Magnolia Smiles

Oh joy! As we welcome May, the magnolia buds are bursting into bloom, and as their pearly petals shrug off the last droplets of April’s rain, the month of May ushers in the promise of sunnier days. And the magnolias smile as if to say,

“Cast off the fears and tears of yesterday and make way for tomorrow’s hopes and dreams.”

I hope you enjoy this short poem by Sara Teasdale.

May Night—

“The spring is fresh and fearless
And every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing—
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.”

Cotton Candy Skies

We sit outside at dusk by the spreading oak tree. On the deck, beneath its canopy of gnarled boughs, we savor quiet moments to unwind after a busy day at the ranch.

Rustling leaves seem to sing in concert with whispers from the oak’s branches, as they sway softly in the evening air, lulling us into a sense of calm. Continue reading →

What Calms Your Soul?

I snapped this scene with a screen shot from my iPhone. It’s the view of our sunny deck at the ranch, as revealed by my security camera app. A sense of calm rushes through me at the serene sight. Though not physically there, the image helps me recapture the sense of peace I feel whenever I am at Whispering Oaks Ridge. There, nestled away in the countryside, surrounded by nature’s beauty, my soul rests. I find solace. An unspoken assurance conveys a clear message that all will be well. Continue reading →

Light in the Darkness

Happy beautiful Sunday!

In times such as these, darkness has a way of creeping into the world—black shadows that encircle our lives, flooding our souls with foreboding.

I shot this photo at the ranch a while back, while star gazing on a cold night. As I marveled at the strange cloud formation, in the frostiness of the eleventh hour, an eerie chill swept through me, and I shivered.

Then, quite suddenly, as I moved toward the warmth of our cozy house, bright moonbeams broke through the mottled dark clouds, bathing the sky in brilliant light, reminding me that clouds do have silver linings. Continue reading →

Through the gloom, a ray of sun

I awaken this morning at dusk to a steel-grey sky that shrieks of icy coldness. It’s dull and dreary, and as I approach the back door, the frigid temperature from outside permeates the glass, wafting me with a blast of cool air. The patio, clothed in a fresh layer of ice, confirms Winter is with us still. I shudder as a deep sense of impending gloom steals over me.

With a steaming hot cup of tea in hand, I settle in to read my daily devotional, but am immediately chilled by the opening sentence. “You will be wounded” says the author, referring to spiritual warfare—not a new concept to me, I’ve faced those attacks in the past. Nevertheless, a clear reminder that evil is an ever-present danger in our world. Continue reading →

Veiled in the Mist

I LOVE beautiful things from bygone days. Weathered things that have withstood the test of time—antique clocks, vintage china, old buildings, ancient trees, and historic places. The mystery encircling them simply enchants me.

I miss my frequent trips to Dorset.

I am especially drawn to old cobblestone streets like this one. Four years ago today I meandered up and down the oh-so-familiar Gold Hill in Shaftesbury. The old cottages, enshrouded in morning mist, stood stark white against the bubbled, brownish cobblestones, wet with dew, and covered in a velvety green moss. The memory lingers to this day. Continue reading →

As Morning Breaks

Good morning! As daylight breaks and brightness fills the lower meadow announcing morning has broken, the waning moon fades into the frostiness of a pale sky. I never tire of the beauty of nature, the contrasts of morning and evening, and the freshness that accompanies each sunrise and sunset, especially those at the ranch. I recall this beautiful passage …….

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  —Psalm 143:8

We live in troubling times. I pray today your heart is filled with eternal hope.

Marvel at the Beauty

Tonight at Whispering Oaks Ridge.

Taken from our front porch at the ranch. We actually held up dinner with our friends to marvel at the beauty of this evening’s sky. A fiery red sunset—the kind that takes your breath away. Such beauty from God always makes me want to drop to my knees from the glory of it all.

Do beautiful sunsets set your soul on fire and affect you that way too?

Lord, how great thou art.

A Welcome Stillness

Tranquility. The welcome stillness where peace reigns. A reawakening of the soul and a powerful sense of belonging. Does your heart yearn for those precious moments?

I lean on the deck bannister watching deer graze beneath the oak trees. Even the whispering oaks are silent. I am struck by the serenity of it all. Golden rays of evening sunlight beam swaths of brightness across the meadow, transforming the cool wintry tones into warm autumnal hues. The scene is transcendent, like something from a painting. For a fleeting moment time stands still. It is magical. Continue reading →

Bloom Where You’re Planted

A couple of years ago I was well on my way to blooming—or so I thought. Life was progressing as I’d envisioned. In January 2020, tender buds of anticipation bulged with hope that my plans, well into the future, would materialize exactly as I expected. My Soul Sings for You would take off—the scheduled readings and book signings would be successful. My book would have an impact. After a 3-week dream vacation to the UK, planned to last little detail, I would return home to compile my father’s WWII memoirs and publish his book by the end of the year. Life would be exciting, adventurous, rewarding and fulfilling. Hmmm. It was—just not in the way I anticipated.

As I’ve expressed many times, experience teaches me that my plans don’t necessarily match what God has planned. However, His always supersede mine and once again God interrupted my long-term plans. You might say that life threw unexpected darts and arrows in the form of a global pandemic with all the accompanying chaos and consequences. Everything changed in the blink of an eye for billions of people the world over. What we once knew looks different, or we view it through a new lens. I daresay every single soul has been affected—some positively, some negatively, some less, some more.

In what way is life different for you now? Have you bloomed or wilted because of the pandemic? Continue reading →