129. To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. ~José Ortega y Gasset

But the sower going forth
to sow seeds sets foot in time to come,
the seeds, falling on his own place.
He has prepared a way for his life
to come to him, if it will.
~Wendell Berry

Image

Like master gardener and writer, June Santon, “When I see that first, minuscule, curled, pale green wisp of a sprout poking up between a couple of grains of vermiculite, I hear God speaking.”  But then again, it’s really more than just hearing Him speak.  It is connecting with Him in a way unlike anything else because when sowing a seed, like Him, it is creating life.  After all we are made in the image of our Creator God, and so we too have the ability to create.  My particular palette is made up of photographs and words and seeds and plants whereas someone else’s may be notes of music, globs of paint, utensils in a kitchen, pieces of metal, blocks of wood.  The possibilities go on and on because we are not only capable of creating with objects but also with the very essence of who and what we are, as with teachers and ministers and parents.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  ~Psalm 139:13-15  ✝

1439. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways… ~Psalm 91:11 ✝

May all the Angels be your
sheltering and joyful guardians.
~John O’Donohue

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Who among us doesn’t remember times when we felt the hand of benevolent angels at work in our lives? My guess is we all migjht be able to acknowledge them. The word angel comes from the Greek word “angelus” which means messenger, and among other things, Biblical angels as messengers not only revealed helpful/vital information to mortals but they also protected and rescued them. Also in Scripture we find angels caring for the Israelites and smiting their enemies. And of course they were the guiding presence leading the wise men to the manger where the  Jesus, the Messiah, was born. So it is that one writer has described angels as a “medium of the Creator’s power, and they exist to execute His will.” And because angelic presences have been so prevalent in man’s history over the centuries, mortals have in various ways tried to portray angels by word and/or image.

Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. ~Psalm 148:2 ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

 

1419. Your heart, and its Creator, have loved you since the beginning. ~ Nayyirah Waheed

If you didn’t grow up like I did
then you don’t know, and if you
don’t know it’s probably better
you don’t judge.
~Junot Diaz

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…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— ~Proverbs 1:15

**Title quote and poem edited and adapted by Natalie
***Image found on Pinterest

1205. Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name. ~Rabindranath Tagore

This time of the year is so terribly hot that I find myself grumbling morning, noon, and evening about the relentless, scorching rays of the sun, the same sun that in winter is quite a welcome presence! So here’s to the beautiful sun, bearer of light and life, and the sunflower that mimics its golden glory.

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Beautiful Sun! with thy golden rays,
To God, the wise Creator, be all praise;
For thou nourisheth all the creation,
Wherever there is found to be animation.

Without thy heat we could not live,
Then praise to God we ought to give;
For thou makest the fruits and provisions to grow,
To nourish all creatures on earth below.

Thou makest the birds to sing on the tree,
Also by meadow, mountain, and lea;
And the lark high poised up in air,
Caroling its little song with its heart free from care.

While the bee from flower to flower does roam
To gather honey, and carry it home;
While it hums its little song in the beautiful sunshine,
And seemingly to thank the Creator divine —

For the honey it hath gathered during the day,
In the merry growing months of the year
When the flowers are in full bloom,
Also the sweet honeysuckle and the broom.

How beautiful thy appearance while setting in the west,
Whilst encircled with red and azure, ’tis then thou look’st best!
Then let us all thank God for thy golden light
In our prayers every morning and night!
~Edited poem by Max Plowman

…“May the Lord bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below; with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield…” ~Excerpted lines from Deuteronomy 33:13-14  ✝

**Photo taken by me in my yard

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  ✝

1134. I must have flowers, always, and always. ~Claude Monet

Color is my daylong,
obsession, joy and torment.
~Claude Monet

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Smitten! I’m completely and reverently smitten! And like Monet, what I’m smitten with are flowers and color. Not only that but when the two unite to create something as spectacular as has occurred in this iris, I’m doubly smitten, doubly enamored of, doubly attracted to, doubly enchanted by, and doubly swept off my feet! Then if the element of frilliness appears in the drooping down falls (sepals) of the flower, I become triply smitten. Last but not least, when the flowers are adorned with veining (lines and/or dots) the smittenness takes a leap totally off the scale of smittendom! How can anything as exquisite as this iris not speak of holiness as well as Divine intent and design to anyone who beholds its beauty.

Flowers are beautiful hieroglyphics of nature,
with which she indicates how much
she and God, her Creator love us.
~Edited quote by 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Flowers have spoken to me more
than I can tell in written words.
They are the hieroglyphics of angels,
loved by all men for the beauty
of their character, though few can
decipher even fragments of their meaning.
~Lydia M. Child

I know that my redeemer livers, and that at the end He will stand on the earth. ~Job 19:25  ✝

**Iris image taken today in my yard

The Identity Crisis…

In a way this is a reblog of my granddaugter’s post today. It was another great one, and I decided to share it with my followers, but rather that use the graphic she did, I wanted to include pictures of her and her family. Here’s the link to her blog, Living for Christ and Adventure at: https://alwayslivingforhim.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/the-identity-crisis/#respond

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 9.54.38 PM.pngAnd here’s the text of her post today:

Hi, my name is Annie. I am a freshman at the University of Oklahoma. I am an International Business and Marketing double major with a Spanish minor. I am an active member of Sigma Phi Lambda, a Christian, non-panhellenic sorority. I am involved in Cru and go to church every Sunday. I am dating a wonderful guy. Despite being a child of divorce, I grew up in a very supportive and loving family. I love writing, hammocking, drinking coffee, underground bands, painting, and photography. So I guess you could say that I am typical hipster Christian girl. But that isn’t my identity. My identity is found only in Christ, and so is yours.

Growing up in America, I think it becomes very easy to always be searching for “yourself.” We have all probably heard the saying in movies or maybe in real life, “I think I just need to take some time ‘to find myself.’” What does that even mean?? Who you are is not going to be found in something or someone in this world.

I am a daughter of the Most High. You are a child of the Most High. Your identity should be found in Christ alone. I can not stress this enough. Whenever you try to find it in any other thing, you will inevitably always feel a little confused about who you really are.

Sure you may be thinking “yeah I know this already.” I’ve grown up in the church being told this which is so cool, and I’m glad you know. BUT are you really grasping what this truth means? I think that if as Christians, we really understood our identities in being children of God, the world would look very different. Understanding and living out the truth, that the Creator of the universe looks at us and calls us His, is crazy, y’all!!

When you focus on your true identity, you will experience His joy. His desires can truly become your desires. You will not be able to be quiet about His grace that He extends to you by calling you His perfect daughter/son. Truly understanding our identity is a game changer. It makes all of the turns and twists of this life not seem so scary because we know that it doesn’t change who we are at our core.