1265. The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~Flora Whittemore

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The fact that I’ve been unhappily dealing with an intense, killer migraine since 4 AM this morning has reminded me of an incident that happened years ago. It was a day when I had been grappling with physical pain like I’ve had to do off and on throughout my adult life, and I was feeling quite sorry for myself even grumbling inwardly about it. So when it was suggested that we go to a movie which would include a long walk to get to a downtown theater, I wasn’t particularly interested in going. But I was eventually talked into it, and because I am slower these days, I was trailing along somewhat behind the others. As we rounded the last corner I almost bumped into a homeless man of color with no legs who sitting on the sidewalk in a wheelchair. His head was down but all of a sudden he looked up and smiled the most engaging, warm smile, looked straight into my eyes, and said, “God bless you!” I replied in kind but perhaps without the same warmth and walked on to catch up with the others After mulling it over I knew for certain it was no accident that the man was there at that exact moment in time for a Divine reason. So I glanced back with thoughts of running back and saying thank you as we entered the theater, but he was gone. Nevertheless, in our brief encounter this nameless, homeless disabled man had driven a clear message straight into my heart–I had a home, I had legs, I was not confined to a wheelchair nor was I having to endure hard days and nights living on the streets and going hungry. And so if he could ask God to bless me when the differences between our circumstances were so vasrly different, then it was time for me to rise above my trials and do the same.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ~1 John 4:12  ✝

**Top image by LilAS and LOlAS found on Facebook; text box created and written by Natalie; collage by Natalie

1052. When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~Marcus Aurelius

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What did you notice today?

The dawn’s light;
the bird on the wing;
the clouds over your head;
the breeze as dried grasses swayed;
the sun as it journeyed across the heavens;
the in and out movement of your breath;
the pumping of blood in your veins;
the regular beating of your heart;
the falling shades of night.

What did you hear?

What made you smile?

What made you laugh?

What made you cry?

What made you sad?

What astonished you?

What touched you deep within?

What made you thankful?

What made you feel alive?

Should these and more not all be things to take notice of? After all isn’t each day a gift? And aren’t all the abilities to feel and do these things a part of the gift? Can anything you do or say bring this day or the opportunities it offered back?

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalm 138:24  ✝

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/


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   ✝

632. A garden is a bird’s dinner table bursting with bugs and worms and succulent berries. ~Anne Raver

That little bird has chosen his shelter.
Above it are the stars and the deep heaven of worlds.
Yet he is rocking himself to sleep
without caring for tomorrow’s lodging,
calmly clinging to his little twig,
and leaving God to think for him.
~Martin Luther

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Red–bright, bright, glorious red! How easy it is to find in the winter landscape! Yahweh not only provided birds with sheltering places, but He also formed plants that produce colorful, and therefore easy to spot, feasts of red berries. In Scripture, we are told that we needn’t worry about what we require either because the Lord promises to provide for our needs too. However, since youth is an opiate that leads many a “fledgling” like I once was to a) believe that he/she is infallible and b) to believe he/she is the only one on the planet with a clue about anything, I foolishly thought for a time that my life was only what I was making of it. Then as time passed I began to realize there were doors that did not have to open, but they did; there were opportunities that didn’t have to present themselves, but they did; and there were misfortunes that could have occurred, but they didn’t, and so on. It’s our God-given free will which allows us to make choices that determine the outcome of our lives, and even poor choices can and do sometimes lead to a path that eventually merges back into the one the Lord wants us to travel. Looking back at such things I realize now that it’s only because of the intervention of God’s divine and saving grace that advantageous things happen. And who knows perhaps even the detours are gifts of His divine providence meant to protect the unwise sojourner from harm. Though prudence and patience are lessons I’m still trying to master, at least I’ve become more aware of the importance and necessity of listening to the Lord, consulting Him before making choices, yielding to His will and plan for my life, and living more like the birds who worry not. So on I go these days putting one foot in front of the other. In the meantime God keeps His eye on me and the sparrow, the birds feast upon the garden’s berries, and I rely more and more on the Lord, letting my little piece of Eden continue to feed my soul and remind me of His faithful provision and promises.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin…” ~Matthew 6: 25-28   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; overlay created by Natalie