Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome, February

Ahhhh, the harshness and the dead of January is behind us.

The month of love begins and promises of things to come.

A month when our hearts start the pitter-patter of the hope of Spring, and its first floral appearing....

...the snowdrop

As winter fades above you, 
Your crown pokes through the ground.
You tentatively peep and take
A regal look around.

Good morning little snowdrop, so full of hope and grace.How wonderful to welcome your gentle smiling face.  

You stretch to reach the sunlight
With gracious, sylphlike yawn.
Your confidence is growing;
Hope of spring begins to dawn.

Good afternoon young snowdrop, so full of peace and love
How wonderful to welcome you to the world above.           
The snow has disappeared,
And winter turns and leaves.
Your wave farewell reveals
Your long and slender sleeves.

Good day my little snowdrop, so delicate and fineHow wonderful to welcome you into this heart of mine.  

You sway in celebration,
Dancing lightly in the breeze.
The weather has a delicate
And sudden, tiny sneeze.

Good evening humble snowdrop; I’m so pleased that you’re here.
You bring a breath of life to the beginning of the year. 

Angela Yardy 2010

Snowdrops are a member of the lily family ~ closely related to the daffodil, originally from Turkey.

The snowdrop's affinity in Great Britian is similar to the tulip in Holland with splendid displays throughout the British Isles. According to the Great British Gardens website, there are over forty listings of estates and parks who welcome those interested in taking in the beautiful parade of winter's bourgeoning promise.

The snowdrop has been a garnered spectacle since the early Middle Ages because of its association with faith, as they cluster around churchyards and old religious foundations such as ruined abbies and prioiries.  Imagine before the advent of electricity, the gloom of a February day and the dank darkness of a medieval church.

The snowdrop has had a strong association with a specific feast of the Roman Catholic Church:  Candlemas.  Candlemas takes place forty days after Christmas, February 2nd.  It is the feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.  Before the Reformation, parishioners formed in procession, brought their candles to be blessed, then lit, and set before the Virgin's statue.  Then the precious candles were taken home to ward off evil spirits. It is not hard to imagine how, on a typically gloomy February day in a medieval church that was fairly dark anyway, that this must have provided a spectacle of brightness that left onlookers quite spellbound. It must have been the brightest moment, quite literally, of the whole year. Then the precious candles were taken home, to ward off evil spirits.

It is easy to imagine, too, how snowdrops were the perfect flower for the feast, flawless symbols of purity and cleanliness, and what pleasure must have been taken in gathering them, or in merely having them growing around a church on the day itself. They were known then as Candlemas bells.

For most of us, Candlemas and its traditions are long gone, but the flower whose plantings it inspired lives on to remind us that winter is ending.

Snowdrop ~ the hope of Spring.

The hope of Spring ~ Jesus the Christ.

Be strong and take heart, all you who HOPE in the LORD. 
 Psalm 31:24

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I started this post yesterday and no, this post is not about Auburn University's football program's slogan for this year ~ "ALL IN."  But as I type this, AU is less than twelve hours away from being declared the NATIONAL, the concept certainly worked for them.  As a mother of two Auburn grads, I just have to say, WAR EAGLE!  Congrats.

Many bloggers start out their new year with a "word."  They have included "Quiet," "Trust," and "Believe."

Mine is "ALL."  It has been for a few years now, because I can't seem to wrap myself around it as I want, as I ought....probably never will, but I want to try harder. I want to be "ALL IN."  I am scared and I am fickle, but yes.

A dear friend of mine starts out her year asking the Lord for a scripture verse.

Well, I have a whole devotional book filled with scripture verses that contain the word "ALL" that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the past couple of years....look forward to reading it each day.  I highly recommend it:

The word "ALL" appears more than 5,000 times in the Bible.  A lot to absorb.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Key verse  ~  And He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, and with ALL your soul, and with ALL your strength, and with ALL your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27

Comforting promise  ~  And we know that God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

Sweet forgiveness!  ~  "You have thrown ALL my sins behind Your back."  Isaiah 38:17

What love and devotion!  ~  "But the very hairs of your head are ALL numbered."  Matthew 10:30

Doesn't get any better than this!  ~   Surely goodness and mercy will follow me ALL the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Psalm 23:6

Jesus is my ALL in ALL.  Hopefully, I will LIVE like it, and not just sing about it.... although this song is a beautiful reminder:

 Now to Him.... who is able to do far more abundantly beyond ALL that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

And to you.... The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you ALL,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Maybe this year.....? Elisabeth Elliott:

Maybe this year will be the year of desire fulfilled. 

Perhaps, on the other hand, it will be the year desire radically transformed, the year of finding, as we have not perhaps truly found, CHRIST to be the ALL-SUFFICIENT ONE, Christ, the "deep, sweet well of Love."

Here is the opportunity offered.  Be patient.  Wait on the Lord for whatever He appoints, wait quietly, wait trustingly.  HE holds every minute of every hour of every day of every month of every year in HIS hands.  Thank Him in advance for what the future holds, for HE is already there.  "Lord, YOU have assigned my portion and my cup."  Psalm 16:5  Shall we not gladly say, "I'll take it, Lord.  YES!  I'll trust You for everything.  Bless the Lord, O my soul."  E.E.

ALL the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:16 

.....not maybe, Lord, but MAY I trust and rest in Your sovereignty, for it is blanketed like the warmest, coziest blanket on a bitter cold winter night with MERCY, GRACE, PERFECT LOVE, GOODNESS, KINDNESS, COMPASSION, FAITHFULNESS and FORGIVENESS, and look to the Author and Finisher of my faith; my Redeemer, my Friend, my Intercessor, my Counselor, my Victor, my ALL in ALL, JESUS, the CHRIST.

Blessed new year to ALL who read this.
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