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.

1073. Hand in hand, with fairy grace, will we sing, and bless this place. ~William Shakespeare

Soft moss a downy pillow makes, and green leaves spread a tent,
Where Faerie fold may rest and sleep until their night is spent.
The bluebird sings a lullaby, the firefly gives a light,
The twinkling stars are candles bright, Sleep, Faeries all, Good Night.
~Elizabeth T. Dillingham

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The belief in spiritual beings is almost universal to human culture, be it an accurate understanding of such or not. As children, we often believe in imaginary spirits like faeries, elves, and leprechauns, but as we mature, we begin to sense the existence of a very real and holy Spiritual Being. We learn from Scripture that this Divine Creator can and does send angelic spirits as messengers or protectors. Since all that exists is part of a Grand Design by a benevolent Creator, one can assume then that there’s a sacred reason for imagination and belief in spiritual beings. Creative urges keep us mindful of our Creative God and of our own purposeful, creative abilities. Playfulness as well serves an ordained purpose because it teaches us how to be joyful. We are, after all, implored to be joyful daily for the Lord’s blessings and gifts, and it is through play that children begin to gain wisdom and knowledge of Yahweh’s miraculous abilities and His forgiving and provisionary nature.

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A little fairy comes at night,
Her eyes are blue, her hair is brown,
With silver spots upon her wings,
And from the moon she flutters down.
She has a little silver wand,
And when a child goes to bed
She waves her hand from right to left,
And makes a circle round its head.
And then it dreams of pleasant things,
Of fountains filled with fairy fish,
And trees that bear delicious fruit,
And bow their branches at a wish:
Of arbors filled with dainty scents
From lovely flowers that never fade;
Bright flies that glitter in the sun,
And glow-worms shining in the shade:
And talking birds with gifted tongues,
For singing songs and telling tales,
And pretty dwarfs to show the way
Through fairy hills and fairy dales.
~Excerpted lines from the poem,
Queen Mab, by Thomas Hood

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

**Images via Pinterest

1062. A gardening I did go, a gardening I did go, hi-ho the derry-o, a gardening I did go. ~Natalie

The smell of garden soil
Is in the air.
With patient toil
The musk of earth is freed
From winter’s cell.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Alice Prokasky

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What is a garden?
Goodness knows!
You’ve got a garden, I suppose:
To one it is a piece of ground
For which some gravel must be found.
To some, those seeds that must be sown,
To some a lawn that must be mown.
To some a ton of “Cheddar rocks;”
To some it means a window-box;
To some, it is a silly jest
About the latest garden pest;
To some, a haven where they find
Forgetfulness and peace of mind…
What is a garden?
Large or small,
‘Tis just a garden,
After all.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Reginald Arkell

Yes, indeed, today was warmish enough and a gardening I did go. For time is running out for getting the flower beds ready for spring. So sit down on the ground, get hands in the dirt, and pull those weeds from around the baby seedlings did I. Then I carefully put some of their sheltering, autumn leaf litter back in place. And from what I’ve seen, the good news is I’m going to have a bumper crop of poppies and larkspur. Yay team!!!! And by the way, ‘tis not just a garden, these toils yield glimpses into the “deeply private moments between the Creator and creation.”

*Cheddar rocks: Limestone found in a gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. ~Excerpt from Hebrews 4:13  ✝

947. Creation betokens a Creator. ~Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is more completely
the child of art than a garden.
~Sir Walter Scott

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I often marvel at the Lord’s artwork in Creation, and one of the things I love most about our amazing Creator’s handiwork is God’s occasional bent towards the frivolous. I see in it in flowers like the pink dahlia in the photo, and when I do, again I know why we are implored in Scripture over and over again to rejoice in the Lord and in His ways. Clearly God sees merit in such because nature itself speaks profusely of the Divine’s joy and delight in it and all that He has made. Not only that but after each day of Creation’s work in Holy writ it says that God looked upon what He had made and saw that it was good. Since this flower and other frivolous entities are a part of Yahweh’s grand design, I believe that perhaps they are made especially for times when the human heart has difficulty finding much of anything in which to rejoice. After all we are not asked to rejoice only in the good times but at all times. In a poem I read this week the author purported that each of us is “God clothed in a body.” Inasmuch as we are made in His image and as believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, at the very least that perception is a good way of remembering just how sacred and precious we are in the eyes the our Creator. Thinking that way might also help us rejoice more when we look at ourselves in the mirror and when we look at others.

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. ~Psalm 68:4  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest