1246. If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~Charles Lanman

Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the sunlight,
and the air was full of the piping of the song-birds.
Long glinting dragon-flies shot across the path, or hung
tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies.
~Edited excerpt from Arthur Conan Doyle

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Did you know that there’s always a party going on in a backyard. Yes, indeed there is, and the guests frolic on their flooring, the ground, and under the “coffered ceiling” of the sky. Some even “boogie down” underground; thus a lawn, not just the grass, is alive. And the world out there is filled with beasties that buzz, tweet, squawk, flutter, scurry, build, dance, burrow, hoot, chase, pounce, and soar among other things. Not only that but the party goes on 24/7. If you don’t believe me, just step outside sometime, take a look around, and listen.

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Depending upon the season and time of day or night, you might hear a chorus of amphibians, insects a buzzin’, and birds a callin’ or a singin’ or a drummin’. And those noisy birds, for example, just might be a gatherin’ nesting materials, or a feedin’ on berries or insects, or a splashin’ around in a birdbath. Whilst the birds are doing their things, the butterflies and bees might be a fluttterin’ about and a sippin’ on the nectars in flowers. If not that, then you might find a “hophopper” a chowin’ down on a tasty leaf or a dragonfly a skimmin’ across a surface of water. Or you might even find something exotic like my friend in the photos above a lookin’ back at you and gettin’ perturbed because you’re too close to its perch, so close in fact that it raises an arm of warning to scold you. When I find a praying mantis like this one, they are often on a rose bush which is where I found this one. Well actually it was on the trellis where the rose was, but I think he’d made his way from the rose over to it in hopes he could scare off dusk’s unwanted interloper.

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For who scorns the day of small things. ~Excerpt from Zechariah 4:10 ✝

*The collage of praying mantis images at the top created by Natalie from photos via Pinterest

409. Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. ~Author Unknown

I determine to live intentionally, God.
My life will be one of preparation and purpose,
bringing a heavenly fragrance into the stuff of earth.
~Jerome Daley


The scent of a flower invites wildlife to its fragrant banquet, and the guests in turn purposefully do what they do so that the banquet table will never vanish or be empty. The Israelites were asked repeatedly in the Old Testament to offer up burnt sacrifices as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Though animals are no longer sacrificed as burnt offerings, there are ways we can offer up a pleasant aroma not only to the Lord but as Daley suggests to bring a heavenly fragrance into the very “stuff of earth.” Even when physical pain or emotional loss, like a knife wielding demon, carves out great chasms of anguish within body and soul, one can choose to emit “a heavenly fragrance” instead of a demon-defeated foul stench. So it is that today I lift up my voice as a pleasant aroma to the Lord though the challenges of an aging and ailing body be great and painful.  And this lovely gladiola that came only to be blown to the ground by high winds, I count not as loss but as gain that the lovely lady came at all.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. -Psalm 19:14  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

408. I would maintain that thanks is the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

For, after all, put it as we may to ourselves, we are all of us
from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread.
The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet. . .
Shall we think of the day as a chance to come nearer our Host,
and to find out something of Him, who has fed us so long?
~Rebecca Harding Davis


We are indeed guests at a table we did not spread, and built into Creation are elements that welcome us to the banquet and entreat us to seek the Host’s presence. In stillness, if we listen to the in and out movement of our breathing, we can feel the Host’s breath upon us. In listening to the beating of our own hearts, we come to recognize the beating of His heart at the heart of all life. If we reverence all that He has put upon the table, we will be given glimpses into His divine mystery. Our presence here is not a random act of molecular happenstance; we’ve been intentionally sent here by the Host to be kneaded into purposeful tidbits in humanity’s ongoing moveable feast, tidbits with talents that have the potential to enhance the flavor and make a difference in the quality of life at the table. Our lives are meant to touch other lives so that together the combined interactions add new dimensions to the overall flavor and enlarge the portions of goodness. And when we share our love and knowledge of the Host’s goodness and faithfulness we become His welcoming agent to other guests at the table.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~Colossians 2:6-7   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

353. God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Everything is determined,
the beginning as well as the end,
by forces over which we have no control.
It is determined for insects
as well as for the stars.
Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust,
we all dance to a mysterious tune,
intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.
~Albert Einstein


As the invisible and creating Piper of all that is stages His springtime drama, He plays His primordial tunes. These harmonies are invitations to the mysterious dance of life He ignited. Between the lines of His holy, ancient melodies are heard His summons for all to partner with Him and dance in His arms o’er fields of grace and glory. In response to these calls bees and butterflies are already bowing and accepting the Lord’s summons to step onto the dance floor. Making ready for the ball as well have been the birds who’ve been courting and preparing nests. Soon their fledglings will take wing and join in the chorus of the spheres and the stars, and together the whole of Creation’s voices will spew forth worship, praise, and glorious odes to joy. The period for rest has passed and the days for celebration and rejoicing have come. It is time to look at what is laid upon earth’s “table” and as invited guests to express gratitude for the banquet. It is not happenstance that we are here, and like the flowers in a garden, perhaps our anointed time to bloom is upon us.

Sing to the LORD, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. -Isaiah 12:5  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

351. What a desolate place would be a world without a flower!  It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome. ~A.J. Balfour

Lord, help me to grow as the wildflowers grow
be it a meadow or a crack in the cement.
Despite the terrain, be it good or bad,
let me know I am there by intent.


Instead of my sadly complaining within
regarding life’s rough terrain.
May my face, too, look upward to You
through seasons of drought and rain.


Help me to bloom as the wildflowers bloom,
regardless of where I am placed;
wherever the spot You plant me, Lord,
let the air there be sweet with Your grace.


Someday a tired pilgrim may stop to rest
from carrying his heavy load
And thank my Creator for placing me there
to brighten that spot on life’s road.
~Kitty Campbell


In Texas this time of year, we are blessed with undulating swaths of Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes. When we find the two blooming alongside one another, they indeed offer up a delectable feast and put a smile on our hungry faces.


Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. ~Hebrews 13:2 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

206. The more I wonder, the more I love. ~Alice Walker, author of THE COLOR PURPLE

It seemed to my friend
that the creation of a landscape-garden
offered to the proper muse
the most magnificent of opportunities.
Here indeed was the fairest field
for the display of the imagination,
in the endless combining of forms of novel beauty.
~Edgar Allan Poe



Purple, the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow, can be seen sometimes simply streaking the heavens, and it is mentioned at least 25 times in the Bible.  Over the ages the color’s “novel beauty” has symbolized magic, mystery, spirituality, the sub-conscious, creativity, dignity, and royalty; statistics show that it has evoked all of those meanings more so than any other color.  And yet the color purple is a rarity in nature so much so that its earliest dyes could be made only at great expense rendering it a color to be worn solely by kings, emperors, nobility, and priests. So when I find samplings of purple in my yard as I did yesterday, it feels as if honored guests have arrived at my “table.”  Add to that the fact that pigments from these particular guests have been found in prehistoric depictions dating back 50,000 years and that those depictions were found where the Garden of Eden could have been, then the honored guests become not only venerable ones but also sacred ones.  I sent out the invitations to these purple invitees last August after happening upon Crocus Sativus corms at a local nursery.  Since I had long wanted to try growing the plants from which the spice saffron is obtained, I came home and immediately planted my 6 little corms and then came the watching and waiting for signs of life.  But as the leaves began to fall and collect in the beds and I was spending less time outside, I’d almost forgotten about them until yesterday when I went out to get the mail.  To my surprise I spied two of the beauties with their three crimson stigmas (saffron threads) pushing up from under a layer of leaves.  Like a child I literally squealed with delight; it was as if I’d stepped into the Lord’s holy presence as He walked in His garden.

They put a purple robe on Him(Jesus), then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on Him.  ~ Mark 15:17  ✝

187. The gardener’s feet drag a bit on the dusty path and the hinge in the back is full of creaks. ~Louise Seymour Jones

Pleasures lie thickest where no pleasures seem:
There’s not a leaf that falls upon the ground
But holds some joy of silence or of sound,
Some spirits begotten of spring and summer dreams.
~Adapted excerpt from Laman Blanchard


Birds that annually flee our area before winter arrives have already headed out on their migratory treks to warmer havens.  Thus, the number of avian guests in my yard is considerably smaller, and those that are still here have let up on their frantically busy doings in the garden.  The remainder of my “flock,” like me, are sometimes content to just perch a bit in idle watchfulness.  But despite our combined and periodic lethargy, the birds and I continue to greet our days with delight and a kind of expectancy even though we know old man Winter has left his arctic haunts and is headed down our way.

But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.  -1 Kings 5:4   ✝