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Shared Wisdom: Words On The Road

We have arrived in Kentucky and are spending time with family in Louisville.  So far we have travelled through 14 States, a couple of them twice over.  Even as I travel, I am aware of words that float up from memory, or that I encounter as I journey from place to place, or that I find scribbled on pieces of paper tucked into my meditation books or my gratitude journal.  So here are some words of wisdom from the road.

 

“Life is curly, don’t even try to straighten it out.”                                                                                (Rebecca – age 11 years)

“What God gives us in answer to our prayers will always be the thing we most urgently need, and it will always be sufficient.”  (Elisabeth Elliot)

“What matters supremely is not the fact that I know God, but the larger fact ……… that He knows me …….. I am never out of His mind.  All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me.”                                                                               (J.I. Packer)

“Light does not resist or avoid darkness.  It merely includes it, welcomes it, loves it.  Light is not afraid of the shadow for it knows the appearance of the shadow is the first sign of illumination.”                                                                                                           (Paul Ferini)

“We are  not alone on our journey.  The God of love who gave us life sent us {His} only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that God walks with us.”                                                      (Henri J.M. Nouwen)

“I’m a girlfriend-kind-of-girl.  I love having women in my life.  In fact, I think women who claim they don’t need a girlfriend just haven’t found a good one yet.  I don’t have that problem.  I am surrounded by an abundance of the most remarkable women God ever created to be my sister, mother, daughters, and friends.  It’s a blessing I don’t take lightly.  Quite simply, having such dear women in my life makes my heart tingle.”      (Suzy Toronto)

“When you take the first step to embrace God in your circumstances, He will go the distance to embrace you.”   (Stormie O’Martian)

“When the reed is empty, blowing through it makes a beautiful sound, a sound that returns effortlessly to silence.  When mind is still, thoughts arise spontaneously, offer themselves, and die in the wind.  There is no complexity here.  The goal is not to make thinking go away, but to slow it down so that it comes to rest in its natural container.  Once you rest in that place, you no longer desire to be anywhere else.”      (Paul Ferini)

“Faith is meant to be lived moment by moment.  It isn’t some broad, general outline – it’s a long walk with a real Person.”    (Joni Eareckson Tada)

 

Blessings to you all. 

Shared Wisdom: More Words On The Path

 

Often times the words of wisdom that I share have come from many places in time along my path.  These few that I share today have come to me in more recent times.  They have nurtured me on my spiritual path.

 

“I turn to God not so much for forgiveness but for the power to accept humbly the reality about my imperfect self. I turn to Him for the grace to give myself the forgiveness which He gives freely.”                                                                                 from Happy Catholic

“Clear boundaries are important on the spiritual path because they tell you exactly where your responsibility begins and where it ends.”
                                                                                                                                Paul Ferrini

“Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.”                                                                                    St. Francis de Sales

“Moments of grace are transient – will we meet this moment and be ready to serve.” and “We are being called into the holiness of wholeness.” 
                                                                                                                               J. Phillip Newall

“Be one to know God. The extent to which I am divided from you, I am divided from God.”        Meister Eckhart

“May you always be overwhelmed by the grace of God rather than by the cares of life.”          Anonymous

“I speak to you continually. My nature is to communicate, though not always in words. I fling glorious sunsets across the sky, day after day. I speak in the faces and voices of loved ones. I caress you with a gentle breeze that refreshes and delight you. I speak softly in the depths of your spirit, where I have taken up residence.”                                                                                                            from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

“God comes to you disguised as your life.”                                                                       from Center for Action and Contemplation

“We are not simply made by God, we are made of God – as is everything.”                            Julian of Norwich

“Once you find the light, no matter how insignificant it seems, your life will never be the same again.
A light-bearer never questions the light s/he carries. And so s/he can offer it to others patiently and without fear.”
                                                                                                                              Paul Ferrini

I love finding these words and phrases that resonate so deeply within me, and I love being able to share them out with you.  Blessings!! 

Self Nurturing: The Garden – Remodeled!

Finally the sun has deigned to grace us with his presence, his light, and his warmth down here in (normally!) sunny Florida.  The biting cold, the frosts, and miserable grey are hopefully a thing of the past.  And not a day too late; my garden Muse was absolutely itching to get to work because I had major projects to accomplish!

This year I decided to shake things up a little in my garden.  The St. Francis flower bed, so named because his statue oversees this part of the garden, had developed a deep-rooted weed system which was hard to control.  So I decided to dig deep, dig out as much as possible of the offending growth, and put in a fairly large (10’ x 6’) paved patio center-front of the bed to eliminate some of the back-breaking work of weeding. I have dressed up the patio with pots and urns of various sizes and colours which are planted up with bulbs, seeds and some partially developed plants. 

The Quan Yin flower bed, obviously named because her statue reigns supreme here, is much the same as before.  However I have decided to fill it with even more flowers this year.  There are also hundreds of seeds lying just below the surface of the soil which hopefully will germinate and bloom as the year goes by.  I also plan to add to the collection of brightly coloured chimes and wind twisters that hang from the wrought iron framework of the old gazebo that I moved to this bed when the lanai was built last year. 

The front yard has undergone the biggest transformation: the side two of the three small flowerbeds have been eliminated and returned to sod, while the central flowerbed has been enlarged to four times its original size.  I have walled it in with rustic stonework, elevating the back part to a higher terraced level.  The front area has been filled to overflowing with brightly coloured spring flowers and hundreds of seeds are also germinating here for later in the season. 

However, the central attraction of this new terraced bed is the weather-worn, trellis arch that originally sat just outside the screened-in back porch room.  This arch, which was deeply rooted into the ground on each side with six years of steadily growing orange trumpet vine, was dug up and relocated to the center of the raised terrace part of the new bed out front.  A couple of extra trellis panels have been added on each side of the arch to accommodate the copious trailing branches that grow from the vines, and I have planted several rose bushes in this elevated section too.

All of this was done with much help from my assistant gardener, Linda – a very dear friend without whose help I could not have achieved this major overhaul!!  This morning, after many anxious days of waiting and watching, new green growth showed on the winter-hibernating vine that wraps itself intricately around the arch:-).

As I sit in the lanai writing, my heart is full of joy and my soul sings in gratitude as I survey the end result of much hard work.   It continues to be a work in progress and God’s creation will become even more beautiful as seeds develop into plants and then bloom out in a riot of colour.  And this joy and gratitude are magnified because I know that passers-by can feast their eyes and experience their own heart joy.

My happiness is complete as I watch the birds swarming at the feeders. Squirrels are scurrying in the grass and chasing each other up and over the back fence.  Lizards and frogs are awakening from their winter lethargy and today I have seen at least a dozen butterflies. 

Richard has taken some lovely photos of the garden today, some of them early this morning in the subdued sunrise light, and some of them around lunch time.  Enjoy!!

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You can see all 45 photos at the Spring Garden Update Photo Album.

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