These pictures were taken during a late-summer weekend at a cabin in Sedona, Arizona. Time to exhale and “just be.”
John took this picture…
…and I took these pictures.
It all started with a simple trip to the store to pick up a few groceries. As we were putting the groceries in the car, a gentle but steady rain refreshed us. When John started the ignition and the sun started to shine through the drops, I wondered out loud if we’d see a rainbow.
Good thing I had my phone camera…
About an hour after we got home, blue skies broke through the clouds. This time, I had my trusty Nikon D5100, so I was able to practice taking some HDR shots.
Good reminder to keeping looking up!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.” Psalm 19:1-6
The sun and clouds will be trading places in the sky all day today so I’ll have plenty of chances to take more pictures. Love that sky!
This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “last.” At Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog, we gather each week to share our nonstop, unedited, five-minute writes. Hope you’ll join us!
The last thing I remember before falling asleep is the peace of hearing you breathing. The last thing I remember before waking up is the remnants of a dream I don’t even remember.
Now that I am wise for my years, I know what is made to last: memories of laughter as a child, the soft beauty of grass under my feet, love that took a lifetime to find. When I drink in an exquisite sunset with its orange symphony, the wonder of colors lingers into the next morning.
When I meditate on the truths that set me free, that bring peace and joy, and grace and mercy, I learn that these are the things that are made to last.
With a humble and quiet heart, I see God’s gifts with new eyes every morning, no matter what dreams disturbed my sleep. I thank God that the last thing I hear is your peaceful breathing, and my thankful prayers.
If we listen and watch, God teaches us through the creation. Take plants, for example. Here in the dry, hot South Central Texas summers, we can learn a lot about gratitude from plants.
156. Reaching out to friends in other states and even other parts of the world. Sensing the warmth of friendship, in spite of all the miles.
157. Resilience and hope that brings growth and healing, whether mending bones or hearts.
158. Reaching down deep, knowing that the living water will sustain us, even in dry times.
And there are many personal reasons for gratitude this week.
159. My husband John’s good report from his 8-week post-op appointment. No more neck brace!
160. A day trip with John after he was cooped up in the house for weeks.
161. Witnessing the success of a writer friend who inspires and encourages.
162. Seeing our cat asleep in the crook of John’s arm, watching me with one sleepy eye open. Not having the heart to take a picture and disturb the snoozing kitty.
163. Unexpected inspiration from a quote by Celia Thaxter (1835-1894), fellow New Hampshire native and author of An Island Garden:
“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
For more Multitudes on Mondays, join us at A Holy Experience. Savor the summer and have a beautiful week!
Happy first week of summer, friends! Some of my reasons for gratitude this week:
135. Aroma of spaghetti sauce from the kitchen…not just any sauce, but my husband John’s awesome sauce. He’s a terrific cook, and he hasn’t been able to cook since his surgery a month ago.
So we worked together to get the ingredients in the pot for lunch.
Smells amazing in here!
136. Refreshment and renewal that comes with changing seasons.
137. Answered prayers and confirmation. Hope for our future!
138. Enjoying the weekend with John, pursuing our photography interests.
Practicing with different settings to take pictures of the night sky…
…and new crape myrtles in the terrace garden.
139. Going grocery shopping with my mom. It’s always a fun day out for us…she has a way of making ordinary days fun!
140. Green grass and green trees…a very big deal now that we’ve had rain here in south Texas. Everything had been brown and crispy the previous couple of summers. We had no idea how pretty the view was from our living room window until now!
Join us at A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays!
It’s Monday again, and what better way to start the week than by participating in Multitudes on Mondays at A Holy Experience…won’t you join us? Here’s my gratitude list for this week:
101) A scenic drive into the Texas Hill Country with my husband John. We visited Garner State Park and had a chance to use our cameras. The scenery was beautiful at the park and during the drive. Best of all, we had a fun day together!
102) The company of books. Books — as I have often said — are like oxygen to me, and I have a ready supply by my nightstand. I’ve lost many hours of sleep this summer, reading wonderful novels — new and not so new — such as The Help and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I just finished John Grisham’s The Litigators, and am currently reading Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees is next!
103) Getting together with new friends and neighbors. It takes me a while to make friends, and I do appreciate the friends I have…including my online writer and blogger friends.
104) Finally success at losing a few pounds and inches. I just couldn’t stick with it until I tried those meal shakes and bars. Now I just have to get back to the gym!
105) My mom and I put flea meds on our cat Lucky and lived through it. lol!
106) Relaxing at the end of the day, watching TV with John and Lucky. Usually, it’s the Food or Travel Channels.
107) Going shopping with my mom. We still take a break in the middle of shopping to have a cheeseburger, just like when I was a kid! I do treasure these times.
108) Knowing that my husband still finds joy in creativity, whether it’s poetry or photography. Hearing him say his favorite advice — “Stay creative!”
I’ve enjoyed writing and sharing my list. It’s a great way to start the week…and I’ve been remiss for quite a few weeks. Have a blessed week!