Worship, Create, Dream

Be free to Worship God. Create with abandonement because He is the Creator. Let's discover our Dreams together.


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View with a New Lens

Wobbling back and forth, oozy  wounds roughly covered with torn rags.. Sores, no ability to feel pain. I cannot bathe anywhere because the lesions fall into the water contaminating anything and everything. The area around  me wreaks as my body is slowly decaying.

What is worse? The condemnation of my body,  or the condemnation of my mind and soul?  My body will never allow a gentle touch or a kind word. What was my sin? I did not ask for this? Why am I receiving such harsh treatment?

 

A soft voice flows past  which I can barely understand. One ear is partially gone. Is the voice talking to me? Voices coming in my direction have been harsh and cruel. Each word is usually followed by a series of stones and sticks. Now my mind cannot comprehend a voice where the decibels are not barbarous and pitiless.

Jesus did not stop with the outer layer. He looked at the  inner beauty His Father created. With the Lens His Father had given Him, Jesus knew the freedom I am  still called to experience. I needed not only the deep cleansing from the outer decay. I would need an even deeper  cleansing of an inner decay toward all those who hurt me and refused to help me.

 

Jesus takes my hand. My first reaction is to shrink back. His holiness shakes my sins to shout louder than my leprosy.

. “Why would this Man touch me?”

 

Jesus eyes come to mine.  Peace settles into my soul. Peace washes over my body.. Healing sweeps over me. I feel the strange sensation of a smile come to my lips. I hear the sound of pleasant child hood  laughter and a bird’s song.
Jesus-heals-leper
(yahoo.com Jesus Heals a Leper free image)

 

I receive the inner and outer healing to live the creative story God intended for me.

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This teeny obscure flower is not a big eye catcher in the  restaurant herb garden . Compared to the beautiful orange flowers edging the garden for decorations, the yellow one probably doesn’t get second glance.

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It takes a special lens to bring out the beauty inside the yellow flower. The size did not attract me and I needed to take extra work to get deep inside.  It not only took recognizing the lack of my camera but I had to  recognize my need for the correct lens. I had a lack. I had a need.

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The same is true in life.

 

There are situations in life where the lens I use is not adequate. To see the inner beauty of God’s creation, no matter what it is, I have to recognize my lack. I have to recognize my need.

Some inner beauties we all may need a new lens from time to time:

  • family members
  • someone who votes differently than you
  • an art work when it is passed by
  • a book proposal getting rejected for the third (or fourth or fifth) time.
  • Please do not end the list here. Ask God, what inner beauty around you  is being missed, has a lack, has a need?

Jesus saw the beauty of the leper through the lens of His Father’s Heart. We miss the beauty of God’s Heart when we are unwilling to use His Lens to look at this world.

 

The proper lens makes a world of difference.

 

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

 

 Forgiveness through God’s Heart and taking His hand will allow us to be free to worship as we were created.  You are welcome to comment and share. We are on this journey together.

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Am I Insignificant?

Daily, we walk past what seems small and insignificant to achieve bigger goals. Possibly we see ourselves as small and insignificant with everyone else having a bigger place in the sun than we do. I walked past these itty bitty flowers while walking my dog, Ripley.

 

They had no aroma. Nothing cried out, begging me to  create a story with them. I was going to continue with the rest of my day walking through the plans I had laid out before me.

God had other plans. He saw the beauty in each small petal, because He created it. He knew the significance in the small, even though I was ready to pass right by.

God asked me to  make a choice. Decide yes or no to make an effort,  return with my Macro and work with these gems. I was asked  to create and share what He saw.

Are you willing to do the same thing with your own life? It takes an effort. There is a decision needed to be made to go forward. Making the choice is worth it.  In Jesus, no one is insignificant.
You are a dynamic story.
BE
Free
To
Worship
As
You
Were
Created!
Share times where these decisions have called out to you in the comments if you wish. We are all on this journey together.


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WILL YOU TRUST ME?

 

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WILL YOU TRUST ME?

This a question most born again Christians want to automatically answer with a resounding:

OF COURSE!

 

A war battling inside and out may cause a tremendous tug on our body, soul  and mind making that inquiry loom to the heights of  Mt. Everest. If you cannot look anyone in the eye for fear of breaking into tears, the isolation takes the mountain and multiplies it many times the size it was before.

 

How often do we even acknowledge this internal agony bearing down inside and around us? If you have read my previous  blogs, you know comparison is a bully, trying to tear down the joy of who I am in Jesus. This ugly cloaked  beast recently uncovered itself and attacked.  The pain was ……
I recently returned from an exciting, challenging road trip with my daughter.  This post deals with the inner war that took place shortly after coming home.  I share  this experience with you for one purpose. To encourage all believers who “walk through the valley of the shadow of  death”.

How did it happen? I can’t say. I can point to words I heard. They pulled at my insides until finally I snapped. It wasn’t just the words though. I started to add “this to that”, “what I do and don’t do”, “what I can and cannot do”

I was in darkness. I saw no future. I felt pain from my past. My birthday coming in a few days simply added to the feelings “I am so useless”.

 

I can point to the main lying phrase which caused my breathing to come in small, short, stints:

“You are not good enough” !

I stayed  in our library,  using box after box of tissues, wondering why I was in such torment. At that point,  I firmly decided I would not be leaving  the house the rest of that weekend,  other than as a silent passenger in the car  Anything else was beyond my capabilities.

I questioned:  Am I going to be this way for the rest of my life?

 

In the midst of this confusion,  I sensed a soft gentle breeze.  God’s presence. Not an “I AM WITH YOU”,  overly loud voice from the scriptures.  Rather a soft whisper, “i am with you and i will never leave you.”
I experienced a respect-filled love from my God, my Papa. I felt His compassionate Presence very close to me. He could have taken my hand,  but I was too bruised to be touched. Every once in awhile, I felt a slight touch which made me aware of His love and presence. The Creator knew my needs.  He was never intrusive, never invasive.

Sunday morning brought a sliver of possibly riding in the car to church.  My husband and son were volunteering for the first service.  Still not wanting to talk to anyone, I would wait in the car til the second service.   My husband left the keys to our car and suggested if I decided I was ready to go at all, I could drive and meet them for the second one.

I did not feel as though God was expecting anything. He was not saying “You can do all things because of who you are in Me.”  Rather the gentle love extended to me was a hand knowing my needs saying:

“I think We can do this. Will you trust me?”

 

I did not feel shame or pushed. I did not feel as though it was something I “should” do. I truly felt the choice was mine. Even though that was the case:

I was not doing this by myself. I did not walk alone.

 

I (We) got behind the wheel. I (We) drove to church. I (We) walked through the doors.

 

Little by little God has taken my hand. I presently see life through a different lens.

The questions, pain and emptiness which erupted over that weekend have not been totally answered or dealt with. 😕  They are just not screaming louder than God’s love for me. Right now I can breathe.

I would like to give you the gift God gave to me. His wonderful love allowed me to walk through the weekend without expectations how I was to perform. I was ugly. I was not pleasant. I needed to be alone. God did not leave me. His touch was unique to my need.

 

We are all very unique. With that in mind, how do now I approach the attack:

   YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH?

Is that even a statement  to consider?   God gave His Son for me.  In receiving this precious gift, the relation between God and me is totally free to be everything it was meant to be. In Jesus, I am free to love, free to create, free to worship, free to live as God created me to be.

God gently takes my hand into His. We will walk the path where He leads me.

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Reach out  and take God’s hand. Where is He leading you? Will you trust Him?

What can I say

It is not always easy to walk this path, but God is not calling us to walk it alone. He is always with us even when the feelings are not there. Be honest.  If you have questions or comments, come and share them with me. We are on this path together.

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!


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Slowing Down Can Bring True Refreshment

 

Proverbs 14 b

As you slow down and give yourself to the serious pursuit of reflection, you will find it is not an absence of work. It is more of a decision as to where you want to allow your mind to go. What do you want your mind and body to engage in?  In receiving the wonders you take in,  you decide how your heart engages with the given information and how you will share it. In other words,

It is discovering  refreshing waters pouring  over  your tired soul.

 

Ponder this : If the daily spiritual consumption you ingest is similar to a drive-thru for your favorite latte on your way to work, are you really getting the best and deepest nourishment in your relationship with God?

Probably Not.😄

It tastes really good at the time. You get your needed zip to start the day.  Then as  the time goes  on, and like the caffeine energy that wears away,  with little  spiritual and substance and reflection,  it is hard to hear His tender, caring voice expressing His love.

.

 

 

In a  past daily Bible reading, the New Testament portion was Acts 25-26. I could easily  been impressed with Paul’s eloquent rhetoric in his defense to King Agrippa. I could have  closed the book and said, “WOW! God sure gave Paul just the right words to say to get him out of trouble.    Thank you God.”

Slowing down caused me to catch something else God had in store for me.

 

Kick against the GOADS.

.  
12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

 

                                                                                                  NKJV Acts 26

 

Such an odd sentence! Kick against the goads!  What does that mean?

 

goad02

 

An  ox goad  is similar to a cattle prod. (an instrument used by ploughmen for guiding their oxen   . http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/  )  It is a type of long stick with a pointed end.( Wipikedia)

A farmer uses the goad to push and prod the ox to make him move to a certain goal and perform the duties he is created for. The more the ox fights (kicks) against the goad, the harder the farmer needs to push it into the ox until the correct path is chosen.

IT HURTS!

Everything in Paul’s being was trained and ready for the Messiah. When the PROMISE was fulfilled  through the man Jesus, Paul could not or would not walk that direction. He kept pushing against the very path he actually wanted to be on.

As Paul realized the Man speaking to him on the Damascus road was the Promised  fulfilled,  he quit kicking.  The true wisdom, washed  over his heart  causing Paul the freedom to embrace a relationship with Jesus for who Jesus truly is.

                        That YES changed Paul’s life forever.

That YES affected all followers of Jesus forever.

 

Slowing down and reflecting on this passage took me to a deep question. I put this same  question to you.

Is there an area in your life where you are:

         Kicking against the goad?

 

Where did you say “YES” to God with your whole heart and now you think you know better for your life than He does?

Was  creativity a dynamic worship expression in your intimate relationship with God at one time and now other areas vie for your time?  Creativity and worship are not important?

Is God opening  a different direction in your life ( a new ministry, change of  job, writing a book), but it  does not seem to line up with your “normal walk”?

You can fill the blank with  your own question that has been lurking in the back of your mind________.

                                             

What is your response when you think of these specific conversations? Are you kicking against the goad? God is not angry.  He is waiting to free you as He did Paul.

 

 

As Paul  received the wise words to quit resisting the reality of Jesus and His Love, Paul was bathed in refreshing waters for a new life.

 

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Relax and sit with Me for awhile

 

Slowing down will bring true refreshment for you. What are your goads?

 

BE

 FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOUR

WERE

CREATED!

 

Feel free to share your questions and thoughts. We are all on this journey together.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

plowman photo is a free on line example of an ox goad with ox.

 


TAKE A SLOW WALK THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES

If you have been reading my posts or following my other social media, I have suggested you slow down and live reflectively. Take deep breaths in the present time God is gifting you. Contemplate as you create to take in what God is sharing with you.   Do not dwell in the past because that has past. Do not fret  the future because you are not walking that path right now. Take God’s hand as He walks you through the joys (or tears) of the now.

Easier said than done. The past affects the present  and the future is our tomorrow’s present.

How we allow God to walk  us through the present and help deal with the past will affect how the future is handled.

Do these books look familiar? If not,  that is OK. They are my current GO TO  books for encouragement, inspiration and challenge.Jpeg

Margaret Feinberg’s book seems to speaks to points of my need at the right time.

Proverbs ground us in the life God intends”.1

If I want to be grounded in the life God intends for me, I need to do more with Proverbs than slide over the words as a mere check off  to-do box. This is a relationship.

The second book, The Reflective Life has tools to help implement a reflective life into our everyday life. The Growth Of The Reflective Life (Part VI)  includes help with the scriptures.

Do you think it is possible to have a fresh breath of the Words of Solomon?

Can these word have the same affect on a modern 21st century reader as they did when Solomon first heard them?

In the section entitled “ Reflecting on the Scriptures”  Ken takes the passage  Luke 10:38-42. and shows how he uses the  following items  to help  obtain the fresh wind for himself.

  • READING THE MOMENT
  • REFLECTING THE MOMENT
  • RESPONDING TO THE MOMENT
  • PRAY THROUGH THE PASSAGE
  • GIVE THE PASSAGE A PLACE TO LIVE IN YOUR HEART2
    These contemplative actions are slow and  deliberate engagements to connect with our Creator. They can be worked through all the scriptures.   The last  two sit at the Master’s feet and listen. The last two take the Master’s hand and go where He leads.

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The following is an example of the gift I received as I took deep steps to respond to a reading in Proverbs  using Ken’s reflections guide  As you allow yourself to go deeper, be open to life changing possibilities.

Proverbs 15:31-32 New Living Translation (NLT)

31 If you listen to constructive criticism,
    you will be at home among the wise.

32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
    but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.

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What do you have for me God?

As a creative person, criticism is one of the last things I may  initially want  to  hear. I know I work hard to make physical, the beauty my mind and soul is enjoying, whether it is through writing, photography or fiber arts (knitting /crocheting).

The truth is, what does God want? “ If I listen to constructive criticism, I will be at home among the wise .”

“If I reject criticism, I only harm myself, but if I listen to correction I will grow in understanding.” (The One Year Bible NLT. I changed the nouns to make it personal as you read it.)

Verse 32 is a bit sharper in the results of one who does not take criticism

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,

but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.NIV

What do you hear?

Is there a past pain causing rejection from any critique?  If you do not discipline yourself in the creativity God is calling you, are you being true to yourself and what He wants to share.  Does perfection and comparison from the past or fear of the future keep you from living in the present?  Allow Him to come inside. He is gentle.

 

 

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Taking a slower walk through the scriptures will allow you to hear God’s voice, HIS JOY, HIS TRUTH.  As you walk deeper in His Kingdom,  the passage will have a place in your heart. It cannot help but flow out. Join me as we walk deeper. Your creativity will reflect that walk.

Wild flowers are beautiful

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!




1 Margaret Feinberg FLOURISH  Live Loved Live Fearless Live Free. ⓒ2016 p52
2 Ken Gire THE REFLECTIVE LIFE ©1998 pp 107-120


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Nurture a Reflective Life —Slow Down

Contemplative Photography is taking me into a deeper adventure.   All new adventures bring with it something a  bit daunting. I open the door asking God, what is ahead of  me. As I gaze upon a blooming flower, or see dark clouds cover the sky, is the message being shared reflecting  the beauty of God’s creation alone , or is He motioning me to — Come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.

Put the words “Nurture a reflective life” and ” Be contemplative in my photography” together.  But how?

SLOW DOWN IN WHAT! SLOW DOWN TO WHAT?

  • Activities?
  • My mind?
  • Walking?

Will this “slowing down” automatically happen if my body stops doing?  Probably not. The mind can frantically race with yesterday’s events and tomorrow’s needs while the body is lying in bed.

Being  reflective  is making an active decision to engage in the surroundings. Going deeper than the top layer.

WHAT IS GOD SAYING?

CAN I FEEL HIS TOUCH, HIS LOVE IN THE GENTLE BREEZE AS IT PASSES BY MY FACE ?

HOW CAN I REFLECT THIS TOUCH IN A PHOTO AND SHARE HIS HEART?

Slow Down and reflect Tammy Morton Photo They teach us to dream

                                                                                      Tammy Morton’s photo entitled:

                                                                                                         ” THEY TEACH US TO DREAM”1

Is it possible to slow down and reflect in the rush  of daily activities?  In the course of routine housework, am I willing to mentally or emotionally slow down, take God’s  hand and reflect on His Words to me?  The beauty of nature, color all around,  waves of the lake lapping against the rocks, a walk through the woods,

 

have a greater  intensity for intimate interaction with my Creator than cleaning the kitchen. I can imaging slowing down and reflecting in a sunrise.

How can I slow down and reflect, let alone create with a photo through daily chores?  Mindless, thoughtless, repetitive cleaning do not compose a creative story.

 

The first question might be: 1.Do I want to take the mental energy  to engage to create space for God to enter into the chores? —-  2. Does God really care to enter into my time of cleaning? I know He is with me always, but really, intimate chats  while doing housework?

  • Slow Down
  • Be Present in the Moment
  • Take a Long Loving Look at the Real.
  • What is God Saying Now?

Reflection Through a Veggie Drawer.

 I needed to put the groceries away. The veggie drawer was covered with yellow onion skins so I decided to dump these out. Then I would give the drawer a quick swipe.   😝 Thinking about my photography assignment, I ask  God, “Is there something You want to show me?

I used these  tools from  The Reflective Life by Ken Gire.2

  • Read the moment—Using my  eyes to see what’s on the surface.
  • Reflecting on the moment -Engaging my  mind to see what’s beneath the surface.
  • Responding to the moment –  Giving what I saw and received  a place to live in my heart, allowing it to grow there, upward to God and outward to other people.

An interesting cleaning experience took place.

I needed to scrub extra hard in cleaning the icky sticky goo I found close to the ridges. These ridges  took longer to clean than I wanted to give my attention to the whole drawer cleaning business.  In fact, the cleaning  was getting  boring. Thoughts began to race “Did I really want to make sure the drawer was thoroughly clean? All sticky goo gone? (Remember, at first, I was only going to dump the loose skins into the garbage . 😄 )

What was  God’s response to the sticky goo hiding next to the ridges no one sees inside of me, the gunk hard to get at?  The outside is nice and clean, but there are areas where some stuff  needs more time to (re)move.

God will never leave a job half done.

 God started with the outer layer and cleaned away the onion skins.  God then looks deeper and says “I will stay with you and clean the icky sticky goo hidden inside. I will gently clean til  the job is completed.

WHY?

Years ago I said YES to Him  and I desire His beauty to reflect through me.

(6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6 NIV)

Who knew the simple non creative job of cleaning a veggie drawer could bring me into the throne room to  interact with my Savior and Friend?

As a result the connection of slowing down I created two photos from my cleaning.

 

Be willing to enter into the moment. Slow your brain down. All you have is the reality right in front of you. The Creator of the Universe is at hand at all times to engage in the moment with you.

Slowing  down is not easy in the fast paced world. Feel free to share your victories and your battles. We are on this road together.

 Be

free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!


1Thank you Tammy Morton for saying Yes and allowing me to us this picture.

2THE REFLECTIVE LIFE (Becoming More Spiritually Sensitive to the Everyday Moments of Life) by Ken Gire © 1998 p.88.


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I AM LOVED

  “But the man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.1

  • Comparison
  • Pride
  • Perfectionism
  • Fear of being overlooked.

WHAT A CONUNDRUM!

Is  this is the same intense roller coaster emotional ride everyone experiences? YIKES! Or is it just certain types?   Probably every  number  to some degree.   (Blame that bit of information on reading my son’s book,

The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr)

Creative people are very passionate.   God  sets our heart and soul free to feel  intense wonder when creating. This intensity  deals with  bitter devastation when the creation  fails or is rejected.

The creative personality runs the gamut in joy and pain. Am I right?

If one is Unwilling to allow God to bring peace and a sense of His centered ness,  the gate will continue to swing back and forth without end.

What is it like to be creative?

Creative Definition (adjective)

  1. resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative:

The story is fiction. The stories from our past can start our future stories.

Imagine yourself as a young child,  working on a family drawing all afternoon. The excitement inside can hardly be contained. You finish the yellow in the sun. The last smile on the youngest child is drawn.  The gift is spontaneous with no special reason for the labor. Just imaginative expression.

A bounce in your step takes you and your art work to the room where your parents are sitting. You wonder, which parent will raise their eyes first. As you stand for what seems an eternity, neither adult leaves their reading material. Your excitement wanes.

Suddenly, a sibling flies in the back door, BANG, shouting, ” We Won.”

Paper and book drop. Parents simultaneously  rise to check  what the commotion is about.

You droop back to your room. The art work goes in the waste basket.

Whether a creative in a sports family or an athletic in a family that values education. The label taken on is the same:

What I do is not important. I am not important.

Can you identify with this little girl? At that point, a strong STORY may be  constructed  not only in the creative realm but for life. “I am not seen for what I  enjoy.”

Will that be the basis of your life’s decisions?

Either :

  •  I will do what I want and I don’t care because no one else does or
  • I will BE what others want to see. I do not count.

Neither of these choices allow you to flow as the unique person God created you. You are not free to Worship Him or BE  yourself  within community.

How does this get resolved?

JESUS!

“This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle”

As I spend time with Jesus, I find the centered ness of His creativity in me. The gift of my connection in Him is intimate, special and deep. That is the joy I want to share. Merton’s quote challenges me, to not be afraid, to be real and face the the pains from my past. I have to boldly realize the inner fear of rejection as a reality inside. It attacks  now sometimes, when expressing an  inner excitement.  In God’s grace and acceptance of me,  how will it  be handled? Will I know WHOSE  I am if the gift offered, is not received the same way it is given out?

The discovery of His center ness  may come as a powerful waterfall.

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Jesus through the Holy Spirit  brings peace and calm.  One comes to the other.  He controls the flow.

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The healing of  past hurts, brings freedom to present the flow. Less and less of my pain is  keeping the true reality of how He loves me from showing  through. Jesus tells me to Hang On. The truth in what He is declaring to  me is more beautiful than I can ever imagine.

Hang on 2

I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE KING!

I HAVE BEEN CALLED TO SHARE GOD’S HEART!

I AM LOVED!

How are you called to be released from past lies placed upon you? God loves you. He calls you His beloved. Receive and be released.

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖

I am here to read thoughts you want to share.  We are on this creative journey together. I would like to encourage you in anyway I can. Leave a comment here or  join my Writer’s Facebook page.  You do not need to walk this path alone. ♥
1― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/god-s-love