773. Oft when the still, white dawn lifted the clouds and pushed away the darkness, I felt it like a glory in my heart. ~adapted excerpt from “Joy of the Morning” by Edwin Markham

When the first light of sun dawns, bless you.
When the long day is done, bless you.
In your smiles and your tears, bless you.
Through each day of your years, bless you.
~Irish Blessing

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I saw the first light, fore-running the sun,
gather in a cup of the eastern cloud,
gather and grow and brim, till at last it spilled like milk
over the golden lip, to smear the dark face of heaven from end to end.
From east to north, and back to south again, the clouds slackened,
the stars, trembling on the verge of extinction, guttered in the dawn wind,
and the gates of day were ready to open at the trumpet…
~Mary Stewart

The flower in the photo is one of my Angel Trumpets. They only bloom at night, but sometimes I can still catch them fully open at dawn or shortly thereafter. When I’m lucky enough to find one at first light, I love the way it looks and feels like God’s glory is aglow in its heart.

He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. ~Psalm 37:6  ✝

213. Hope is the extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them. ~Vincent McNabb

Ah! the year is slowly dying,
And the wind in tree-top sighing,
Chant his requiem…
High in the air wild birds are calling,
Nature’s solemn hymn.
~Mary Weston Fordham

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With lows in the teens and 20’s, the few things that had been hanging on have now perished along with their joyous songs of life.  In their place after last week’s arctic blast more and more strains of “nature’s solemn hymn” can be heard.  All is not lost, however.  The change of melodies is a part of God’s grand design, and I find strength and hope in watching His plan play out each year.  In fact on days when I feel really out of sorts, I’ve learned to go outside and find something to do even if I have to bundle up to accomplish it.  It might be nothing more than refilling the bird feeders and making sure all the overwintering wildlife have water, but the time out there steadies my inner compass again.  Feeling earth’s heartbeat and subsequently getting in step with its rhythms, also quells any sense of hopelessness brought on by the trials of life and the ongoing reports of a world torn by conflict and chaos.  It’s like when I first felt my child move in my womb.  I knew the sensation which felt like the wings of a butterfly barely grazing my uterus was the unmistakable touch of something sacred and right stirring inside me.  The Lord’s movement in my inner life is much the same.  It may be an ever so slight brush against my soul, but I know I’ve been touched by His loving Presence and am being held firmly in the arms of His grace regardless of what transpires with men gone mad.

See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.  See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.  He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.  ~Isaiah 40:10-11  ✝

15. The feeling remains that God is on the journey too. ~Teresa of Avila

God is always with you.
Simply turn your face to Him.
~Kirpal Singh

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When I feel out of sorts, I’ve learned to get up and go outside even if I have to bundle up under layers of clothes or suffer the misery of triple digit heat.  After wandering about my yard, its “shy presences” and silences begin to soothe me until eventually my inner compass restores the balance of my sanity.  The simple truth is that the rhythm of earth’s heartbeat has a way of drowning out the rabid mongrels in a world too often torn by senseless tragedies and horrific madness. When that happens I find that being close to the land is as comforting and reassuring as was slipping my hand into the safety of my parents strong hands when I was a child.  Now that they are gone and I am grown, I find the same kind of comfort when I draw near the Lord and His ever-present occupancy her on earth.

J. Philip Newell asks, “Where do we look, therefore, to learn of God?   It’s not away from ourselves and away from Creation, but deep within all that has life.”  What better place then to do that than a garden?  Newell goes on to say that “in looking for the life of God by listening within we will hear falseness and confusion, selfishness and violence of heart, but deeper still is the Love that utters all things into being.”  I heard such a silent utterance when I felt my child first move in my womb; the sensation felt like that of a butterfly’s wings barely grazing my flesh, but more than than it felt like the gentle touch of the Holy One Himself inviting me to walk in with Him in Eden.

“See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.  See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.  He tends His flocks like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”  ~Isaiah 40:10-11   ✝