1457. Macbeth says “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” ~William Shakespeare

What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
~Burt Bacharach

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At times a heavy shoe falls again and again in an endless succession and brings down things we’ve never seen coming, never wanted to have to face, and never know quite how to process. Prior to this I posted a piece I wrote exactly 5 years ago today. I had recovered from a stroke almost a year before I wrote it, and life seemed to hold lots of promise and welcome wonderment back then. How quickly, however, the tide can turn that sends one reeling upon uncharted waters full of pain, trials, fears, and questions about life such as: are your days racing to an end imminently, have you lived the life that was given you well, and can you still find purpose in whatever remains you?

After a weighty, burdensome shoe came crashing down in my life last March with the discovery of breast cancer, 6 months later shoe after shoe continues to fall, each one seemingly more challenging than the last. And though I know and feel the Lord’s hand written all over these events, I keep wondering if I have the “stuff” it takes to put one foot in front of the other with grace, humility, and dignified faith despite the pain, the fears, and the unnerving realities. When one looks back over 7 decades of living, he/she can surely see moments when God’s hand of grace brought him/her through countless “rings of fire.” And of course the ONLY appropriate response is gratitude which really should be in place at the time the trials are taking place but if not most certainly in the aftermath! But interestingly in the throes of trials, he/she often curses those difficult moments, bemoans what has befallen him/her, and entertains the idea that life really is a “tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing” only to realize later that there was divine design and purpose in all that had transpired.

So it is tonight that I’m sitting and thinking on such things after having been sent to the hospital because I nearly passed out in the yard yesterday. My blood pressure was dropping lower and lower, and at first it was assumed it had something to do with the doctor’s recent concern about possible heart problems. But as the day progressed, other “shoes” new and more daunting became apparent. For it seems that since August 20th when I wrote about the lung nodule that was of concern, my hemoglobin has dropped four points indicating that I’m bleeding somewhere in my GI tract. Consequently I had to stay overnight in the hospital so I could be given a blood transfusion while more tests were being run revealing that my potassium levels are low and my white cell blood count is half of what it should be. Now, though back home this evening, more doctor appointments beginning tomorrow loom on the horizon as well as more tests and more concerns about what it all means. And as I write this my arms are bruised from all the needle sticks, my psyche is bruised, and I find myself contemplating “what it all means Alfie” (a favorite line from an old movie) as well as doing my best to heed this line of Scripture below.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~Philippians 4:4 ✝

1292. Let me keep company always with those who say “look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads. ~Mary Oliver

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony,
linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
~Folliat S. Pierpoint

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Life is huge!
Rejoice about the sun, moon, flowers, and sky.
Rejoice about the food you have to eat.
Rejoice about the body that houses your spirit.
Rejoice about the fact that you can
be a positive force in the world around you.
Rejoice about the love that is around you.
If you want to be happy, commit
to making your life one of rejoicing.
~Author Unknown

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. ~Psalm 96:11  ✝

**Photo taken by Natalie

1258. Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears. ~Barbara Johnson

When expectations delay for too long,
doubt draws nearer in haste and
and patience grows far more tiresome .
~Edited quote by
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

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Where, oh where, is autumn,
Beautiful, comely, colorful autumn
With its crisp, dewy mornings,
Its big, bright, orange pumpkins,
And leaves of prettily tinted hues
That blow around willy-nilly on
The urpsurges of its blustery days?
And when, oh when, will we see
That huge,  yellow harvest moon?
What could be the cause of such delays?
Could autumn be lost somewhere
Along the way, or could it just be
That ancient earth is slowing down?
Or, is it because the “heat beast”
Is disinclined to let loose its hold?
I’ve observed the sun and moon
And the stars changing places above
So I know autumn must be on its way.
But could someone please tell me
When this steamy heat will leave!
~Natalie Scarberry

How my impatience grows when I’m this heat-weary and uncomfortable! But since there are no real guarantees for more of life or anything else than what I already have, it is really foolish to be impatient. Happily-ever-after is elusive in all things, and a certain measure of joy can be found in and on all the roads we travel through this thing called life. And interestingly it is in our discomfort zones that we often increase our spiritual awarenesses. Genuine peace comes from accepting what is and in looking for the promised gifts within each of our days whether they are spent in comfort or just the opposite. And so I’m reminded as I write this that Scripture tells us this is the day the Lord has made and so rejoice in it not whine in it.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. ~Romans 8:25  ✝

**Photo by Mandy Disher

1245. The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ~Eden Phillpotts

One who not merely beholds the outward shows of things,
but catches a glimpse of the soul that looks out of them,
whose garment and revelation they are–if he be such, I say,
he will stand, for more than a moment, speechless with something
akin to that which made the morning stars sing together.
~George MacDonald

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A new day woke to dawn’s sweet song
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice
Sunlight chased the night shadows long

Blue skies bow as day’s colors hoist
Hued symphony of the new dawn’s might
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice

Nature’s perfection in our sight
Creation gives salutations
Hued symphony of new dawn’s might

Rivers and streams sang oblations
Watery praises raised on high
Creation gives salutations

The sun marched across the sky
A glittering parade in stride
Watery praises raised on high

The light grew stronger as the night died
A new day woke to Dawn’s sweet song
A glittering parade in stride
Sunlight chased the night shadows long.
~A terzanelle by Kristen

Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. ~Psalm 57:8  ✝

1066. God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. ~Francis Bacon

A garden is a delight to the eye
and a solace for the soul.
~Sadi

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Who hath a garden, he has joy,
However small his plot may be.
Wide his horizons; in his demesne
Master of beauty and life is he.

God has gracious smiled on him,
Made him a helper in His great task–
Building a glorious world in time;
What finer task could anyone ask?

Who hath a garden, he has friends–
Lilies and roses will not forsake;
When they depart, ‘tis but for a time;
They will return when the spring winds wake.

Let him rejoice on his kingly throne
Who hath a garden of pink and gold;
Kings bear burdens and soon are gray–
Who hath a garden shall not grow old.
~Thomas Curtis Clark

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. ~Psalm 47:1  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created 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  ✝

1019. There’s not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice. ~John Calvin

We were always intoxicated with color,
with words that speak of color,
and with the sun that makes colors live.
~Andre Derain

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By filling the earth with color the Lord has painted a kind of portrait of himself, and in so doing He has revealed an intentional path to His throne. This is no less true in winter for color is a continuous, rhythmic part of the mystery of God’s life and thus is deeply rooted in all four seasons. Winter may allow periodic breathing spaces for garden and gardener on forbidding days, cold and lacking in sunshine, but on days when the sun does make an appearance, there’s the usual soft, golden glow at sunrise, the sometimes pinky/purply bands low on the eastern horizon at day’s end, and the random blazing red and orange streaks of intensely tinted sunsets in the west. On occasional cloudless nights, there’s the white glow of the moon at times illuminating the deep indigo canopy overhead; on days when the bright yellow sun shines, there are the china blues of daytime skies, and when the sun doesn’t appear, there are the lovely, velvety grays of clouds filled with rain or  in rolling fogs or mists. I’ve heard winter called the season of drabness of the spirit yet I find bliss and hope not only in the things I’ve already mentioned but also in the reds of winter berries and the cardinals at the feeders, in the white of snow when it falls, in the silvery sparkles of icicles and frosts, in the constancy of green on hollies, conifers, spruces, and such, in the beiges and browns of dried grasses, autumn leaves, and seed pods, in the magenta of hyacinth bean seed pods or ornamental grass seed heads, and on and on it goes, the glorious, never ending sacred voice of color.

Of all God’s gifts to the sighted man,
color is the holiest, the most divine…
~John Ruskin

…for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. ~Romans 11:29  ✝

**Images and collage by Natalie