all i need to know today

Written by PatriciaHunter

I'm a wannabe psalmist with a camera.

June 11, 2013

zebra longwings

 

Louis tells me I think too much. He’s probably right, but I was two months shy of my 41st birthday when my last baby was born. I was a mother with children at home for a long time. This quiet, full-of-peace life I enjoy these days is the first in over thirty years I’ve had real time to wonder and think – long and slow and in complete, unfragmented sentences.

It’s in this quiet life that God has released dormant gifts and revealed new ones, and I’m grateful and full of wonder that He would trust me of all people to not bury or waste them, but to steward these gifts well.

I tell Louis that God might not remember that I’m a mature woman now – and I wonder, “What in this world am I to do with these perfectly delightful gifts in a celebrity culture that gives weight to and values the talents and gifts of the young and relevant and beautiful – not a woman of a certain age like me?”

“Why didn’t God make room for them in my life earlier?” I question Louis, as though he has the answer.

“Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.” James 1.17 (HCSB)

So God in His sovereignty sees to it that I’m asked to lead a group of women in Bible study, and together, these women and I, we open up the book of James – with Beth Moore as our teacher.

“Out of God’s astounding grace, a very imperfect person can still receive a delightfully perfect gift precisely because it’s perfect for her.” Beth Moore

I still don’t have all the answers, but I begin to see a glimpse of purpose – that God has a perfect plan for these gifts. That His plan is for my benefit and His glory, and that’s all I need to know today.

“God’s gifts are given with goals. They’re perfect because they’re perfecting. They don’t just give today. They give toward every tomorrow.” Beth Moore

zebra longwings

I pick up my camera and walk out into the backyard in time to watch bees drink deep from the trumpeted orange blossoms of the firebush while zebra longwings flutter from blossom to blossom for sweet nectar drinks of their own. I stand still by the firebush in the late afternoon sun, filled with awe at God’s faithful goodness to me, and I thank Him for letting me see and delight in His creation in these bees and butterflies on display in the glory of a firebush.

bee

The heat from the sun becomes oppressive and just as I’m ready to turn off the camera and go inside, a hummingbird buzzes by right in front of me as though I don’t even exist – and I don’t know how, but I do know this – that the hummingbird is a perfect, perfecting-me gift.

And that’s all I need to know for today.

all i need to know

 

17 Comments

  1. Sandra Heska King

    “God’s gifts are given with goals. They’re perfect because they’re perfecting. They don’t just give today. They give toward every tomorrow.” Savoring Beth’s quote here. And remembering we’re never to old in God’s eyes to use His gifts. And you know, if you’d never learned (or been forced) to be still, you might never have been able to catch these gifts with your lens for the rest of us.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Yes…even a forced stillness is a good gift. Beth Moore’s been all in my business in this study on James…from the first verse on counting it all joy in various trials and tribulations. Last week’s barrage of trials was a challenge to remain joyful…but late Saturday afternoon…as I stood around that firebush, God give me an extra measure of joy. God is so good.

      Reply
  2. S. Etole

    Superb photos and thoughts. The “being still” isn’t always easy.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Thank you, Susan. This past Saturday, when God gave me this moment around the firebush, being still was not at all easy. It had been raining for days and with all that heat and humidity, the heat index was over 100. It was much like trying to breathe in steam. When that hummingbird flew in, sweat was streaming down my face, and I longed for my chair in the air-conditioning….but there was no way I was going to move away from that hummingbird. Two of them flew in yesterday. One of them perches from time to time at the top of the firebush. I wonder if they are nesting nearby. Wouldn’t that be a gift!!!

      Reply
  3. Melonie K.

    Ohhh, I love this:

    “Out of God’s astounding grace, a very imperfect person can still
    receive a delightfully perfect gift precisely because it’s perfect for
    her.” Beth Moore

    This is the sort of thing that should be put on a plaque where every woman can see it, throughout her days, but most especially during those “why me?” moments when we don’t necessarily see the gifts we are given.

    Thank you for sharing your day. (I wonder, will Louis repeat this to you the next time you are thinking too much? teehee!) Love you, Patricia!

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Isn’t that a great quote, Melanie? Have you ever done a Beth Moore study? They are so, so good. She said something in the lesson we had this morning that I’m still trying to remember…it was about how we can tolerate pain – what we can’t live with is lack of purpose. I’ve been chewing on that one since I’ve been home from Bible study. Love you, too, Mel.

      Reply
  4. Nancy Franson

    Ahhh!!! I started reading this over at your place and almost didn’t click over–those hummingbirds photos are exquisite! Did you know I consider hummingbirds to be love notes from God? And here you’ve delivered them to me through exercising your gracious gift!

    And . . . I get this, the what am I to be doing now question. I love this idea that the gifts aren’t static–they are at work perfecting us. Thank you for sharing that.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      So glad you clicked on over here, Nancy. You know, Beth’s comment about the gifts being perfect because they are perfecting is huge for me right now. I’ve been struggling with the what-nows for a while. Beth’s teachings on the book of James were written for me, I’m sure. She said something in the lesson today that pointed right at me. I mentioned it in my comment to Melonie below, but I went back to the video lesson and found it so I could quote it exactly. “You can live with pain a whole lot better than you can live with purposelessness.” I know the Westminster Catechism and the chief end of man to know God and live with Him forever…I know my purpose, it’s the fleshing it out with my gifts that’s often been frustrating. Even the Christian culture places a greater value on the young and beautiful. But now I see where God is allowing me to walk through this frustration – while operating in my giftedness – as a way of doing His perfecting work in me.

      God is so good!

      Reply
  5. pastordt

    Ooooh, I recognize those feelings, even though I didn’t have babies for that many years – I wonder, too, why NOW? Thank you for reminding me to live each day and say, ‘this is good. this is enough. and this is all I need to know.’ Beautiful pix as always. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? We’re young at heart…we just don’t have the appearance or energy to match. Beth’s words about gifts being “perfecting” was extremely helpful and encouraging to me. That…and an eternal perspective. Thanks, Diana. I made myself a mental note to get over to your place and read all about your exciting trip. xox

      Reply
  6. lindalouise

    It is a joy to walk through this season with you Patricia. I have been struggling for weeks – fighting the urge to chuck this whole writing dream.
    Steve has been suffering with sciatic pain for months and there is back surgery in the near future. Our days are filled with Dr appointments and I seem to be in a constant battle against discouragement and worry.
    Thank you so much for this. I have been feeling all those same things. It doesn’t help to look around and see the amazing things so many others are doing. I am trying to keep my focus on Him.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      I know that you know this, Linda, and it truly is a joy to be in this together. Like I’ve mentioned in other comments here, Beth’s words were huge to me…when I can see that God is using the gifts He gives me to perfect me, a bigger picture comes into focus…and that the gifts reach into the future inspires me to be more intentional about the legacy I leave behind. We’re not alone in this, Linda.

      Praying for Steve right now. If there’s any encouragement in this, after years of sciatic back pain, Louis had back surgery about 3 years ago and he wishes he had it sooner.

      And I’m praying for you and your battle against worry and discouragement, because I know this, too. I always go back to Ann’s words when I find myself in that same battle. Just last night I told a friend who is quite distressed over having her identity stolen to begin writing down all the ways God has shown her favor in this….because she’s mentioned many of them…and she agreed that when we take the time to count the evidences of God’s goodness, discouragement flees.

      And on the subject of Ann, I’ll quote her to say that God is always good and you are always loved, dearest Linda. xoxox

      Reply
  7. Sheri Bennett

    Sandra, my 40th hit me so very hard. My life/family had just fallen apart. I had never in my life been alone without family, church family, or someone else to care for and I felt useless–like a failure–and ready to give up. Little did I know that moment by moment God was sprinkling new gifts over me and I began to see life differently. He opened my eyes to so many new ways and opportunities to serve and glorify Him. I didn’t know then that my life would literally begin again (rather than end) at 40. He put new passions on my heart and new people in my life. And He opened doors that allow me live out those gifts and passions He has given. God’s gifts always come right on time.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Yes, they do, Sheri. What a wonderful testimony to God’s goodness. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
  8. SimplyDarlene

    muchly needed
    and appreciated
    today.

    blessings.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Thanks so much, Darlene. I needed it, too.

      Reply
  9. David Stembridge

    We look forward, and are wary of the days ahead, not too far as our last one will leave the house! What’s your camera set up? Fabulous photos on this post! Thanks, and God Bless!

    Reply

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all i need to know today

by PatriciaHunter time to read: 3 min
17