1138. What potent blood hath modest May. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The fact that the colors in the flower have evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; that means insects can see the colors. That adds a question: does this aesthetic sense we have also exist in lower forms of life? ~Richard P. Feynman

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Lively fiestas are going on outside my windows, and creatures, great and small, winged or afoot, are partaking of the flowering banquets. In fact the “beasties” have been so busy moving around and supping on May’s “potent blood” that lately I’ve been able to capture only a few images of them with my camera. But that’s okay because I wouldn’t slow them down a bit for a photo op, even if I could, for what they’re doing is sacred and greatly needed. For not only are they satisfying their divinely designed hunger but they are also guaranteeing that this time next year there will be more glory and bounty in earth’s growing spaces. Only God could devise such an amazing design whereby Creation’s continuance and sustenance belongs not in the hands of the biggest, the strongest, or the smartest but whereby mankind owes its provision of food and therefore existence to pollinators, small creatures whose lives span the briefest capsules of time. Given that, it’s regrettable that much of mankind nowadays lives in godless, sterile technological hubs where the sight of the miraculous in the workings of Creation is lost and the enormous power and goodness of the Lord and what He has granted goes unseen or unnoticed or unaccepted. They are totally unaware or disbelieve that their welfare could possibly be carried out, not by human hands, but instead by tiny wings and feet which they, of course, hold not in high regard or for that matter even acknowledge the possibility of  their vital importance.

I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. ~Psalm 50:11  ✝

**Images via Pixabay; collage created by Natalie

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

1053. Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle….a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream. ~Barbara Winkler

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg,
and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
~James Allen

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Part of the genius of God’s grand design is that we awaken every day to a fresh flowing of His energy and vitality that has been stored in the seeds of our being, seeds that possess the same strength as that of the rising sun, earth’s swelling seas, and its fertile plains. An excellent time to look for the shining of His everlasting light in the “sanctuary of the soul” is in the first waking moments of each new day. That inward realm is where doors open to the germination of new life because inside each one of us the Lord has planted His “seeds of greatness.” There’s never a moment in life when either in and of ourselves or in the people around us that there are not yet unopened gifts of promise. Simply put, “heaven’s creativity on earth” is born in our bodies, and therein the Master’s “sacred hopes” are hidden. And His hopes come to fruition through the germination of our gifts and through the catalyst of prayer when we lift up “the agonies of life in the world” and ask for grace where “the human soul has grown hard” and lost sight of God’s light. May the “soil” of this week be such that the precious, holy seeds of the uniqueness that is you fully come to fruition.

Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? ~1 Corinthians 3:16  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

520. Some places speak distinctly. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Have you ever looked at a map of the world?
Look at Texas with me just for a second.
That picture, with the Panhandle and the Gulf Coast,
and the Red River and the Rio Grande. . .
As soon as anyone anywhere in the world
looks at it, they know what it is.
It’s Texas.
~Author Unknown

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But knowing that I’m living in God’s world everywhere in Creation is equally as obvious because of the undeniable iconic images of His reality. For example when I encounter people, be they Texans or anyone else, I recognize God’s face because we are all made in His image. In the vitality that shines forth in human faces, I see God’s strength. In the laughter of those I love here or elsewhere I become aware of His grace. In my deepest yearnings, I feel His presence and sense His divine design. In my brokenness and suffering His mercy shines through. In the great lights of the sky, I glimpse the shining of His everlasting faithfulness. In the quiet of the night, the stars and the moon that He flung into space speak His name and tell of His power all around the globe. In the insights of wise ones far and near, I hear His voice and grasp His truths. In my soul searching, His nearness is felt, and in fears that come in the darkness of the night, I encounter His angels. In colors that fill the sky and flowery faces, I see His beauty. In relationships with others, His love is made known. When my flesh is wounded and my body bleeds, the face of His Son who, in a land far, far away, shed His blood for my redemption is revealed. In unforeseen moments of wonder, awe, and passion I feel stirrings of His mighty spirit. And the touch of His hands can be felt in the warmth of the sun, and in the changing seasons of the north, south, east, and west His rhythm of life becomes clear. And today on my birthday, I know that I have been blessed wherever I’ve been and gone all the days of my life.

“O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? . . .” ~Deuteronomy 3:24   ✝

479. It is only when we silence the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~K. T. Jong

In the attitude of silence
the soul finds the path in a clearer light,
and what is elusive and deceptive
resolves itself into crystal clearness.
Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.
~Mahatma Gandhi

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When I spied it, this Canna’s last bloom of summer was standing supremely beautiful in its silence and solitude. It was early in the day, no one else was around, and it was deliciously quiet in the garden. But in the silence I heard whispers, murmurings of the undeniable truth that all is the valued work of the Divine’s intelligent design and not the random scattering of atoms. On a late summer’s day, this was more than enough for me to be grateful and celebrate the life the Lord had granted me and the flower.

I arise today
In the name of Silence
Womb of the Word,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of the Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.
~John O’Donohue

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  ~Psalm 46:10  ✝

213. Hope is the extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them. ~Vincent McNabb

Ah! the year is slowly dying,
And the wind in tree-top sighing,
Chant his requiem…
High in the air wild birds are calling,
Nature’s solemn hymn.
~Mary Weston Fordham

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With lows in the teens and 20’s, the few things that had been hanging on have now perished along with their joyous songs of life.  In their place after last week’s arctic blast more and more strains of “nature’s solemn hymn” can be heard.  All is not lost, however.  The change of melodies is a part of God’s grand design, and I find strength and hope in watching His plan play out each year.  In fact on days when I feel really out of sorts, I’ve learned to go outside and find something to do even if I have to bundle up to accomplish it.  It might be nothing more than refilling the bird feeders and making sure all the overwintering wildlife have water, but the time out there steadies my inner compass again.  Feeling earth’s heartbeat and subsequently getting in step with its rhythms, also quells any sense of hopelessness brought on by the trials of life and the ongoing reports of a world torn by conflict and chaos.  It’s like when I first felt my child move in my womb.  I knew the sensation which felt like the wings of a butterfly barely grazing my uterus was the unmistakable touch of something sacred and right stirring inside me.  The Lord’s movement in my inner life is much the same.  It may be an ever so slight brush against my soul, but I know I’ve been touched by His loving Presence and am being held firmly in the arms of His grace regardless of what transpires with men gone mad.

See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.  See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.  He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.  ~Isaiah 40:10-11  ✝