Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Critters Critters Everywhere

Recently I was helping a friend, who so graciously asked me to work for her some helping out with tea parties. (You might have heard of the place, Carolina Lily in Salisbury off Kern Carlton Rd.) Her gardens are amazing. Everytime I visit there, I see new things that I missed the last time. There are always changes going on with her prolifera of flowers and plants. You just can not take it all in on one visit. This last time I was early and she had run an errand and wasn't back so I took the liberty of walking around her gardens. Everything was blooming and the air was heavy with sweet smells from hedges, rosemary, roses, and way too many others to name them all. This particular day what I noticed most though were critters at every turn. There were little frogs jumping from the path just as you begin to walk by, and lizards and salamanders scurrying past you. And then there was even a little squirrel who did not seem to be afraid of me at all. There was a Koi pond with Koi swimming around happily. And oh my, the songs from the birds were so delightful. I thought this has to be what heaven is like. As I walked around the grounds, I also for the first time really noticed the old trees around the property. There is a Magnolia that is huge and just beautiful, then there was an old Crepe Myrtle, (how do I know it is old you ask) looking at the beautiful bark on the tree and the size of the tree. Then there was another tree, I forgot to ask her what kind it was, but the roots, and the trunk was just magnificent. I thought wow, what stories that tree could tell. I have to confess, I wanted to go over and give that tree a big hug, but I contained myself and just stared and marveled at it. When she arrived we began getting ready for a garden tea party. The guests this day were ladies from a garden club in Lexington. They had never before been here and were just thrilled at the sight of everything. They toured the gardens and the gift shops before settling down for lunch and tea. As I was sweeping the pollen off the front porch of the cottage gift shop, I could hear the ladies laughing and talking and just really enjoying the outdoors and having lunch in such a beautiful garden setting. I thought more sounds of heaven. It made my heart happy and made me smile and almost giggle to myself listening to these ladies. What a nice group they were. I tell you all of this to remind us all that each day we need to find that which makes of smile and think of heaven. We need to have a avenue of release for our stress from our everyday tasks. We need to remember when Jesus said, I came so that you may have life and have it abundantly, He wasn't just speaking in monetary values but in the value of all that God Our Father has created. John 10 v 10b...."I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly"..... There is so much life that surrounds us everyday and goes unnoticed because we are so busy living that we forget to slow down and actually live the way Christ intended us to. To enjoy the things the Father placed here before us. To rest in His presence. When we take the time as I did this day to really notice the smells, the beauty of the colors, all of the little creatures scurrying about, and then the great magnificence of the old Oak tree, then we can really see all that God meant for us to see. All the good that He placed here on earth to delight us. Gen. 1 v 11....Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yeilds seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth".... Gen. 1 v 20...Then God said, " Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."..... Gen. 1 v 25...And God made the beast of the earth, each according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good....... Gen. 1 v 26....Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth".... So you see God created all the birds, the fish, the frogs and the salamanders for us to enjoy. He created the grass and the flowers and the trees for us to see the love He has for us. Like receiving a bouquet of fresh flowers or a potted plant from a loved one. He gave us the biggest arrangement of all. He gave us the earth itself and all that it contains to enjoy daily. So I encourage you to find a place that you can get away, so that you can just relax and take the time to smell the roses and all the other flowers as well. As I was getting ready to leave that day, I finally met her husband who helps her with all the care that is given to these great gardens and what?... but more critters, there were three or was it four happy four legged friends following him. It made me smile even bigger to see even more of God's goodness in this man and woman as they have so shown in their work of His land, and the caring for of his creatures. It made me think of being in the garden of Eden before sin entered in. And how wonderful it would be to walk in the cool of the day with the Lord and enjoy all He has given us. How can we enjoy and rest in His goodness. We need to find a place like Carolina Lily, a place we can escape to, but most of all we just need to... STAY IN HIS WORD!

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