Transition

It’s a strange time. When you have one foot in one place, and the other foot in another, and your heart feels like it’s divided in two.

Living fully in the present when you’re in the midst of transition is hard. You feel like there’s this sort of chasm in between here and there where you can’t rest or feel at peace. Half of you is holding to the familiar and beloved, half of you is reaching for the good things to come. You yo-yo relentlessly between the two positions, unable to make a solid landing on either.

I have struggled to write about it, because I like to write reflectively instead of processing out loud in the moment. This is raw stuff, still in process. There is so much on my mind and to-do list right now. But, in the midst of this overwhelming project of trying to somehow wrap up ten years’ accumulation of belongings here into two tidy packages of taking or leaving, all the while trying to say goodbye to people and places we love dearly, I’m still taking pictures. It’s something soothing that I can do that doesn’t require more mental or emotional energy, this composing of images within a frame and capturing moments of time in pixels. Taking time, even just a minute or two, to savor the beauty around me is such a balm for my soul. It reminds me of the things that are solid and don’t change, like the rhythms of nature, the changing of the seasons—and the God who created it all and remains faithful even when everything else feels like it’s in upheaval.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:21-25)

Savoring Summer #41: Beach Harebell

IMG_2033 edit“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20)

Looking back over what I read this week—and over ALL the last six weeks!—this comforting statement of victory seems like a good way to sum it all up.

Stand fast in all these things, persevere, endure with joy…because we know that in the end, truth will triumph, and Christ will reign victorious!

AMEN!

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

And, as promised, here’s another “bonus post” for you, featuring photos from our trip to the Black Hills last fall!

Savoring Summer #35: Glorious Morning

IMG_2377 edit.jpgMemory verse: “For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”” (Romans 10:13)

The fifth and final step on the Romans Road is about the assurance we can have of salvation!

P.S. See this post if you’re unfamiliar with the Romans Road!  Also, see this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #33: Seed Explosion

IMG_2339 edit“One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.” (Romans 14:2-3)

This is not a verse that is talking about black and white right versus wrong.  Paul covered that earlier in the book (remember? I referenced it here.)

This is a verse talking about personal differences in opinion over things that are not clearly black and white in the Scriptures. Like…wearing masks versus not wearing masks during a pandemic, a very hotly debated topic in church and out of it.  This is such a good current example, because I’ve heard a lot of judgement being thrown around in both directions. 

People shaming mask wearers for “giving in to fear” or “giving in to overt government control”. 

People shaming non-mask wearers, saying they don’t care about people dying, and are therefore basically murderers.

Okay, ya’ll.  Wherever you stand on this, here are your instructions: “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind…The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.” (vs. 5-6)

Research it, make sure what you’re doing and how you’re doing it truly honors the Lord, then stand firm in your convictions.  Ask loving questions if you’re curious, and engage in kind discussion, but don’t “quarrel over opinions” (vs.14) and ultimately respect the brother or sister who somehow managed to come to a complete opposite conclusion.

“…why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…so then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10, 12)

(And, of course, masks make a good contemporary illustration here, but I’m sure you’ll have no problem inserting other scenarios!)

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

About the photo: Don’t these yellow goat’s beard seed heads just remind you of 4th of July fireworks along the fields and ditches right now?!

Savoring Summer #29: Black-Eyed Susans

IMG_2190 edit.jpg“Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways!

For who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?

And who has ever given to God, that he should be repaid?

For from him and through him and to him are all things.

To him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36)

I love how this is subtitled “A Hymn of Praise” in my Bible, as Paul beautifully sums up how he feels about the complex, mysterious, yet wonderful things he had expounded on thus far. 

I think this would be the perfect hymn to turn to both when when you are in complete awe of God, and when you believe yet are struggling to understand.

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #28: In the Daisy Field

IMG_2152 edit.jpgMemory verse: “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

The fourth step on the Romans Road is about our needed response to the solution to our problem.

P.S. See this post if you’re unfamiliar with the Romans Road!  Also, see this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #25: Blush Slippers

IMG_2118 edit.jpg“I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

Yes, it’s quite possible to be zealous for God but be incorrect about it.  He’s referring here to the Jews, who had God’s very law in their hands—and still missed the point.  This was such a good warning to me, to beware lest I ever slide into establishing my own ideas and standards of (seemingly Godly) righteousness instead of always falling back on the truth of His Word and His righteousness!

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

About the photo:  Home-school lesson of the week: an in-person introduction to our state flower.  Haven’t they been wonderful this year?!

Savoring Summer #24: Wood Anemone

IMG_1480 edit“As it also says in Hosea,

I will call Not my People, My People,

and she who is Unloved, Beloved.

And it will be in the place where they were told,

you are not my people,

there they will be called sons of the living God.” (Romans 9:25-26)

For those of us who are not part of God’s chosen people, the Jews, by birth, but believe in our hearts that Jesus is the only Way, the Truth and the Life: this is OUR promise!  God has enlarged His fold, and we, too, are chosen!

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #21: Field of Flowers

IMG_1627 edit

Memory verse: “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

The third step on the Romans Road is the solution to the problem.

P.S. See this post if you’re unfamiliar with the Romans Road!  Also, see this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

About the photo: I have never seen the fields near our house as completely covered in flowers as they are this year—and other people are saying it, too, so I know I’m not imagining it.

Savoring Summer #19: Deptford Pink

IMG_1743 editIMG_1741 edit“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

This is the verse you need to keep handy for that hard day…or hard week…or hard month or year.  What infinite grace to know that was is coming for those who love the Lord will, indeed, no matter what you’re going through, “be worth it all”.

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

About the pictures: Just when I start to think that I’ve identified every flowering plant in the area (always a personal project of mine), I find a new one!  Apparently, this variety of dianthus is a non-native introduction that’s considered a “weed”…but it sure is pretty!