1392. He prayeth best, who loveth best all things great and small; for the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There are 100,000 or so species of insects 
native to the United States. More than 1/3 
of these have been found in Texas. 
Texas has more different kinds of 
insects than any other state. 
~From a Texas Gov’t. publication
found on the Internet

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There is simply never a shortage of “beasties” on Texas soil especially when the temperatures soar. “Things great and small,” lovable and loathsome, have been on the move in the water, in the air, and on the land. Some float, some flutter, some fly, some are fleet of foot, some feed on the earth’s grasses and some crawl, slither, or graze in them. Scripture tells us that the good Lord saw that all He made was good, but being a less than perfect mortal, I struggle with loving and seeing the good in “all things great and small.” The fact that spiders, snakes, and “skeeters” bite and can kill has always had a great deal to do with my disdain for earth’s not so charming and/or endearing creatures. However, when I became an avid gardener, I began realizing more and more the intentionality of all that God made. Working the soil helped me see the genius of the “string of life” that connects everything on earth together in a beneficial series of interdependencies. Creation, on a grander scale of course, is much like the human body–everything in it is connected and it all works together for the good of the whole. In light of that complete awareness, slowly but surely, I’m learning to be more tolerant of the earth’s less endearing creatures. Toiling under the sun in all the seasons has shown me that built into Creation’s tapestry are purpose and provisions for all that God made. That awareness, despite my difficulty in embracing all of the “beasties” who dwell here in Texas has engendered and enlarged my trust, love, and faith in the Lord’s plans and His purposes as well as an acceptance of all that He has made.

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How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. When You send your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth. -Psalm 104:24, 30  ✝

Beware the ides of March…

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Today, the ides of March, is the average last freeze date in north Texas. There are times, although, when after the 15th of March we’ve experienced one or more late freezes which kill the smatterings of early spring blooms that often start here as early as February. But interestingly there’s a saying hereabouts which purports that if the pecan trees have not yet budded by the 15th, there will definitely be more freezes. So I keep an eye on my neighbor’s pecan tree as it actually has branches reaching over our common fence line, and I can easily see whether it has started budding or not. That’s why today I went out for my usual ides of March sojourn over to my north fence and looked up to find that tiny buds are beginning to appear on some of the tree’s branches. And silly as it may seem, I’ve been watching that circumstance for over a decade now, and it has never failed to be quite accurate in its forecast. So now I can and will bring the ferns out of the green house to enjoy breezy and fresher open air, and I will be able to move forward with more and more plantings. Isn’t it fascinating that seeds which fall to the ground during the growing season in summer and/or autumn know when it’s time to start germinating in the spring and that pecan trees and other already growing things know when it’s safe to start budding and leafing out. Indeed, the Lord’s designs, in all things, are amazingly far better laid out than “the plans of mice and men.”

**Crocus photo taken by Natalie

1332. Can you remember who you were before the world the world told you who you should be? ~Charles Bukowski

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy,
a quickening that is translated through you
into action, and because there is only one of you
in all time, this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist through
any other medium and will be lost.
~Martha Graham

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Not only would the uniqueness of you be lost forever, but the desires and dreams you once had would “be tamed,” possibly into near non-existence. For they were were not simply urges but ordained “beacons of truth” leading to divine and holy purpose. Because there is power in your authenticity, being who you were created to be helps you shine your light in the world. To that end the Lord wants to connect with you so that you can plug into His light and beginning a dialogue with Him is the way to start building that blessed connection. But if we have any resentment about who and what we are, that destructive attitude will limit us because “fear cannot coexist with love.” We have to let go of the past regardless of how painful and/or disappointing it may have been and stop bringing our past into the present and “replaying it into the future.” Shame and guilt has to be released in order for us to create new and healthy patterns. Also as we move forward, we must daily find ways to take action on things that stir, inspire, and ignite joy and the sacred calling on our lives. And we must bring acceptance and compassion into our moments of self-talk, and why not? Since we are the only ones who can hear what we say to ourselves, there’s no reason we can’t be nice and affirming and encouraging to ourselves. Finally, we must also let go of what we “think” we need, and when we do, what we really need will miraculously begin to show up.

“…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13 and part of 29:14  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; border and special effects done by Natalie on iPiccy

1204. Most of us have two lives, the life we live, and an unlived life within us. ~Steven Pressfield

Gypsy
If I were not trapped
by my own making in a well
where light filtered in just enough
for shadows to press against me
in their shaded hush
reminding me perpetually
with their low rhythmic song
of a life I could have lived
if I’d just been strong

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your life by comparison
is in every way as wild
as the silver on the horizon
when the moon slips beneath
violet clouds and cusps
in slow formation and bows
to white flowers beneath ivy
where only moonlight finds
magic in the way you live
every moment to the end
~Poem by Candice Louisa Daquin
from her just released 4th book,
A JAR FOR THE JARRING

You can read more of Candice’s distinctively, unique poetry
at: https://albinophoenix.wordpress.com

One must lament not the prospect of an unlived life, for whilst there is yet breath in the lungs and the beat in a heart Scripture tell us:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

761. It was a splendid summer morning and it seemed as if nothing could go wrong. ~John Cheever

The best laid plans of
mice and men often go awry…
~Robert Burns

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James and I married on August 17th, 1963, two months before my 21st birthday, but Mom agreed to go ahead and pay for my last year of college. We didn’t have have a dime to our name, not even enough for a honeymoon, but we were happy and hopeful. James had been in graduate school, but he dropped out to get a job while I finished my last year. Since James’ expertise was chemistry, he got a job doing research at a local blood bank. Sadly though our “best laid plans went awry” on “a splendid morning that seemed like nothing could go wrong” in September. It was Labor Day weekend right before my first semester began when James became quite ill. He was running a high fever, he was jaundiced, and his bilirubin count was way too high; so the doctor sent him to the hospital immediately to run more tests, tests that indicated James may have either gotten into some kind of poison or had been infected with hepatitis from handling a tainted blood sample at work. Consequently he had to be hospitalized and quarantined for the next two weeks, and everyone who had been in contact with him had to have painful hemoglobin shots. After his stay in the hospital, he wasn’t allowed to return to work for another month. All the while, I was taking care of him and keeping up with my school work, but needless to say, we were now going deep into a hole financially. But we pressed on ever hopeful that this setback would not last forever, and I completed my first semester. However, it seems there was to be a double whammy of woes for the newlyweds! As happens sometimes with hepatitis, James had a relapse in January and had to be hospitalized again for a week and off work for another month which dug our debt hole even deeper. By the time our first year of marriage ended and I graduated I had no other choice but to put any dreams of Paris on hold and to find work as soon as possible. Since I couldn’t secure a teaching job right away, I took a secretarial job which is what I had done all four years in college while working for the Dean of Women. Because of my considerable skills and education, I began moving up into supervisory positions, and so for awhile I continued working at that company so we could whittle away at the hospital and doctor bills. To be continued… (2 weeks, 2 days and counting)

The human spirit can endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? ~Proverbs 18:14  ✝

**Upper right hand photo of Les Invalides via Pinterest

320. The gentle earth is warm with Spring… ~Julian Grenfell

Summer’s harsh heat waves
cede to Autumn’s mellow chills
before winter’s snows

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After the land sleeps
Spring pushes herself up in
Softly hued newness

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Day after day flowers
adorn once barren spaces
until dog days reign

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Round and round Creation
moves according to the plan
of Him who made it

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But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us!