1321. Sense your Being, your own presence. That’s a source of joy. That’s the ultimate gratitude. ~Eckhart Tolle

presence

noun pres·ence \ˈpre-zən(t)s\
:  the fact or condition of being present
:  the bearing, carriage, or air of a person;
: the state of being closely focused on the here and now, not distracted by irrelevant thoughts

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A fellow blogger posted the above quote by Tolle yesterday, and since then I’ve been thinking about it and what it means. For me it begs the question as to whether it’s just a matter of being visible and tangible or more than that a matter of reflecting the sacred Image in which we are made. And if it is the latter, what does that reflection look like. I believe it is one where goodness and light are as apparent as physical attributes and personality particulars. For example light can be so prevalent in some, as was so with my father, that there’s a perceivable twinkle in the eyes that warms and begets a very real presence even in photographs. And as for goodness, when present it is like an aura that surrounds and defines a person.

To quote Tolle again, “The answer is, who you are cannot be defined through thinking or mental labels or definitions, because it’s beyond that. It is the very sense of being, or presence, that is there when you become conscious of the present moment.” In the first quote Tolle implores us to be aware of our Being as a source of joy and gratitude. That should occur in every moment if we remain aware of the fact that life is gift and express our gratitude to the Maker of all life for that gift. According to Alan Cohen, “appreciation is the highest from of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.”

So presence it seems to me is an awareness of the sacred ground on which we stand at every moment of our lives, an awareness of the sanctity of all living things, an awareness of the holy air we breathe, an awareness of the holy light that shines on and in everyone, an awareness of intentional and divine creation, and an awareness that He who brought us here saw that all He did and made was good. So when we are asked to sense our own presence we should realize that first and foremost it is “purely and completely evidence of God’s grace” in our lives. Walt Whitman once penned, “we convince by our presence,” and so it is not our face nor our hair nor our size nor any such thing that matters when we talk of presence. It must always be the goodness and light we bring to our “state of being closely focused on the here and now” which is “not distracted by irrelevant thoughts” as Webster so aptly defined it in his dictionary notation above.

God intended Earth.
God intended the waters.
God intended you and me.
We were created in the image 
and
the likeness of God; 
we are holograms, if you will.
So the power, the presence, the energy
is within you and me.
The energy of God, as life,
 is within each of us.
~Mary Manin Morrissey

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. ~Excerpt from Genesis 1:31  ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text on image added by Natalie; special effects on image done on iPiccy

1037. Appreciation…

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Home at last and exhausted, but before I call it a day, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers, hugs, and words of encouragement. My sister was so touched that there were people all over the world praying for her and her sweet husband. As of now, Dick is in the cardiac intensive care unit and holding his own. No one is allowed go in the room yet as they have to protect him from any kind of bacteria for the next 24 hours. So we have all only been able to peer at him through a glass door, but that has helped especially my sister to see that he is in fact alive and that the new heart is pumping away. The next few days will be critical in that we have to hope and pray that his body does not reject the new heart. So please keep the prayers coming our way. By now most of you know that I believe in miracles, that I am a miracle because I’ve survived a stroke that could have taken my life and wholeness, and that I believe prayer is the opening through which miracles come. So I’ve asked the Lord for a miracle and know that He has drawn near Dick even now in a room where no one is allowed to enter. I wish I could send all of you flowers for your comforting kindnesses and prayerfulness, but since I can’t I’m offering these beauties in the photo as a token of my gratitude. May the Lord bless each and every one of you now and forever. Love and hugs, Natalie

898. Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~Anaïs Nin

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people
who rekindle the inner spirit.
~Albert Schweitzer

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Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. ~Henri Nouwen

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18  ✝

**Rose image via Pinterest

887. Life’s too short to start your day with broken pieces of yesterday… ~Unknown

Every day may not be a good…
but there is something good in every day.
~Alice Morse Earle

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Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. ~Og Mandino

I fall, I rise, I make mistakes,
I’ve been hurt, but I learn.
And I’m alive and thankful.

As you can see my computer is up and running again, at least somewhat. All the problems have yet to be resolved and I have a lot of new stuff to learn, but hey it’s good for my aging gray matter. Because I’m so late in being able to get going on this thing today and I’m still working on issues with it, I’m sorry to say that I’m not going to be able to read all of your posts from yesterday or today. But tomorrow is a brand new day, and things should be back to normal soon.

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. ~Psalm 69:30  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

861. The pen is the tongue of the mind.~Miguel de Cervantes

Keep a diary and
one day it’ll keep you.
~Mae West

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It is necessary to write, if the days are not
to slip emptily by. How else, indeed,
to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?
For the moment passes, it is forgotten;
the mood is gone; life itself is gone.
That is where the writer scores over his fellows:
he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.
~Vita Sackville-West

However we go about the process, I believe those of us who write do find it necessary to do so. Perhaps, it’s because “clapping the net over the butterfly of the moment” helps define who we are for ourselves before “life itself is gone” and perhaps to help us know how who and what we are matters in the world. Whatever the reason, as tired as I am, I felt the need to put my fingers on the keyboard tonight. Thank you for all the prayers for my sister, Linda, and her husband, Dick. It seems that he blacked out last night because his blood pressure plummeted to critical levels. Then because the dropping of the blood pressure to such dangerously low levels causes the organs to start shutting down he went into renal failure. However, the good news tonight is that his BP is up to a normal range for him and his kidneys are functioning which means he is still on track for the transplant eligibility when a heart becomes available. Praise the Lord! The docs still have to find out what caused his blood pressure to drop so low, but I have faith that they will. Sadly he still does in fact look like he has been hit by a truck as his left eye is black, and he has a bad gash on the back of his head not to mention a whole bunch of large bruises. But they have put stitches in the cut above that eye, and as for the broken bones beneath his eye where it has turned pitch black, there is yet some question about what will need to be done, if anything, about those broken bones. They have also put staples in the cut on the back of his head, and thankfully, he apparently has no concussion. So, though very tired, we are grateful, more relieved, and praising God tonight.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. ~Colossians 4:2  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

830. Morning glory is the best name, it always refreshes me to see it. ~Henry David Thoreau 

In the morning, everything is new.
The day’s blank slate lies before me, ready for my writing.
So I welcome this new day.
It is a gift to me, a new creation, a promise of resurrection.
I am thankful for being alive this morning.
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May I not miss beauty.
May I not miss joy.
May I not miss wonder.
May I make the world a better place this day.
~Both passages are excerpts
from Ceisiwr Serith
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Oh how I love vines; I love the way they climb; I love the way they twine around things, and so I’m thrilled as up, up, and up they go, these beautiful morning glories of mine! One of their best features is that the hotter it gets, the higher and faster they climb, and the higher they climb the more blooms they produce. Also morning glories come in a variety of colors, and the best part is that they all easily reseed themselves. That means I seldom have to start any new ones because Mother Nature does it for me. I do, however, occasionally try new varieties like the striped ones and the curlicue one you see. Although right now, because of the intense heat, my morning glories are only blooming in the mornings, as their name suggests, they will start staying open most of the day when it finally cools off sometime in September or October. Regardless of when they bloom or how long they stay, morning glories bless my day and among other things make me thankful for the gift of a new day. Thoreau may have been speaking of the glory of the morning in general, but these beauties can’t help but make the glory of the morning more spectacular.
**Give thanks in all circumstances, for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 5:18  ✝

534. The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. ~William Blake

A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.
~Starhwak

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Irish immigrants fleeing from the Great Famine of the 1840’s brought versions of Halloween to North America. For them the celebration had its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian “All Saints Day” on November 1st. The festivities of the centuries-old holiday began at sunset and ended at midnight on October 31st. Samhain meant roughly “summer’s end,” and it was a celebration of the end of the “lighter half” of the year in which the daylight hours steadily increased and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year in which the daylight hours steadily decreased.

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.
The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.
Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have quenched.
~Excerpts from a blessing by
John O’Donohue

The land yields its harvest; God, our God blesses us. ~Psalm 67:6  ✝

**Images via Pinterest