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.

970. In the world of words, the imagination is one of the forces of nature. ~Wallace Stevens

Words can sometimes, in moments of
grace, attain the quality of deeds.
~Elie Wiesel

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Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble. ~Yehuda Berg

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~Colossians 3:17   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

935. Silence is a sounding thing, to one who listens hungrily. ~Gwendolyn Bennett

The primary virtue is: hold your tongue;
who knows how to keep quiet is close to God.
~Cato, translated from Latin

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Praying
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t
try to make them elaborate,
this isn’t a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
~Mary Oliver

…a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak… ~Ecclesiastes 3:7  ✝

**Image of blue iris via Pinterest

907. I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks. ~William Shakespeare

How beautiful a day can be
when kindness touches it!
~George Elliston

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I want to thank all of you who sent happy birthday messages today. You made me smile and  laugh and feel so very blessed. However, because we left very early this morning to visit our granddaughter at the university she’s attending and have just now arrived back home, I’m not going to be able to read the day’s blog posts or reply tonight to the comments you made. But I just couldn’t let the day come to an end without at least letting you know how much I appreciate all my followers and the things you post that enrich and bless my days and my life. I promise that I will be back on board tomorrow ready to read your posts and respond to your comments. Love and hugs, Natalie

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. ~1 Thessalonians 5:28  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

839. And soon, too soon, we part with pain to sail o’er silent seas again. ~Thomas Moore

It’s an art to live with pain…
to mix the light into gray.
~Eddie Vedder

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I have lived pain, and my life can tell,
but I only deepen the wounds
when I neglect to give thanks for
the heavy perfume of wild roses in August
and the song of crickets on humid summer nights
and the rivers that run and the stars that rise
and the rain that falls and all the
good things that a good God gives.
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Ann Voskamp

The migraine rages on, and once more I’m sailing the silent seas of pain. Though it be a life long story, the Lord has and will again bring me back one day to dry land. ~Natalie

But as for me, afflicted and in pain–may your salvation, God, protect me. ~Psalm 69:29  ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

672. Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life. ~Rumi

When you arise in the morning,
give thanks for the morning light,
for your life, and for strength.
Give thanks for your food
and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks,
the fault lies only in yourself.
~Tecumseh

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To be grateful is to recognize
the Love of God in everything He has given us –
and He has given us everything.
Every breath we draw is a gift of His love,
every moment of existence is a grace,
for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted,
is never unresponsive,
is constantly awakening to new wonder
and 
to praise of the goodness of God.
For the grateful person knows that God is good,
not by hearsay but by experience.
And that is what makes all the difference.
~Thomas Merton

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. ~Psalm 100: 1   ✝

**Image of the Peruvian Daffodil via Pinterest

560. Every moment of light and dark is a miracle. ~Walt Whitman

When you rise in the morning
give thanks for the light,
for your life,
for your strength.
Give thanks for your food
and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.
~Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee

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Under the sun’s flares on a fairly warm, late November day, fierce winds yielded at last to gentle breezes. And then at day’s end, the setting sun generated dazzling drama in the west while moonrise began eastward with a waxing crescent moon. Up and up and up it ascended through the branches of the willow until its light shined over the tree’s top as night dropped its dark shade. Changing slowly from the sinuous sliver of a crescent moon like this one to the rounded fullness of a sphere, the great white orb of the heavens has been an endless source of wonder, charming and bewitching mortals throughout the ages as well as affecting tides, fishing activities, and the planting of crops. Its varying phases and mystical beauty have also inspired legends, myths, and romance by those who’ve lived below and gazed up at its recurrent and divine evanescence. But then any kind of light–sunlight, moonlight, candlelight, firelight, spiritual light–has always fascinated and drawn humanity into its mystery. Perhaps it’s because humans as well as and earth’s creatures sense sanctity within it. I know I do, and I’ve always wondered if wolves howl at the moon as an act of thanksgiving for their Creator or at least as a way of loving Him which makes me think that howling at the moon is not such a bad idea.

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. ~John 1:5   ✝

** Image via Pinterest