Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Father's World

This is my Father’s world,
And to my list’ning ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world;
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought.

Those beautiful words from one of my favorite hymns have been an inspiration to me as a photographer to look for and appreciate and try to capture God’s grace and beauty … whatever the season.

 And even in the dead of winter, God's grace and beauty embrace us.

You can find them in bare tree limbs, their silhouettes gracefully framing a picturesque river scene.

 In the bright GREENness of ivy growing in the wild …

And in coppery leaves, stubbornly clinging to a twisted tree on the side of a road.

The leaves of magnificent old southern magnolias are as shiny-bright as they were in the summer ... 

Rustling overhead, defying winter's icy breezes ...

While their massive roots gently cradle fallen seed pods below ...

The branches of twisted and gnarled cedars are heavy with beautiful clusters of  blue berries.

Wouldn't they be lovely in a winter bride's bouquet!

God's grace can also be heard in water cascading over a fall in a winding creek ...

And as it trickles around the rocks along the water's edge.

And ... 
"In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere."

I hope you find God's grace in whatever the winter brings your way, and remember that no matter how cold it gets, or how long the days seem ... the flowers of Spring are quietly sleeping beneath their blankets of snow and leaves ... patiently waiting for God's "wakeup call. "

I hope WE can wait as patiently!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Good Day

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Untie the Ribbons

One of my favorite quotations is “Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbons.”  It is credited to Ruth Ann Schabacker, and I love the simple message it conveys.

Our daily gifts come in all kinds of packages.

                    [Photo borrowed from the Internet]

If you are an early riser, your "gift" may be seeing an especially bright morning star out your kitchen window — or an extraordinary sunrise — all yours for the taking. All you have to do is "untie the ribbons."

Or it could be a smile or a small kindness from a stranger during the course of a busy day ... or a courteous driver who lets you into a long line of traffic ... or a totally unexpected compliment on your appearance or a job well done. Isn't it amazing how these "gifts" can lift our spirits and give us a whole new perspective on our day — all we have to do is "untie the ribbons."

And sometimes I think an even greater gift is being that stranger, or courteous driver, or compliment-giver. I know it makes my day brighter when I can do something kind for someone, especially when only the two of us know about it.

My photography has brought me countless gifts, and most of them were hidden until I took the time to "untie" them by getting a closer look at something through my lens. Here are just a few of the gifts I discovered a couple of days ago on a photo shoot here in Vicksburg ...

 Ornamental Cabbage Plant in our Courtyard

A little lagniappe in the form of a dewdrop sparkling like a diamond nestled amongst the petals of the cabbage plant ...

 Dogwood Tree at Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg Glorious Nandina Berries at Sisters of Mercy    

My favorite flower -- Narcissus, also known as Paperwhites 
I love the contrast between the "chippy" black iron fence railing and the delicate little petals of the flower ...
  Yuletide Camellia Sasanqua Blossom

Now, go untie the ribbons of your day.