1323. I like the fact that in ancient Chinese art the great painters always included a deliberate flaw in their work: human creation is never perfect. ~Madeleine L’Engle

Perfectly imperfect…

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“We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives snowflakes a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take its own path. All of them are on the same journey, but each takes a different path. Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind…there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake. But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey. I find parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is of snowflakes and us. We, too, are all headed in the same direction. We are being driven by a universal force to the same destination. We are all individuals taking different journeys and along our journey, we sometimes bump into each other, we cross paths, we become altered…we take different physical forms. But at all times we too are 100% perfectly imperfect. At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey. I’m not perfect for your journey and you’re not perfect for my journey, but I’m perfect for my journey and you’re perfect for your journey. We’re heading to the same place, we’re taking different routes, but we’re both exactly perfect the way we are. Think of what understanding this great orchestration could mean for relationships. Imagine interacting with others knowing that they too each share this parallel with the snowflake. Like you, they are headed to the same place and no matter what they may appear like to you, they have taken the perfect form for their journey. How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey.” ~Edited passage by Steve Maraboli

…but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. ~1 Corinthians 13:10  ✝

**Macro photos of snowflakes via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1015. My favorite things often have a story behind them… ~Amy Sedaris

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…

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Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses, with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad…

Be joyful at your festival… ~Excerpt from Deuteronomy 16:14   ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

 

863. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad. ~Lyrics written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein

 Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.

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Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

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Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

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He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage by Natalie

626. White is the beautiful broken lace of snowflakes falling on your face. ~Mary O’Neill

White is snow falling on the ground.
It’s clouds in the blue sky
And foam that splashed on oceans shores.
It’s the richness of pearls.
It’s the robe of angels.
It’s a crisp winter’s chill.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Marvel-Maniac

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Is White a Color?


White, pristine, unblemished
They say it is not a color.
I love white mists, clouds
Lingering on blue mountains.

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White, no shades
No off white, cream
Pure as snow on shimmering peaks
Is my favorite sight.

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Nurses, priests, politicians
Are bound, chained to white.
White nebulous clouds
Evoke deep nostalgic thoughts.

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The paper I write is white.
White is holy, pure.
They say light is white
Because it combines all colors.

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So white is the mother of all colors
The churning of all yellow, blue, green.
Colors sacrifice their egos
To the eternal white.

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Is white a color?
The matriarch of all colors
The fountain of all extent colors
Yes, king white reigns supreme!
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by John Matthew

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Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. ~Psalm 51:7   ✝

**Images via Pinterest, all collages created by Natalie

570. It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. ~Charles Dickens

You’re never too old to be a child at Christmas.
Think back to your own childhood memories of Christmas –
not the gifts and the tinsel, but the joy and wonder
of a time when everything seemed so new
and nothing was impossible.
~William Saroyan, (1908-1981),
Armenian-American dramatist and writer

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Hey, it’s snowing! At least on my blog, little snowflakes are softly cascading. Okay, I’ll admit it; I’m delighted about that and gleefully squealed like a child when the WP support lady told me how to make it happen. And what’s more, if Charles Dickens and William Saroyan think it’s okay to be a child at Christmas, who am I to lack confidence in that stance? I realize Christmas is weeks away, but the snow on my blog was enough to jump start my enthusiasm about it. Christmas always takes me back to the time when I saw the world through the eyes of a child. That’s because my childhood was magical, not perfect nor without hurts, but magical nonetheless. It was the result of a Divinely engineered coming together of extraordinary people in an extraordinary place at an extraordinary time. I say that with a humble heart because I know it was and is a privilege not afforded all people. My childhood was so out of the ordinary in fact that I can recall the exact moment in time it came to an end. It was in the cessation of a beating heart that the reality of it shattered like the pieces of a breaking mirror. Not only was the magic and innocence of it lost forever at that moment, but the devastation left me fragmented and it severed my hold on the handle of anything that nurtured my faith. Then close on the heels of that life-altering experience, I was swept away into the uncharted waters of young womanhood and the inevitable trials that accompany aging and marriage. Those events added to the continuing and inconsolable sorrow of my father’s death left me turning a deaf ear to the Lord’s “still, small voice” as well as a blind eye to His abiding presence in my world. After nearly a decade of watching me, lost and brokenhearted, wander deeper into the “wilderness,” He sent an angel of mercy into my world. Ironically the Divine messenger was a child, my baby girl, who would and did touch my heart in a way no other mortal had been able to. In her smile, in the twinkle of her eyes, and in the beauty of her heart, a heart more loving and gentle than any I’ve ever known, I found my way, step by step, back into the Lord’s keeping. Oh come let us adore the Christ who finds a way to speak to the child in us all!

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ~Romans 8:17   ✝

**The photo is a composite of my daughter from the age of 8 months to 18 years.

480. Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~Henry David Thoreau

Seasons knocking on the door
Each one with its unique lore

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Springtime fingerpaints the earth
Spreading its immeasurable mirth

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Summer’s heat bursts upon the scene
And each day the sun reigns as queen

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Autumn casts a cloak of burnished hues
With copper tinged foliage as its muse

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Winter’s kingdom wears robes of pristine white
While snowflakes whispered dance is quite the sight

Seasons stand side by side, natural neighbors
Observing each other’s seasonal labors.
~Edited poem by Kristen A.

He (G0d) made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. ~Psalm 104:19   ✝

376. Each blade of grass has its spot on earth whence it draws its life, its strength, and so is man rooted to the land from which he draws his faith together with his life. ~Joseph Conrad

Forests, lakes, and rivers,
clouds and winds, 
stars and flowers,
stupendous glaciers, 
and crystal snowflakes –
every form of animate 
or inanimate existence,
leaves its impress on the soul of man.
~Orison Swett Marden

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Eenie, meenie, miney, moe–it’s hard to decide what to sing the praises of in a garden this time of year. “Animate or inanimate” it’s all good. In mine Yahweh “leaves His impress” in my mind, heart, and soul for hour after hour, day after day He ushers in gifts that take my breath away. So it is that I’ve been able to witness for myself that His wells of mercy, grace, goodness, and forgiveness never run dry nor do His faithful provisions. My cup, like the beauty in these chalice-like blossoms, is continually filled to overflowing. And why not? Herein I’m awakened daily with birdsong, sunlight filling sapphire skies, days breaking in exhilaration, and zephyrs spreading sweetly scented aromas in places where holiness falls like misting rain. This place is where I felt the Lord’s presence again after a long lapse in my faith journey, and when I renewed my relationship with Him amidst its treasures, my roots sank deep in its soil and His being. Thus I remain deeply connected to my yard and Him through something not unlike the life-giving umbilical cord that nurtures a child in a mother’s womb. This place on earth’s sacred ground is my sanctuary, and its “walls” echo voices that not only mentor me but hopefully others with whom I share its ageless tales and “shy presences.”

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I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God. ~Deuteronomy 32:3 ✝

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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!