1354. There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book, or simply close it. ~Shannon L. Alder

Attitude is a choice. 
Happiness is a choice.
Optimism is a choice. 
Kindness is a choice. 
Giving is a choice. 
Respect is a choice. 
Choice you 
make makes you. 
Choose wisely.
~Roy T. Bennett

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Sometimes we make the right choice
for the wrong reason, and sometimes
we make the wrong choice for the right reason.
In truth, there is no wrong or right, only choice…
All of it is a lesson, which brings us to where
we need to be, for what we need to learn.
~Julie Parker

Choose my(God’s) instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. ~Proverbs 8:10-11  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

1217. There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve. ~Malcolm X

At last, you will not be remembered for
roaming the earth as a non-entity,
but by every word, and every miracle,
and every love, and every seed that ever came
from the innermost part of your heart.
~Michael Bassey Johnson

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Every day I read blog post after blog post filled with litanies of “somebody done me wrong” songs, and I know that pain and loss are real and deep, unwarranted and regrettable, heartbreaking and devastating. And although I can’t walk that proverbial mile in the shoes of these bloggers, they need to know that we’ve all been there and done that. But ya know, there comes a time when one must let the past go and move on. My guess is if I handed any of them a burning hot potato that I’d just taken out of the oven, they would put the darn thing down before it did any serious damage to their hand. And so why is it that any of them or us hold on to toxic, past suffering, letting it “burn” us over and over again, day in and day out! Why do we give hateful, hurtful people that kind of power over our lives? Isn’t it like dragging dead bodies around with us wherever we go-weighty, stinking, rotting corpses with no life left in them? Why do we do that? Is it because we think nothing good or anyone loving will ever come along again? Oh my gosh, if nature were like that, life on planet earth would have ended eons ago. Like everything else God created we are full of seeds and possibilities, but the seeds must first be sown and then nurtured before the possibilities become evident, not unlike those minuscule green shoots that push up from the darkness of the soil to the light. And that sowing process can’t be done by whining and wallowing around in the stench of those carcasses we’re hanging on to. It can only be done when disappointments and heartbreaks are finally thrown onto a compost heap to become fodder for new growth and the seeds are thrown out to germinate! And no, it’s not that I’ve lived a sheltered, privileged life devoid of heartache that I can say these things for I’ve known bitter loss; I live with chronic pain; I’ve dealt with defeat; and I’ve experienced utter despair; but I’ve also known enough of joy and happiness and miracles not to let that which has tried to break me define who and what I am and/or steal another millisecond of what life is left in these old bones. Walking away is a choice; letting go is a choice; setting ourselves free from harmful people and things is a choice, and only we can make those choices. So grieve a while, sing your sad songs, write your sad stories and poems, and then pick yourself up, dust your fanny off from the fall, stand bravely tall, and declare to life and the world that you cannot, will not be subdued or diminished by others or the past. Then walk away with songs of hope in your words, and never, ever look back.

He(the Lord) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; text box added to altered and edited images I created; collage by Natalie too

831. Appearances are often deceiving. ~Aesop

Do not hover always on the surface of things,
nor take up suddenly with mere appearances;
but penetrate into the depth of matters…
~Isaac Watts


No one knows what makes the soul wake up happy!
Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God.


I discovered this passionflower (in the first photo) as it was opening to the morning’s light and thought to myself, “what an gangly, unsightly thing!” Then as I watched, slowly but surely it expanded from its misshapenness into what you see in the second photo–the glorious thing it was meant to be. At that moment, it was if dawn’s breeze had indeed briefly lifted the veil of God, and I could see His face smiling in divine revelation of the importance of the day’s gift. The lesson was not to be blinded by first appearances ever but always to wait for His light to reveal the true nature and beauty of people and things. Like the flower, if we allow God to work in us and through us, our awkward beginnings can evolve into the splendor and purpose He intended, for in all of us, “There is a morning inside waiting to burst open in the light.” ~Rumi

“This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it–the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ~Jeremiah 33:2-3  ✝

651. The real voyage of discovery comes not in the seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust

What sunshine is to flowers,
smiles are to humanity.
These are not trifles, to be sure;
but scattered along life’s pathway,
the good they do is inconceivable.
~Joseph Addison


The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

black, curved blade
from hooking forward—
of course
loss is the great lesson.

But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
~Mary Oliver

You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways. ~Job 22:28   ✝

**Photograph of Iceland Poppy taken by Natalie

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


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.

230. He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter… ~John Burroughs

Nature looks dead in winter because
her life is gathered into her heart.
She withers the plant down to the root
that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger.
She calls her family together
within her inmost home to prepare them
for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth.
~Hugh Macmillan


This time of year there’s a separateness in the garden which I rather like, but I’ve heard others say that they detest the bleak lifelessness of winter.  When asked why, they’ll tell me it’s because it fills them with a sense of loneliness or it speaks too strongly of death.  I, on the other hand, find a comforting orderliness in its realm because I can see the garden’s defining lines again after they’d been blurred or even obliterated in some cases by summer’s reckless, spreading abandon.   And when I’m out working in the winter garden as I was today, I don’t feel any sense of sadness; the feeling I get is more of a silent, but willing withdrawal–a retreat back to a trusted, reviving source.  It seems to me that the barren remains stand self-assuredly in an awareness of Creation’s ever-faithful, annual renewal and somehow understands winter’s lesson of waiting with expectancy and hope.

As long as earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.  ~ Genesis 8:22  ✝