The Flight of the Butterfly

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

In order to live, a butterfly must fight its way out of the cocoon on its own. It is only through this struggle that it gains the strength in its body to move its wings and fly.

Life is like a butterfly – You go through changes before you become something beautiful.

The following are photos of one particular butterfly I spotted while vacationing last year at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While the views of the beautiful resort are breathtaking in grandeur, I found myself captivated with following one particular butterfly gracefully move, carefree from one hanging pot of Impatiens to another.

So many hanging pots of flowers and so little time for a butterfly to taste the sweetness.

I wondered how long this beautiful fluttering of wings would last.

“You can only chase a butterfly for so long.”
― Jane Yolen, Prince Across the Water

Once upon a time, we had a Golden Retriever puppy. The cutest little puppy ever! Finding the right name for the newest member of our family was very important yet none of us could agree on the right name…until that day while in our backyard, our puppy began chasing a butterfly. The dog was running and jumping and zigging and zagging chasing the butterfly all about. That’s it! We had a name for our best friend to be. We named him, Chase.

I chuckled considering that I was running (not so much jumping) but definitely zigging and zagging to chase after this butterfly! Finally, it stopped for refreshment…I was ready for some, too.

Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies ~The Little Prince

This butterfly has certainly done its fair share of work! Flitting from one landing pad to the next, searching for the best nectar.

“…butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ” ~Jeffrey Glassberg

We should bask in the sunshine of God’s grace and goodness. We should notice God’s power through the tenacious strength of a butterfly. Count the moments you have each day to experience the Lord’s presence, to be strengthened by his grace. For the more your heart is strengthened by grace the more it will beat for God’s glory.

These photos are borrowed from my photo blog, Remember the Year, a scrapbook and journal of visual memories. I hope you will visit there soon. http://photolog365.wordpress.com

Rhythm of Cluttered Memories

Gardening gloves displayed on the porch soiled by years of digging up weeds or trimming the shrubbery or potting pretty pink flowers into the soil. The gloves are always on display, for years they have been draped over the rod…old and faded but pretty in a way. Some of the fingertips on a few pairs of gloves are worn through, yet there they are waiting to be used again and again. The rusted looking sparrow ornament hanging from the porch manages to still sparkle in the sun year after year after year.  Rhythm. Just a glimpse into my husband’s childhood home that has become a rhythm of cluttered memories.

We visited his folks recently. The clutter used to bother me, but this time I was soothed by the peaceful rhythm of good times remembered. The nik-naks have been sitting on the table in the same place for as long as I can remember. There are things my children made in grade school. Treasured memories.

There’s an old stuffed tiger that has lost both eyes and the tail has been stitched back on a dozen times or more. The tiger is still on the twin bed thirty years later. I think every grandchild slept with that old stuffed tiger. There is a silly wooden turkey decoration with lots of holes drilled for colorful lollipops to be stuck in because a turkey must have colorful tail feathers. When my children were young, they were delighted to pick out their favorite flavored lollipop from that wooden turkey decoration. For years that wooden craft has been perched on the kitchen counter, in the same place…without the colorful tail feathers.

There is a lovely rhythm of maintaining each piece of cluttered memory. She–the one who loves the memories–dusts and cleans and puts everything back in the same place. This time when I visited the folks, I stopped and pondered the clutter and was pulled into the rhythm of memories.

Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Fridaywhere a remarkably encouraging and lively community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: Rhythm.

Our Family Reunion

family reunion

A few of my silly relatives

This week has flown by much too fast. I wish we had more time…my husband and I planned a long weekend with our children and grandchildren. There is nothing better than playing with our granddaughters! In addition, we arranged a reunion with some of our extended families…on my husband’s side and mine (a day for his and a day for mine). My bright idea for the reunion was to have our family history present with a visual showcase of memories.

My bright idea began with sorting through hundreds and hundreds of photos from nearly 35 years of printed pictures. I never took the time to organize our photos in “sweet” crafty scrapbooks or in a systematic file box with photos labeled and categorized per year, child or event. But I did have lots of blank envelopes containing photos in no particular order, plus bundles of photos with an old rubber band binding the memory together, only to disintegrate when it was removed.  All of the photos had been neatly stashed in a very large plastic storage box.

I began opening each envelope and quickly realized that I was being sucked into a black hole of photo oblivion and there was no turning back. I was determined to see the clear bottom of the plastic box.

I spent hours, which turned into days…with the memories, smiles, laughter, cries and sorrow. Every photo told a story. Every photo holds a memory. I could hear the voices of friends and family and the laughter of our children. Visual reminders of loved ones that have passed and grateful for our heritage and their legacy. Every photo is a piece of our grand story designed by a loving God.  As my husband and I looked through the photos, we kept saying, “Thank you, God! We are blessed!”

My work paid off as the photos were a hit and an added comic relief looking at the styles of the mid 1970’s through the ’80’s. It was a lot of work to sort the photos and to plan the reunion, but so worth it! By now, everyone has returned to their homes and routines and we all agreed that we need to do this more often. I treasure these memories plus, I have more photos to add to my organized collection!

cuties

cuties

Three Words About Family: The Bare Facts

Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Fridaywhere a remarkably encouraging and loving  community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: BARE.

I’m writing about my family. I am writing about my church. Family life can be messy, especially when you know the bare facts about each other. Church life can be messy, especially when you know the bare facts about each other. I love my family no matter the bareness revealed in their mental, emotional and spiritual life. We are linked together. I hope my church will love my family no matter the bareness revealed in their mental, emotional and spiritual life. We are linked together. We are family.

Three Words About Family

We are functional. We are dysfunctional.

We experience God. We need God.

We have assurance. We have doubts.

We have peace. We are anxious.

We are content. We want more.

We do cry. We don’t cry.

We are strong. We are weak.

We don’t stop. We give up.

We are happy. We are angry.

We are praying. We don’t pray.

We are sure. We are confused.

We have hope. We are afraid.

God is near. God is far.

We are found. We are lost.

We are family. We are family.

Five Minute Friday

What is the Big Picture?

As a leader in ministry, what is the big picture? Are you thinking beyond your own lifetime?

Donna Harris­‑More Grace


What leadership quality would be at the top of your list? For me, I would say the ability to see the bigger picture. I recently discovered this parable that powerfully illustrates the importance of perception regarding my approach to work. This story demonstrates that there is great value in thinking positively and in seeing the bigger picture.

The Three Stonecutters

One day a traveller, walking along a lane, came across three stonecutters working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked the first stonecutter what he was doing. “Can’t you see? I am cutting a stone!” Still no wiser the traveller turned to the second stonecutter and asked him what he was doing. “I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that its square, and its dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit…

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The Saturday Assortment

The Saturday Assortment

The Saturday Assortment is a collection of unrelated and random things that I find interesting, challenging, motivating and sometimes quite out of the ordinary. It’s an assortment of things that caught my attention this week on the web. I bet you will find them equally engaging. There are no affiliate links–if you click-through and buy a book that is referenced, I don’t earn a dime. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: the video or advertisements below this post are not from me but are built into the WordPress site. These ads are shown on mobile devices.

Doing Something Everyday Is Hard: What does everyday mean to you? It doesn’t mean, “If you have time” or “When you get around to it.” Everyday means every single day with fail or excuse. via Time Management Ninja

What’s the secret to longevity in leadership?   A challenge not to “flame out” as a leader. Here’s the truth: Only a few people in each generation become long-term leaders in their field of expertise. What is your story? Here are four ways to peak as a leader.

“My encouragement to you would simply be this. Be patient. The Lord has given you a gift for the building up of the body of Christ. He did not give it to you so that you would sit on it your entire life. Just be patient. When He’s ready, He’ll open the door.” ~The Village Church ❘  Titus, Part One

How to Guard Sabbath for Your Children: Because time is our most limited resource, how we allocate it reveals much about our hearts. A “Family Equipping” article at its best!

Created to Dance: Again

Again

Photography by Donna Harris ❘ Remember the Year

Again…

A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again….

What has been is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done,

and there is nothing new under the sun.

Solomon ❘ Ecclesiastes 1

Everyday is a repeat. We do the same things again.  Redundant. Necessary. Think of something different to do again.

Let’s Dance! We are created to dance!

Rise up, O Lord, in all your power.
With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts. You give us joy in your presence!

Psalm 21

Let’s dance again and again!

“In Christianity God is not a static thing…but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama.

Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.”

~C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“God must have created us to invite us into the dance, to say: If you glorify  me, if you center your entire life on me, if you find me beautiful for who I am in myself, then you will step into the dance, which is what you are made for…

You are made to center everything in your life on me, to think of everything in terms of your relationship to me…

That’s where you’ll find your joy. That’s what the dance is about.”

King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Timothy Keller

God has invited me to dance. Filled with joy…for the glory of God. Created to Dance!  Again!

Five Minute Friday