544. When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator. ~Mahatma Gandhi

See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move
in silence…
we need silence to be able to touch souls.
~Mother Teresa

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No sky could hold
so much light–
and here comes the brimming,
the flooding and streaming
out of the clouds
and into the leaves,
glazing the creeks,
the smallest ditches!
And so many stars!
The sky seems stretched
like an old black cloth;
behind it, all
the celestial fire
we ever dreamed of!
And the moon steps lower,
quietly changing
her luminous masks, brushing
everything as she passes
with her slow hands
and soft lips–
clusters of dark grapes,
apples swinging like lost planets,
melons cool and heavy as bodies–
and the mockingbird wakes
in his hidden castle;
out of the silver tangle
of thorns and leaves
he flutters and tumbles,
spilling long
ribbons of music
over forest and river,
copse and cloud–
all heaven and all earth–
wherever the white moon
fancies her small wild prince–
field after field after field.
~Mary Oliver

Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you shining stars. ~Psalm 148:3   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

432. Colors are the smiles of nature. ~Leigh Hunt, British author

Summer is the time when one sheds
one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is a jeweled balm
for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk
with the belief that all’s right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable

What color do words like blush, coral, fuchsia, magenta, raspberry, rose, and salmon conjure up? Isn’t it pink, pink that tones down the physical passion of red, replacing it with a gentle, loving energy?

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Pink that’s the sweet side of red, pink that’s playfulness and tenderness, pink that’s the color of bubble gum and cotton candy and babies, especially little girls.

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Pink that’s charming, pink that soothes the heart and fills it with love, pink that’s feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring.

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Pink that’s compassion and nurturing and unconditional love, pink that’s a sign of hope, pink that represents the sweetness and innocence of the child in all of us.

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But pink is not just a color; it embodies a variety of attitudes, all of which are uplifting. There’s the cool and collected pinks, the bold and sassy hotter pinks, the soft and drowsy pinks, and the daring and dramatic deep pinks.

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In the spring I think of pink as a somewhat shy presence but as summer’s fiery temperatures rise, pink is anything but timid. In Texas the scorching days of July and August punish the flesh and the spirit relentlessly, but even the smallest touch of pink pours over them like a soothing salve of goodness. The pinks of summer may not entirely keep one from walking “without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer,” but they do keep the flames from licking up so high that they completely snuff out the breath. While locusts screech, pink flowers murmur softer melodies taking some of the edge off their discordant harmonies and human discomfort. I’ve even seen ribbons of pink in a majestic sunset at the end of a day when they seemed to cool down the heat from the intense, fiery glow of the summer sun.

Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps Himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chamber on their waters. ~Psalm 104:1-2   ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

383. Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. ~Ruth Ann Schabacker

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.
~William Wordsworth

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My Aunt Johnnie worked for a shoe company, and so my sisters and I nearly always got shoes from her on our birthdays and at Christmas. But because a shoe box is so recognizable, and she, like me, hated being predictable, she put things other than shoes in the shoe boxes and the shoes in more unlikely boxes. As a result we had no idea what her gifts were until the day came to untie the ribbons and open them up. However, as Aunt Johnnie was a good and generous woman of means, we knew, even before we opened them, that we’d love and be grateful for whatever the gifts were.

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Scripture tells us that “this is the day the Lord has made” and then implores us to “rejoice and be glad in it.” Since each day is a gift from God and since He is a good and generous Father with unlimited means, we can rest assured that there is inherent goodness in all our days. But it is only with a grateful heart that in “untying the ribbon” and opening up the gift we’ll find the miraculous not only on the outstanding days but also in the common ones and those filled with trials.

Thought to ponder for the day: “I have nothing to give that was not a gift to me.”

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him. Matthew 7:11 ✝

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!

** Images via Pinterest