1025. The sweetest two words are “next time.” The sourest word is “if.” ~Chi Chi Rodriguez

When a thing’s done, it’s done,
and if it’s not done right,
do it differently next time.
~Arthur Ransome

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 5.33.03 PM.png

Next time what I’d do is look at
the earth before saying anything. I’d stop
just before going into a house
and be an emperor for a minute
and listen better to the wind
or to the air being still.

When anyone talked to me, whether
blame or praise or just passing time,
I’d watch the face, how the mouth
has to work, and see any strain,
any sign of what lifted the voice.

And for all, I’d know more — the earth
bracing itself and soaring, the air
finding every leaf and feather over
forest and water, and for every person
the body glowing inside the clothes
like a light.
~A poem by Mary Oliver

Okay, kiddies, it’s January 1st and thus the “next time” around this old earth for all of us. And as I’ve aged I’ve come to realize that before starting a new chapter in life, it’s always a good idea to give some thought first to what I’d do differently “next time.” What-if’s are never a good choice because they take the focus off the gifts and lessons of today’s reality. What-iffies are like trying to see what’s coming around the corner before one ever gets to the corner. Since there is absolutely no way we can know what’s around that corner, they waste valuable time preparing for what may never happen. And they are “squishy” in nature in that they require of us no firm direction or intent and allow for a lack of faith. Finding bumps in the road around any corner is a given, but after falling and failing as many times as I have, I’ve learned to get up, dust my behind off, and look for the seeds inherent in all mistakes because they gifts from above that teach one how to improve. So off I go once more seeking that which the Lord lays upon my plate and knowing that in every season there is the possibility of all things under heaven which means sorrow will come but it can’t stop me from laughing, loving, singing, and dancing.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here! ~2 Corinthians 5:17  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

879. You are not too young or too old; it is never too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret. ~Adapted line by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Each one of us has an inner room
where we can visit to be cleansed of
fear-based thoughts and feelings.
This room, the holy of holies,
is a sanctuary of light.
~Marianne Williamson

Screen shot 2015-09-22 at 5.03.36 PM

Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where
we perform the job of taking care of our soul.
~Christopher Forrest McDowell

Screen shot 2015-09-22 at 3.25.10 PM

The ache for home lives in all of us,
the safe place where we can go
as we are and not to be questioned.
~Maya Angelou

Screen shot 2015-09-22 at 3.24.44 PM

A sanctuary is your space,
a safe place in a troubling world,
private and strong for healing wounds
an oasis where you can relax
take off your shoes
enjoy being your true self
feel free, think big, think small
take your time and breathe
savor the moment
open up your heart and
laugh, cry, or be crazy if you like…
“Remember the entrance 
to the sanctuary is inside you.”
~Rumi

You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for Your Word to renew me. ~Psalm 119:114 (MSG)  ✝

**Top photo is a view of my garden, my own personal sanctuary; the other lovely ones are via Pinterest