1343. Sometimes we need to sink to the depths to know how to swim to the light. ~Julie Parker

Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on.
Let your tears water the seeds
of your future happiness.
~Steve Maraboli

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If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse. ~Anthon St. Maarten

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. ~Psalm 116:8  ✝

**Image found on Pixabay

1319. We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else. ~Elie Wiesel

One wants to believe that there’s one relationship
in life that’s beyond betrayal. A relationship that’s beyond
that kind of hurt. And there isn’t.
~Edited quote by Caleb Carr

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There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole,
while learning to sing.
~Rashani Réa

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An ex-student of mine posted a letter on Facebook today in which she asked us all to remember that for a variety of reasons not everyone will have or is having a wonderful Christmas time. And so today, I’ve given thought to things that break and shatter us at times. No one is exempt from sorrow and grief in this world. And though we must and should allow ourselves time to “hold” onto and weep over the “dark nights of our souls,” it seems to me that we also have to leave each and every heartbreak at some point in time in the past and then seek and use the “lessons” that the gouging of the soul has shed light upon.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18  ✝

**Images via the Internet; collage at top created by Natalie

879. You are not too young or too old; it is never too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret. ~Adapted line by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Each one of us has an inner room
where we can visit to be cleansed of
fear-based thoughts and feelings.
This room, the holy of holies,
is a sanctuary of light.
~Marianne Williamson

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Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where
we perform the job of taking care of our soul.
~Christopher Forrest McDowell

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The ache for home lives in all of us,
the safe place where we can go
as we are and not to be questioned.
~Maya Angelou

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A sanctuary is your space,
a safe place in a troubling world,
private and strong for healing wounds
an oasis where you can relax
take off your shoes
enjoy being your true self
feel free, think big, think small
take your time and breathe
savor the moment
open up your heart and
laugh, cry, or be crazy if you like…
“Remember the entrance 
to the sanctuary is inside you.”
~Rumi

You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for Your Word to renew me. ~Psalm 119:114 (MSG)  ✝

**Top photo is a view of my garden, my own personal sanctuary; the other lovely ones are via Pinterest

775. I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset – tears are words waiting to be written. ~Paulo Coelho

Embrace sorrowful thoughts
for they sweep the house of your heart clean,
scatter the withered leaves,
and pull out the twisted roots,
preparing the ground for 
the
new shoots of joy.
~Rumi

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Listen to your heart.
It knows all things,
because it comes from
the Soul of the World,
and it will one day return there.
~Paulo Coelho

Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. ~Isaiah 60:20  ✝

**Image by French artist, Anne Marie Zilberman, found on Pinterest

760. When writing the story of you life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen. ~Unknown

Life is one open book full of pages.
We laugh, we cry, we smile,
we stumble, we stand, we fall,
and we succeed.
Every chapter defines who
and what we really are.
~J. Johnson

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Some stories don’t have a
clear beginning, middle, and end.
Life is about not knowing,
having to change,
taking the moment and
making the best of it
without knowing what’s
going to happen next,
delicious ambiguity..
.
~Gilda Radner

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. ~Psalm 27:1   ✝

545. Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but courage and the soul. ~Michel de Montaigne

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
~William Shakespeare

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As WW II raged on in the fall of 1942, my dad was drafted into the U.S. Army on the day I was born and was sent to St. Augustine, Florida, for basic training. Afterwards he was moved to Camp Shelby in Mississippi for medical training before being sent overseas. My mom then traveled by train with me at the age of six months from Los Angeles, California, to Camp Shelby so Dad could see and spend a little time with her and me before being shipped out. (The picture above was taken in Mississippi before he shipped out.) A few months after he left, Mom began receiving small gifts and letters in French from a young Algerian woman whose children’s hands had been severely burned during an air-raid and whose home had been destroyed in the bombing. For several weeks, Dad who was a medic in the Army, made his way from the camp where he was stationed to the town in which the family lived to bring medication and change the children’s bandages. Today, I pray the little candle of Dad’s good deed shines on in the lives of those two little girls.

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Although Dad came home to my mom and the two oldest of his babies as seen in in the photo above, he had been inducted into the army with an enlarged heart, which in retrospect seems to have been large both physically and spiritually. Even though he was shot in the line of duty, it was not the shrapnel in his legs, the wounds of war that ended his life. At the age of 51, my father suffered a massive heart attack which brought an end to his valiant and cherished life. It was then and is now the most tragic of my life as well as a profoundly defining moment. I was the only one of his three children whom he got to see graduate from high school, and 50+ years later I still cry when I see his face or speak his name. He was and is now my hero, and I honor him and ALL who have served and died to protect our freedoms.  And I pray for safety for the ones who are currently serving and for their waiting families.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die… time for war and a time for peace. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 and 8b   ✝

473. When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and I hope it will not be too feverish; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to September and the coming of autumn. ~Edited and adapted quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson 

August, with its masses of spent blooms,
August, with its humidity and cloudless skies,
August, with days too hot to relish,
August, torrid and dry in the blazing sun,
August.

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And the locusts in brazen chorus, cry
Like stricken things, and the ring-dove’s note
Sobs on in the distance rim.
~Excerpt from a poem by Hamlin Garland

I(God) cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of the burning heat. ~Hosea 13:5   ✝

Thank you, Lord, that the seasons are ever-changing and that you always care for us!

** Image via Pinterest