745. I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known. ~Author Unknown

You cannot help but learn more
as you take the world into your hands.
Take it up reverently, for it is
an old piece of clay, with millions
of thumbprints on it.
~John Updike

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This is my lovely granddaughter. She was two years old when her father and our daughter, Nikki, got married. So I have been a part of her life almost from the get go and like to think that I’ve had a positive impact on her, if not by a blood link, then by a shared heart link. Like my daughter, Annie is beautiful and bright and has a compassionate, loving heart. She will graduate soon from high school, and then in the fall she will be headed off to college. Since her life will soon change in profound ways, I pray that she continues to follow the Lord and the holy nudgings of her own heart. Part of my desire for her is best stated in these quotes above and below and in what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” And I pray that she always knows that the “all” of who and what she is more than enough since she is made in the image of Almighty God. For a better insight into her sweet heart, check out some of her posts on her blog where she expresses her love and desire to serve the Lord at:   https://alwayslivingforhim.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/little-moments-big-blessings/

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To be nobody but yourself in a world
which is doing its best, night and day,
to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight;
and never stop fighting.
~e.e. cummings, 1955

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6   ✝

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   ✝

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