What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Life IS Better in the Woods - Updated for Friday Foto Friends

NOTE: THIS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 7/10/2015, SO "BEAR" WITH ME...SOME OF THIS INFORMATION HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN, but this has been a week that has been too hot to get out and take many new pictures, and here it is Friday Foto Friends day, and I don't have anything new to share. So, I will update this "old" post and re-share! I hope you don't mind!  Some things have not changed at all, and then again, quite a lot has changed!!

My son creates these wooden signs...you can learn more about that  on his facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BensWoodSigns - BUT UPDATE 7/28/17: Lately he hasn't been doing signs as he has a full time job AND is now engaged and is spending most of his "free" time with his lovely fiance', planning their upcoming wedding in November!!  Once they get settled he does hope to get back into the sign business "on the side" as time permits!

What this particular sign has inspired in me is a sense of thankfulness for the fact that yes, MY life IS better in the woods!  We moved out to the forest about 3 1/2 years ago, (NOW 5 1/2 YEARS) and since then life has truly been one adventure after another.  We've discovered myriads of interesting wildlife, as well as receiving the blessing of many new friends.  (Click on the links for more about those stories).  But the greatest gift has been the peace that comes over me each afternoon as I leave my busy job in the city and enter the quiet sanctuary of the forest woods    UPDATE:  This post was originally written about four months before I retired...so now I get to live in this "quiet sanctuary" all the time!!!  And sometimes it isn't so quiet, but I still love it!
and country roads that lead me home. I really don't even mind the fact that I must drive over 30 miles each way to and from work.  The ride is a time of thankfulness as I enjoy the scenes and sights of nature surrounding my journey and listen to delightful songs of praise and worship all the way. This always helps set the tone for my day on the way to work...and again on my way home my heart is prepared for the tasks that await me.  UPDATE:  I don't miss that ride to and from work every day now that I am retired, but I do miss the times of listening to the music as I drove along...now I take rides with hubby and we talk, which is nice....and sometimes we make music together as we ride, which is especially nice.

Some people don't really understand how we could enjoy living so far from "civilization"....it is at least 20 miles to the nearest Walmart, and we currently don't have a viable grocery store in our community  (UPDATE: We now DO have a small grocery store that reopened earlier this year, and it is great for meats and necessities, but we still travel to Walmart at least once a week for the BIG stuff!)  and only a couple small restaurants in the area that serve a limited menu at limited times. We DO have a small hardware store, post office, Dollar General and a gas station/handy store. We also have a wonderful Saturday flea market where my son sells his signs each week to the weekend visitors and locals.   (UPDATE: See earlier note about this...he's not selling his signs at the Flea Market right now, but may do so in the fall again as time & fiance' permits!  Ha ha!)

 We also have several excellent small churches, including our own home Bible Fellowship that meets in our home every Sunday morning for worship and study of God's Word.  UPDATE: Our Home Bible Fellowship is now meeting on Wednesday mornings due to changes in everyone's schedules. 

And so wonderfully, we have God's great outdoors and many opportunities for enjoying nature via hiking, boating,

fishing, hunting or simply watching the birds,



and butterflies.


trees, berries and interesting insects
of every kind abound.

There are so many places to explore...(if only it wasn't so hot right now...but fall is on its way)

I find myself longing to strike out on my own in search of adventure...but I am reminded that there ARE bears

in the woods, (and right in front of my house!)   and I need to be safe.

Anyway, I want to pause and give thanks to the Lord for His goodness to us in providing such a place of refuge for our family.  There was a time when we didn't know how we were ever going to find an affordable home to help us ease into retirement...but God truly surprised us when He opened THIS window of opportunity.  He proved to us that not only was HE able to provide for us, but that He had prepared special people to be kind and generous and willing to take a chance on us until we could stand on our own again. And now He has enabled us to do just that, and we want to say thank you. (No names needed, God knows).

"O Lord, YOU are the portion of 
my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me 
in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand
I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad,
and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your
Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your Presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand 
are pleasures forevermore."

Psalm 16:5-11

I suppose there may be some who will say that this is all well and good for you, but what about me? When is God going to show ME some pleasant places and a refuge from the world?  I cannot answer for God, but I can only say that when we put our trust in Him, He promises in His Word to show us the "path of life", and that "in (His) presence is fullness of joy".  For you it may not be in the woods, but it might be in a different neighborhood, or job, or place of worship.  It could be a new friendship or relationship that brings joy and fulfillment after a long wait.  It could even be finding that place of contentment right where you are when you realize that God is with you and that He will never leave your side.

I read a verse in my morning devotions a couple of days ago that stood out to me and also caught my husband's attention, so much so that he asked me to find it again the next morning and read it again.
The verse is found in Psalm 17:15 ~

"As for me, I will see Your Face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I 
awake in Your likeness."

This is complete contentment and peace...to be satisfied when we awake one day in heaven, and to find that we shall be like HIM.  Knowing that helps us to endure our trials here. That, and the knowledge that "in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Thank you, Lord, for Your Presence here and now...
and forevermore!

UPDATE:  I hope you managed to read through all of the "strike-through's" as I attempted to update this post and bring it up to date. I guess I didn't realize just how much has changed since I originally wrote this two years ago! So much can change in such a short amount of time...so we need to live each day as if it could be our last...and give God the glory and praise He is so worthy of every single day!

Now, let's hop on over to Bev's place at Breathing In Grace  and see what our other friends are posting today for Friday Foto Friends.


  1. Pam: God HAS taken care of you and your family. I enjoyed the picture of the trees reaching over the road. One day that scene will look like a cathedral. Blessings to you and yours.

    1. Thank you Cecilia...I believe it does already look like a cathedral of sorts....it is definitely a place of refuge and praise to God...so that IS a cathedral. Anyplace we can stop and pause and say thank you to God for His great love and blessings is a cathedral of praise. Thank you for your thoughts and encouraging words today. Blessings to you and yours always.

  2. What a blessing and a joy to live where you do....don't you love it when God plants you just where you need to be at this season of your life. Not sure if I congratulated you on getting a "daughter"...that's awesome! HOPEfully there'll be grandkids in the future, too...mercy, those little critters are just the most awesome things to have around! ;-) Thanks for letting me know about my fotos...I truly appreciate it...it's fixed now, but there's not much to look at, unfortunately. Also, thank you for praying for my eye...I'm hoping that by Monday things will be "looking up". ;) HOPE you have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Thank you Debbie. I am praying each day for your eye. I know how frustrating that can be. Thank you for the congratulations on "getting a daughter"! I am very pleased and excited to claim "Rose" as a very sweet daughter-in-"love". She will be a real blessing to our family..already is! As for children, we don't really anticipate that as they are both in their mid-40's and unless God surprises them, they really aren't planning on children. But that is fine with us. The Lord knows best. We are just so thankful that God has provided a help-mate for our son...that is an answer to many long years of prayer!!! God is faithful, and we are thankful!! Have a blessed and glorious day!

  3. You live in some beautiful area Pamela. Love seeing all the photos of nature. Your son's signs are great. I'm sure his fiance will allow him to sell them at the flea market LOL! Have a day of blessings my friend.

  4. I always enjoy the photos that give us glimpses into your sanctuary. The scriptures are almost always my favorites, but then I love God's word so much. Driving to and from work listening to teachings or music are also things I miss most about my work days. It was always a time of preparation in the morning and unwinding on the way home. Congratulations on your son's engagement. Another daughter for you.

  5. Your nature photography is beautiful. Love the sky shots, birds, bears, etc.

  6. What a beautiful place to be.
    I am sure his fiance will be selling right along with him! I know I would.
    I want to thank you for this encouraging post and for your faithful service in encouraging brethren.

  7. Pam, You live in a beautiful area. Thank you for sharing this post again. It's a blessing to being in awe of God's handiwork!


  8. Thank you for sharing your photos. They were a joy to see. We could live in the same area. My closest WM is 40 miles away. Town is 22 miles. We have the same types of wild life. Our bear actually knocked on the porch door earlier this summer, and left his claw marks.

  9. Things do change so quickly, don't they, Pamela? But it sounds to me your life over these past years has changed for the better. God is blessing you abundantly!
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos and Scripture. You have blessed me today!

  10. You live in a lovely place. I have always lived in a city or small town near a big city. Thank you for the beautiful Bible passage and photos.

  11. It looks good in the woods; grace be with you all.


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