963. Autumn’s the mellow time. ~William Allingham

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
stand 
shadowless like silence, listening to silence.
~Thomas Hood

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Fall Song
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back
from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere
except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle
of unobservable mysteries – – -roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This
I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn
flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay – – – how everything lives, shifting
from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
~Mary Oliver

All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules. ~2 Chronicles 9:23-24   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

878. TODAY!

Relax. Refresh. Renew.

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Play. Sing. Laugh.

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Enjoy. Forgive. Dance.

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Love. Hug. Kiss.

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Dream. Explore. Create.

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 Listen. Trust. Learn.

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Share. Hope. Dare.

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~Steve Maraboli

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. ~Henri Nouwen

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. ~2 Corinthians 9:6  ✝

**All images via Pinterest

875. The foliage began losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Adapted quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Lord, it is time.
Summer has been very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds go loose.
Command the last fruits that they shall be full;
give them only a few more southerly days,
~Adapted quote by Rainer Maria Rilke

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September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours but in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.  The cricket chirps in the noontide, making the most of what remains of his brief life.  The bumblebee is busy among the blossoms of the aftermath, and their shrill and dreamy hum hold the outdoor world above the voices of the songbirds, now silent or departed. ~Rowland E. Robinson

Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. ~Song of Songs 4:16  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

737. Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom. ~Rumi

Did I offer peace today?
Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?
Did I say words of healing?
Did I let go of anger and resentment?
Did I forgive? Did I love?
These are the real questions.
I must trust that the little bit
of love that I sow now
bears many fruits, here in this world
and in the life to come.
~Henri Nouwen

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Give birth and life to your faith and dreams.
Let die all doubt and fear.
Plant seeds of hope.
Uproot all intolerance.

Kill off pridefulness.
Speak words of healing.
Tear down walls of indifference.
Build up those who are downtrodden.

Weep with compassion for those less fortunate.
Laugh long and often.
Mourn in your own way but not without hope.
Dance with gusto and sometimes in the rain.

Scatter stones that wall in and isolate mercy.
Gather stones in order to build bridges instead.
Embrace all living creatures.
Refrain from embracing ignorance and extravagance.

Search for your true self.
Give up on what the world tells you should be.
Keep your focus on the still, small voice inside.
Throw away words spoken in anger, resentment, and envy.

Tear away from those bent on destruction.
Mend broken relationships with forgiveness.
Be silent and listen to your heart’s sacred and sound goodness.
Speak words of comfort and concern and love.

Love the Lord with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul.
Hate injustice and prejudice.
War not with others nor yourself.
Pray for wisdom and peace.

1     There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens: 

2      a time to be born and a time to die,
    
        a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3      a time to kill and a time to heal,
    
        a time to tear down and a time to build,

4      a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    
        a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5      a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    
        a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6      a time to search and a time to give up,
    
        a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7      a time to tear and a time to mend,
   
        a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8      a time to love and a time to hate,
  
        a time for war and a time for peace.

~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

690. The world of Celtic spirituality is completely at home with the rhythm and wisdom of the senses. ~John O’Donohue

When you read Celtic nature poetry,
you see that all the senses are alerted:
You hear the sound of the winds,
you taste the fruits, and above all
you get a wonderful sense of
how nature touches human presence.
~John O’Donohue

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Nature isn’t just around us like the walls of a house or a building; it moves into our space and through our senses to touch us in very discernible ways. We live and breath and move on divine, holy ground and in that realm many of our life experiences come by means of our God-given senses. Even in the reading of Scripture spring’s coming is announced by the mouth in song and the ear in hearing. So this week as we approach Easter, be mindful that one should not only hear about Christ’s resurrection or see images of what happened on the Cross at Calvary, but we should also feel the agony He suffered and in a very real sense “taste” what His sacrifice accomplished.

May your body be blessed.
May your realize that your body is a faithful
and beautiful friend of your soul.
And may you be peaceful and joyful
and recognize that your senses are sacred thresholds.
May you realize that holiness is mindful,
gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching.
May your senses gather you and bring you home.
May your senses always enable you to celebrate
the universe and the mystery and
possibilities in your presence here. . .
~John O’Donohue

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. ~Isaiah 35:1-2   ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage created by Natalie

648. Make friends with the angels, who though invisible, are always with you. ~St. Francis de Sales

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us,
and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to
visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.
~George Eliot

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Kind words, considerate actions, comforting wisdom, encouraging praise–all or some borne on the breath of warmhearted, consoling voices–are no less than the sweet sound of Grace falling on the ears of those in need of reassurance or salvation or deliverance. And what a blessing are they are, these angels chosen to deliver God’s grace for their tender voices and caring kindnesses penetrate all manner of despair. And these divinely appointed “earth angels,” often come from the ranks of ordinary people, but in rising to a divine calling they are lifted up to the realm of the extraordinary. And how they honor the Christ by answering His call to serve!

The human heart is an altar upon which one can and does lay a multitude of things. But, it is not meant to be a personal shrine for self-centered collections of worldliness. Nor should it be defiled with traces of anger, jealousy, or hatred. The altar of the heart should be blanketed with empathy, compassion, kindness, gentleness, non-violence, and love. Only then will it be a place that Holy God can find the fruits befitting angels and use the bearers of such as instruments of His grace and mercy. It’s not always an easy task to prepare the heart’s altar in such a way, but what an honor it is to realize that on the altar of one’s heart there is something worthy of being used by the Lord God Almighty.

Here’s to all the “earth angels” out there in the blogosphere who share their hearts and gifts with those in need.  I recognize your grace-filled hearts and I adore you…Natalie

May God grant you always…
a sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you,
laughter to cheer you,
faithful friends near and far,
and whenever you pray, His ear to hear you.
~Irish Blessing

Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. ~Psalm 103:20   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

612. We live at the edge of the miraculous. ~Henry Miller, American writer

Whatever I do is done out of sheer joy;
I drop my fruits like a ripe tree.
~Henry Miller

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Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That’s why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there. ~Henry Miller

This passage by Miller is one I make myself go find and read often because it encourages me to keep growing and learning and improving the skills I’ve been blessed with. Brain research has shown that there are no less than seven different kinds of intelligence and that each person is a genius in at least one of those areas. That’s why when I hear about or read about or know someone who thinks they are not smart enough or creative enough, I feel compelled to take exception. I believe that we, each and everyone of us, live not only “at the edge of the miraculous” as Miller contends but in the midst of it as well. Yahweh, Genius and Creator of all that is, creates all of us in His image, and our inherent gifts and talents are there for a reason. What’s more we have a holy anointing on our lives to develop and use them.

For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. ~Ephesians 5:8-10  ✝

** Image of ripe figs via Pinterest