Morning Praise

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O God, inspire our morning hymn
Of love and gratitude;
Oh, bless the sacrifice we bring,
Thou Source of every good.

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Thy miracle of love so sweet
Preserved us all secure;
While helpless in unconscious sleep,
Thy presence kept us pure.

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’Tis blest to rise, O Lord, and join
With nature’s minstrelsy;
To hymn Thy praise at early morn,
And offer thanks to Thee.

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Sweet morning is the time to pray;
How lovely and how meet,
To send our early thoughts away
Up to the mercy seat.

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The glorious sun has driven far
The mystic shades of night;
So in our souls the morning star
Hath shed His wondrous light.

A Hymn of Morning Praise by Daniel S. Warner

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autumn-atic

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Golden leaves

dripped from trees

as I walked autumn’s

wonderland

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foliage bright

a glorious sight

crafted by

the Master’s Hand

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Final chance

to catch a glance

before the colors 

fade  

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was hard to budge

I felt the nudge

so glad that I obeyed

Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.  Psalm 150:6

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He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.  Psalm 1:3

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For everything there is a season  Ecclesiastes 3:1

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He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.  Psalm 104:19

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You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 

Psalm 65:11

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seasons in between

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I walked to the beat 

of falling leaves 

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beneath my feet 

leaves thick as thieves

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I watched the foliage 

drift and sway 

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on this breezy, balmy

autumn day 

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I wanted to hit the pause button again this morning. This is my favorite time of year… that time when we are still full with Thanksgiving JOY and yet we anticipate all the excitement the Christmas Season brings!!   And secretly, I wish I could hoard pumpkin spice EVERYTHING so that I could savor it a bit longer…

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Speaking of this in-between season, I’ve got a ‘tween at home…  She marches to her own beat, and I honestly don’t know what’s going to come out of her mouth from moment to moment.  A strong willed child, she’s also a delightful mix of sarcasm, humor and wit.  Her name is “Sophia” which actually means wisdom.

I was out running errands with both girls the other day, and my oldest commented that I’m getting old.  My jaw dropped as I turned to her with a look of disbelief that she would say such a horrid thing!

Well, I guess there’s a little bit of truth to that- I will hit the big 4-0 in June….ugghh….

Without skipping a beat, my youngest chimes in with her words of wisdom- “Mom, I like that you’re getting older- it means your more experienced!”

My heart warmed just a little bit as I turned to look at her lovingly.  “Soph, that’s so sweet!”

“Well, I just said it to make you feel better.  You ARE old!”

Sigh.   

But then, just a few days later, she surprised me again…

I went to my favorite grocery store the other day- Trader Joe’s.  If you’ve never been- you are missing out.  I love everything about this place!  The employees treat me like a long, lost friend- always eager to chit-chat and offer suggestions of new things to try.  I was desperate, I mean DESPERATE for more Pumpkin Spice k-cups, but, alas, they were all out.

At check out, the cashier asked me if I found everything I was looking for.  I told him how I wanted more Pumpkin Spice coffee.  We both commiserated over the ending of the “pumpkin season”,  and he shed an imaginary tear with me.

Then my  daughter piped up-

“But Mom, it wouldn’t be as special if you had it all the time!” 

So true.

Which reminds me to treasure those special days with these girls… because just like pumpkin spice- they are only young for a “season”!

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” – L.M. Montgomery 

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the fog lifted…

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perspective changes 

when the fog lifts- we see what 

was there all along

Speaking of fog…over the summer I got to “view” this gorgeous place-  Swannanoa Palace … and it just so happened to be under a heavy blanket of fog that day- adding to the mysterious but still lovely atmosphere.  I had the joy of going back to Swannanoa with my sister and a dear friend recently, to catch a glimpse of the clear mountain views and to take a few more pictures.

I am so thankful for the visit with my sister and our childhood friend!  It doesn’t matter how much time has passed between seeing each other- it’s like no time has passed at all when we are together…and it’s just like we’re kids again!

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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panoramic views from the Palace tower

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crystal clear view from the palace tower

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panoramic views from the tower

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the overgrown, but still beautiful pergola

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the pergola on a perfect fall day

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I found this little ivy covered bridge in the garden

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can you imagine waking up to a view like this every day?!

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a view to remember…the Blue Ridge Mountains

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The stunning foliage around the water tower

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Have you ever seen a hydrangea bush this big?!

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The best view of all… my girls and their cousins!

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The water tower (or Rapunzel’s tower… as I like to call it)

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the view of the gardens from the stairwell

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The best view of all… my sister, my dear friend, and our wee ones 🙂

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Swannanoa Palace

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The stained glass TIffany window

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The magnificent stairwell

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The only way to have a friend is to be one

– Ralph Waldo Emerson  

canopies of gold… a walk through autumn’s peak

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canopies of gold

dancing in the autumn air

singing their swan song

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branches leaning in

hoping to hear the last laughs

of summer’s folly

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The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.  Isaiah 40:8

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Let the whole earth be filled with His glory- Psalm 72:19

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to every thing there is a season,

and a time to every purpose under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1

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I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. John 15:1

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Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

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To Him who made the great lights, For His lovingkindness is everlasting:  

Psalm 136:7-9

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He has made everything beautiful in it’s time- Ecclesiastes 3:11

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Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.  

Psalm 119:105

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The Lord upholds all that fall,

and raises up all those that are bowed down- 145:14

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Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
    Let the trees of the forest sing for joy  

Psalm 96:12

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He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.  

Psalm 1:3

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Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place.  

1 Chronicles 16:27
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be a trend-setter

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It’s ok to be a trend-setter 

a goldenrod go-getter 

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Show your true colors

let your dead leaves fall 

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It’s ok to be a trail-blazer

a “shoot for the stars”-gazer

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come on, light up the world 

and give Him your all

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As I went on a walk on this loverly fall evening, I noticed the leaves are FINALLY starting to change. One tree at a time is bursting forth in heavenly color- paving the way for the rest of them …which made me think about my daughters.

Each girl has their own unique style. My youngest is “sporty” and loves to wear mix-matched socks- the crazier the better.  My oldest daughter is a “girly-girl” and likes to accessorize every outfit- fancy or casual- with a scarf. I am trying to encourage them to be themselves- to not get so caught up in what their friends are wearing and doing…for them to know that it’s ok to be different.

One day we were walking through the mall and my girls were talking to me about recent fashion trends.

“I just heard someone say that “fringe” is in. I think fringe is disgusting!” one daughter says to the other.

“Umm… especially armpit fringe.  That’s just the worst!” says my youngest, as she pointed at a shirt in the store’s window display as we were leaving- all decked out in fringe.  The fringe started right at the armpit and went all the way down the sides of the shirt.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of armpit fringe.  It seems these girls already recognize that following a “trend” isn’t always the thing to do.

Be yourself.  And who knows- you just might start your own trend!

He has made every thing beautiful in his time- Ecclesiastes 3:11