Monday, August 22, 2011


I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight. Silence would teach him the joys of sound.

Now and then I have tested my seeing friends to discover what they see. Recently I asked a friend, who had just returned from a long walk in the woods, what she had observed. "Nothing in particular," she replied.

How was it possible, I asked myself, to walk for an hour through the woods and see nothing worthy of note? I, who cannot see, find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch. I feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf. I pass my hands lovingly about the smooth skin of a silver birch, or the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. In spring I touch the branches of trees hopefully in search of a bud, the first sign of awakening nature after her winter's sleep. Occasionally, if I am very fortunate, I place my hand gently on a small tree and feel the happy quiver of a bird in full song.

~Helen Keller

I am reading a very good book right now, and included within its pages was this amazing account.

Ponder that for just a second.

Now, me...see, I am already a very observant person. I inhale sunshine, I tarry under the dappled shade of an old, spreading oak tree. My heart smiles at each mockingbird that rushes from brush to bramble. I love God's creation. I appreciate it.

But think for just a second....all Helen Keller-isms we really observe, inhale, inspire, digest, and truly, truly appreciate everything that God has blessed us with. We can see. We can touch, feel, hear, smell, and communicate. We have health, we have our needs supplied. We have the love of our families.

We must take the time and "feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf".

Absolutely no denying it. I never want to be guilty of walking through the woods, or life, guilty of observing "nothing in particular".

Monday, August 15, 2011

...and God gave me flowers

Ya know how sometimes life can really be confusing? Ya know how sometimes the ordinary seems really ordinary and you just feel like you're existing? It's really hard to explain. To articulate. But I just have to share this fact.

I planted sunflowers this season with muh excitement. I love them. Always have. A lot. Well, all season I watched as the plants matured and grew, and were just about to bloom. I always looked upon them with love, with anticipation for them to finally stretch those petals and shine.

This summer has been a good summer for me. It has been joyous, exciting...and it has been solemn. It has been hard in many parts. And as much as I despise cold weather, I am ready for the season to change. For indeed, there is a time and a season for everything. But this summer has been one of growth. I have grown. I have laughed and smiled, and I have wept bitterly. I am not going to go into all the reasons and the details. There is no need for that. Suffice it to say, well, like I said, it's just been one long summer of growing. Trying. Crying. Calling out to my Savior. Him taking me by the hand and saying, "It's okay, Jessi. Just trust me." Him holding me, and whispering into my ear, "I love you." He has blessed me. He has protected me. He has been gracious, faithful; and His loving-kindness has not been exhausted.

One day I went out to Darby Farms. I was really strugging this particular day. I was trying, I really was, but I just needed to go and cry and talk to my Abba Father. I went out to the field, and I knew I had a lot of picking to do, and I remembered to myself ...."ooooh, I bet a lot of the flowers have bloomed!" (for it had been a few days since being out there)

I parked my truck in the middle of the field like always, and even before I swung my legs out of the truck door, I saw them. There they were. Stately, gentle, humble, and oh so lovely yellow---sunflowers. It was a strange sensation. I slammed the door, I threw down my harvesting baskets (for I was supossed to be picking peppers) , and I raced down to where the small regiment of flowers stood. They were beautiful. I crawled under my electric fence and came close to them. I bent one very tall one down to my face. With my eyes I absorbed its beauty. Its detail. Its intricacy. I released it and took a few steps back. I went to the next bloom. This one had more color. It looked like a gorgeous sunset. I stood back again. I looked down the row of flowers. I smiled.

The wind blew slightly, tossling my long hair over my shoulders.

I stood still. I was overwhelmed by this gift of yellow beauty.

Then it was like God reached down, put His hand on my shoulder, and said.

"See baby. These are from me. I hope you like them; I sure do love you."

Tears began to flow. I strode back to the stand of flowers, I gazed up at them through a watery gaze.

"Thank you."

Thank you so much.

This may seem different. It may even seem way too transparent. But I am a passionate and transparent person. Truth is; fact of the matter is, well, this moment was incredibly special to me. And I believe with everything within me that those flowers were a gift from my heavenly Father. Just as His word is a Love letter, well... He brought me flowers. He loves me. Enough to show me His loving-kindness and his grace through a humble stand of Sunflowers.

Thank you, Father. I love you.