A Place Where Joy Lives

Sometimes we stumble on Joy unexpectedly, find it in places we never thought it would be.

But sometimes we find Joy exactly where we knew it would be, in the places where it always is.

Beautiful skies and a free afternoon came together this week to draw me out of my house, out of my neighborhood and down to a place where Joy lives.  I knew I'd find it there, amongst the trees and blooms and life-song of an arboretum.  And I knew it would swell my heart, warm my face with all it's beauty.  Because Joy is always in this place.

But this time was different.

After all the journeys I've made through this forest of beauty, I didn't think this Joy could get any deeper, richer, more alive.  But I was wrong.

Because this time I tucked the Gratitude Journal into the bag, slid it in beside the camera.

And I didn't just see beauty in all the moments.  I saw God.  I felt Him near, heard Him loud, and saw Him everywhere I looked.  And my soul nearly burst with the glory of it all--the Glory of Him.

Will you come with me and see?

422.  Pink trumpets dancing in the sunlight

423.  Pieris blooms shy under leaves

424.  Flower so tiny I kneel down in dirt to see all its beauty

425.  One bud, hope in miniature

426.  Hawthorn leaves unfurling in Spring

427.  Lone daffodil in flight

428.  Hellebore still in bloom after Winter's end

429.  Pink azalea buds waiting to take the stage

430.  Azalea petals all aglitter in sun

431.  Face pressed close into blooms, inner beauty revealed

432.  Perfect camellia bloom, untouched by Spring rains

433.  Corylopsis spicata branches laid out horizontal and dripping with yellow beauty

434.  Purple-tipped petals bursting forth from soil

435.  Hellebore open wide and sprinkled blood-red

436.  Snowdrop dancing in afternoon breeze

437.  Petal edges kissed by sunlight

438.  Tiny magenta blooms I can't pass by without stooping to marvel

439.  Bare branches full of color, living up to the naming of 'Midwinter Fire'

440.  Winter honeysuckle blooms still hanging down while leaves grow green

441.  Star magnolia blooms coming out from cocoons

442.  Blossom just out of reach, framed against a blue Spring sky

443.  Forsythia blooms lingering at the edge of a Winter garden

444.  Tiny azalea flowers back lit by afternoon sun

445.  Maple tree in bloom, clusters of stars overhead

446.  Cherry blossoms waiting to be born...

447.  ...and being born!

448.  Red buds on little maple, not yet ready to open

449.  Cherry tree laden with moss, decades of stories to tell

450.  Yellow mahonia buds waiting in shadows

451.  Oemleria cerasiformis blooms cascading off branches

452.  Fuzzy magnolia buds not yet ready to reveal glory

453.  Pink petals peeking out, secrets being told

454.  One magnolia tree in full bloom, adrift in a sky of blue

455.  Tree's first bloom opening to the sun

456.  Bud spire pointing to the Maker

457.  Moss-covered tree trunk bathed in sunlight

458.  New growth unfolding in a faint shaft of light

459.  Three crocuses all in a row, mouths open wide to praise the Beautiful One Himself

460.  Driving home with a camera full of beauty, a journal full of thanks, and a heart full of God

(More gift counting for this week can be found on my One Thousand Gifts list)


  1. Wow. Stunning beauty. Joy is so, so beautiful. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous photos of where joy lives! :)

  2. Really amazing shots! My faves: crocuses, maple, magnolia against sky.

  3. Oh I couldn't Possibly pick a favorite - i LOVE them all...thank you for sharing and encouraging me to experience God's fullness, wholeness.

  4. Just absolutely breathtaking!!! After several days of dark, wet, gloomy days here, this was a sight for sore eyes, believe me. Thank you for that. It certainly is a place where JOY lives!!!!

  5. i came over specifically to tell you that i love you:). but found myself completely lost in the beauty of your pictures.

    and i couldn't help but think of the beauty of your heart...the one that has seen so much pain and grief and yet still chooses to trust and love the One Who loves you completely.

    i am *so* incredibly thankful for you.

    love to you...


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