1222. We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves. ~Leonora Carrington

From within and from behind, a
light shines through us upon things,
and makes us aware that we
are nothing, the but light is all.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 6.25.54 PM.png

I was up early this morning and so went wandering around the yard looking for something picture worthy. As I took these photos, I decided that they were more spectacular because of the play of early morning light on them. I saw only a portion of the flower as I rounded the corner, and even so the light shining through the leaves and the small portion of this flower’s filaments was both magical and mystical. And I’m always struck by how much holiness I sense in the light, even small pieces of it. It’s like God’s radiance falls on things in the garden as well as the sunlight. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t decided which was more stunning, the fragment of the flower or in the whole thing.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 6.29.49 PM.png

Later in the day during a Bible Study I found myself surrounded by people who like these leaves and flowers were filled with notable and holy spiritual light. In the course of our discussion we talked about the fact that we are all made in the image of God. And so it occurred to me that whenever we look in a mirror we are actually seeing the face of God, coming face to face, as it were, with the very one who breathed life into us. And when you think of it that way, you realize that we are never separated from the Lord, no matter where life takes us or what we do or don’t do. He is always there behind the face, behind the light. Notice in the lines below how the First Nation’s people also connected life with light and breath.

What is life? It is the flash
of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo
in the wintertime. It is
the little shadow which runs
across the grass and loses
itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. ~Matthew 6:22  ✝

1141. At the end of the day, love and compassion will win. ~Terry Waite

The thing is, at the end of the day
you still have to face yourself.
~Dave Pelzer

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 8.26.35 PM.png

At the End of the Day: A Mirror of Questions
What dreams did I create last night?
Where did my eyes linger today?
Where was I blind?
Where was I hurt without anyone noticing?
What did I learn today?
What did I read?
What new thoughts visited me?
What differences did I notice in those closest to me?
Whom did I neglect?
Where did I neglect myself?
What did I begin today that might endure?
How were my conversations?
What did I do today for the poor and the excluded?
Where could I have exposed myself to the risk of something different?
Where did I allow myself to receive love?
With whom today did I feel most myself?
What reached me today?
How deeply did it imprint?
Who saw me today?
What visitations had I from the past and from the future?
What did I avoid today?
From the evidence – why was I given this day?
~Excerpted lines by John O’Donohue

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! ~2 Corinthians 9:10-15  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1098. How can I stand on the ground every day and not feel its power? How can I live my life stepping on this stuff and not wonder at it? ~William Bryant Logan

A garden is the mirror of the mind.
It is a place of life, a mystery of green,
moving to the pulse of the year,
and pressing on and pausing the whole
to its own inherent rhythms.
~Henry Beston

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.55 PM.png

After the autumnal equinox passes sometime in late September the days begin to grow shorter and shorter so that light blesses the soil less and less. Soon with each new cold front that blows in temperatures start dropping more and more from the feverish pitch of their summertime highs. Then as the year’s last child draws near its end, the first freeze comes and the garden starts to wither and unravel. Soon afterwards another freeze arrives, harder than the last, and then another until the stage is set for ice or snow or frost to layer the land. With each onslaught winter’s sting strikes deeper and deeper at the remains of the garden. However, after the winter solstice occurs, the process of “pausing the whole” slowly but surely begins to reverse itself so that day by day there’s a little more sunlight and a little more and a little more until somewhere in all of that movement of the sun and the earth and the stars, the divine mystery and its miracles spark children of the soil into being once more. Faithfully in hidden wombs beneath soil or in bark, embryos have been growing and waiting for the elements to create the right catalytic mixture to push tiny tips upward or outward into the light of day. Following the first emergence of new life, earth’s sacred rhythms, which had been faint as we traversed winter’s veil of grief, become louder again until buds, nurtured by water, warmth, and sunlight, grow large and ripe enough to come into their time of blossoming. So it is that the “pausing” at last comes to an end, and spring’s first comers to press upward, outward and onward burgeoning into flowers and the “mystery of green” that’s a garden. And then in the mirror of my mind I can see clearly the countenance in the Face of all faces because as Robert Brault says, “As a gardener, I’m among those who believe that much of the evidence of God’s existence has been planted.”

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. ~Psalm 85:11  ✝

1090. Your big opportunity may be right where you are now. ~Napoleon Hill

With the past, I have nothing to do;
nor with the future. I live now.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 9.11.09 PM.png

Now is the time to free the heart,
Let all intentions and worries stop,
Free the joy inside the self,
Awaken to the wonder of your life.

Open your eyes and see the friends
Whose hearts recognize your face as kin,
Those whose kindness watchful and near,
Encourages you to live everything here.

See the gifts the years have given,
Things your effort could never earn,
The health to enjoy who you want to be
And the mind to mirror mystery.
~John O’Donohue

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. ~Psalm39:7  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

947. Creation betokens a Creator. ~Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is more completely
the child of art than a garden.
~Sir Walter Scott

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 2.42.29 PM

I often marvel at the Lord’s artwork in Creation, and one of the things I love most about our amazing Creator’s handiwork is God’s occasional bent towards the frivolous. I see in it in flowers like the pink dahlia in the photo, and when I do, again I know why we are implored in Scripture over and over again to rejoice in the Lord and in His ways. Clearly God sees merit in such because nature itself speaks profusely of the Divine’s joy and delight in it and all that He has made. Not only that but after each day of Creation’s work in Holy writ it says that God looked upon what He had made and saw that it was good. Since this flower and other frivolous entities are a part of Yahweh’s grand design, I believe that perhaps they are made especially for times when the human heart has difficulty finding much of anything in which to rejoice. After all we are not asked to rejoice only in the good times but at all times. In a poem I read this week the author purported that each of us is “God clothed in a body.” Inasmuch as we are made in His image and as believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, at the very least that perception is a good way of remembering just how sacred and precious we are in the eyes the our Creator. Thinking that way might also help us rejoice more when we look at ourselves in the mirror and when we look at others.

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. ~Psalm 68:4  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

600. There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton

A
candle 
loses
nothing
by lighting
another candle.
~Erin Majors

Screen shot 2015-01-02 at 6.09.03 PM

Light a candle in your soul,
And carry with you in the dark.
If you see a flame that’s lost its glow
Let yours supply the spark.
For a flame grows only brighter
When it gives to another of its light.

Believe in yourself in the depths of your being,
Nourish the talents your spirit is freeing.
Know in your heart when the going gets slow,
That your faith in yourself will continue to grow.
Don’t give up your dreams though others may have doubt,
It’s your life to live, you must delight in it throughout.
So learn from your errors, don’t dwell in the past,
And never withdraw from a world that’s vast.
Believe in yourself, find the best that is you,
Let your spirit prevail, steer a course that is true.

~Edited texts from Unknown Author

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~John 1:5    ✝

**Image via Pinterest, Text added by Natalie
Once a blogging junkie, always a blogging it would seem!

570. It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. ~Charles Dickens

You’re never too old to be a child at Christmas.
Think back to your own childhood memories of Christmas –
not the gifts and the tinsel, but the joy and wonder
of a time when everything seemed so new
and nothing was impossible.
~William Saroyan, (1908-1981),
Armenian-American dramatist and writer

Screen shot 2014-12-29 at 3.16.18 PM

Hey, it’s snowing! At least on my blog, little snowflakes are softly cascading. Okay, I’ll admit it; I’m delighted about that and gleefully squealed like a child when the WP support lady told me how to make it happen. And what’s more, if Charles Dickens and William Saroyan think it’s okay to be a child at Christmas, who am I to lack confidence in that stance? I realize Christmas is weeks away, but the snow on my blog was enough to jump start my enthusiasm about it. Christmas always takes me back to the time when I saw the world through the eyes of a child. That’s because my childhood was magical, not perfect nor without hurts, but magical nonetheless. It was the result of a Divinely engineered coming together of extraordinary people in an extraordinary place at an extraordinary time. I say that with a humble heart because I know it was and is a privilege not afforded all people. My childhood was so out of the ordinary in fact that I can recall the exact moment in time it came to an end. It was in the cessation of a beating heart that the reality of it shattered like the pieces of a breaking mirror. Not only was the magic and innocence of it lost forever at that moment, but the devastation left me fragmented and it severed my hold on the handle of anything that nurtured my faith. Then close on the heels of that life-altering experience, I was swept away into the uncharted waters of young womanhood and the inevitable trials that accompany aging and marriage. Those events added to the continuing and inconsolable sorrow of my father’s death left me turning a deaf ear to the Lord’s “still, small voice” as well as a blind eye to His abiding presence in my world. After nearly a decade of watching me, lost and brokenhearted, wander deeper into the “wilderness,” He sent an angel of mercy into my world. Ironically the Divine messenger was a child, my baby girl, who would and did touch my heart in a way no other mortal had been able to. In her smile, in the twinkle of her eyes, and in the beauty of her heart, a heart more loving and gentle than any I’ve ever known, I found my way, step by step, back into the Lord’s keeping. Oh come let us adore the Christ who finds a way to speak to the child in us all!

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ~Romans 8:17   ✝

**The photo is a composite of my daughter from the age of 8 months to 18 years.