It's summer in southwest Louisiana; well, it's summer all over the United States, but here in the deep south, that means something a little different that some of our more northern states.
Here, that means it's hurricane season; it means summer storms that blow up, seemingly in minutes, thrash through the landscape and pass on quickly; it means bugs of every sort, buzzing along at their little buggy lives; snakes, lizards, mosquitoes - you name it - they love to come out in the Louisiana summer; mostly, it means HOT, muggy, humid days - days when you don't spend much time outside, because it's simply too hot.
And then, there's life. Summer or not, we all get busy with life.
I'm no different than you.
Between running a household, mothering my kids, running a business and all the other aspects of daily life, sometimes I forget to stop and notice the world around me. Add the summer heat, the busyness of life, just the normal hustle and bustle of family life, and time passes by with seemingly no time to "stop and smell the roses" (figurative roses, of course - it's just too hot for them out there right now...even my garden curled up and said "nope, ain't doin' it!").
But sometimes I like to just take a few minutes to go out in the evening, as the sun is setting and the day begins to cool a bit, and just walk around the yard and actually notice things:
- the tiny flowers growing in the woods, delicate purples, bright pinks and oranges, muted greens and whites, with miniature petals, and each one so exquisitely formed by the Creator.
- the beautiful leaves on the trees and plants, mostly green, yes - but so many different greens, and each design different than the last - and then the random yellow or red leaf thrown in.
- the little berries and seed pods that have formed, each one bearing the seed of new life to come in the next year.
- the soft, fuzzy, unidentified plant that decided to take up residence in the garden, with it's beautiful, yet unique blooms.
- the whiskers on the inquisitive kitty, curiously sniffing about to try to figure out what in the world that strange human is doing poking around in the leaves.
- the colorful bug sitting on the leaves without a care in the world - except for that strange human the cat was staring at.
- the gorgeous blue dragonfly perching on a little plant.
- the fluffy-looking clouds in the sky, each one magnificent in it's own billowy way.
- the small white and purple flowers growing in the lawn, mixed with the grass - mown down every week, but stubbornly, determinedly coming back.
So many wonderful, beautiful things to look at - if only we take the time to find them.
And then I'm reminded of something even more beautiful:
The same God who took the time to form each exquisite flower petal, who created each leaf so differently, who put all the colors in the rainbow and in the world around us, and who placed each water droplet just so to create the billowing clouds; the Creator of the universe, who hung the stars in place, lit the sun to warm us and give us light, and gives us the very breath we breath - that same God cares about ME.
He cares about what's going on in MY little life right now.
He took the time to bend down and listen to ME today.
He's got a whole universe to run - and yet, he stops what He's doing to hear my prayer, and before I even pray, He's already working on the answer.
And, guess what?
He cares that same way about YOU.
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:16-17.
He's got you on His mind right now.
He hasn't forgotten what you need.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
He's looking out for you - and all of Heaven stops to listen when you pray.
So, take a few minutes; go outside and take the time to notice - REALLY notice the beauty in the world around you. You might be surprised at what you find!
And spend a little time worshipping your Creator - He's just waiting to hear from you!
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. 17But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: (Psalm 40:16-17)