1360. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. ~Rumi

The Wine and the Cup

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The wine of divine grace is limitless:
All limits come only from the faults of the cup.
Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.
Grant a great dignity, my friend, to the cup of your life;
Love has designed it to hold His eternal wine.

~Rumi

But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. ~Excerpt from Galatians 1:15  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; specical effects done on iPiccy

1248. I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth… ~Author Mary Lasswell

The stars at night – are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The prairie sky – is wide and high
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The sage in bloom – is like perfume
Deep in the heart of Texas…
~Excerpted lyrics from a song
by June Hershey

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Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession.
Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.
Like most passionate nations, Texas has 
its own
history based on, but not limited by, facts.
~John Steinbeck

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I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans. ~John Steinbeck, 1962

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And, “Texans for the most part have never learned to be dull,” accurately quipped Randolph Campbell.

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As I’ve said repeatedly the intense heat of the Texas summer has always been difficult for me to tolerate. It forces me to stay indoors much more than I like, and being separated from the earth and God’s voice in the natural world starves my spirit. However, I have come to love much of the unique Texas experience, and I am thankful that the Lord created the man or woman who invented air-conditioning. I’m grateful too that our house has lots of windows so I can at least see my yard during times when it’s just too miserably hot to be out in it.. Also after I bought a digital camera, I’m able to save the garden’s glory in photographs that help me make it through the times when the summer heat temporarily robs the landscape of much of its beauty. How blessed are we that the work of His hands is as apparent as ever in His world.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19 ✝

**Images found on the Internet, Pinterest, and Pixabay; collages by Natalie

 

1027. Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with beauty of sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage. ~Thomas Kincade

Many miles away there’s a shadow
on the door of a cottage
on the Shore of a dark Scottish lake.
~Sir Walter Scott

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Let there be a cottage….a real cottage…a white cottage, embowered with flowering shrubs, so chosen as to unfold a succession of flowers upon the walls, and clustering round the windows through all the months of spring, summer, and autumn—beginning, in fact, with May roses, and ending with jasmine. Let it, however, not be spring, nor summer, nor autumn—but winter, in his sternest shape. This is a most important point in the science of happiness. And I am surprised to see people overlook it, and think it matter of congratulation that winter is going; or, if coming, is not likely to be a severe one. On the contrary, I put up a petition annually, for as much snow, hail, frost, or storm, of one kind or other, as the skies can possibly afford us. Surely every body is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a winter fire-side: candles at four o’clock, warm hearth-rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies on the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without… ~Thomas De Quincey

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Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars… ~Psalm 148:7-9   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

968. O rain, tear-like drops of almighty nature…in times of need you are a blessing. ~Excerpted lines from a poem by George Krokos

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A
drop
of rain is
like a sudden
knock at the door.
Unexpected, yet often
welcomed with a smile. It
can brighten your day or ruin
your plans. It can make you laugh
or make you sad. Whether a raindrop
is moving fast or slow, or is big or small,
it always gets everyone’s attention. A rain-
drop contains many secrets. It’s a bubble of
excitement and wonder cleansing the earth,
nuturing the flowers, and filling the cracks.
The rain is seldom silent. It taps on roofs,
spatters on the windows, and splashes
down making mud puddles; those
are ways for raindrops to play.
Pitter patter, pitter pat
Pat, pat, pat!

Rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. ~Excerpted line from Joel 2:23   ✝

**I found this clever rain drop on the Internet and then changed it somewhat to make the shape a little more a drop of rain.

900. We must learn what it means to listen to inner longings other than the appetite for more, longings that quietly assert that enough is enough. Paul L. Escamilla

 It is enough for me by day
To walk the same bright earth with him;
Enough that over us by night
The same great roof of stars is dim.

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I do not hope to bind the wind
Or set a fetter on the sea —
It is enough to feel his love
Blow by like music over me.
~Sara Teasdale

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When the starry sky, a vista of open seas, or a stained-glass window shedding purple beams fascinate me, there is a cluster of meaning, of colors, of words, of caresses. There are light touches, scents, sighs, cadences that arise, shroud me, carry me away, and sweep me beyond the things I see, hear, or think. The “sublime” object dissolves in the raptures of a bottomless memory. It is such a memory, which, from stopping point to stopping point, remembrance to remembrance, love to love, transfers that object to enough and the refulgent point of the dazzlement in which I stray in order to be. ~Adapted excerpt from Julia Kristeva

Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you? ~Job 15: 11  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collages created by Natalie

644. Love unlocks doors and opens windows that weren’t even there before. ~Mignon McLaughlin

I love thee — I love thee,
‘Tis all that I can say
It is my vision in the night,
My dreaming in the day.
~Thomas Hood

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Years ago, I volunteered to plant four trial roses in my garden. One of them was a luscious color of pink, and it’s name was Unforgettable. Sadly it only lived a couple of years and was not one that made it into the rose world. But I loved the thing and every time I passed by one of its fabulous blooms, I broke into a song sung decades ago by Nat King Cole. Since you, my readers, are unforgettably lovely too, I’m wishing you a Happy Valentine’s tonight with the lyrics from that song as well as a youtube link so you can hear Cole’s smooth as silk voice singing the song. Also the painted rose in the mixed-media image above is about the same shade of pink as that luscious rose was. Enjoy! Love, Natalie

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Unforgettable, that’s what you are.
Unforgettable though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me.
How the thought of you does things to me.
Never before has someone been more
Unforgettable in every way.
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay.
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too.
~Excerpted lines from the song, Unforgettable, sung
by Nat King Cole and written
by Phil Ramacon, Coral Gordon, P/K/A Chyna

“A new command I(Christ) give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~John 13:34-35   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

498. Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected. ~Jonathan Edwards

The wine of divine grace is limitless:
All limits come only from the faults of the cup.
Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.
Grant a great dignity, my friend, to the cup of your life;
Love has designed it to hold His eternal wine.
~Rumi

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Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~Hebrews 4:6    ✝

** Image via Pinterest