745. I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known. ~Author Unknown

You cannot help but learn more
as you take the world into your hands.
Take it up reverently, for it is
an old piece of clay, with millions
of thumbprints on it.
~John Updike

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This is my lovely granddaughter. She was two years old when her father and our daughter, Nikki, got married. So I have been a part of her life almost from the get go and like to think that I’ve had a positive impact on her, if not by a blood link, then by a shared heart link. Like my daughter, Annie is beautiful and bright and has a compassionate, loving heart. She will graduate soon from high school, and then in the fall she will be headed off to college. Since her life will soon change in profound ways, I pray that she continues to follow the Lord and the holy nudgings of her own heart. Part of my desire for her is best stated in these quotes above and below and in what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” And I pray that she always knows that the “all” of who and what she is more than enough since she is made in the image of Almighty God. For a better insight into her sweet heart, check out some of her posts on her blog where she expresses her love and desire to serve the Lord at:  https://alwayslivingforhim.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/little-moments-big-blessings/

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To be nobody but yourself in a world
which is doing its best, night and day,
to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight;
and never stop fighting.
~e.e. cummings, 1955

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6   ✝

744. We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars … the stars form a circle, and in the center we dance. ~Rumi

Why does the snowflake melt?
To enliven spring flowers.
Why does summer sun blaze?
To ripen the garden.
Why does the leaf fall?
To bring forth beautiful snow…
Why do the seasons dance so?
To embrace us in the sacred circle.
~Deborah Morrison

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Within the circles of our lives
we dance the circles of the years,
the circles of the seasons
within the circles of the years,
the cycles of the moon
within the circles of the seasons.
the circles of our reasons
within the cycles of the moon.

Again, again we come and go,
changed, changing. Hands
join, unjoin in love and fear,
grief and joy. The circles turn,
each giving into each, into all.



Only music keeps us here,
each by all the others held.
In the hold of hands and eyes
we turn in pairs, that joining
joining each to all again

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And then we turn aside, alone,
out of the sunlight gone
into the darker circles of return.
~Wendell Berry

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. ~Isaiah 40:22  ✝

**Image of the journaler’s page found on Pinterest

743. Zero (0) is not nothing.  It’s a circle, without beginning or end. Holy. Healed. ~Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

A wheel was shown to me,
wonderful to behold.
Divinity . . . is like a wheel,
a circle, a whole,
that can neither be understood,
nor divided, nor begun nor ended . . .
no one has the power
 to divide
this circle, 
to surpass it, or to limit it.
~St. Hildegard of Bingen

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beginnings, middles, endings,
so 
go the circles of life
 here
and over and over again
the sacred circles repeat themselves
with more beginnings,
more middles,
more endings,
and yet little seems the same from
day to day, month to month, year to year,
in these patterns of inconstancy
within the undeniable constancy
that create our “wow” now moments
as well as the not so “wow” ones
so what’s to be made of all the same
and not so same circular sameness
or the ups and downs and all around times
in the beginnings, middles, and endings
only the Ancient of Days knows why
these everlasting 
holy rhythms
of the universe
 move in such a way
~Natalie Scarberry

It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. ~Deuteronomy 11:12   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

742. As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them… ~Henry Ward Beecher

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That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful
means that we are less alone, that we are
more deeply inserted into existence
than the course of a single life
would lead us to believe.
~John Berger, English Painter

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POPPIES
by Mary Oliver
The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

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of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

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sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

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shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

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black, curved blade
from hooking forward—
of course
loss is the great lesson.

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But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

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when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,

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touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight—

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and what are you going to do—
what can you do
about it—
deep, blue night?

~ from New and Selected Poems, Vol. I (Beacon Press, 1993)

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Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4   ✝

**These are all poppies grown in my yard from seed I sowed last fall, and as Beecher said, I shall never have a garden without them because they wash me in a river of earthly delight as Oliver puts it.