One of my favorite parts of summer is photographing the butterflies in my mom’s garden. She has so many gorgeous flowers and the butterflies love them. They flit and flutter from flower to flower, resting long enough for me to capture their beauty.
Or, they used to. Like everything else this year, the butterflies have been weird. There just aren’t that many of them, and the ones that are out there seem particularily jumpy. If I come anywhere near them they flutter away.
I chased a few butterflies through the garden this year, but I haven’t gotten any good shots. Those beauties keep alluding me, fluttering just far enough away.
So I gave up on trying to capture them. Instead, I’ve been taking more flower pictures and that’s just fine by me. (Okay, not really, but it’s what I told myself!) I’ve been particularily excited about our sunflowers. I’ve been watching them for days and just this week we had our first bloom.
I headed out with my cell phone to capture this beautful new sunflower. I tried different angles and was completely absorbed in my attempt to get a pretty shot. I get a little focused when I’m taking pictures!
Suddenly, I wasn’t alone. A gorgeous and perfect monarch butterfly flew over and perched itself on the side of the sunflower. I could almost hear it whisper, “Take my picture too, Josie! I’m pretty too! Do you see me?”
Oh yes, beautiful butterfly, I see you. My little monarch buddy fluttered its wings so I could get the perfect shot, flitted around my head as if to say “Thank you!”, and fluttered away.
It was a beautiful moment. A gift.
It made me think about life. How often do I chase after things I want? Yet those things so often feel just out of reach. Sometimes instead of chasing so hard, perhaps we should just stop. Stop chasing the elusive thing and instead just live our lives.
It’s in the everday living of our lives that God can surprise us and bless us with a special gift. Sometimes we have to stop chasing and allow God to give us a gift at just the right time.
Oh, I’m not saying we shouldn’t chase our dreams. There’s a lot of dreams I’m still chasing, but I also know that only God can make those dreams a reality. Sometimes I get so focused on the end goal that I don’t enjoy the journey. And the journey is beautiful. It’s worth celebrating!
Psalm 46:10 (ESV) says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Another translation (NASB) translates “be still” as “cease striving.”
I love this. Because as much as there is for us to do, there comes a time when we need to just be still. Cease striving, and let God be God.
When we stop chasing so hard, we’ll be able to see the gifts God gives us as just that – gifts.Tweet
Gifts to be received with joy and gratitude in the midst of our everyday lives. God loves to give good gifts to His children!
Is God calling you to cease striving and be still for a time? Are there gifts He wants to give you that you’re not ready to accept yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Drop me a note in the comments!
Until next time,
mimionlifeJuly 22, 2020 at 6:17 pm
Beautiful photographs Josie. 🙂 Have a blessed week!
Josie SilerJuly 22, 2020 at 7:45 pm
Thank you! I pray you have a blessed week too. 🤗
elizabethdaghfalJuly 22, 2020 at 7:50 pm
Don’t you just love it when God teaches us lessons like that–and you get beautiful photographs in the process? Thanks for making me stop and think about what I’m chasing. Yes, sometimes He calls us to move. But sometimes, like in your experience with the butterfly, He calls us to be satisfied with what He’s given us. And then He brings us more 🙂
Josie SilerJuly 22, 2020 at 7:56 pm
Yes! Those are the best kind of lessons. ☺️ Like it says in Ecclesiastes, there’s a season for everything!
Jeanne DoyonJuly 28, 2020 at 5:36 am
I have noticed less butterflies this year too. We have so much in commin, Josie. I love taking pictures, am enamored by butterflies, and struggle with living in the moment rather than seeking the end goal. Your photos are gorgeous. Have you thought of entering them in an art show? You could create your own line of greeting cards, journals, etc 🤗😁
Josie SilerJuly 28, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Thanks so much, Jeanne! I have won a few contests with my photography and have done craft fairs and the like. I’m actually getting a ton of prints ready today. I’m going to be the featured artist at a local business for the month of August and I have four walls to fill. So exciting! I sell prints and cards, but haven’t thought of doing journals. That’s a great idea, thanks! You can see some of my prints and cards for sale here: https://www.zazzle.com/store/glorydisplayed/products. Thanks so much for your encouragement!
Jeanne DoyonJuly 28, 2020 at 12:17 pm
Oh how wonderful!!
Barbara L. LattaJuly 28, 2020 at 10:18 am
I love the picture you captured! And such a wise lesson for us to remember to enjoy the journey and let God have the results. Great post.
Josie SilerJuly 28, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Thank you so much, Barbara!
Jeannie WatersJuly 29, 2020 at 9:57 pm
Josie, your post helped me take a deep breath to see what God has in store instead of struggling to find it or giving up. Thank you!!
Josie SilerJuly 29, 2020 at 10:13 pm
Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m so glad God used this to encourage you. Thanks for encouraging me back!!
J.D. Wininger (@JD_Wininger)August 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm
You know I’ve got a soft spot for butterflies Ms. Josie. Loved your photos ma’am. Excellent!
Josie SilerAugust 2, 2020 at 1:19 pm
Thanks so much, JD. Butterflies are so awesome. I’m thrilled God created them!