1422. It wasn’t until I slowed the car and rolled down the windows that I realized I spend most of my days driving “through” life without driving “in” life. ~Craig D. Lounsbrough

Go placidly amid the noise and haste
and remember what peace
there may be in silence.
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As far as possible, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly
and listen to others for everyone has a story.
Don’t compare yourself with others,
for always there will be greater
and lesser persons than yourself.
The world is full of trickery,
but let this not blind you
to what virtue there is.
Many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
love is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you
in sudden misfortune but do not
distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of God no less than
the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
~-Edited and adapted rendition of
THE DESIDERATA, by Max Erhmann

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. ~Psalm 150:1, 6 ✝

**THE DESIDERATA became very popular in the 1970’s and still holds some well-penned truths of which I needed to remind myself after recent hectic days.

***Images found on Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1320. Through all the…

noise and chaos of this world it’s absolutely essential to find a time and place every day to whisper the name Jesus, the name above all names. And then with certainty know that any and all of us, will be heard. Afterwards we must then be still and wait, listen and believe, and before long we’ll find ourselves in and surrounded by the Lord’s Holy presence.

 “Be still, and know that I am God…” ~Excerpt from Psalm 46:10 ✝

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God is always waiting to hear from His children,
And because He wants us to hear His voice,
He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible,
He speaks to us through our thoughts,
He speaks to us through our conversations with others,
He speaks to us through ordinary moments in our lives
He speaks to us through our circumstances,
And so on…

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12  ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text box added by Natalie

1077. Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, things other than self. ~Edited quote by Dean Jackson

Listening is a great way of receiving gifts
of wisdom, intelligence and inspiration,
but we only hear.
~Anonymous

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Only the briefest of moments
When everything is still
When the world is silent
A magical moment
When there’s just you
And everything God has
Created for you

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That moment
Is always there
But the noise of life
The mad rush
Of the day
Is too loud for us
To hear it to see it
To feel it

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Sit back
Let your worries
Drift away
Clear your mind
And just listen
Breathe in the breeze
As it splashes
Over you

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Listen
Not with your ears
But with your Soul
To the sounds of
The leaves rustling
In the trees and
The song of the birds
Rising like a wave

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Listen
Listen with your heart
Listen closely
For there’s only a moment
Only the briefest of moments
And then the magic’s gone
Lost in the chaos
Of the day.
~Edited poem
by Michael Traveler

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let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance– ~Proverbs 1:5

Images via Pinterest

925. The earth has music for those who listen. ~William Shakespeare

Inside the silence between
your 
heartbeats hides a summons.
Do you hear it?
Listen.
Quiet the voices and noise around you.
Honor the Holy One calling you!
~Author Unknown

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I perceive the universe as a cosmic temple and planet earth as a sanctuary in that temple. Although not given the power of speech as such therein, rain and other weather-related phenomena exhibit distinctive voices in and under the heavens. And as these things fall from earth’s chaotic atmosphere, they often blend their unique voices with other holy sounds in the natural world. In that sacred chorus is a call for humanity to seek the Maker of the temple because God not only hardwired man with a desire to connect with other human beings but also with a  longing to seek and connect with Him. Thus to that end man was given eyes to witness the sacraments of heaven and earth, ears to hear the chants of their hallowed voices, intellect to question and understand to some extent what is seen and heard, and a heart that in due time turns from irreverence to deep longing.  Tecumseh, a leader of the Shawnee, said, “Nature is so powerful, so strong.  Capturing the essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the rain in its weather.  It takes you to a place within yourself.” And so after the 11 inches of magical, mystical rain that we’ve had in the last week, I’m a’listenin’ and doin’ little jigs all over the place.

…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— ~Proverbs 1:5  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

832. Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye. ~Austin O’Malley

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life,
for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.
~Bertrand Russell

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Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is the adequate perception of the world.
~Hans Margolius

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We hunger for quiet times;
we find in them a womb to renew our strength.
~Virginia Ann Froehle

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…have a mind so quiet, that you can hear doves whispering
as they rest their wings in the rafters of your silent sanctuary.
~Kate Mullane Robertson

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With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony,
and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.
~William Wordsworth

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But I’ll tell you what hermits realize.
If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet,
you’ll understand that you’re connected with everything.
~Alan Watts

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And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place,
touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of heaven.
~Adlai E. Stevenson

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Noise, the relentless distraction of noise, surrounds us day after day after day. And it steals from us that which is not its to take. So seek a “silent sanctuary” in which you can “feel the hem of heaven” and renew your strength in that quiet “womb.”

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. ~1 Peter 3:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

774. The only noise now was the rain, pattering softly with the magnificent indifference of nature for the tangled passions of humans. ~Sherwood Smith

  I like it when it rains hard.
It sounds like white noise everywhere,
which is like silence but not empty.
~Mark Haddon

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After an extended period of hot weather,
comes the first rain shower creating
an exquisite and eloquent fragrance in the air –
an earthy sweet smell that permeates and floats all around us,
refreshing our minds and rejuvenating our lives.
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Deodatta V. Shenai-Khatkhate

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Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
~Excerpt fro a poem
by Mary Oliver

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If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? ~1 Corinthians 12:17  ✝

592. What in your life is calling you, when all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside, and the wild Iris blooms by itself in the dark forest, what still pulls on your soul? ~Rumi

Inside the silence between
your heartbeats hides a summons.
Do you hear it? Listen.
Quiet the voices and noise around you.
Honor the Holy One calling you!
~Author Unknown

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We run, we walk, we stumble, we fall, we get up, and then we move on. This is a scenario that time after time plays out in our lives. But what is it that gets us back up after our dreams have been shattered and/or suffering or loss has occurred? Is it sufficient numbers in a bank account? Is it the comfort and safety of four walls and a roof over our heads? Is it ample food and adequate clothing? Is it a job and transportation to and from work? Is it education and knowledge of scientific avowals? Or… is it instead a growing inkling of divine purpose? It’s that “still, small voice” mentioned in Holy Writ which encourages us to finish the race set before us no matter what, isn’t it? And doesn’t the voice also strengthen us and cheer us on in the face of the unknown and the possibility of additional vexing difficulties? If so, aren’t we then able to discern divine threads of intent running through our lives? And can’t we see that those threads gather together the moments of joy and gladness and triumph so that we’re able to face trials and defeats? Moreover aren’t those ever-increasing threads what make us willing to walk again, run again, stumble again, fall again, get up again, and move on even though momentarily discouraged and weary? In the end do we not become awed and filled with growing gratitude because we know that this life isn’t an end in itself but instead a preparation for something greater, even if the something more isn’t clearly defined yet?

Before we acquired knowledge, speech, reason and the ability to get up and down, we, each and every one of us, dauntlessly fought a painful battle just to push our way from our mother’s womb into this world. Thus there just has to be more to life than material gain and acquisitions, temporal pleasure and comfort, endurance of the noisy and mundane, and forbearance of senseless cruelty and violence. Surely in moments of utter stillness and silence, with an emptied mind, we can all hear the Lord’s gentle, reassuring voice. You’ve heard it, haven’t you? That sweet, inner voice, not audible in your ears but loud and clear in your heart of hearts, echoing protective warnings, comforting reassurances, compelling directives, and supportive nudgings. I pray it be so because ours is a deliberate tale, a grand and sacred love story written by the hands of God.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. ~Acts 20:24   ✝

** Image via Pinterest