The First and Greatest Painter

Rows of tulips in various colors.

Rows of flowers at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm (Photo: Julia Ozab)

Every Spring as the flowers open to the warming sunlight, we are reminded who the first and greatest painter is. He doesn’t need paint or canvas. He paints in wavelengths of light, and his subjects are also his canvas.


Tulips (Photo: Julia Ozab)

And he gave us the eyes to see the beauty and the minds to appreciate it. We paint it, we photograph it, and we write words inspired by it. We will never improve upon the original, but we will always strive to come as close as we can.

Farm and tulip rows

Looking across the field to the farmhouse (Photo: Julia Ozab)

May the beauty of Spring remind us of the beauty we were created for, and may we grow in holiness as we finish our walk with Christ through Lent and rise with him at Easter.


Today is Julia’s birthday and we are taking her to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival tomorrow to celebrate. It’s going to be a glorious day.

Five Minute Friday



A Prayer for Spring

Rows of tulips in various colors.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm (Photo: Julia Ozab)

God, as I look around I see so many signs of new life. I know that it happens every spring, but it still seems surprising that the very patch of ground that I stared at in the winter, the very patch of ground that was cold and hard and barren, the very patch of ground that was covered by a blanket of snow, the very patch of ground that looked completely lifeless, is now bursting with life.

God, there are places in my own life that seem cold and hard and barren, and dead, and sometimes it seems that nothing will ever be able to change that. But I know that with you everything is possible. You can bring life to even the parts of our lives that seem the most dead. The disciples found that out on Easter Sunday, when Jesus bloomed from the tomb.

Help me to trust in your power to change, and help me to prepare the soil of my soul for your new life, every season of the year, every day of the month, and every minute of the day.


Fr. James Martin SJ

Anna bouncing

The Joy of Jumping

Anna ready to bounce

Photo: Julia Ozab

There is a simple, indescribable joy to jumping. Most of us forget it by the time we grow up, but spend any time around kids and you’ll remember . . .

The wind in your hair.

The springs in your feet.

The feeling of flying.

Pure joy.

I get to see that joy a lot in my daughter. She love to run, to wiggle, to dance, and to play. But most of all she loves to jump. The higher she soars the happier she is, and when I watch her my heart soars as high as she does.

We all went to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon, last Friday. It was a beautiful day. The rain held off just long enough for us to enjoy the flowers, the food, and the fun. Anna loved taking pictures, but the highlight of her day was the Madjek Air Monkey Motion. She got to do what she likes best, jump.

Pure joy. Watch for yourself. And try not to smile.

Five Minute Friday