It's a Wonder Filled Life

Faith, Nature, and what is in my heart


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Being Grateful Even When Things Don’t Go The Way We Thought They Should

Ever have one of those days (or weeks) where you can’t seem to get anything right. Every time you start a project you either can’t complete it because of things beyond your control or it seems to blow up in your face? I think we have all had these experiences and despite how frustrating they are, we get through them. We will all have this type of experience, as they say “It’s not if, it’s when”. How we react to these situations and how we learn from them can really teach us a lot and mold our character.

My week started with me trying to fix a lawn mower at work. The first problem I ran into was that I needed to buy some parts and the only person that could do that was out for a week. I also found that there was much more wrong with the lawn mower that we first thought. One of the transmissions was frozen and would have to be fixed before it could even be moved.

This problem with the lawn mower was only the beginning. Pretty much my whole week went that way. Even when I tried to start, what I thought would be, an easy project complications quickly arose. By the end of the week I was begging anyone  to give me a simple task that I would be able to complete.
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I work in a park, with beauty all around me and I usually find it easy to be grateful and feel blessed by everything around me but this week found me struggling a little bit to shake off the grumps and look at the blessings. I found myself not listening to others as well and not wanting to do some of the things I find the most joy in doing. I didn’t like what I was letting myself be.

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So I had to change what was going on in my head. One of my old bosses use to tell me all the time, you may not have any control over what happens to you or what people say about you but you do have control over how you react to it. I know that our frame of mind will not fix all of our problems, but it can help us to see that all is not bad.
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Awhile back a friend of mine challenged me to find something good to talk about each day for a month. I chose to write about it on Facebook each night, right before I went to bed. That way each morning I would wake up, thinking about what I had written the night before. These first thoughts of the day made my day start, and continue with a grateful heart and a good outlook. In some ways this blog started there. This week, when I started noticing how much I was stressing out and how it was affecting my outlook as well as behavior, I started purposely making a list, each time I started getting frustrated, of all the things I am grateful for and how wonderful working at the park really is.

Some will say that we can’t always be happy, but I have another friend that says, “I choose to be happy”. I am not nearly the ever cheerful, happy person that she is, but I am working on it. Even on those frustrating days when we seem to be unable to accomplish much, I can see good, and I can learn about myself so that I can work on some less that desirable traits I may have uncovered.

I love helping others to learn more about nature and I am so grateful that I get to spend my days in the park watching all creation around me. One of the things I have been extremely grateful for this last week has been the friends I have been blessed with and all the things I learn from them, mostly by the examples they set and being patient for me to get to where I need to be. There are so many of you and you teach me different things. I know I have a long way to go but since a journey starts with a step, I have made a good start.

When our day/week/month starts out a little rough, lets all look to God’s creation and remember the blessings we have. I think this is one of the reasons I like sunrises and sunsets so much. It fills me with wonder, gratefulness, and awe that God would start and end each day with a song painted in the sky. This is an example we could all follow.

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How loud the stillness sings

Seeing the Prickly Pear and Indian Blanket bloom just makes my day. When the cardinals flitter from one tree to the next and the eastern bluebirds fly past me I am so grateful for a job that allows me to enjoy these things each day.

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Psalms 19:1-6 says “The Heavens declare the glory of God”. David goes on to say that even without speech or words “their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world”. When I am looking at nature I can hear their song of praise. Awhile back when I had to work one Sunday morning I said that if they sang loud enough I would hear my church singing and join in. Later I had someone ask me if I really heard them. The answer was yes. I could hear the songs of praise, even though I was twenty miles away. I can always hear the praise to God on the breeze. All of creation is singing along.

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Over the past week or so, we have had a few rain days and the results are popping out all over. If you listen you can hear the sighs of relief from the trees and, if you’re really quiet you may even hear the grass grow.

Earlier today, I read a blog post by Michael Hyatt about the practice of stillness. You can find the post at http://michaelhyatt.com/the-practice-of-stillness.html. I’m not sure that I practice stillness the way he is talking about, but I do think it is important to be still and aware of what is around you. I love watching bunch grass wave in the breeze and sitting in wonder as a bee is seeking just the right flower. My mind de-cluters and sometimes when I finish and move on to the task at hand I find the clarity in my head has allowed for better organization of my thoughts, even though I wasn’t thinking about them at the time.
Psalms 150:1-6 ends by saying, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord”. Lets join the birds and all the heavens in singing His praises throughout each day.

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All scriptures have been taken from YouVersion NIV.


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It’s a Wonder Filled Life

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Sometimes when I look around me I feel like a child. I remember my children being so excited with every new thing. That is how my days go. I get to watch an Eastern Bluebird moving around the park and I am amazed by its beautiful color. I see the cardinals hopping from tree to tree and am thrilled at all the new life happening right here. I look around and even in just a small area I see a multitude of different grasses rather than the single grass that most fill their lawns with.

I am always amazed with plants. There are so many different colors, sizes, shapes, and textures. It is cool to me to know that plants in the mint family have triangular stems. Leaves… there are so many different types and shapes of leaves that it is incredible.

Nature always speaks to me about God. One of the many things it has clued me in on is that God doesn’t want His church to all look the same. Why would he have given the natural world so much variety if he wanted a homogenous, one-dimensional church?  We are made in God’s  image and we enjoy and appreciate all the beauty in nature, which tells me how much God loves beauty. It also makes me so very grateful that God made us in such a way that we can appreciate all his creation. I do think there are times that what we think of as beautiful isn’t always the same thing as what God thinks, but he does love beauty.

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Living here in Texas, there is always a lot of talk about wild flowers in the spring, but I think most people are only thinking of the Blue Bonnet. It is the official state flower and very picturesque. After the Blue bonnets have faded and we no longer find families parked on the side of the road taking pictures of the kids in the fields of Blue bonnets, I like to go looking for some of the less famous Texas wild flowers. Right now the Prickly Pear are beautiful. There are many beautiful flowers blooming right now that don’t get all the attention that the bluebonnets get but are just as beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Blue Bonnets too, and one of my favorite pictures is one of a field of Blue Bonnets and Indian Paint Brush. I just marvel at the variety of all the wild flowers we have and how they are so different and yet all beautiful wild flowers.

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Each with its very own type of flower. Each unique. Each created by God. Matthew 6:25-34 tells us that we don’t have to worry about tomorrow when we can look in the field and watch the birds and the flowers and see how God takes care of them. We need to seek, work towards, strive for God’s Kingdom not because all these other things will be added but instead because we long for a relationship with Him and we want to please that which we love.

This blog is going to be about how the things I see in nature help me to know God and appreciate all he has done for mankind. How it helps me to stay centered on my relationship with Him and how it keeps me happy and filled with wonder at all creation around me. It will also be me struggling to think things through because I do that by writing. I want comments because it always helps to listen to other views and to hear how someone else thinks. Please be respectful of others.