If you want to find God, hang out
in the space between your thoughts.
~Alan CohenMay yours always be a world blessed
with plentitude and enduring joys.
In your heart, may there be love;
in your soul, may there be peace;
in your mind may there be calmness.
May each season of the years
bring you the best they have to offer.
May you never be lacking enough
and never want for more.
May your home be a sanctuary wherein
you feel the continual presence of the Lord.
May you feel His mantle of love
perpetually around you and yours.
May your life yield a multitude of days
filled with laughter and love.
On rainy or troubling days may there
be rainbows, physical and/or spiritual,
to gladden your eyes and heart.
On starry, moonlit nights, may the orbs of heaven
and the “echoes of the spheres” speak to you
of the Holy One and His goodness and mercy.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. -Ephesians 1:17 ✝
**Clocks photos taken by Natalie in London and Paris; collage created by Natalie
Go placidly amid the noise and haste
and remember what peace
there may be in silence.
As far as possible, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly
and listen to others for everyone has a story.
Don’t compare yourself with others,
for always there will be greater
and lesser persons than yourself.
The world is full of trickery,
but let this not blind you
to what virtue there is.
Many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
love is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you
in sudden misfortune but do not
distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of God no less than
the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
~-Edited and adapted rendition of
THE DESIDERATA, by Max Erhmann
Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. ~Psalm 150:1, 6 ✝
**THE DESIDERATA became very popular in the 1970’s and still holds some well-penned truths of which I needed to remind myself after recent hectic days.
***Images found on Pinterest; collage created by Natalie
For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right,
since its appearance changes at every moment;
but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life –
the light and the air which vary continually.
For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere
which gives subjects their true value.
All things in the natural world drink in sunlight, and they are affected by it a number of ways. When the sun’s warmth touches skin, it creates a pleasant sensation. On cold days that pleasurable feeling seems to sink down into the depths of human flesh; deeper and deeper it settles until it reaches places normally untouched by sunlight. Flesh and spirit drink in other light too. They take in “the light of God and energy itself” so that in an often cold and lonely, dark world the inner flame of our sacred origin keeps the glow of the eternal alive.
In the temple of my inner being,
in the temple of my body,
in the temple of earth, sea, and sky,
in the great temple of the universe
I look for the light that was in the beginning,
the mighty fire that blazes still from the heart of life,
glowing in the whiteness of the moon,
glistening in night stars,
hidden in the black earth,
concealed in unknown depths of my soul.
In the darkness of the night,
in the shadow of my being, O God,
let me glimpse the eternal.
In both the light and the shadows of my being
let me glimpse the glow of the eternal.
From SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL
by J. Philip Newell
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~John 8:12 ✝
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.
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
So I like best of all autumn,
because its tone is mellower,
its colors are richer,
and it is tinged with a little sorrow.
If I had to pick a recent, appropriate emblem for deep November, it would be the mellow richness of this rose. Though a wild west wind has blown today, the day I found it, dawn had broken under a heavy fog, and when the mist lifted, this rose and everything else in the garden was left completely soaked. It was as if the heavens had rained down a multitude of tears and tinged the landscape with more than the little autumn sorrow of which Yutang speaks. I for one have to wonder if, with daybreak coming later and later and darkness falling earlier and earlier, a garden knows that the year has almost completed another turn around the sun. If so and because the longing to be, to exist as an expression of the Divine Presence, can be seen in all Creation, that longing is not easily given up.
As this year draws to its end
we give thanks for the gifts it has brought
and how they came inlaid within,
where neither time nor tide
could touch them, and we also thanks
for 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.
-Excerpted and edited lines
by John O’Donohoe
When we take time to look beyond the trials of life, we see God’s blessings and realize that daily we continue to be given endowments of grace from the Host of the universe. From unmistakable “quivers that caress the heart” we know that we are not alone. We know that we belong to God and recognize a longing within us to touch Him. We know that He sits at the heart of life, and from there works at bringing to fruition that which He inlaid in us from the beginning. We know too that He is beside us in every moment and that our sadness is His sadness, our joy His joy, our loss His loss, our victory His victory.
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done. ~1 Chronicles 16:8 ✝
One who not merely beholds the outward shows of things,
but catches a glimpse of the soul that looks out of them,
whose garment and revelation they are–if he be such, I say,
he will stand, for more than a moment, speechless with something
akin to that which made the morning stars sing together.
A new day woke to dawn’s sweet song
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice
Sunlight chased the night shadows long
Blue skies bow as day’s colors hoist
Hued symphony of the new dawn’s might
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice
Nature’s perfection in our sight
Creation gives salutations
Hued symphony of new dawn’s might
Rivers and streams sang oblations
Watery praises raised on high
Creation gives salutations
The sun marched across the sky
A glittering parade in stride
Watery praises raised on high
The light grew stronger as the night died
A new day woke to Dawn’s sweet song
A glittering parade in stride
Sunlight chased the night shadows long.
~A terzanelle by Kristen
Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. ~Psalm 57:8 ✝
No one else on the planet has the same face as you. No one else has the same heartbeat as you. None other has the same fingerprints as you. You are completely unique and made so to fulfill a purpose that only you can achieve. No one else can be you or do what you are capable of doing. So, why, why, why instead of embracing that truth do we give power to others to decide what is “normal” and whether we fit into their definition of that. That’s why I’ve always had an enormous disdain for critics because they are essentially “judging” that which they are not themselves and so have no right to do. Nor do they have any idea whatsoever what it feels like to be who and what we are. So again why, why, why do we give others so much power over how we feel about ourselves and/or our abilities???
For example, as a child I was much taller than others my age; I had lots and lots of freckles; from the time I was 4 years old I had to wear glasses; I was extremely thin; I was very clumsy; I was very sensitive; I was above average intelligence. Sadly all these were things which made me a target for young and old critics alike. And so I endured hurtful words and behaviors which unfortunately I allowed to diminish my self-esteem for some time. In other words I gave over authorship of my destiny and happiness to the hands of others instead of holding onto the pen in my hand that would write my life story. What a HUGE MISTAKE that was and is!!! We must learn to love ourselves for who and what we are so that we can open ourselves to the world in our authenticity and shine! We must never let other people stop us from being ourselves and from doing what we do best. Or we will be betrayed in the end by what is false within us and put locks on the door to wisdom. I’ve read that a rattlesnake, if cornered will become so angry it will bite itself. And that is exactly what harboring resentment about our past and what others have said and done to hurt us is — a biting of ourselves. As Henri-Frédéric Amiel said, you must “learn to…be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.” Self-hate and loathing is “a fire that consumes only the altar upon which it burns.” Please don’t any of you allow that fire ever to burn or let such things cage your uniqueness and all the good things that reside within your truest selves.
For we are His Creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God ordained ahead of time so that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10 ✝