Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sweet Quiet Retreat

quiet clouds
Bright, happy, sunshiny mornings are my favorite. When I wake up, I'm always happiest if it's a sunny day!! First thing, I open the blinds so I can allow the morning rays to shine inside. Better yet, when it's not already 100 degrees out there, I go out on the patio and soak up a bit of that sunshine and sometimes catch a light breeze while spending some time reading His love letter to me.

My patio has a table and a few chairs and is surrounded by a cozy little yard, so I often spend time out there. My favorite mornings are when the birds are already singing and catching their worms for breakfast! There is a pair of doves that live in my neighborhood and they are almost always cooing love songs to each other. Then, there is a sweet little family of bunnies that are usually munching on a bit of grass. I can hear the cows lowing in the pasture just across the way from me. The sights, the sounds, the smells...ahhh. I'm just a country girl at heart, so it refreshes me. 

Then...there is the evening in my happy place. I don't cook as much as I used to since my girls are grown, but I still love to grill. On the corner of my patio sits my well used, half worn out BBQ grill.  My daddy taught me many years ago how to start a charcoal fire.  I love the flavor of the food when it's cooked over charcoal and it's still my favorite way to grill.

This is the time of day, when I'm winding down, watching the charcoal burn and waiting for it get to the just right gray color, listening to the chorus of crickets and frogs, that I get ready. My favorite Artist is about to take out His paintbrush and begin His daily masterpiece.

The sun starts dipping low on the horizon. One of the most beautiful displays of His artistry is being painted right before my very eyes.  The Creator Himself is creating another one of a kind sunset...a true display of His glory.  Creation once again shouting out of the Creator   There aren't enough named colors in my vocabulary to describe all the hues of blues, purples, pinks, and oranges on display before me.  Wow! Just as quickly as it starts, it's done.  Ahhhh...

But wait. The brilliant sky begins to fade and transition from purple to a dark blue. A gentle breeze plays with a few wisps of your hair. When you think His glory is all done for the night, you get a glimpse out of the corner of your eye. You see a twinkle. And then another. And another. Then your heart skips a beat because you realize He is hanging the stars in their places and putting the moon right on course to travel across the night sky!  

That's when I do most of my thinking. As I watch the night skies, I wonder how He did it. It amazes me that with just a few words, He spoke it all in to existence. He put the heavens exactly in order. God Himself, the Creator of those beautiful tapestries of daily sunsets, is such a God of details that He is also the same God who provides breakfast for my family of bunnies and my pair of doves.

The same God is the One who provides for me. And for you. In the book of Matthew in the Bible, Jesus tells us not to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear. His Father clothes the flowers and He feeds the birds of the air.

"Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?"  Matthew 6:26-30 NLT    

In Psalm 23, the author, David, tells us that "The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need." (Psalm 23:1 NLT) Sigh. Such comfort floods over me in knowing I have all I need to live, survive, and even thrive in this world.  

My patio is a place of sweet quiet retreat for me. Yes, there is rambunctious laughter and picnic lunches when the grandsons are over. There is endless chatter when my girlfriends are visiting. It becomes a makeshift dance floor when my honey is in town.  But is my place to think. To read the Word. To pray. To marvel at Him. To dream. To ponder. Grab some iced tea, some coffee...or like me, a Diet Dr Pepper...and join me as I share my ponderings with you.    

Welcome to PATIO Ponderings!