1200. Every day, you get the opportunity to change your life. ~Rodolfo Costa

You are an instrument of God.
Don’t leave the instrument
sitting in its case my son. Play!
Leave no part of your instrument unexplored.
~Abraham Verghese

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I don’t normally share this “bragging” kind of information, but it’s the recognition of a goal I’d set for myself. And in achieving it, it has silenced old naysaying ghosts and proved that even an old, gray-haired lady without any particularly impressive credentials or talents can fulfill, in some way, long held hankerings. As an educator and a parent, I always encouraged my students and my daughter to explore avenues that led to dreams or desires they held. To that end, James and I afforded for our daughter, ballet lessons, karate lessons, violin lessons, swimming lessons–in general anything she came home and said she’d like to try. As it turned out her skills as a swimmer earned her 5 full collegiate scholarships. Then there were the graduate degrees she attained. Though these things are no longer her little niches in the grand scheme of things, they’ve served her well, helped develop her character and values, and left her with no “what if” regrets. For me it was different, unless my dreams served a “practical” purpose, I was denied the pursuit of them. For example, I wanted to be an artist, I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to be a dancer, I wanted to be a singer but of course all such things were not at all “practical” and certainly no one could make a living doing them according to my parents. Then when it came time for college (something that no one on either side of my family had had the privilege and opportunity to attend), mom decided that it would be great if I became a teacher even though I  didn’t want to be one. But since my father had just passed away leaving her to finish raising their 3 teenage daughters on her own and she had quashed all my other longings, what else could I do but be the dutiful daughter a girl of that era had no other choice but to be. But then came the day when the dutiful daughter retired after 31 years of teaching and chose to find ways to address those long held hungers. Now although she may not be an artist, she can take pretty darned good photos. Although she’s not a dancer, she and her hubby can scoot their boots pretty darned well around a dance floor. Although she’s not an published author, she can knock out some fair-to-middling prose now and again. And so today after starting my blog with NO followers 3 years ago, WP notified me that I hit 1000 followers. It may seem a small number to some of you, but my little previously unanswered “what if” regrets are singing Hallelujah choruses because at long last I’m playing my instrument in an attempt to serve God whose instrument I am.

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. ~Exodus 9:16 ✝

358. White. . .is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. . . ~G. K. Chesterton

White, pristine, unblemished…

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The paper I write is white

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White is holy, pure

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They say light is white
Because it combines all colors

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So white is the mother of all colors

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The churning of all yellow, blue, green

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Colors sacrifice their egos
To the eternal white
The matriarch of all colors

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The fountain of extent colors
~Excerpted random lines
from a poem by John Matthew

White appears often in nature, and down through the ages references have been made to it in music, art, poetry, and prose. It seems it’s a color many have sought and still seek to embrace. Could it be because it’s the color of the heavenly orbs, the moon and stars that illuminate darkness, or because it’s the color of light, light that warms, heals, and inspires faith, or because it’s perceived as the color of purity, purity of the spirit, of the soul, and in the Christ. Regardless of what draws mortals into its web, many, like me, adore white and sing its praises especially the white flowery faces that grace a garden. In them it’s easy to see that as Chesterton asserts the color white is a “shining and affirmative” thing. Walter Bellingrath once rightfully noted that a garden “is like a beautiful woman with a different ball gown for each week of the year.” And dressed in her gowns of glistening white, a garden is one of the most glamorous and inspiring muses at the party.

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. ~Ecclesiastes 9:7-8 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

**Some of the images are from Pinterest