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“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”    Dalai Lama

As I continue to seek and find the signature of all things, I keep stumbling onto transparency. I very much like to open all of the window coverings in our home. I so enjoy not only being able to see out, but to also expose what is inside.

I grew up in a home in which we almost never allowed the light in. Not just through the windows but also figuratively. There was so much that needed to be hidden, not shared, God forbid that ordinary people might be able to peak inside at all that went wrong on inside our home.

It has been a struggle for me to maintain my transparency. After all these years, I am still trying to let all the pain out. There is such freedom in allowing the light in and your pain out.

All of this from the simple gift of a dragonfly. I may never again look at them in the same way.

Open up the windows…monos en theos…†…jim

IMAGES OF SMALL – THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #653 – WHY DOES IT JUST FLAT OUT FEEL SO HARD

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Just a little over a week ago and it was the start of a new year. I was filled with the hope and promise of a new start. I read so many advice columns on how to make your resolutions, and some on why not to make them. I read of choosing just one word, a three word phrase, one bible verse, but now a week into it and I just feel lost.

One word,three words, one bible verse or a whole chapter of them and I have just languished in a state of seemingly permanent dysfunction, despair and feeling that my heart is in a vise and just can’t get free.

I was having a brief feeling of bouncing back from my six week battle with pneumonia and arthritis in the hips and back. One week of almost feeling “normal” and after a week of trying to gain a degree of activity, I woke up early this morning with a return of the pain in my hips. It just makes me feel so old and comfort seems a distant stranger.

I am longing for do over, a mulligan, a new start to the same year. Can we start over again…en theos ††† j

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #563 – Sometimes, you are going to get stuck!

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Whenever you put yourself out there, you will be subject to a fall. Sometimes landing from a fall is the hardest part of the flight. You are going to get stuck, both painfully and from just staying where you happened to land.  Like in the old westerns, just take a firm bite on something and pull out the thorn, the  bullet or the arrow that you are stuck on and get ready for the next fall.

May you have a safe landing today! ††† en theos ††† jimwork

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” ~ John 15:1-2

Photos on the journey #484 -yellow jacket on Yucca plant

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I do not have fear or run from a snake, but yellow jackets are a different story. I guess it was getting stung so many times as a youngster. When I was 6, I ran outside one Sunday morning in my bare feet. I leaped off the back porch and my foot landed in a downed yellow jacket comb. I think that helped seal the deal. So last week, with my wife actually laughing at my fear, I decided to face my demons and get close (4-6 inches) and photograph the feared beast. I do appreciate their beauty, but that tail end still gives me the willies.

Yellow jacket is the common name in North America for predatory wasps of the genera Vespula and Dolichovespula. Members of these genera are known simply as “wasps” in other English-speaking countries. Most of these are black and yellow; some are black and white like the bald-faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata. Others may have the abdomen background color red instead of black. They can be identified by their distinctive markings, their occurrence only in colonies, and a characteristic, rapid, side to side flight pattern prior to landing. All females are capable of stinging. Despite having drawn the loathing of humans, yellow jackets are in fact important predators of pest insects.

These species have lance-like stingers with small barbs, and typically sting repeatedly, though occasionally a stinger becomes lodged and pulls free of the wasp’s body; the venom, like most bee and wasp venoms, is primarily only dangerous to humans if allergic, unless a victim is stung many times. All species have yellow or white on their faces. The mouthparts are well-developed with strong mandibles for capturing and chewing insects, with probosces for sucking nectar, fruit, and other juices. Yellow jackets build nests in trees, shrubs, or in protected places such as inside man-made structures, or in soil cavities, mouse burrows, etc. They build them from wood fiber they chew into a paper-like pulp. Many other insects exhibit protective mimicry of aggressive, stinging yellow jackets; in addition to numerous bees and wasps (Müllerian mimicry), the list includes some flies, moths, and beetles (Batesian mimicry).

PEACEOUT ††† en theos ††† jlawrence

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #276

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #276.

God allowed a thorn, a messenger of satan, to harass Paul to keep him from becoming conceited. Paul asked three times, but God would not remove the thorn in his side saying, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” Paul continues, saying therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Imagine if the thorn was in your heart?

I still, for the most part, try and avoid the thorns on my journey†††nada te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #276

God allowed a thorn, a messenger of satan, to harass Paul to keep him from becoming conceited. Paul asked three times, but God would not remove the thorn in his side saying, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” Paul continues, saying therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Imagine if the thorn was in your heart?

I still, for the most part, try and avoid the thorns on my journey†††nada te turbe†††jim