895. Every moment of light and dark is a miracle. ~Walt Whitman

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Nature is a sacred text
Pages with the deepest truths
Beyond all outward forms
Lies the secret place of wisdom

Valuable things are buried deep
The ocean’s pearls and mountain’s gems
If you wish for worthy objects
You must brave the depths of darkness

Here is where the lesson lies
It’s the same with you and I
We must feel the hurt and pain
Campaign in the aching grief

Beyond all the crippling fear
Beyond all the violent tears
Unveiled is the greatest treasure
Nothing but your holy heart

Here you’ll find paradise
Gardens growing love and life
A peace so deep it can’t be moved
Flowing springs of beauty’s truth
~Irfaan Ihsan Jaffer

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:14-16  ✝

803. The prairie sky – is high and wide deep in the heart of Texas.

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The sage in bloom – is like perfume deep in the heart of Texas.

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The stars at night – are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.

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And after 16 days in Europe – we’re finally back home, safe and sound, deep in the heart of Texas. However we’re exhausted, have mountains of dirty clothes to unpack and wash, and there are over 7,000 emails in my inbox. Sadly, I don’t think I could never catch up with all that, so I’m just going to start from scratch today reading your new posts and comments. I pray that all of you are well. I’ve missed you and your posts and am looking forward to re-engaging with “y’all,” as they say down here in Texas. Love, Natalie

We praise you and thank you Lord for all your tender mercies and protection these past sixteen days!  “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.” ~Psalm 69:30   ✝

*All images via Pinterest.

561. If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. ~Rabbi Harold Kushner

Above me and below me
Hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it.
I am immersed in it.
~Native American Saying

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I thank God for the ways of Creation–
For eyes to see Creation’s beauty,
For ears to hear Creation’s sounds,
For a tongue to taste Creation’s savory delights,
For a nose to smell Creation’s sweet aromas,
For arms to embrace others with a loving touch,
For a heart to understand the ways of the Lord,
For words to praise the triune God, Maker of heaven and earth.
~Edited and adapted from a Native American prayer

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. ~Psalm 69:30   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

456. Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. ~Robert Farrar Capon, Episcopal priest and author

She, a sapphire queen,
sits perched atop
her throne of green
filling her cup
with day’s holy gleam.
~Natalie Scarberry

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“We need to learn to enjoy life more. We should relax, remembering that Immanuel, God is with us, is always present. He crafted His people with enormous capacity to know Him and enjoy His Presence, and when His people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, He is displeased. But when they walk through the day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, they proclaim their trust in Him, their ever-present Shepherd. The more they focus on His Presence with them, the more fully they can enjoy life. And if they glorify Him through their pleasure in Him, they, thus, proclaim His presence to the in-need, watching world.” ~Edited passage from a devotional by Sarah Young

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I(Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11    ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

392. Bring me the sunflower crazed with the love of light. ~Eugenio Montale

Many flowers open to the sun but only one
follows him constantly. Heart, be thou the
sunflower, not only open to receive God’s blessing,
but constantly in looking for Him.
~Jean Paul Richter

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I don’t think there’s anything on this planet
that more trumpets life than the sunflower.
For me, that’s the reason behind its name–
not because it looks like the sun–
but because it follows the sun.
During the course of the day the head
tracks the journey of the sun across the sky.
Wherever light is, no matter how weak,
these flowers will find it.
And that’s such an admirable thing.
And such a lesson in life.
~Words spoken by Helen Mirren 
in the movie Calendar Girls

In the same way, let your light shine before others, they they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.