Saturday, November 22, 2014

Clothed in Splendor


I have few words to share today, but wanted to share this image.

I am always in awe of the quiet beauty that God places all around us…

Beauty, that drips from the heavens, and springs up from the earth, a continual telling of the glory of God in a language not heard, but felt by the heart. 

Beauty, beheld with the eyes that softly reaches in, 

to touch the very soul.

These crystalline beads of ice strung on thin threads of grass speak that language to me. A love language from God Himself, reminding that if He places sparkling jewels on dried up grass in the field, how much more does He care for me? For you? 

How much more beauty does He have waiting for me, if I will be surrendered to Him like the flowers, and trees, and each tiny blade of grass?

I can scarcely imagine…

But, oh…    
how I want to find out!


Linking up again at the beautiful place called Unforced Rhythms.
Please click on over and be blessed!




Monday, November 3, 2014

Singing His Praise


I love to take walks on a sunshiny day, camera in hand, and prayers on my heart.

Just to walk alone in nature and lift up my prayers and my praise is such a special time, and when I stop to take a closer look, and snap a picture or two, (or four hundred as I’ve been known to do in one outing – ha!), I’m always amazed at the discovery of tiny, intricate details, that God has lovingly placed in His creation.

Does it ever make you wonder, why He took great care to place such incredible beauty in hidden places where most eyes will never see it?

I mean for thousands of years, before there were microscopes and macro lenses, there were undiscovered worlds of wonders inside the most delicate flowers, and even still, there are places all over this planet that have never had human eyes look upon them. Just imagine what untold artistry is on display that we will never see in our lifetimes.

Though our eyes will never gaze upon some things, God sees it all.

He sees everything. He MADE everything!

But if not just for us, and our enjoyment, then what did He make everything for?

I love how this verse reads in the Names of God bible translation:

“The whole earth will worship You.
    It will make music to praise You.
        It will make music to praise Your Name.”
 
- Psalm 66:4

The whole earth   ~   worshiping! 

Just dwell on that thought for a moment . . .   

All of the time, all of His creation, making music and singing praise to God!

And if that is so, don’t you wish you could hear all the songs the earth is singing?!

What kinds of voices do the flowers have? Does it make a difference what color they are? Do the rocks and stones sing in deep baritone? Are the trees singing tenor and the wispy clouds in falsetto? What kind of harmonies float up to heaven on a sun-soaked day or in the darkest of nights?

Oh, what a wonderful world He has made! All for His glory and praise!

How much do we miss every day, in our busy little lives? How much beauty do we just pass by?

I don’t want to take it for granted. I want to marvel at every bit of beauty in this world and tune my heart to sing right along. I want to join with all of creation making music to praise His Name!

Let’s all join the glorious chorus when we step out into this great-big-beautiful world.

Each of us using the unique voice He has given us ~

making beautiful music to His Name.


Linking up once again with Kelli and the beautiful community that gathers at 
Please click the link above visit there too!



Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Wonder of Fall


I have mixed feelings about fall. 

On one hand it’s a season of wonder with fields full of dried flowers and sleepy little bees doing their last wriggling dances inside the tired blooms, scooping out every tiny bit of golden treasure that remains.

And then there’s the transformation, almost like magic, when the trees that sang a soft and simple song of green, all summer long, magnificently burst into a flaming chorus of colors. It’s a glorious show that continues on as each leafy note is eventually carried off by the wind and laid down like a patchwork quilt of sunset-colored pieces, still composing music on the ground.
There’s no denying, it is pure loveliness ~.

But on the other hand -

The cooler air that gradually tears the last dangling leaves from their branches and sends us inside to grab for hot soup and warm sweaters, is an undeniable promise that winter will soon be here, and that sort of makes me sad, even borderline depressed at times.

It’s a love-hate thing that I’m sure many of you can relate to.

Though there’s incredible beauty to behold, at the same time, it’s an ending of the warmth and the full-blooming-fabulousness that is summer. It’s the witnessing of things slowly dying, drying up, and blowing away. It’s nature quieting before a silent slumber takes place under softly fallen blankets of white, when the nights will be oh-so-long and shivering-cold.

In one word – it’s change.

And that can be hard.

Yes, change can be hard, and I’ll admit that often times I don’t welcome its coming, but change can also be good, and sometimes, even downright necessary.

There’s been quite a stretch of silence in this place from me, and I really can’t give a good answer as to why.

For many various reasons, I took a break and have been concentrating my efforts elsewhere, but off in the distant recesses of my mind, the blog quietly sits like a favorite book on the shelf, calling me to open it again and discover anew the soul-stirring story within.

I’ve always loved writing, stringing words in different ways to make an artful piece of poetry, or inking my thoughts onto paper, turning them this way, and that, until they can adequately express what my heart had been longing to say. It’s a wonderful creative outlet that I am very thankful for.

When I decided to create a place called, Captured Bits of Beauty, and hit submit on my very first post, it was definitely during a season of change. 

Being unexpectedly unemployed, I suddenly had lots of free time to think, and refocus, and a desire soon welled up in me to do something worthwhile in the midst of feeling slightly worthless. It certainly filled a need in me at the time and it also gave me a chance to perhaps encourage or inspire others, and that’s such a heart-warming thought!

I’m so grateful to my faithful friends who come to visit me here! It’s hard to believe it’s been just about a year since I set a piece of my heart out on the internet for all the world to see, (well, at least my little corner of it), but I have to say, I’m so glad I did! 

I’m glad that I pushed through the doubts and fear and prayed for God to help me write words that He can use to touch the heart of another. Oh, how I hope and pray that something spoken here may have brightened someone’s day, but even more so, may have touched a heart with the light and love that only God can give.

He is my reason for living and He has carried me through every bit of change that has entered into my life. Changes that were good, bad, and certainly at times, very ugly, and I know in His perfect love and faithfulness, He will continue to do so until one glorious day - 

when He carries me right home.

I’ve been feeling lately, that more change is in the air. There’s a breeze that comes carrying His whisper, but it’s still a bit too faint for me to clearly hear. I’m not sure what it will mean, but I’m certain that He is right now working it all out for my good and for His glory.

And with that thought, I’m asking something of my friends here, I have not asked before. 

Will you please pray for me? 

Pray that I will be open to whatever change God has for me, and that trusting obedience will be my response?

I’ll be forever grateful if you will, and please let me know if I can pray for you as well! 

It’s amazing grace how prayers weaved in and through each other’s lives tie us all together and lift us straight to the Grand Weaver Himself, who is making a magnificent masterpiece with every single thread, in every single season of life.

Which brings me back to fall. . .

I’m watching leaves swirling around outside right now, dancing and whispering, reminding again of all that change can bring.

Hmmm. . .   I think I’ll string a pretty one up inside my window. . . 

and reflect upon the wonder of it all.



Linking up with Kelli and many other beautiful hearts today over at 
Please come join us! Just click on the link.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Another Cup of Tea


I make another cup of steaming-hot earl grey and drink it down slow.

The warmth falls in and fills me, in places that have grown strangely cold.

I keep asking, what is this feeling? This longing that’s been nagging at my soul? It seems a searching for something more than what can be found in every-day-daily life, or perhaps even in this world at all.

A growing desire is stirring that I can’t quite name. It’s like wanting beauty to come alive, or a song to fill the room with color, or the wind to speak in words. 


Impossible things, that somehow, deep inside, I know are truly possible.



I look out my window.

The clouds look like wings, and I feel covered, sheltered under His. 

Oh, what comfort He can bring, this God who sings over us, who watches over us, always.

I close my eyes, and my heart begins to pray, and thanks begin to soar, to fly right up past those wing-shaped clouds, straight into the halls of heaven, to land soft as feathers at His feet – floating right into the throne room where the praise of angels does not cease.


This place? Is this the vision my heart seeks? 

The longing that aches to be filled? 


We are constantly suspended between two worlds. The world of the flesh and the world of the spirit, and sometimes the tension can be so thick it's touchable. Sometimes my spirit wants to burst right through me, and tear right in, through the thin veil that separates.

How long, O Lord? I wonder. How long, until the eternity You placed in the heart of every man finds full reality? Until this heart that beats by You, and for You, beats fully in Your presence? Finally in the place where I can reach out and touch You and Your nail-pierced hand will reach out to gently hold mine.


Yes, this. This is the longing, the needing, the aching within.


One day, it will be. 


But until then, I will seek and pray, and ponder and praise, and try to live out His plans for me in the here and now.

All the while, giving thanks for new places of vision,

often found in another cup of tea.



*********************************************************

For You are my protection,
    an impenetrable fortress from my enemies.
Let me live in Your sanctuary forever;
    let me find safety in the shadow of Your wings.
You have heard the promises I made, O God.
    You have laid upon me the legacy
due to those who fear Your name.

~ Psalm 61:3-5  (VOICE)

*********************************************************

New places of vision give me inklings of the magnitude of my ignorance – of the language, for instance, and of “things beyond our seeing, things beyond our hearing, things beyond our imagining, all prepared by God for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) 

- Elisabeth Elliot

*********************************************************

Linking up with Kelli and Jennifer and many other beautiful hearts over at Unforced Rhythms  and @ #TellHisStory. Click on the links to share in these encouraging and inspiring communities.

#TellHisStory

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Faithful Friend



It’s always a part of the morning routine,

A sleepy shuffle through the kitchen, sliding open the blinds and then the sliding door to let the dog out,

I yawn and stretch, turning my eyes to my faithful friend standing there,

And I smile.

Her, my favorite little pear tree that we planted shortly after moving into this house. It’s only an ornamental tree, no big, juicy pears to pluck and enjoy in the fall, but still, she ministers to me.

Standing tall, waiting to greet me with a cheerful “hello”, a constant I can count on, but at the same time, ever-changing. 

I witness the change when she surrenders thick leathery leaves, drops of golden amber, in the late fall.




And observe another transformation as her bare branches shiver in the winter winds, and she humbly accepts sparkling covers of ice and snow, diamonds for her slender frame.




Soon, I behold her warming up to springtime, when she blushes her thanks with thousands of brilliant white blooms, exquisite veils of fine lace befitting a gorgeous wedding day.





And when the temps rise high, I glory in her branches stuffed full with the brightest green leaves, emerald cups held up high to catch the summer rains and to pour out welcome shade to all that lies beneath her.




No matter the season, as the cycle continues on, I’m always delighted to see lots of little birds perching in her branches, not far from the supply of seed that we offer all year round. The flutter of feathers and the sweetest of songs add even more vibrant life to her branches.




I look at that tree, and I worship.

I worship my God who made this little tree, I give Him thanks, and I stand in awe.

He is the One who made the sun, and the moon, and the stars that swirl around her day and night, and He made all of the seasons that change her. He is the One who made me, who made my heart, and gave me eyes to see so much more than a tree,

I see the changes in me.

I daily rediscover His perfect love for me looking over at that little tree, 

and I worship.

I see how she stands with quiet confidence, roots firmly planted in the ground, branches reaching high toward heaven, always pointing up, pointing to Him, and she compels me to do the same.

She also reminds of the wood of an ancient tree, wood that held His hands and feet, and I weep. My sin, the nails that drove in deep, His blood, the only way to wash it clean.

And I wonder, if one day when I stand in the most beautiful garden with my Savior next to me, looking wondrously upon the tree of life, if for just a moment, I’ll be reminded of that little pear tree,

And I’ll give Him thanks once more for my favorite little tree,

and right there face to face,

I’ll worship.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; 
and there he put the man he had formed.  
The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—
trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. 
In the middle of the garden were 
the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- Genesis 2:8-9
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
My heavenly guide brought me to the river of pure living waters, 
shimmering as brilliantly as crystal. 
It flowed out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 
flowing down the middle and dividing the street of the holy city. 
On each bank of the river stood the tree of life, firmly plantedbearing twelve kinds of fruit 
and producing its sweet crop every month throughout the year
And the soothing leaves that grew on the tree of life provided precious healing for the nations. 
No one or nothing will labor under any curse any longer. 
And the throne of God and of the Lamb will sit prominently in the city.
God’s servants will continually serve and worship Him. 
They will be able to look upon His face, 
and His name will be written on their foreheads. 
Darkness will never again fall on this city
They will not require the light of a lamp or of the sun 
because the Lord God will be their illumination. 
By His light, they will reign throughout the ages.

- Revelation 22:1-5 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Linking up with Kelli and a beautiful community of bloggers over at Unforced Rhythms today.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Shepherd


**************************************************************
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord 
forever.

~ Psalm 23

**************************************************************

I’m coming back to this familiar verse tonight, seeking the comfort that it brings.

I’ve been wandering, I can feel it…  

And He knows it…

This God who always sees me, always sees my heart, and still…  

always loves me.

Such amazing grace, undeserved and unending.

And I pray. . .


Dear Lord, please be the shepherd
To this prideful little sheep,
Who’s wandered far away again,
Sowing what I’ll reap.

Planting seeds of sinfulness
In soil rich with lies,
Doing what the world so loves,
But that which You despise.

I feel the pride in me so deep,
Stealing joy that You would give,
If only I would trust Your Word,
And by Your Spirit live.

Forgive me for not seeing
Every blessing You have given,
To this tired little lamb,
Still wandering far from heaven.

Take me now into Your arms
And hold me close I pray.
Remind me just how lost I am
When I have gone astray.

Help me to surrender now
And always to Your will.
Teach my heart to hear Your voice
And my spirit to be still.

Jesus, my Good Shepherd,
Lead me on to follow You,
Walking in obedience
To the life You’ve called me to.

© 2008 Julie Jablonski



Linking up at Kelli's beautiful place again, Chronicles of Grace.



Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Mother's Prayer


A Mother’s Prayer

Thank You Gracious Heavenly Father
For making me a Mother
Each child a precious gift of life
That You’ve made like no other

Their design known in Your mind
Before the world began
And knowing how they’d change my life
Was all part of Your plan

Thank You Lord, when they were born
You changed me in my soul
And I marvel how You’re changing them
While in this world they grow

Please give me needed wisdom
To guide them through each day
Praying for Your Light to shine
On paths to show the Way

Bless their lives along each road
With desires from their heart
The deep ones that You placed inside
Their spirits from the start

I know life’s never easy
And they will trip and make mistakes
But You are there to catch them
When my heart for them just breaks

Lord if You choose to take me home
Before their lives are through
I pray that I have taught them well
And they will turn to You

Trusting in Your promise
That they’ll see me once again
Forever with You in heaven
Where You’ve made a place for them

Giving thanks to You for all You do
Our Gracious Heavenly Father
And thanking You, I hope as well. . .
That I had been their Mother


© 2008 Julie Jablonski




Sunday, May 4, 2014

Starlight



Starlight falls and my hands open wide to catch it,

to hold it

for just a brief moment before the wonder and beauty

pass slowly through my fingers, 

and my heart aches for more. . .

More time, more moments, more memories, more chances, more giggles and hugs from my precious little girl – the one who is not so little anymore.

How does time go so fast? How have twenty-one years passed by and those deep brown eyes that once looked wide up at me for answers are now looking deep into her own wide-open future?

How have the little hands that once held so tight to mine grown into those of a beautiful woman who will make her own marks on the world?

How can it be that one day all too soon, my aging hands will be right there next to hers, helping to pack and mark the boxes she’ll bring to a new place, a new home?  

Ouch! Isn't home just where your mom is?!

It’s hard to let go, and already I know a part of my heart will feel as empty as the room she leaves behind, and after my precious treasure, hauls away her treasures to new destinations, some of the sparkle in my life will be gone.

But I would never want to hold her back, so I will silently acquiesce to reality, and even as these thoughts bring sparkles of tears to my eyes, I know it’s a part of my growing too.

I haven’t been the perfect mom, there’s no such thing, but I have loved her deeply and she has blossomed into a woman of beauty with deep love to give of her own. Her spirit is amazing and she has grown resilient and strong, yet still at times, surprisingly vulnerable and fragile and I love the way she is beginning to look at life. 

She has finally begun to look past those things that have scarred her and is realizing that broken can be beautiful and the things that she thought might just squeeze the life right out of her, have actually been part of the shaping of her soul.

It’s a broken world we live in, and there are broken-apart lives all around us, but often those tiny shattered pieces, the ones that many might quickly just throw in the trash, are the ones that suddenly catch and reflect the most brilliant light. If we’ll just pause long enough to notice, we may discover break-through moments that will make us catch our breath and finally see the beauty we would have otherwise missed.

There are so many lessons to be learned on this journey we call life and I’m grateful to be learning some of the hardest right beside my beautiful daughter.

As I reflect in my heart, I can see her like the starlight I couldn't hold long in my hand, and I am reminded that stars are never for the holding on to.

They are for lighting up the sky.

So I say, reach high and shine on my sweet girl!

Shine for all the world to see.



I love you.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Echoing Song


I find it on a woodland walk, when shards of light get tangled up in the trees, then chance upon places to peek through and touch the forest floor.

I hear it carried on a warm summer breeze, the notes of a song from a distant land that I’m sure I've heard before, but just can’t remember when. Then, as quickly as it came, it begins to fade, though the sweetness of the melody lingers long and faintly echoes in my heart.

I feel it when my hand finds the warmth of his, and our eyes meet with a loving smile, when we sway in a long embrace and then our lips softly touch, my heart skips a beat.

I see it in silver drops of moonlight that fall silently in the night, covering the sleepy world with a soft shimmering layer of the most delicate lace.

I knew it when I touched my newborn baby’s cheek, bent low to softly kiss the rosy blush, and our warm breath sweetly intertwined.

All of these moments, and countless more, are only tiny glimpses of glory, sudden meetings of heaven and earth that sink deep into my spirit and whisper of the

Truest Love.

Each time I catch my breath at the startling beauty of a sunrise, delight in the sparkle of unhindered laughter, am astonished by music that moves me to tears. . . 

It’s all a reflection of God’s glory that leaves me longing for the moment. . . 

When I will see Him face to face. . . 

When I will feel His warm embrace and remember all of the words 
to the echoing song. . .

When I’m finally and forever home. . . 

And the glory will have no end.



****************************************************

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face. 
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, 
even as I am fully known.
- 1 Corinthians 12:12

****************************************************