1400. Shall I dance…

I hear the sound of voices singing joyful hymns of the gospel,
Shall I dance with thee, O Lord, in the breeze at dawn?
Yes, says the Lord of my soul and the dance of life!

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I hear the sound of voices singing joyful hymns of the gospel.
Shall I dance with thee O Lord in the morning light?
Yes, says the Lord of my soul and the dance of life!

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I hear the sound of voices singing joyful hymns of the gospel.
Shall I dance with thee O Lord upon the dewy grass?
Yes, says the Lord of my life and the dance!

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I hear the sound of voices singing joyful hymns of the gospel.
Shall I dance with thee all the day long O Lord?
Yes, says the Lord of my soul and the dance of life!

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I hear the sound of voices singing joyful hymns of the gospel.
Shall I dance with thee O Lord when the evening shadows fall?
Yes, says the Lord of my soul and the dance of life!

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Then O Lord when day is done
and sleep takes me into its arms,
will You watch over me until we dance again
upon the morrow’s stage?
Yes, says the Lord of the dance
and the lover of my immortal soul!

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And when I awaken again in this dark and decaying world,
may I quake in your presence visible in all that surrounds me!
And may You refresh my vitality and strength for another day!
Yes, says the Lord of the dance and the lover of my immortal soul!

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.11.04 PM.pngThis is my story
This is my song
Loving my Savior
all the day long!

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. ~Psalm 143:10  ✝

**Photos found on Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1316. So much has been given to me I have not time to ponder over that which has been denied. ~Helen Keller

For three things I thank God every day of my life:
thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works;
deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith;
deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to–
a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.
~Helen Keller

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Oh autumn, how late you came, but how glorious you have been! Today, however, winter’s first cold, cold breath has blown hard across the garden and these flowery “babies” I found today will perish in the frigid hours before dawn’s first light. In gratitude for their coming I shall like Helen and the author of the poem below go to sleep tonight thanking God that they came at all.

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Every night before I go to sleep
I say out loud
Three things that I’m grateful for,
All the significant, insignificant
Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.
It’s a small practice and humble,
And yet, I find I sleep better
Holding what lightens and softens my life
Ever so briefly at the end of the day.

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Sunlight, and blueberries,
Good dogs and wool socks,
A fine rain,
A good friend,
Fresh basil and wild phlox,
My father’s good health,
My daughter’s new job,
The song that always makes me cry,
Always at the same part,
No matter how many times I hear it.

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Decent coffee at the airport,
And your quiet breathing,
The stories you told me,
The frost patterns on the windows,
English horns and banjos,
Wood Thrush and June bugs,
The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,
An old coat, a new poem, my library card,
And that my car keeps running
Despite all the miles.

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And after three things,
More often than not,
I get on a roll and
I just keep on going,
I keep naming and listing,
Until I lie grinning,
Blankets pulled up to my chin,
Awash with wonder
At the sweetness of it all.
~Carrie Newcomer

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So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~Colossians 2:6-7  ✝

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**This tiny little sunflower came up from a fallen seed that had dropped down out of the bird feeder. I’ve been watching to see if it would bloom before winter nipped it in the bud and sure enough it did. The photos are not my best effort this time, but it was too darned cold to stand out in that cold north wind for long.

1305. [L]et us linger awhile in the wonderful old Lilac walk. It is a glory of tender green and shaded amethyst and grateful hum of bees. ~Alice Morse Earle

There are a thousand ways
to kneel and kiss the earth.
~Rumi

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Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness.  One of the doors
into the temple.
~Mary Oliver

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker… ~Psalm 95:6  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1178. Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it. Vladimir Nabokov

Smell is a potent wizard that transports you
across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.
~Helen Keller

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Creature comforts! What are they anyway? Okay, lets establish what the term “creature comforts” means. It is thought that the expression was first used in the 1600‘s to describe the simple things that met a person’s needs such as food, a good bed, comfortable shoes, etc. The meaning has evolved a bit over time as it now includes physical ease such as warmth, available hot and cold water, clean laundry, in other words anything that makes life more comfortable and pleasant. Simply put, it can be any small item or detail that makes a person feel at home, which includes not only creature comforts but also heart and soul comforts as well. I think perhaps many of us have similar creature comforts but then time and place may, if asked, change some of our answers to the question. On a side note, before I go on though, I’ve read that interestingly in World War I, creature comforts were cherished even more than comradeship and unit loyalties.

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Nothing is more memorable than a smell.
Smells detonate softly in our memory like
poignant land mines hidden under
the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire
of smell and memories explode all at once.
A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.
~Diane Ackerman

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Okay, so what does all this creature comfort stuff have to do with smell? It all started this morning as I sat looking out at my white lilies and remembered their lovely fragrance. Probably because these particular lilies are so white it hit a tripwire of the unforgettable and delicious scent of linens, sheets and towels and such, from my childhood that had been hung outside to dry on a clothesline. That led to thoughts of homemade quilts and white iron beds and the incredibly luscious night’s sleep that was to be had in, on, and under such things which have always been some of my most favorite creature, heart, and soul comforts. Then as Ackerman put it, poignant land mines of memories began to detonate all over my place, but they were the kinds of memories not too many share these days.

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? ~1 Corinthians 12:17  ✝

**All images but the white lily found on Pinterest; collages by Natalie

1114. The hum of the bees is the voice of the garden. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

The bee collects honey from flowers
in such a way as to do the least
damage or destruction to them,
and he leaves them whole, undamaged
and fresh, just as he found them.
~Saint Francis de Sales

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A garden spot may be a noisy place
Where droning bees seek honey,
Spiders weave their silver lace upon the trees,
And little birds sing songs the livelong day.

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Or it may be so silent that is seems
The flowers sleep, and shy
Mysterious virgin dreams their vigil keep,
And God communes with earth all day.
~Pringle Barret

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13  ✝

**Images of the bees via Pinterest; images of spider webs found on Pixabay

 

1032….that blast of January would blow you through and through. ~William Shakespeare

The night is darkening around me,
The wild winds coldly blow…
~Excerpt from a poem
by Emily Brontë

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The world is resting without sound or motion,
And behind the oak tree the sun goes down
Painting with fire the spires and the windows
In my tree-shaded neighborhood.

Beyond calm streets pastures lie
Silvered with haze as fruits still fresh with bloom,
And the birds weave in flight across the zenith
On a sudden aerial loom.

Into the garden peace comes back with twilight,
Peace that since noon had left the remains of purple phlox,
Heavy-headed asters, the late roses
And the swaying spent hollyhocks.

For at high-noon I heard from this same garden
The far-off murmur as when gales are coming;
Up from the south and down from the north beating
Their stormy music like a drum;

And then hysterical sirens shattered
The brittle winter air,
To say that fierce storms are marching
Across towns and fields and open prairie.

But before the skies rage, they morph
Into violet, for the veils of dusk grow deep —
As earth takes her children’s many sorrows
And stills herself to sleep.
~Edited and adapted poem
by Sara Teasdale

…at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. ~Proverbs 7:9  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage by Natalie

959. Come said the wind to the leaves one day, come o’er the meadows and we will play. ~Excerpt from a children’s song of the 1880’s

Ah! the year is slowly dying,
And the wind in tree-top sighing,
Chants a requiem.
~Mary Weston Fordham

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In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those
with mossy, warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come —
six, a dozen — to sleep inside their bodies?
And don’t you hear the goldenrod
whispering goodbye… And
the wind pumping its bellows.
~Excerpted lines from
a poem by Mary Oliver

The tempest comes out of its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. ~Job 37:9   ✝

**Edited autumn photo via Pinterest