I love this beautiful old hymn. Yesterday, I was reminded of this description of Jesus, and the Bible verse it was based on, when I noticed the first flowers blooming in a nearby patch of naturalized Lily of the Valley. Years ago, I first noticed sprigs of it that had taken hold after someone dumped their garden clippings at the edge of the woods. Those small sprigs have multiplied over the years into a large swathe of plants. As is so often the case, persistence wins the day, and the Lily of the Valley has thrived.
The hymn was written in 1881 by Charles W. Fry
“I’ve found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll. Refrain:
He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.”
~ Charles W. Fry 1881
“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
~ Song of Solomon 2:1
This Bluegrass rendition of the hymn is by The Cluster Pickers.
The coleus seedlings have begun to thrive. After their typical slow start, they have developed roots and are now reaching toward the sun on a kitchen windowsill. I’ll let you in on a secret…this is only a portion of the coleus I have growing, there are dozens more under lights. Yes, it seems like a lot of plants, when you add in the tomatoes, eggplant, zinnias, cardinal flowers, moon flowers, etc., etc., etc., but today I came upon a quote in ‘One Woman Farm,’ by Jenna Woginrich, that perfectly described how I feel about what others might view as an excess of activity and objects in my life.
Jenna writes in a chapter titled, ‘I Do Too Much:’
“I do what I do because it fills my mind, body, and spirit. I live in this frenzy of activity not as a victim but as a celebrant.”
“You know what I think? I think wasted potential is a lot scarier than feeling overwhelmed. There is no monster greater than regret.”
I agree Jenna, and so I say when I spend a good half hour watering all my seedling babies…”Onward!”
One of the ‘mother’ plants of my coleus seeds.
“And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” ~ Mark 6:31
One of the best aspects of towns along the seashore in the off season is the ease of finding solitude. For those of you who see shapes and faces in objects, do you see the shape of bird wings on either side of the sun? I do.
Cape May, New Jersey is a lovely place to spend a week or a few days for a seashore getaway. More to come on this southernmost tip of New Jersey to follow this week.
“Each of us may be sure that if God sends us on stony paths He will provide us with strong shoes, and He will not send us out on any journey for which He does not equip us well.” ~ Alexander Maclaren
I’m excited about December and Christmas this year. I’ve decorated, most presents are purchased or ordered, and I have a few good ideas for dinners and get-togethers with family and friends.
The weather hasn’t exactly been smiling with me in anticipation. Our skies have been dreary, but the rain that’s been coming down was needed; I am thankful for it. Dusk begins early in December; the darkness can creep into your attitude if you let it. Birds, like this perky robin, bring me a lot of cheer throughout the winter. Robins were once a sign of spring in our area, but now, like the flocks of geese, many seem to overwinter here. I’m grateful for them, and the sweet, “Cheep, cheep, cheerio,” of their song.
Yesterday was a “glitchy” day. Anyone who uses technology, whether it is a computer, cell phone, tablet, etc., has had a day when you suddenly hit a technological brick wall. I walked away, eventually resetting my computer. Thankfully, I don’t think I lost any of my files.
In the midst of the computer aggravation, and the setting to right of the house and kitchen after the holiday feasts; I found myself at a loss for a Sabbath Day post. I gazed out the back window at the dreary weather and spied this little Junco perched in the wind-swept branches of a backyard pine, at rest, regardless of the strong winds wildly swaying the boughs. His stance was the perfect object lesson for my moment of turmoil. I’ve made up my mind, that today, and hopefully in the next few weeks too, I’m going to be as serene as that small bird no matter what blows my way.
A perfect reminder for finding rest is in this wise quote of C.H. Spurgeon, a well-known preacher in the 1800’s. Here is his quote again, a little easier to make out than craning one’s neck to read the words around the photograph.
“Rest time is not waste time.
It is economy to gather fresh strength…
It is wisdom to take occasional furlough.
In the long run,
we shall do more by sometimes doing less.”
~ C.H. Spurgeon