1348. Man is his own most vexing problem. ~Reinhold Niebuhr

To allow oneself to be carried away by
a multitude of conflicting concerns,
to surrender to too many demands,
to commit to too many projects,
to want to help everyone in everything
is itself to succumb to the violence of our times.
Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace.
It destroys the fruitfulness of our work,
because it kills the root of inner wisdom
which makes work fruitful.
~Thomas Merton

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My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. ~Thomas Merton

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters, He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake. ~Psalm 23:1-3  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; special effects created by me on iPiccy

1152. And she was as fair as is the rose in May. ~Geoffrey Chaucer

Which is the loveliest in a rose?
Its coy beauty when it’s budding,
or its splendour when it blows?
~George Barlow

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THE ROSE aloft in sunny air,
Beloved alike by bird and bee,
Takes for the dark Root little care
That toils below it ceaselessly.

I put my question to the flower:
“Pride of the Summer, garden queen,
Why livest thou thy little hour?”
And the Rose answered, “I am seen.”

I put my question to the Root.
“I mine the earth content,” it said,
“A hidden miner underfoot:
I know a Rose is overhead.”
~John James Platt

**Le Souvenir de la Malmaison is a bourbon rose that was created in 1843 by Lyon rose breeder Jean Béluze, who named it after the Château de Malmaison where Joséphine de Beauharnais, wife of Napoléon Bonaparte, had created a magnificent rose garden. For a while I had a Souvenir de la Malmaison growing in my yard; sadly she perished in the garden for some reason, but this photo keeps her alive in my memory and in my heart.

May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to mankind. ~Psalm 115:15-16  ✝

1034. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of mystery. ~Max Planck


Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~Hugh Macmillan

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When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us then salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.
~Edited excerpt from In Praise of Earth
by John O’Donohue


“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

771. The flower has opened, has been in the sun, and is unafraid. ~Paula Cole

How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free
down to its root, and in that freedom bold.
~William Wordsworth

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Today is your day to
paint life in bold colors,

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set today’s rhythm with
your heart-drum,

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walk today’s march
with courage.

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Create today as your
celebration of life.
~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Let us therefore come boldly unto God’s throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  ~Hebrews 4:16   ✝

637. Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. ~Author Unknown

I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

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I want no world (for beautiful you are my world)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by e.e. cummings

The Lord appeared to us in the past saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. ~Jeremiah 31:3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

619. All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today. ~Author Unknown

dry seeds scatter
from my hand into the wind
one clings
as if to say there is in me
something yet to be
~Jeanne Emrich

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Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry –
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.
In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams;
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century’s streams;
These lilies shall make summer on my dust.
Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells, a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.
~Muriel Stuart

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See how seeds, that Autumn winds send,
And throughout Winter neglected lay,
Uncoil two little green leaves at one end,
With tiny root at the other taking hold in the clay.
As, lifting and strengthening day by day,
It pushes upward and onward, sprouting new leaves,
And cell after cell the Power in it weaves
Out of the storehouse of soil and clime,
To fashion a flower in due course of time…
~Edited and adapted poem by William Allingham

You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land. ~Psalm 80:9   ✝

**Vintage seed packets via Pinterest, collages by Natalie

491. Every vine climbing and blossoming tells of love and joy. ~Robert G. Ingersoll

That is faith, cleaving to Christ,
twining around Him
with all the tendrils of our heart,
as the vine does round its support.
~Alexander Maclaren

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Like all else in Creation, vines remind me of the nearness of God perhaps because they reflect the way He wraps His arms around His children and keeps them close to Himself. In that way we go together like a hat and glove as they say for we are to the Lord as the branch is to the vine, as sheep are to the shepherd, as the flower is to the stem, as the bride is to her groom, as the bird is to air, as the fish is to water, as the star is to the sky, as the sun is to the moon, as the plant is to the seed, as the grass is to the dew, and as the babe is to its mother. Simply put, we are inextricably linked to Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth, and it is from our loving Source that we gather strength and energy. His supporting and sustaining provisions draw us into His holy web of life and subsequently move us closer and closer to the Light. In the Gospel of John are the “I am” sayings of Jesus which give us wonderful descriptions of the way Christ connects with us:

“I am the bread of life.”
“I am the light of the world.”
“I am the gate for the sheep.”
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”
“I am the resurrection, and the life.”
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
“I am the true vine.”

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Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. ~Psalm 80:14-15   ✝

**Three images above Scripture via Pinterest