Observing July’s Extremes and Hidden Spots

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Full Moon July 8, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

My dogs and I watched the Full Buck moon rise on July 8 between bands of rain storms.  The full moon of July is also known as the Full Thunder moon due to the frequency of thunder storms during the month.  The storms were indeed prevalent this week, popping up all hours of the day and night, dumping rain in sheets upon the ground, and blowing tall, established trees like toothpicks in the wind.

Surviving Extremes Through Belief

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Storm Clouds in the Distance Lisa A. Wisniewski

Watching the storms made me think about the extremes of life.  One minute, everything is bright, sunny, and carefree.  The next minute, the skies are dark, gray, and filled with a harshness that sends chills through the soul.  We never know what each minute of the day or night will bring, yet we can’t live if we are immobilized by fears or anxiety.  Our faith leads us onward, as does the love of God and others in our lives.  Each step upon the journey leads us to growth and discovery necessary for the remaining parts of the journey.

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After the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

In contemplating the extremes of nature and life, I was reminded of the extremes God put His people through in order to show them the way.  Some people were “stiff-necked” and reluctant to comply, but others simply did as asked, fearing the consequences.  Perhaps the story of Joseph and his brothers in the book of Genesis (Genesis 37-50) offers a good example.  Joseph lived his life close to God, much to the chagrin of his brothers, who sold him to Pharao in Egypt.  Though famine gripped the land and Joseph did not understand his brothers’ ways, he pressed forward, blessed by God.  In the end, Joseph was reunited with his father Jacob, as well as his brothers, and was able to provide for all of them and their families.  Joseph survived the extremes because of his faith and willingness to listen to God.

Listening to and for God

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Bull Thistle Lisa A. Wisniewski

One of the reasons I thoroughly enjoy running and biking outdoors is the opportunity to listen to and for God these activities offer.  Often, I find God’s words in the skies, but sometimes He speaks in the trees, flowers, and wildlife around me.

While seeking God in my runs and bike rides this week, I found:

  • Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), known for its hairy, purple disc flowers and spiny green stems
  • Common burdock (Arctium minus), with its spiny flower balls topped in purple above heart-shaped leaves
  • Teasels (Dipsacus) in bloom with bees buzzing at the emerging flower heads
  • Goldenrod (Solidago) just starting to bloom with yellow flowers arching over grayish green stems and leaves like spatulas
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Goldenrod Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Common Burdock Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Doe in the Brush Lisa A. Wisniewski

On one of my bike rides after a thunderstorm, I spotted a doe in the woods.  She seemed guarded, so I stopped to observe her from behind a tree and discovered she had a fawn close by.  Watching the two together in the dense brush reminded me that sometimes in seeking, we find more than we anticipate or expect.  Depending upon the findings, we may feel overcome with joy, sorrow, or even bittersweet emotions.  How we handle the facts and our emotions is what helps shape our character and success in life, as illustrated in the following quote:

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles that one has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

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Sweet Success Lisa A. Wisniewski

Defining Success Through Lost and Found

It is in trying that we learn, and in learning that we gain the strength to try.  As we go about this process, we find different definitions of success and failure, as well as times of feeling both lost and found.  Many years ago, I realized that in order to be found, one must first be lost.  At first, this was unsettling to me, for being lost is not that great of a feeling.  However, my experiences taught me that being lost is not always bad or a sign of weakness, but rather a necessary process one must undergo in order to move forward.

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Finding Light Within the Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

Given that I don’t like moving backward, I figure being lost is a good reason to start seeking, and seeking makes one try, which in turn leads one forward.  While this may not be the most eloquent reasoning, it is the simplicity of the solution that makes it beautiful in certain circles.  Perhaps similar reasoning can be used to explain the grandness of nature and summer’s song.  Nature prods us to ask questions, discover, and move on.  Summer’s song is complex in that it is unique for each individual, yet simple in that it speaks to the heart, mind, and soul in a way that is uplifting, as the following quote suggests:

“In summer, the song sings itself.” – William Carlos Williams

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Summer Song Lisa A. Wisniewski

May the extremes of life lead us through moments of being lost, allowing us to be found.  In seeking, may we learn and discover the extent of our faith and its mighty powers.  May the character built along the way lead us to hidden spots of peace, happiness, and overall good health. 

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Teasels Lisa A. Wisniewski

Hidden Spots

Teasels and golden rod blowing in the breeze
Before a storm stirred up by God ripples heaven’s seas
Casting rain down in waves
Before the sun comes out upon another day
Guiding the lost to be found
In the hidden spots of the world spinning around.

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Tiger Lilies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Bull thistle, burdock, and tiger lilies, too
Listen to the locusts call in the pines high above the roots
As the breeze blows in the summer air
And the river runs to the sea within the soul made aware
As what was once lost becomes found
In the hidden spots of the world spinning around.

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Rabbits Along the Road Lisa A. Wisniewski

Rabbits along the road, deer in the field,
Out of habit I go, trying to discover what is concealed,
Moving to the rhythm of life’s songs
Through miles both ridden and trod,
Lost in thought in order to be found
In the hidden spots of the world spinning around.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Mountain Laurel Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Rose of Sharon Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Full Buck moon – http://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-names

Genesis 37-50 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+37-50&version=NKJV

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2 thoughts on “Observing July’s Extremes and Hidden Spots

  1. Really loved your photos, Lisa, especially the skies and landscapes. I’m guessing you carry your camera (or phone) with you all the time to catch the surprises, like the doe.

    Like

  2. Thanks! Yes, I carry my digital camera with me when possible and God never disappoints with so many things to snap shots of. Thanks for taking time to look at our blog!

    Like

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