1161. What a lovely thing a rose is! ~Arthur Conan Doyle

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
~John Boyle O’Reilly

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Whoa! Look
At that amazing beauty!
Wow and wow again, I declare!
Who is that dark and sultry one I see?
She’s the Queen of Hearts they say, and she
Is said to be a dusky and sensually red rose who
Masquerades not as dark and pink magenta red but
One who’s shadowy with smoldering black overtones.
La Dame de Coeur is her real name and verily she’s the
“Ooh la la” hybrid daughter of two other “femme fatales”
Of great acclaim and renown, Peace and Independence.
Not only a stunning and truly red rose is she, but also
Freely does she bear large, double, fragrant flowers
This queen who begins life in hot and fiery hues
And then ages from scarlet to regal crimson
Over leaves which are ever so green.
~Natalie Scarberry

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There is simply the rose; it is perfect
in every moment of its existence.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. ~Psalm 144:12  ✝

**I’ve eyed this rose in the Antique Rose Emporium catalog for years and finally decided to buy one this spring and I’m in love with her. She’s actually an even prettier red than these photos show. Red just never appears to be as pretty in digital photos for some reason.

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.

622. The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers. ~Matsuo Bashō

If a poem is thin, it is likely so not because
the poet does not know enough words,
but because he or she has not stood long enough
among the flowers-has not seen them in any
fresh, exciting, and valid way.
~Mary Oliver

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I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth;
I was Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun,
which is The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.
~Excerpted verses from Song of the Flower

~by Khalil Gibran

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. ~Psalm 42:8  ✝

384. June-O most noble Greenness…You are encircled by the very arms of Divine mysteries. ~Hildegard von Bingen, 12th century Benedictine Abbess

I’m glad to be alive, to see and feel
The full deliciousness of this bright day,
That’s like a heart with nothing to conceal;
The young leaves scarcely trembling; the blue grey
Rimming the cloudless ether far away…
~William Allingham


What Wordsworth called “the fairest daughter of the year” has dawned, and now that June, spring’s last born child who gives birth to summer, sits on the throne, she’ll afford us a last look at spring’s beauty before she steps down and yields to the burning flames of the summertime sun.


Now summer is in flower and nature’s hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi’ glittering dance and reeling in the sun
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streaked woodbine
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun.
~John Clare

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. ~Psalm 100 ✝

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!

365. Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

The moment a child is born,
the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed,
but the mother, never.
A mother is something
absolutely new.
~Chandra Mohan Jain


In everyone’s life,
at some time,
our inner fire flickers
as if to go out.
It is then burst into flame
by an encounter
with another human being.
We should be thankful
for those people who
rekindle the inner spirit.
~Edited and adapted quote by Albert Schweitzer

This is an old photo of my daughter and I; she was about 2 years old when it was taken by her dad who was experimenting with special effects in his dark room. It has always been one of my favorite captures of the two of us, and so I’m posting it today as a tribute to all the “special effects” she has brought and continues to bring into our lives. It was her birth 5 days before my 30th birthday that rekindled my imperiled inner spirit, and so I celebrate her life today and every day! What an amazing gift from God she was and is!  Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord. ~Psalm 113:9  ✝

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!

327. I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods. ~Wendell Berry


Not undelightful, friend, our rustic ease
To grateful hearts; for by especial hap,
Deep nested in the hill’s enormous lap,
With its own ring of walls and grove of trees,
Sits, in deep shelter, our small cottage – nor
Far-off is seen, rose carpeted and hung
With clematis, the quarry whence she sprung,
O mater pulchra filia pulchrior,
(What a beautiful mother and beautiful daughter,)
Whither in early spring, unharnessed folk,
We join the pairing swallows, glad to stay
Where, loosened in the hills, remote, unseen,
From its tall trees, it breathes a slender smoke
To heaven, and in the noon of sultry day
Stands, coolly buried, to the neck in green.
~Robert Louis Stevenson


“I (Jesus) am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be more fruitful.” ~John 15:1-2 ✝

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!

**Photos are of blossoms on my new Clematis vine…

234. Year’s end is neither an end or a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland

Time is the coin of your life.
It is the only coin you have, and only you
can determine how it will be spent.
Be careful lest you let
other people spend it for you.
~Carl Sandburg


Recently I heard a college student talking about her graduate studies in Glasgow, Scotland.  As I listened, I remembered how much I’d wanted to study in Paris when I was her age.  That started me thinking about the life choices I’d made and wondering how different my life might have been had I chosen differently.  After pondering the matter for a few days, I came to the conclusion that geography changes very little, if anything.  One can dance and bloom and thrive wherever they are, and joy would be as joyful, sorrow be no less sorrowful, nor would trials be any less difficult.  Scripture states that time is more richly spent in the lives of people who choose to be happy wherever they are, who choose to do good while they live, and who choose to find satisfaction in all of their toils.

An example of God’s hand of blessing in blocking some of the choices one has to make came when my daughter who had 5 collegiate scholarships from which to choose was led to pick one that actually saved her life.  For tragically, at one of the universities she turned down, the girls on the swim team for which she was being recruited were all killed in a heart-rending bus accident that year.  So as another year ends and a new one starts, I praise the Lord who knows so much better than we about where and how to spend the time coin of our lives.  By His hand of goodness and mercy I did in fact finally get to Paris this last summer along with my daughter whose life had been spared so many years ago.

My wish today is that the “going on” of which Borland speaks brings each and everyone of you immeasurable blessings and that you encounter again and again the Holy One by whose Hand they will be delivered.

Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.  ~Psalm 62:8  ✝