Tag Archives: nature


In case you hadn’t yet noticed, I love this necklace!

Thank you, Spencer, it’s awesome.  And yes, it still is, even when I do cartwheels and it hits me in the forehead.  😉










I can’t believe how well this turned out!  And in case you were wondering, that’s my new favorite shirt.


These two are very special to me.  I always connect this necklace and its story with the idea of hope.  I thought the bright sparkles looked so hopeful against the ashes.


I don’t know why we had this pile of cinders in our backyard, but it made for beautiful pictures. 😉


And yes, I totally take photo-shoots of inanimate objects.  Doesn’t everyone?

Happy Saturday! 😉

Lauritzen Gardens

I know these have been a long time in coming. . . better late than never, right?  Anyway, I’m very happy with how they turned out!

If you don’t like hundreds of pictures of flowers, feel free to skip this post. 😉  And, believe it or not, this is the narrowed-down version.


I got a lot of good pictures of Little Brother.  I guess he’s just picturesque.




I am so excited about this picture!  My pictures of bugs never turn out this clear!

Continue reading Lauritzen Gardens



All that is gold does not glitter,


Not all those who wander are lost;


The old that is strong does not whither,


Deep roots are not reached by the frost.


From the ashes a fire shall be woken,


A light from the shadows shall spring;


Renewed shall be blade that was broken,


The crownless again shall be king. (193)”

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

A New Road


Still round the corner there may wait

a new road or a secret gate,

And though we pass them by today,

Tomorrow we may come this way

And take the hidden paths that run

Towards the Moon or to the Sun. (86)

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien


We went to Lauritzen Gards yesterday, and I think I took a million pictures (including that one ^^).  We’re going to be pretty busy for the rest of the week, but I’m hoping to post the rest of them sometime soon.

Happy Wednesday! 🙂


I step outside, onto the wet grass, and look around the yard.  I’m shocked to see how much damage the storm did.

Nothing huge–thank you, Jesus!  The trampoline’s standing, and there’s no trees down.

But the plants are in tatters.

The ferns were so pretty this year; so tall, so green.

Now they hang in droopy shreds of frond.


Still, I can’t help but feel that the air is clear and warm, and there’s a picturesque beauty about the yard still.  There’s a promise hanging in the storm-washed air.  It’s Spring–things might still grow back.

I plop down on the wooden bench and open my Bible, trying to stay focused on the small words, and not the nature around me, shiny with rain-drops.

I look down, and there on the ground, amidst the battered flowers, is a tiny egg-shell.  A bright blue robin egg.


I find myself whispering, Oh God, don’t let it have blown out of a nest in the storm!

I catch myself–does it matter that much?

Suddenly, a Bible verse comes to mind, and a thousand songs with it.

A sparrow cannot fall without notice. . .

I begin to think.  What does that really mean?

He never promised that the sparrow wouldn’t fall.

He says when it does, he sees.  He cares.


Jesus never promised us that He would keep the storms away.  He promised to weather them with us.

He doesn’t say He’ll keep us safe–He says that no matter what, He’ll be with us.

He came to earth, was born in human form, as a helpless baby.  He lived in our world, felt our hurt.  He experienced human hunger.  Human pain.  He experienced every thing we must experience–and things none of us need ever experience now, because of His sacrifice.


As Christians, that is our job.  To come to the pain.

Establishing God’s Kingdom does not mean eliminating pain.  It means bringing Jesus to the pain.

Our job is not to hunker down and wait expectantly until Jesus returns.  To lock ourselves inside and close the shutters.

Our job is to run to the pain and suffering.  To step out, into the aftermath of the storm.

And bring Jesus there.


In the second The Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug, the Elvish king hears threats of war and devastation from a goblin he captures.  He tells his son, Legolas, to order the closing of the gates to his underground kingdom.  Hearing that his friend, Tauriel, went out to track the rest of the goblins, Legolas goes in search of her in the forest.

Finding her, he tries to convince her to come back before the gates are closed.  Tauriel refuses to leave the goblins to kill and destroy through the other lands.

“It’s not our fight,” Legolas tells her.

“It is our fight,” she answers.  “Are we not part of this world?”


We are a part of God’s Kingdom.

We are not to close up the gates and hide until the storm blows over.

We are to engage the world He made–and loves enough to die for.

We are a part of this world.  It is our fight.  It is our problem.

We cannot close our eyes to the war and pain and storms.  We must open them, and feel the sting of the falling raindrops.

We are called into the storm, and that is where Jesus is.  Is it not better to walk through the storms with Jesus by our side, than to hide from them–in temporary safety, but all alone?  We are not to fear what can harm the body, but what can harm the soul.

Do not be afraid, little children, you are worth more than many sparrows.

May showers bring. . . ???

















As you can see, we have plenty of flowers.  But the showers didn’t pass on when April did!  We’ve been getting quite a bit of rain, and we had some spectacular hail last night. . . I think Spencer was the only one who wasn’t woken up by it about 3:00 a.m.!  I came downstairs this morning to piles of ice out the windows and a thin layer of leaves and sticks over everything.  Literally, everything.




Flighty Nebraska weather! 🙂

“The Sacrifice”: Part eleven

Happy April, y’all!  Can I say it’s officially Spring now?


I love Spring!

Anyway, The Sacrifice:

IMG_2140 The Sacrifice IMG_2136


Part Eleventh: Hard

The familiar ride ended at the hills, somehow seeming longer and yet shorter than before to the Princess. Brother and sister dismounted at the edge of the very first of the tree-clad slopes. Neither thought to keep hold of their horses’ reins, but Captain and Snowflake stood still and watched them, as if aware that this moment was a solemn one for their masters. Both humans stood and looked at the ground, unwilling to break the silence.

“I have to go,” said Penelope at last.

“I know,” said Henry. Slowly he reached out and hugged her. “This is harder than dying in dragon-fire,” he said softly, as she pulled away from him.

“I am sure it is,” she answered, gently. “But we have to, Henry.”

“I know,” he said again. “But it’s so hard.”

“Of course it’s hard. And your part is harder.” She wasn’t quite sure this was true, but she said it anyway. “But you have to stay. I—I’m dying for these people. They shall need a King. Help them. . . when I’m gone?”

“Sure, Penny,” he answered, halfheartedly. “Anything you like.”

“Anything except forget me?” she teased sadly.

“Right.” Something that might almost pass for a smile flickered across Henry’s face as he brushed windswept strands that had escaped her braids out from between their faces.

Penelope closed her eyes as his hands played across her face. It had always been her and Henry. Did she have to do this? Would anyone blame her if she didn’t? Probably not, but that wasn’t the point.

She shook the thought of turning back out of her mind as she shook her brother’s hands off her face. She gently placed her hands on his shoulders and craned her neck to kiss his cheek before she turned her back and marched up, into the the foothills. She could hear Snowflake whinnying for her like crazy, but she never turned around. She had said goody-bye to her brother as best she could, she would not ruin it by looking back again now.