Devotionals, Flowers, Goals, Life Lessons, Nature, Spring Flowers

PLANTED IN FAITH

Recognize Potential

daffodil-bulbs
Thank you, Suanne!

Gifted to me by my friend, Suanne, this bag of daffodil bulbs has been sitting on my counter all week. Each time I pass it, I promise myself I’ll plant them. Soon—maybe this afternoon. After all, November is the perfect month for planting spring bulbs.

 

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Looking Beyond Today

These bulbs have nothing to commend them in way of appearance at this stage, but I’m reminded of the transformation they’ll undergo between now and spring—if I’m faithful to plant them soon.

daffodil-planter

I have the right tool, manufactured expressly for that purpose. It’s up to me to use it. I may get my hands and knees a bit grimy in the process, but I actually find that satisfying.

Rewards

Come spring, I’ll be looking at golden daffodils. Others will enjoy them, too.

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The Bigger Lesson

It strikes me that planting those bulbs is an expression of faith. There are opportunities in our lives that don’t appear very attractive. Yet if we’ll act on them, eventually, they’ll produce beauty as surely as golden daffodils will grace my yard next spring. I don’t need to put off planting them.

I like the way the International Children’s Bible explains faith.

Faith means being sure of the things we hope for.  And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.  Hebrews 11:1 (ICB)

The bottom line for me is, I’ll reap results if I will:

  1. Recognize an opportunity.
  2. Acknowledge my ability take advantage of it.
  3. Complete the task in a timely manner.
  4. Go about my business until I see the fruit of my labor.

One More Thing

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Bulbs have a way  of multiplying so eventually they need to thinned. I’m sure the bulbs Suanne passed on to me came from a diligent person practicing good gardening. And Suanne practiced good stewardship when she realized she wouldn’t get around to planting them this year. (She’s still getting settled from a recent move.)

I need to close for now. I have bulbs to plant. I want to be faithful.

But I’d love to hear from you.

Did you plant spring bulbs?

Or is there something you need to do today as an act of faith in the future?

 

And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come on time.

Habakkuk 2:3 (MSG)

Beach, Devotionals, Florida, God's Creatures, Life Lessons, Navarre Beach, Sea Turtles

LIFE LESSONs FROM A SEA TURTLE

If you know me very well, you’re already aware that I often find spiritual lessons in the things I see in nature. Such was the case with Gigi, the blind sea turtle that lives at Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center. Here are just a few things that come to mind when I think of Gigi.

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Back To Gigi

I still smile when I think about how Gigi adapted to her new surroundings at NBSTCC. Maybe that’s because she:

  • Expects the best from her human rescuers
  • Responds to their taps on the side of the pool and to the sounds of voices
  • Embraces life by fully chomping down on the whole mackerel she favors for dinner
  • Has fun by pulling on the feeder pole to tease her personal butler
  • Continues to inspire people to respond to a bigger cause

Thoughts

As I ponder Gigi’s situation, I’m reminded that we can be blessed whatever our circumstances. If we’ll just watch for God, we’ll see that He has a way of showing up when we need Him most. And He wants us to embrace His provision in the same way Gigi accepted her new benefactors and surroundings.

Even more, when things don’t change, He invites us to

  • Adapt to our surroundings
  • Enjoy ourselves
  • Chomp down so to speak on the sustenance he provides.
  • Remember it’s okay to be playful
  • Laugh and have fun
  • Even bask in His blessings.

Wait–especially to bask in His blessings.

I’d love to hear how He’s met your needs.

Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry

to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?

Job 38:41

animal rescue, Beach, Devotionals, Endangered Species, Inspirational, Life Lessons, Nature, Navarre Beach, Sea Turtles, Volunteering

5 Ways Gigi Inspires Me

This is the final installment of my three-part series about sea turtles. In MEET GIGI, I told you about a blind loggerhead sea turtle we met at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center. TEN FACTS ABOUT LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES provided more information about sea turtles and their plight.

 gigi

Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s motto: Giving Sea Turtles More Tomorrows

As you can tell, I’m still pumped about our visit to NBSTCC last month.

I’m Always Up for Shopping

And you probably know, there was  no way I was leaving without visiting their gift shop, the Seamore Store. It’s manned by–you guessed it–volunteers. We met two delightful ladies, Cinnamon Holderman and Christy Meyer.

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Don’t you love Christy’s red turtle girls rock shirt. I want one.

 

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I suppose the largest souvenir we could have carted home from NBSTCC was this turtle chair. We decided to pass on it.

But I did try on t-shirts and admired toys, books, photographs & paintings, along with lots of other items crafted by locals. I can’t believe I didn’t buy a T-Shirt. (Well, I would have if they’d had my size in the one I wanted. Next time.)

I did bring home a few items.

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That red sea turtle circle in the middle goes on the end of your flashlight to soften the light’s impact on the sea turtles that might be hatching on the beach.

NBSTCC didn’t happen overnight. In 2011, this group cast a vision for creating a center to educate the many visitors to the island on the plight of sea turtles and provide a place where rescued turtles could be rehabilitated. You can even sign up to volunteer while you’re there. They told us a couple from my hometown of Searcy, Arkansas, was volunteering soon. How cool is that?

When I volunteer at NBSTCC, I want to work in the Seamore Store, maybe with Cinnamon and Christy. I want to wear one of those blue volunteer t-shirts, too. (Yeah, I want two shirts.)

In closing, if you vacation in Florida, I encourage you to also Navarre Beach Marine Park just next to it. You’ll see the buildings just beyond Gigi’s home.

NBMP actually predates NBSTCC  and is a larger success story that began in 2009. It works for and promotes all forms of local sea conservation through programs and onsite educational offerings. Their latest project involves a grant for a mobile unit to go out to schools and community events.

They cast a large vision when they launched this volunteer organization.

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We saw a model of how they go about restoring coral reefs.

At NBMP, you can snorkel or scuba dive along one of the manmade coral reefs or take out a glass-bottom kayak and watch the sea life from the surface. You might even encounter one of those magnificent sea turtles. (The reefs in the Santa Rosa Sound might be better for snorkeling.)

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NBMP’s story is truly worthy of its own series. I plan doing that–right after I kayak out to one of those reefs in the sound. Next trip.

Life is so much richer when we venture out beyond ourselves. I’m amazed when I look at groups and foundations right here in Arkansas that began by someone seeing a need and embracing the vision to meet it.

What’s your passion?

Where’s your next adventure?

I really want to know.

 

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord 

as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk 2:14