Week 18 ~ What Makes Clark Gardens Special?

What makes Clark Gardens one of the most beautiful Botanical Parks in the entire Country? Well, at first it is the beauty of the lush greens, the colorful blooms everywhere you look and the design and layout of the Gardens! WOW! But this is not what truly makes Clark Gardens so Special!

Clark Gardens is the dream, love and hard work of Max and Billie Clark! Billie wanted an English Garden and Max wanted to build it for her! This became the Channel Garden at the entrance of 35+ acres of magnificent beauty! From there the Gardens grew, with Billie’s inspiration and  designs and Max constructing it with the help of John Holder! Then you also have the staff who helped create this Little Bit of Heaven!  This creation known as Clark Gardens Botanical Park started in 1972 and was ready to be opened to the public on April 20th, 2000!

Welcome to Clark Gardens

Today Clark Gardens is one of, if not the, most beautiful, tranquil places on earth! It is tucked away down a country road surrounded by woodlands. There is something always blooming and the greens are so lush they look as if they had been painted! But all of this is not really what makes it so Special…it is the people! Max is a humble, friendly, warm man who loves people and is genuinely happy to see how thrilled the visitors are with the Gardens he and Billie created! Then there is the staff! Quite a few of them have been there for over 20 years building, maintaining, caring for and loving the Gardens! Now if you have to chose one thing that makes Clark Gardens so special it is…LOVE! You can feel it as you stroll through the Gardens with varieties of birds singing their songs, a gentle breeze blowing through the trees, the sweet aroma of all the different blooms, the sounds of the peacocks, ducks, geese  and oh, yes…the Guineas aka the ‘Busy Bodies of Clark Gardens’! But you truly feel it when you see a ‘worker’ of Clark Gardens and they give you a big smile and wave! They are not just staff, workers or employees, they are part of the Gardens; they love the Gardens and if is part of them! Without the people of the Gardens who helped create it, pour their hearts and love into taking care of it and constantly helping it grow into something even more magnificent, it would be just another Botanical Garden Park! Max along with his staff work the Gardens every day pouring their love into every thing they do!

Max and his faithful companion, Chocolate

A small portion of the Channel Garden

The Clark Gardens’ Train Station

For more information on Clark Gardens you may go to: http://www.clarkgardens.org/

Have a Blessed Day filled with love and Sonshine!

Love and Blessings,

~ Judy ♡ ~

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Week 17 ~ Beautiful Blooms Blooming

How can anyone look at these beautiful creations of our Daddy and not believe in Him? When you look at the intricate detail of each bloom, how can you not recognize His handiwork? I am so thankful that my Daddy loves me so much that He surrounds me with His beauty in everything!

Have a wonderful day and remember to stop and smell the flowers! 🙂

Love and Blessings,

~ Judy ♡ ~


TheFathersCreations’ photostream

JVP_20120417_ClarkGrdens7364JVP_20120417_ClarkGrdens7352JVP_20120417_ClarkGrdens7334JVP_20120417_ClarkGrdens7215JVP_20120417_ClarkGrdens7074Home Sweet Home
JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail6905Paul getting a very close up shot!Indian BlanketA Beautiful LadyJVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail7019JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail6965-2
JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail7058JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail7011Sweet Stella!JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail6936JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail7043She's Just a Youngster Enjoying the Bluebonnets!
JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail7049JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail6977JVP_20120413_BluebonnetTrail6537-2JVP_20120410_ClarkGardens6483-2JVP_20120410_ClarkGardens6489God doesn't make mistakes! He makes surprises! :)

TheFathersCreations’ photostream on Flickr.

Bet you can’t guess where I was yesterday! ♡


Week 16 1/2 ~ What is a Christian?

What is a Christian? Well, you can find all different definitions for what a Christian is, but what truly is a Christian?

First, if you have to go around telling people that you are a Christian, then you are not living like a Christian! A Christian is someone who loves Jesus with all their heart, soul, spirit and mind! Someone who wants to live their life being as much like Jesus as is humanly possible! Someone who can love people in spite of themselves; pray for them; forgive them and show them the way to an eternal life with Jesus. Oh, they’re not perfect and they know that, but they strive to be obedient to the Word of God and live accordingly! They are not ashamed of who they are in Christ Jesus. They are bold and stand up for God and His ways. And most importantly they walk in humility and love ~ not judging, not condemning but sharing!

A Christian is a servant, who loves to serve and help others without expecting anything in return! They are not seeking ‘recognition’, ‘praise’ or ‘glory’ for what they do. All the Glory belongs to God! They will stay in the background, praying for you, loving you and serving you without you having any knowledge of it. A Christian doesn’t have to tell anyone they are a Christian; it shows in the way they live their lives; the way they treat others; their words and what they stand for ~ in  other words the fruit of their lives! A Christian doesn’t preach at you, they share what they have found through their faith and trust in God and help you to find it too! There is no jealousy or envy, but love and joy in your success to living a prosperous life in The Lord.

This is what a Christian really is! They are full of joy, a peace that passes all understanding, compassion, wisdom/discernment to know the difference between truth and deceit and a love for life and others that is sincere and unfailing! A personal, intimate relationship with The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. There is no worry or fear in a Christian. They know that God and God alone is their source and that He never leaves them or forsakes them! And the greatest thing of all is that they love you and want you to join their family and spend eternity with them in Heaven sitting at the Father’s feet! What a glorious day that will be!

Be blessed today and everyday abundantly by God!

Love and Blessings,

~ Judy ♡ ~


Week 16 ~ Why Is It So Hard?

Why is it so easy to say what we think and feel to people about our government, world situations, life in general, but when it comes to telling those close to us how we feel about them it’s practically impossible? Maybe we came from a family who didn’t know how to show their feelings or express how they felt. Maybe we are afraid of looking foolish or being hurt or humiliated!

We need to take some lessons from children! They will look at you and unexpectedly say, “I love you”, “You are pretty” or “You’re my friend”! The Word of God says ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks’ Matthew 12:34, so why is it so hard to say, “I love you”; “I need you”; “You mean every thing to me”; “You are my best friend” or “You are Pretty” or “You are Handsome”?

Words are so important! Words set things into motion! They direct our lives. They can be sweet, gentle, happy, encouraging or they can be cruel, hateful, hurtful, belittling! Words spoken can be comforting and endearing years and years after spoken into our lives or they can still bring feelings of hurt! Words can never be taken back and they are never forgotten.

Time is passing by faster and faster, so don’t wait until it is too late! Start today to let your feelings toward loved ones show and out of the abundance of your heart let your mouth speak!

Have an Abundantly Blessed Life!

Love and Blessings,

~ Judy ♡ ~


Week 15 1/2 ~ The Legend of the Pink Bluebonnet

The Legend of the Pink Bluebonnet
Greg Grant

A number of years ago while roaming the quaint inner city gardens of San Antonio with noted Navasota garden historian and good friend, Pamela Puryear, we came across an elderly Hispanic woman with a charming tale…”The Legend of the Pink Bluebonnet”.

As Pam scribbled with the skill of a court stenographer, I listened to the old tale…

The two children scampered through the April field of wildflowers near San Antonio, on their way to the old mission church to pay their Lenten devotion. They were followed by their slower grandmother, dressed in rusty black. She was painfully thin and her face was seamed with many fine lines.

“Mamacita! Here is a white flower with all the blue ones!”, the excited girl cried.

“Those are bluebonnets,” her grandmother explained, “and sometimes, very seldom, there is a white one among them. Some even say that the Lone Star of the Texas flag was fashioned after a spot of white bluebonnets amongst a field of blue.”

The little boy stood still and gestured to the bloom at his feet, “But what about this pink one then?”

The small group studied the pure pink bluebonnet a moment before the grandmother turned to the children and spoke.

“If the white ones are special, then the pink ones mean even more.” She paused, “When I myself was a little girl, my grandmother told me a special story about these rare flowers. They seem to only grow downstream from the mission Alamo, and that is because of something which happened here many years ago.”

“It was when Texas was not part of the United States, but only a remote province of Mexico. The Americanos and other foreigners had not been settled here for long, but trade was busy, and we all had hopes of a golden future for our country.

Our family owned a fine house and farm near the old cathedral. My Papa would rise early, take his tools, and work the land before the day grew too hot. Then after the noon siesta, everyone would begin to wake in the cool of the dusk. The adults would bath in the clear river, while we children splashed in the shallows. Everyone would dance, eat, and visit until late into the evening. Sometimes there were Americanos who came to celebrate with us, but their talk always turned to politics. The men were angered because the Constitution had been overthrown by a terrible Mexican dictator.

The men all went about with frowns, and the women began to be afraid. Then came that bitter spring when we learned that the dictator was on his way to our city with many troops. Papa was torn between joining the Americanos to fortify the old mission compound, and fear for his family.

He decided to hide us in the countryside, and every time I look at the ruins of the mission chapel, I remember the fear we lived in during that time. Day and night we heard the cannons and the rifles firing in the distance. The brave new Texans fought long and hard, but in the end were overwhelmed by the Mexican troops.

After the shots had finally ended, we crept silently home in the darkness. Mama and Papa were thankful that our lives had been spared, but it broke their hearts to learn of the many who had lost their lives in that terrible battle. Mama often cried when she passed the homes where friends had fallen.

One day several years later, I found her putting a pink wildflower in a vase beside the statue of the Virgin. She told me she had found it near the river where it had once been white, but so much blood had been shed, it had taken the tint of it.”

The grandmother paused, “That is why you will only find the pink ones near the river, within sight of the old mission,” she said.

“So remember, the next time you see a pink bluebonnet, it’s not only a pretty flower, but a symbol for the struggle to survive and a memory of those who died so that Texas could be free.”

NOTE: Interestingly enough, according to Dr. Jerry Parsons, the only place in the state where the original wild pink bluebonnets were found was along side the road, just south of downtown San Antonio.

Enjoy the beauty all around you!

Love and Blessings,

~ Judy ♡ ~


Week 15 ~ Prayers Are Answered!

Yesterday was a very busy day! Spring time in Texas brings beautiful new growth with lush, vibrant colors and new beginnings with new life! It also brings thunder storms and tornadoes!

My daughter called me and asked if I had seen the weather report (she knows I don’t have the TV on during the day)! There were some nasty cells approaching us. I turned on the TV and as we watched we started praying! My husband, her dad, was at Clark Gardens, west of Ft. Worth. To make a long story short…we each were watching a different station report, were praying and speaking to the funnel clouds developing and touching the ground commanding them back into the clouds and to dissipate! We commissioned angels over the people in their homes, cars traveling in the path of the storm, work places and pets not knowing what was happening! We covered our loved ones, family and friends, texted her brother who lives north of us and she was texting friends who were in places where they had no TV to see what was headed their way! We watched as the storm passed us by and continued praying and commanding! It was so awesome to see it retreat into the clouds and hear the weather man say, ‘well it might be reforming’! NOT! All this time I was tracking DH on my cell phone to see him headed back home! I tried to call him several times to get him to delay his trip home because he was heading into the storm, but he couldn’t hear his phone ringing with the rain and the radio! It was a very long day!

The Praise Report is, that though there were houses, property and ‘things’ destroyed, there were no lives lost and no fatal injuries!  There were interviews of people who were in bathtubs and closets praying, and when the storm was over, the only part of their home not devastated was where they had been! One woman was in her closet and afterwards she came out to find every part of her home flattened except her closet and she didn’t even have one scratch on her! One babysitting grandmother had 2 eighteen month old babies and a 3 year old in the bathtub with her and as the tornado tried to pull her grandson out of her arms she held onto his legs and saved all 3 babes and herself! Now tell me God doesn’t answer prayers!!!

Have an abundantly blessed day!

Love and Blessings,

~ Judy ♡ ~