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Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Reasons and Seasons

“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.” – Ann Hood

There are reasons and seasons that make up lifetimes, a day at a time.
What are you learning?
What are you teaching?
What are you giving?
What are you receiving?
Listen carefully.
Look with fresh eyes.

Embrace this day, all that is in reach.
Open arms require us to lay down the unnecessary.
Open hearts let the light in so we can cast it back out.

Reason, Season, or Lifetime, Author Unknown

“People come into your life for a reason,
A season or a Lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will
Know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a
REASON, it is usually to meet a
Need you have expressed. They have come to
assist you through a difficulty, to provide
you with guidance and support, to aid you
physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to
Then, without any wrongdoing on your
part or at and inconvenient time, this person
will say or do something to bring the
relationship to an end. Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they
act up and force you to take a stand. What
we must realize is that our need has been
met, our desire fulfilled, their wake is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered
and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a
SEASON, because your turn has come to
share, grow or learn. They bring you an
experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never
done. They usually give you an unbelievable
amount of joy. Believe it, it is real.
But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional
foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and
put what you have learned to use in all other
relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is
blind but friendship is clairvoyant.”

At the Same Time

Fences and boundaries create control and certainty. They also confine and restrict. Draw outside the lines, move the boundaries out to expand and explore. Rarely is life made up of all joy or all struggle. We can have both and much more at the same time. You can feel joy in struggles.

You do not need permission to laugh, sing and dance when times are difficult. That is precisely the time to do these “frivolous” activities. To create gates in your fences to enter wide open fields of possibility and light.

Joy, optimism, hope, peace are verbs. Put them into action each day. Experience the complexity and simplicity of life at the same time. Use your imagination. Broaden your view.

“Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, and its power of endurance – the cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it; better, will preserve it longer, than the sad or sullen.” – Thomas Carlyle

Wildflowers

“Wildflowers are the stuff of my heart!” – Lady Bird Johnson

“May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.” – Native American Proverb

The wildflowers in glory bloom
Dancing with ease in the wind
Gathered together to praise, to celebrate a new day
Holy, sacred ground
May we have the sense of wildflowers as we enter and close this day

“The arbutus is now open everywhere in the woods and groves. How pleasant it is to meet the same flowers year after year! If the blossoms were liable to change–if they were to become capricious and irregular–they might excite more surprise, more curiosity, but we should love them less; they might be just as bright, and gay, and fragrant under other forms, but they would not be the violets, and squirrel-cups, and ground laurels we loved last year. Whatever your roving fancies may say, there is a virtue in constancy which has a reward above all that fickle change can bestow, giving strength and purity to every affection of life, and even throwing additional grace about the flowers which bloom in our native fields. We admire the strange and brilliant plant of the green-house, but we love most the simple flowers we have loved of old, which have bloomed many a spring, through rain and sunshine, on our native soil.” ― Susan Fenimore Cooper

Unconditional Gratitude

“Imagination must constantly run on a new track or it becomes lifeless. A living imagination is essential to prayer.”― Calvin Miller, The Table of Inwardness

“The Blessing – The end of desire awakens the blessing. We see life as perfect with all its joys and challenges. We become capable of penetrating its secrets. We find that what was hidden becomes revealed. What was unfathomable becomes simple and direct. This is the blessing that can only be known through unconditional gratitude.” – Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery

May you see the blessing in this day

Awaken to the essence of being

Aware of the quiet transformation of becoming

Find the oasis in the desert of your thoughts

Let your imagination run wild

And be resurrected in every moment

“The Eternal Essence of Being – We are a becoming. There is no shore to which we must journey. There is no place to which we must arrive. We are an ever-evolving phenomenon, changing, spiraling, transforming. Consciousness is not a place to which we are going. It is the very substance, the essence of all we are. Our body, mind, emotion and soul are fluctuations of awareness within an endless vibration. We are sparks of intelligence at play. To be resurrected in every moment of every day is to grasp the perpetual nature of becoming and the eternal essence of being.” – Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery

The Greening

“All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Heavy soothing long rain pushes past the surface, deep into the soil bound for the roots. The brilliant greening comes from the rain and sun dancing, each doing its part, incomplete without both.

We want springs without winters, growth without struggle, smooth sailing without wind, roads without detours, green and flowers without rain. In the burdens, we find the blessings. In the blessings, we find the gratitude. In the rain, we awaken to the green.

Psalm 23
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

Lie down in green pastures, sit by still waters, restore your soul, your cup overflows. Goodness, mercy, grace.

The Paradox

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake

“Temperance – When a sword is tempered, it is first heated to melting point then hammered into a desired shape. It is plunged into cold water. Once cooled, it is fired and hammered again until it grows sharp and strong. This tempering makes the sword worthy of being carried by a king. As we learn to endure and surrender to the fire, the hammer, the cold, we grow strong and uncomplaining. We are able to face whatever comes, holding our temper, while we ourselves are being tempered. We accept the paradox of joy and sorrow, justice and injustice, abundance and scarcity with true temperance and grace. Temperance is our ability to endure with sobriety and equanimity the transforming fires of experience and the dowsing waters of disappointment. Temperance is the ability to allow ourselves to be molded into the being we are intended to be.” – Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery

May you see color, light and beauty in difficult seasons;
May you hear a symphony forming from single notes in a noisy loud world;
May you breathe in the fragrance of spring in bloom as winter lingers;
May you trust the unfolding of the story without fully understanding;
May you allow unknowing in and observe without opinion;
May you respond with grace and kindness rather than react in judgment;
May you embrace all of the paradoxes of living and allow blessings to embed gratitude in each day;
Open your heart, meet every moment, see the doorway.

“Meet Every Moment – When we lose our self-pity, a whole new world opens. We often act as if life has singled us out to cause us personal struggle. But life is simply life. We either face what comes to us with courage and forbearance, or we fall into complaining and feeling sorry for ourselves. To meet every moment as a challenge is the only way to find peace. When we are content with what is, even a setback becomes a doorway.” – Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery

Maybe

Yes and no. Right and left. Up and down. A third answer perhaps, a fourth, a fifth? Maybe. In between. Cloudy. Uncertain. Different answers than your own, lessons to learn and relearn, time stands still to be immersed in it fully, without explanation.

The World I Live In, by Mary Oliver

“I have refused to live

locked in the orderly house of

reasons and proofs.

The world I live in and believe in

is wider than that. And anyway,

what’s wrong with Maybe?

You wouldn’t believe what once or

twice I have seen. I’ll just

tell you this:

only if there are angels in your head will you

ever, possibly, see one.”

Tripping Over Joy

“My appointed work is to awaken the divine nature that is within.” – Peace Pilgrim

Tripping Over Joy

“What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.”

― Hafez, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy

May you trip over joy and keep tripping to awaken to a steady state of gratitude that does not rely on circumstances, other people’s approval or permission, perfection that prevents action or someday thinking. “Someday thinking” steals our “this day” joy.

Surrender to this day and open all of its gifts.

Practice Peace

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

We ask for peace, call for it, long for it.
When given the answer, we balk.
It requires us to do what we don’t feel like doing.
It makes me responsible, not someone else.
It starts and ends within.
Be bold and go there.
Dig in, to the roots.
Practice peace, daily.
Focus on yourself and stop fixing “the other guy.”

Be open to change, growth, renewal, allow peace to enter, remain and expand. And then give it away.

Choose love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy.

It is in giving we receive.
What a crazy, nonintuitive, creative, ridiculous, brilliant, simple and difficult formula.
Hunt, foster and practice peace deep within and cast it out into the world.
Diligent practice leads to improvement and mastery.
Imperfectly repeat and keep going.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

The Perspective of a Flower


“To lean into life requires a quiet courage that lets us find our aliveness. And the reward for leaning into life is that everything hidden becomes sweet and colorful. Or more, we’re finally present enough to receive the sweetness and color that is always there. Consider how a flower opens. It doesn’t prepare for a particular moment but stays true to a life of opening and leaning toward the light. When a flower blossoms, it turns inside out and wears its beauty in the world. In just this way, a soul opens over a lifetime of leaning into life.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters by Mark Nepo

“Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light He came as a witness to testify to the light.—John 1: 7 Blessed are you who bear the light in unbearable times, who testify to its endurance amid the unendurable, who bear witness to its persistence when everything seems in shadow and grief. Blessed are you in whom the light lives, in whom the brightness blazes—your heart a chapel, an altar where in the deepest night can be seen the fire that shines forth in you in unaccountable faith, in stubborn hope, in love that illumines every broken thing it finds.”— Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons by Jan Richardson

We don’t “nail” every day. Some days we stumble, fumble and go off course. Detours and delays are woven into the journey. Detach, embrace, move through and keep going. Moments become lifetimes so invest well.

When stuck in a rut, go in the opposite direction. If bound by spiraling thoughts, get outside your head, read poetry, examine a flower. If overwhelmed by the noise of the world, go in, seek and read your soul, that soft voice that calls you home. In and out.

Back and forth. Float and dive. Right and left. The pendulum of life swings. Remain steady, venture out, observe, anchor, sail, grow, shift, breathe, break patterns, create new connections.

From bulb, to breaking dirt, to bud, to bloom. The flower reaches up, unfolds and bursts with beauty in due time. Remain present in all seasons, steeped in wonder, anchored in gratitude and open to the grace of joy hidden in each moment. The perspective of a flower – look up.

“Given our entanglements, one of the most difficult acts of presence is not to vanish when overwhelmed by conflict or hardship. The simplest teachers in nature, such as the sun, the birds, and the flowers, are quietly heroic in this regard, not because they achieve anything, but because they remain completely true to their own nature, regardless of what happens to them.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters by Mark Nepo

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