Category Archive: Lincoln Nebraska

We’re Going to the Zoo Zoo Zoo

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In Praise of the Turtle

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Is “turtle photography” a thing? For sure I love serving in the church and taking seminary classes is such a good fit, but oh my goodness, I think I need to be a turtle photographer. The patterns and ridges, the shapes and patterns are endlessly fascinating to me. Doesn’t this creature look ancient? As though he’s seen world events you can’t even fathom?

I’m about to invest in kneepads and a nose clip (it smells pretty stinky near the turtle enclosure), and then beg the officials at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo to let me get in the turtle-y spaces to photograph them.

Teeny Powerful Creatures

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I could watch spiders work for a long time. I’m fascinated by their webs, their ability to wrap their prey so quickly, and their individual colorings. But I like to watch them from a safe distance. Every time my dog and I go out onto our deck I holler at Shiloh before he meanders into silvery treachery. Sure, wrecking a web is no big deal, but I don’t want spiders to land on him. And I really don’t want them to land on me.

The other day I was confidently heading down the outdoor stairs to our patio area and my face came within 3 inches of a spider in the middle of its web. I screamed, fell back hard on my behind, and felt like a big idiot. But! I managed to avoid getting an arachnid in my face so it was a win for me. The chiropractor fixed me the next day—I basically fell so hard that it felt like my head was on wrong—so all’s well that ends well.

It’s spider season, y’all. Pay attention. And maybe pull out a camera to grab a few fun shots.

For the Beauty of the Earth, For the Joy of Human Love

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I stepped outside to my back deck this morning to soak up some sunshine and warm up from the air conditioning inside. It’s my private little oasis, a bit of a secret garden now as our Rose of Sharon bushes have lost their minds and grown into gargantuan shapes. They are blooming—fabulous purple trumpets open up into pink blooms that feed everything from bumblebees to hummingbirds to hummingbird moths. The roses—hibiscus really—cover one corner and a healthy green maple towers over me on the other side. In between are succulents and cherry tomatoes, sedum and a butterfly bush and a few pots of herbs. And in between those items are WEBS. It is spider season, my friends, and I was only slightly ashamed of letting my small dog take down the first few for me with his clueless waltz onto the deck. I left the webs alone that were situated in corners away from my seat in the sun. From my viewpoint I watched them in the spiders in their homes, now a bit more wobbly in the morning, and hoped they’d catch all manner of little critters. All around me buzzed this incredible world. My deck. My sweet oasis in the sun. Though I’ve just returned from a lodge with a fabulous long deck overlooking apple trees and a deeply shaded wood, I have this privilege of coming home to a vibrant scene all my own.

There’s not a thing around us that wasn’t made, fashioned, orchestrated by our Creator God. From the spider’s ability to build intricate webs to the unfolding of the tiny flowers that face the sun on my front steps, creation has been designed by God. He put all the scientific forces into play, and when I open my eyes and really look, I see how fabulous this world is. What’s even more stunning to me is that God made human beings and that he considers them more important than these little bits of flora and fauna I’ve been enjoying this morning.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the starts, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas. 
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

– from Psalm 8

A group of teens from church just returned from a trip to Guatemala. And though I’m sure they were surrounded by impressive scenery on their travels, they left the comforts of home for people, for the LOVE of people. God honors this work and wants us pouring out our lives for people. If he esteemed us so much, crowning us with honor and glory simply because we’re made in His image, then surely we need to mimic that. We need to care. On Sunday I was so impressed by the hearts of the girls who shared their thoughts about the Guatemala trip. Sure, this was their mountaintop experience (something many of us growing up in the church experienced after going to youth camps) but it was a significant one because God taught them something through it all. He graciously showed him how much He loves his people and that it’s worth giving up your money, your time, your security to care for others.

Just as there are women, men, and children in Guatemala who reflect the character of God, they are also here in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are in your town. As wealthy as we are here in America, we cannot be blinded to the hungry, the hurting, the lonely, the sick. If you’re a Christian, then you are called to love your brothers and sisters wherever God has placed you. Never be lulled into thinking that everyone around you is fine, that everyone in your city is fed, clothed, and nourished. It’s our job to care for others. Let’s continue to see people as the glorious creatures they are—creatures made in the image of God and esteemed by Him. Continue working for their good and by doing so you serve God.

An Unexpectedly Stormy Monday

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More Spring Gratitude

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Chasing the Sun

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This is where I sat while the McDonalds kitchen staff threw two cheeseburgers (ketchup only!) and a container of hot fries in a bag. I don’t know what was up with my mood this evening, but I felt like a 10 on the aggressive chart. Itchy. Irritable. Desperately wanting something but I couldn’t pinpoint what. Unsatisfied with Facebook and housework in equal proportions, so eager to see something green and alive and to feel the warm sun on my shoulders again. I think I am simply craving life beyond the four walls of my home! If I had my own jet I surely would’ve flown to a tropical location tonight and watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean with drink in my hand.

Since Jeremy is on a big project at work, I decided to chase down the sun. Livia, my Nikon, and McDonalds came along for the ride. What follows is a drive around my side of Lincoln, with stops in optimal locations for looking west. I picked up eggs and bread for the week at a grocery store, then did a series of loops and circling when the sun would capture my eye in a new spot. I think I damaged my eyesight a little in the process.

It was worth it.

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Wintery Winters of Winteresqueness

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And Then the Sun Came Out to Play

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Our street is a sun-lit crystal winter wonderland playground this morning. Only, watch where you step. I carefully made my way onto the front lawn—and no further as the sidewalk was sheer ice still—to capture the ice with my camera. The bokeh in the background of these shots is so so fun.

Happy winter, everyone!

Ice Ice Baby

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Meteorologists correctly predicted an ice storm to sweep across the Midwest. At first glance it doesn’t seem all that terrible outside. I mean, it’s been raining for awhile but the temps aren’t even very cold. But when the dog goes out and slips and slides his way to the crunchy grass for a potty break, yeah, you know not to attempt an outdoor excursion.

The ice is beautiful and cruel. It hangs from every knob of every tree branch, it evenly coats each blade of grass, it cascades down each frozen bit of concrete—stairs and driveways and sidewalks turn into paths of treachery. I long to move closer to the ice, to photograph it in a way it deserves, and yet… one false move with my slippered feet would end up in some sort of disaster. Years of rheumatoid arthritis have turned a simple fall into a huge cause for concern. I’m an elderly 39 year old. :)

So from inside my cozy warm home—and maybe with one step out under the covered patio—I admire the deceitful beauty outside our doors. I praise God for my husband’s office just down the hall from my own. I am grateful for this day off of school so Livia and I can lounge and dream and read and play a bit more. Happy ice day, my friends! Be safe.