1332. Can you remember who you were before the world the world told you who you should be? ~Charles Bukowski

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy,
a quickening that is translated through you
into action, and because there is only one of you
in all time, this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist through
any other medium and will be lost.
~Martha Graham

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Not only would the uniqueness of you be lost forever, but the desires and dreams you once had would “be tamed,” possibly into near non-existence. For they were were not simply urges but ordained “beacons of truth” leading to divine and holy purpose. Because there is power in your authenticity, being who you were created to be helps you shine your light in the world. To that end the Lord wants to connect with you so that you can plug into His light and beginning a dialogue with Him is the way to start building that blessed connection. But if we have any resentment about who and what we are, that destructive attitude will limit us because “fear cannot coexist with love.” We have to let go of the past regardless of how painful and/or disappointing it may have been and stop bringing our past into the present and “replaying it into the future.” Shame and guilt has to be released in order for us to create new and healthy patterns. Also as we move forward, we must daily find ways to take action on things that stir, inspire, and ignite joy and the sacred calling on our lives. And we must bring acceptance and compassion into our moments of self-talk, and why not? Since we are the only ones who can hear what we say to ourselves, there’s no reason we can’t be nice and affirming and encouraging to ourselves. Finally, we must also let go of what we “think” we need, and when we do, what we really need will miraculously begin to show up.

“…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13 and part of 29:14  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; border and special effects done by Natalie on iPiccy

1238. The man who says his evening prayer is a captain posting his sentinels so he can sleep. ~Edited except from Charles Baudelaire

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In the quiet curve of evening,
in the sinking of the days,
in the silky void of darkness,
You are there.
In the lapses of my breathing,
in the space between my ways,
in the crater carved by sadness,
You are there.
You are there, You are there, You are there.

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In the rests between the phrases,
in the cracks between the stars,
in the gaps between the meaning,
You are there.
In the melting down of endings,
in the cooling of the sun,
in the solstice of the winter,
You are there.
You are there, You are there, You are there.

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In the mystery of my hungers,
in the silence of my rooms,
in the cloud of my unknowing,
You are there.
In the empty cave of grieving,
in the desert of my dreams,
in the tunnel of my sorrow,
You are there.
You are there. You are there. You are there.
~Julie Howard

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May my prayer be set before you(God) like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. ~Psalm 141: 2  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

1218. Flowers do not indulge in sentiment. They indulge in passion… Octave Mirbeau

Surely the flowers of a hundred springs
Are simply the souls of beautiful things!

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The poppies aflame with gold and red
Were the kisses of lovers in days that are fled.

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The purple pansies with dew-drops pearled
Were the rainbow dreams of a youngling world.

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The lily, white as a star apart,
Was the first pure prayer of a virgin heart.

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The daisies that dance and twinkle so
Were the laughter of children in long ago.

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The sweetness of all true friendship yet
Lives in the breath of the mignonette.

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To the white narcissus there must belong
The very delight of a maiden’s song.

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And the rose, all flowers of the earth above,
Was a perfect, rapturous thought of love.

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Oh! surely the blossoms of all the springs
Must be the souls of beautiful things.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery

My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. ~Song of Songs 1:14  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1169. It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden
of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts
grow as freely as the flowers,
and 
the dreams are as beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban

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(Upper left is view out of other half of patio doors; upper right is another shot straight into the green house from my chair. Lower left is the swing house to right of the greenhouse and behind it is the giant oak and the storage shed; lower right is the rose arch over the small porch outside of Natalieworld)

After a recent post where I showed part of my garden and some of the flowers that are blooming now, I received many lovely comments. So I decided to post one more glimpse of my yard and what’s currently blooming. The Texas Heat Beast has definitely arrived, and since he’s stoking up summer’s fiery heat, lots of what I have blooming now will soon be gone. A measure of things will revive in the fall, but there is much more that sadly won’t be back again until next year. Only the hardiest make it through summer’s inferno in Texas, and what I always miss most as we endure the torrid, feverish trek through July and August and September is an unrivaled allure of the ethereal and delicate nature of flowers that beautiful spring proffers.

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(Upper left is more of the allium that’s beginning to bloom; upper right is a double daylily; lower left is a lily; lower right is that same lily before it popped open.)

A garden is always a series
of losses set against a few
triumphs, like life itself.
~May Sarton

[ She ] My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies. ~Song of Songs 8:13  ✝

**All images taken by me in and of my yard.

1160. Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment. ~Ellis Peters

If you’ve never been thrilled
to the very edges of your soul
by a flower in spring bloom, maybe
your soul has never been in bloom.
~Audra Foveo

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Come as they do in May are
the sweet morning-glory morns
that herald brilliant daylily days
with rosy high noons and
the busiest of busy bee hours
on the hosts of purple coneflowers.
And all the while the butterflies
waltz by the big, yellow sunflowers that
wilt not on the hot, sultry afternoons
when often I find grasshoppers perched
atop the strangest of flowery places.
But come dusk when the day is almost done
all these must relinquish the stage to the
pearly iridescent glow of white moonflowers
unfurling ‘neath heaven’s twinkling stars.
‘Tis all this that a gardener’s hope-filled
dreams and schemes are made of.
~Natalie Scarberry

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. ~Psalm 103:2  ✝

**Flower images taken by me; collage created by me too.

1093. When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about the speaker’s own need to be critical. ~Unknown

To live a creative life we must
lose our fear of being wrong.
~Joseph Chilton Pearce

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Part 1: I’m always heart-sickened to hear that someone has been attacked and/or criticized for what they’ve posted on their blog. And now I’ve heard about it happening often enough that I’m going to have my say about critics and why what they do is uncalled for and unfair. First off life is all about failure and has been since any of us came into existence. For example an infant tries many times to raise its head off his/her mother’s shoulder before he or she succeeds. Then as the baby attempts to crawl, he/she gets up on his/her hands and knees only to collapse back onto the floor over and over again. Next comes the child’s attempts to walk which is another period of success and failure before he/se actually takes off making substantial forward progress. And on and on the learning process goes. Now, before I go on, is there anyone so heartless that he/she would belittle or mock a child for these trials? I hope not! So why is that as we grow and try bigger and more complex things that others feel compelled to criticize? I believe, like Shannon L. Alder, that “often those who criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” Or like James Russell Lowell that “a sneer is the weapon of the weak.” Or like Emmet Fox that “criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.” Or like Chuck Palahniuk that “it’s easy to attack and destroy an act of creation, but it’s a lot more difficult to perform one.” Or like an unknown author who said that “criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but for having faults different from his/her own.” But my favorite comment about criticism is this passage below by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out
how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred
by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed;
who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion,
who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best
knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and
who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat.
~Theodore Roosevelt

As a teacher, I used to hate that a student had been hurt and criticized so much at home and/or at school that he or she was unwillingly or very timid about trying new things and risking failure for fear of ridicule from his/her peers or adults. NO ONE has the right to criticize anyone’s creativity or thoughts. If a reader does not like what he/she reads on someone’s blog, all he/she has to do is move on and not read on and/or better yet choose not to follow that blog. No one forces anyone to come to our sites or to read and/or look at what we put on them. What we post comes from a need deep within ourselves, and therefore is sacred. I will address that need in Part 2 of this tomorrow. The gist of it is that: “Sometimes people try to expose what’s wrong with someone else because they can’t handle everything that’s right about them” or that “Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. ~Zeuxis”

Here’s an interesting website that lists some well-known people who were criticized and rose to fame and/or success because they followed their dreams despite critical, bloviating naysayers:

They Did Not Give Up
http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/OnFailingG.htm

But I have a mind as well as you: I am not inferior to you. ~Excerpt from Job 12:3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text added by Natalie

1051. The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart in nature. To nurture a garden is to feed the soul. ~Edited quote by Alfred Austin

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden of
thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely
as the flowers and the dreams are as beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban

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Once upon a time there was a tiny seed, a sacred and anointed seed, deposited deep down in a woman’s soul, though she wasn’t aware of its presence. The Creator of the seed had sowed it there long ago, but it wasn’t until she’d become despairingly broken and cynical about life that He set off a spark to split the seed’s casing. Thus an unexpected and silent impetus began within in her dark world where hope for happily ever after or even anything better had all but been extinguished. Her first awareness of the changing tide was vocalized one spring by the melodies coming from a songbird. It had been an especially painful night when she found herself lying there at dawn listening to the bird’s sweet song and feeling a vestige of joy beginning to whisper in her heart. Wanting to know what kind of bird, where it was, and why it was so cheerful, she arose before long and went outside. She found the winged minstrel perched in her neighbor’s tree, a dogwood that was filled with hundreds and hundreds of stunning pink blossoms. Thrilled by the sight of it her brain was flooded with memories of flowery images from her now distant childhood. And in that magical moment, though she’d always thought herself to be lacking a “green thumb,” she knew, knew that somehow she had to create that kind of natural beauty in her world again. Wanting to start prudently at first, however, she bought only a few pots, filled them with soil, pushed them together on a corner of her patio, and then sowed in them an assortment of inexpensive seeds. Soon afterwards came a most wondrous day, one in which she saw “that first, minuscule, curled, pale green wisp of a sprout poking up.” In an instant her heart felt unsurpassed gladness and her ears heard God’s voice speaking, for the seed in her had germinated as well. So it was that the credence of fairytales, in part, was restored, a devout gardener was birthed, and a faith journey was restarted.

For we are glad whenever we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. ~2 Corinthians 13:9  ✝