1093. When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about the speaker’s own need to be critical. ~Unknown

To live a creative life we must
lose our fear of being wrong.
~Joseph Chilton Pearce

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Part 1: I’m always heart-sickened to hear that someone has been attacked and/or criticized for what they’ve posted on their blog. And now I’ve heard about it happening often enough that I’m going to have my say about critics and why what they do is uncalled for and unfair. First off life is all about failure and has been since any of us came into existence. For example an infant tries many times to raise its head off his/her mother’s shoulder before he or she succeeds. Then as the baby attempts to crawl, he/she gets up on his/her hands and knees only to collapse back onto the floor over and over again. Next comes the child’s attempts to walk which is another period of success and failure before he/se actually takes off making substantial forward progress. And on and on the learning process goes. Now, before I go on, is there anyone so heartless that he/she would belittle or mock a child for these trials? I hope not! So why is that as we grow and try bigger and more complex things that others feel compelled to criticize? I believe, like Shannon L. Alder, that “often those who criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” Or like James Russell Lowell that “a sneer is the weapon of the weak.” Or like Emmet Fox that “criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.” Or like Chuck Palahniuk that “it’s easy to attack and destroy an act of creation, but it’s a lot more difficult to perform one.” Or like an unknown author who said that “criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but for having faults different from his/her own.” But my favorite comment about criticism is this passage below by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out
how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred
by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed;
who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion,
who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best
knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and
who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat.
~Theodore Roosevelt

As a teacher, I used to hate that a student had been hurt and criticized so much at home and/or at school that he or she was unwillingly or very timid about trying new things and risking failure for fear of ridicule from his/her peers or adults. NO ONE has the right to criticize anyone’s creativity or thoughts. If a reader does not like what he/she reads on someone’s blog, all he/she has to do is move on and not read on and/or better yet choose not to follow that blog. No one forces anyone to come to our sites or to read and/or look at what we put on them. What we post comes from a need deep within ourselves, and therefore is sacred. I will address that need in Part 2 of this tomorrow. The gist of it is that: “Sometimes people try to expose what’s wrong with someone else because they can’t handle everything that’s right about them” or that “Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. ~Zeuxis”

Here’s an interesting website that lists some well-known people who were criticized and rose to fame and/or success because they followed their dreams despite critical, bloviating naysayers:

They Did Not Give Up

But I have a mind as well as you: I am not inferior to you. ~Excerpt from Job 12:3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text added by Natalie

627. Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all come. ~Michelangelo

The human mind is capable of excitement
without the application of gross and violent stimulants;
and he must have a very faint perception of its
beauty and dignity who does not know this.
~William Wordsworth

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I’m so blessed my Lord.
I can see you
In all the lovely things
So fine and true.
I see you in the beauty
Of the flowers and the rain.
I see you between the lines.
I can see you
Even when I’m lonely and in pain.
I see you in the beauty of the stars at night.
I see you Lord
In sorrow and in happiness.
I see you in the glory
Of sweet success.I see you Lord
Every hour, everyday.
I can see you Lord
Whenever I pray.
~Excerpted lyrics from a song
by Aiza Seguerra

The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. ~Psalm 146:8  ✝

** Image via Pinterest, text added by Natalie

203. Surely a man needs a closed place where in he may strike root and, like the seed become. ~Antoine de St. Exupéry

But he also needs the Great Milky Way
above him and the vast sea spaces,
though neither stars nor ocean serve his daily needs.
~Antoine de St. Exupéry


For me, autumn, especially late autumn, is a time for reflection, contemplation, and soul searching–a time for ruminating on the things that move me and make me who and what I am.  And so as I worked out in the yard on this sunny last day of November, the windmills in my mind started churning up memories of the events that led to its door.  Rather than covering every step of the journey, I decided to start when I found my “closed place” in this house with its spacious yards where I began to “strike roots.”  In the beginning, though the home and its conveniences served my physical needs and provided me with creature comforts, relief from old emotional wounds and peaceful contentment remained elusive long afterwards.  Years passed with little change in the status quo until one summer while recalling the beautiful flowers surrounding my childhood home (above) in California, I decided it was time to try growing my own flowers right here in hot old Texas.  Since I wasn’t sure I’d inherited the proverbial “green thumb” of my ancestors, I resolved to begin on a small scale.  So I cleaned off a corner of the patio, bought some bags of potting soil and an assortment of pots and seeds, and thus commenced what I know now to have been a pivotal moment in my life.  From the minute the first seeds germinated, a soul-saving passion for gardening was being birthed in me.  Despite the summer’s miserable heat, I faithfully watered and fussed over my thriving “little flock,” and it was those familiar flowery scents that were the catalysts which sparked my spiritual reawakening.  The next summer with the success of the previous year under my belt and a renewed recognition of Ruach Elohim (the Spirit of God), I decided to branch out and actually sow  seeds in the ground and dig a few holes for bedding plants.  Success came again and with it the quickening in my spirit intensified so much so that I decided to take my recently commissioned mentor’s advice to attend church once more.  This was the first step in righting the derailment of my faith journey that had begun after the early death of my father.

Scripture tells us that Christ is the vine, and we are the branches.  Until those first two growing summers the branch that was Natalie had been withering, not because the Lord had been doing less but because I had been turning a deaf ear and  blaming Him for the loss of my father as well as for painful, emotional wounds and the awful, unrelenting migraines that had started in my mid-twenties.  Since then I have spent season after glorious season planting, replanting, listening, seeking His presence, and marveling at the wonders of heaven and earth.  This pilgrimage that was involved in becoming the Natalie I am today has taught me that He, His Church, and His Creation, which includes the Great Milky Way, the vast sea spaces, and a garden, are the “holy foods” I must have to survive and live in peace and harmony.  Now minute by minute in this place where I have deeply “rooted” myself, the hungering need for “more” has been forever silenced by miracles great and small, blessing upon blessing, and the amazing grace He continues to bestow upon me.

I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener… Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine;  you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:1 and 4-5