Springtime Delights

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

I'm so sorry dear friends... I didn't mean to leave you hanging for the past month or so but time slipped away from me, as spring descended upon our world, and it has been a glorious time!  

We also took a quick trip to Texas to be with our families, especially to see my husband's mother who had been in a nursing home and unable to leave for the past year.  Texas lifted restrictions for nursing homes, and we were able to visit her and take her out for little day trips. It was so wonderful to be able to do this, after such a long hard year that she went through! 

We struggled to rent a car in Texas, as the car rental places were sold out. Thankfully, the Lord put us in contact with a kind lady who found us a rental car despite the empty parking lot! So many people were visiting Texas that weekend, that availability was incredibly low. 

We had a lot of ground to cover in our short time there. We met my parents for dinner before heading on to stay the night with my sister.  My parents' "room in the inn" was full with other family members who were in a transition phase of moving, so we stayed with my sister, who lives nearby. 

Enjoyed short and sweet moments together! Nothing like sister time! 

A favorite treat in Texas is eating at Whataburger... 

We stopped at the Strawberry Farm in Marble Falls and enjoyed about an hour there picking strawberries, enjoying the beautiful flowers and sunshine. 

We picked these strawberries in a matter of minutes! They were SOO good too! Nothing like fresh home-grown strawberries! We took some to Dan's mom, and the rest my Mom made into strawberry jam :) 

Bluebonnets! We saw these along the roadside as we traveled to see Dan's mom.


Our first time to see Dan's Mom after she had been in the nursing home and not able to 
leave for over a year. 

We took her out for a drive, and stopped at the city park and we 
were delighted to see the goslings out with their parents. 

Her joy at being out and about with us!


We enjoyed scenic views of the magnificent Texas bluebonnets!

Gorgeous, aren't they!

Dan and his mom :) 


We enjoyed lunch at Cooper's BBQ.

Beautiful roses in bloom.

Closeups of the bountiful bluebonnet


Bluebonnets everywhere!


On our drive, we saw this old tractor parked behind the old cedar fence. 

An artist painting his rendition of the beautiful scene

A beautiful scene in every direction! 


Back at home, spring had arrived!
These beautiful wild trout lilies are the first signs of spring in our woods.

These lilies face downwards, so I caught a different perspective of this lily 
with the forest in the background. 

Daffodils in bloom! 

Hyacinths blooming in the garden



Some beautiful blooms in front of a local business. 

My neighbor had a brick planter put in just so she could grow tulips. Around here, the gophers/ground squirrels eat every tulip bulb in the ground.  I love her choice of tulips! 


The last picture I took of my sweet Mister Simba. Our hearts were broken when he didn't return home one night a couple of weeks ago. We've had coyotes around our place and he was well acquainted with them, but for whatever reason, he was not able to outrun them.  He was 9 years old. 



For about a week, I held out hope that he would come back home. The dogs and I walked miles and miles calling him, and hoping perhaps he would hear us and come back.  Neighbors were alerted, and let me walk their properties to search for him, in the hopes that maybe he had climbed a tree and couldn't get down, or was injured and couldn't make it back home. 

 One day, I let Riley off the leash, and followed her, wherever she went.  After an hour of following her, we found Mister's fur, all that remains after a coyote attack. It was so, so hard. My heart is still so broken, but I am thankful for closure.  We have so many special memories of our 9 years with Mister.  



Our dear Mister Simba will never be forgotten, I will remember and cherish his love and antics always.  Losing a pet is never easy.  In time, I want to get another cat, but for right now, because we have an ongoing situation with a coyote that has become a predator of domestic animals, I am going to wait.  

Today I went to help a friend clean her daughter's home, as her daughter has cancer, and has been in a cancer center treatment for the last several weeks. She has no immune system because of the treatments.  She is coming home, and needs to have her living quarters cleaned and free of anything that would inhibit her immune system. As I worked with my dear friend, we talked about many things. My friend is a precious prayer warrior and as we finished cleaning, we prayed together. It was a really sweet time. 

I know that we all have our private struggles, and difficult things to face, and some face giants in their lives. It always makes me thankful that no matter what our struggle, sorrow, or situation may be... if we turn it over to the Lord, the situation changes, and we can look at it with a different perspective.  As I was preparing to leave, my friend and I both felt encouraged, and I reminded her of the scripture that says "He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think." Her face lit up, and I know in my heart that the Lord is with her in this situation and all will be well. 

Ephesians 3:20-21  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Isn't it wonderful to walk with the Lord, and to know that no matter what situations we face in life, we have a hope in Him that reaches beyond the darkness and despair of this world, and it turns the sorrow we face here on earth, into a joy that cannot compare! 

If you don't have this hope in Christ, this peace that passes understanding, this joy that turns sorrow into something beautiful, I pray for you today, that the hope our Lord Jesus Christ brought into this world will transform your life in  a powerful way. 

Another scripture comes to mind as I write this: 

Yet all this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 
because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, 
for His compassion never fail, 
they are new every morning; 
Great is Your Faithfulness." 
Lamentations 3:21-23

In these trying days that we live in, my prayer for you, and for all who trust in Christ Jesus is for 
His hope to sustain us, 
His peace to refresh us, 
His mercy to comfort us, 
His love to encompass us, 
and for His truth to endure forever, no matter how man may try to pervert it. 

Be encouraged in the Lord, and know that He is with us!
Great Is His Faithfulness! 

I want to leave you with a little video I made of a visit I had with a friend recently.  This friend and I had met last year on an airplane. I was traveling to be with my Mom after her knee surgery, and my flight had been canceled shortly before we were to board.  After long minutes on the phone, I was able to secure a different flight, and was barely able to rush into my seat before the plane left. As I settled into my seat, I began a conversation with the lady next to me. We had so much in common! Both she and I were nature photographers, and both were in the process of publishing a book to share our photography. We chatted for the entire plane ride, and it was just a remarkable thing how the Lord changed my plane schedule just so we could meet. 

We agreed that soon we would get together, but little did we know how covid would change the world just days after we had traveled (it was the first week of February 2020). A week ago, she and I were finally able to meet at her beloved wildlife refuge where she photographs so many beautiful wildlife pictures.  We share a love for the Lord, and for the beautiful world He has created for us. What a wonderful day we had, and we even got to hear the trumpet swans, as you will hear in the video.  She told me that they normally will not let you get very close to them, and yet, this particular trumpet swan let us walk all around him, and photograph him as he relaxed. It was an amazing experience.


 I'm thankful for the little "detours" in life that the Lord allows just to bring about even more special things in our lives. I hope you enjoy the little video, and feel encouraged to know that if life has you on a detour or a road block is in your way, it may just be that the Lord has a reason for the roadblock or detour! This video is a testament to that fact :) 

36 comments

  1. Your days have been full. I am happy for you that you got to go see family and meet a new friend. God is good.

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    1. God is so good, indeed, in all things, in every way! Blessings to you Ruth :)

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  2. Looks like a wonderful trip, Marilyn and I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's daughter, I do hope that she recovers. Thank you for the lovely words of faith, too. They hit home...

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    1. We all need words of encouragement these days, Kim! Blessings to you, enjoy the weekend!

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  3. I'm so sorry about Mr. Simba. It just breaks my heart. I know the Lord will comfort you as you learn to live without him. They really do become one of the family.

    What a blessing that your MIL was finally able to get out and enjoy some fresh air and a little of God's creation. That must have been a joyous time with her.

    Thank you for these encouraging words about the Lord. He truly does sustain us and refresh us. We serve a great and mighty God!

    Have a wonderful week.

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    1. It has been really hard without Mister Simba! My heart misses him so, but I'm thankful for the years we got to be with him. And yes, we all need encouraging words and scriptures to get through the days we live in. Have a blessed weekend :)

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  4. Oh, sweet friend! I am SO sorry about dear Mr. Simba! I know how much you loved him and what a comfort he was to you. This is just terribly sad. May the dear Lord comfort your hurting heart. I am so thankful you were able to go visit your family and enjoy being out together after such a long time. God is so good! I SO enjoyed the video. You did a great job! Sending much love and many hugs your way tonight.

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    1. Thank you Cheryl, it has been really sad without him here. I am thankful for the 9 years we had him though. Thank you for your sweet and kind words, dear friend, they mean so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the video, it was a beautiful day we had together :) May you have a blessed and wonderful day!

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  5. So sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Simba, Marilyn. Our pets are like family, and we truly miss them when they're gone.
    Your photos are wonderful, though, and I'm so glad you got some sweet moments with family you hadn't seen in so long
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you Martha Jane, it was a tough thing to go through, and we miss him so much. We had such a wonderful time with the family! May you have a blessed and special Memorial Day weekend!

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  6. It can be overwhelming when so much good and so much loss mingle together. Praying for peace and rest for you this morning, friend.

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    1. Yes, it seems that the Lord generously mixes sorrow with joy. I am grateful for the 9 years we had with him, and for the presence of the Lord who is with my friend as she struggles with her daughter's cancer. May you have a blessed Memorial Day weekend :)

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  7. So wonderful to be able to see your sweet Motherinlove. I know she had to be so happy. So sorry to hear about your loss. The pictures are beautiful! Praying for your sweet spirit today. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. It was wonderful to see her Cindy, she was so so happy! And yes, we are still grieving Mister Simba, its hard to lose a pet! Thank you for your prayers! I pray you have a blessed and special weekend :)

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  8. What a lovely post, Marilyn. You have been busy these past few months. How great that you were able to finally visit with your family members again! Love the video of the reserve. God is awesome!! the way He brings people into our lives. Enjoy the holiday weekend coming up! xxoo

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    1. Thank you sweet Debbie for your kind words! It's been a good two months, although of course, good mixed with the sad. Our God is so faithful though! May you have a blessed weekend dear friend! Enjoy your beautiful blooms :)

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  9. Hello,
    Marilyn, thank you for sharing the happy times and the hard times. Keeping God in the center during all the days is key. Love, Carla

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    1. That is the most important perspective we can have for sure Carla! Many blessings to you, have a great weekend!

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  10. What a lovely time you had with your family in Texas. The happiness shines from your faces. Yes, life is a mix of good and hard times and I am so thankful that God walks alongside in every situation.

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    1. Thank you Lorrie, indeed the blessings of the Lord always outweigh the tough things life brings us, so thankful for our hope in Jesus! Thank you for your visit!

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  11. Nice hearing from you. Glad you had a nice trip. God Bless.
    Marilyn

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    1. Thank you Marilyn, I always appreciate visits from you! Have a great weekend :)

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  12. Hello Dear Marilyn, such a sweet and bittersweet post today. I was happy to see all the wonderful photos of Texas and hear that you were able to spend time with dear family again. It's been such a difficult year. Your photos are lovely and nice to see all the happy faces. I am so sorry to hear about your little kitty. Living close to nature is sometimes very heartbreaking. It was very kind of you to help your dear friend at such a difficult time. I will say a prayer of healing for her. Wishing you blessings for your week. x K

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    1. Dear Karen, it was a hard post to write, for sure, but the Lord does gift us with joy in the midst of whatever sorrow or difficult times we face. Thank you for your prayers, they are appreciated so much! I hope you have a lovely Memorial Day weekend!

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  13. How wonderful that you got to go to Texas and especially see your mother-in-law and be able to take her out for little day trips.

    I am so sorry about Mr. Simba. As a cat lover and owner (oh wait, they own ME! ha ha), this absolutely breaks my heart.

    Hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend!

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    1. It is true, cats really think they own us, and we are their servants, ha! Mister surely was a precious cat to us, and we loved his snuggles. I miss him so much. But we are so blessed to have had a lovely spring here, and a visit to Texas was wonderful. You have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend as well! Blessings and hugs :)

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  14. How wonderful that you were able to visit your family in Texas! Your pictures of there and home are beautiful! I'm so sorry about your Simba. He was a beautiful cat. Perhaps the next cat you get can be an indoor cat? I'm not being critical but it's much safer and healthier for them to be inside.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and insight Jeanette, indeed I am considering having an indoor cat because of where we live. I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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  15. Marilyn, I'm so sorry about Mr Simba. We are cat lovers, so I know how heartbreaking that is. You mentioned in your comment that you were cutting out extra grains and sugars, and I wanted to send you my post about sugar, but I couldn't find your email address. So at the risk of being "spammy" by putting a link in my comment, here you go! https://www.delightfulrepast.com/2016/09/sugar-toxin-or-treat.html I'd love your thoughts on it. Your photos are gorgeous! I feel like I've had a little mini-vacation this morning!

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  16. I was sorry to read about Mister Simba...

    I am so pleased you were able to spend time with your family in Texas, you've shared some lovely photographs.

    Enjoy these last days of May.

    All the best Jan

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  17. What a lovely post. It was great that you were able to spend quality time with family in Texas. The blue bonnets were indeed gorgeous as are you spring flowers. So very sorry to hear you lost your sweet Simba. Hope all is going well as we start into summer.

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  18. The pictures of your travels are so nice to see, especially in these days where outings are rare. It is wonderful that you were able to visit with your mother-in-law. She must have been delighted! Stay well!

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  19. Like you, I recently got to visit my mom in her nursing home after the COVID isolation restrictions cancelled my trip three times. Your photos are wonderful.

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  20. Sending hugs. I'm so sorry about Mr. Simba. Your post was beautiful and encouraging to read.

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  21. Your soul is beautiful. I love your stories and photos. Prayers for your friend's daughter.

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  22. I enjoyed seeing your springtime photos, thank you for sharing! So many beautiful flowers. And I'm so glad you were able to spend time with your mother-in-law - I know it's been so hard on those staying in nursing homes to not be able to see family for such a long period of time.

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