Archive for July, 2012

Have you ever been so excited about something that you wanted to tell everyone but you knew that if you told it the wrong way that you would sound boastful? You didn’t want that. You just wanted to share something truly exciting in your life…

Several months ago, I had a fortune listed on my blog from a Chinese Fortune Cookie that said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” That says so much to me. At times, I think we need to do just that, but sometimes, a door appears and all we have to do is open it and walk through—and sometimes it opens right in front of us. Sounds easy, right?

There is an old friend who has been a guiding light so to speak—he is a minister. I told him what happened almost 2 weeks ago without going into details here. He said that he believes the Lord is truly opening a door and that he encourages me to walk through it. I believe he is correct—the door is open… This is about a calling—an opportunity. I have wanted to share this not because it happened to me (well, maybe a little because I am excited) but because of the wonder of God—His greatness. Let me say that the desire to help others is continually on my heart.

  • Out of darkness comes light, so shall it be.

Doors appear, they open, and all we have to do is walk through. Often, we lack the courage to do so. Plenty of times, we ignore the opportunities and pretend we don’t see them. I have done this many times, but I cannot pass this up. If I do, this becomes a MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

I share this not because I want attention about what happened and what I am trying to do (I have left that out for now), but so maybe someone will notice a door in his or her life and gain the courage to walk through it. We need encouragement to make those big decisions.

  • Is there a door in your life? Do you have the courage to step through?

Perhaps you do not understand the complete meaning. I know that feeling very well. That’s where faith comes in. Often we want to hear these words, “Take my hand and let us step through the door and walk out on faith together.”

  • Missed opportunities are doors we pass by or fail to open. Do you have the courage to walk through? I hope so!

May you notice the doors of opportunity along the way and have the courage to walk through them. Happy Gardening and may all of your gardens grow more beautiful every day! 🙂


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from webshots by cathyetta

I am a romantic–hopelessly romantic. What can I say?

This is the continuation of my bucket list.

  • 15.    Play handbells-and do it well.
  • 14.    Learn to paint with watercolor (well).
  • 13.    Canadian rail journey with the love of my life.
  • 12.    Have enough money to help those who are without and not think about how much something costs.
  • 11.    Finish ALL of my to-do lists.
  • 10.    Visit Abu Simbel (I’ve wanted to visit since I was 7).
  • 9.      Learn to tat and do it well.
  • 8.      Visit Switzerland and Austria.
  • 7.      Alaskan cruise with the love of my life.
  • 6.      See my girls married & happy.
That romantic part of me would like to vacation with the love of my life on an Alaskan cruise and take a rail journey (sleeping on the train) through Canada. As for the Abu Simbel temples, I remember the National Geographic magazine issue that featured the removal of the temples to higher ground due to the Aswan Dam construction. I think the issue came out in 1966 but I did not get really interested until the next year.
Yes, I can do these other things without the love of my life, but there are some things that I want to save just for the two of us. And, if things don’t work out with my present situation, I will be taking applications…(I am half-way kidding 🙂 ).
Happy Gardening in all of your adventures!

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There is a website entitled 225 things to do before you die (link). I went through all of them. Many, I have no interest in; some, I have done already like…

  • Help out a stranger in distress
  • Solve a Rubik’s cube (I had to have help from a book)
  • Do something that absolutely terrifies you (I actually do a lot of things that terrify me)
  • Finish a jigsaw puzzle
  • Lifelong collector of something (coins, stamps, snowmen, shot glasses, plus more)
  • Create your family tree
  • Work for tips
  • Piña Colada in San Juan, Puerto Rico (it has been a while)
  • Fast for 3 days (only a few times in my life-one earlier this year)
  • Collect favorite recipes
  • Eat a six course meal that you prepared
  • Learn CPR (as a Girl Scout leader)
  • Watch a drive-in movie
  • Get married (did that twice so far—maybe I won’t do that one again 🙂 )
  • Forgive and let go of grudges (sometimes that is difficult but I’m learning)
  • Write a book (just completed that one)
  • File your own taxes (used to do that all the time)
  • Walt Disney World
  • Help someone fulfill a goal (a very rewarding thing to do)
  • Buy a house (a joint effort)
  • Lunar eclipse & solar eclipse
  • Connect with teachers from your past (scary)
  • Build a bonfire and make S’mores (YUM!)
  • World Expo
  • Rescue an animal from a shelter (Simon)
  • Sleep in a hammock
  • Create a bucket list (in the process)
  • Pass on a family heirloom (in the works for several items)
That makes 28 things I have already done on someone’s list. When you get older, you find that there are a lot of things you have already done. Even if you list only 10 things, it is something to work toward. Mine is quite a bit more than 10… 🙂 .
Happy Gardening in all of your gardens and may they be forever beautiful! 🙂

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Feast or famine

We have weird weather at times…


We live just northwest of the city and so often we get missed or receive very little rain when showers move through. It is crazy. I can watch the radar and see rain coming but the clouds usually split before they reach us. They usually reform after they pass over us, too.

Three times this week we have gotten little to no rain when all around us received quite a bit. In fact, it has flooded just south of here all 3 times. I lost control of my car yesterday when traveling home from town because it was so bad. I regained control but when I got home…no rain, just sunny skies. It was pouring just a few miles away. I call it feast or famine. On Thursday, the ditches were overflowing just a mile from the house. Life. Hmmm. I really do like things in moderation, but I cannot complain. At least someone is getting rain and it is has been nicer with the cooler temperatures even with the increase in humidity.

Unfortunately, lives have been lost the past few days due to the weather and probably people driving too fast for conditions. I hope you are getting a mix of weather and not the same humdrum thing. Take care and Happy Gardening! 🙂


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Sheep are not the most intelligent animals. They follow food as an enticement or rely on a leader to steer them. They need protection from wild animals—the reason for the flocking characteristic. Often, sheep are protected by a shepherd who makes them go where they need in order to find food, water, and safety. If one of the flock gets lost, it is up to the shepherd to find it and return it to its rightful place. In the religious realm, specifically the Christian faith, we see Jesus as our shepherd and we are His sheep. As Christians, we are led by our shepherd but only if we are willing. Repeatedly, we want to do our own thing and tend to get separated from the flock. We are stubborn.

Prior to the crucifixion, Peter denied that He knew Jesus—he denied he was a disciple. When Jesus foretold of this event, Peter balked at the thought that he would do such a thing as noted here:

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” Matthew 26 (NIV)

Peter was so sure of his faith but when it came time to stand up for Jesus, Peter denied he even knew Him. In the final part of the story, Jesus is charging Peter with the responsibility of feeding His sheep. This was to re-establish Peter. Have you ever betrayed someone? You knew you did wrong but you didn’t know how to fix it. I have. I hid in shame. I lost all confidence that I could do anything right again. Jesus knew this of Peter and built him up—confidence was restored—in order for Peter to carry out his job.

There are several lessons to learn of this story, but one that stands out to me is that Jesus did not ask Peter to feed His sheep. Did you see a question in there? I didn’t. That is God’s way. God didn’t say to Moses (no disrespect intended), “Moses, if you get a chance, can you bring my people out of Egypt?” God did not ask Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice. God did not ask Noah if he could put some time to the side and build an ark. God did not ask Jonah to go Nineveh. Time after time God instructed people to do things. He did not ask. That is God’s way.

Not only ministers are called to serve but all Christians are called by God. Are we listening? Do we hear? Do we obey?

Happy Gardening in all of your gardens and may they be forever beautiful! 🙂


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I have never made a true bucket list so guess what…it is on the agenda now. Feel free to comment on what I have chosen—good and bad—items you might have on your bucket list or things you like or don’t like. I decided to not restrict myself even though most of these will not come to fruition. I want to shoot for the moon—well, not that far. Many items are hopes and dreams and not just things I want to accomplish.

I plan to add 5 or 10 things each time until I get to the end—wherever that may be. Oh, and by the way, since this is an “as we go” thing, these are not in order of importance. However, the 5 today are some of my top ones. Here we go.

5.    See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in Alaska or Canada.

4.    Live long enough to see my girls happy and in loving relationships.

3.    Spend enormous amount of time rocking on the porch with my husband—the man of my dreams who loves me more than anything.

2.    Help those who are suffering from pain and loneliness—who have no real support system.

1.    Learn how to play and own a harp—yep, the real thing—the really BIG thing.


Bucket lists are notoriously self-indulgent which I don’t like but I hope to include things that are not so selfish. Did you see something that is on your list? Maybe you have a suggestion?

Happy Gardening and may your bucket list lead you to rewarding and satisfying moments in life!


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In the last of the book of John, there is this picture that I can see so clearly in my mind. I have been reminded of it recently and have been studying the scripture. Here goes:

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

John 21 (NIV)

Peter was correct. Jesus did know the answer but in my opinion it was Peter who was unsure. It is said that Jesus emphasized the love Peter had for Jesus three times because Peter denied Christ three times. I can guess that this is correct–it makes sense, but what about the manner in which Jesus instructed Peter?

Some say that “Feed my lambs” refers to young children and new believers—the first ones to know Jesus. And the second instance which is sometimes referred to as “Tend my sheep” is taking care of all believers—think of a shepherd who protects his flock. Then the last reference is Jesus telling Peter to feed the older, more mature believers who would comprise the rest of the flock. This is one of several interpretations, but some take this as a literal translation of feeding, providing food to the ones in need. And, then, many believe this is the reference of pastoring the churched, period, but is only speaking to the leader of a church.

Number one, I believe Feed My Sheep is all about service and not just by the pastor. Yes, the Gospel is be a big part of it, but when you see this scripture, the descriptors in Acts, Romans, James, and more, service to others rings out to me. And, this part of John reminds me of the parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew…

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”

Matthew 25 (NIV)

The feeding of the sheep… As believers, we are all called to Feed the Sheep–we are all called to provide service for others. And, by the way, the goats don’t get a very good shake in this do you think? Being a sheep is rewarded. Oh, to be a sheep…a seemingly lowly animal that provides years of clothing. Hmmm… It turns out that lowly animal is essential in more than one way.

Feed My Sheep… How we answer this call is most important.

Have a great day and Happy Gardening!


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