Nature

Save the Monarchs

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Hello to you! It’s been a while since I’ve written a post. I allowed myself an extended break, and it was delightful. No social media, no blogging, no regrets. I highly recommend social media breaks. I will write about social media another time. Today it’s all about monarch butterflies because they are beautiful, and important, and make me happy.

Right around Christmas the temperatures dropped to below freezing, which doesn’t happen often in Southeast Texas. I noticed a few monarch caterpillars on the milkweed in the garden, and then had the crazy idea to dig up the plants and bring them inside to save the caterpillars. So we dug up two milkweed plants, put them in buckets, and brought them to the safety of our dining room. A few caterpillars were placed in a terrarium. Monarch caterpillars eat the sole diet of milkweed, so there was no concern over caterpillars escaping.

We kept them inside for about a week until the weather warmed up. I would daily check the branches for new caterpillars, and they just kept showing up. There were fifteen total between the terrarium and the plants. I love all things nature, and plants, and animals, and butterflies, so this was fun for me. We felt like we were running a monarch rescue.

The caterpillars have been outside since the new year doing well. We went to a local nursery in hopes of finding milkweed to feed our ever growing caterpillar family. The nursery gave us a dozen milkweed plants for free since they were about to throw them in the dumpster. Definitely God’s providence.

Our first butterfly emerged the other day. I felt like a proud parent as it stayed on my fingers for a while drying out its wings. There are currently nine chrysalises, or chrysalides (not sure on the correct plural for butterfly cocoons) waiting to become lovely butterflies. I am enjoying every moment of watching these precious little creatures grow up.

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The reason I am nerding out over monarchs is they remind me of my creator. Every stage of a caterpillar from egg to butterfly reflect God’s glory. There is no mistake or randomness in caterpillars or butterflies. They serve an important purpose to help with pollination of the vast majority of the world’s flowering plants. Monarchs are kind of a big deal. All butterflies are a big deal. Only God would make pollinators so beautiful.

As I watch each stage of the caterpillars I am blown away that everything they need is inside of them. No human can do that, only God, our magnificent Creator, can create something so remarkable. Nature brings me solace in a hurting world. I am comforted knowing God made it all, and He has the final say.

God cares for all of His creation. He cares for you too. There is nothing too hard for our awesome God! Nothing! Whatever is concerning you today, give it Him. God loves you so much.

And I love you too.

Meghan

Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3 

If you need prayer send your requests to meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Family

The Big Five-Oh!

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Here’s where it all began for me. My first professional photo shoot.  A photographer was going door to door, and my mom agreed to have my two-month old photos taken. The photographer positioned my chubby little arms in different poses. I was a very calm baby so I cooperated. The pictures are some of the few baby pictures I’ve got. I am the fourth of five children, and we were lucky to have any pictures from childhood at all. When I was young parents did not chronicle every single moment of a child’s life. You got the highlights and that was good enough. 

I am fifty years old as of Thursday, November 24th, 2022. My birthday just happened to land on Thanksgiving this year. I celebrated by having a delicious turkey dinner with all the fantastic sides. It was a low key day, and I loved it. I am a pretty low key kind of a person. I don’t enjoy a lot of attention, so a chill day with my family is a dream day. 

Back to turning half a century old. I suppose I should feel bad, or sad about aging, but I don’t. I feel good. Actually, I feel great. I still feel like myself, but better. Not better because I am so wonderful. I am comfortable in my skin, even if it’s a bit more wrinkly. I am just grateful for this life God has given me. My pastor used to say, “That breath you just took, you can thank God for that.” 

My life is in God’s hands. He has already decided when my life will end. He has not given me the knowledge of an exact date. I am to trust Him, and know that He has a plan for me. So I do my best to trust Him, but I’m not always good at it. I am a planner and not knowing the future has tested my faith time and time again. The Lord knows this about me, and graciously walks me through my challenges, fears, and doubts. He is faithful, even when I am not.

I’m still breathing as of this writing, and God is not done with me yet. It could be tomorrow when He calls me home, maybe another ten years. Or maybe in fifty years! Which seems so strange. On that day, will I hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant,”? That’s my prayer, but I fall short often. Thank God for His amazing grace. 

For some, turning fifty means it’s all downhill from here. The best years are over. I disagree. I’m just getting started. I’m ready for what’s next. I know who holds my future. I know who will carry me through every trial. I know who will never ever leave me. His name is Jesus. He is my Lord and Savior. Thank you Jesus for saving my life, and giving me hope. Thank you for my birthday. Thank you for today, and each day you have blessed me with. I don’t want to waste what You have given to me. Life is a beautiful gift. 

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. James 4:14, NASB 

From one vapor to another, have a great day.

Love you all,

Meghan 

God's Peace

Feeling Anxious?

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If anxiety is weighing you down, you are in good company. There are plenty of people around the world feeling anxious. We have more than enough problems, and potential problems, to keep us all feeling a lack of peace. This world is a mess, and it’s getting messier. It’s quite easy to feel anxious. But, we don’t have to stay there.

We have hope. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you have everything you need to get your peace back. Jesus knew we would have troubles. He never said it would be easy. But He did not end there.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, NIV

In Him we have peace. That is incredible. We can have peace in spite of the chaos. We can experience His supernatural peace in spite of the diagnosis, the painful loss, the empty bank account, the job loss, the trauma, the trial, the pain. We can rest in Him during life’s most anxious times.

We have peace because Jesus already took all our sin and nailed it to the cross. Because of Jesus we have victory over death, and continuous victory over every problem we face. He is with us and will help us.

One of my all time favorite Bible passages in Philippians has gotten me through so many hard times. I relied on these verses heavily when my dad was dying, twenty-four years ago. I still go back to these powerful words time, and time again.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7, NIV

The Lord is near, always! We are not to be anxious. In everything, by prayer, we can give all our requests over to the Lord. We can do this with a thankful heart knowing He has an answer and a plan. As a result we get the peace of God, which goes above and beyond any human understanding. This perfect peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

The world offers us peace that is circumstantial and fleeting. God gives us peace that goes beyond our circumstances. For He himself is our peace. Rest in Him today, knowing that He is right there with you. He knows every problem you have or will ever have, and He will make a way for you.

If you are too worn out to pray, read those words in Philippians. Write them down. Say them out loud, and know that God will replace your anxiety with His peace.

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

You are awesome, holy God. Thank you for peace, hope, and joy. For those who are weighed down with anxiety, lift their eyes up to Jesus. Replace their anxious thoughts with peace. Help them to stay in Your word. Give them the strength to pray and call on You. May they rest in Jesus and experience supernatural peace.

Amen

Worship

Stop Everything and Praise the Lord

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The world is exhausting. We have access to any amount of information that we want, and plenty that we do not need. This evil world is broken, and getting sicker by the minute. Now add to all of that our own every day trials and responsibilities, and you’ve got the perfect formula for hopelessness. 

We have hope because of Jesus. We may not always feel it, but it’s always there. No matter how crazy the world gets, or how crazy our lives are, we always, always have hope. One really simple way to get our hope and joy back in seemingly uncertain times is to turn our hearts toward the Lord. Praise is a powerful weapon in our spiritual arsenal. 

I’m talking about singing and praising God. Absolutely no talent is required, just an honest heart worshipping God. Our voices sound like angels in God’s ears when it’s sincere. That’s just my opinion since God is concerned about the condition of our hearts above anything else. Sing even louder if you are in deep pain. Praise to God is so powerful in our trials. 

Praising the Lord takes our eyes off our circumstances and fixes them on Him.

Do you need to put the brakes on the insanity of our world? I know I do. It’s just too much. We are not designed to bear heavy burdens, only Jesus’ burdens are meant for us. Those are the light ones. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Step one is to turn off social media, news, emails, and pretty much everything that makes noise. If you’ve got young children you may need to be creative and use nap times, or just have them join in the praise. Those little ones, and big ones, will learn so much from some sweet worship at home. 

Step two is to turn up the worship music. Whether you have a piano or another instrument, and can play, by all means play. Use cd’s, Spotify, Youtube, or whatever format you get your music from, and play only worship music. A cappella is lovely too, if you’re up for that. There are hymns, and modern worship music, and everything else in between. 

Step three is to sing out loud and praise God. This is the best part. Fill your mind and heart with the greatness of God, and let Him know it. You can even dance around the house if you feel comfortable doing that. Just go for it, and give God full praise right in your kitchen, or bedroom, or anywhere. 

David danced before the Lord. 

Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 2 Samuel 6:14 NKJV 

Dancing is not required, but it may spontaneously erupt out of sheer joy from the Lord. David is such a beautiful example of uninhibited adoration and worship of God. No wonder he’s called “a man after God’s own heart”. 

Something so amazing will start to happen as you lift your voice to the King of Kings. You will get your hope back, you will remember who is in control. Burdens will lift. You will see just how big and awesome God is. Our omnipotent God is still on the throne no matter what government’s do, no matter what the news says, no matter how pervasive evil is. God will never be dethroned. And justice is coming.

Praise Him today. Praise Him everyday. Take a break from all the crazy and give God your best praise and worship. It will fill your heart and give you joy knowing that no matter what you are facing God will help you. Let’s praise the Lord for He alone is worthy of our praise.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:7, NKJV 

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

If you need prayer send your request to meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Family, Trials

There’s Always Hope

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The first morning glory of the season greeted me bright and early today in the garden. It’s fun to grow a new variety like these gorgeous pinkish purple ones. Tom gave me these seeds among others at Christmas. I love watching seeds sprout, grow, and eventually flower. It’s very rewarding.

A new flower gives me hope. My garden is no longer a brown desolate wasteland. Now it’s full of new life. Vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit are thriving. I didn’t have much hope of planting anything just a few months ago. I didn’t think I would have a garden this year with Tom’s hospitalization and health issues.

God brings hope and blessings in the midst of trials.

Since you all have graciously followed along on our journey of my car accident, and Tom’s hospitalization, and a lot of unknowns, I wanted to give you a little update. Tom had his hernia surgeries yesterday. I sat in the surgery prep area with Tom as nurses came and went asking questions, taking his vitals, and getting him ready.

The anesthesiologist came in, looked over Tom’s blood draw results, and was very concerned with his kidney function. He let us know that Tom is high risk, and rattled off a bunch of potential really horrific things that can happen going under anesthetic and having surgery. My heart sank. Fear whispered in my ear, “something bad is going to happen to Tom“.

Tom was not worried and reassured me that he will be alright. I told fear to take a hike, like forever. The Holy Spirit said to me, “I’ve got Tom. Do not fear“. It was another faith test. I could not see the end result and I was told awful scary things. But God said, “Keep trusting Me“.

The surgeon stepped in the room and went over the anesthesiologist’s serious concerns and asked Tom what he wanted to do. Tom told him that he felt good, and healthy, and that he was ready. The surgery was a success and went better than the surgeon expected. That’s a big praise.

Tom came home last night. There are all sorts of tubes and pumps in his three large incisions. He’s in a lot of pain, no surprise there. He’s been very nauseous and thrown up several times. Sorry if that’s too much info. Gotta keep it real. You have to go through the hard ugly stuff to get to the good.

Today is a new day with new hope just waiting. New opportunities for God’s grace and mercy are here. I’m praying Tom will have less pain today on his path to healing. I’m still praying for his kidneys to completely recover.

The Lord can breathe new life into anything. What appears to be a lost cause can be fertile ground for new life, for hope.

We stand on The Rock. We trust God to completely heal Tom. Through the ups and downs God is faithful. Thank you so much for your prayers!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13, NIV

Love you all,

Meghan