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Here at the beach, we see a lot of yellow, mostly in the form of the sun and its magnificent reflections in the sky.

For this week’s Photo Challenge, I’d like to share a few splashes of yellow I recently enjoyed:

OB Sunrise

Yellow sunrise at Orange Beach

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Hibiscus, bright yellow like the sun

Bayway Sunset

Yellow sunset over bay

Thank You, God, for sunrises and sunsets, for seasons of change.

Thanks for the rhythm of time and the brilliant colors You infuse into those rhythms.

So many possibilities with this week’s Photo Challenge

I had to go with the abandoned Sand Island light house, built in 1873.

Except the abandonment is not the focal point of the photo: the missing ISLAND is gone, but not forgotten.

Where did it go?

It wasn’t always a pile of rocks…

Sand Island Lighthouse

Once upon a time, Sand Island was home to a herd of grazing cows around the lighthouse. It was a barrier island to a barrier island.

But, like all things that fall prey to time, commercial progress and the elements, it gradually eroded thanks to the creation of the shipping channel in nearby Mobile Bay. Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Katrina (2005) further took their toll.

They tried to resurrect it by restoring the sand in the last decade. We used to be able to walk out to it from Dauphin Island, Alabama. Hiking out there, we could fish, dive, snorkel, and camp overnight. But alas, Hurricane Isaac in 2012 swept it completely away overnight.

Now it is only accessible by boat and has earned a spot on the Light House Digest Doomsday List.

Sand Island may be gone, but will not be forgotten.

Thanks, God, for both precious memories and hope, for allowing us to reminisce and also to accept change.

Thank You for having us build our hope on steadfast Rock.

This week’s Photo Challenge describes the minimalist picture:

“An artfully executed minimalist photograph is anything but mundane. It illustrates a moment in time, or an artistic perspective, with simplicity and grace…and an interesting subject that is able to stand on its own to capture the interest of the viewer.”

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Thank You, God, for simplicity and grace..for the courage to stand on our own, to stand tall and to stand by You.

And thanks, God, for capturing our interest in Your grace in simple ways.

“My grace is sufficient for thee…” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

They say that landing is more difficult than taking off…but I’m not so sure.

Clearing the trees

Ascent can be exciting or perhaps bittersweet.

Descent can be, too, and also demands narrowed focus.

Both can produce comfort and/or anguish.

A change of perspective from where we are in relation to where we’ve been and where we’re going, forces us to grow and fosters wisdom.

What goes up, must go down – and both are healthy, a part of the natural rhythm in life.

It’s always good to be nudged out of our comfort zones!

Thanks, God, for life’s ups and downs. If we were to stay either aloft or grounded, we would lose perspective and miss out on opportunities for greater vision and growth.

For more concepts of Descent, please visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/descent/

 

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For more refractions, click here.

Thanks, God, for luminous illusions which light our lives in unexpected ways…for refractions which appear both magical and surreal, transforming Your light from the common to uncommon.

For transporting us to realms well beyond the fringes of our mind…

They are elusive yet real; other-dimensional, yet momentarily tangible.

Fleeting Fantasy…but are they really?

Thank You for a taste of perception of Those Things which defy the deadening drumbeat of daily life.

Thank You, God, for dreams come true, if only in a wisp of momentary perception…

They leave us with a tingling aura of a hint that they MUST have been real, they COULD have been real…

But grievously dissolving back into reality,

They dissipate back into the excuse that they were but just a dream.

Please, God, let them be REAL….let the refractions dance in our eyes and in our minds and in our hearts for eternity.

This week’s Photo Challenge about dreaming is great, because I like to do a lot of it, night and day, as both participant and observer…

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Some day, I will soar far above the oppressive fog and into the bright, white-hot sun one day, free – like Jonathan Livingston Seagull:

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Dreams can throw us off-balance just enough to remind us that perspective may not always be what it appears. They keep our minds sharp and tap into our greatest resources: to think deeper, to contemplate, to problem-solve, to entertain the dimensions that seem to exist only in delta waves…

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Thank You, God…for all the dimensions You’ve created. Thanks for rich neurological magnificence that affords us a glimpse into the depths of our brains and those other dimensions.

Please give us the grace to let go of dreams not meant to be, courage to face our nightmares and hope in hanging on tight to our dreams.

Thanks for your infinite wisdom in Your hand in our dreams.

Humanity …http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/humanity/

Medical technology gives us more choices in creating and controlling our destiny and that of our offspring.

It is estimated that 92% of fetuses who test positive for signs of Down syndrome today are aborted.

When David was in utero, all the tests came out “false negative.” We had no reason to believe anything was abnormal. His birth was normal – he came skidding out in 45 minutes flat, weighing in at 10 lbs 6 oz.

But he wouldn’t nurse, and his blood coagulated quickly – he resisted life initially, so measures were taken to keep him alive. He got blood transfusions (GIVE BLOOD!) and was the biggest, giant baby in the NICU.

A couple weeks after his birth, he tested positive for Trisomy 21. Fragile, he contracted pneumonia and his lungs collapsed 75%. He was airlifted on a Mercy Flight and was not expected to live.

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I pumped milk for him to be fed through a tube down his nose and into his stomach for months, while we lived in a Ronald McDonald House.

In his coma, we sang to him and talked to him, trying to give him the best of his only days on this earth.

Some argue that this is a waste of human and social resources. Had the fetus (David) been tested with today’s technology, it (he) could have been caught and prevented, and the six-figure price tag for his hospital care (at the time) could have been saved.

This is not a new concept; history repeats itself over the generations, but usually only the newer generations have forgotten the atrocities of the older generations. And…one thing leads to another….

Technologically advanced eugenics is indeed alive and well in the world today, whether we prefer to notice or not.

The prognosis was, if he didn’t come home in a casket and came home in a car seat instead, he’d be in a vegetative state at best, and could possibly live to age four or five.

Once I relinquished him to God, whether it be on earth or in heaven, somehow his flat line began to take off and he lived…(the little dickens extubated himself when he came out of his coma…he had a will to live).

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“Mighty David” defied all odds and, just like you and I, went on to do great things.

Like walk and talk and tickle and play in the band and paddle board and know Santa and be featured in the National Down Syndrome Society and Little League….nosiree, no vegetative state for HIM!

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imageMeeting Santa Claus while marching with the high school band in the Christmas Parade last year (He’d really hoped to meet Philip Phillips):

(Can you say JOY?)

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Quality of Life: Priceless

(beating Mom at push-ups)

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Don’t judge: there were abortions and one live birth prior to David, and two live births and four miscarriages after David…it always works out just the way God intends, even if we think we’re in charge!

No judgment, only LOVE and FULFILLMENT!

We do what we believe we must do when we must do it. God does what is meant to be, regardless.

Thanks, God, for Your perfect will and guidance….for rainbows out of clouds, for strength in weakness, for thumbs up in the face of Downs, for David and children all around the world who beat the odds and magnify Your glory, and for always being in control no matter what.

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Thank You for being an Awesome God!

 

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