Hello friends, great to be back with you. I hope you all are having a healthy and happy summertime. We just recently celebrated Father’s Day. I had the opportunity to spend the day with my Pops at one of my favorite spots in the beautiful state of North Carolina – Airlie Gardens in Wrightsville Beach. My Dad had not been before, and I knew he would enjoy it. He did, and we had the chance to enjoy the God-made and man-made beauty.
My Dad shared stories with me from his life. Some I have heard 100,561 times and counting. Others were new. Parents can be such strange creatures. We had a wonderful time seeing the history and native plant life. We concluded with a seafood dinner oceanside. My Dad told me something that hit hard. he told me he tried to be a good father and give us his best and he hopes we are proud of him. I looked at my Dad sincerely and told him, “Yes, Pops, you are a great father. We all turned out good because of you and Mom’s efforts. And we are very proud to call you Dad.”
We proceeded to rant about current events and work (our usual).
I recently reflected on how much love, guidance, and wisdom my Heavenly Father has lavished me with. My blessings despite my shortcomings and wrongdoings are too numerous to count. Everything we get to experience in our day is precious, from seeing the morning sun to smelling the grass after the rain. It is all a love gift and a foreshadowing of the eternal glory to come.
One sight that really stuck out in my mind at Airlie was the cemetery and the Butterfly Garden. They both reminded me of the precious and fragile nature of this life and why we must make the most of every day and opportunity. I saw headstones going as back as the 18th century. Many people did not live past 40. There were some as young as 1 year old when they entered eternity. There is a well-known spot known as the “Mystery Grave.” The headstone only reads, “Forgotten in Life but Not in Eternity.” So many reminders of the fleeting nature of this life and how much God loves us. He gives us the gift of this life and an eternal one when we trust in Jesus.
The butterflies I saw were so delicate and intricately beautiful in every way. It is as though God painted their wings with His own fingers. I did some research and found most butterfly species only live for a few days upon reaching full maturity after breaking out of their cocoon. Yet, they live to the fullest. They pollinate, enjoy the sweet nectar of the flowers in bloom, and go on to continue their kind. Talk about really making the most of your time.
I urge you all to value your time with your loved ones. Value your life and the lives of others. Though life on this side of heaven can be so difficult and heartbreaking, there is abundant beauty and meaning. There is incredible work to be done with eternal purpose. Even in the midst of dysfunction and troubling times, hold onto others. Share and bear the trials and victories. The effort is worth it.
I also posted a gallery of the magnificent sights of Airlie Gardens, so check those out. I really want to start putting out more galleries of my adventures. So, stay tuned!
As always, please follow, like, and comment. I appreciate your support and your feedback. See you all again soon. God loves you and so do I.
“We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that He should bother to call us by name, our mouths wide open at His love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground.” ~ Brennan Manning