It was dark this morning when I started my walk. Cold, too, thanks to the clear sky. Venus, the brightest object in the morning sky at that point, glowed in the east. The planet accompanied me as I walked alone down the path.

As I walked through the tunnel of trees, I met my morning surprise. It dawned on me that in a few weeks, when the leaves pop out again, there would not be much chance of seeing anything noteworthy through the thick canopy. Yet, this morning, peeking around naked branches, Venus and I played our game of hide-and-seek, coaxing grins from me as I trudged on.  But, that wasn’t the surprise.

So there I was walking deep in my thoughts, deep in my prayers, alone, in the dark, surrounded by silence except for my mumbled prayers. Then, under the canopy of trees, nothing. 

Everything stopped. No praying. No more steps. Silent and frozen in place, I turned and looked to the east, speechless.

I don’t believe things happen by chance. I believe that even in ordinary everyday happenings there’s a plan, a purpose, a design by God. At times we can say, “Ah, that was a God thing.” Other times we’re left scratching our heads wondering.

This morning as I gazed at the rising waning crescent moon, I gasped. The moon’s beauty caught me by surprise. I was speechless. The slim, orange, lunar slice appeared huge on the horizon.  Balancing on one tip, the crescent was perfectly framed by the trees. I was in awe. I was at the right place at the right time to experience a remarkable celestial event.

Things happen for a purpose.  It was this unexpected, surprising bit of God’s handiwork this morning that reminded me that I don’t walk alone. He is always with me. Surely, today’s gift of unexpected delight.

“The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1


The following picture, taken with my phone, in limited light, with cold shaky hands doesn’t do justice to what I experienced. I thought I’d include it anyway.

It Was Time…

I decided. Last night. Out of desperation?  Perhaps.  Considering the prospects of another day forecast to be cold, dismal, wet. A Saturday, no less. Empty. Gray.  I decided.

It was time.  Time for a change.  After a long week.  A week of closeting in the house.  A week of early to bed.  Late to rise. Random needed naps in between. A head full of who-knows. Blowing my nose. Sneezing to the world, “I am sick and I don’t like it!”  After a woe-is-me week. It was time. 

I decided that it was time for a change.  Since the road to my recovery seemed imminent. I decided it was time to venture out.  Not far.  Just a 100 foot radius.  Just the yard. And not alone.  

I decided that after a miserable week it was time to venture out, with my camera. It was time, once again, to try the 5 – shot challenge.  Would it be possible to photograph five things in my yard on a gray Saturday that would be worthy of publishing in this blog?  What could there possibly be that would pique my interest, that would be noteworthy on such a day as this?

The morning greeted me with a snowy surprise. Here’s some of what I found.

It was time. Indeed, it was time again to remember and enjoy, amid the challenges, that each day is God’s gift.

It’s January – Unexpected Delight

My walk was about to end. Thankfully so.  For over an hour, the morning’s brisk air poked at my cold, rosy cheeks and as I wandered along the path, I wondered, “What am I doing here?”  Brrrr…  

My car waiting in the parking lot offered the promise of warmth. The end was in sight.  But, then, I stopped. A flurry of activity caught my eye. In the middle of a scrubby bit of brush that was all twigs and a few berries clinging to bare branches there were … Robins!

Really?  Robins in Michigan, in January?  In the middle of a short burst of snowflakes, a half dozen robins, feathers fluffed to insulate against the winter cold, plucked frozen berries from the branches for their breakfast.

Robins!  Imagine that!  I thought I had seen my last robin months ago.  Yet there they were in the middle of January, no less.  Is spring just around the corner?  Why did they come back so soon?

Then I realized that they never left.  Even though I missed them and thought they were gone, they’ve been around all along.

What was I doing here? Without realizing, walking this path, I was opening myself up to the delights of God’s world. In spite of the blustery January morning, this week’s unexpected delight came in the form of ones who were gone, at least in my mind, yet never left.  Today’s delightful gift.

This photo was not taken in January. I could well have been the same bit of shrubbery. It’s probably not the same robin. But who knows. 🙂


This morning 

There’s something about the relentless wind

There’s something about the stinging sand

There’s something about the rolling water, the crashing waves

There’s something about being there

…To hear the relentless wind

…To feel the stinging sand

…To see the rolling water, the crashing waves

There’s something humbling in all this…

It’s knowing that the One who holds the wind, water and waves

Loves us more than we can know

“More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the Lord!”

Psalm 93:4

Today’s gift.

Unexpected Delight… Again

They visit every year around this time… mostly.  Sometimes, not.  When they do, it generates smiles and gets noted in the book on their page.  So yesterday, totally unexpectedly, the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks returned to the bird feeder.  They’ll hang around for a few days and then probably head farther north.   It’s a pleasure and delight to welcome them to the neighborhood and enjoy them for a time.  Yesterday’s gift.  Unexpected delight!