Photo-Friday – The Birthday Girl and the Garden

For the beauty of the earth, 
for the glory of the skies, 
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies. 
Christ, our Lord, to you we raise 
this, our hymn of grateful praise. 

– Folliot S. Pierpoint
– writer Derek Maul

Today’s Photo-Friday selection is just two categories: The Birthday Girl and The Garden. That’s right, Beks turned eight today, and the excitement in Miami is huge!

These are – and we remember them well from Naomi – the American Girl Doll years. So the big treat was pooling her birthday cash (along with some of her savings) and heading for the American Girl Doll Store.

Not only do the dolls have great stories, they all teach lessons from geography and history. Beks is learning all about Australia and about wildlife rescue from her Kira doll.

I won’t go through the entire list, but Molly teaches about WW2, Samantha lived in the Victorian era, Addy lived through the Civil War, and Felicity’s adventures all happen around the beginning of the War of Independence.

Beks is growing into a remarkably intelligent, sweet natured, and beautiful young lady. We feel so blessed and so proud.

The Garden:

Meanwhile, in Wake Forest, our spectacular springtime is giving way to summer. The hydrangea bridge the change, the day lilies speak of the coming heat, and fresh vegetables tell the story of good and generous friends who like to dig in the dirt.

I pray that all of you enjoy a weekend soaked not just with sunshine but with love too.

As for me, I am heading outside to get my hands dirty and do some more gardening…


commentary life Living Gratefully Our home photography The Grandaddy Letters

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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