Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Today I saw God.

Today I saw God

     As I watch my hummer family flit from flower to flower gathering nectar and nourishment, I see God.  They are created in a delicate way and engineered so strong and mighty.  God gave them endurance as their key character trait.  I need to learn from them and exemplify this endurance every day in my life.
     I look out my window at my newly planted Monet garden and see God.  One rose is delicate lavender and another rose bush is butter yellow.  The daisies are lemon colored with large blossoms.  Happy violas of lavender and yellow border the half-moon garden placed in front of two giant hydrangea bushes, which are ready to burst forth their triangular shaped pearl blossoms.  Swaying in the breeze are mauve pincushion flowers sharing lacy blossoms in their new abode. The pastel harmony of God’s wonderful colors and hues help me understand His peaceful purpose in my life.
     The birds sitting on a cedar tree limb sing their morning praises.  I hear You, Lord, in their chirps and tweeted phrases.  I am reminded how you care for each one of them and me each day.
     Sweet fragrances of lemon verbena and lantana waft past me and I smell God. Those same sweet fragrances that I smell when I praise Him and feel the lingering of His presence are in my newly planted garden.
    In all that surrounded me, I saw God.  Once again his creation has touched me.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

New Eyes To See


Spring Beauty Gives Me Eyes To See

In the Midwest, we have waited a long time for spring.  Cold winds and low temperatures lasted until the middle of May.  Gray skies seemed endless.  Then, a magical wand passed over the midlands and urged closed buds to open wide and declare their beauty.  White iris with dark purple lace bloomed beside paper white peonies.  The warm earth exploded and presented the beauty that had been buried beneath the earth. 

The new buds and sudden blooming perennials increased my own energy.  I made plans for a garden filled with lavender and yellow roses.  I cherish and am grateful for my shade gardens now with gentle ferns uncurling their painted leaves.  Hostas erupt everywhere and bring fresh surprises. Winters snow coverings had hidden them, and I had forgotten where they were planted. Elegant viridian green color leaves mound into a large cluster almost over night. Various green hues became the outside décor. Little red hearts drip from shiny green branches as my bleeding heart plant displays the importance of timing and seasons.   The morning sun turns the mossy ground covering into a velvet lining in the fairy garden.  Spring’s motion prods me to see nature decorated with her best attire.

Birds sing in sweet twirls and chirps and throw love songs into the sky.  Bright red cardinals steal my focus and remind me of God’s best. Slowly the panorama of the earth has changed as the sun rises sooner and lasts longer. Spring has touched every living thing including me.

Thursday, April 28, 2016



We have all become aware of the importance of boundaries in our lives.  In the beginning, God made it clear there were land boundaries that marked tribal territories.  In the book of Job, we learned of the borderland that God created to hold in the seas and between light and darkness.  In Psalms, David claimed: “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

God’s boundaries written in His commandments and living word provide protection and blessings for me.  As a youth, I did not realize this.  In my rebellion , I would drive too fast, stayed out late, and frequented unsafe areas.  This entire boundary breaking put me in danger.  I was inconvincible.  When I crossed those limits, I suffered consequences,;some of those trespasses resulted in lessons and scars for a lifetime.

Our granddaughters have a little neighborhood gang and decided they needed to create their own rules, so they could get along.  They designed a banner long enough to scroll from the ceiling to the baseboard. The title of their gang is “Life Learners”.  Also on the banner, they each wrote a goal, a boundary, or their truth.  Their ages range from a 5-years-old to my oldest granddaughter, Ava, who is 10.  Ava, always playing teacher, created an agenda notebook where each child’s name was written followed by three areas that needed improvement.  If they achieved two of the three objectives in a week, she rewarded them with a star or a stuffed toy from her abundant stockpile. (I’m wondering if I make a banner, if my boyfriend, my roommate of 49 years, will buy into this idea.)

Here are some snapshots of the gang’s banner and their mottos and even a poem, which depicts their understanding.  I was touched when Ava and Ellis took me upstairs and showed me their project.  This old blogger, who has written life lessons for six years, was moved to tears.  Ava asked, “Why are you crying?  Ellis asked, “Do you think it will work, Mimi?  My answer, “You are much wiser than your years.  I am very proud and so in love with you and your project.”

They have realized early in their lives the importance of boundaries.  Will they be broken? Of course, but they are trying at a young age to give honor to each other’s space and place. This simple neighborhood project has assured me our future generation is warming their hands and hearts on life’s long ladder.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Change your perspective.  Choose a different post.

On my morning walks across John Adam’s bridge on Manasota Key, I see these birds perched on their post. They amuse me and remind me of the many times I’ve been a single post sitter. 
These pillars are sunk deep in Lemon Bay and these individual birds claim them as their own. Their hidebound attitude allows no visitors or any change in the direction they are facing.  They have chosen a set perspective day after day.  Soon their pose becomes their attitude.  They define themselves by their rigid posture telling all that this is their territory and I am in control.
Sound familiar?  How many times I have looked at the same thing in the same way and it has given me an “ I can’t do this,” attitude or a closed mind.  Am I like the pelican on the post?  Have I become rigid and territorial because of my position and perspective? 
We know countless people who have looked at something from a different perspective and changed their world.  Think of Job in the Bible.  He thought he was doomed, dying, and disgraced.  Then, God changed Job’s perspective by reminding as he talked with him and about his Divine wisdom, magnificent creations, and asked him some difficult questions. Suddenly Job understood.  His epiphany guided him into gratefulness.  Job changed his position and was restored.  Abraham was willing to travel to another land, fly to a different post even though he knew not where he would land.  His life was changed and he became the father of nations.  Noah built an ark with no water in sight.  He followed Father God in obedience and saved his sons, who populated our world.  They each had to make a decision to have a different perspective.  Jesus chose death, and His perspective on the cross brought us life eternal. All these men had to release their “entitlement post” and move in obedience.  This is my challenge. 
I’m going to let go of my entitlement post, my limited view, and my fixed attitude on some issue this week.  I am not going to continue my rigidity on this issue but instead seek out new insights, broader understanding, and choose another perspective.  How will I be changed?  I must abandon my pillar, attitude, resentment, or stubbornness to discover my new understanding. How about you? Have you been post sitting lately?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Long marriages

Old Marriages
I’ve been thinking about old marriages because I have observed many couples married forty, fifty, or sixty years on my snowbird retreat.  Yes, they have been married to one person all those years!  When we had been married about ten years, I couldn’t fathom we’d ever reach the twentieth anniversary.  We still had a lot of tugs, stumbles, and stubbornness in our marriage.  However, we learned the ebb and tide of flowing together through hardships, rearing two boys, and celebrating and having fun together even when we were fussing, arguing, and competing with each other.

It is a terrible combo when two competitive people that are both the babies in the family get married.  We both want to win.  It doesn’t matter if it is playing cards, climbing a mountain, succeeding in our career, or doing our own thing, or arguing.  We want to win.  Having the birth position of “baby” creates a dimension of  “it’s mine and I’m special”.  It has taken years to realize I am competitive even if I am not the athlete my husband is.  But, all these years together have taken the edge off our competitiveness, and we understand each other’s need to win.  We have taken competitive energy and turned it into together energy.  We have turned self-centeredness into we can do this together. 

Our marriage is like the sunrise.  We have seen some stormy mornings, vibrant red skies, ordinary days, and basked in the miracles of the rising sun.  It has taken all these circumstances to mold us, change our hearts, turn our cheeks, and lift our spirits during tough times.  Like a lingering sunrise of red, orange, and yellow upon a tranquil teal sea, each of these days together has created beauty within.  We appreciate each other’s talents and gifts, understand the gold in our hearts, and see the sunrise in each other.

We have celebrated well.  Energized by traveling to new countries, experiencing different cultures, and tasting foods and wines from afar have created an “awe” button within.  When we push that button, we vocalize to each other the magic of travel and how it has changed our perspective, awakened epiphanies, and increased our ability to appreciate those unlike us.  We embrace and love the new friendships that have been gained in our travels from New York to California, from Kazakhstan to Europe.  We always have a travel dream in our hearts and gratefulness for how our journeys have added to our marriage. Traveling together has made us best friends.

When we said, “ I do”, we didn’t realize the struggles and tears we would shed together.  We cried tears of anger and in sorrow.  When our children were hurting, ill, or challenged, our hearts sank in unison.  When we faced illness, financial hardships, or family deaths, that “ I do” became a contract.  I do love you even if we’ve made wrong judgments, been neglectful, are suffering illness, or standing firm in faith for our children’s healing. I do love you when you wrap your arms and energy around me and give me strength.  I love how you help me turn a negative into a positive by joining your energy with mine.

Forty-nine years of cheering at football games, laughing at our children’s antics, becoming that sacred title of “grandparent”, or going on a date, we have been blessed.  Only an old marriage realizes the magnetic energy of dancing like we did when we were teens. When old bodies embrace, music is heard and understanding is projected. We often need to help each other with a lost word when we share a favorite story.   Old marriages are like worn baby blankets.  They have comforted, warmed us, and been there through sleepless nights.  We have become that security blanket to each other.

I am so grateful we both held on to our marriage.  Through battles and victories, it has grown old, sentimental, and so sweet.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Life Lesson 

As I put my toes in the sand, I sink into its warmth.  The dry land embraces my feet.  It makes me aware that I must choose.  Yes, I must decide which direction I move toward the ocean.  Should I walk on the shells, wince and complain?  Perhaps, I need to take more steps on a smoother turf to reach my destiny.  Each step is a process of sinking and selecting.  This awareness reminds me of life.  I may choose to retreat and just stand on the boardwalk and not enter into the clement waters.  I can see the cerulean hues and hear the swish of waves.  This is pleasant and comfortable.

Then, I crave more.  I select a different path to the ocean.  The sand is lukewarm, soft, filled with lovely childhood memories. The sunshine on my skin soaks into my bones.  The balmy breeze brushes my face as I step into the water.  Suddenly, I encounter the waves of life.  They wash around me and sometimes make me off balance.  I must commit myself again.  Do I want comfort or understanding?  I see something shining under the water.  I reach for it just as an oncoming wave snatches it from my sight.  The treasure is gone.  It has been washed out to sea.  Do I quit?  Do I give up?

I choose to stay.  I fight the salty waves trying to push me down.  I ground my feet into the wet sand below.  I am a warrior.  I rest in the position I am in and reach toward the Almighty.  I know He is with me.  I am certain He cares about my destiny because He created me for it.  I am not a robot, so He doesn’t make my choices.  I choose my path, my balance, and my way of reaching and trying.  I reach again for the diamond beneath the water and, this time, I catch it.  It is a pointed shell broken but still lovely with its alabaster finish.  Broken yet beautiful.  I like how smooth it feels and how in the sunshine it reflects rainbows of light and color.  I have received a gift from the hands of the tide. For this I am grateful.

Psalm 36:5, “Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (NIV)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Reverend Myron Oyler tribute

Dedicated to Reverend Myron Oyler  

How do you thank a man who changed your life, your husband’s, and your two sons?  A man we loved and admired for many years went through heaven’s gate  on February 24.  He touched so many lives and made a difference in our world. 

The first time I met Myron, he extended the biggest, strongest hand I had ever felt.  His laugh was as big as his six foot four frame.  He was a farmer by trade but called by God to preach the gospel.  He followed that call with complete dedication, sincerity, and integrity. 

Myron taught me to read my Bible.  He knew the scriptures so well that I would use him as my concordance.  I’d phone him spontaneously and ask, “ Myron, where is the scripture on forgiveness, or baptism, or any other topic I was trying to grasp.” Amazingly, he could tell me where it was chapter and verse.  He expounded on why that scripture would change my life and anyone else’s.  He was a Bible scholar and his tattered Bibles revealed that it was a daily habit, not just a tool for Sunday sermons.

His sermons conveyed scriptural principles and always the love and power of faith.  He taught faith with the passion of Kenneth Hagin, his favorite evangelist.  Myron taught me faith. He showed me faith.  He lived by faith in Jesus and His powerful name.  He walked me hand in hand through believing for a miracle healing for our son, John Foster.  He taught me how to believe and sow seed into the kingdom of God and expect a dynamic return being shared with others.  He knew about seed from his years of farming and gardening.  He understood the physical principle and how to manifest the concept spiritually.  Our family trusted his insights and respected his love of the word.

He always had time to fellowship and serve his congregation.  If you needed a hand at picking corn or beans, he was there.  His love was chopping wood.  He took our youngest son, Adam, out to his farm to teach him to chop wood.  At the time, Adam was a football player, wrestler, and weight lifter.  He thought he was strong until he saw how a man forty years older swing that ax with precision, and cut and stack wood with speed and accuracy.  Adam came home that night exhausted exclaiming,
“ Mr. Oyler is the strongest man I’ve ever seen.”  Yes, Myron was strong in body and spirit.  He was one of a kind and a vintage example of the hard work ethic. 

Myron’s wife, Betty Jean, was truly his helpmate.  She too looked after and prayed for our children and so many more.  She and he had perseverance and compassion like no other couple I have ever known.  They loved the children of God and partnered in feeding, loving, and praying for them.  They modeled team marriage to our children and us. 

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to love Myron and study under him.  He taught me to love Jesus on a deeper level.  He taught me the importance and impact of daily scripture meditation.  He gave his heart, body, and spirit to God’s children.  Now, he is with his Creator, laughing and praising Him in a new way.  I am confident that Myron is learning from God’s word in the heavens as he did on earth.  He was a servant of God who was faithful and obedient.  I am so grateful that he was my pastor and friend.  I’ll see you on the other side, Myron.  I will walk with you by our Savior’s side just as we did on this earth.  Thank you.  Thank you for all you gave to our family.  We are grateful and you will be missed.

*Funeral services will be March 5th at 10:00 a.m. at Elm Ridge Funeral Home in Muncie.