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Monday, January 26, 2015

January Blooms

We've learned to love January in the Pacific Northwest. Our eyes are opened to the winter blooms that cheer up the grey days. We even get a chance to plant this time of year in our southern exposure Mediterranean garden. Below are some of the lovely blooms. The first two are under our old huge cedar and the winter rains and the combination of low Southern light, brings forth leaves and blooms not seen since last winter.

This is not to discourage those who are in parts of the world where winter is harsh upon you. It is to share a bright day that brightened ours and  give hope of spring to come.

Cyclamen coum "silver fir tree" under our huge old cedar tree 
a new planting to join the others

Violets, protected under the cedar tree, peek their heads out mid January.

The rock wall , which we had Dave build several years ago, retains heat from the low winter sun. This usually dry, protected spot, loves the torrents of rain that arrive this time of year. This is when the cyclamen leaves start to appear under the cover of dropped brown cedar needles.

Lonicera x Purpusii  Honeysuckle by our garage with fragrance

Hellebores outside in a pot so we can move to show it off year round.

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent (the beauty in winter flowers) think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Winter Doldrums

I have found many unpublished drafts on this blog. Below is one from several years ago
Just as I have neglected this blog, I have neglected this garden.

A sunny day reveals the garden neglect

The January garden is not a pretty sight, bare, seemingly lifeless, dregs of moldy stems, seedpods and spent flowers hanging on. It brings no color, beauty nor joy, like my life lately with no seeming focus or purpose. The garden and I have the winter doldrums. I cling to whatever is left, no matter how ugly is the “chaff that the wind blows away” in my life.

“Blow it away, Lord,” I shout. “I need your grace and love and felt presence instead. It is lonely inside of me without you.”

When prayers seem useless and all seems crushed and lifeless, think on Me. I will not neglect nor forsake you.  Jesus

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed, always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us; but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:8

The hope in the winter doldrums is the new life promised and hidden in me as in the garden reflects. Spring is yet to come!

We experience these things so we can help others through them. If you are feeling this way, have others pray for you, for this is how we help one another.

Sign up to receive a notice when a new blog is posted and you can always leave a comment or private message to me so I can pray for you..

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Year Direction upon Reflection

"Daniel in the Lion's Den" by Briton Riviere 1892 (depicting Daniel 6:16-24)

This blog began  April 8, 2007, almost eight years ago, in preparation for a devotional. Every week there seemed to be lions in the midst, (discouragement, distractions, anxiety) never harming but causing me instead to trust in God not my own abilities.

I recently put my energies into another blog for a year.New plans for this blog include upgrading to fit the times, editing and completing many unpublished drafts and still trusting God, as Daniel, for peace, protection and wisdom.
Here are the most popular posts in those almost eight years.

  1. Happy Thanksgiving 11/26/09   
  2. Longest living Herb 5/14/10  
  3. Faith Like Potatoes 10/27/12  
  4. Happy Father's Day  6/20/10   
  5. Once Deleted Can't Undo 3/24/12   
  6. Five Displays of Spring Garden 3/26/10  
  7. Bitter Root Judgement  5/16/10   
  8. Lions in our Midst 1/9/10   
Which one is your favorite and what direction should I go?

I will be rewriting others as it fits the season.
 Here is the blog Early 1900s West Indies Travelogue, that has kept me busy.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Around to it

Found on the floor of the garage - a clear message

In this new year, the message is clear. It is time to get around to it. Not just the cleaning of the garage which I thought was a message for my husband, but the things that have been waiting for me and knocking at my door, so to speak.
  1. The Garden Devotional which I started 25 years ago: a publisher liked it and encouraged me, but later they decided not to pursue it when another publisher bought them out. I dropped the devotional too, and wrote infrequent Weekly Life Clip blog posts. Putting energy instead into another blog and a book proposal Early 1900s West Indies Travelogue about researching a great grandmother. A week or so ago I received a decline from the publisher regarding this, so I took the message from the garage floor to go back to my first love.
  2. Watercolor thumb nail sketches in place of photos will be included weekly. It has been a long time since I have picked up a brush and all this is calling me too.
  3. As I am letting go of the gardens I have loved so much, I will have the time to write and paint.. 

Pray that I get around to it!
“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9