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!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Beside Still Waters

A couple of months ago I wrote about "A Dream Come True" (found HERE), which tells you about how our moving to this new home on "the pond" is a fulfillment of a longtime dream for us. It was a big step for us to sell our previous home in the forest, where the deer and bears roamed about, and to trade that life for this different kind of home...definitely not in the woods anymore, but the wonderful trade-off is that is sits beside this little pond. I know you've seen it already...and I guess what we should all get used to is that from now on I will probably be writing about our "Life on the Pond" quite often. I'll try not to bore you with too many sunsets or pictures of birds on the pond, or lily pads bobbing on the surface...but, well...it is what it is...this is our new "normal", so apparently this is what I will be seeing and sharing most often.


This week we've been watching the daily routine of our resident Great Blue Heron, who seems to "own the pond".

Here he is, early in the morning, watching for that special fish to start his day off "a little bit better".

We've been studying about "waiting on the Lord" in our Sunday School class lately.  Perhaps this Heron is a good example of what it means to "wait on the Lord".

Psalm 40:1-3
1.  "I waited patiently for the Lord,
and He inclined to me,
and heard my cry.
2. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
and set my feet upon a rock,
and established my steps.

 3.  He has put a new song in my mouth..
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
and will  trust in the Lord."

 He stretches his very long neck so he can see a bit beyond his immediate location...or perhaps he sensed that he was being watched and became a bit wary...


 After a little while he spread his massive wings and flew to a tree on the other side of the pond...


Zooming in we can see him perched there above the water, where he actually sat for a very long time...
 Psalm 27:5-6
"For in the time of trouble 
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me  high upon a rock.


6.  And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing
praises to the Lord."


The next morning I discovered him down at another side of the pond, again patiently waiting for his breakfast...

Psalm 27:13-14
"I would have lost heart, 
unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!"

 Looks like he might be seeing something worth going for...

The pond is getting very shallow these days. We've not had much rain for a while, and as this is a rather shallow pond to begin with, it depends on rain to keep it full.
 Already we can see signs of old dead trees and other debris surfacing in the shallow areas as the water recedes.


So we pray for rain for the sake of the birds and fish...and well, to be honest for our own selfish reasons. We love looking at the pond...
And watching the different activities of the Great Blue Heron throughout the day...

In the evening he sat in a different tree, again watching and waiting...


 Something must look pretty interesting down there below, but still he sat and waited...

Psalm 145:14-16
14.  "The Lord upholds all who fall,
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15.  The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
and You give them their food in due season.
16.  You open Your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing."


James 1:2-4
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, 
that you may be perfect and complete, 
lacking nothing."

 And as the sun went down beyond the pond he was still there waiting...

Our final verses give us the promise of great hope fulfilled:

Isaiah 40:31
"But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint."


Some of you have asked if our pond has a name. To our knowledge, it does not have any particular name. It is just one of many little ponds and lakes in this area,  and some have said it may be more of a kind of "retention pond" than a real  pond. Well, they can call it what they want, but to us it is a real pond, and even though there is a highway on the other side of those trees and we can hear the traffic noise throughout the day, it is still a place of peace and comfort to us...and an answer to prayer, and a dream come true.  

In the earlier post that I wrote (mentioned above)(click here again), I told you about a little book that I have that is entitled "Beside Still Waters".

Well, earlier this week, while reading our morning devotions, we were referred to the 23rd Psalm. And as I read the beloved familiar words of this Psalm, I was struck anew by the first three verses:

1.  "The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3.  He restores my soul."

Well, here we are, sitting "BESIDE THE STILL WATERS", and I have this little book sitting on my coffee table, entitled "Beside Still Waters",  that I have read over and over again as I dreamed about having a place overlooking the water someday...and well...I think I know what we are supposed to name this pond:

"Still Waters Pond".

To me it is a place where the Lord has brought us, and I believe He has already been in the process of restoring our souls, ever since we were led to come to this little community and church.   You see, even strong Christians go through periods of time of needing to be restored, comforted, and finding a sense of peace and purpose again.  None of us has "arrived" at that place of perfection yet as long as we are in this body of flesh. And so God, in His love and mercy, knows our needs, and He gives us the desires of our hearts when our hearts desire to draw closer to Him. That is my hope and prayer. As we live in this place, "beside still waters", that we will be drawn all the closer to Him each and every day.

Psalm 23:6
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever."
Amen.

41 comments:

  1. Lovely photos as always. I am so glad you are enjoying your new home and your still waters. Mr. Heron is on my naughty list as one of his cohorts ate many of my fish.Most as old as 23 years. So... I give him a virtual kick in the feathers.

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    1. I am truly sorry Mr. Heron took advantage of your kindness a step too far. I know you miss your pretty goldfish. If he comes back, send him down here. The fish are hidden under the lily pads, and since I can't see them, I won't miss them. And maybe Mr. Heron might find his Mrs. Heron here and settle down and have a family of little Herons, and they will all live happily ever after. The End. Truly, I am sorry for your pretty goldfish. Will you get any more? Maybe after Mr. Heron heads south...I wonder, do they migrate in winter? Probably not.

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  2. I love your little pond. I know how wonderful it is to have a view that you are in love with. I absolutely love my mountain view with the church and steeple in the foreground. It gives me joy whether I look at it in day or in night with the twinkling lights. So I know that your pond and all the bird life and other critters will refresh you. You are so right that even strong Christians need time of refreshing. How great that God has answered your prayer for a wonderful place of restoration and strengthening for you and your dear husband. Hugs. xx

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    1. Oh, I would love a mountain view with a church steeple as well! I can imagine that it would give you a sense of peace and comfort to know God's house is right there, a shining beacon for all who need to see the Light! Thank you for your sweet and thoughtful comments. Blessings to you today.

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  3. Your posts are always such an encouragement to me, Pamela.

    I think Still Waters Pond is a perfect name! 😀

    "...and established my steps."

    This really jumped out at me. Such relief!

    "Wait on the Lord" seems to be a recurring them for me these past few days.

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    1. Isn't it wonderful that the Lord is the One Who establishes our steps? We think we have to do it all, but God says He is the One Who is doing this for us, as we trust in Him and wait upon Him. Yes, when we wait upon the Lord, we will find that we are always "in step" with Him. Thank you for your thoughts. Always give me more food for thought!

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  4. Pam; I love your name for the pond. I also believe that "Wait upon the LORD" is the message a lot of us are hearing. Thank you for sharing your photos. Peace and blessings.

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    1. Thank you, Cecelia. I believe God wants us to keep our eyes focused on Him, and trust Him as we wait. We tend to get ahead of ourselves, and then we start to sink in the "miry clay" of life. When we wait on the Lord, He establishes our steps, and we are on firm ground. Have a blessed and beautiful weekend.

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  5. Still Waters Pond is PERFECT!! Beautiful photos and meaningful scripture to compliment them. Thank you, Pam!!

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    1. Thank you, Terri. I pray we will get enough rain to keep the water in the pond! I know it will come...I am learning again to wait on the Lord in more ways!

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  6. Still Water Pond - what a glorious and meaningful name you have chosen, Pamela! And that heron is so majestic and so patient, a wonderful image of what it means to be still and wait upon the Lord.
    Blessings, my friend, and enjoy each and every day in your new home!

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    1. Thank you, Martha. I am praying that our pond will continue to have plenty of water so it doesn't become "no water pond". LOL. Praying for rain. It is trying to rain today, but not much has come down yet. I must be still and wait upon the Lord for rain...another lesson in patience! But God is so good. We are very thankful to be here, indeed!!

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  7. Your photos are beautiful applications of the scriptures.

    That Heron is interesting to watch. Have you seen him actually catching a fish yet? Surely that day will eventually come!

    Yes, "Still Waters Pond" seems to be very appropriate for this special place.

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    1. Well Hello Barbara! Been missing you! Thank you for your kind comments...No we haven't seen the actual fish, but I do believe he has caught some because it appears he is eating from time to time. We just missed the moment! LOL. Thank you...I'm glad you like the name for the pond. I'm just praying the rains will come and keep the pond full so it doesn't become "no waters pond". LOL.

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  8. Beautiful. Thank you for the smiles...btw, a long story short--my blog addy has changed: thatsmesimplylinda.blogspot.com

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    1. Okay...I will go check it out to make sure I can still follow it with the new address. Thank you for letting me know!

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    2. Linda, I can't add you to my bloglist. You still need to fix the feeder thingy...and I don't see a way to "follow you" on your blog.

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  9. I also love your name for this pond! Thoughtfully chosen and so meaningful.

    My hubby and I have always wished we could live by water. Our daughter Joanna knows this, and for some gift-giving occasion (pretty sure it was my birthday) she gave us this exact little book, along with one other. I've enjoyed reading through it many times -- and now that I have read your lovely post, I am going to get that book out and read it again. It's been too long!

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    1. Oh, I am so happy to hear that you are familiar with this little book, and I do hope you will take it out and enjoy it again. And who knows? Perhaps your dream will come true some day as well! I honestly never thought we'd move again from our last house. But things changed, and we found ourselves searching once again for that perfect place to live out the rest of our days...and God had this gem hidden and waiting for just the right time...as we waited on the Lord to sell our previous house almost a year...and, long story short, here we are! So, the moral of this story is, never say never! And don't give up on your dreams! The Lord may be waiting for just the right time to show you His next plan! Have a blessed day my friend.

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    2. The other book I have is titled A Still and Quiet Place and it is by the same author, with illustrations by the same artist. I love Darrell Bush's art! I did take Beside Still Waters out and am slowly paging through it.

      I love your thought that the Lord may be waiting for just the right time to show us His next plan. We had thought for years that we would never be able to move (assuming we wanted to) as long as our aging parents were alive. Since that time, my parents have both passed away, and only my hubby's mother (93) is living. She does have six other children, which helps greatly with his responsibilities. However, for the past 4 1/2 years, we have been deeply involved with a pastoral search for our church. It is very small, and my husband and one other man are the pastoral search committee. So we would definitely need to see that through before making any moves, if in fact we ever chose to. However ... we DO live pretty much in the Lakes Region! I am not one to limit God. We will see what He does!

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    3. Dear Mrs. T...I totally agree with loving Darrell Bush's art. I also have a 2019 calendar that pretty much has the same photos as the book. I am looking for a new one in 2020 and see that he has a few. I enjoy his scenes so much. Sounds like we have a lot in common. We moved back to Florida to help care for our aging parents. My parents have been gone for several years, and my hubby's mother just passed last year at age 95. We were quite involved in her care until the last year she was in a nursing home. So, after her passing, and our son got married and moved to this little town a little bit north of where we were, we started visiting the church up here and getting acquainted and making friends, and knew that it was time for us to downsize and move to be closer to our son and his wife as well as a church that we love. The bonus was that this little town has many lakes/ponds, and we prayed and searched until God opened the door for us to buy this particular house on this little pond. It took a year to sell our house, and we had almost given up hope, but God had saved the best for last, and His timing was perfect in every way. So, I say all of this to you that in His time, if it is His will, He will make the way perfect for you to fulfill your life's dream as well. I think it is commendable that you are so involved in your church's pastoral search. My husband is a retired minister, so we understand how that goes...I am surprised however, that it is taking 4 1/2 years to find God's choice of Pastor for your church. May the Lord direct your paths to seek the man of God's choice, and may God also direct the path of that certain person to be ready to say yes to the call of God to lead the flock at your church. God is able...and again, in His time, which is always perfect. I will be praying for you in all of these things...Would love to know what town you are from...feel free to email me if you want to talk further. Sounds like we have a lot in common! Blessings to you and your husband and family.

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  10. Thank you for this beautiful post!!

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  11. Such gorgeous photos Pamela. You have captured that heron beautifully. I love your little pond...and your name for it. Still Waters Pond...does that sound like a lovely retreat or what?

    That little devotional book looks like a good one.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog recently and for your lovely comment.

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    1. Oh, thank you Patti! I've always longed to have a retreat place where others could come and rest and be at peace. Although our "neighborhood" here is not exactly conducive to retreating, when you can tune out the noise of the nearby highway and just focus on the Lord and the beauty He has provided, you can actually feel refreshed and at a "retreat". I will think of it that way from now on. Thank you.

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  12. It's always a comfort to visit here and read such a lovely post where photos and verses match and they both are words and wonderful photos I love and need to hear. Thank you Pamela for giving me that lovely feeling. Many blessings my friend

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    1. Oh, Toni, that makes me so happy to know that this was a comfort to you today. That blesses my heart so much...God knew, didn't He? Praying for you every day. May today be a day of blessing and comfort and peace. Love you.

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  13. I think that name is just perfect. It is so peaceful to sit by any water. There is something just so soothing about it. We have a heron who hangs out here as well. I simply love watching him. He fishes so diligently and patiently. We have named him Hank. I should say my baseball loving son named him a long time ago. Hank Heron as a play on Hank Aaron. We all refer to him as Hank now.
    Anyway, great post and I look forward to popping in and seeing pictures of Still Waters.

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    1. Oh, I love that you've name your Heron Hank Heron! What a clever name! Now I must think of a name for our Heron! Something will come up I am sure now that you've made me think of it! Thank you for visiting here, and I do hope you will come back often! I enjoy your peaceful hikes and birds and woods posts. We just left the woods to move here, so I am still missing the woods, but thankful for the pond.

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  14. I've had Psalm 23 on my mind this week. It means more as the years go by. Have a wonderful Sunday.

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    1. Oh, Karen, I know what you mean about this beloved Psalm meaning more as the years go by. I think the closer we get to heaven, the more we understand what God was communicating with us in this passage all these years. It certainly gives us great peace, doesn't it? Praying your Sunday is blessed in every way.

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  15. You must love reading Thoreau!!

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    1. Ha Ha! I do find him interesting, but maybe a little too "existential" for my understanding. However, the concept of sitting near "Walden Pond", but meditating on things of the Lord and His Word, would be more of what I would be doing. There probably is a little of Thoreau in my "blood".

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  16. Before I stopped by, I was just thinking about what a blessing that it is for you and your hubby to live near a pond....and look what I find when I clicked on your link! Such a beautiful, peaceful place to live! I'm sooooo happy for you! I'll try my best to stop by and visit as much as I can. HOPE you have a wonderful week! <3

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    1. OH, Debbie, we've missed your presence here in Blogland so much, but am happy we have been able to continue our friendship on Facebook. Thank you for popping in here to visit. You are always welcome to come sit beside our Still Waters Pond! Have a blessed day...it's Veteran's Day! So thankful for our Veterans.

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  17. I love the name you decided on...it's perfect! I also appreciate how you can take scriptures and use them when talking about day to day activities. You really live by them and it's inspiring to us all. Love that beautiful Great Blue! Enjoy your day...lots of great sunshine today!

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    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind thoughts. God's Word is so alive today, and we need to share it every opportunity we can. This Great Blue Heron just seemed like the perfect example of waiting on the Lord! God bless you, and please come visit at our Still Waters Pond any time!

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  18. LOVE your pond lady! Yes, I do love me a pond. We have a pond in our back yard and the funny thing is...no matter how low it may get, the debris that may fall in it, or even if the weather is gloomy...that pond brings me so much joy. I see you having joy with your beautiful pond for many years. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thank you Cindy...yes we pond ladies need to stick together! Maybe God knew we needed a peaceful pond to help us stay calm and joyful when things get difficult in life. It is truly a point of peace and inspiration for me. Another thing we have in common!! Have a blessed day my friend!

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  19. Beautiful pond and post and such a blessing that you are able to sit beside the "Still Waters Pond" right at your home!!! I love also watching herons, we have blue and white herons in the "moat" right where I live, and for years I have been watching them and learning from them, or rather from the LORD through watching them!! So I really enjoyed --and appreciate!-- your series and scriptures that are so fitting!! Thank you for sharing these beautiful reflections!! Blessings in your days!! ♡

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting at our "Still Waters Pond" today. It is wonderful that you also have herons in your "moat" at your home, so far away! And isn't it great how God uses His creation to teach us about Himself...all over the world. I love that! Thank you for sharing that with us today. What a blessing. Please come back and visit again!

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Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.