629. One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.
~W. E. Johns 

The greatest achievement was at first
and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn,
the bird waits in the egg,
and in the highest vision of the soul
a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
~James Allen

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Part of the genius of God’s grand design is that we awaken every day to a fresh flowing of His energy and vitality that has been stored in the seeds of our being, seeds that possess the same strength as that of the rising sun, earth’s swelling seas, and its fertile plains. An excellent time to look for the shining of His everlasting light in the “sanctuary of the soul” is in the first waking moments of each new day. That inward realm is where doors open to the germination of new life because inside each one of us the Lord has planted His “seeds of greatness.” There’s never a moment in life when either in and of ourselves or in the people around us that there are not yet unopened gifts of promise. Simply put, “heaven’s creativity on earth” is born in our bodies, and therein the Master’s “sacred hopes” are hidden.

From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth-He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. ~Psalm 33:13-15   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

485. All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A morning glory at my window
satisfies me more than
the metaphysics of books.
~Walt Whitman

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Exquisite! Beautiful! Lovely! Elegant! Magnificent! What’s not to love about something as deserving of these adjectives as this morning glory? From its twisted bud to its fully opened flower, this  morning glory is an absolute marvel! As much to be adored as the flower itself are the heart-shaped leaves and the way the vines wrap around and cling to anything they touch. Simply put, this particular vine and each stage of its flowering process make manifest some of the most wondrous spectacles in my garden. That’s why I squeal with delight when the first one opens each year and mourn the loss of the last ones when the first freeze snuffs out their glorious reign. Each bell-shaped flower lasts for a single day, but the glory of that flower is so splendid that many times it is more than enough to be the drop that fills my cup to overflowing. Also, over the years it and other things of short-lived splendor have helped me realize that length of life is far less important than the magnitude and impact of goodness in whatever time a living thing is granted. Blue morning glories like the one above look like flowering bits of heaven spilling out of a small chalice, and because that diminutive goblet seems to hold a smidgen of holy light, I’ve often wondered if it is not a sample or preview of what Glory is like.

The fact that the Divine Trinity is three persons in One reveals that God is a relational Being. Not only does He want to establish an intimate relationship with His children but He also wants us to know Him intimately as well. How better to achieve that goal than to share with us what He treasures so that we’ll be inspired to seek the Holy One who is magnanimously loving and generous. By covering the earth with precious bits and pieces of Himself, God paints a “selfie” that leaves an unmistakable trail which, if followed, inevitably leads to His throne.

You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. ~Nehemiah 9:6    ✝

374. Flowers really do intoxicate me. ~Vita Sackville-West

Flowers have spoken to me
more than I can tell in written words.
They are the hieroglyphics of angels,
loved by all men
for the beauty of their character,
though few can decipher
even fragments of their meaning.
~Lydia M. Child

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Like Sackville-West, “flowers really do intoxicate me” but none more than Poppies and Larkspur. However, until several years ago I’d not had any success in growing either of those two. Luckily, one day at the book store another gardener revealed that the trick here in north-central Texas is to sow the seeds of both in the fall. So I took her advice and the following autumn I threw poppy and larkspur seeds in several flower beds around the yard. Et voilà, much to my amazement, up they sprouted! After the Larkspur germinated, the seedlings grew into fluffy little green mounds that looked way too diminutive and delicate to survive winter’s upcoming, bitter assaults, but that they did. Then as Spring approached and days lengthened and warmed again, the seedlings produced upward growing center stalks, the stands of which my husband referred to as little forests for indeed that’s exactly what they looked like. Then some time after they’d begun their upward advance, he ran in excitedly to tell me that one of my little “trees” had flowers opening on it. And soon all the little” forests” exploded into spiky seas of luscious colors; so inviting was the “beauty of their character,” that I visited them daily as did the swallowtail butterflies and the bumblebees. The bees and butterflies were going for the tasty nectar and I to gaze in amazement at the long-yearned-for new additions to my garden. Although new in my yard, they were hardly new to the world for I’d found out over the winter that the stately Larkspur has existed for thousands of years. I also learned that at some point in time they were given the name Larkspur because one of their petal-like sepals elongates into a spur resembling the spur of a lark’s back toe. Might that too be the hieroglyph of an angel?

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Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. ~Psalm 148:1-3 ✝

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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!

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329. Every April, God rewrites the Book of Genesis. ~Author Unknown

That God once loved a garden
we learn in holy writ.
And seeing gardens in the Spring
I well can credit it.
~Winifred Mary Letts

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There’s just something very reassuring about springtime, isn’t there? It tells us that what God put in place is still in place and that renewal is as much a part of life as anything else.  Death may be undeniable, but so is life.

Come rain and speak of rivers and seas and holy healing waters.
Rise sun and speak of nurturing warmth and holy grace.
Blossom flower and speak of beauty and holy mysteries.
Hum bee and speak of faithful and ordained holy purpose.
Sing bird and speak of joy and grateful thanksgiving.
Beat heart and speak of pulsing rhythms and coursing holiness.
Move breath and speak of God within and holy beginnings.
Walk feet and speak of the road to Emmaus and holy encounters.
Twinkle stars and speak of the void filled by God’s holy, life-giving hands.
Speak silence of the Ancient of Days who’s waiting to be heard.
Shine light, drive darkness away, and speak of Christ’s redemptive work.
Come love and speak of peace and sacred surrender.

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. ~Psalm 85:11 ✝

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!

**Photo via Pinterest.

304. The sun has come out…and the air is vivid with the coming spring’s light. ~Adapted excerpt from Byron Caldwell Smith

Let me arise and open the gate,
to breathe the wild warm air…
To let Life in, and to let out Death.
~Violet Fane

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Blow, Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through the land and over the waters.  Carry away death’s dark vapors and let life in.  Let every mountain, plain, and valley break forth in gladness.  Let the “wild warm air” of coming spring spark life in every nook and cranny.  Let the ceaseless waves of the seas and the rushing currents of rivers roar with renewed passion for life.  Let the clouds suckle earth’s waters and send rain from heaven to moisten the earth and let loose her flowering.  Let life, whole and vibrant, dazzle us anew.  Blow, sweet Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through Your children and take us down to the bottom of our souls where You, O God, the Breath of all things, are present “deep within all that has life.”  We who have traversed icy winter’s dark domain yearn to feel your warmth and vitality course in us and all of life again.  We long for earth and sky’s vast array of bright colors to take away winter’s preponderance of grays and browns.  O Holy One, come; let us see You “in every emanation of Creation’s life.”  We give you glory and thanks for all that You are, for Your ever-lasting goodness and never-ending love, “for creatures stirring forth,” “for plant forms stretching and unfolding,” “for the stable earth and its solid rocks.”  O blessed Breath of heaven, arise and blow life afresh through Eden’s gates!  (Quoted phrases from SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL by J. Philip Newell)

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth.  ~Psalm 33:6   ✝

**photos via Pinterest

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

In the house of words was a table of colors.
They offered themselves in great fountains,
and each poet took the color he needed:
lemon yellow or sun yellow,
ocean blue or smoke blue,
crimson red, blood red, wine red.
~Eduardo Galeano

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What a glorious tangerine and white dream is the daffodil in the photograph, and holiness indeed is written all over it!  As God speaks to mankind through the Bible and Creation, we can see that He values color, the intent of which seems, like all else, to be that its hallowed voice draw His children closer to Him.  Color appears first in holy writ in the opening pages of Genesis when God fathered the whiteness of light on day 1 of the Creation story.  Then on the second day the Lord created expanses to separate water from water, and both the sky and the reflection of the heavens in it are shades of blue.  On day 3 He created earth’s green vegetation.  Day 4 brought the placement of lights that governed the heavens, and day’s greater light, the sun, is yellow; up close pictures of the sun also show reds and oranges in its make up.  Fish and great sea monsters swam the seas and birds took flight on the fifth day, and whales and sharks have been seen as hallmarks of an ancient pagan idol symbolized by the color orange.  The sixth day brought the creation of man and animals; the name Adam means red and the blood that courses through the veins of man and beast alike is red.  Day 7, the Sabbath, was sanctified by God whose robes and glory are perennially symbolized by white, and later when atoning for man’s sins His son, Jesus, wore a purple robe.

“And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.  God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.  Genesis 1:30-31  ✝

188. We have not wings; we cannot soar; but, we have feet to scale and climb, by slow degrees, by more and more, the cloudy summits of our time. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up…to more than I can be.
~Josh Groban, American singer and songwriter

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There is a peacefulness in a gray, cloudy day.  The air, normally charged with energy from the sun, loses its intensity and floats lightly on the gentle wings of tranquil contentment.  Noises are quieter and more mellow under lowering, billowy clouds not angry with the fury of storms.  My steps are slower, less urgent, as I move on the footpaths of the routine daily tasks before me.  Pushing up from deep within a still, small voice, often neglected, is more audible in the day’s silences.  It speaks of matters of the heart and the spirit, never of worldly affairs, nor greed, nor lust, nor gain in this world of men and madness.  Instead the voice nudges me to be in active pursuit of His plans for my life, not in the grand designs of my own folly.  It tries to keep me from complacency hiding under the guise of ignorance and brings light into dark places where I’m to face bigger issues that I often would rather ignore because it’s so much easier to do so.  The voice is not, however, a judgmental one; it is instead an encouraging, affirming agent that lifts me up on high, sacred ground.

“And after the earthquake, a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”  1 Kings 19:12  ✝