Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Early Morning Butterflies
The Early Morning Woman

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) butterfly roosting in the morning, covered with dewdrops.

Dewdrops glisten on roosting butterflies at daybreak. As the early morning’s rays of sun touch the sleeping butterfly, these dewdrops start to evaporate and its body warms in the sunlight. When it is dry and its body is warm, it starts to move, opens and closes its wings a few times, then opens its wings to absorb the full benefit of warm sunshine on a warm summer morning. After a while longer, it flies off to eat breakfast and enjoy another summer day.

A Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) butterfly egg sits in a droplet of water.

An egg drips with dew as the caterpillar inside is forming and preparing to hatch.

A Monarch (Danaus plexxipus) butterfly caterpillar, dripping with dew, eats milkweed for breakfast.

A caterpillar wears dewdrops as its early morning garment, while already munching away at its breakfast.

A Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) butterfly caterpillar, dripping with dewdrops, eats passioinvine for breakfast.

Dewdrops on a chrysalis shimmer and sparkle, like diamonds in a new engagement ring.

A Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterfly chrysalis pupa is covered with early morning dew.

I enjoy wandering in the garden at daybreak with my camera on warm summer mornings. But that is the ONLY time I enjoy being up at daybreak. Until I discovered the beauty of dewdrops on butterflies, not even M&M’s could get me up early in the morning.

I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. Only butterflies, dewdrops, and my camera can coax me (with a smiling face) from my slumbers before daybreak. Any other type of ‘coaxing’ will bring me up from my slumbers, but not with a smile!

As I wander through my photograph files, looking at photographs I took early on summer mornings, I think of Proverbs 31; the ‘virtuous woman’. 'Early morning' has started to equal 'virtuous woman' in my mind.

I have never liked this lady. She sets an example that makes my skin crawl. Proverbs 31; 15 “She gets up while it is still dark”. This is the one verse I’d like to strike from the bible if I could do so.

(The full description of the virtuous woman is quoted below.)

I don’t mind all the other good things she does; but this one just hits my tender spot. I enjoy sleeping in.

Then I seriously look at this woman;
1. Good character
2. Works hard
3. Wise with finances
4. Provides food for her family and servant girls
5. She evidently works late into the night
6. She thinks of those not as fortunate as her
7. Her family and servants are adequately protected from the cold
8. She dresses very nicely
9. She is wise
10. She gives good advice
11. She is multi-talented
12. She provides income by performing several jobs
13. Her husband and children appreciate her
14. She is a hard act to follow

It’s good to have good examples. This woman is an imaginary woman who CAN be perfect. Whew. What a relief. If I imagined myself, I’d be perfect too!

I’m thankful for the living good examples in my life. My Mother stayed a woman of God, through easy times and through hard times. My sister Sandra, who in spite of the challenges of life, keeps a smile on her face and a bounce in her step. (And she rises at 4:30 in the morning.) My husband’s family’s maid, Janie, was another virtuous woman. Janie had hard times like few of us face. Her story would make a best-selling novel. No matter what, we could see Christ in her.

These women have their down times. They have their times of tears. They have my admiration and gratitude.

These show me that I can also be Christ-like. Their good qualities are encouragement to me; in spite of our human tendency to be selfish, we can be overcomers and live for others. Their mistakes remind me to keep my eyes on Christ, the only perfect example.

Proverbs 31
Sayings of King Lemuel
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

1 comment:

  1. That's truly an inspirational piece, Edith, thanks for sharing your thoughts.