1000. Poetry is when emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. ~Robert Frost

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 5.17.52 PM.png

Everything

I want to make poems that say right out, plainly,
what I mean, that don’t go looking for the
laces of elaboration, puffed sleeves. I want to
keep close and use often words like
heavy, heart, joy, soon, and to cherish
the question mark and her bold sister
the dash. I want to write with quiet hands. I
want to write while crossing the fields that are
fresh with daisies and everlasting and the
ordinary grass. I want to make poems while thinking of
the bread of heaven and the
cup of astonishment; let them be
songs in which nothing is neglected,
not a hope, not a promise. I want to make poems
that look into the earth and the heavens
and see the unseeable. I want them to honor
both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;
the gladness that says, without any words, everything.
~Mary Oliver

He (Jesus) will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of His birth. ~Luke 1:14  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

989. Light is good from whatever lamp it shines. ~Author Unknown

Light gives of itself freely,
filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return;
it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.
~Michael Strassfeld

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 3.32.43 PM.png

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
~Mary Oliver

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17   ✝

910. Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it. ~Anne “Ninon” de L’Enclos.

There is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be, as if it had not been!
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 4.10.15 PM

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious
as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 4.09.59 PM

Have I told you lately that I love you?
Autumn you fill my heart with gladness,
Take away all my sadness,
Ease my troubles,
That’s what you do.
For the morning sun in all it’s glory
Meets the day with hope and comfort too.
You fill my life with splendor,
And somehow you make it better…
~Excerpted and adapted lyrics
by Van Morrison

The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. ~Psalm 50:1 ✝

**Images via Pinterest

729. 
Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Is there a green too green
Is there a wet too wet
In a land that has
suffered long, a drought.

DSC_0026

Is there a heaven too high
Is there a ground too low
In a world that has
suffered much, for a Savior

Is there a Father too loving
Is there a God too merciful
In a heart that has
suffered long, afflictions

Shake not your fists at the heavens
Shake not your fists at the world
Seek instead the One
who came to make a way for all
through the wilderness
through the darkness
through the confusion
through the suffering
~Natalie Scarberry

The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed in gladness. ~Psalms 65:12   ✝

688. No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland

Let me arise and open the gate,
to breathe the wild warm air…
To let in Life,
and to let out Death.
~Violet Fane, British novelist, poet, and essayist

Screen shot 2015-03-31 at 5.57.03 PM

Blow, Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through the land and over the waters.  Carry away death’s dark vapors and let life in.  Let the “wild warm air” of springtime spark life in every nook and cranny.  Let every mountain, plain, and valley break forth in gladness.  Let the ceaseless waves of the seas and the rushing currents of rivers roar with a renewed passion for life.  Let the clouds suckle earth’s waters and then send rain from heaven to moisten the earth and let loose her flowering.  Let life, whole and vibrant, dazzle us into a new awareness of You.

Blow, Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through us and take us down to the bottom of our souls where You, O God, the Breath of all things, are present “deep within all that has life.”  We who have recently traversed winter’s dark domain yearn to feel your warmth and vitality course through our bodies and all that has life again.  We long for earth and sky’s vast array of bright colors to take away winter’s preponderance of grays and browns.  O Holy One, come; let us see You “in every emanation of Creation’s life.”  We give you glory and thanks for all that You are, for Your ever-lasting goodness and never-ending love, “for creatures stirring forth,” “for plant forms stretching and unfolding,” “for the stable earth and its solid rocks.”  O blessed Breath of heaven, arise and blow life afresh through Eden’s gates!

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.  ~Psalm 33:6   ✝

**Both images via Pinterest

638. Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~Khalil Gibran

What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together
to strengthen each other in all labor,
to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other
in the silent unspoken memories?
~George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)

Screen shot 2015-02-08 at 10.02.21 PM

Close your eyes, baby
Follow my heart
Call on the memories
Here in the dark
We’ll let the magic
Take us away
Back to the feelings
We shared when they played:
In the still of the night
Hold me darlin’, hold me tight,
Oh so real, so right
Lost in the fifties tonight
These precious hours
We know can’t survive
But love’s all that matters
While the past is alive
Now and for always
Till time disappears
We’ll hold each other…
~Excerpted lines from “Lost in the 50’s Tonight” recorded
by Ronnie Milsap and written
by Seals, Troy Harold/Reid, Mike/Parris, Fredericke

Follow God’s example; therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ~Ephesians 5:1   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

592. What in your life is calling you, when all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside, and the wild Iris blooms by itself in the dark forest, what still pulls on your soul? ~Rumi

Inside the silence between
your heartbeats hides a summons.
Do you hear it? Listen.
Quiet the voices and noise around you.
Honor the Holy One calling you!
~Author Unknown

Screen shot 2014-12-27 at 9.18.44 AM

We run, we walk, we stumble, we fall, we get up, and then we move on. This is a scenario that time after time plays out in our lives. But what is it that gets us back up after our dreams have been shattered and/or suffering or loss has occurred? Is it sufficient numbers in a bank account? Is it the comfort and safety of four walls and a roof over our heads? Is it ample food and adequate clothing? Is it a job and transportation to and from work? Is it education and knowledge of scientific avowals? Or… is it instead a growing inkling of divine purpose? It’s that “still, small voice” mentioned in Holy Writ which encourages us to finish the race set before us no matter what, isn’t it? And doesn’t the voice also strengthen us and cheer us on in the face of the unknown and the possibility of additional vexing difficulties? If so, aren’t we then able to discern divine threads of intent running through our lives? And can’t we see that those threads gather together the moments of joy and gladness and triumph so that we’re able to face trials and defeats? Moreover aren’t those ever-increasing threads what make us willing to walk again, run again, stumble again, fall again, get up again, and move on even though momentarily discouraged and weary? In the end do we not become awed and filled with growing gratitude because we know that this life isn’t an end in itself but instead a preparation for something greater, even if the something more isn’t clearly defined yet?

Before we acquired knowledge, speech, reason and the ability to get up and down, we, each and every one of us, dauntlessly fought a painful battle just to push our way from our mother’s womb into this world. Thus there just has to be more to life than material gain and acquisitions, temporal pleasure and comfort, endurance of the noisy and mundane, and forbearance of senseless cruelty and violence. Surely in moments of utter stillness and silence, with an emptied mind, we can all hear the Lord’s gentle, reassuring voice. You’ve heard it, haven’t you? That sweet, inner voice, not audible in your ears but loud and clear in your heart of hearts, echoing protective warnings, comforting reassurances, compelling directives, and supportive nudgings. I pray it be so because ours is a deliberate tale, a grand and sacred love story written by the hands of God.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. ~Acts 20:24   ✝

** Image via Pinterest