Category Archives: Nature

A Squirrel Story

To set the stage…7:30 a.m. Starting today, I have the privilege of watching my grand babies, a 17 month old grandson and a 3 month old granddaughter…as our daughter-in-law Colleen went back to work.

It would be this morning, of all the days that have gone before…This morning that it happened. I was just 1 minute from my house. Two squirrels playing and chasing each other, as I was right there upon them…they run from the safety of side of the road to…directly in front of me. Oh course I hit my brakes, but not so much as to upset my precious cargo in the back seat of my car. There was not much else for me to do as they ran under my car.

One of them crossed to safety and I heard that sickening thud of something hitting under my car. I looked in my rear view mirror and sure enough, one was lying in the road. I didn’t know the extent of the damage, so I pulled into my driveway and turned around. Maybe he was okay and maybe he wasn’t still lying in the road. Maybe he got up and ran away, in the span of 2 minutes. My heart was beating so fast as tears streamed down my face, thinking what I had done.

Now if you know me, you know that I am the type of girl that catches hornets, bugs, and spiders that have gotten into houses (and even one time at church) and let’s them go to be free outside. I would never do any harm. Why did these silly squirrels have to run out in front of me?!

I came back upon the scene of the accident and there he (or she) was, lying in the road. I pulled over into a safe spot. Remember, I have my grand babies with me and their safety is my priority.

The least I could do for this squirrel was get him out of the road. You can imagine my surprise and joy when I could see he was moving. But he could still be minutes away from death if he was hurt badly.

By the Grace of God, there was no traffic, so I got out of my car, still standing on the side of the road.

I walked closer and he was moving!

Getting even closer, I look down and this little guy is looking up at me, trying to sit up, turning his head. He most likely bumped his head as he jumped under my car. I had to get him out of the way of more harm in the oncoming traffic.

I just happened to have a clean, heavy blanket on the front seat of my car. I scooped him up into the blanket and held him in my lap as I made the one minute drive back to my house.

He’s up & moving!

I knew I had a dog crate in my garage. I pulled up close to the garage, so I could keep and eye on my grand babies while I checked out the injuries on the squirrel.Now you may think I am crazy, but just ask my husband, Michael about my nature loving, creature saving, tender heart, and how I save everything! And many of you will understand. I was on my knees, praying and crying for God to save this beautiful creation.

I opened the wire cage and gently laid him on the floor of the crate. He was dazed and just looked at me. While he was quiet and recovering, I quickly & carefully checked his head, back and feet for signs of damage. He had some blood on one of his hind leg from a scrap, but otherwise looked okay. Could it be?!

I put a few sunflower seeds in the cage, closed the door and let him be. I brought my grandson & granddaughter in the house and got them settled. When they were napping, I would quickly sneak outside and see how Mr. Squirrel was doing.Around 11:15, while the little ones were napping. I cautiously looked in on my new friend. He was sitting up , peering at me and probably wondering what happened.

I pulled on the cage and he started jumping around. He seemed good to let go. I pulled the cage outside and he continued to jump around. I got him near the woods and opened the door. Out he bolted, ran across our lawn and into a grove of maple trees and headed toward his home.

What an experience! It could have ended in a very different way. I give praise to God that it had a happy ending. I know to some this was “just a squirrel”, but to me, he is a beautiful creation of God’s…if I had been the cause of his death, I would have been heart broken. I am thankful for all that God has created. Life is so precious and can be changed in an instant. Thanks be to God for saving him. I shall not forget this day.

His tail was a little scruffy but otherwise ready to be released!

Check out my YouTube videos Tami Bemis Cole too!

Stubborn Weeds

twisted vineIt was a beautiful mid spring day in New Hampshire, a totally different atmosphere from the snow of just a week ago. I was itching to get to my flower beds as it looked like weeds were taking over. I got my gloves and pruning shears and started to work
On my hands and knees, I began pulling up plants and grasses that I did not want in my garden. Some came out with very little effort, while others I struggled to remove.
vine 1

One vine in particular gave me a lot of grief. It seemed the more I pulled on it, the harder it held on and the root system went several inches under the soil and ran in more than one direction.

As I continued to pull, I noticed the vine had several off-shoots that I was eliminating as I pulled on this main root.
I’m not sure if the vine is bittersweet or Japanese hops, but I do know that it grows over everything, creating a barrier so sunlight cannot get through to the plants trying to grow in its’ shadow. It intertwines with other plants, climbing up their branches, and choking the life out of them.

After several hours, I had removed most of the plants I did not want to grow. I was amazed at how that one main vine looked like individual plants, but the root system underneath was actually attached to many plants growing on the surface.

Sin in our life is like that, a thought or group of thoughts within us that leads us to say or do things contrary to God and His Word. Groups of thoughts or behavior that stem from one main sin. They may look like it is only one “problem” area, but others are attached to it. We think they are helping us grow, but they are strangling us.

I think of how God must feel when He is pulling the roots out of the sins I am carrying, thoughts about myself & feelings that I don’t want to let go of. I am sometimes uncomfortable when God is pulling the weeds out of my heart. I think I need them, and “what harm can a little weed here or there do? ”

They are strangling the Kingdom fruit He wants to produce in and through my life and yours.

Some of the roots of continued sin in our lives can be very deep, similar to the vine I was describing.
Let’s look at pride as an example. The dictionary definition of pride is “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”
“The Bible defines pride as arrogance, haughtiness and conceit. Pride emphasizes self over others, and it rejects God’s greatness. It leads to destruction.

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride leads to destruction and arrogance to downfall.”

Pride is a big “weed” with deep roots that sprawl across our lives and grow other weeds on the surface. It is hard to uproot and does not like to be disturbed or pulled out. If we are to walk in the ways of Jesus, pride has to go and take along with it, the off -shoots that hide within its root system.roots

What other weeds grow along or stem from pride, you may ask? How about lack of empathy or indifference, wanting control or manipulating others, stubbornness (just like those weeds I was trying to pull out) and defiance, to name a few.
When God starts His “weeding” process, it can be quite painful. sometimes when He starts with one sin, He pulls out others that grow from it. But it is worth it, He is shaping us to be like Jesus, our perfect example.
When I was done with my weeding, my plants were standing tall, unencumbered, and free from the life-choking tentacles that were killing them. Just like you and I, as God continues to weed away our sin, we can be free to grow as He leads, and bear fruit.

Your Love Letter

Have you ever gotten a love letter? When someone took the time to tell you how much you mean to them. Do you remember how excited you were you to read the words from someone who loves you!

heart shaped rock 04072020

I was out walking with a friend today and I looked along the path and saw this rock shaped like a heart. I call it a wink from God to remind me how much He loves me! He loves you too!

Maybe you know this, or it may come as a surprise…But you and I…we have a love letter that was written to each of us. It is called the Bible, or God’s Word.

Right from the very beginning as recorded in Genesis 1, God talks about all He created, including us. In Genesis 1, after each day of creation, God looks at His work and He says it is good. Look closer on day 6, (Genesis 1:31). After God has created you and I in His own image—He says, “it is very good.” When He created us, He tells us that in His job of creating us—we are very good. Notice what He does NOT say, He doesn’t say  “kind of okay” or “maybe I should have done this or that”, not “oops.” NO, He says His creation is very good!

His love letter is full of instruction and guidance. This love letter is like no other. It is a letter written to a daughter or son by your Father. Your Heavenly Father. A perfect Father, with perfect love for us. No human knows the depth of us, only God knows all.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works. And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You. When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 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! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:13-18 (NKJV)

Wow, the Creator of the heavens and earth thinks about you and me. His thoughts about us are so many they cannot be counted. We are wonderfully made. We are not an accident or a mistake. We are alive at the precise moment and place that our Creator has willed. You are on earth at exactly the right time, created with the exact features, personality and skill set that He designed. We are His workmanship.

In Ephesians 2:10 of the New Living Translation (NLT), we are called “God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand.”

No accidents, everything we are and even what good works we do is prepared by God beforehand.

“But the very hairs on your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 (NKJV)

Again, I say, WOW! I am in awe of how close He is connected to us.
There are many more things that God longs to tell you if you open your love letter.
I have a favorite anchor verse that I would like to share with you, John 3:16. See how much you are valued.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (NKJV)

 

In His love letter to you, God tells you what it cost, what He gave to show how important you are, how loved you are, how valued you are. He gave His Son Jesus to die for you. Sounds like that might be the end of the story…Nope!

On Easter morning…Jesus rose from the dead! Overcoming death, darkness and the grave to set us free!!

During times in your life when you are feeling overwhelmed, overlooked, under appreciated or unloved, or if someone is telling you that you have no value…open God’s love letter. If you want to have a relationship with the Creator of all, with your Father, open your love letter. If you are unfamiliar with the Bible, may I suggest you read in the book of John. He loves you so much!

Until next time, my friend, may you be blessed!

Trust the Wind

It took a very windy day, some crows and an eagle to help me to better understand a Truth.

One beautiful chilly morning this past November, I was driving along the highway on my way to pick up my grandson. Something ahead in the sky caught my attention. As I got closer, I saw several crows frantically flapping their wings as gusts of wind sent them in different directions. They seemed disorientated as they struggled to fly.

It was an extremely windy day and my car veered back and forth as the wind howled and pushed against it. I looked further up in the sky and I noticed a much bigger bird higher up from the crows. It was a huge bald eagle. He just seemed to glide along in the direction of the current. No crazy flapping or extra exertion for him at all. I pulled over and was amazed not only at the grace…but also the intelligence of this remarkable creation.

While the crows fought against the wind, struggling to be in control, the eagle flew with the wind, allowing the wind to direct his path. This reminded me of The Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity. He is the wind in the life of a believer. He gives God’s direction in our lives.

We can fight Him and become exhausted & discouraged as we do things our way. Or, we can work with Him, following in His leading. We don’t have to struggle. He will show us the Way…we can soar to be all God calls us to be!

Jesus said we would be given a helper, a guide. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 ESV

I like to think of the Holy Spirit as a wind that I can trust to follow. He will lead me in the direction toward what God has planned for my life. He will guide you too.

You Are Loved

“In a far-off land the LORD will manifest himself to them. He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NET) 

A little lopsided but my mind sees a heart 🙂

In my travels near & far over many years, I have often found things in nature shaped like a heart. Each time I am reminded of how much God loves me & you and is always making Himself known to us.

I am also reminded that He does not give up on us. He is faithful to help us when we call out to Him.

Even when I am off in a dozen different directions, scarcely giving Him a thought. He is thinking about me. So I take a minute to focus on His heart. Our amazing God & Creator loves His creation, you and I, made in His Image…and I pause, take a deep breath…the very breath He gives me…and I praise Him! He is worthy to be praised!

Abide in Me

Jesus tells us to abide in Him. Not just a suggestion, but a command.

To bear fruit, we must remain in the Vine

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.”John 15:4

Abide. What does that mean.

The dictionary definitions are—1: to remain in, to stay stable or fixed 2: to continue in something, to persist, to pursue 3: to tarry, to linger

We need to be connected to the vine. As a branch, it cannot get nutrients without being attached. I remember growing cucumbers. We put up a fence for the vine to grow and as it branched out the tiny cucumbers began to grow. Some grew this way and some went that way. I went out a few days later hoping to get some for my salad.

On one side of the fence I found several yummy cucumbers, but on the other side, I saw shriveled up cucumbers, smaller than a few days earlier. There was no fruit, or vegetables in this case. What happened??

Looking closer, I discovered that one of the branches, as it went over the fence, it got caught and broke off from the vine. Without the nutrients and support from the vine, the cucumbers shriveled up and died.

When we are not attached to Jesus, the vine…we too will not bear fruit. We need to stay attached, to tarry in His Presence.

Abide can also mean to tarry. It reminds me of the song, “In the Garden” “I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known”

Oh to tarry in the Presence of Jesus, what a sweet picture.

Follow me at IAMHIZ.blog      #IAMHIZ

New Creation

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Are you in a dark place? Feeling overwhelmed? Are you trying to change? Are you trying to do things the way God has called you to do them…and yet no results? You see no difference?

Hold on. Just as the Monarch caterpillar waits patiently within its’ chrysalis to be transformed…so are you being transformed. Being a child of God makes you a new creation. The old ways of the flesh have passed and the ways of the Spirit are emerging.

Don’t get me wrong, it takes time to change. God has a much different time table than we do. Be patient.

The Monarch butterfly cannot see the beautiful changes taking place within the darkness…but we can!

Just like in the picture. The beautiful Monarch butterfly seemingly hidden, cannot see the beauty of it’s wings. It is dark in there. She has to be still & wait. No wriggling & fussing like I sometimes do.

We too, must wait and TRUST our CREATOR & FATHER GOD. We must have FAITH that He knows what He is doing.

Take a closer look, the black outline of the wings are showing! Just a few more days. Breaking forth from the darkness is so close! If the Monarch would quit now, it would miss the new creation it will become. You can be so close to emerging from your dark place too!

As you are transformed by CHRIST, your new creation emerges!

You & I are beautiful, new creations in CHRIST. Maybe in your darkness, you cannot see your changes. I can see the beauty of your wings. Just wait. God has so much more for you!

Follow me at IAMHIZ.BLOG #IAMHIZ

Monarch Caterpillar 1 Day Old

Monarch caterpillar hatched yesterdayGod and His stunning creation always amazes and inspires me. I am especially fond of the Monarch butterfly and their life cycle! This Monarch recently hatched and we can already see the signature black, white & yellow strips. It is the size of a fat grain of rice today at one day old.

Check out milkweed plants on your property…hopefully you don’t mow them down! It is the ONLY source of food for the Monarch caterpillars.

Look for little circle nibble marks and it is usually a Monarch caterpillar happily munching!

#IAMHIZ IAMHIZ.blog

Gentle as a Butterfly

Be gentle as a butterfly

We are all fighting some type of battle. Relationship issues, job issues, too many bills and not enough money, sadness, brokenness, hopelessness, and on & on it goes…

You & I have the opportunity every day to make a positive difference in those around us.

Look at our butterfly friends. Butterflies gently land on a flower, take a drink and in doing so, they help to pollinate the flower. Then they leave without causing any harm. Wouldn’t it be a better world if we could gently come along side of someone, give them a kind, encouraging word and do no harm?

God’s Word encourages us to do the same thing:

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Wonderfully Made

iguana-e1559870761392One afternoon when I was in Aruba, I met this girl (I think she’s a girl). She was hanging out at the pizza place and when I walked by, she came over to the edge of the deck and watched me closely. I took a couple of pictures and this one makes me think she is saying, “Hey, this is my good side!”

It makes me think of how wonderful God made all things. The creativity in this iguana, all the iridescent colors, the spikes, and the scales. As I was looking at the scales, I noticed several different types on the same iguana!

Doing research I learned that Iguanas have varying types of scales covering different areas of their body, for example, there are some large round scales scattered around the neck area and they overlap.  The scales on the top trunk of their body are thicker and more tightly packed than on the belly. The scales have a variety of colors that seem to glow in the sunlight. I noticed a white button sized bump under her neck area. What is that? It is a round scale known as a sub-tympanic shield or helmet scale. Some biologists speculate that it is used as a ‘bluff’ eye to ward off predators. Neat!

God created this iguana with such beauty but also equipped her to survive the Aruba heat. She finds shade under bushes or uses her razor sharp claws to quickly climb in the trees. She is far from defenseless. Part of her defense is her tail. On average over half her length is her tail. She uses it for balancing when climbing, as a wavelike propellant while swimming, and as a formidable whip-like weapon. She is also a master of disguise, using camouflage to hide from predators. So cool!

Wonderfully made and equipped to thrive in her environment. So are you and I.

We are wonderfully made. Our Father God says so.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”
Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

Created in His Image. God’s Image.

“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

I will praise God for all the beauty as I look around this earth He created for us! I am thankful I got to spend some time really looking at the beauty in this girl and she was happy to show me her best side!