1320. Through all the…

noise and chaos of this world it’s absolutely essential to find a time and place every day to whisper the name Jesus, the name above all names. And then with certainty know that any and all of us, will be heard. Afterwards we must then be still and wait, listen and believe, and before long we’ll find ourselves in and surrounded by the Lord’s Holy presence.

 “Be still, and know that I am God…” ~Excerpt from Psalm 46:10 ✝

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God is always waiting to hear from His children,
And because He wants us to hear His voice,
He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible,
He speaks to us through our thoughts,
He speaks to us through our conversations with others,
He speaks to us through ordinary moments in our lives
He speaks to us through our circumstances,
And so on…

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12  ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text box added by Natalie

1281. Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking. ~Khalil Gibran

Everyone is overridden with thoughts; that’s why
they have so much heartache and sorrow.
~Rumi

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The Gardener
Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough.
Have I come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.
Actually I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,
is tending his children, the roses.
~Mary Oliver

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. ~Romans 1:21  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1218. Flowers do not indulge in sentiment. They indulge in passion… Octave Mirbeau

Surely the flowers of a hundred springs
Are simply the souls of beautiful things!

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The poppies aflame with gold and red
Were the kisses of lovers in days that are fled.

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The purple pansies with dew-drops pearled
Were the rainbow dreams of a youngling world.

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The lily, white as a star apart,
Was the first pure prayer of a virgin heart.

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The daisies that dance and twinkle so
Were the laughter of children in long ago.

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The sweetness of all true friendship yet
Lives in the breath of the mignonette.

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To the white narcissus there must belong
The very delight of a maiden’s song.

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And the rose, all flowers of the earth above,
Was a perfect, rapturous thought of love.

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Oh! surely the blossoms of all the springs
Must be the souls of beautiful things.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery

My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. ~Song of Songs 1:14  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1193. Imprinted on our heart is the exact moment we fell in love with the beach. ~Judith Frenette

What we remember from
childhood we remember forever —
permanent images, stamped,
inked, imprinted, eternally seen.
~Edited excerpt
from Cynthia Ozick

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Oh, the golden age of the barefoot time,
While life was a fairy tale sung in rhyme,
When phantoms grim of a future day
Were hid in the mists of the far away…
Off for a swim on an afternoon,—
The moments—why would they fly so soon!
The rosy skies of our barefoot days.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Adelbert Farrington Caldwell

On the far left in the collage above are my great uncle and I on the beach in Southern California. He was one of my most favorite people on the planet, and before my Daddy came home from the War, he frequently took me the half a block down to the shores of the beautiful blue Pacific. Even after daddy got home and until we moved to Texas, the beach remained a cherished part of my daily reality. Sadly the photo of uncle and me is so faded now that you can’t even make out the water anymore. So I added the other pictures in the collage that I found on Pinterest to show what my earliest memories of the beach look like. Although my photo has faded, the imprint of those images in my mind’s eye is still brilliantly vivid so much so that 7 decades later I’ve never forgotten the people and places of my childhood. They are treasures that I horde and keep safe in my heart because I know that childlike faith, along with childlike love, are an open road to God’s heart.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matthew 18:3 ✝

1186. People who judge others say more about who they are than those they judge. ~Donald L. Hicks

I hate to go mincing through life, afraid to take
a single long step for fear somebody is watching.
I want to “wave my wild tail and walk by my wild lone.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of,
among other things, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

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validation, noun • the recognition or affirmation of the validity or worth of (a person or their feelings or opinions); causing (a person) to feel valued or worthwhile

Ya know, there are some words and/or expressions that just irritate the heck out of me. As an educator I hated it when my daughter or any other child for that matter was labeled as an over achiever because she and they excelled academically and/or in sports or music or art or whatever. Why do people do that? We should celebrate the success of anyone who is working hard and attempting to reach their full God-given potential. I don’t like the expression under-achiever either. Or geek. Or retard. Or freak. Or any other of those thoughtless labels that make a person feel stupid or like an outsider. I taught way too long not to know that we are all unique, not only in who we are but also in how we think and how fast we acquire knowledge. And next who in the sam hill gives any one else on the planet the right to validate others. Who are they to decide if our feelings or opinions are worthwhile? Did I miss something in school? Is there some elected or appointed group who’s allowed to make such decisions about the rest of us? I don’t think so! But then perhaps I, too, was too busy being an “over achiever” and so missed the election of such enlightened individuals. Wrong again! We are, all of us, children of the Creator of all that is, and God Almighty is the ONLY voice we should and must listen to about such things. Scripture says we are all given spiritual gifts and that there is a purpose in them. And though the Lord forgives us of our failures and shortcomings if we ask with a contrite heart, I think He still fully intends for us to give the gift of life He has granted us our best effort! So instead of all this name calling and judging and criticizing, people need to be encouragers and validators of a person’s inherent worth and abilities. In fact, that is something which the Lord charges each and every one of us to do. Lastly I don’t fit in a “box,” you don’t fit in a “box,” nobody fits in a “box” of man’s making! And before someone cleverly quips that men just need to create bigger boxes then, unless they are able to create the DNA of a me and a you and endow us with our gifts, they can’t  even begin to create boxes big enough to do that!

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. ~Romans 12:6-9  ✝

1162. Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence. ~Plato

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What you encounter, recognize, or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. Many of the ancient cultures practiced careful rituals of approach. An encounter of depth and spirit was preceded by careful preparation. When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace. ~John O’Donohue

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By having a reverence for life,
we enter into a spiritual
relationslip with the world.
By practicing reverence for life
we become good, deep, and alive.
~Albert Schweitzer

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Man’s only true happiness is
to live in hope of something to be won by him,
to reverence something to be worshipped by him,
and to love something to be cherished by him, forever.
~John Ruskin

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Gratitude bestows reverence,
allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies,
those transcendent moments of awe that
change forever how we experience life and the world.
~John Milton

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Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe… ~Hebrews 12:28 ✝

**Images found on Pinterest; collages by Natalie

1155. A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. ~Victor Hugo

I haven’t much time to be fond of anything…
but when I have a moment’s fondness
to bestow, most times…the roses get it.
I began my life among them
in my father’s nursery garden, and
I shall end my life among them, if I can.
~Wilkie Collins

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The garden is the place I go for refuge and shelter, not the house. In the house are duties and annoyances, servants to exhort and admonish, furniture, and meals; but out there blessings crowd round me at every step — it is there that I am sorry for the unkindness in me, for those selfish thoughts that are so much worse than they feel; it is there that all my sins and silliness are forgiven, there that I feel protected and at home, and every flower and weed is a friend and every tree a lover. When I have been vexed I run to them for comfort, and when I have been angry without just cause, it is there I find absolution. Did ever a woman have so many friends? And always the same, always ready to welcome me and fill me with cheerful thoughts. Happy children of a common Father, why should I, their own sister, be less content and joyous than they? ~Elizabeth von Arnim

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Gardens and chocolate
both have mystical qualities.
~Edward Flaherty

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I would hurry to my place of shelter far from the tempest and the storm. ~Psalm 55:8 ✝

**All flower images taken by me in my yard; lower most chocolate image via Pinterest