First Love contd

That night’s sleep was deep and so peaceful

I awoke refreshed,

Devotions and prayers felt like a celebration

A huge country-style breakfast awaited

Bible study followed

Everything rang with Truth,

Tastes, smells, sounds, colours textures

Clearer, brighter than ever before 

It was a large, old, double brick house

Full of creaking stairways and polished wood panelling

Deep in the basement kitchen  

An Aga cooker gave out physical warmth and wholesome meals

The table wide and long, opened to common plenty & conversations,

Laughter & Togetherness

On the menu for dinner – chicken casserole & apple blackberry pie

Our task was to search out and harvest wild blackberries


We piled into cars and drove to Fingle Bridge

Here an ancient stone bridge spans a small river valley

Lush with verdant woodland

High above, rolling moorland hills kept guard

Here, wandering the dell, we collected fruit

Here wandering the Dell God chose to teach

As He teaches daily those who are open

I noticed so much, and lessons would suddenly occur

God was my first thought, He was top of the order

When that balance is right such revelations just happen

Thorny brambles revealed how temptations catch at us

Then in one step how easy to become entangled if care isn’t taken

Better to stay on the right path…

Thorns made goals more difficult,

Prickles made reaching for fruit complicated


I would take time reaching for ripe, plump fruit

Hanging just out of reach, only for it to fall away as I pressed in

Such a waste of time and effort

But on pulling back in disappointment

I’d suddenly find right there in front of me

Equally luscious fruits

I smiled then, and smile now

For so often that same lesson has returned to remind me

To set expectations a little lower, aim for a little bit less

The river running beneath Fingle Bridge is crisp and clean,

Upstream I discovered a deep pool surrounded by a shelf of stony shallows

near one bank

It looked as if long ago it had been purposely placed

A half-moon ridge with gaps could still be seen

I wonder did ancients farm fish here?

The spawn could easily make a way across the shallows, into the safety of the pool

And there grow fat and too big to leave

So many dangerous choices lead us in easy

The pleasure we take in them making it so hard to leave


The river that day displayed so many faces, moods and moments

In Riverbank shadows Death’s darkness loomed

The water hung deep, heavy and cold

In the shallow, stony watercourse the water chattered busily

Lively, sparkling Brightwater

Deepwater, Slow with Stronger pull

So the river sweeps in its quest to reach the sea  

Kingdom living is all of these…

Same River,

Same Faith,

Same Spirit,

Same Journey

Different Seasons

That special day soon ended  

All too soon ‘normal’ crowded in

I kept faith with God growing in many ways,

That Special Day remained a treasured memory

As Faith grows, and Relationship deepens

It returns from time to time

I see lessons in everyday beauty

I sense Whispered Reminders

I am reassured, encouraged that He is near

Like taking a walk in the First Garden

With a close, very Dear Friend

Watercolour, Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2010

~ by Denise Within the Vine on 26/03/2010.

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