The Sweet Perfume

Over the last month or so, I’ve been trying to get consistent with walking daily through my neighborhood. I’m not crazy consistent, but I’ve definitely done better than before I started. Ha!

Our neighborhood is beautiful, and it has plenty of curves and hills; so, I feel I’m getting quite the workout, and the whole thing, all cul-de-sacs (5) included, is just shy of 1.5 miles. So, I try to make 2 loops, which gives me right at 3 miles. Woohoo!

The weather was absolutely perfect today. The humidity was extremely low, and the temp was maybe in the high seventies by the time I stepped out my front door, right at sunset, to try and get in a full 2 loops of walking before it was too dark. I asked my youngest son to go with me; so, I wouldn’t be by myself, and he wouldn’t be left home alone. So, he rode his bike alongside, while I walked. Well, to be more accurate, he rode past me and waited at the top of the hill before crossing the main road while I tried to speed walk to catch up! Lol! 😂

We crossed the road and proceeded to the other side of the neighborhood and down the hill. The sun was shining; the birds were singing, and the breeze was blowing just a bit; so, it felt glorious as I tried my best to catch up to my son who had coasted and proceeded to fly, down the moderate incline to the next cul-de-sac.

As I reached the cul-de-sac, the most beautiful fragrance reached my nose, I closed my eyes, and it was as if I was transported right back to my 5th grade year and my 10 year old self. I was standing in my front yard taking in the beautiful fragrance of the giant magnolia tree standing 100 feet tall (or at least, that’s what my 10 year old, little girl mind believed). I remember standing beside that tree, climbing way up in it’s branches and, sometimes, just staring up at it for hours, believing I was just as big and strong as that lovely green giant.

When it bloomed, we would take down one bloom at a time, bring it in the house, set it in a small bowl of water, and place the bowl on the dining room table, letting the fragrance fill the house. We would repeat this everyday, as the former flower would begin to wither, until the tree had no more blooms to share. It was glorious.

As I made my loops through the neighborhood today, I would pause beside that big lush tree each time, savoring the wonderful aroma, while cherishing those sweet childhood memories, and then I’d continue on my way to finish the tiring, but rewarding, three miles before dark. I even had my son go by and savor the beauty, hoping he would make a little memory, too.

As I finished my walk, I was reminded, again, of the sweet perfume of the beautiful magnolia tree, and I thought of several sweet friends who are walking through a tough journey right now. Their journey is hard and painful, and it even seems to grow a little darker at the moment; yet, they hold on tight to their faith, and we all hold onto the Hope, believing a brighter day is just around the corner for them.

That Hope is sweet perfume in the midst of struggle. That faith is the sweet fragrance of the magnolia tree in the midst of the sweaty, tiresome walk they are walking at this very moment. And I know, as they hold onto their faith and that blessed Hope, one day soon, this journey is going to be but a memory, with those sweet fragrances of the magnolia tree, to remind them of His grace and love in the midst of their storm. 💗

Be encourage, sweet friends. Enjoy the fragrance of beauty along this most difficult journey, and know I am here praying for you, and believing for your brighter tomorrows!

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Answer to Friday’s Angle #44

Well, how’d you do yesterday?

  
If you guessed a snow covered tree, you got it! This is actually a snow covered tree on a Christmas glass.

   
 
Hope you had fun, and hope you have a wonderful week this week getting ready for Christmas! 🙂 🎄

The Tree Grew ‘Round

So sorry for the delay in posting today! Thanks for your patience. I posted this a while back; however, I shared it with our church family yesterday, and it seemed to resonate with so many. So, I thought I would repost it for those who would like to read it…  

There are times in life when you’re just going to find yourself caught between a “rock and a hard place.” The rock won’t move, and the hard place won’t remove itself. Maybe, it’s the day you woke up late for your new job, and your nine month old baby woke up with a stomach virus, or maybe you were laid off right after buying that brand new car. Maybe, your mom has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and your dad began showing signs of dementia last month. 

Maybe your oldest son has been struggling with a hidden drug addiction, trying to sneak around, stealing money from your nightstand, and your youngest daughter has been bullied at the new school. Maybe, your husband seems to be distant, and you just can’t seem to find enjoyment in any of the past delights you two once had. Maybe, you had to say goodbye to a loved one, and you just weren’t ready for that yet. There are times in life when you wish it could be different. You wonder what you’re going to do, how you’re ever going to make it. 

Sometimes, life is hard. It is what it is. There’s really no changing the way the earth spins on its axis or in altering the way the clouds gather in the sky. You’re going to face hard times. I don’t care who you are, how much money you have, or how many people love you, you’re going to have disappointments in this life. You’re going to encounter obstacles in the road. It’s just the way it is, and if you haven’t had any troubles as of yet, well, just keep on living, because every elderly person on the planet can attest to this truth: Life is not always easy, and sometimes, we just have to “weather through the storm.” 

The question is not, “Will trials ever come?” The better question is, “What will I do when the rains come?” If you can ever answer that question before the storms come, you will be much better suited to survive. In that moment, you have a choice to make. You can choose to stop, to hesitate, to allow the circumstances, those hard things, to stunt your growth and keep you from reaching your destiny. You can let that rock hinder you from reaching your dreams. You can even “fold over” on top of yourself and never move beyond where you were in that moment of crisis.  

Or, you can choose to press forward. Paul said, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) You can choose to be like the tree in this picture that refused to be dwarfed by the rock in the path. You can choose to allow those tough spots to make you stronger, more resilient to the pain. You can choose to find joy in the little things, blessings in those people who surround you in that moment of heartache, and even, just peace in the gentle breeze that blows or warmth in the sun that shines.  

We all have choices which can hold us back from our destiny or propel us toward our dreams. It’s up to us to choose, and when we make that choice of forward determination, our lives will be better for it. Let’s choose to grow ’round that rock that crept into our path on our way to greatness. Let’s be those whose “life tree” may have twists and turns, bends and curves, but whose branches still reach around those hard places up toward the sky. 

Fallen and Uprooted

You have fallen

You have been uprooted

Now your branches remain lifeless

Your leaves are withered and brown

All because your roots did not remain

You allowed the cares to pluck the life and hope from your veins

Yours is not the only life that is suffering

The small saplings that were beneath your nest

Their tender sprouts are now withered and splintered

Seemingly beyond repair, beyond any hope

The winter is coming, how will they ever survive

Your shelter is no longer useful, exposing them to the bitterness

But God…

He is the Author and Finisher of all life

He is the Beginning and the End

He is the hope beyond all hope

He can bring life where we only see death

He is coming, walking near your demise

Will you turn toward His gaze?

Will you call to Him not shielding the pain?

He is loving, true and kind

He will mend and heal, repair and bind

He can make all things new if you will but send them

Come yourself to realign

God is…

Author, Finisher, Alpha, Omega

Beginning and the End

Rose of Sharon, Lily of the Valley

Prince of Peace, King of Kings

Lamb of God, Lord of Everything

Will you come?

I hear Him drawing near

He is gently calling your name

Otherworldly

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There’s not a lot I have to say about this picture….it just makes me wonder

Do you ever feel like an alien in a foreign land?

Reside in this land as an alien, and I will be with you, and will bless you;

for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands,

and I will fulfill the oath that I swore to your father Abraham.” 

Genesis 26:3

The Tree Grew ‘Round

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Life is hard. It is what it is. There’s really no changing the way the earth spins on it’s axis or altering the person who lives in the house next door. You’re going to face hard times. I don’t care who you are, how much money you have, or how many people love you, you’re going to have disappointments in this life. You’re going to encounter obstacles in the road. It’s just the way it is, and if you haven’t had any troubles as of yet, well, just keep on living, because every elderly person on the planet can attest to this truth: Life is not always easy, and sometimes, we have to “weather through the storm.”

The question is not, “Will trials ever come?” The better question is, “What will I do when the rains do come?” If you can ever answer that question before the rains come, you will be much better suited to survive. It’s like building a shelter to be safe from the elements when you’re sleeping outside. If you build the shelter before you lie down to sleep, you’re sure to get some moments of restful sleep; however, if you never build the shelter, then, you’re left to survive whatever elements may come. The rains may come, but if you have a little shelter, it makes the night a little easier to endure.

Sometimes, in life, you’re just going to find yourself caught between a “rock and a hard place.” The rock won’t move, and the hard place won’t remove itself. Maybe it’s the day you woke up late for your new job, and your nine month old baby woke up with a stomach virus, or maybe you were laid off after just buying that brand new car. Maybe your mom has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and your dad began showing signs of dementia last month. Maybe your oldest son has been struggling with a hidden drug addiction, trying to sneak around, stealing money from your nightstand, and your youngest daughter has been bullied at the new school. Maybe your husband seems to be distant, and you just can’t seem to find enjoyment in any of the past delights you two once had. There are times in life when you wish it could be different. You find yourself between a rock and a hard place. You wonder what you’re going to do, how are you ever going to make it?

In that moment, you have a choice to make. You can choose to stop, to hesitate, to allow the circumstances, those hard things, to stunt your growth and keep you from reaching your destiny. You can let that rock hinder you from reaching your dreams. You can even “fold over” on top of yourself and never move beyond where you were in that moment of crisis. Or, you can choose to press forward. You can choose to be like the tree in this picture that refused to be dwarfed by the rock in the path. You can choose to allow those tough spots to make you stronger, more resilient to the pain. You can choose to find joy in the little things, blessings in those people who surround you in that moment of heartache, and even, just peace in the gentle breeze that blows or warmth in the sun that shines. You can choose to grow ’round that rock that crept into your path on your way to greatness.

We all have choices which hold us back from our destiny or propel us toward our dreams. It’s up to us to choose, and when we make that choice of forward determination, our lives will be better for it. Let’s be those whose “life tree” may have twists and turns, bends and curves, but whose branches still reach around those hard places up toward the sky.
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