1171. Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival…
Treat each guest honorably.
Be grateful for whoever comes.
~Rumi

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Even in seemingly dormant times, we are in transition. Losses and gains are in constant play. We are the change-agent, and we are changed. Even without toil, we transform. So, wisdom advises us to open our hearts to transition; to honor fully what is passing, to learn from all that unfolds, and to welcome what arrives at our door each day with courage and curiosity. ~A Network for Grateful Living

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. ~Colossians 3:16  ✝

**Image of lily taken by me in my yard today. Outer edges deliberately blurred so that focus is on the amazing stamen and anthers.

338. Memory is the diary we all carry about with us. ~Oscar Wilde

Memory is a way of holding onto
the things you love,
the things you are,
the things you never want to lose.
~From the television show The Wonder Years

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More than half a century ago my father died on this date, and yet I listen still for his voice, a voice held dear and silenced forever when his mortal heart ceased to beat. In memory his deeds and words echo on in my heart, and neither the tears of sadness I’ve cried nor the moments of bitter resentment about his early death I’ve endured have muted the sounds of that beloved voice. Regrettably this was a door, and it has not been a singular one, that closed long long before it should have, and none of the ranting or raving or railing against any of it has altered the impact of the losses. The simple truth is that time marches unstoppably on as season after season passes over the fields of our lives; people continually move in and out, and there is a never ending series of opening and closing doors along the way. In the aftermath of unavoidable, grievous experiences our faith is tested, tried, and sometimes even forsaken, but the Holy One who walks with us is never absent nor is the offer of His gift of grace ever retracted.

How very precious every breath and every moment of life is! Declarations of love to family and friends and the Lord should be vocalized over and over again, and we need to hear the same from the ones we cherish. If such things are left unsaid what goes unspoken leaves gaping holes and wounds in the human heart, and the subsequent path to healing is enough of a long and arduous road as it is.

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Psalm 31:1-3  ✝

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!

**Images via Pinterest