1398. My family has…

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**Painting is “Golden Tears” by Gustav Klimt

My daughter and her family have been in town since last Wednesday. It was the first time we had spent a good amount of time with them in months, and we had a very good time together as always. But it is very sad when they have to leave which they did this afternoon. And so tonight I find myself feeling very sad not only because they have gone back home but again because of the profound affect the assaults he endured have had on my oldest grandson. Though he is making a good come back, he still has grief to manage, hurdles to surmount, and a loss that can never be repaid or undone. And once again I find myself not only sad but angry and struggling with not wishing any ill will or harm  to his predator. So it is that my tears “are words the mouth can’t say nor can the heart bear.”(Joshua Wisenbaker) And regret comes again knowing that “every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ) But I shall sign off and go to bed telling myself that “sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.” (Osho)

1190. It is during this crucial period of brain development that a child can be scarred significantly. ~Debi Grebenik

Last night I asked for prayers for my sweet grandson who has been hospitalized with what they are calling Reactive Attachment Disorder. He was adopted at birth from an orphanage in Guatemala, but due to the red-tape involved in an international adoption, it was six months before my daughter and her husband could fly to Guatemala, pick him up from the orphanage, and bring him home. He is 14 now and the last two years he has really struggled with the fact that his mother chose to give him up for adoption. Sadly that has led him to some very harmful behaviors. At the bottom of this page is a URL link to an article about RAD and why it happens.

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Sometimes there is an invisible raven
That will fly low to pierce the shell of trust
When it has been brought near to ground.
When he strikes, he breaks a bond of faith
That should be built quietly in the beginning
In the rhythm of tried and tested experiences.
With one strike, the shelter is down though
And the yoke of truth turns to black falsehood
And puts poison in the garden of memory.
Now the heart’s dream turns to requiem,
Offering itself a poultice of tears
To cleanse from loss what mustn’t be lost.
Through all the raw and awkward days,
Dignity will hold the heart to grace lest
It squander its dream on the lies of a ghost.
For often torn ground is ideal for seed
That can take root disappointment deep enough
To yield a harvest that cannot, will not wither:
A deeper light comes to anoint the eyes,
Understanding opens wings in the heart,
In a subtle radiance of countenance:
The soul ready now for its truest birth.
~Edited and adapted piece by John O’Donohue,
offered up as a prayer for my hurting grandson

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/adoptive-families/attachment-and-bonding/reactive-attachment-disorder

Sadly this is the way this sweet boy is feeling at the moment:
I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children… ~Psalm 69:8  ✝

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.

1034. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of mystery. ~Max Planck


Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~Hugh Macmillan

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When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us then salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.
~Edited excerpt from In Praise of Earth
by John O’Donohue


“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

979.Let there be spaces in your togetherness. ~Kahlil Gibran

Our time here is magic!
It’s the only space
we have to realize whatever it is
that is beautiful,
whatever is true,
whatever is great,
whatever has potential,
whatever is rare,
whatever is unique.
~Ben Okri

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By the time my widowed mother entered her 90’s, it was becoming apparent that her days of living alone in a large home were drawing quickly to an end. And eventually she came to that awareness on her own. Since she hated the idea of going to a nursing home or one of those places for seniors, James and I offered to build onto our house so she could live with us. Shortly thereafter she put her house up for sale and a private bathroom, laundry room, and bedroom/sitting room was being added to our home. It took all summer to complete the project, and then after she moved into her new quarters, it was only five months later that she passed away. I thought perhaps, James would want to turn the area into a new master bedroom for the two of us, but he said he wanted me to have it as a studio for my craft and photography projects as well as for my computer where I write and edit my photos. So I bought some new furniture, et voilà, “Natalieworld” as I call in came into being. I love it out here as it has two windows that look out onto my garden as well as French doors that open out onto my own little patio and the rest of the yard.

It has been said that we all have a personal space, an area with invisible boundaries surrounding our bodies into which intruders may not come. I also think we have a need for a kind of private personal space–a little time away, a little time out from one another. And for me, my personal space is a sacred space which reflects my passions and treasures. It’s also a refuge where for a time I can turn my back on the world’s madness, and it is a shelter that contains, cuddles, refreshes and stimulates me. It contain elements of beauty, faith, family, friends, serenity, mystery–all the things that “pour moi” possess a timeless, magical quality. I cherish it dearly and believe that even the Lord has a space of His own.

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. ~Job 26:7   ✝

**the images in the collage are from Natalieworld, my own sacred space. If it had not been another cloudy rainy day, I wouldn’t have had to use the flash on my camera and the photos would have been better. I’m sorry that the biggest one has such a huge and glaring white spot at the top.I tried but I couldn’t edit it out without taking more out of the photo than I wanted.

769. It takes a whole village to raise a child. ~Igbo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb

Everyone in the family participates especially
the older children, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and even cousins.
It is not unusual for children to stay for long periods with
their grandparents or aunts or uncles.
Even the wider community gets involved
such as neighbors and friends.
Children are considered a blessing
from God for the whole community.
~Edited excerpt
by Rev. Joseph G. Healey

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The ancient human social construct that once was common in this land was called community. We lived among our villagers, depending on them for what we needed. If we had a problem, we did not discuss it over the phone with someone in Mumbai. We went to a neighbor. We acquired food from farmers. We listened to music in groups, in churches or on front porches. We danced. We participated. Even when there was no money in it. Community is our native state. You play hardest for a hometown crowd. You become your best self. You know joy. This is not a guess, there is evidence. The scholars who study social well-being can put it on charts and graphs. In the last 30 years our material wealth has increased in this country, but our self-described happiness has steadily declined. Elsewhere, the people who consider themselves very happy are not in the very poorest nations, as you might guess, nor in the very richest. The winners are Mexico, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the kinds of places we identify with extended family, noisy villages, a lot of dancing. The happiest people are the ones with the most community. ~by Barbara Kingsolver

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12   ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage created by Natalie

687. Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God. ~Ronald Reagan

Help us to be ever faithful
gardeners of the spirit,
who know that without darkness
nothing comes to birth,
and without light nothing flowers.
~May Sarton

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In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
Be content with what you have;
Rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
~Excerpted lines by Lao Tzu

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. ~2 Samuel 22:29   ✝

**Image found on Pinterest