1346. Perfumes are the feelings of flowers. ~Heinrich Heine

Flowers always make people
better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food
and medicine to the mind.
~Luther Burbank

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I mentioned in a post recently that every Sunday when we go to the grocery store to do our shopping, I buy flowers to put on my desk. And this week instead of cut flowers, I found a springtime mini bulb garden that had been planted in a pot. It was filled with tulips, crocus, dutch iris, hyacinth, and the tiniest little golden daffodils. The hyacinth in the photo above was just opening when I bought the potted garden, and for days now as it opened further I’ve enjoyed it’s heavenly perfume.And as the week has progressed, the crocus has opened as have the tulips and the iris. Then this morning, the last thing to push out of its papery sheaths were the daffodils, and that’s when squeals of delight could be heard far and wide. What absolute joy and great fun can come from the simplest of things! I’ve heard it said that simple minds have simple pleasures, and if that implies that I’m a simple-minded simpleton then so be it. For as the temperature outside plummets below the freezing mark again tonight, the fact that springtime is happening right here next to computer is just way, way too much fun, and simple as that may be, it brings me more than enough immeasurable joy to care not what others may think of me.

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Some women feel the need to act
like they’re never scared, needy or hurt;
like they’ve been hardened by the world.
I think that’s dishonest.
It’s ok to feel delicate sometimes.
Real beauty is in the fragility of one’s petals.
A rose that never wilts isn’t a rose at all.
~Edited quote by Crystal Woods

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. ~Proverbs 27:9  ✝

**All photos were taken by me; I took them outside however instead of where they sit by my computer because I don’t like the way a flash alters the colors of flowers.

1043. Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same… ~Pearl S. Buck

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but
 the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new.
~Rajneesh

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If in the passage through the final doors of life gallop dark storms of senile dementia, we who are its witnesses and victims must view the damage as a sickness in and of the flesh and not a failing of the heart nor its love. For it is not what is in the mind or flesh of those who have to endure uncontrollable, internal storms which ultimately rage, worsen, and extinguish their lives that matters; the important thing is the inextricable cords of love that once connected us to them. Mother and child bonds are as strong as our connection to the Maker of all life, and so maybe that’s why on this rainy, winter’s day, my mom has visited my thoughts again. Or it could be the recent passage of her birthday or the gloom of the day that triggered memories of the disquieting breach of peace that caring for her became during the last 7 months of her life. When I invited my mom to come live in our home, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But what I didn’t realize was that our merged footsteps would upon occasion painfully lead us, partially because of her worsening dementia, to moments which were not our finest hours. Nor did I envision the treachery of steep climbs when we had to cross over slippery, rocky ground into new and challenging territories. However, even though there were terrible moments when we would go up and down as well as in and out of hellish, emotional roller coasters, we coped better at times than we had in the past and with more tolerance of our individual differences. My mother loved her children, but in her newness to motherhood I don’t think she ever really did know how to accept or handle me, her strong-willed, out-spoken, and highly sensitive first born child. Nevertheless, by the Grace of God, we made it through those trying days, and there were even a few of them along the way when we traversed some unexpected, joyful paths. So it is in the quiet grayness of this day that I give thanks for her and for God’s mercy. Mary Catherine and I had long been and would probably always have been enigmas unto one another, but despite our dissimilar traits an abiding love was strong in the sharing of our intertwined lives. Thus I try now to focus not on our differences, inabilities, and disagreements but continue to seek and remember the inherent goodness in the child of God that was my mother. And I pray almost every day for acceptance and forgiveness of her limitations which remain an unsurrendered source of occasionally festering, life-long scars. Forgiveness is, at least in my way of thinking, the miracle of all miracles, and I’ve long believed in miracles.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. ~Isaiah 58:8  ✝

543. Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature. ~C.S. Lewis

Miracles, the sense of phenomena
we cannot explain,
surround us on every hand:
life itself is the miracle of miracles.
~George Bernard Shaw

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WHY! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the
 water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds–or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down–or of stars shining so quiet
and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring–yet each distinct, and in its place.
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the 
same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass–the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women,
and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships,
with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
~Excerpts from Miracles
by Walt Whitman

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. ~Job 5:9   ✝

On November 9th, 2012, after two clots in my brain threatened my life, You, Lord Jesus, held me in Your precious hands and restored my health and wholeness. I praise and thank You, now and always.  Help me to stay under the mighty wings of Your grace and holiness!

267. God waits to win back His own flowers as gifts from man’s hands. ~Rabindranath Tagore

Flowers don’t worry about how they are going to bloom.
They just open up and turn toward the light
and that makes them beautiful.
~Jim Carrey

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Small children pick flowers for their mamas, men bring flowers to women they love, flowers are thrown on a stage after a stellar performance, a bride carries flowers down the aisle at her wedding, returning warriors were once showered with flower petals, a coffin may be surrounded by flowers at a funeral, and on and on go the roles that flowers play in our lives.  We adore them and deem them worthy tokens of admiration, love, respect, and honor.

I’ve tended the soil and planted flowers for my own enjoyment and because I feel close to God in my garden, but until I read what Tagore said, I’d never thought about it as being a way to give gifts to God.  I’ve known that how we live and what we do with our lives is to be an offering to the Lord and done for His glory, and now the thought of presenting Him with my posies as gifts adds an even greater level of joy to my labors in the garden.  Although the time has not yet come for a miraculous flower like the one in the photo to bloom, I offer up this one from last year’s bounty as a thank offering to the Holy One for the coming of another spring and for His continual presence in my life and for all the ways He blesses me.  I chose this Star Magnolia because it lights up whatever darkness surrounds it in the same way the stars light the heavens and Jesus lights the darkness around us.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  ~Colossians 3:15  ✝

**Over the past 10 years, a plethora of research has shown that flowers increase the levels of positive energy and moods, reduce the likelihood of stress-related depression, and help people feel secure, relaxed, optimistic, and happy.