We took all back roads and drove into Wisconsin through fields of corn and pastures filled with cows. It is a cloudy, overcast kind of day, but there was no rain in the forecast. When we stopped for breakfast, we quickly realized that we should have brought jackets with us! It was only in the low 60's and kind of breezy. So we stopped at a Walmart and bought a couple of sweatshirts. Let me tell you I was quite glad to have that extra layer of warmth while walking through the gardens - and especially while sitting by the lake.
This is my favorite picture of all that I took today. I love the water drops on the flower petals. I always look for water - especially flowing water - when I need to rest and catch my breath and/or contemplate the future when my plans don't work out. Thankfully I found this.....
wonderful water feature in the middle of the garden. I spent a fair amount of time just listening to the calming rush of the water over the stones (while Ken spent lots of time taking photos of flowers).
There was also a small lake surrounded by a walking path. I didn't spend much time there, however, since the breeze was actually colder than just chilly! So I returned to the flowing water and realized that the entire time that I was walking around the garden, I had been singing the chorus to this song You Are Beloved by Jordan Feliz If you click on the link you can hear the song. The words that I had been speaking to myself (without really being aware of doing it) were...
You are beloved. You are beloved. I wanted you to know, you are beloved.
Let it soak into your soul. Oh, forget the lies you heard, rise above the hurt,
and listen to these words. You are beloved. I wanted you to know, you are beloved.
As I was looking up the song and actually reading the lyrics, I saw these words in one of the verses...
Don't be afraid, don't let hope fade. Keep your eyes fixed on the light above.
In the heartbreak, in your mistakes, nothing can separate you from love.
Isn't it wonderful when a song just touches you when you especially need it? When our plans fail, when things look like they are falling apart, when circumstances seem so overwhelming - there is nothing that can bring peace like knowing that we ARE BELOVED! This is such a big truth to get solidly into our souls, isn't it? Jesus loves us - he looks at us as His beloved! With that truth playing in our hearts and in our spirits - we can let go of fear. We can have hope. No matter how dark or unsettled things seem. If we keep our eyes fixed on the light above! NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE AMAZING LOVE OF JESUS!
Yes, I needed this song today. I know that it will be my theme song in the weeks ahead as Ken and I make a new set of "plans" for the next few years. Today I am thankful for rolling hills and green pastures, fields of corn, quiet gardens, flowing water, Jordan Feliz, and so thankful that I am beloved!
Jesus, thank you for wonderful music that can speak words of truth to us, even when we are not thinking about it. Holy Spirit, speak truth into all of our spirits through the power of songs and music. Help us all to grasp how much you love us. Jesus, thank you for the reminder that nothing - no pain or sorrow or job loss - can separate us from your love. Amen