1401. Beauty…is the shadow of God on the universe. ~Gabriela Mistral

A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health,
and quiet breathing.
~John Keats

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Yeh, yeh, I know it’s almost autumn, but I bought some more tulip bulbs to buy and plant this year. And I also bought a handy dandy little bulb bopper that’s driven by a drill to dig the holes for them. Not only that but it’s time to buy poppy seeds, larkspur, and holyhock seeds as fall is the time to sow them here in Texas. So in the next few weeks and months, I’ll be setting the stage, in my yard at least, for next year’s springtime. And my friends, that is such exciting stuff for this old girl. Despite all the rumors of Armageddon, the second coming of Christ and the rapture, and wars that will bring about the end of the world, I’m relying on God’s Word that says the end will come like a thief in the night and we will never know when that is. So life is yet for living joyfully and enjoying each and every day as the gifts they are instead of wringing our hands with worry and hanging our heads in despair. As they say here in Texas “it ain’t over til it’s over!”

God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds–
and I think that He has made them partly
as a balance for that kind of civilization that
would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts.
He made the great open places for people who want to be…
away from the crowds that kill all reverence.
And I think He is glad at times to have us forget
our cares and responsibilities so that we may be nearer Him–
as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

…for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. ~1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 ✝

**Mixed photos from my archives and Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

306. What is there beyond knowing that keeps calling to me? ~Mary Oliver

Go to your bosom:
Knock there,
and ask your heart
what it doth know?
~William Shakespeare

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We run; we stumble; we fall; we get up; and somehow we find the stamina to move on again.  That same scenario plays over and over again in our lives; so what is it that get us back up on our feet willing to do it all over again?

Is it the hope of wealth or at least sufficiently comfortable numbers in our checkbooks and bank accounts to buy whatever we need and/or want?

Is it the hope of owning a nice car, having a roof over our head, finding food in the pantry, or clothes to put on our backs?

Is it being able to travel wherever and whenever we want?

Is it the hope that scientific theories will one day answer the questions that disturb us?

Or it is instead because we seem to know somehow that a divine power much bigger and smarter has set all this in motion for a reason and that He cheers us on in the face of troubling realities and difficulties?

And isn’t it also because His imploring little voice within us encourages us to finish the race set before us because that is what we are really here for?

At some point in time, do we not begin to perceive divine threads in the fabric of life?

Do not these threads in the tapestry gather together enough gladness and joy so we that can find the strength and courage to face trials, disappointments, and defeats?

Isn’t it the perception of these divine threads that keeps us willing to run again, stumble again, to fall again, to get up again, and to move on again even when we are hurting or become disheartened or grow weary?

Do we not come to realize that life is not just an end in itself but instead a preparation for something more, even if the something more is not clearly defined?  And as strange as it may seem, after a while in our heart of hearts do we not become aware of a sense of awe of and growing gratitude for the very “race” that often torments us?

Life just has to be worth more than material gain, more than temporal pleasures, more than the noisy, senseless endurance of the perverse, violent, and/or mundane.  In moments of utter silence and stillness in an emptied mind we can, can’t we, hear that reassuring little voice that calls to us urging us on because all this isn’t some pointless game, a worthless hour upon a harsh stage, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  And does not what our heart “doth know” tell us something of a loving Creator’s sacred purpose.  Don’t we do it because as Marianne Williamson says, “We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.”

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.  ~Exodus 9:16   ✝

**Images via Pinterest