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

Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 4.26.53 PM.png

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

1080. Come, gentle Spring!  Ethereal Mildness!  Come. ~James Thomson 

O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.
~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.33.04 PM.png

But, but, but, it’s just way to early for spring’s “ethereal madness” and the green things growing. The day after my knee surgery at the end of February last year, it snowed and then three days later when I came home from the hospital it snowed again. Our last average freeze date isn’t until March 15th, and there have been times when a hard, late freeze or an ice/snow event have occurred even as late as April 1st. So what’s up with this crazy weather? I love springtime and I’m always thrilled when it arrives, but this is just too soon for it to come. Thank goodness I got started earlier than usual on cleaning up and weeding the beds because we virtually had no winter to speak of. Also I’d already gotten the roses pruned and ready to go. But then since roses are supposed to be fed when they are leafed out and most of mine are almost leafed out already, what do I do now? If I go ahead and feed them, they’ll really get going, and a late freeze could kill all the new growth and set them way back. I’m also concerned about the ducks that winter at our neighborhood pond since I noticed last week that they’ve left already. It’s too early for that too. They could end up getting their little derriere’s frozen off by returning too soon to their northern homes because Old Man Winter and Jack Frost may have high-tailed it out of Texas, but that doesn’t mean they’ve closed up shop elsewhere.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.51.06 PM.png

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly–and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
~Omar Khayyám

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 8.05.55 PM.png

Spring’s cup is indeed being filled regardless of the date and time, and it’s fire has begun to fling off winter’s garments. As well the bird is on the wing. I know this because I’ve been watching them for at least a week or two refurbishing birdhouses or feathering nests. So it looks like I’m going to need to pray for their sake and for sake of all the green things growing that winter doesn’t come back for a last hurrah!

See! The winter is past… ~Excerpt from Song of Songs 2:11  ✝

987. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. ~Helen Keller

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 8.58.04 PM.png

Another mass murder. Another attack against innocence. Another attack against personal freedoms. Another attack against human rights. Another regrettable tragedy. Another senseless loss for friends and family to bear. Another reason to fear for our safety. Another threat to what people hold dear. Another excuse to doubt God for the unbeliever. Thus what happened today breaks my heart again, and I pray for the victims, their families, and the responders. But what today’s horrific events can never do is steal my hope. While not yet ready to die, I will not live afraid, I will not let madmen rob me of my faith and happiness, I will not let madmen steal what time I have left on earth to worship God and enjoy the life I’ve been given. I am Yahweh’s child, I am of His image and the light of His love, and I will continue to shine His light whenever and wherever I can.

The particular mind of the ocean
Filling the coastline’s longing
With such brief harvest
Of elegant, vanishing waves
Is like the mind of time
Opening up shapes of days.

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them
The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.
Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have been quenched.

The slow, brooding times
When all was awkward
And the wave in the mind
Pierced every sore with salt.
The darkened days that stopped
The confidence of the dawn.
Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.
~John O’Donohue

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10   ✝

809. Seasons change with the scenery; weaving time in a tapestry. ~Paul Simon

**Important information below haikus and photos…

I saw at first a
bit of her coronal
frilly filaments

DSC_0010

In luminous veils,
a hazy shade of summer
and soft purpleness

DSC_0004

At the bottom of
the garden where it’s said
fairies often play

DSC_0006

Sadly, I am the bearer of worrisome tidings this afternoon. My daughter’s mother-in-law had surgery on Monday, and it seems that her lungs have partially collapsed. Therefore she is still in ICU and struggling to breathe. Thus my post today is brief, and they will remain that way until Alice is “out of the woods” so to speak. It also regrettably means I’ll have little time, if any, to read of your posts for a few days. So excuse my absence and pray for healing and comfort for Alice as she is in great need of the Lord’s mercy and grace during this ordeal.

The Lord sustains him/her on his/her sickbed; in his/her illness He restores him/her to full health. ~Adapted passage from Psalm 41:3  ✝

805. Round and round it goes. Where it stops, nobody knows…

DSC_0150

Life’s just a merry-go-round.
Come on up.
You might get a brass ring.
~Mae West

DSC_0153

If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.
~Nadine Stair

DSC_0143

Work diligently,
Live simply,
Think quickly,
Fight fairly,
Give generously,
Laugh loudly,
Pray faithfully,
Love deeply!

I’ve always loved merry-go-rounds, especially ones where you could reach out and try to grab a brass ring.  Why?  Because the brass ring could purchase a ticket for another ride. This one in the photos is in Paris just across the street from the Eiffel Tower.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. ~Psalm 17:6  ✝

730. Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos. Ice cream is happiness condensed. ~Don Kardong, Jessie Lane Adams

In everyone’s life, at some time,
our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame
by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for 
those people
who rekindle the inner spirit.
~Albert Schweitzer

Screen shot 2015-05-10 at 6.53.30 PM

This is a bit of a strange post for Mother’s Day, but then there are those who say I am a bit strange, and truth be told, I might be. And I normally don’t post more than once a day, but while what happened today was fresh in my mind, I decided to go ahead with it. I’ve written several posts now about my childhood in which I’ve talked about how wonderful it was, and it truly was. In one of them, however, I also added that like all else in life, it was not without hurtful events, some of which came about because of my mother. Then in caring for mom who suffered from dementia at the end of her life, things became very arduous and wounding. As a result, since then I’ve prayed over and over again that the Lord would help me forgive and forget as much as possible and help me replace the bad “stuff” with remembrances of the happy and good times. Okay, I’m sure by now you all are asking yourselves, where is she going with this? How could this possibly have anything to do with ice cream as her lead and photos indicate? Funny, how the Lord works sometimes, isn’t it?! Well you see, it goes like this: while eating strawberry ice cream today, memories of my Mother’s unequaled, homemade ice cream flooded my mind with memories of the joy and happiness that was a part of life most of the time at my mother’s house. My mom was THE very best cook in the whole wide world. That’s why over the years, my friends were always thrilled to get an invitation to her house. In fact, I sometimes wonder if my husband married me because of who I am or because of my mom’s mashed potatoes. Well, that’s neither here nor there; I really just wrote this to thank the Lord for what happened with the ice cream today and to wish all of you a Happy Mother’s day. Even if you, who are reading this have never birthed a child, I wish you the same because everyone mothers other people in one way or another at times. And as for old Albert Schweitzer’s words, he was right in a way; it was a sort of a fire that had gone out, and though the encounter was with ice cream instead of another human being, it helped, maybe not to rekindle as much as to work, some healing in my inner spirit.

“‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God. ~Leviticus 19:3   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

648. Make friends with the angels, who though invisible, are always with you. ~St. Francis de Sales

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us,
and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to
visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.
~George Eliot

Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 4.35.26 PM

Kind words, considerate actions, comforting wisdom, encouraging praise–all or some borne on the breath of warmhearted, consoling voices–are no less than the sweet sound of Grace falling on the ears of those in need of reassurance or salvation or deliverance. And what a blessing are they are, these angels chosen to deliver God’s grace for their tender voices and caring kindnesses penetrate all manner of despair. And these divinely appointed “earth angels,” often come from the ranks of ordinary people, but in rising to a divine calling they are lifted up to the realm of the extraordinary. And how they honor the Christ by answering His call to serve!

The human heart is an altar upon which one can and does lay a multitude of things. But, it is not meant to be a personal shrine for self-centered collections of worldliness. Nor should it be defiled with traces of anger, jealousy, or hatred. The altar of the heart should be blanketed with empathy, compassion, kindness, gentleness, non-violence, and love. Only then will it be a place that Holy God can find the fruits befitting angels and use the bearers of such as instruments of His grace and mercy. It’s not always an easy task to prepare the heart’s altar in such a way, but what an honor it is to realize that on the altar of one’s heart there is something worthy of being used by the Lord God Almighty.

Here’s to all the “earth angels” out there in the blogosphere who share their hearts and gifts with those in need.  I recognize your grace-filled hearts and I adore you…Natalie

May God grant you always…
a sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you,
laughter to cheer you,
faithful friends near and far,
and whenever you pray, His ear to hear you.
~Irish Blessing

Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. ~Psalm 103:20   ✝

**Image via Pinterest