1248. I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth… ~Author Mary Lasswell

The stars at night – are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The prairie sky – is wide and high
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The sage in bloom – is like perfume
Deep in the heart of Texas…
~Excerpted lyrics from a song
by June Hershey

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Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession.
Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.
Like most passionate nations, Texas has 
its own
history based on, but not limited by, facts.
~John Steinbeck

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I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans. ~John Steinbeck, 1962

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And, “Texans for the most part have never learned to be dull,” accurately quipped Randolph Campbell.

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As I’ve said repeatedly the intense heat of the Texas summer has always been difficult for me to tolerate. It forces me to stay indoors much more than I like, and being separated from the earth and God’s voice in the natural world starves my spirit. However, I have come to love much of the unique Texas experience, and I am thankful that the Lord created the man or woman who invented air-conditioning. I’m grateful too that our house has lots of windows so I can at least see my yard during times when it’s just too miserably hot to be out in it.. Also after I bought a digital camera, I’m able to save the garden’s glory in photographs that help me make it through the times when the summer heat temporarily robs the landscape of much of its beauty. How blessed are we that the work of His hands is as apparent as ever in His world.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19 ✝

**Images found on the Internet, Pinterest, and Pixabay; collages by Natalie

 

1241. The strongest force in the universe is a human being living consistently with his true identity. ~Tony Robbins

No one else on the planet has the same face as you. No one else has the same heartbeat as you. None other has the same fingerprints as you. You are completely unique and made so to fulfill a purpose that only you can achieve. No one else can be you or do what you are capable of doing. So, why, why, why instead of embracing that truth do we give power to others to decide what is “normal” and whether we fit into their definition of that. That’s why I’ve always had an enormous disdain for critics because they are essentially “judging” that which they are not themselves and so have no right to do. Nor do they have any idea whatsoever what it feels like to be who and what we are. So again why, why, why do we give others so much power over how we feel about ourselves and/or our abilities???

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For example, as a child I was much taller than others my age; I had lots and lots of freckles; from the time I was 4 years old I had to wear glasses; I was extremely thin; I was very clumsy; I was very sensitive; I was above average intelligence. Sadly all these were things which made me a target for young and old critics alike. And so I endured hurtful words and behaviors which unfortunately I allowed to diminish my self-esteem for some time. In other words I gave over authorship of my destiny and happiness to the hands of others instead of holding onto the pen in my hand that would write my life story. What a HUGE MISTAKE that was and is!!! We must learn to love ourselves for who and what we are so that we can open ourselves to the world in our authenticity and shine! We must never let other people stop us from being ourselves and from doing what we do best. Or we will be betrayed in the end by what is false within us and put locks on the door to wisdom. I’ve read that a rattlesnake, if cornered will become so angry it will bite itself. And that is exactly what harboring resentment about our past and what others have said and done to hurt us is — a biting of ourselves. As Henri-Frédéric Amiel said, you must “learn to…be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.” Self-hate and loathing is “a fire that consumes only the altar upon which it burns.” Please don’t any of you allow that fire ever to burn or let such things cage your uniqueness and all the good things that reside within your truest selves.

For we are His Creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God ordained ahead of time so that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10  ✝

1149. If you want to be original just try being yourself because God has never made two people exactly alike. ~Bernard Meltzer

There is no intellectual or emotional
substitute for the authentic,
the original, the unique masterpiece.
~Paul Mellon

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 10.02.05 PM.png**Watercolor image found on Pinterest; text box added by Natalie

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. ~Ephesians 2:10  ✝

951. All was silent as before – all silent save the dripping rain. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Mid-November has come shrouded in its predictable gloom
Which has set the sky to weeping from its heavy clouds of grey.
Somber as that may be autumn’s flowery remains yet bloom
Albeit droop amidst the decomposing ghosts of yesterday.

The garden, it is still and as silent as a tomb except for
The rain that varies from mists to showers to a downpour,
And there are no birds, no butterflies, no bees, no cats astray
Venturing forth from their dry haunts all the livelong day.

And I, I sit in front of the window and watch in a melancholy
Kind of funk, the cause of which I know not except to say
That like a chameleon perhaps I’ve taken on the colors of the day
But not because the rain, the silence, and the peacefulness are folly.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7   ✝

830. Morning glory is the best name, it always refreshes me to see it. ~Henry David Thoreau 

In the morning, everything is new.
The day’s blank slate lies before me, ready for my writing.
So I welcome this new day.
It is a gift to me, a new creation, a promise of resurrection.
I am thankful for being alive this morning.
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May I not miss beauty.
May I not miss joy.
May I not miss wonder.
May I make the world a better place this day.
~Both passages are excerpts
from Ceisiwr Serith
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Oh how I love vines; I love the way they climb; I love the way they twine around things, and so I’m thrilled as up, up, and up they go, these beautiful morning glories of mine! One of their best features is that the hotter it gets, the higher and faster they climb, and the higher they climb the more blooms they produce. Also morning glories come in a variety of colors, and the best part is that they all easily reseed themselves. That means I seldom have to start any new ones because Mother Nature does it for me. I do, however, occasionally try new varieties like the striped ones and the curlicue one you see. Although right now, because of the intense heat, my morning glories are only blooming in the mornings, as their name suggests, they will start staying open most of the day when it finally cools off sometime in September or October. Regardless of when they bloom or how long they stay, morning glories bless my day and among other things make me thankful for the gift of a new day. Thoreau may have been speaking of the glory of the morning in general, but these beauties can’t help but make the glory of the morning more spectacular.
**Give thanks in all circumstances, for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 5:18  ✝