Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time with my Father - Part III

One morning I was walking home from dropping off Cristina at school when I was reminded of a recent family trip to a train and toy show. I had intended and prayed to find someone to ask my nine little words but God had other intentions and made sure I remained silent.

He was preparing to bless me.

As I walked, I remembered the details of that day. There were hundreds and hundreds of men, women, and children watching, looking, ooh-ing, and ahh-ing.





It was truly fascinating to see the extent of detail these hobbyists put into their trains and towns or whatever other scenery they had put together.

Regardless of the variety or complexity of what you were seeing, there was one common theme at each location:

The watchful eye of the creative and talented conductor.

There was also an attentive parent making sure the curious and innocent hand of a child did not accidently take out a whole town or mountainside with one swipe. Oh the horror! King Kong had nothing on these little ones! For some the temptation was way too great and families had to move on.

My husband at one point remarked what I was thinking, “What is it with the fascination of trains?”

With each subsequent lingering visit to a seemingly never ending display of town after town, mountain or hill, the question became more and more perplexing. The attention to detail was beyond my expectation although I have no idea what I was expecting.

What I also observed was that when anyone said to the conductor,

- “This is amazing!”

- “This is so cool.”

- “You’re really good and must have a lot of patience.”

You wouldn’t see a stiff, prideful posture or receive a high brow response of, “I know.” The conductor would give a genuine smile and pleasantly say “Thank you.” It would then be followed up with a “look here, let me show you this.”

As we would watch this and that, my husband would say to our children, “Look! Wouldn’t it be cool to be small enough to go there and there and …?”

It would always be met with “YEAH! I could go in there…or there…!”

Their excitement was so contagious I could feel it too. Of course it would be so cool to live in a place where one creative talent paid so much attention to detail, nothing was missed, and to have their watchful eye on us to make sure someone didn’t accidently destroy what was lovingly and patiently put together. Wouldn’t it?

And there I was, walking home from school on a familiar path.

The grass was green. The trees were blooming. Flowers were growing. Squirrels, rabbits and birds were going from one yard to another. The sidewalk was just were I needed it to be. The school I pray over where teachers instruct our first grader and other children was behind me. Our home that gives our family daily shelter and a place to sleep every night was just up ahead. I was in the neighborhood where our friends live. The church we worship in was just a short five minute drive. And the car! Our car. The one donated to us four years ago.

All of the details, each and every one was placed in our lives by our brilliant and talented Creator. I found myself come to a complete stop and as I looked around I saw more and more of those details. I could hear and feel like I had not remembered hearing and feeling before. I closed my eyes, raised my face and thanked my Father.

-“All of this is so AMAZING!”
-“All of this is so cool.”
-“You are so good and have so much patience…with me.”

It was met with the most glorious and gentle, “Thank you. Look here, let Me show you this.”

With each step the list grew longer. Each blade of grass looked different. I was amazed at how many varieties of trees were just in our neighborhood. The color of the morning sky was such a hue of blue it looked like a vast ocean. The flowers were cloaked and dancing in reds, blues, purples, yellows, oranges and every shade in between.

The fading moon itself seemed to be singing of God’s goodness as the sun rose and shined brighter. It was a spectacular sight. And to think this was a gift I was given one morning by simply remembering a time He had asked me to remain silent and just watch!

Thank you Papa God for loving me the way You do. Every day I get up and look out the window to see what You have laid out for me. I am in awe of You and the color palette You choose to use. You could have made everything in shades of grey but You didn’t. You could’ve given birds one song, but You didn’t. You could’ve given all trees one height and one type of flower, but You didn’t.

You took the time to go over every detail. Not one thing was missed and You did this all before any one of us opened our eyes or our hearts to see. Every morning You hang the sun in the sky without fail. Every night the stars glimmer in the vast blackness of space. Every time. No matter where we are or whether we can see them or not.

Thank You God for hiding Yourself in all of creation so man is without excuse. Father, keep me in a place of worship and praise for all You do and provide. Let me not ever take any day, minute or second for granted. And for the times I do, give me fresh new eyes to remember all over again and become giddy with excitement. Help me also to remember that because Jesus said, “It is finished” on the cross I can always come straight to You.

Thank You for walking with me this morning and reminding me. I have been richly blessed.


[All photographs taken by Lisa Arnold with Canon Powershot SX110IS 9MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)]


  1. I love this post! The pictures are AWESOME. It is AMAZING how we can see God in nature if we just slow down enough to notice.

  2. Oh Lisa, I love this. Thank you God for not just giving us Heather-patterned people, thank you for the Lisa's, and the Jennifer's, and the Andy's, and the Erica's, and the Glennon's, and the Elinor's, and the Chloe's, and the Morgan's, and the Christina's... all of them. Thank you God for the lovely women given to all of us, whether we see them or not.

  3. As I sit here, the evening before a Celebration of Life service for Andrew's teacher...knowing I'm speaking tomorrow and still trying to get all my thoughts together...I was able to throughly read your post and gaze at your beautiful photography. Nothing is by chance, nothing is an accident...God is reminding me to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and drink up ALL the things He has created. As I mourn the death of Andrew's beloved teacher, our Heavenly Father has gently shifted my focus to one of praise and He used your beautiful pictures and writing to achieve that goal.

  4. Beautiful pictures, Beautiful words! I too, am so thankful to God for all the beauty around us. I thought maybe I was paying more attention to the flowers, trees and clouds, birds, butterflies, and the different colors of nature because I am getting older. But no, it is because my relationship with God is growing stronger. I pray that everyone will take a moment to admire God's work!


Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I look forward to reading your thoughts and sharing this space with you.