits...a beautiful, single robin.  My first thought, What is she doing here?  I guess the confusing warm weather earlier in the month has kept them around. 

She was my unexpected gift today...a reminder that my life is a cycle of seasons.  She sat there, blinking, turning her head.  I wanted a picture, but figured she'd be gone by the time I ran to the basement for the zoom lens that would be able to capture her.  I ran, I prayed she'd stay.  She did...she was my gift.  Seasons seem long while we are in them, but quickly change.  This season I sit in is a blink, it will change.  What can I learn while I'm here?  What does God want me to see?  To learn?

Nothing here below is profane
for those who know how to see. 
~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
My answer is in my Learn to See.

I thought this morning about a poem that hung once in my MIL's home.

"Cooking and cleaning can wait til tomorrow
For babies grow up, I've learned to my sorrow.
So, settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

It's time for her to leave, again.  Cold wind blows..."Help me load my car, Momma."  I's freezing outside, but she wants my help.  The moments to her leaving are counting down.  She asks for help.  She still needs me so I go.  Our time with our children goes so fast.  They are a gift, a precious gift, that we are given only moments to raise, to teach, to train.  But does the gift end when they walk out the door to adulthood...I don't think so.  It changes.  We find new ways of normal, new ways of teaching and loving, new ways of opening the gift, unveiling another part of the gift. Because that's what He does for us...loves us unconditionally even when we fail, when we make stupid choices, when we hurt Him, when we don't believe.  He's always there when we ask.  So that's my job for love, to show them the way to God's heart.

My tomorrow has come, my babies are all grown I wait, wait for whatever is next.

Joy Dare
17.  A gift that says you are special. 
 18.  Sweet chatter from my 18 year old daughter sharing a glimpse of her world.
Something above, beside, below
19.  Blazing orange sunrise.
20.  Sitting beside my teen daughter at the movies.
21.  The woods spreading out below our house.
Three things about myself
22.  That I can create...bring joy to others through my gifts.
23.  That I have loved one man for 25+ years.
24. Curly, sometimes wild, hair!
25.  The robin that appeared on a cold, winter's day to remind me this season is temporary.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

River Walk

Took Frosty out for a little walk along the river.  The temperature had warmed up and it just felt good to get out and walk.  Speaking of which, I'm really bad at developing habits.  I planned to start the new year with a new walking plan.  Well....that was my first walk.  Not a good sign of things to come.  The water was pretty, still had a little ice floating by.  Grabbed a few pics and headed back.  Poor Frosty was kind of walking funny.  I checked his legs and he was loaded with burrs and none to happy about me pulling them off.  Guess he'll be staying home on our next river walk.

Seeing God

We are creatures of Beauty, we look for it, long for it.  When we see it, we are connected to the One who is Beauty, who created it.  As a photographer, I look for beauty...searching for evidence of a Creator.  I peer through the lens, frame it, click it, capture the beauty.  It's all around us, obvious in the grand and majestic,

but harder to see in the simple and small.

But, He's there, in and around everything...we only need see.  When we open our eyes to Beauty, we open our eyes to God.  Every time we see Beauty, we are given a gift.  A gift to be thankful for.  The more we thank Him for the gifts, the more we see Him, the closer we feel to Him.

I committed to a challenge, to be thankful for One Thousand Gifts, 
to see God,
to find JOY!

4.  Music drifting from a piano.
5.  The ability to play those notes.
6.  The sweet aroma of a fresh cup of coffee.
7.  The glow of a dusky sunset filtering through the windows.
8.  A winter reflection in an unfrozen pond.
9.  Shadows created by the lights of a Christmas tree.
10.  The gift of a friend who understands.
11.  The unexpected call from an old friend.
12.  Words read at dark, "Do not fear."
13.  Ice sparkling on rushing water.
 14.  Encouraging words from a long distance friend.
15.  The scent of a fresh rain.

To find out more about the Joy Dare, visit

Monday, January 7, 2013

Joy Dare

I ran into a coincidence of sorts last week.  I was browsing a friend's blog list when I saw this link, A Holy Experience.  I clicked on it and thought, "what a beautiful blog site." I had no idea who she was so I started clicking through posts, getting a feel for who the writer was and what she was trying to share when I realized that she had recently written a book that was just given to me as a gift from my MIL.  I hadn't had a chance to pick up the book yet, but after visiting the website, I couldn't resist.  The book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, is a gift in and of itself.  She beautifully writes of how to have joy in your life through thanksgiving and dares us to try it...find fullness of life through being thankful.  I'm only through Chapter 3 right now, but it's already made me stop and reassess my life.

Why don't I feel God near?

Why do I let negative things and experiences control me?

Why can't I always feel happy?

How can I change my life?

How do I know God better?
There are so many things that zap our joy, a hurtful word, sickness, a wayward child, disappointment.  We tend to focus on the negative, letting it soak into our spirit and harden our hearts.  It's time to take back control. So today I started my dare...I wrote down three things I'm thankful for.

1. Time with my family.
2. The purr of a kitten.
3.  My husband saying goodbye when he leaves, "I Love You."

I would challenge you to give it a the book and let's see how we can change our lives for joy!



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