1332. Can you remember who you were before the world the world told you who you should be? ~Charles Bukowski

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy,
a quickening that is translated through you
into action, and because there is only one of you
in all time, this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist through
any other medium and will be lost.
~Martha Graham

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Not only would the uniqueness of you be lost forever, but the desires and dreams you once had would “be tamed,” possibly into near non-existence. For they were were not simply urges but ordained “beacons of truth” leading to divine and holy purpose. Because there is power in your authenticity, being who you were created to be helps you shine your light in the world. To that end the Lord wants to connect with you so that you can plug into His light and beginning a dialogue with Him is the way to start building that blessed connection. But if we have any resentment about who and what we are, that destructive attitude will limit us because “fear cannot coexist with love.” We have to let go of the past regardless of how painful and/or disappointing it may have been and stop bringing our past into the present and “replaying it into the future.” Shame and guilt has to be released in order for us to create new and healthy patterns. Also as we move forward, we must daily find ways to take action on things that stir, inspire, and ignite joy and the sacred calling on our lives. And we must bring acceptance and compassion into our moments of self-talk, and why not? Since we are the only ones who can hear what we say to ourselves, there’s no reason we can’t be nice and affirming and encouraging to ourselves. Finally, we must also let go of what we “think” we need, and when we do, what we really need will miraculously begin to show up.

“…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13 and part of 29:14  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; border and special effects done by Natalie on iPiccy

1290. Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench the inner light of providence. ~John O’Donohue

Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit
that secretly links it to everything else.
~John O’Donohue

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There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. ~John O’Donohue

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. ~Psalm 128:2  ✝

**All quotes via TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US, A Book of Blessings, by John O’Donohue; photo of Moonflower taken by Natalie

1111. Is there something we have forgotten? Some precious thing we have lost, wandering in strange lands? ~Arna Bontemps

In the middle of the journey of our life
I came to myself within a dark wood
where the straight way was lost.
~Dante Alighieri

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Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
~David Wagoner

“…For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ~Luke 19:10  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

810. Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. ~John Barrymore

In oneself lies the whole world
and if you know how to look and learn,
the door is there and the key is in your hand.
Nobody on earth can give you either
the key or the door to open, except yourself.
~Krishnamurti

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I truly believe that everything we do
and everyone we meet is
put in our path for a purpose.
There are no accidents;
we’re all teachers – if we’re willing
to pay attention to the lessons we learn,
trust our positive instincts and not be
afraid to take risks or wait for
some miracle to come knocking at the door.
~Maria Gibbs

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Doors are always intriguing, don’t you think?!  Our hotel in Paris was at 8 Avenue Rapp in the 7th arrondissement, and we frequently walked past the Art Nouveau Door above at 29 Avenue Rapp, on the way to the Eiffel Tower or to find some place to eat dinner. The beautiful door was built in 1901 by Jules Lavirotte, and I believe it to be the entrance to apartments or town homes. And oh, mais oui, oui, oui, how I would love to live in those surroundings and behind that beautiful door.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~Spoken by Jesus Christ in Luke 11: 9  ✝

336. While the fates permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned. ~Seneca

In depth a light will grow,
A silver shine no shadows know,
Like wings unfolding in the sky,
That circle ‘round a gleaming eye,
Turning darkness all away,
Even depths will know their day,
For every shadow has its end,
In light! Life will return again!
~Robert Fanney

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For myself, I am grateful to nature not so much when I see her on the side that is open to the world, as when I am permitted to enter her shrine. Then one may seek to know of what stuff the universe is made, who is its author or guardian, what is the nature of God… Life would have been a useless gift were I not admitted to the study of such themes. ~Seneca, 4 BC – AD 65

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Grace is what picks me up
and lifts my wings high above and I fly!
Grace always conquers!
Be graceful in everything;
in anger, in sadness, in joy in kindness, in unkindness,
retain grace with you!
~C. JoyBell C.

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings… Psalm 17:8 ✝

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!

**Both images via Pinterest

299. Last weekend, there came a bitter cold snap, which did great damage to my garden…It is sad that Nature plays such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart. ~Edited and adapted excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne

Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life’s whole,
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven, clear.
~Louise Seymour Jones

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I’ve been trying to figure out today what it is about a garden that is so seductive and irresistible for me, but I’m still no closer to an answer than when I’ve pondered it before.  I just know that something in nature calls to me and touches me on a deep level, brings glad music to my heart, and feeds “life’s whole” within my soul.  That’s why the losses due to last weekend’s dirty “trick” have struck a grievous blow to my heart which in turn has sent me sinking down, down, down into what one writer has called winter’s “vale of grief.”  Normally I can shake things off pretty quickly, but in addition to that casualty the arthritis in my left knee and left foot have me hobbling around on a cane, unable to get outside and do things that need to be done in the garden, and that’s creating a bluer than blue, bluish “funk.”  Now after spending way too much time inside, stationary and feeling a bit sorry for myself, I’m STARVED!!!  Like a junkie, I need my “fix.”  I need to hear the “anthem of the soil.”  Moreover, I need to touch the earth and dig in the dirt.  I need to feel Eden’s beating heart, her rhythms.  I need to hear the birds singing over my head.  I need color.  I need to see things growing and to look upon flowery faces, even a wretched dandelion would do.  I need to feel the sun’s warmth on my back.  And as much as anything else I need to feel God’s palpable presence in my tiny corner of His sanctum sanctorum.

Alas, sadly, I’m afraid it will be sometime before all those needs are met.  So I dug around on Pinterest board’s trying to find the kinds of images that typically draw me into a garden’s web of magic and glory.  Since I have no way of knowing when Old Man Winter will return to his arctic cave nor when my body will stop betraying me, they and a a little garden poetry will have to suffice.

From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul.  ~Deuteronomy 4:29   ✝