1338. The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness. John O’Donohue

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

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As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

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Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

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As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

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As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

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As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

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May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god. ~John O’Donohue

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Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. ~Psalm 100:2  ✝

**All photos found on Pinterest;
special effects on the last two were done by me on iPiccy

1254. The Holy Spirit in every single soul “prays in us with unspeakable groanings.” ~Excerpted from a quote by Edith Stein

Holy Spirit, you are welcome here! Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere!
May you have a truly blessed Sabbath and feel the touch of Christ’s presence!

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Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord
There’s nothing worth more
That could ever come close
No thing can compare
You’re our living hope
Your presence, Lord
I’ve tasted and seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free
And my shame is undone
Your presence, Lord
CHORUS
Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness
~Excerpted lyrics written by
Cyril Garrett Neville, Gaynielle H. Neville,
Hack Bartholomew, Norman Caesar

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. ~John 14:26  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1211. The summer came to life. It burst from gray to fierce blue and gold in the blink of an eye; the air pealed with grasshoppers and lawnmowers… ~Tana French

Grasshopper Green is a comical chap;
he lives on the best of fare.
Bright little trousers, jacket, and cap,
These are his summer wear.
~Excerpt from a poem
by Nancy Dingman Watson

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Gary the Grasshopper sat down in the sun
and sang of the way that his life had begun.
First off as an egg he was laid in the ground
and there he remained with never a sound,
his body unmoving, all pallid and white,
till Spring came around and the weather was right.
He remembers quite clearly the day of his birth
he wriggled and pushed his way up through the earth,
then on reaching the surface he threw off his skin,
he had to do this so his life could begin,
but it wasn’t a problem because underneath
he was wearing another as green as a leaf.
Once born he went looking for something to eat
he really liked salads and seldom ate meat,
and being quite young he thought it was good
to eat just as much as he possibly could.
He grew as he ate, and three times since then
he’s needed to make a new skin once again.
But now he’s full grown and he’s learning to be
an adult grasshopper both handsome and free,
so he sings in the night, and all through the day
till a suitable lady should wander his way,
and when they’re together, and after the rain,
they’ll start the ball rolling all over again.
~Gordon J.L. Ramel

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Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He(God) sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. ~Isaiah 40:21-22  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

1210. If grief can be a doorway to love, then let us all weep for the world we are breaking apart so we can love it back to wholeness again. ~Robin Wall Kimmerer

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us
to encounter everyday epiphanies, those
transcendent moments of awe that change
forever how we experience life and the world.
~John Milton

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When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
~Wendell Berry

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He (the Lord) maketh me lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. ~Psalm 23: 1-2  ✝

**Images of wood drakes and great herons via Pinterest; collages created by Natalie

1143. In health the flesh is graced, the holy enters the world. ~Wendell Berry

Ask the world to reveal its quietude —
not the silence of machines when they are still,
but the true quiet by which birdsongs,
trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms
become what they are, and are nothing else.
~Wendell Berry

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When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests
in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
~Wendell Berry

Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. ~Job 22:21  ✝

**Image by Mike Bizeau found at: https://naturehasnoboss.com/2016/05/01/bluebird/

1090. Your big opportunity may be right where you are now. ~Napoleon Hill

With the past, I have nothing to do;
nor with the future. I live now.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Now is the time to free the heart,
Let all intentions and worries stop,
Free the joy inside the self,
Awaken to the wonder of your life.

Open your eyes and see the friends
Whose hearts recognize your face as kin,
Those whose kindness watchful and near,
Encourages you to live everything here.

See the gifts the years have given,
Things your effort could never earn,
The health to enjoy who you want to be
And the mind to mirror mystery.
~John O’Donohue

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. ~Psalm39:7  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

909. Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty, I’m free at last. ~Adapted quoted by Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleeelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleeelujah
~From Handel’s Messiah
by Georg Friedrich Händel

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To one who has long been in the throes of confining heat,
‘tis very sweet to look into the fair and open face of heaven–
to breathe a prayer full in the smile of the blue firmament.
~Adapted excerpt by John Keats

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Okay, so I realize I’m probably committing some heinous sacrilege with these revered excerpts as they relate to my topic, but there is just no better or more accurate way to describe how I feel about what was outside my door this morning. I’d long waited and waited for it, I’d long prayed and prayed for it, and I’d long shed tears over its delay. But now at long last today it has arrived. So when I opened the door and felt that first autumn chill in the air, there was simply nothing else I could do but joyfully and thankfully throw my arms up and break into a hallelujah chorus. And it didn’t matter whether it was my own “couldn’t-carry-a-tune-in-a-bucket” rendition, a squirrel’s rendition, or an opera star’s rendition! But my shamefulness didn’t just end there. It got worse! For on the heels of the hallelujah chorus I then emitted a most diabolic and wrongfully wicked laugh at the thought of the “Heat Monster’s” impending and hopefully terrible demise! Yes, folks I am apparently a complete degenerate, but I could not help myself then nor now. So praise the Lord and hallelujah that autumn is finally throwing off her meekness and moving full throttle into this wretched place. I feel like an incarcerated prisoner who has been set free and instead of having the breath sucked out of me by suffocating and prolonged mugginess, thank you, God that I can once again “breathe a prayer full in the smile of the blue” and cool “firmament!”

Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from anguish. ~Psalm 25:17  ✝

**Images via Pinterest