A small and unseemly caterpillar was crawling along a leaf on a milkweed plant one day. He looked up long enough from his meal to see a honey bee gathering nectar from a nearby flower.
“When I grow up I want to be a honeybee,” he smiled (as much as a caterpillar can smile). “That way I can help make the honey to make the world a sweeter place.”
“Never happen,” buzzed the bee as he finished getting his nectar. The bee flew away.
A brightly colored oriole landed on the plant next to him. The caterpillar knew orioles liked to eat insects, so he hid until the bird flew away. As the oriole left he heard him sing a beautiful song.
“When I grow up I want to be a bird. They are beautiful colors and sing the loveliest songs.”
“Never happen,” chirped the bird, and it too, flew away.
Next he watched, as a cat tried to chase the bird. It wasn’t long before the cat was tired from its hunt and laid down to take a nap.
“Now that’s the life I want to live. I would love to take a nap whenever I wanted. Maybe I’d like to grow up to be a cat.”
The cat stopped his purring and opened one eye and looked at him. “Never happen.”
About that time a boy and his dog were playing fetch in a field close by. The boy was laughing and it looked like they were having fun.
“I would like to laugh and play all day in the sun, especially with someone who loves me. I would like to grow up and be a dog.”
About that time, the stick that the little boy threw landed next to the milkweed plant where he was sitting.
“Never happen,” barked the dog.
Before he knew it, the boy and his dog, the cat, the bird, and the bee all disappeared and a giant grizzly bear came into field where he was still munching his plant. Everything seemed to be afraid of the bear except for the unseemly caterpillar.
“Wow, is there anything more powerful and majestic than this giant bear? He’s so big, it would take a long time to grow, but I decided that this is what I want to be when I grow up. Then I would never be afraid of anything again.”
The bear came over and started eating some plants close by the caterpillar. His body became stiff with fear and a hard coating began to form around him. The bear walked away but through the chrysalis forming, protecting him, he heard him say; “Never happen.”
For the next ten days while he was in his protective shell, he could feel things were happening to him. He had recurring dreams of all the wonderful things he had seen. He thought about the animals and wondered which one he would turn out to be. Would he be like the bee, collecting the nectar from the plants to make honey? Would he be like the birds and fly around and make beautiful music and be lovely to behold? Would he be like the cat, sleeping in the field after chasing the birds? Would he be like the dog and frolic and play all day? Or would he be like the bear—majestic and powerful with no one who would be his enemy?
The dreams kept pursuing and tormenting him. How could he be everything he wanted to be? Did God have a plan to create something beautiful from his unseemly life before his transformation?
His early life was spent in self-gratification and wishful thinking. He had to go through a stage of darkness and molding when he had to give up on his own hopes and dreams and yield to the Creator’s hands. While going through the transformation where God was preparing the caterpillar for what He wanted him to be, he learned he had no control over his own life.
After he emerged on the other side of the chrysalis, he had become a beautiful butterfly. It wasn’t any of the animals he dreamed of wanting to be, but never-the-less, his life was everything he wanted.
Now, he spends his days drinking in the nectar of the beautiful flowers—just like the honeybee. He flies with the birds, although not making lovely music, but he looks every bit as beautiful. He frolics with the other butterflies throughout the gardens and rests whenever he wants, just like the playful cat and dog. And the bear? Has there ever been anything more beautiful and majestic than a butterfly? And enemies? He has none.
Even with all the attributes the Heavenly Creator gave to butterflies, they serve as reminders of His goodness to people everywhere. Things like new life, transformation, the resurrection of the spirit with all its beauty and grandeur, but in addition to all those things, when we see a butterfly, it brings a smile to our heart, and hope for the future.
Life cycles, we all have them, from the tiniest viruses to the largest animals. Even plants go through constant changes throughout their lifetime.
The Creator of the Universe, in his wisdom, knew if we started out as the adults of each of our species we wouldn’t be able to tolerate it. We all have to start out with a basic foundation, a veritable blueprint for our lives, and as we grow, we keep adding things to those blueprints, until we finally build the adults we eventually become.
Our lives, just like in the lives of butterflies, go through stages. I’ve heard it said that as we grow, our lives are like caterpillars. We come into the world as babies (tiny caterpillars) and grow into adulthood. Like caterpillars, we take what we can from the world around us, nutrients for our body as well as our soul. Everything we put into our hearts, minds, and bodies influences our final outcome. The closer we are to our Creator and allowing Him to mold us into what He wants us to be will help us to develop into best version of ourselves.
Then, as we become up in years, our lives slow down as we progress into our pupae stage. We become sedentary, but never-the-less we are still aware of our surroundings. During this time, God is preparing us for the ultimate change in our lives. As we emerge from our final chrysalis (the tomb), we become more glorious than we could ever imagine in our “caterpillar” life. We become as the beautiful butterflies, free and perfect without the weight and limitations of the world holding us down.
What are you feeding your body, mind, and spirit today? Are you making the best of the time in your current life cycle?
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
The Blank Page
As I introduce the creative part of this blog page, I want to suggest that we look at our own lives as a blank page or canvas. What are we going to do with it?
God said we are created in his image (Genesis 1:27). As a creation of God, he has given us the creative edge over all of his other species. While other animals respond instinctively to their surroundings, we have been given the ability to think and use our intellect. We interact in a different way to our environment. I love this!
There is something in us that feels the need to respond to what we see. We want to reproduce and reflect the beauty of this world. However, God has given each person a different skill set. Some are more talented in creating music, art, or writing. While others can’t do any of those things, or at least think they can’t.
Those who feel they are limited in the finer art skills, find ways to express their creativity by helping others, or discovering better ways of doing things. This is simply a different path of creation.
We are all a blank page waiting for the Master Creator to make us a beautiful work of art. How ready and willing are we in allowing Him to fill our page full of beautiful things?
As you begin your own journals and planners, consider this: There is no right or wrong way to begin. Just as God uses all shapes, sizes, colors, and different instruments in creating His work in us, we can also create beauty from anything in our environment. Look around you in your own world. Some have even repurposed common everyday junk! As you explore, you’ll be surprised at what you can find! Think on this; even in our low estate, God repurposed us into something fit for the Kingdom of Heaven!
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27
It begins with a dream….
This was a post I made several months ago for my ‘Jesus, Me, & Afternoon Tea’ Facebook page. I love the progression of uplifting verbs on this post. You must begin by having a DREAM. That is the very foundation that everything else builds on. Then you hope. HOPE is the fuel that makes dreams come true. Without hope, your dreams wither and die. Then you have to BELIEVE you have what it takes to give your dreams wings to fly. IMAGINE is the mind’s ability to look at the empty canvas of your life as you create your vision of what you believe your world should be. ASPIRE is the goals and structure you set for yourself. You have to have an aspiration to work towards. Aspiration is one of those things that gives us motivation to carry on through our lives.
One of the things I like about putting together a journal or planner (bullet planners are especially good for this) is that we can record our hopes and dreams and then formulate a plan to achieve those goals.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Psalms 90:12
Work in Progress
It should be obvious to those are following me on social media or my blog here on my website that I am an author and I love to create things too. What is not so obvious to you, unless you know me personally, is that I’m over 70 years old and I’m still a Work in Progress!
I’ve gone through several changes in my life. I was a painfully shy girl growing up in a large family. After I graduated from high school, I went in the Air Force during the Viet Nam war. Spent the war stateside, but I’m a veteran never-the-less. The next stage of my life after my service was spent in college. First in pre-med and then changed my major to advertising with a minor in English and got my masters in biology. Weird huh? I eventually went back to school, after a few years of marriage and children, to get a degree in nursing, because without an education degree, what else are you going to do with art and biology (I did do a few illustrations for biology textbooks, however).
I’m a retired nurse after being in the same profession for over 25 years. Now that I’m retired, I’m free (like the butterfly) to spread my wings and go back to the thing I’ve always wanted to do, and that is writing, and with art in my roots, artistic journaling is another of my passions.
So, how old is too old to stop being a work in progress??? As long as God gives you breath, you have the ability to change and grow. It’s never too late to reinvent your life and it is never too late to be a servant of God
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:” Joel 2:28
Of Rainbows and Butterflies
What a beautiful palette of colors was used by our God when he created the world. Can you imagine how beautiful the garden on Eden was before sin came into the world and the brightness of those colors that was intended to satisfy our visual sense, and to bring us joy, was forever dimmed?
Then came the flood and washed everything away except for Noah and his family, and a pair of every kind of animal and seven each of the clean beasts.
At the end of the flood, God repented of his decision to destroy the world and gave Noah the sign of the rainbow as a promise that he would never again destroy the earth by a catastrophic flood.
By creating the rainbow, He brought the beautiful colors back into the world again. Every color in the universe can be found in that rainbow. There are no other colors but those.
So what does that have to do with butterflies? God knew that we wouldn’t always be able to see a rainbow because there isn’t always a rainy day in our lives. I like to think that butterflies with their many brilliant colors (there are many butterfly species and they are all the colors of the rainbow) are pieces of the rainbow that God gave us, to be a constant daily reminder of His love and forgiveness.
Now, every time you see a beautiful rainbow colored butterfly, give thanks to our Father for the beauty of His creation and His grace and love for us.
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. Genesis 9:16
The Lion, the Lamb, and the Butterfly
(an Easter Story)
Once upon a time, on a gloriously delightful spring day there were three very unlikely friends playing together in a lush green meadow.
Romping in the deep plush carpet of green grass were a lion cub and a new-born lamb. They were enjoying their playtime when they met up with a strange little worm-like creature crawling along a leaf.
They were curious about the tiny animal and were surprised when it suddenly stopped munching on the leaf and looked up at them with its shiny black eyes.
“Please don’t eat me,” it began, “and I’ll tell you a story.”
The lion cub and the lamb stopped their play to hear the caterpillar’s tale.
“I am sent here to warn you that although you are enjoying each other’s company now, one day you will be enemies. You are young and innocent in your play, but soon the lion will grow to be a hunter and the lamb will be its prey.”
The two friends looked at each other and laughed. They promised to be friends forever.
“How about you? Don’t you worry that you will one day be devoured along with the grass of the field?” They asked the caterpillar.
“I’m not worried. My life doesn’t matter too much, but one day you will see me again in a new life.”
A year had passed, and it was once again springtime in the same meadow. Butterflies were frolicking among the beautiful lilies in the field. One of them landed on the lion’s nose and the lion recognized the same eyes that looked into his own the year before and knew it was the former caterpillar.
The lion and the lamb met once again. The lion looked at the lamb with sadness because he knew it was in his nature to destroy the lamb, but alas, he couldn’t hurt his friend.
Later that day, the shepherds came to the field to collect the lamb. He was the most perfect lamb of the flock and he was the one they would sacrifice at their Passover celebration.
The lion became angry and would have done anything to protect the lamb, but the butterfly stopped him and told him that it was important for the lamb to be sacrificed for the sins of the people, but not to be sad because in the end he would be victorious over death.
The lion walked away despondent because of the loss of his friend, but he knew what he must do. As their souls were joined in life they would also be in death.
Three days after the lamb was sacrificed, the lion spotted him again in the meadow. The two friends ran to greet each other in their new glorified bodies, each stronger and more beautiful than ever before.
Just as the caterpillar had to sacrifice his old life and submit to the tomb (chrysalis) to become a beautiful butterfly, Christ (the lamb of God) had to be sacrificed, buried in the tomb, and resurrected to become our Savior (the Lion of Judah).
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Rev. 5:5,6.
Butterfly inspirational quote #1
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly!“
Things happen in our lives. Sometimes we don’t like the way the direction is going in our life and we know we need to make changes, but often we don’t know how to go about implementing those changes. Left to our own devices, we often find ourselves going down self-destructive pathways that leads to unhappiness and poor physical and/or mental health. Until we put our lives into the hands of the One who created us and wants what’s best for us, we may not have the ability to change our lives for the better.
Consider the caterpillar. They don’t have the ability to be anything but a caterpillar, spending all day eating and crawling on its belly, but within its tiny soul lies the potential to become a beautiful butterfly. It simply submits it’s life to the God who created it and lets Him work in its life through the pain and darkness of its pupae stage to become the beautiful creature it was meant to be.
Are you going through some rough times in your life right now? Is it something you feel you don’t have any control over and aren’t able to understand how it will ever get better? Take heart in the lesson of the butterfly. Trust in the God who created you. He can still create something beautiful in your life and turn your darkness into light and give you wings to fly.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2,3
Artsy Journaling on a Dime:
I’ll have to confess that when it comes to journaling and planner-creating, I’m a bit of a shopaholic snob. I love looking for bright shiny stickers, multipage sticker books, washis, and pretty journals filled with lots of different type pages with fun sayings. I’ve quite literally spent hundreds of dollars on those things. But did you know with a little imagination you can get by with very little supplies? As I do some future projects on this site, you will see some pages I spent $$$ on and some will be done with some common things found around the house. As the above picture I created for my Grandy Dee’s Facebook page shows, it doesn’t take much to make a pretty picture to use in your planner.
Some inexpensive or free supplies to get you started could be:
*A notebook of some sort and size *Paper (blank, lined or graph will be fine) *Pencils/colored pencils *Watercolors/brushes *Paste/glue *Pens/markers *Old Greeting cards (cut out images can be used instead of stickers) *Ribbons/lace (can be used in the place of washis) *Wallpaper or paint samples from the hardware store can be used as backgrounds or cut into shapes or strips and used as washis. If you can’t get wallpaper, scrapbooking background sheets are relatively inexpensive, especially when they are on sale. *Scissors/Exacto-knife *Access to a computer and printer *Inexpensive calendar (if you’re making a calendar planner) *A box to store everything in (an old shoebox will work)
If anyone reading this post knows of any other “cheap stuff” to use, let me know in the comments below. I’m sure I left out something but this list will get you started. As I do my future page posts, a list of supplies will be included for each project.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Psalms 90:12 KJV
Butterfly Inspirational Quote #2
“Happiness is like a Butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
How often do we strive to seek after happiness but it is just out of reach. We never quite arrive at the place where we are perfectly happy. The grass is always ‘greener’ on the other side of the fence. We look at people on social media and look at their smiling faces and although we are happy for their seeming successes and pleasures in life and their joys, we can’t help but be a little envious of them. We care for their happiness, but we often wonder when it is our turn. Why can’t my family be like theirs, why can’t I get a book contract, etc.? How I wish I could take a much needed vacation like them. I’ve worked hard, when is it my turn to have some happiness and success in life?
In reading Ecclesiastes, we see that the most powerful man of his time, King Solomon had these same issues, only on a much larger scale. He was the richest man in the world and anything he wanted, he took, but he still wasn’t happy. In Ecclesiastes 2:11 he lamented: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do; and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
If the most powerful and richest man in the world couldn’t find happiness, what hope is there for us?
Just like in our quote for today, we need to set our sights on other things. Like someone once said: ‘Life happens when we are busy making other plans’. Instead of working so hard to make our own happiness, we need to let God take the reins of our lives. He wants what is best for us. The Psalmist said in Psalms 46:10: ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Why do we struggle for what we know is out of our reach. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’
So the secret to happiness? Stop working so hard to find that elusive thing, but like the butterfly, sit still, enjoy the world around us, and through mediation and prayer, let God work in our lives. He’ll bring us more joy and happiness than we could ever achieve on our own.
Butterfly inspirational quote #3
“Dreams are like butterflies, they’ll only take flight if you give them the wings to fly.” D.L.Stalnaker
Dreams are mysterious things. They are meditative things. They are metaphysical experiences. They are the things we build our life around. Dreams are visions and visitations in the night, and a purveyor of hopes in the broad daylight.
But dreams without foundations are only a passing fancy. Something that flitters off and is lost in the winds of time.
Have you ever wondered what becomes of the dreams we have when our souls are slumbering? Those dreams serve their purpose in clearing the mind of unneeded thoughts and stimuli before we begin the new day. But our daytime dreams are the ones that move us forward–that motivate us to be the best we can be.
When you consider the dreams you wish to come true, what are you doing to give them the lift to get them off the ground? It’s all good to be a dreamer, but without giving those dreams their wings and the pathway to fly, they too will dissipate, never to be seen again.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” Act 2:17
Special Announcement! Contest!!!
I got thinking, ‘What I need is a contest to get more people interested in this blog’! I ordered some mugs and notebooks for my own use, and liked them so much I wanted to share with my special followers. So tell all your friends about my page and as soon as I get a minimum of 25 new followers who actually subscribe, I will do a drawing for a winner. You will get a notebook, mug, and some other fun ‘butterfly’ things. Welcome to my page. Hope you enjoy it!