Back at the Center

"Only a grateful heart sees God everywhere."   ~ Ann Voskamp

Well, it is quite lovely outside.  I don't think that it is normal for the Pacific NW to be so lovely at the end of October.  There are no complaints, for sure, as we hold our breath because we know the rain is coming.  So we have been enjoying each day as it comes not even minding the morning fog.   I have actually gotten a lot accomplished in the flower beds.  Dug up the potatoes and we even had a burn pile going a couple Sundays ago with the grandkids.  Much fun with fallish things.  The garden boxes are cleaned out (thanks to Grandma and Lydia) and my blueberry patch looks awesome (thanks to my grandson, Ethan).  Dan has mowed in the field and the grass around the house has had one last clipping.  I even finally got the grape vines planted that have been in pots for two years.

At moments I am overwhelmed with the beauty of the day realizing that this, too, is a gift from the Creator.  This hymn has been going through my head of late:

"For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth over and a round us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flow'r, sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind's delight,
for the mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle 
thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For each perfect gift of thine to our race so freely giv'n,
graces human and divine, flow'rs of earth and bud of heav'n,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise."

As I sit in the porch swing gently rocking back and forth I think of all the most wonderful things that I have.  But of all the blessings that I now enjoy it all comes back to the center, on Him, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.  I was sharing with a friend a while back a verse that means so much to me.  Because even when I can recognize the gifts of my God there can still be this dissonance in my heart causing me to look with natural eyes the seeming fractures around me.   In Colossians 1:15-17 it says, 'He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.'

That simple phrase: 'All things hold together' keeps my mind and heart from cascading into a million directions.  If He holds all things together that also means that He holds me together especially when I might think I'm falling apart.  So I go back to the center of all things and start again.  Because He has created all things, goes before all things and holds all things together I am able to sit on my porch swing and give thanks to Him for the blessings that I have.

This produces such a sense of love and adoration to God for the gifts that I have been given and that I certainly don't deserve.  A picture paints a thousand words so the saying goes.  But even if I were to produce a hundred more pictures it wouldn't suffice.  Many could be of the faces of loved ones that surround our family.  Memories of lives spent together with friends far and near.  And there is more . . . . a lifetime of gifts and graces given no matter the location.

The hymn above is usually sung around the harvest and Thanksgiving time is just around the corner for us in the USA.  There is much to be thankful for even in a world that feels at times topsy-turvey.   So, tonight, as my eyes get heavy with sleep I will praise the Lord of all for His many blessings.  For I am grateful and this causes me to come back to the Center.

Blessings to all of you as we enter the holiday season.  I am thankful that you choose to read the simple thoughts that run through my head.  You are a wonderful encouragement to me and, I'm sure, to others as well.  May you be encouraged as you find Him drawing you back to the Center.

*I should mention that these pictures are of our property or nearby.  We have some lovely trails that we can walk on, or preferably for some, ride motorbikes on.  We have three different streams, trickles really, that converge into one farther down.  Dan and some of the grandkids have made bridges over them so that one can easily cross and not get wet.


  1. Love you sister. You're awesome.

  2. Always it's like I'm sitting down for a refreshing chat and sparkling glass of ice tea with you, Judy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and hymns, Diana