Perfect Peace


Last weekend we took a drive out to my brother’s home in Winchester, VA. The ride in itself is peaceful, and I always enjoy seeing the hillsides dotted with dairy cows and sheep along the way. As we crossed  over the Shenandoah River, the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains came into view, revealing the slightest hint of fall colors beginning to show along their peaks.

Hidden Treasure

The highlight of my visit is a short walk down the winding path to a hidden gem, a treasure tucked behind a grove of hickory trees. I’ve named it Peaceful Pond, because that is what it is to me. Tranquility. Serenity. Peace-filled.

It is a tiny farm pond, probably only 6 feet deep at its center, and less than an acre in size, but it has abundant life within it and along the muddy banks.

What I most treasure is the sound of the pond . . . a beautiful melodic blend of birdsong and leaves fluttering in the fall breeze. It is the very sound of nature.

And there is an abundance of colorful wildflowers and weeds rimming the pond’s edge, with pink, purple and yellow petals, and plenty of cattails.

We’ve seen turtles and frogs, geese and Red-Winged Blackbirds. The pond is teaming with Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon casting and reeling to your heart’s content. And if you take time to look for them, you will also see the tracks of raccoon, squirrel and deer left in the mud where they stopped for a drink.

We all need a spot like this . . . a place for peace, a getaway when life becomes overwhelming, as it seems to be most days of late. It serves as a reminder that there is peace in the simplicity and perfection of God’s creation.

☁️🌥⛅️🌤☀️

Yes, these are unsettling times. There is so much uncertainty, so much anxiety and so much stress. Behind our masks, there is fear and anguish. We have lost our way and we each need to find a place of peace.

I am reminded of a verse from the prophet Isaiah:

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” — Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭

Where can we find “perfect peace”? Is there such a thing?

When I find myself lately being drawn into despair, I turn my thoughts back to Jesus, my Rock and the source of all peace. It is a peace found not only beside quiet ponds in the woods, but in the midst of the chaos around us. His peace is steadfast and ever-present. Be still and trust that God remains in control.

Breathing Room


It’s time for a walk in the garden. Will you join me?

This year, my husband put our daughter in charge of planting flower bulbs at either end of the garden. We gave her a budget and she ordered a variety of lilies and dahlias. They were planted in late spring after the danger of frost had passed.

After the lilies bloomed and faded, there was a miscommunication of where the dahlia bulbs were planted.  So my husband decided he would also plant flowers. He planted zinnias. Lots of zinnias. This was in addition to the vegetables he had already planted.

By early summer, it was apparent that our daughter’s dahlias were being smothered. They just couldn’t find the needed space to grow. All the flowers were overcrowded — even the zinnias — and we had very few blooms.

You can definitely have too much of a good thing. Our beautiful flowers had no room to breathe.

Hidden Beauty

As the summer waned and our vegetables were nearly all harvested, our daughter began thinning the overgrowth little by little. Then an amazing thing happened! Within days, we discovered flower stalks that had been hidden. And within a week, we began seeing beautiful blossoms of all kinds. And now our mums and Mexican Sunflowers are also blooming, right on schedule.

Here is a sample of some of the beauty we are seeing in our backyard right now.

What a colorful blessing so late in the season! I hope they will continue to grow and bloom until our first frost. I will miss all these beautiful flowers during the cold months ahead.

Which reminds me, I need to find the spring bulb catalogs that arrived in the mail last week.