1430. I don’t want to end up simply having visited the world. ~Mary Oliver

The universe is full of radiant
suggestion…over and over in the butterfly
we see the idea of transcendence.
In the forest we see not the inert
but the aspiring. In water that departs forever
and forever returns, we experience eternity.
~Mary Oliver

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Is there some “voice” you turn to when your heart and soul needs a spark, something to satiate a vague longing, or to get your creative juices flowing, or something to make you feel acutely alive, or when you need some wise rumination or conjecture that transcends the routine and the mundane commentaries. I know that Scripture and the teachings of Jesus can do that, but as a mortal human being, I also need the take on such things from other mortal humans. I need wise musings by kindred spirits who voice things that comfort me and help me feel less alone and isolated. I know, I know; I have a loving husband and a loving family and friends, but don’t you ever long for someone who knows you better than anyone else deep down inside in those places you, seldom if ever, bring to the surface. You know, the things that touch you profoundly and you’re not entirely sure why or where it comes from, and you need another’s thoughts to help you understand what you feel and how intensely you feel it. I’ve never been anything except a daughter, a wife, and a mother, but there is a Natalie way down in there that I’m not sure I could put into words so that they could understand how or what it feels like to be the me of me, not the one who has always tried to live up to the expectations of others, but the one who has always wondered what it would have been like to strike out on her own and follow her own dreams. This is not a complaint for I have been truly blessed all my life. Nor does it mean that I’ve never faced great sorrow or loss or coped with chronic pain. Everyone has “crosses to bear,” but we don’t have to let such things define and/or decide who we are! Perhaps that’s why literature has always been a great source of illumination for me because I believe writer’s are always digging down into that same kind of well and attempting to bring to the surface what they find therein.

The most regretful people on earth
are those who felt the call to creative work,
who felt their own creative power
restive and uprising, and gave to it
neither power no time.
~Mary Oliver

Many writers fit the bill that I described above, and I quote them frequently, but it has only been in the last few years that I have found my forever go-to first person for such things. This remarkable woman is a modern-day, living poet, and I have bought to date everything she has published for I don’t think I’ve ever read works by another that touch me the way she does and explain what I feel inside any better than she. I have shared some of her works before as well as in this post, and in the coming days I’m going to post quite a few more for I’ve been “hungry” again of late and as always have found “nourishing food” in her words. I hope you to enjoy her musings and offerings.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a
hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal
of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours,
and I will tell you mine.
~Mary Oliver

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ~James 1:5  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

937. The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. ~Albert Einstein

If you have a trust in and an expectation of your own solitude,
everything that you need to know will be revealed to you.
~John O’Donohue

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Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone. Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves; that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

He(Jesus) said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” ~Mark 6:31  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

865. Silence is the language of God. All else is poor translation. ~Rumi

May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all else, may silence make you strong.
~Chief Dan George

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When Christ said that man does not live by bread alone, he spoke of hunger. This hunger was not the hunger of the body. It was not the hunger for bread. He spoke of the hunger that begins deep down in the very depths of our being in silence. He spoke of a need as vital as breath. He spoke of our hunger for love. Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because without it we become weak and faint. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love we can no longer look out confidently at the world…But with love, we are creative. With it, we march tirelessly. With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others. ~Chief Dan George

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But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. ~Psalm 13:5   ✝

**Images via Pinterest and the Internet

853. Nature is infinitely creative. It is always producing the possibility of new beginnings. ~Marianne Williamson

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The Law of Divine Compensation posits that this is a self-organizing and self-correcting universe: the embryo becomes a baby, the bud becomes a blossom, the acorn becomes an oak tree. Clearly, there is some invisible force that is moving every aspect of reality to its next best expression. ~Marianne Williamson

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Nature inspires my everything. She inspires my solitude, and my writing and my art. She lifts me upon her welcoming wings and soars me through the sky of possibilities. She colors my day, brightens my soul, and calms my nights. She is fierce and beautiful, strong and delicate — an unrelenting Queen so generous of advice and never weary of new beginnings. In spring a colorful maiden, in winter a wise old lady, in autumn a looking-glass to my falling-leaf self, and summer a warm blossomed benefactor, comrade to the sun. A constant companion — sometimes indifferent, sometimes nuzzling me with her genial breezes and raining drops of heaven onto me. To close my windows and shut her out is error and melancholy. ~Terri Guillemets

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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” ~Zechariah 4:10  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collages of seeds, seedpods, bird nests, baby birds, bird eggs, caterpillars and chrysalises created by Natalie

488. Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life. ~G. K. Chesterton

Feel the wild imprint of surprise.
Free the joy inside the self.
Awaken to the wonder of life.
~Edited excerpts from John O’Donohue blessings

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When children first feel “the wild imprint of surprise,” they easily let go the joy inside themselves, but by the time they enter adolescence most become guarded about their feelings and their expressions of joyfulness. Then as playgrounds and backyard recreations are left far behind when they enter young adulthood, they are, like I was, less and less exposed to the wonders of Creation. However, I discovered when I first retired “that like a forgotten fire, childhood can flare up again.” The flames were sparked when I could at last spend greater amounts of time in my garden and with my creative outlets that I found my inner child was still alive and well.

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Sadly, the middle years of my life took me far from the things I loved in my childhood as well as through some deep valleys of brokenness. Now painful health issues rob me many nights of restful sleep, but I’ve yet to be “broken in two by time.” Though past and present circumstances have and continue trying to steal my “joie de vivre,” the Lord has not left me stranded on detours away from the His plan for my life nor stuck at dead ends. Instead the Shepherd keeps leading His lamb back into His keeping, and that as well as the freeing of my inner child helps to restore my joy. When one of my grandson’s was younger he told me once that he loved the way I often got down on the floor and played right alongside him and his brother. The question is: Was I doing it for them or for myself?

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:12 ✝

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367. Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

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Dear “Watcher:”

To my “editor within” or
“watcher” if you prefer,
why, I ask,
have you gotten so out of hand?
Aggravation I must
in some way decree
For you let me start writing
with wild delight,
but then stop me just when
I feel I’ve taken flight.
So now of you I find,
I simply must demand:
Let me ramble with pen
and be as creative as I dare.
Once the words are on my paper,
then with you I’ll freely share.
But for now just let me write
my ideas all the way through
And afterwards we’ll go over them
and I’ll let you have your say.
One thought might help you
yield to my request…
remember you only correct for me,
but I don’t write just for you.
~Virginia Cook

For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me… ~Job 32:18 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

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341. So pure, so still the starry heaven, so hushed the brooding air, I could hear the sweep of an angel’s wings… ~Edna Dean Proctor

Our Lord has written
the promise of resurrection,
not in books alone,
but in every leaf in springtime.
~Martin Luther

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Creation is a perpetual outpouring of God’s creative and loving selfhood. The sacred isn’t merely above us but forever within the entire body of Creation. The holy sound of God resonates in everything. The earth gives us reason to feel His gracious hand upon us while the forces of heaven sustain us. These realities are meant to stir in humanity a sense of belonging and in turn spark a desire to seek the Lord, but should they not, finding God in Christ is something even the blind can do. Our Creator sent us His son over 2,000 years ago, and He came to be our memory and to remind us of who we are and to whom we belong. Jesus is a revelation of our loving Father and His Kingdom’s intention. Christ offers salvation to the children of the Light who are subjected to temptation by malevolent forces, and He is a leader who directs God’s children into righteous rhythms of life, into a willingness to serve others, and into the dance of life–a dance in which the whole universe partners.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.  ~Ephesians 1:17  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!