597. The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. ~Melody Beattie

A fresh start.
A new chapter of life waiting to be written.
New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved.
Answers to be discovered and then lived
in a transformative year of delight and self-discovery.
~Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Recipe for a Happy New Year ~Anonymous

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past—have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work, hope, fidelity, kindness, rest, and prayer. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

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I Am the New Year. . .Bible Illustrator

I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it but with more determination.

All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have—these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to the Lord who said, “…Behold, I make all things new.” ~Revelation 21:3   ✝

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Happy New Year everybody!  May yours be abundantly blessed!  Love, Natalie

** Images via Pinterest

596. Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. ~Lord Chesterfield

Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth
that around every circle another can be drawn;
that there is no end in nature,
but every end is a beginning,
and under every deep a lower deep opens.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Look well to this day.
Yesterday is but a dream
and tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow
a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day.
~Francis Gray

This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. ~Isaiah 43:16, 18-19   ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text added by Natalie

595. Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too. ~William Cowper

I managed to keep a few square yards on a shelf for staging in a greenhouse, and those few square yards were crowded with bright things from December to Easter. Their brilliance contrasted with winter’s leaden skies; it was like coming into an aviary full of tropical birds and butterflies… ~Excerpt by Vita Sackville-West, edited and adapted

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I have a little greenhouse
Here in my backyard,
Where hyacinths and tulips grow
And pansies bloom unmarred.

No matter how the winter’s storms
May rage with ghoulish glee
And beat against my casement there,
It never frightens me.

I watch my flowers from day to day,
I water them with care
And they give back their sweet perfume–
Their fragrance fills the air.

I wonder if in years to come
The greenhouse yet will stand,
When I who tend it now so well
Shall sleep beneath this land?

I wonder if–but who can tell
What passing years may bring?
But still–there’s always flowers to bloom
And beyond this door birds to sing.
~Poem by Iva H. Drew,
edited and adapted

…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience… ~Colossians 1:9-11   ✝

**I took this photograph today of tulips abloom in my greenhouse.

594. The wise still seek Him. ~Author Unknown

The media is increasingly devoted to fear-inducing subject matter: terrorism, serial killers, environmental catastrophes, and so on. And yet, every day the Lord’s grace is made manifest in countless places and situations, and He showers blessings and outright miracles on our planet. ~Edited excerpt from JESUS CALLING by Sarah Young

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Let us remember that He has given us
the sun and the moon and the stars,
and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–
and all that live and move upon them.
He has given us all green things
and everything that blossoms and bears fruit–
and all that we quarrel about
and all that we have misused–
and to save us from our own foolishness,
from all our sins,
He came down to earth and gave us Himself.
~Sigrid Undset,
Nobel prize-winning Norwegian novelist

God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. ~Psalm 46:1-3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest