Saturday, December 31, 2005

Northern Flicker

I don't get to go in the woods much when it snows because I have to snow plow. I don't mind it, for it is a good trade off. I get over time. This can be for cash or more time off.

I got off work one Sunday at 3 PM and rested for an hour reading. At 4 I decided that I could still get in the woods before dark. My black lab and I went for a walk off trail in the woods.

I came across a tree nest of a Northern Flicker. The bird flew out of the tree as we went by. Notice the hole in the broken top tree.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Road to Waldron

Road to Waldron

Side roads.
Few cars.
Quiet roads.
A tinge of Autumn.
Exploring new areas.

I took Mill Street from Parkville west. It turns in to NW River road. I then took the spur to the left. This road followed the RR tracks to Waldron. After going through Waldron I took the first right up a long steep hill. This gave me the work out I needed for the day. I crossed 45 hwy and then went up another hill. Seeing more hills ahead, I felt I had enough and turned around.

Going back down that long hill I got up to 30 mph. There is one stretch east of Waldron where the road turns to gravel. Railroad workers were flying west as I was headed back east. The dust was thick that they kicked up but there were only 5 trucks that went by. Other than that the road was quiet. I enjoyed the fall colors that were starting.

When I got back to Parkville. I enjoyed a root bear float in the shade.

Total miles 19.4

I felt good on the ride and the long hill did not wear me out. My 3 day average after today was 20.4 miles. The highest for me so far.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Cliff Trail Ride

Cliff Dr.

I have been cycling lately.

Here are some photos of a recent ride.

Cliff Trail

Friday, August 05, 2005

Cliff Barrier or Strength Builder

A cliff can either be a barrier or a stronghold of protection. How it effects you depends on where you are in relation to it. If you are below the cliff it is a barrier. If you are on top it is an advantage for sight and defense.

Then again if we are already on top there is no more to conquer and we won't get any stronger.

Look at barriers as opportunities for growth. Plan an attack and overcome them.

If we don't attack the strongholds and barriers then they become the boundaries of our lives.

If we attack them we become stronger for the effort. If we overcome, we become stronger and push the boundaries further.

So obstacles are either protection or opportunities for growth. Give thanks to God and bless His name for every perfect gift is from God.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Summer drought in Southern Europe is the worst in 60 years

Abundant Water at Line Creek

Summer drought in Southern Europe is the worst in 60 years. The demand for water has been increasing for years. Vacation areas in Spain are being built at breakneck speed. Many are around golf courses. One 18 hole golf course uses about the same amount of water as10,000 houses. Irrigation has been increasing in Spain to provide produce to Great Britain and Germany.

All this increase in water use is coming to a head with this drought. Not enough water to go around. The Christian life experiences drought at times.

Christians skip having a quiet time with Jesus. They put more and more activities in their lives. Prayer and Bible study get pushed out. Nothing is noticed for awhile, all seems fine. Then along comes a crisis and the well is dry. There is no faith when it's needed.

Just as it takes hard decisions to restrict growth because of water shortages. It also takes spiritual strength to make time for God and implant His word in our hearts.

Psalm 78:7 "That they should put their confidence in God. And not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments."

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Fog from the Summer Dew

Hiked with my dog to the park just after sunrise Saturday morning. It was going to be a hot day above 100F with high humidity. This was the best part of the day.

When I got there, I headed for the picnic table and let my dog loose. As I looked out across the park, I noticed under the trees the grass was barely wet while the areas open to the sky had dew on the grass and was rising as steam.

Looking across the grass under the trees was the normal color green, but in the open the grass showed a white steam that could be seen for about 2 foot in the air.

As the sunlight moved across the field the steam stopped rising. It was not the sun light but 200 feet in front of the sunlight.

When I walked up to get a closer look I couldn't see the steam anymore.

I left the house at 6:20 and it is probably a 15 minute walk to the park. Now most of the dew is gone and it is 7:04.

There is a morning dew from the Lord that is directly for you. As the sun rises, the dew returns back to the sky as steam. As Jesus comes to us what we have received in our devotions can be given back to Him in worship, prayer and praise.

At 7:20 the fog of dew had stopped.

Yesterday I failed to bring my camera. So I came back the next day to get the photo. No dew fog was to be seen.

The lesson in this is interesting. Christians have wonderful experiences with God. Because of this great time, they create an organization to make sure they do it right every time. The problem is God has moved on to something else. The Christian organization is still there but God is doing something else. They are tied with their money organizational and educational commitments and do not want to throw that away to follow an unknown or unproven path. They have made the Bible and doctrines the letter of the law. Don't get me wrong. Doctrines and the Bible are good, they are very good. They are guide posts and maps to God. But don't get tied up in a system and restrict God.

2 Tim 2 says not to be tied to the world. We are to follow Jesus as soldiers.

A cool breeze blows. I have not felt a breeze in a while. This following of the Spirit is important. Sometimes we get it just right and other times we don't. That's OK, we are on the path of seeking God.

You will not find anything if you are not seeking.

Numbers 19:11
When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Diary of a Thunderstorm

8:44 AM
Birds chirping
cool north breeze in your face.
Distant rumble of thunder
faint lightning flashes in the clouds
Occasional closer lightening with the clap of thunder.
The pitter patter of rain begins
Rain picks up intensity then slacks off and almost stops.

A bright spot in the clouds is floating by
Cars on the road keep a constant dull roar.
Train whistles can be heard faintly in the distance.
The rumble of thunder returns at first distant then closer.
The sound of song birds still can be heard.
To the west solid gray clouds
2 train whistles one faint long whistle and the other closer and to the east gives one quick toot.
Occasionally a bird will shoot past.
The lazy normal flying of birds is not seen.
Though there are some fluffy clouds they are dimensioning.
Rain falls softly now.
Against the gray backdrop a lightening strike lasts for over a second.
I notice the birds have stopped singing because one chirped 2 times then stooped.
Rain is now coming down steady.

Looking to the SE the sky is lighter.
Swallows are still looking for food but they are skimming the ground and not in the air.
Heavy rolling thunder sounds.
The sky is all most completely solid gray now.
The pitter patter of rain slows then intensifies .
I don’t even see the swallows flying now.

The sky is almost solid gray.
The pitter patter of rain is steady.
Rain lets up, thunder continues. Instead of rain drops its now heavy mist.

Psalm 29:3
“The voice of the Lord is upon the waters,
The God of glory thunders.
The Lord is over many waters.”

Rain picks back up with more regular thunder and lightening.
Lightening for 2/10 of a second and the crack of thunder.
After a wait of about a minute a downpour of rain.
Trees in the distance become hazy. As distant vision is obscured.

9:43 AM
A hole in the sky can be seen to the west out of the torrential downpour blue sky with clouds around it.

When I was at my vantage point I saw a lot of different things Now that I am driving I can’t see what I want to see. It is the same with Christ. We need to be in a place where we can see Christ.

Lightning still striking here and there rolling thunder can be heard in the background steady rain is falling.

Rain is almost stopped, sprinkling now as the light patch has moved overhead.

It is interesting the break in the clouds brought light now it is starting to get darker again.

10:50 and the rain is now coming down in sheets. the windshield wipers need to go fast to keep up.

I am looking for low spots to find ponding water and that mainly will be under railroad bridges.

Stream of water coming out of the lumber yard is all gray. Compared to the rest of the water flowing down the street which is clear.

Jackson just south of the Railroad bridge about 13th street it looks like a river flowing out

Gardner just West of Chouteau trafficway.

11:35 rain is stopped mostly.
Looking at the Missouri river shows no high flow it is below the markings on the bridge..

Heavy rain starts back up again.

12:17 it has quit raining it is just misting.

On the freeway it appears someone was hurt. Car pulled in front of a semi and was
smashed. Emergency vehicles are just arriving.

2:32 it is starting to get dark in the west.
2:36 it is raining in sheets again.

Missouri’s hot muggy days, are relieved by cool thunderstorms.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge

Flooding at Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge Kansas  

Great egrant
Other birds I IDed were:
chipping sparrow
Baltimore oriole
Red winged black bird
Bob white blue bird
Red tailed hawk


I rested in the hammock in the afternoon. It was a great day.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Monday, June 13, 2005

Gray dogwood invading a pasture

Gray dogwood

I first started hiking at this park in the late 80’s I think it was about 1986 or 87. At that time there was a couple of pastures that I hiked through to get to a forest lookout. The lookout was built by the Missouri Conservation Commission and I have enjoyed the panoramic view of the forest below in the different seasons.

It was close in and no one goes there. I have only seen a few people at that lookout in 18 years that I have hiked there. It is a good place to go for solitude.

Through the years I have noticed trees invading the pasture. At first it was just a few. As the years went on there were more and more trees coming into the pasture. Now the pasture is full of trees and is becoming a forest.

The trees that invade a pasture are not your normal trees you would see in a Missouri
forest. They are what is called primary, invasive, pioneer trees.

Gray dogwood invading pasture

Most of trees in this field are Gray dogwood.

Gray dogwood is a favorite forage plant for deer. It provides cover for birds.
It is a good tree to plant in damaged land such as strip mines and highway corridors.
It will sprout a new stem from its root system. A

Gray dogwood links

Gray dogwood links

Gray dogwood

For a pasture to remain it needs management. Especially in a forested area. If cattle are
not grazing mowing will keep the trees out or burning will stop the growth of trees. But if
the pasture is left alone then it will revert back to its natural state.

Society is like this pasture. If it is to remain useful as a pasture it needs management.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Rising Missouri river

Recent rains have raised the Missouri river. Posted by Hello

Eastern cottonwood and trees along the Missouri river. A good stabilizing tree. Cuttings from trees 3 foot sections can be stuck in stream banks to stabilize the soil.

I would like to find out what type of willow is also growing there and plan to go
back later when the river drops.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Rough-leaved dogwood

Rough-leaved dogwood Posted by Hello

Cornus drummondii
Common name:
roughleaf dogwod

[PDF] Cornus drummondii Roughleaf Dogwood

Leaves when crushed give off an oder somewhat like sour milk.
This tree is one of the hardiest of the dogwoods and can withstand the hot and cold of the midwest weather.

Upper surface of leaves are rough hairy.

It is difficult to keep out of pastures.. It spreads by sending up sprouts from one tree to grow a new stem.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Pawpaw trees and a mighty Bur oak Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Death Valley

Death Valley is a foreboding place. A moonscape not meant for life. Heat and cold. Very little rain. But 2005 has been a year of rain for Death Valley. Flowers have sprung up where only rock and dirt have been before.

Death valley could be a picture of my soul. I have tried to serve God and follow His leading. But many times I have become discouraged. I ask myself, "What have I been able to do for Him?"

Death Valley this year points to belief. Don't give up. When all around you seems barren and hopeless, keep pressing on. The Valley had seed in it that had not seen rain in more than 50 years. But the seed was still there waiting for the rain. When the rain came life was born. God's healing rain will come. It will come and give life to your soul. Don't look at barrenness as a reason for hopelessness. Where God's seed is there is hope. God's word will not return void. It will accomplish what it was sent to do.

Keep trusting and keep believing. The rain will fall. God is watching over His word to perform it.

Article on death valley flowers with 6” rain


Death Valley alive with wildflowers

Record rains yield 'once-in-a-lifetime' display

Death Valley Alive With Flowers

Death Valley rain produces a rush of turrists and bedlum of activity.

Death Valley carpet of flowers
Carpets 2

Unusual Rains Have Death Valley National Park Blooming

The wettest year on record in Death Valley was producing a spectacular flower show, even though the blooming season was just beginning....
The wettest year on record in Death Valley was producing a even though the blooming season was just beginning....
spectacular flower show,

Rare Death Valley bloom will move across hillsides.

36 photos of Death Valley

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The 100 Best Books of the 20th Century'

I saw a list of the 100 best books of the
20th Century

I have read 10 of them. I will use the others
as a list to read from when I am looking for another book to

But I was thinking, do we read God’s work of nature?

Why do I read? to be entertained and to learn.. I have found
though that my level of stress will keep me from learning. I
think that is why people turn to TV. It allows them to chill.
That doesn’t work for me because of the lack of morality
that the owners present on TV.

Nature is a way to reorient my life, back to the direction I
am supposed to be going. It quiets my heart, nature
reminds me to look to Jesus for help.

I am amazed at the consistency of nature. God has designed
it to bounce back from almost anything. With God’s grace
we can accomplish what He has designed and created us to

As trees keep pointing toward the sun to receive energy to
grow, keep looking to Jesus to receive the power to live.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Death Will Bring Life

Death will give way to life! Posted by Hello

John 12:24 “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Terri’s death is not in vain. There is fruit when there is death. Reform will come. People will see that there is value in life.

Don’t despair at the loss. Though it seems wrong, and it is wrong, good will come. They mean harm by it. Or they don’t know what they are doing. But God will work good. The sowing of the seed of death in her life will bring life to others.

Lord, bring your will to the courts in the USA. Cause people to see You at work in the world. Let your light shine in the darkness. Help us to love and not hate. Work in our hearts to reflect your glory. Bring peace in the midst of chaos, joy where there is sorrow, and life where death seems to triumph.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Terri Shiavo

“If you are slack in the day of distress, Your strength is limited. Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.” Proverbs 24:10,11

Though Terri Shiavo may be lost, her life may not be in vain. The courts seem to
have overstepped their bounds. Maybe this tragedy can work to good by reform in our judicial system.

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, here is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:54-57 NASB

Monday, March 14, 2005

Seek To Know God

 Posted by Hello

The more we come to know God the more we can accept from Him.

Waiting allows our spirit to align with the Holy Spirit so that power can flow.

Waiting allows us to accept what we have heard.

If we accept what God says we do what He wants.

Love is our response because of God's love to us.

Attitude is everything. What we accept from God as true, helps our attitude. And what we accept is what we expectantly look for from God.

Waiting for the power and believing for the power is reliant on our waiting for God and believing God.

Be still and know that God is God. There must be more to knowing than knowing God is God.

When I see the sun I think of the power of God.

For all practical purposes the sun's power is limitless. And it was designed by God. And He is much greater than the sun.

The sun is just one of the limitless stars. And God made all of this. And He is greater than all the stars He put together.

There is no end to His power. There is no end to His love for us.

His purposes for me are boundless if I will believe Him.

To know of God is one thing. To know God with heart and soul is something else. Yet God asks us to know Him. He asks us to let Him in our heart to fellowship with us. He wants to talk to us and be our friend.

Yet we can't be friends with God if we don't do what He says and asks of us. Friendship – Servant-hood. We can't be servants if we don't or won't take the time to listen, read and study.

Turn to God; you won't be sorry.

Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is ABLE to do FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY BEYOND ALL that we ASK or THINK, according to the POWER that WORKS within us.”

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Waiting for Growth

Trees overtaking an abandoned pasture. Posted by Hello

Writing, leaning against a tree after a March hike. A great March day. A little cool when the wind blows.

Shades of gray and brown are all I see. It looks like no life is happening but there are millions of buds waiting for the signal to start. Nature is lined up at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off. When the sun is right and the spring rains and warmth come. Growth will take off like a shot.

These woods will be totally different then. Viewing a picture of them now vs when there is a growth without looking close you could not tell you were looking at the same place.

We have all the potential to be vibrant Christians for God. We have all the ingredients in us.

When we point towards the Son in His timing we can grow by leaps and bounds. Let us be still in the times of winter of our soul. God will meet us and lead us to times of growth as the time is right.

2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

American Sycamore Platanus occidentalis, Linn.

Measurement of the above Sycamore.
Circumference was 158”
Crown was 89'
Height 121'
Giving it a point total of 301

ID link

Thumbnail of ID photos

Photo of big tree trunk

Bottomland tree with white thin flaking bark. Leaves large palmately lobed. One thing I remember about this tree is you don't want to split it for firewood. It grows swirled. When you put a splitting wedge in, you will be hitting your wedge many times before it splits. Another thing I remember about these trees is the heart wood rots away easily.

The white bark really stands out in the winter. The tree is fast growing and is bigger than most other trees.

The wood is not strong, durning storms branches will break off.

It has susceptible to wind shake which is the internal splitting of wood.
I also notice a lot of heart rot. This removes the tree value for lumber but it is valuable for wildlife habitat. It is grown for biomass production.

It is a large fast growing tree. Easily identified by its white pealing bark. Grows best in bottom land areas of alluvial (flood plain) soils are best growth.

The tree is moderately intolerant. Meaning it needs direct sunlight.

Sycamore grows fast throughout its life.
Within its range, only cottonwood and, under some conditions, a
few of the pines, soft maples, and black willow grow faster.

It grows to the widest diameter than other North American hardwoods.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Naturalist - Naturalism


1 : one that advocates or practices naturalism
2 : a student of natural history; especially : a field biologist

natural history the study of the life history of plants and animals.


1 : action, inclination, or thought based only on natural desires and instincts
2 : a theory denying that an event or object has a supernatural significance; specifically : the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena

As a naturalist I study and learn about nature. As a naturalist I reject the fallacy that life could evolve from a big bang or a single cell or other type of basic origin apart from God.

I see society mainly illiterate about nature. Society choses to spend money for recreation and pleasure when there is an abundance of beauty and pleasure all around that is free. We reject the creator of nature and then block ourselves from it and have little knowledge of it and then say that God has no part in nature. The way nature is handled is evident that there is illiteracy in much of our understanding of nature.

I don't judge people that are not interested in nature that is not what I want to do. I see nature as a opportunity for enjoyment and reflection of life. I see nature as a therapy for myself to quiet my soul to hear what my future should be. Problems do not seem as big when viewed from a log in the middle of the woods. They may be much bigger when viewed in front of a computer screen.

I seem less significant or I seem small when in a natural surrounding. Yet at the same time I seem more significant when I view myself and my future from a natural surrounding. I approach the creator of nature in prayer for answers for my life in the midst of handiwork that is so much greater than words can express. What He did with the world he can do with my life. His genius in developing the ecology of the world and its resiliency to bounce back from almost any calamity encourages me to look to Him to help me cope with the problems of life.

Naturalism that denies God, denies the basis of nature. From this weakness there is danger to not come to a true understanding of how nature works. True one can still view and understand biology etc. But to deny God is to fly in the face of what God asks of us. That is to have a reverent fear of Him. To fear God is to have the beginning point of wisdom. To reject God is to reject the basis for wisdom. One may learn and understand a lot. But a time will come when the foundations of understanding will be tested. Then the weakness of not acknowledging God will be revealed.

Some hold to naturalism because it frees them from dealing with having to acknowledge a creator. I want to show my creator by the work He has done in nature.

Evolution Debate

Broken oak Posted by Hello

Natural History magazine has a debate on their web site between Intelligent Design” and evolution. The debate isn't carried far enough but it is interesting to read. It was reprinted from © The American Museum of Natural History, 2002

It is set in a point and courter point. Intelligent Design should then be able to counter the original argument. And the evolutionists should be able to answer the countered argument.

I plan to repost this as I find more info.

Some great comments on the debate.

All things 2 all Blog has links to many
articles dealing with this subject.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Summer Trail photo

Hiking trail at Maple Woods Missouri natural area. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

American Basswood

25 Feb 2005 Photo of American Basswood Posted by Hello

Leaves with fruit form. June 05 

I first I.D.ed this tree because I saw it growing in a clump. There was one in a park I was walking in for lunch. The tree usually has a straight bole. The tree may reproduce by sprouting from a stump of an older tree.


Vermont's ID page Good photos for ID

Biggest American Basswood tree 246 points!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Sun's Energy

Mammoth Cave State Park Kentucky Posted by Hello

All plants manufacture energy from the sun through photosynthesis. This plant factory fuels the world with energy. Many different types of leaves and plants utilize this source and the process is the same.

Taking carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil, combining the 2 through the process of photosynthesis. Carbon and oxygen are the products.

The 5 ingredients needed for photosynthesis are, light, carbon dioxide, water, oxygen and temperature. If anyone of these are in limited supply then the rate of photosynthesis slows. Carbon dioxide is about 3% of air, increase that amount and plant growth will increase.

This is life at its basic level. In the Spring the buds that were developed the year before burst forth as the land surges with new growth. when light warmth and water become abundant, then slower as the season progresses.

Just as photosynthesis is the process of capturing energy from the sun, there is a way to receive life from God. The Bible teaches "Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through Him. John 14:6

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Jill & I on the Katty Trail by Rochport MO Posted by Hello

Spring, Flowering Dogwood

Looking forward to Spring. Flowering Dogwood Posted by Hello

Spring a time of renewal and energy. Hope to see many of these trees to retake photos.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Wait for God

Winter sunset in Missouri forest  Posted by Hello

Some would say take courage. But how do you take courage? Ps 27:14 Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, yes wait for the Lord.

Waiting for the Lord is the way to let your heart take courage.
Ps 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry.

Waiting involves crying out to God.

Waiting patiently signifies that He does not always answer instantly.

Living with right attitude means living with an attitude of waiting!
What does living with an attitude of waiting consist of? Having an expectancy! Saying, "What is God going to do?"

James 4:7-11 Crying out to God and humbling yourself before Him. Is a way to seek Him. I am doing it in the truck while I drive. I want to have my mind on Him all the time. Or to put it another way, put my mind towards Him each moment that is available. There are times for mourning before Him, and then there are times of being thankful. I will go with what I sense.

Submit therefore to God. Be ready to obey. Why wait for God if you aren't going to do what He says? There is strength in obedience. Obedience can move us into love.

Forests wait for spring before springing into growth. The conditions must be right for them to start. Our waiting before God will give us the conditions for growth. If a tree puts out growth too soon those new shoots will die back in late frosts. If we start before God's ability our works will be cut back. Waiting seems to be a waste of time but with wisdom we learn it's worth.

For many the place of waiting would be going to church often. For others with more growth, it would be times of quietness before God.

Woods after a snow. Quiet, a few birds flew through trees. All quiet in the forest. Forest waits for spring. The randomness of tree branches. All buttoned up for winter.

There is one thing about waiting on the Lord, you never know when or how He is going to show up. I was sitting in my work truck doing paperwork. A resident asked me if I would clear his street of leaves. I did it for him and that is all I needed to fix my plow. It was not raising up like it should after a recent snow. It saved me from taking it to the shop for repair. A simple solution of driving with the plow down caused the hydrophilics to work. I think God sent that man to request help to disclose the simple solution I needed.

What was I doing? Going about my normal day. I hadn't even prayed about the problem. But I was in prayer.

If I don't set a time to seek God then it is passed by. For me one of the best times to seek God is after family devotions. Many would suggest early in the morning. For me, Being awake and getting ready for work hinder my time to seek God.

Hiked to Hidden Valley outlook. Why am I here? I am here because I need God? If God gave me strength I wouldn't be here seeking Him. Why then should He give me strength? I need to obey God before I can expect His strength!

Walking along a soggy trail from melting snow, my boot slipped in the mud scarring the ground. Scarred ground in the winter will stay scarred until growth comes to heal it. Wait on God, for you will not be healed until He comes.

Woods prepare for winter, by divesting themselves of work, (dropping their leaves), and wait for warmth of Spring.

Have you ever had a job where there was nothing to do so your boss handed you a broom and you swept the floor more than once just to stay busy. How much of our Christian activity is busy work? We could be waiting on God in prayer and have real assignments to do! I pray that what I do is not busy work. Am I just being busy to show others that I am an honorable Christian?

Do we neglect our responsibilities in order to wait on God? No.
Do we shy away from trying in order to wait on God? No.

Wait for basic direction. Be about these activities. Then wait for further input from God.

It seems to me that if you don't have basic direction you should really push hard on waiting before the Lord.

Take vacation time. Look for spare moments. Do what you got to do to get to God.