Beautiful Day

Saturday, March 2, 2013

For the Love of.... (Part 2)

Another delight to our family is the time we devote to exploring God's beauty and design in creation and nature.  There are seasons and times where I have done this better than others.  In my romantic notions, I envision spending LOTS of time outdoors, breathing the fresh air, walking slowly, taking in all of the sights and sounds.  And then taking moments to sit down and draw or paint in our nature journals and record our findings.  The reality of life is that I have little time to do said painting or journaling (especially with a toddler or baby strapped to me--but that's a whole delight in itself that is far too short-lived).  However, there are indeed moments where it does happen and oh, how it fills that creative place in my soul.
I confess it is sometimes hard to make the most of living in suburbs and we can get bogged down in feeling like it takes quite an effort to get out into places where nature exploration is possible.  (We still dream of that place with more acreage and open space, while at the same time seeking to be grateful for where He has us now).  Yes, we are fortunate to have a bit of it in a short walk from home.  I think we just get tired of the same thing after awhile.
Thankfully, my efforts when my children were younger have reinforced my efforts now.  For when I am tempted to think it's just too hard to make the effort (even though I love it once we are actually out there), I have children who remind me.   Especially Adventure Girl, who can't seem to live without it either.
One of my goals this year has been to try to make a weekly effort to take a special hike or nature walk.  With such resolution in mind, and the prodding of Adventure Girl's Biology assignment regarding birds (another passion of hers), we set out to a new locale.

What a gorgeous day it was ("balmy" for this time of year, really!) and we just couldn't resist the call outdoors.  And this place we found?  Lovely, indeed.  Wide open spaces full of singing birds and running rivers.  We were quite astounded also at the variety of trees there, such as this ponderosa pine above (we really didn't think those grew here).  So much loveliness was a comfort to our spirits, filling us with an appreciation of the amazing design of our Creator God.

It was a good, long walk and most of our coats were shed by halfway through our hike.  We stopped often to observe birds, to listen to their sounds, and to throw sticks in the river.

and to climb a little tree......
Though Adventure Girl had hoped for far more variety of birds and was tired of seeing so many robins, all were in agreement that it was lovely and we'll have to come back sometime and bring Tender Warrior Daddy with us.
As it is (almost) spring, it is also the season for new chicks.  Since we started our little backyard flock, we have had new chicks about every other year.  As you can see from the header, they are a cute little bunch even if a little scraggly looking as they start to take on feathers.  This is always a delight, from the oldest to the youngest in the house.  Everyone loves the baby "cheeps."

Even on days we are stuck inside due to the weather or other reasons, I try to have little visuals and things to spur our love of nature and creation.  This poster really spurred a recent dinner time conversation when we had some wonderful friends over for the evening.  The man is a scientist and it turns out, a fellow "birder."  So he spent much of the evening quizzing our Adventure Girl on birds because they were both bird enthusiasts.  It made for lively discussion for everyone.
And last, but not least, let us not forget the home library, in which we have many titles to go to when various creation questions arise and we are curious about how things work in God's amazing world.  Home libraries are a "must-have!"  As one of our mentors said, bookshelves make great insulation!

"If we give our children regular opportunities to get in touch with God's creation, a habit is formed that will be a source of delight throughout their lives."
~Karen Andreola, "A Charlotte Mason Companion"
"Like a river glorious
Is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious
In its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth
Fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth
Deeper all the way,
Trusting in Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest--
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest."
~"Like a River Glorious," by Frances Ridley Havergal

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