Written by Denise Kennedy
“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;” (Psalm 16)
…Indeed this is a beautiful thought, a precious declaration of gratefulness and peace at one’s surroundings and lot in life. To be honest it is not always the way reality seems to be for us at all, and life can sometimes be the complete opposite. Trust me, I know! Maybe when you think of the ‘lines’ of your life you imagine the perimeter of your homestead or dwelling place, and you wish it were larger, or smaller, or cleaner, or quieter, or richer, or safer? Some of you may think about the place where your lines fall and wish it were in a different location, or a far more appealing place? There may even be people dwelling within your boundary lines that are absolutely driving you crazy, or letting you down daily? Per chance even some of you are thinking of someone right now who you wish was able to dwell within your boundary lines but instead they are either far away geographically or even distant emotionally? Whatever your situation, wherever you find your lines to be or not to be, there is still a place for you where beauty can touch your heart and somehow kiss your life with peace; hang in there with me!
First, let’s look at the word “pleasant” ~ Pleasing, agreeable, or enjoyable; giving pleasure: receiving pleasant news. (dictionary.com)
Some synonyms of ‘pleasant’ are ~ Blessed, agreeable, darling, delicious, delightful, delightsome, dreamy, dulcet, enjoyable, good, grateful, gratifying, jolly, fair, comfortable, nice, sweet, pretty, satisfying, welcome, tasty, palatable, overflowing, or abundant. A person is ascribed the compliment of being ‘pleasant’ when seen to have qualities that tend to give pleasure, or when they act agreeably. You may also be characterised as being ‘pleasant’ if you have pleasing manners, behaviour, and a pleasant appearance, being easy on the eye!
David, the writer of Psalm 16, where the first line of my story is taken from, lived much of his life as a fugitive. At times he was on the run like a wild animal trying to save himself from an enemy who was viciously trying to kill him. He often found himself in some very difficult places during those years. Sometimes life was so hard that he quite literally sank into a horrible pit, unable to be rescued or even try to rescue himself. Many of us have been there or are living there now. Other times he lived enclosed in complete darkness in lonely caves. But believe it or not, it was out of these experiences that David wrote some of the most meaningful words of his writing career; with God as his motivator, editor and publisher!
So…as we read this line where David declares ~
“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
I will bless the Lord who has counselled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night…” (You would be forgiven for thinking that suddenly life must have taken a magnificent turn for our friend David, but guess what, it hadn’t!)
From all I have gleaned about his life at this point David is still not yet in a place of safety and life is not nearly as comfortable as his heart would have desired. He is walking through difficult days with no real sign of easier nights ahead. Yet in the midst of what seems to be hardship, back ache and disappointment, David is able to declare that the boundary lines of his life are secure and safe, sweet and pleasant…how can he do this you ask? Stay with me…
Right now where are your boundary lines? Do you know what it represents in the days of old? When Joshua was led by God to take the children of Israel into their promised land, God told him to divide up the newly entered land according to the tribes and give each one a section to call their home. So it was that
each individual family was given a special place. The lines were drawn and the boundaries were made. Boundary stones were used as markers to show where the lines had fallen for each family, and every person knew the exact piece of land God had given them. So they lived in security and safety, provided for by God.
So how can David declare this, when we can see his life is a mess by comparison? Could it be true that David wrote these words against the backdrop of the knowledge of those great promises that had been given to him by God? Many have studied this passage and believe it to be so. He said it by faith. David knew the God he trusted, he reminded himself of all the promises that had been spoken to him over the years, and one day he would see all that God had whispered to his heart in the darkness of night. Although David lived on the run and in fear for his life, in his heart he had moved his residence to a land called “Pleasant Places”. He moved in and unpacked his troubles and cares there, in the place of protection. He came to find out that his new abode “Pleasant Places” was the place of provision. All that had changed about his circumstances happened in his heart, in his mind and in his relationship with God. He began to believe in what God said and he declared it over his life. Soon even his difficult circumstances could no longer rob him of the peace that he found in “Pleasant Places”.
I too am learning this…I have many desires and dreams waiting for the touch of God upon them, but one thing I have found is that there is a land in my heart that is mine, where God and I talk. And although I do not understand His timing or his workings in my life, I do know that I must trust Him in this place. By making a decision to declare that the boundaries of my life have fallen in “Pleasant Places”, I will lie down in peace, I will rise up in protection, and I will come and go in His provision and providence. There is a land I can live in where faith rules over my fears, where joy overcomes my sorrows, where tears are wiped away with the gentle touch of His hand. My dear friend, whatever season we may be walking through, it is an opportunity for us to learn something about God and to have an experience with Him that can literally bring a song out of our tired hearts. Even in the waiting time we can cultivate the hope that as we surrender and trust Him, we will come to realise that the “Pleasant Places” He has promised us resides within us!
I have decided that wherever I find myself, wherever I lay my head, (or my hat), whether rich or poor, whether happy or sad, I will declare it a “Pleasant Place” because He is with me and He makes it PLEASANT!
Speak these words softly to your heart . . .every day if you need to . . .
“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.” (Psalm 16)
Look, there’s a sign above your head, written on it are the words….”Pleasant Places!”
. . . come on, it’s time to unpack!
Xx Nisey K
By Denise Kennedy
Well, Ireland’s chances in Euro 2012 are over, yet still a few green, white and gold flagpoles, car mirror covers and window flags are proudly displayed around the city and suburbs. During the games everyone rushed to hang their teams colours from every window sill, car window and roof top. I even saw houses fully cloaked in Irish flags or other Euro colours of their choice. I loved it. And even now when a team flag catches my eye I smile. Why? Well because it screams support. It shows commitment and dedication to a cause, all be it over! It shows the desire to stand by your team when they need it the most. And the whole world took note of the fact that although Ireland were losing and failing to qualify further, still those Irish fans in Poland sang even louder in prideful support of their lads in green on the field. So much so that the lyrics of ‘The Fields of Athenry” were posted on the front page of a Polish newspaper. When the colours we support are floundering in failure and disappointment surely that is the time they need our voices, flags, and belief in them so much more.
They say that a true and loyal fan is proven most, when they stick by their team even when failure looms and all chances of winning are gone. That’s a true fan in my book! Why wait until a team is doing well in order to show our support? It seems very easy to me to support a winning team, but true bravery and commitment are revealed by the fan who sticks by his colours when they have lost the fight. When their motivation and determination drop shouldn’t we come alongside them and stand shoulder to shoulder even more? I say a heartfelt “YES!”
Supporting your team is a lot like a relationship, friendship or marriage. When it gets tough and the temptation to give up overwhelms them shouldn’t we hang those colours even higher? Wave those flags even harder? Shout those anthems even louder? Love them even deeper? Hold them even closer? For surely that’s when they need us even more. Who knows but one day it could be us needing them.
When the wind and rain beat against their face; when the cold icy fear of failure torments them and when all is lost and life is crazy, shouldn’t we be the unconditional love and side line coach that screams their name out loud and says I’m WITH YOU and I believe in you?
It reminds me of God’s heart towards us. As a Coach, He faithfully stands on the side lines of our lives screaming our names and reminding us of the truth that He is with us. Never will He leave us. He wore the colour red for us. His team won us over. That makes us winners too!
Whoever you are…do you need to hear someone calling out your name and wearing your colours? Or do you need to reach out to someone you know and call their name? Maybe they need to hear you say you’re with them and believe in them? Goodness knows it could even be your own dear heart that needs your own acceptance and support. It is more blessed to give than to receive but as you give to others it will return to you a hundred fold.
So grab that flag and hang it up through all the seasons of winning or losing. Your support makes the difference. Your love brings comfort to someone who has forgotten what it is like to have a supporter. That person who is failing and afraid needs to know you will never give up on them.
Is that person who feels like a failure today, the one who looks back at you when you look in the mirror? Then please be reminded that you have the Almighty Coach, and He thinks you are amazing. No matter how tired, worn out or confused you feel today, He is shouting your name at the top of His voice. He is cheering you on from the side lines. He knows your name and exactly where you are. Listen, and you will hear His voice telling you to get back up and wave that flag! He sees your true colours, He sees you as a winner!
” These colours don’t run!” and my heart echoed in agreement! The courageous don’t run either…be a Faithful Flag-Bearer! Someone on your team needs you!
☀ Denise ☀
★*°•. ROCKY ROAD .•°*★
Okay, I admit it, as I write this short story I am unashamedly nibbling away on a “Rocky Road Biscuit Brownie”, purchased today at a gorgeous health food/home food bakery store. I am guilty as charged for falling for the overwhelming temptation of a dark chocolate, marshmallow & biscuit temptation. As I was out on my morning run, I succumbed to its alluring ways…and moments later it sat in my running bag as my après-running treat! And hours later, that’s just what it is. However, let me add, it is accompanied by a strong and hot cup of organic Chinese green tea; so all is good! As I munched this delicious treat, I mused to myself at its interesting name.
I decided that really the only “Rocky Roads” we want in life, are of the chocolate variety (for me the dark chocolate) but if only life was as simple as a chocolate “Rocky Road”. For many of us it is paved with seasons of “rockiness”, when we would much rather a smooth surface!
“Rocky Road” started as a flavour of ice cream; described as that hard-to-resist combination of chocolate ice cream laced with chunks of nuts and marshmallows. William Dreyer came up with this cleverly named ice cream flavour way back in 1929, and it was, and still is, a best seller. Its popularity is probably why the chocolate-nut-marshmallow combination is now found in so many desserts too.
So, when you saw that the title of my story was “Rocky Road”, what did you think of? Was your first thought of a chocolate/marshmallow tray-bake combination or were you far more concerned with the “Rocky Road” that your life may be right now? Do you dream of days where there are less obstacles and far more blessings? If you do, then you are not alone. I promise!
May I interject with some raw honesty? As I sat writing this blog today, right at this moment my thoughts have been completely thrown asunder by the news of the death of a dear friend. We knew he was ill but never thought that he would leave us. So strikingly ironic that I should be writing about the “Rocky Roads” of life and then receive this news. Somehow it impacts the next part of my story even deeper. When life is rocky, we have a Master Helper who comes alongside us to carry our load. When our hearts ache for those we love, He gently wraps His great arms of compassion around us and helps us trust Him through the tears. When life falls apart at the seams, He somehow weaves the tapestry of His design and allows us to see just enough so as to have hope, even one day at a time.
And today as we grieve the loss of an amazing brother and friend Joseph Fitzgerald, we can know that though this road is rocky, and hard to understand there is a faithful God who sees our hearts and cares about our loss. Jesus wept remember!
So I guess all I can say is whatever season you are in, whether life is rocky or smooth, make sure you have the Master Weaver as your friend, for then no matter what the road may hold for you, there will always be a road map to look to and trust in. All I know at times is that “GOD KNOWS”, these are often the final words whispered from my tired lips as I close my eyes to sleep each night. And He does know!
Within a week of each other, two of my friends have gone home to Heaven far sooner than any of us would have thought possible. Both of them incredibly talented musically and vocally, in abundance! And as another dear friend (John Edwards) said today, “Now promoted to the choirs of Heaven…” That is a beautiful thought John!
But it’s hard today to grasp that we are saying goodbye to another gifted friend. Our loss is Heaven’s gain it is true, but what a wake-up call to make our lives count!
Forgive, love, live, laugh and make a difference; for none of us know what tomorrow holds! If you love someone let them know. Carpe Diem…SEIZE THE DAY!
Make things right with God and each other! Remember in Luke 24 v 32, ‘They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’ ~ There is a Friend walking this “Rocky Road” with you, and that Friend is Jesus. Listen, He is speaking softly to your heart, as you walk along this road.
You may actually make someone’s “Rocky Road” a little bit more bearable simply by the love you share and the encouragement you give!
Oh I am also leaving you with the “Rocky Road” recipe. Make a tray-bake and share it with someone who needs some kindness on the rocky road of life…..
With heartfelt loss, lots of love, and marshmallow chocolate…
Written by Denise Kennedy
♡♫♡ I heard these words today. They came like a thundering whisper to a heart that’s swirling in decisions and questions. I heard these words today as I contemplated big changes and new ideas. They came like a balm of healing ointment touching a tired mind. I heard these words today in a moment of waiting, in a place of transformation, when all my ways seemed unsure. They came suddenly and softy with power, courage and strength. I wasn’t looking for them; I simply needed a rescuer to steal me away from my anxious thoughts. I wasn’t even expecting these words of subtle yet invigorating power; yet they came and spoke calm to my heart and like safe strong arms they wrapped themselves around me. They brought me comfort like that of a warm soft blanket on a chilly evening. They came leaping towards me, with determination and love; chasing away my worrisome thoughts of tomorrow.
God spoke the words; “I’ve Got You!”
I can’t tell you what kind of voice God has or where His accent is from (although I can say it is heavenly!) I do know that His voice is like the sound of many waters, rushing together to lavish mercy and wisdom on the heart that thirsts for Him. His voice comes like a valiant hero to rescue the one who is calling Him.
His voice is safe yet full of authority and command. He knows who He is and what to say. His voice comes at the perfect time; never too early or too late! His voice comes rich in colour, overflowing in acceptance, not estranged to correction or conviction, yet garnished with love and compassion.
The words “I’ve Got You!” overcame the noise in my heart with calmness, instant relief, and silence. To suddenly be reminded by God that no matter what you’re walking through He will catch you, is a wondrous thing. I sat there surrounded by all of my scented candles, His Book and His presence. My heart lay before him like an unwritten journal, waiting for the pen of His hand to write truth and wisdom upon it.
I have often prayed the words, “Lord whatever it is that I cannot see, please show me.” So I rested my head back on my pillow, and upon the chest of God. I heard His heartbeat for His child; beating wild, constant, and resilient. The compassion of God is so faithful that we barely can comprehend its magnitude. He is armed with a strength so valiant it makes every noble prince in every fairytale fade in comparison. He came to me; in a moment of surrender and need, He came…and caught me. How He will work things out was not revealed, nor did He answer every question or why of my hopeful yet tired heart, but He said; “Child, I’ve got this. I’ve got you covered. I am here and I will never forsake you. I am more dependable than your next breath. RELAX!”
When did you last feel the safety of a word fitly spoken? When were you last caught up in a wonder so vast and grand that your heart couldn’t even contain or communicate it? You know. You remember it right now; that moment when His voice came like a faithful friend alongside you, and wrapped His warm arm around your shoulders and your heart, as a reminder that you are never alone. To know that God’s got you, sees you, holds you, walks with you, protects you, heals you, sings over you, lavishes His gifts on you, goes ahead of you, provides for you, carries you, watches over you and restores you, is too wonderful for my little mind to try to conceive. The list goes on….and on. The ways of God. The timing of God. The absolute awesomeness of God. His voice interrupted my worrying, and it has had to do so numerous times since, but it does. I love His interruptions. I love it when He captures my heart and steals me away from my anxious thoughts and sets me beside those still, quiet waters. I am trying to live there, in that place of trust and confidence in all that He is.
May 23rd is the day on which I was born. It has always marked more of a new year for me than the grandeur of January 1st. You may ask why? Well, on January 1st the whole world starts a new year, but a birthday signifies your own fresh start, your own unique chance to recollect your thoughts and desires, your own opportunity to prioritise plans and run your race. The night before my birthday is a night where I am still, calm, quiet and full of ponderings. It is a special night to me for many other reasons too. I think back over the past year and somehow try to imagine the new things that will unfold in this brand new year. I allow hope to hunt for my heart and fill me again before a new season begins.
So tonight is that night; the night before a new year starts for me. I can almost hear the page getting ready to turn, as one year ends and a new one stretches out before me. But tonight I will plan, be still, pray and know, that “He’s Got Me!” He’s got you too ~ I hope you know that! Maybe it’s time to settle yourself somewhere quiet and allow your heart and mind to sink into the truth that no matter what life throws at you, that He’s got you. He’s got us, right in the very palm of His hand. It sure is a good place to be!
This cute cat poster you see here, hangs above my kitchen cooking area, where I spend time creating my food ideas; now it hangs in my heart reminding me again that He indeed does hear! ♡♫♡
Happy New Year! =)
“Life is like a game of chess, changing with each move.”
Lately I have been reminded of the day I started to learn chess. It was Christmas and I set myself a new challenge. I found it difficult but interesting. Chess is a strategic board game which has been played for centuries. Playing the game can be a fun, challenging way to stimulate your brain and improve your problem-solving abilities. To me life feels like a game of chess. To be announced as the winner you must be able to outwit your opponent. It is not always as straight forward as we would like; sometimes the people playing the game of life with us have different ideas or priorities that are simply at odds with ours. To play well we need to know how all the pieces move, which, as I learned the game I found the hardest aspect to navigate my way through. One wrong unprocessed move and your piece is gone and the game could be over. So this means we have to plan ahead, every move counts towards the end result. You must see the path ahead, plan the moves before you need to make them, each step builds on the next. A bit like a five year life plan; which I tend to be terrible at. I am far too spontaneous and love to go with the flow. I love my flexibility but I am learning to plan too, and therefore I score more “checkmates”. Having an eye for opportunities, seeing details that others may miss will greatly add to your chess playing genius. It is also vital to have a back-up plan for when things go wrong or when you make a wrong move. Yes I am talking about chess, but do you see the correlation?
The object of the game is to capture the opponent’s king by putting the piece in “checkmate”. Through well thought out moves, each chess piece moves to set the board up for the last critical move of “checkmate”. Beginner chess players need to learn the specific movements allowed for each chess piece before playing. I learned this slowly, and given that I have not had much time to play it I find myself needing a refresher course. So why am I talking about chess? Well I am at that place again in life, calculating my next move, looking at my many options and praying to see the best strategy to get me where I want to be in five years time. Yes a five year plan. I am that person now.
While there are 32 chess pieces on the board, there are only 8 basic moves performed in a game of chess. If only life were as simple as a chess game. Most chess pieces move in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line across the board. One piece, the knight, has a unique move on the board. The rook and king are able to “castle”, while the pawn only moves forward unless capturing an opponent. Once you play a game or two, the way the chess pieces move become almost second nature. Or you could be like me, and need a lot more than a few games. It depends on the level of your opponent, the tougher your choices are than the greater your awareness and survival techniques develop; that’s a lot like life!
All chess sets have the same basic figures represented in order to play correctly. Chess comes with a set of rules. The most powerful of the chess pieces is the queen. Also represented on the chess board are these pieces: the bishop, knight, rook, and the pawn. Each of the various chess pieces have distinct moves allocated to that particular piece. These movements are critical to winning in the game of chess. As too are the choices we make in life, they may seem small, but these choices are also critical in determining where we move next and what are the given opportunities that such a move will bring about in our lives? Before you can start playing chess you will need to be introduced to what these pieces mean. Let me run through them very fast, trust me this will all make sense soon…
The PAWN ~ (♙♟) is the most numerous and (in most circumstances) weakest piece in the game, historically representing infantry. Each player begins the game with eight pawns. The KNIGHT ~ (♘ ♞) representing armoured cavalry. It is normally represented by a horse’s head and neck. Each player starts with two knights; these begin on the row closest to the player, one square from the corner. The ROOK ~ (♖ ♜) formerly the piece was called the castle, tower, marquess, or rector. The informal term “castle” is now deprecated. Each player starts the game with two rooks, one in each of the corner squares on his own side of the board. The BISHOP ~ (♗ ♝) each player begins the game with two bishops. One starts between the king’s knight and the king, the other between the queen’s knight and the queen. The QUEEN ~ (♕ ♛) is the most powerful piece in the game of chess, able to move any number of squares vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Each player starts the game with one queen, placed in the middle of the first rank next to the king. Because the queen is the most powerful piece, when a pawn is promoted it is almost always promoted to a queen. The KING ~ (♔ ♚) is the most important piece. The object of the game is to trap the opponent’s king so that its escape is not possible (checkmate). If a player’s king is threatened with capture, it is said to be in-check, and the player must remove the threat of capture on the next move. If this cannot be done, the king is said to be in checkmate. Although the king is the most important piece, it is usually the weakest piece in the game until a later phase, the endgame.
So in summary; what can we learn from this ‘endearing to some’, but ‘boring to others’ game called chess? It is so important to plan for the future, even if you fail, at least plan something. Don’t blindly move your pawns without thinking about the outcome. Before you decide to make a move, imagine the scenario and how it will influence your game plan. Your actions will have implications, results, consequences and feedback. Sure it may go terribly wrong but you may well “checkmate” if you stick to your plans and keep moving toward your desired goal. At times I have had to sacrifice a pawn or two in order to win the game or change direction. Sure there are casualties and your dreams may crash and burn, but the game goes on. I don’t say that heartlessly, but I say it with huge respect for pain and the lessons it has taught me. Sometimes goals of a lesser importance must be left behind, in order to embrace the possibility of new things; again something that is easier said than done. Timing is everything, learning to predict the season you are in and the right piece to move or sacrifice. But through all of these endeavours to get it right, the beautiful “checkmate” could be just moments or seconds away. You must fight for what is yours, and this is what (life) and chess is all about; protecting and persevering!
I am learning to play the chess rules again. It is indeed mirrored personally in my own life presently. I must not be passive, or I will be destroyed at the first hurdle. I must be proactive, resilient, brave, courageous and sharp. I must focus all I am on the next game of play; being silent in thought while at other times bold and advancing. I have to be tenacious yet humble. Any sign of overconfidence and I could lose my concentration and be tripped up by my own pride. Are you with me? Are we still talking about chess or are we now firmly challenging our own game plan for life? Well truth be known, life is far more serious to me than chess, but the similarities can be used to reveal our deepest convictions and strategies for life.
I know my chessboard, and all I have is firmly watched over by the greatest game plan giver there is. He helps me make my moves and decide where I should protect a piece or where I should sacrifice a dream in order to achieve something else. He can position me in places I never ever thought were possible, and many times He has. He wrote the rule book and has given it to those who ask. I asked Him many years ago to come and change my approach to life, to take over and change the course of my life. Not only has God done this in my life, but I know whatever befall, whatever sacrifices I must make, the end result (checkmate) that He plans for me will be blessed, and fruitful and eternal. The game is not easy at times, but it need not be so fearful anymore. But this is only because I have the Grand Master coaching my every move and guiding my every step. There will be times when I have to take risks and jump to new places that seem daunting, but I know He sees the outcome and when I do it His way no move is wasted.
“When it comes to chess… You have to have a fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances.”
In closing; play the best game plan you can, muster all your resources together, keep the end in sight and play fair. Love the journey as well as those who play the game with you. Make the best moves you can, based on what seems good and right at that moment. Listen to the Grand Master, He’s speaking; you will hear Him if you listen.
“Nobody ever won a game by resigning.”
…Are you ready? It’s your move! ♚ ~ ♕
Hi everyone ~ I just found out that the following short story I wrote has won a prize in the open category of this year’s Creative Writing & Cultural Studies SCC short story competition in Inchicore College. I have been invited to a formal prize giving ceremony in the Teacher’s Club, Parnell Square on Thursday 3rd May. How exciting! I just thought I would share my story now that it has been announced.=) Denise
THE VIEW FROM HERE
It was a beautiful sunny Irish day…and I witnessed a very touching scene. They say that it is the journey that matters more than the destination. They also remind us that we should squeeze all the value, meaning and adventure out of the ordinary, and mundane activities of life that we can. I am inclined most surely to agree, for having come across some of the most beautiful surprises on very ordinary days, I could have certainly missed them had I not been willing to recognise them. This was one of those seemingly ordinary days, where I was allowed one of those lovely treasures.
Let me explain; I had decided to take a trip to the country.
I craved some clean air in my nostrils and a fresh green field to walk in, where all I could hear were horses neighing nearby and the bleating of the farmer’s sheep as he herded them in for feeding time, and the beautiful sound of the wild deer as they called to each other in the evening light. I needed to get out of Dublin city for some rest and relaxation.
So I packed my bag and jumped on a bus destined for green fields, deer trodden rural lane ways and fresh babbling brooks. Yes the beautiful county of Kildare.
I had only been a few minutes on the bus, and soon I found myself finally unwinding and starting to relax. I was ready to enjoy a long bus trip through the countryside and away from the busy traffic of Dublin city. I leaned my head against the window frame, on the very back seat of a double-decker bus, enveloped in lovely warm sunshine and drifted away in relaxation and escape.
Just then a commotion startled me from my peacefulness; an elderly couple made their way on to the bus and approached where I was sitting. I didn’t really feel like being surrounded by others at that particular moment, I was craving isolation and silence, but they both sat carefully on the two seats directly across from me. There was something playful or mischievous about them.
Although I had my sunglasses on, they still somehow managed to make eye contact with me and we exchanged pleasantries and smiles. Pretty soon after they had made themselves comfortable, a nearby passenger stood up to leave his seat at the far end of the back row, to get off at the next stop. Suddenly the elderly lady opposite me, hopped up from her seat and sat nearer to me but now she was also sitting on the back row. There was plenty of room either side of her, which she seemed grateful for, as she gave a deep relaxing sigh and stretched a little.
She smiled over at her husband and then lifted her grey tight-clad short little legs up to rest on the material covered vacant seat opposite her.
She glanced again at her husband, who smiled warmly at her as he kindly said, “Your legs are too short honey.”…To which she replied, “Oh I know love, but I still like to do this, it helps my circulation.” He chuckled at her with fond amusement.
I then found my gaze again out the window, and thought of the many elderly folk I have heard ‘tut tut’ at the younger teenagers for doing exactly the same as this adorable elderly lady had…somehow the not so polite behaviour was more easily accepted as it was a sweet older lady who just seemed to want to relax her tired legs. Her years gave her a well deserved right it seemed. I am being honest when I say I may have frowned a little on the position of her shoes on the seat had she been much younger. Instead I lost myself in the thought of her looking to her husband for his accepting smile across the empty seats that divided them, but only in measure, for although I had only been in their presence a few short minutes, I could already tell that there was a bond between them that I doubt anything could weaken.
Shortly after her excited move to the back seat, which positioned her facing the opposite way to that of her husband, she giggled towards him and said ”Oh anyway I like facing this direction because then I can see what’s ahead, I like to see where I’m going. I would much rather look that way rather than where I have been.” and she smiled at him.
He then adjusted his gaze towards the rear window which stretched along the back of the seats his wife and I both sat on – Then glancing back towards his wife he said ”Oh you know my dear, I like to look at where I have already been…I like to look at the past.” At that point she chuckled at him and then she looked at me. Maybe she wondered if I knew what he meant or was I even listening. I hid a smile as I looked again out the window beside me, as trees and sheep covered fields rushed past me in the glorious sunshine. Little did they know that my thoughts remained firmly on what this dear pensioner had just said to his darling wife.
What an interesting response he gave her. This couple, who had interrupted my quietness just moments earlier, had now also gracefully interrupted my thoughts, with remarkable ideas of their own. They intrigued me slightly, with their interesting ‘doors’ of life. I was grateful already for their presence.
When I looked at them, I was reminded of the fact that some people do actually love each other forever. I wanted to know their story. I wondered what circumstances had led them to this very moment in time, that they should hold such interesting and different opinions on life. They both were comfortable in their unique viewpoint of the past and the present. He liked looking through the door that showed him the years gone by, and she wanted to stare ahead, through the door that revealed the future. The other interesting fact to me is; that they were quite at ease to discuss it even in the presence of a fellow traveler whom they did not know. That revealed to me how very secure they both were.
Just then I noticed that she seemed to be making gestures to him to come and sit beside her. The romantic girl in me imagined she wanted him to hold her hand and chat for the rest of their journey. He motioned a gentle no with his head, he was quite content where he was, it would seem. His declaration that he likes to look at where he has been was a surprise to me. I tried to understand what it said about these two pensioners, and their different focus points. She was happy to look ahead at what was to come, and welcome it with her feet comfortably perched on the bus seat in front of her. Maybe she feared nothing, or loved the thrill of the adventure ahead. Possibly she had grown up with a skip in her step and a hunger to jump spontaneously into what ever dream life gave her next. While on the other hand, or other seat it would appear, her partner for life preferred to look through the rear view window and what he left behind.
Part of me felt sad for him, just a little. I wanted to tell him not to fear the future, but quite honestly he looked so happy and peaceful, that I think his love for the past was sincerely built upon the wonderful memories he had left there. Quite possibly, his reason for not looking ahead was because he loved the element of surprise that unexpected things would bring into his life. Anyway, his wife had him covered. She was looking out for both of them. Some people firmly close the door to their past, feeling quite relieved to leave all it holds safely behind, making the future their primary focus; but not this quietly assured gentleman.
I decided, that she must be the one who plans ahead, while he possibly holds on tightly to the experiences of the years gone past. She may be the one who longs for new ground and new shoes, and new places to see, throwing all caution to the wind and not worrying about the time that is already spent.
At this point I could no longer delay my own reflection,
“Which one am I?”
Unknown to them, they had really turned a quiet bus journey into a thoughtful evaluation process of my own life. I decided that I resemble both of them…I cherish the memories that are behind me, that have made me the person I am today. I truly value the amazing people that I have been able to share my past and my present with. Suddenly tears started to fill my eyes. As I blinked them back to where they came from, I was grateful to be hidden behind my sunglasses.
I also thought about the strengths in my heart, that have motivated me to push forward into the future, to always be ready to plan new adventures and see new places. I tend to be spontaneous but also quite a cautious dreamer.
I had a mental image of one of my hands reaching lovingly back into the past and desperately wanting to take all the people I cherish and memories I have made, with me into my future…while at the same time my other hand grabs the next moment the future gives me, deciding to jump to the next page or pursue a new dream with all of my heart. I guess these days I am somewhere between the past, the present and the promised.
The delightful thought comes and wraps itself around me, to remind me that heaven knows the seasons I am in and that there is a God who travels with me through yesterday and into the days that await my footsteps. There are so many open doors yet to be walked through, some will be amazing and some will be difficult. But that is the beauty of the unexpected, it makes us who we are.
Could it be, that the reason this adorable couple, could take a bus journey together, yet comfortably sit a few seat cushions apart, was probably because they knew where they had been, and also where they were going. He had her back covered while she was looking ahead. He was delightfully safe knowing she was already thinking about tomorrow, and the future and what it would bring them. This may not seem like the usual male/female role, but like any relationship and marriage, we all bring our unique perspectives and strengths with us to compliment the other person. He sat there looking behind, cherishing every detail, while she sat there smiling, looking ahead.
And again, I found myself a million miles away, lost in my thoughts, gazing out the window, remembering all that had touched my heart until now, and all that the unknown future had yet to reveal.
Moments later, it was my stop and time for me to leave the back row of the bus. I was reluctant to go. I wanted to stay there and spend more time just in the presence of this remarkably interesting couple, but leave I must. I smiled again towards them as I moved past, and they graciously did the same. I felt like I knew them. Even now as I write this, I wonder where they are.
As I walked away from the edge of the road, and the bus drove out of sight, I wondered did they move seats? The romantic heart in me imagined them now sitting closely next to each other, holding hands and on the same side. Probably they now sat where I had been sitting, with their silver hair shining in the sunlight, and both of them looking in the same direction. Or maybe he stayed where he was, but she moved to sit where I had been. I imagined them gazing lovingly into each others’ eyes, yet comfortably facing the direction they felt the safest in. They allowed each other the freedom of vision and focus, yet they shared a strong bond of companionship and trust.
There are many doors in life, some lead us to amazing white knuckle adventures, where our adrenaline is flowing and life is exciting. For others, the doors are slower to open, and it seems a struggle to see the path ahead. There are some doors I wish I had never opened, while ahead I see unopened doors that invite me to take a chance. Maybe the best viewpoint is to open the doors that are the right ones for you, based on what you believe to be true at that moment in time. That decision is really up to you.
So back to my travel companions – Which direction do you think they sat facing? I guess it really doesn’t matter which seat they now sat on, for one thing is certain, their hearts were most assuredly united, and already on the same side.
By Denise Kennedy
It was a normal kind of day, for me. Although I read recently; “There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.” (A. Woollcott) ~ but as I made my way home on my usual power walk from college, the path seemed the same as it always was and I simply soaked in the beauty of spring emerging around me.
~ ❤ ~
As I meandered up the street, birds sang and daffodils waved to me in the light breeze. Then I heard it, laughter and giggling. I wondered who it was. I soon started to smile too, as it was an infectious kind of giggling and it beautifully broke my somewhat lonesome walk. I then turned onto a blossom covered avenue, and there they were; a nervous mother and an excited little lady all of about six years of age. The little princess was rushing to climb onto her shiny new bicycle. Picture the scene; cherry blossoms have lightly dusted the footpath and roadway, as if cheering her on, as a little blonde learner tries to steady herself on her vehicle. She is dressed all in pink from her glittering hair bobbins to the pink and gold runners on her feet. Even her bicycle was a bright hot pink, as it shone in the sunlight.
I walked slowly, I wanted to take it in. I surmised easily that this was a cycling lesson. One nervous mother, plus one giddy courageous six year old and factor in “no stabilisers”, equals a recipe for fun or that of disaster. I stood there, the unnoticed audience at the corner of the avenue. The mother did her very best to stay at the side of her wobbling enthusiastic child. The novice cyclist clearly had never cycled without the aid of her stabilisers firmly supporting her, and although she was excited there was a look of fear and caution in her face. Her mum was wearing a long black jacket which clearly was not a good choice, as she stopped every few seconds to grab it up under her arm so that she could get closer to her adventurous youngster while not getting caught in the spokes.
I looked into the mother’s face, she was scared, yet exhilarated with joy to see her daughter trying so hard to steady herself and not fall. This young at heart mother seemed quite like a child herself, as she rambled along beside her daughter watching her every attempt to stay upright and not collide with any of the parked cars. What a beautiful scene,blossoms, birds chirping and life happening right there in front of me! Perhaps this mother was filled with thoughts of when she first learned to cycle properly? As I stood there, my mind raced back to those days of conquering a two wheeler bike myself. I remember the thrill and the adrenaline of finally chasing the breeze on that country road. Cycling was always one of my favourite pastimes, freedom and adventure were mine then. I remember especially those many occasions when I needed to cycle downhill with my legs on the handlebars so the farmer’s dog could not bite me as I whizzed by. I was scared silly but what a challenge.
So back to today ~ Well the little girl won her battle with gravity and suddenly that fearful little face was full of joy and accomplishment. The nervous giggles I had first heard had now turned to full blown laughter as she took off down the street away from me, with her mother chasing her from behind with a laughter equal in every way to that of her little pink angel, and a determination to stay beside her to keep her safe.
Then came my lesson; right there, on the side of that cherry blossomed road, I realised that I had spent all of that morning grappling and fighting with thoughts about the future, what next? What was I supposed to do with my life? Asking God to come and guide me. That was when the giggling distracted me from my anxious thoughts. So I rested my back against the tree behind me, and let God speak. And He did. He reminded me that I am in some ways like this little girl learning to ride the bicycle of life, I am OK when I know where I am going and how to stay upright and in my lane; but as soon as it seems apparent to me that a change is coming or I must navigate a path I have not cycled before nor chosen, that I become nervous and would rather dismount or run away. Like a movie scene, He showed me so many occasions when I was afraid, how He came along beside me, and never left my side, nor would He ever. As warm tears filled my eyes, I spoke the words out loud “He will never ever leave me!”. Even when I think I can handle it on my own, He is still there, ready to take hold of me when I fall or when I fail. On that blossomed path, He brought it all back home to me, that He lavishes blessings over me in a million different ways every day, some I see and some I don’t. He is the great seer of all things and I can trust Him. I wiped the tears from my face and floated up the road as it were, grateful for this amazing detour.
Maybe you are learning a hard lesson, one you would have never chosen to cycle through in a million years? Maybe you are trying to help someone you love overcome a huge fear or obstacle in their life? But either way, take a few moments to remember the day you learned to cycle without stabilisers, or the day you overcame something you felt you would never surmount; and remember that the same amazing God who walked beside you then, whether you knew it or not, is right beside you now. We all have to learn to cycle without stabilisers, but in our daily lives there is a real Stabiliser who will never ever ask us to meet life’s challenges without Him.
So as I write this, I am continuing to cycle on the path He leads me, remembering that what is unknown to me, is very much known to Him! xx Nisey ~ ❤ ~
by Denise Kennedy
Do you know that there’s someone beautiful, amazing, talented, incredible, strong and precious who needs you today? They need your resilience, your love, your optimism, your faith, and your belief that they can do anything that they set their mind on. They need your encouragement and your approval of them as well as your support when they fail. They need your pat on the back when they doubt they can make it. They desperately need your courageous discipline when they settle for less than what they’re capable of. When life crashes in on them, it’s your unconditional love and sustenance that they yearn for. When some days seem more lonely than usual, and it appears that there’s nobody to lean on, they cry out needing your assurance. When a dream shatters like glass into a million pieces, it is you they need to inspire and encourage them to get back up and try it again.
When they’re not feeling their strongest and life is a bit like a boxing ring, it is you who helps them muster the strength to get up off the floor and throw their best left hook ever. It is you who speaks softly to them that they’re as amazing now as they ever were, that scars and all, they’re still the best thing since sliced bread or before it. When nobody notices they had a hard day but still managed to conquer their fears anyway, it is you who hands them the bravery award.
There is no other in their life able to motivate them to believe that God has not forgotten them, or that there will be greater days ahead and new promises to glean from the field of life. It is your wisdom that directs them towards the faith they hold so dear, knowing that it steadies them on the tightrope of life. In the day to day routine of this individual, you are the one who calls the shots in the choices they make.
Who is the person who needs you?? Have you any idea yet?
Well it is you. You need to be your own cheerleader. They say “Self praise is no praise!’ do you agree? Hmmm well I guess it depends on the context, like a lot of things people say. So if I were to ask you about the cheerleader inside you, what picture do you immediately think of? Are you a strong supporter of your own achievements? Or do you sit around waiting for the applause of others to determine whether or not you did a good job? Sure we need the heart of God to show us unconditional love, and we need our family and friends to help us through thick and thin, but you need to cheer yourself when there seems to be no one on the field wearing your colours! There is a God in heaven who thinks you’re the bee’s knees or the wasp’s ankles, but if you don’t rise up to accept the role of a cheerleader in your own life than you will never really believe you can do anything of substance. You will end up believing there is nothing resembling a legend within you.
So come on. Get your pompoms out. Start to cheer yourself on. Position yourself in your own corner; I guarantee this will make you a faithful and amazing cheerleader in the lives of those around you. Let it start now, believe what God says about you and it will certainly influence your behaviour. Tell yourself you are amazing, for that is what is true about you! Right now it’s your “cheerleading heart” that needs to know that whatever comes your way, you believe you can face it head on! And the voice of God cheers you on every step of the way. If you cannot hear the cheers from your own dear heart sweet one, then you may never allow the cheers of those around you, or those of God to really influence your picture of who you are.
So, get those coloured pompoms out, begin to sound those cheers! Change the conversations you have with yourself, don’t be your own worst enemy! Loving yourself is not a crime, once it is balanced with a good dose of humility and regard for others. Let the sound of your own voice lift your heart up with gladness and hope, it is a beautiful thing! You will know strength even in the most heartbreaking circumstances. God will sweep in, as He runs to lift you up. Your faith will begin to grow and soon you will barely recognise yourself. Don’t be so quick to put yourself down for consequently you will sabotage your efforts and your very relationships.
If you abandon yourself, then what a sad heart you will develop. Start to tell yourself you are so proud of all you have achieved today. Yes it may feel awkward at first, but when the battles come which they will, you can be sure that you’re standing in your own corner, cheering loudly what God and all those around you, already know is the best thing about you ~ You just need to believe it yourself! Come on, you know you want to. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!
Be of good cheer, those who cheer themselves on can’t help but cheer others on too! =)
“Encourage your heart and strengthen yourself in every good deed and word.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:16)
Did you ever have one of those days, weeks or months? I am not really sure how to describe the feeling…but it is when you long to depend upon something that will not move, even if you lay all of your weight against it, it will not budge even slightly.
There are great moments in our lives when we feel like we can conquer Everest, and then there are those other days when we need a rock to lean on, or strong arms to hold us, or a calming voice to remind us that everything will be OK, even if the comforter cannot tell you how things will turn out, it is enough to just hear those words that everything will be alright! Well today I found myself whispering softly, “Thank you God that Your mercies are new for tomorrow, because today I think I used every last one of them up!” … and I heard myself asking my own heart, “What are mercies anyway?” And here is where I am. So if you want some mighty encouragement then tag along and find out! =)
Some of the definitions of MERCIES are: ~ Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one’s power; clemency ~ A disposition to be kind and forgiving: a heart full of mercy ~ Something for which to be thankful; a BLESSING undeserved ~ Alleviation of distress; relief: well needed peace ~ A relieving or welcome occurrence or state of affairs.
Unceasing care! – Great goodness! – Tender mercies! – Loving kindnesses! – Mighty support! – Unending love! –
~~ ♥ Another dictionary states;
If someone in authority shows mercy, they choose not to harm someone they have power over, or they forgive someone they have the right to punish. Mercy is used to describe a special journey to help someone in great need, such as people who are sick or made homeless by war or other catastrophes.
If you tell someone who is in an unpleasant situation that they should be grateful or thankful for small mercies, you mean that although their situation is bad, it could be even worse, and so they should be happy. Choose very carefully the timing of such advice, sometimes when a heart is broken it needs a tender heart response far more than a dismissive head response.
Take a moment to let the following words wash over you, sit under them as if you were relaxing beneath the refreshing invigorating pure waters of a waterfall in the midst of a remote forest….You have no where to be, you are in no hurry, you just have time to be still and bathe your whole being from head to toe in waves of mercy…for as long as you want ~ these waters will never run out! ~~ ♥
~~ “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I will hope in Him.” ~~~ Lamentations 3:22-24 ~~ ♥
To be comforted by God…is the sweetest comfort of all. To be cherished by God and also those we love, is the cherry on the pie, the cream on the cake. It is a gift to savour and relish. To be comforted and shown mercy when you are weary is a precious thing. Sometimes I know that my own expectations get in the way of anyone getting near me, or having the intimate opportunity of really knowing what is going on in my heart…If there is a season where I think things should happen this way or that, and they have been delayed, then I am in a place where I need new mercies to wash over me and revive hope in me again. If you are honest we all need that I suspect.
There is a thirst in us for something deeper ~ a soul quenching experience that only God can supply. Many of you have probably drank deeply of various pools and cisterns, and tankards of various liquids, all to no avail! We can run away and chase many things to fill this void, but our pursuits only leave us further away from the place we really want to be.
I say all that to say this….find the waterfall of mercy. It waits for you. Soak your tired weary self in the
rivers of acceptance and forgiveness, where all shame and loss are restored ~~ ♥ There is a shoulder waiting there with a place for your head; And a hand waits to hold yours; There is a place there for you to be yourself, fully loved, completely accepted and cared for! There are new mercies for you! You don’t have to live on yesterday’s strength. So right now where ever you are, let your anxious shoulders drop, relax more than you usually do and ask God for the mercies He has in abundance for you today. And guess what, tomorrow He will have a new waterfall for you to come and sit under for as long as you want and need. There will always be room for you, a place made just for you.
Shhhh, can you hear it? A waterfall, I’m breaking into a run,and I’m jumping right in!
*SPLASH!!* ~~ ♥
Goodbye! ~ ♡ ♡
written by Denise
~ ♡ ♡
Well. I didn’t intend to write a blog post today, but sometimes life just presents you with something that you didn’t expect. I should be studying right now, but I can’t. I have tried for several hours to relax and calm myself down but I am wound up tighter than an old grandfather clock! My heart is racing faster than a racehorse after the stalls open. My chest feels like it will explode, and my hands are shaking wildly. Are you curious?
Well I never saw it coming. We got on so well, for years and years you were one of my favourites. But it is all over now. Yes, and for those who know me, you will be surprised.
Ten days ago I slowly withdrew from you, and replaced you with healthier choices. I even began to sleep better. I had changed my eating patterns, although I was never an unhealthy eater, I still needed to up my food game somewhat and I did. Ten days of visible rewards and energy I had not felt in years. I even enjoyed the most perfect night’s sleep on more than one occasion and it has been so refreshing. But today it is all over. I can barely believe it myself. It hurts to even say it. But right here, right now, with the symptoms I am feeling, it is not a hard choice to make.
~ ♡ ♡
You see, coffee and I go way back. It has only been once or twice a day that we met, but what great and special moments they were. A rich Italian roasted latte with a dollop of vanilla flavouring, and viola, perfection in a china cup, or any cup for that matter! And when I have had the opportunity to get to QT in America, well then it was my pleasure to enjoy a nice vanilla cupcake concoction, with lots of other pleasant flavours like hazelnut or caramel thrown in too. The added joy was having it made perfectly for me. Ahhh it brings me back to wonderful memories just describing those luxurious sweet mixes. Ahhh but that is all in the past, starting from today.
You see, I was journeying home after a morning of college classes. I had sipped the very last of my jasmine green tea, which I take every day with me in my travel mug. It keeps it nice and warm for hours. So as I headed up the street towards home, minding my own business and not even thinking about coffee, it suddenly crept into my mind to treat myself. The thought was quickly chased away at the sight of an oncoming jogger wearing a bright blue t-shirt with the words “I AM AWESOME” written brilliantly and boldly across his chest. I giggled to myself, not at him or anything, but I thought it was cool to see someone confident enough to declare it. And he is right, for we all have our own awesomeness and should all own such a t-shirt. To me God is awesome, the Great I Am! So when I saw the jogger approaching I instantly thought “Yes, I AM is AWESOME!” I went on about my journey home, and turned my usual corner to the street that led to my abode. And there it was. A new café, screaming to me at the top of its lungs to come in! It wanted me to treat myself, and well, I just couldn’t disappoint it! Within seconds my empty green tea flask was hidden away in my college bag as if it never existed, and I was in line to order, and order I sure did. One nice vanilla creamy latte to go, coming right up, and heavy on the vanilla kind sir! And he did! YUM, I could smell it as he filled up the last of the frothy cream, and topped it off with a lovely heart shape to secure the deal! I was won hook, line and sinker!
~ ♡ ♡
I paid and left. Strolling along, admiring the out of season early cherry blossoms along the way. Savouring delicious mouthfuls of my hot and lovely coffee, yes it was altogether delicious! The sun peeped out and the birds sang, and my taste buds sang right along with them.
I was home sooner than expected. Although I love my daily walks, somehow the coffee I was consuming gave me an added pep to my step, that is until an hour later, and indeed at this very moment. I am not a well bunny, and am hoping that sleep has not been chased out of my system for the approaching night ahead. My head feels like it is on a roller coaster of the highest magnitude. My hands are shaking beyond measure, so for the typos I have missed in these ramblings, please understand. So it is with sad but strong resolution that my love affair with coffee has ended. All I can say is that you were good to me, or so I thought. I could say it’s not you, it’s me, but well I can’t say that because it is you. My homemade editions of you have been my safer bet, but alas I feel that even they will be a thing of the past!
~ ♡ ♡
So, I am sorry to say this to you coffee lovers out there, but it was not until I had allowed my system ten days of life without my dear caffeine companion, that I have come to realize the absolute crazy side effects it is lavishing upon me in the cruelest way. So goodbye coffee, adios amigo!
As a side note, while I was in the cafe waiting for my latte, an enthusiastic friendly American gentleman ordered something I had not heard of before, it was called “The All Day Cure” and I find myself wondering if maybe I should have made the same choice. One wonders. If you know what that is then let me know. I may need it before the night is through if this shaking
does not subside! After my get together with coffee today, I am not feeling so AWESOME at all!
~ ♡ ♡
THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS¸.•*”✤✤By Denise Kennedy
There is a language, ‘little known,’
Lovers claim it as their own.
Its symbols smile upon the land,
Wrought by nature’s wondrous hand;
And in their silent beauty speak
Of life and joy, to those who seek
For love divine and sunny hours
In the language of the flowers.—
From a handmade booklet given
as a gift from husband to wife, 1913
One upon a time…in a land not so far away, well OK I won’t start it like a typical fairytale because this one is actually a real story. Anyway, as I was saying, I Denise, made a very exciting trip, to visit some very special people in Atlanta, in the good ole USA! Well truth be told, I visited this loving and gorgeous home more than once, but it was on my first visit there, that I discovered, among many other beautiful things, this wonderful book I want to introduce you to today. It being Valentine’s Day, it seems the perfect day to do so.
It was not long after I had arrived to stay in this beautiful Southern household in the suburbs of Atlanta, that this book caught my eye. It was a stunning summer day and I was thoroughly enjoying the South, from amazing home cooked recipes to incredible wildlife, wonderful laughter and peaceful walks. My camera seemed to be never out of my giddy hands. The lady of the house, loves books as much as I, and indeed I had the opportunity of reading lots of her books during the weeks that I spent in their beautiful home. Miss Charlotte has the warmest nature, and it was wonderful whenever she handed me a new book to try, she knew full well that it would capture my heart as it had hers, and her choices were always perfect. She and her darling husband share a taste for the deep things of the heart, and indeed, when I think about the love they have for each other and the heritage they share as a family, it is so fitting that the book I discovered should find a home with them.
So this particular day, a small book, with lots of flowers on the cover, grabbed my attention instantly. It was sitting on a little cabinet shelf, alongside some Southern Living magazines, if my memory serves me right. It was quaint and detailed in the most simple yet decorated handwriting that I had ever seen in a published piece of literature. I picked it up, almost afraid to damage it, seeing straight away that this was not like any other book I had seen. It looked like one of a kind, a once off created manuscript, printed for one reader, for one love, for the eyes of one beholder. I felt privileged to even hold it. I flicked though the front pages, and soon discovered that I was not far from the truth in my observations. It was indeed a very special little book. Before my eyes, were lots of hand drawings of flowers, names inserted in a calligraphy pen, and then lists and lists of flowers, and the reason one may give them to another. It grabbed my heart. How happy I was that it had been so nicely arranged where it was, so that some guest or family member may be warmed by its presence. Looking back now, it couldn’t have found a more loving or deserving home, than the one in which I discovered it.
We were just about to leave the house to go sightseeing around Atlanta, so I set the book back where I had found it, with a promise to myself that I would have another look at it later. So, every day, at different times, I would take that little book carefully in my hands and read a little more. So many flowers were mentioned, some I had never heard of before, and opposite each name, was a beautiful description of the language or meaning behind the gift of that flower. I loved it! It was adorable, romantic, intimate, and so delicate. It made me smile to think that someone had gone to great lengths to create such a loving piece, to convey to another the romance and language of the flower of love in their own heart.
So about the book ~ Many reviews say it was created by Margaret Pickston, in 1968, but research has shown me otherwise. This is a review written by Margaret herself, about this book; “The Meaning Of Flowers, is a beautiful little book, full of romance and love. ~ It was a present from my Father to Mother on their golden wedding anniversary. Instead of buying her a brooch or bracelet, he hit upon the happy plan of writing and illustrating a little book for her, which has now been resurrected from some forgotten drawer and published in this newer edition.”
Another beautiful review follows; “The original author gave an unusual dictionary of the traditional meanings (as well as some dreamed up by himself) of over 700 flowers is reminiscent of a gentler era when people found time to express their affection in an individual way. A family heirloom for decades, it has been reproduced in England with the family’s permission. Charmingly hand-scripted with delicate water coloured flowers and plants bordering each page, the author’s comprehensive list ranges from abatina (fickleness) to zinnia (thoughts of absent friends), and embraces such unlikely plants as the potato (benevolence), rhubarb (advice) and a branch of currants (you please all). His list of roses is most impressive – forty different kinds and colours, each with its own meaning. Who Father is must remain a secret. All we know is that Mother and he celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on August 8, 1913 and that his initials were F.W.L.” (taken from http://www.etsy.com)It has been quoted by one writer as the essential guide for those of us who prefer the flowers to do the talking, but you don’t want to choose the wrong bouquet and send the wrong message. For example, you could give your lady almond blossoms – meaning ‘hope’ – but don’t ever give her almonds with them (even if they are chocolate coated), as they symbolise ‘stupidity’! =)
…So, it was indeed Margaret’s Father who was the creator of this little book, it was born out of love for his darling wife. (I was right when I said it felt like one of a kind) Then later his daughter, Margaret recreated it and had it published in her name. I have been unable to find the original lists of the flowers represented in this beautiful book, and also the list is exhaustive so I cannot quote them all here for you. It seems quite a rare book to even get your hands on. So here is a short list of the meaning of some gift flowers many choose! ~ I hope you enjoy! =) The opening quote at the beginning of my story, is what was inscribed by Father to his wife, it is contained in this image here to the right —–>
Before I leave you to read through the list, let me just say a heartfelt thank you to a beautiful Southern family, who allowed me the pleasure of sharing their company and loving kindness. A flower is a symbol of many things, and some people have the gift of letting it bloom in every season. Thanks, you know who you are! x Nisey¸.•*”✤✤
❀¸.•* TOO MUCH SPRING ❀
Written by Denise Kennedy
What’s your favourite season? When do you find it easier to bounce out of bed and be you? Is that an easy question for you to answer or are you like me, loving certain characteristics of each season? It is true that every season is bird-chirping weather, but most of us chirp easier in certain seasons.
Here in Ireland, it is winter now. Although, one would scarcely know at times because some days have been so beautiful and mild. It would appear we have not really had our typical blustery, snowy, cold winter at all. I am not sure we will have it this year. True, some days have been icy cold of late, but nothing like the terribly Icelandic winter we had last year. So when I say winter, certain words, or adjectives come to our creative minds: stormy, cold, white, blustery, slippery, wet, windy, beautiful, freezing, cloudy, subzero, frosty. And some more descriptive phrases come alive too; open real log fires, cosy romantic nights, arctic conditions, dangerous black ice, foggy visibility, sparkly crisp mornings, Christmas memories, hot dinners, woolen gloves, heavy coats, and a warm hand to hold. The list goes on. Some of these are my favourite things in life.
For the calendar’s sake, I should jump to spring now, but allow me to come back to it last, humour me at least for now if you will. There’s a reason for my delay! Maybe you are the summer type? You have a bright personality and all you see is blue skies during any season, even if it rains now and then. So many people hate the darker months of winter, especially sufferers of S.A.D (Seasonal affective disorder, it is a type of depression that affects a person during the same season each year. For some it causes them to become very down in the winter but they feel much better in spring and summer.) Some people live for summer. So much so that they spend their lives literally following the sun wherever it is shining, spending 6 months of the year in sunny climates or beach homes. I wish I could afford such a luxury, but truth be known I would miss the cosiness of colder weather too. So then summer comes, with its sunny blue skies, pleasant beach walks, soothing chilled ice cream cones, hot sand underfoot, fine midnight walks, awesome surfing trips, the scent of coconut suntan oil and poolside barbeques, bikini holidays and cloudless warm starry nights. For some people, summer is harsh with its belting heat and soaring temperatures, and they actually move to cooler climates until it passes. Not me, I love the sun, but in moderation; having spent part of my childhood living in Australia, I remember the heat of the sun all too well. The summer brings to me, memories of some of the songs of the 80’s, “The Boys Of Summer” and my favourite Beach Boys album. Everyone has their unique summer memories that never seem to grow old.
There are those who adore autumn, or fall, depending where you live! Autumn is when we change our clocks again, where every leaf becomes a flower, when wonderful yellows, browns and reds light up our world. The days are cooler and the evenings seem more enjoyable. We tend to squeeze the life out of autumn, knowing full well that soon winter will be here to wrap itself around us! The schools re-open and our routines all change again. The media begins its Christmas countdown and suddenly time just flies by. The breezy mornings awaken us and nobody really knows what way the weather will change throughout the day. Here in Ireland, we could have all four seasons in a 24 hour period.
Oh but autumn is so beautiful, I can pull out my warm boots and sweater for the odd cooler evening. The sun still shines a lot but the temperatures are far more kinder to our skin. The crisp autumn air seems to freshen me up in the morning, while some days still allow me to wear my colourful t-shirts and flip-flops. Autumn prepares you for winter, and you are forgiven for lighting your first log fire at night. Autumn reminds us to gradually change the clothes in our wardrobe for warmer and more accessible choices. To me, there’s nothing as lovely as sitting near my window, reading a good book and listening to raindrops gently hitting the fragile colorful leaves outside. This year we were graced with one of the longest autumn seasons I have yet known, whereby my walks to college were splashed with amazing colours and the light crunch of leaves under my feet made me smile. Autumn really is a multi-coloured garden of life.
Ahhh at last, here it is SPRING! You tell that for some reason it is my season today! I sat down the other night exhausted, having finished a very busy week, crammed with assignments and exam preparations. I rarely turn my TV on, but with a similar busy week stretching before me, I needed some relaxation. So I lit my candles and settled in to watch a movie I had picked up on the way home from College. To be honest, the movie was less than average, and I would not rate it at all, but what moved me was the name of a play mentioned in the movie. Its title was “Too Much Spring”, and I whispered to myself, “I could never have too much Spring!” ~ the movie finished eventually, and I soon rested my head on my pillow to go to sleep, but instead I thought of spring; it brings to life the birds in the air, the bees buzz from out of nowhere, lambs begin to playfully fill the fields and hills. Flowers appear in our gardens, trees begin to open up their blossoms and the 40 shades of green seem to find even more shades to display. When I think of spring, these words and phrases literally ‘spring’ (lol) to mind ~ new things, cleaner air, the first smell of freshly cut grass, random sunny rain showers, unpredictable weather, brighter evenings with promising red skies, windy days with colourful rainbows, warmer mornings with softer rain. In springtime is seems that eagerly anticipated things seem to bring new hope in us, a time of transition allows us to redefine our plans and dream again. Spring speaks to me of HOPE! Floral bouquets decorate most patios and the hedges wear their prettiest dresses. It is lovely, bright and beautiful. Joy filled animals and dancing flowers, newborns and newlyweds. Spring brings Easter and with it comes the reminder that new life is ours.
I could never have too much Spring! If I was told I must choose one season to live in for the rest of my days, I think it would be spring. It allows me the cosy rain showers of winter, the warmth of the summer sun, and the vibrant colours of autumn all rolled into one! Almost every day in spring, no matter what your plans are, you can open your eyes and say “Well, it certainly is a beautiful day for it!” ~ Spring I welcome you from afar, although I must say, this year, winter has allowed you to sneak out and play with us in the most spontaneous and unexpected ways. Yes the calendar shows me it is winter, but inside it feels a lot like spring! And though my life is not exactly where I had hoped it would be, nor has every dream or wish come true yet, I know that spring will somehow make it easier to hope again. To quote our furry friend Winnie The Pooh, “Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you!” ~ Every season spills out its own wonder on the earth, but none is as magnificent nor astonishing as spring. So although it is still winter technically, why not go get some poetry and hums, and let spring come out to play in your heart, where blossoms and butterflies and April showers make you shine!
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~ HOLY AMNESIA ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
Written by Denise Kennedy
Forgiveness. What does it look like?
When you are forgiven what truly does it feel like? Do you know? Maybe you have never really thought about this word before. Only those who have ever wronged someone they love or indeed didn’t love, but felt remorse for their deeds, really know the power of forgiveness. Possibly you have truly hurt someone who means the world to you and miraculously they extended the white flag of peace to you and wrapped their loving forgiving arms around you, that’s a gift of the highest order.
This week I ventured on a journey. I was looking for something, although rather hesitantly I might add. What was my quest? I headed off into the sunset of my own heart to see if any undone forgiving lay hidden in the memoirs of my life. And guess what, truly unknown to me, there was. Its funny because I wasn’t walking around maliciously harbouring anger or resentment towards anyone. I didn’t have a jealous vendetta against another soul and I honestly felt no thoughts of intense anger were keeping me awake at night. Sure I have been hurt, but not to the extent that I was gripped with an anger so great that I wanted revenge. But still I found some unchallenged notions and unchecked corridors of thought there in my heart. And I didn’t like it. Mostly what I saw, were disappointing behaviours and unspoken sorry’s. Some were my own doing, but some were not. Both were reasons to feel slightly let down by those I somehow expected more from. The thing is, they didn’t even know it was there. It wasn’t like I’d been stolen from or visibly attacked, it was a far more subtle wound. Like so many are. But be careful because even the smallest paper cut can become infected if left unattended in the wrong atmosphere. So I decided to let it all go. I also decreed that I would seek to not be the cause of even the slightest paper cut in the lives of those around me, that includes the tangible encounters or the virtual (yet meaningful) online situations too. Words can hurt, whether spoken, written or implied or typed.
So a week later I’m honestly recounting the last few days and evaluating my journey. Isn’t it funny, (although I’m not laughing), that when you decide to forgive and forget, that suddenly you are presented with a real life situation where someone hurts you, out of the blue. That’s what happened and so my test really commenced. This kind Irish friend never intended to hurt me, but sometimes it still works out that way. I had a choice to make and indeed I still have to make it every day: to be the person I want to be. and to forgive and let it go. Somehow its easier (possibly) to forgive someone who is truly sorry and genuinely upset at the pain they caused, than it is to extend forgiveness to an individual who believes they did absolutely nothing wrong at all. The second scenario is my lot. But you know what, it makes totally no difference, it does not remove your responsibility to do the ‘bigger person’ thing. Whether they admit it or not, you have a choice to make, that’s holy forgiveness. Then you must try to forget the wound and choose to love, that’s holy amnesia! When you can’t do it easily, when it takes blood, sweat and tears, with a huge spoonful of humility and resolve, then you know you are really becoming a person who forgives quickly, you are becoming a legend in your own heart.
It’s when you open the door of the penalty box and you let them go free, that you actually open the door to setting yourself free also. I’m not saying it is easy. I truly know, with my hand on my (disappointed) heart that it is not. But nonetheless it is essential to your own health and peace of mind. You must try to move towards that result, even if it is tiny steps of peacefulness and release. Are you even considering it? Somewhere deep down in your heart I believe there’s a song of freedom, maybe its only a softly hummed melody, that’s calling you to a place of letting go. Where you will be able to sing loudly and tearfully the song of holy forgiveness.
In some ways, the loudest singers of this song are those who already have been forgiven much, and been able to in turn forget much, for they know the cost of this release. It is the key that opens your own prison door. Does that not include us all? Remember the story about the woman caught in her sin, (John 8) for those who have a Bible, it is worth reading; Her accusers were armed and ready to stone her. Then Jesus said to the angry mob, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” ~ But none were found faultless ~ and all that was heard in that instant, were the stones of abuse and criticism falling to the dusty earth, as each accuser walked away.
So today, drop your stone to the ground. I know its not easy. I’ve learned this lesson too many times and I know it takes all the strength and grace and guts you can muster. I know it involves holy amnesia; forgetting and moving on, but it will change your life. It will improve your health and bring you to a wide open space, to a running brook of peacefulness and a pasture of healing. You will be known as someone who uses stones to build up and restore, instead of tearing down or destroying or inflicting pain. How you use the stones in your hand is your responsibility; either you use them for good or for harm. But be careful for one day you may be standing in front of
someone you’ve hurt, desperately needing them to drop their accusing stone to the ground and set you free. In some ways, the greater the hurt done to you, the heavier and weightier is your right to throw that huge boulder at the one who hurt you, but what will it rea
p? You will carry the weight around with you all of your days. Its a burden only God can carry. So let Him. Let Him take care of it. I know you’re tired. Drop the stone, and see what amazing things God will put into your hand instead. That’s “Holy Amnesia”, when we aim to forget and walk in love.
Who knows, but maybe the person who needs your forgiveness the most today, is yourself.
With love from a fellow “Stone Dropper”.
Meaning’ Full ★ ⋰⋱
by Denise Kennedy
★ ⋰⋱★ ⋰⋱★ ⋰⋱★ ⋰⋱
Butterflies were all I felt, since yesterday…for some reason I was more nervous than usual. I had prepared as best as I could but the butterflies were alive and kicking! I tried to sleep but tossed and turned all night! There was nothing more to do but relax. If only it were that simple. I eventually slept for a few hours. Then it was morning, the day of the event.
To those who teach regularly or are accustomed to the nervousness that builds up before you do something new, my worrying may seem ridiculous. But no matter who you are, you too have a comfort zone. It may be something you are aware of or not, maybe you frequently take a walk to the very edge of your comfort zone and wonder what life on the other side of it looks like? Or maybe you are quite happy to never venture anywhere near that area of your life? I like my comfort, but I have to say that I also love to challenge my comfort zone, because I have found out more often than not, that I love who I am when I conquer something new, or achieve something that scares me. I love the thrill of accomplishment that soon follows that nervous white knuckle ride, that you thought you could never overcome!
Today was to me, another opportunity to do one of those things that I would rather have avoided. So I got ready, played the class plan over and over in my head. And tried to breathe! I set off on my usual walk to college.
It is a quiet road for the most part, and although there is traffic, it never seems to interfere with the wonderful sounds that accompany me every day on this route. But today I was conscious of my own anxious thoughts and trying to just breathe!
I practiced the sequence of my class plan softly to myself as I walked through traffic light junctions and meandered through short cuts and lane ways. It was cold. A crisp kind of cold air that almost hurts your nose as you breathe it in. But I inhaled it deeply and forced myself to relax and calm down. Then I heard them. The loudest sweetest sound you ever heard at 7.45 in the morning. I could not see them, but they were tremendous. A vibrant green hedge was their stage, and they sang! I walked slower, so I could drink in their melodious harmonies and whistles for as long as possible. I don’t know what species of birds they are, but every day they sing, in the same bush. No matter what time of the day or evening as I come and go to college, they sing! But today was different, there were so many more voices. They were so boisterous in their celebrations of the dawn. Maybe they knew I needed their song more than usual? I was stolen from my worrying and anxiety. I was whisked away from the noisy clamouring of my own teaching apprehensions, by the sweet still chirping of the invisible birds. In all the months I have passed them I never yet have seen them. Amazing, they don’t care to be seen, they just simply sing to anyone who will listen. How lovely! So I savoured their sweetness as I walked and momentarily forgot my own nervousness. I kept breathing and tried not to worry.
I turned to walk down one of my favourite paths. At the end of this path I would see it. My ‘sunrise corner’, I like to call it. For when I turn this corner I am usually met by the most amazingly beautiful sunrise. If the sky clears at all, and the sun has an opportunity to shine then here is where I first see it. This morning it did not disappoint me. I walked from a chilly darkened footpath, around the corner and suddenly I was bathed in the most glorious light. The sun was doing its thing! It shone with ferocious beauty upon the icy cold earth. I loved it. I too breathed it in. I held my face up to drink in all its heat and savour its warmth. Ah that was lovely, I mused to myself as I took my next detour and unfortunately had to leave the lovely rays behind me as I was now surrounded by tall sycamores and evergreens. With fewer delightful distractions my thoughts floated back to the approaching endeavour of my teaching practice. Breathe Denise, breathe, it will be OK!
I was almost at my destination, one more corner and I was there. I passed the same three security guards, who man the gates to the American Embassy. I love that building. There is something stately and grand about the design and detail of its architecture. And this morning it stood majestic with the sun shining on its trees and its flag flying high in the morning breeze. And on I walked. The butterflies were doubling in number in my stomach. Breathe Denise! Relax.
My final corner, I walked around it, with no anticipation for any more great outbursts from nature. But there it was, spectaculour in colour and astounding in display, the most gorgeous blood red sunrise I have ever encountered at the last bend of my journey. I literally gasped. Nature had another show for me, by far upstaging the previous sunrise display. I let the traffic lights change but I remained where I was. I stood there and allowed my back to rest gently against the cafe wall behind me. I looked up and soaked in some more warmth and beauty. Everyone else scurried across roads, with lattes and breakfast, but I was drinking in a different delight, It was beautiful. And I seemed to be its only audience, or so it seemed. Just then an elderly gent, standing a few feet away from me, seemed to notice my gaze, He followed my lead and then he saw it. He smiled back at me as if to agree with my observation. A few minutes more I thought, then I have to go. And I did. I could have stayed there until it vanished, but time was pressing and there was a class to teach. The funny thing is, that the nervousness was gone. I walked on with a peaceful sunrise of my own. It was deep inside my being, a sense that all of these beauties of nature had led me to. A sense that all will be well, and what will be will be. How easy it is, in our worrying and anxiety to miss the truly meaningful displays of nature around us. So tomorrow, try to savour the beauty that is around you, and in deed within you. for it is surely there.
By the way, as a side note, my class went swimmingly well, and when I was walking back home some hours later, the birds were still singing! =) x Nisey
~~~ “Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.”
DON’T SAY “SOME DAY”¸.•*”♣
written by Denise Kennedy
A cloudy day can sometimes provide the perfect atmosphere for thinking……hmmmm don’t you think?
Well today it did just that for me. Sometimes it is not so easy to put your fingers on those humble laptop keys, to try to communicate what it is that you want to share with the blogging world….and does anybody care?
I believe it is still worth the risk….of opening up your heart, letting the lessons you have learned reach out to the lives of others and choose even to share your vulnerability and also strengths. As you pour out those words, it is like placing soft footprints in the sand….for others to see, not only where you have been but where you are going. Don’t underestimate the words you write, for they can be the bright shining star in a darkened sky that a fellow traveler desperately needs to follow. God uses your words, He uses your hard days as well as your best days, to show others that we all walk this path in weakness and in strength, but together.
The following words motivated me to write today…
” I will get around to it some day….”, I heard her say as she passed me by on her cell phone. A total stranger to me, yet our hearts were linked simply by the phrase she used. A phrase we often read, or say. We plan to do it, we plan to achieve so much but rarely make it a reality. Today I decided, enough of the putting things off until another day…or the famous “some day” of my future!
“It is time to arise.” I told my head and my heart…It is time to awaken the dreams, the promises you made over the years, to your very own heart. Time to arouse the gifts, the talents, the exciting future that you believed you would see. It is not too late! Either you do it or it won’t happen, and it certainly will not happen if you do not try.
So I took time to really look at what is in my heart….What am I waiting for? What are the things I really want to see happen either in my life, or through my life to impact others? I took a nose dive and plunged deep inside my own passions and took a good look at what was there. I blew the dust off and tore down the cobwebs of my own making. To be honest, I battled against what I saw. I came face to face with the closed up boxes of my heart. The undiscovered oceans of my course. I stared at all of the unfulfilled plans before my eyes. Immediately I wanted to run away. I was afraid to feel anything. To dare to dream again. It is easier to live with no expectations I mused to myself. It is safer to close the door to my heart and decide to not live from that place. But curiosity drew me back to look inside.
This is what I saw…I saw the unpublished books, the unseen adventures and the many undeveloped photographs…the unsung songs, the people in my life that love and need the “real me”…I heard the unanswered calls to take a risk. I saw it…all there in my heart. It displayed itself there before me….and my dreams extended an invitation to me…to the adventure of a life time. Of my life time.
And my future waited. It waited for me. It asked me to reply to the invitation to live the adventure. But it wouldn’t always. I realized that the ‘some days” of my life are running out….I think I have all the time in the world, but really “some day” is in fact TODAY. So after this long stare at my heart, I took a deep breath, I inhaled courage again, and determination. Everyone wants a hero, a prince on a white horse, right? It is the age old wish of every princess. I still believe in romance. But today I urge you, to be a valiant hero in your own story. Lean over and kiss the lips of your own sleeping beauty, the sleeping desires within you. Reach out and awaken the noble steed inside you. Get ready to gallop. Gird up your loins for battle, the battle to see your dreams come true. You are not alone, the host of heaven cheers you on. The God of your heart goes ahead of you to make the way possible to achieve the dreams He has placed in you. Your companions are COURAGE and BRAVERY….They stand mighty beside you to protect you from DOUBT and FEAR!
I know them only too well, those days that you hear yourself say “some day”.
Well those words rob you of your future, and steal your reward. They chase away the very joy of life from your heart. You must banish those words from your mind, and decide that it is a new season. Open up your heart and say YES to the adventure that calls to you. Be a hero in your own story, in your own life. Be a hero in the lives of those around you who also need to chase those words away.
Time is too precious. You are a treasure.
Sleeping Beauty has been asleep too long! =)
Come on, I have the horses ready!
xX niseyk ¸.•*”♣
ღ~♣~ღ “YOU”RE COOLER THAN ICE!”
an Idiom by NiseyK ©
“YOU’RE COOLER THAN ICE!“ ~ Who me? Yes you! Well I think so anyway! And I believe I am not the only one who thinks it! So you may as well go ahead and believe it =)
It is a strange little phrase I came up with myself yesterday, a ‘nisey~original’ you might say! Well an original to me and those I have mentioned it to. Which got me thinking about the other ‘idioms’ that mean the same if not similar thing….
Firstly, what is an idiom? An idiom is a group of words in current usage having a meaning that is not deducible from those of the individual words. For example, “to rain cats and dogs” – which means “to rain very heavily” – is an idiom; and “over the moon” – which means “extremely happy” – is another idiom. In both cases, you would have a hard time understanding the real meaning if you did not already know these idioms! I know all about these difficult phrases, as I am currently training to teach English as a foreign language.
So here are the results of the Nisey jury. I decided to only add the nice, complimentary ones I found. Also you will notice a common theme…can you find it? Make a comment at the end if you figure it out!!
CREAM OF THE CROP ~ Hmmm obviously, ‘crops’ don’t bring forth ‘cream’, milk does…..and yet when we hear this phrase we know to assume that what ever it refers to is the best of the pick, and a perfect choice in any setting. Despite the confusion in crops and cream we know it to mean the best and brightest! A nice compliment! If something or someone is in the cream of the crop, they are among the best of a class of things or people.
ICING ON THE CAKE~ When you get more than you bargained for! An added bonus in a relationship or agreement. It refers to an individual as well as an object or situation. If something or someone is the icing on the cake, or the frosting on the cake, it makes a good situation or a good result even better.
MY CUP OF TEA ~ Meaning something one enjoys or does well. When you say “You’re my cup of tea” you mean they are your favorite choice!
(Side note; We here in Ireland love our tea, so if we call you that, you better believe it is special. nisey)
APPLE OF MY EYE ~ Someone or something that one likes a lot. Often a father says this to his little girl. We know this to be true even in the Bible, where God speaks of us as being the apple of His eye! If someone is the apple of your eye, it means you like them very much!
APPLE OF HIS EYE ~ “… for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” Zechariah 2:8 NJKV
THE UPPER CRUST ~ If you are one of the upper crust, you are a member of society’s highest class and one many will want to walk through life with.
CREME DE LA CREME ~ You are again the cream of the crop, and the best of the best by far.
A SHARP COOKIE ~ Someone who is not easily deceived or tricked is a sharp cookie, and someone you can trust.
A GOOD EGG ~ Means you can trust them with anything and rely on their integrity.
YOU ARE THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS ~ Someone who has, or is full of the milk of human kindness is naturally kind and compassionate to others.
HE/SHE IS AS KEEN AS MUSTARD ~ If someone is as keen as mustard, they are very eager, enthusiastic or motivated.
THEY ARE LIKE TWO PEAS IN A POD ~ To say that two people are like two peas in a pod, means that they are very similar in possibly appearance or interests. It can also mean they belong together in an intimate way.
YOU ARE WORTH YOUR SALT ~This expression is used to say that a person who does their job well would not be managed without, That they are invaluable and priceless.
LIKE FIRST WATER ~ Something that is of the first water, is an object or person of the finest or exceptional quality. Being compared to a diamond of a person, rare and precious if found.
AS SWEET AS HONEY ~ Means that everybody likes you & you appeal to everyone who knows you.
IN ONE’S SALAD DAYS ~ in one’s youth (This is one I had not heard of before.)
YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH ~ good/basic/honest/ordinary people
EYE CANDY ~ When a person is very attractive, they can be described as eye candy – sweet to look at! A compliment.
NICE AS PIE ~ If a person is nice as pie, they are surprisingly very kind and friendly.
SWEET AS A GUMDROP ~ This means that someone is very nice or pretty.
A TOUGH COOKIE ~ A tough cookie is a person who will do everything necessary to achieve what they want, a strong person who is determined to be the best they can be.
So did you find the theme? Did you pick out your favorite one or possibly the one you plan to use to remind someone special what they mean to you? Sometimes we forget to compliment our own dear hearts, to see value in our own person. So maybe you can use these to add a little value to your opinion of yourself. Personally I like my own created idiom, “YOU”RE COOLER THAN ICE!”, mainly because you cannot get much cooler than ice, and it has a quirky ring to it.
But there is one that has struck me today, and indeed brought back pleasant memories of years ago, when I first heard it…
YOU ARE THE APPLE OF HIS EYE…
What does this saying “apple of His eye” mean? Many have heard it in the phrase spoken by a father to his daughter or “daddy’s little girl was the apple of his eye”. It’s a phrase that reveals how much someone is loved by another person. It speaks of intimacy, safety, love, warmth and care. It is nice to have a relationship with your father that cultivates this kind of love. Whether you did or you didn’t here on earth, you have a Father in Heaven who thinks you are the “Bees Knees!” and the “Wasps Ankles!” (another one I heard)…actually He thinks you are even more special than these. If He cares about sparrows and knows if even one of them falls to the ground, than how much more does He care about you! The following passage speaks volumes…
“For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deut 32;11)
Are you in a wasteland today? A desert place? A dry and weary land where there is no water let alone ice? Do you need to be protected from malicious tongues or words of slander? Do you need someone stronger than you to encircle you and keep you as the precious one you are?
Earlier when I mentioned this verse, “…he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” (Zechariah 2:8) We are reminded that whoever messes with you or treats you without regard, will have God to deal with. You are the apple of His eye, the one He loves and cherishes. He encircles you, wraps His love around you (whether you feel it or not)…He is the One who never slumbers or sleeps, but keeps watch over you. So today, remind your dear heart that you are PRICELESS, precious and the apple of the eye of God! And when you lay your head on your pillow tonight, “REST WELL…FOR GOD IS AWAKE!”
The other day, while reading by my window, I saw a lovely shiny red ladybird (in some countries you call them ladybugs)…Anyway it was desperately trying to find a way to the sunny outer side of my window pane – it clung to the glass in search of a door of escape, I’m sure it had one eye on the glass and one eye on the freedom outside…but it failed at each attempt!
I decided to drop my book and help this little tiny creature find it’s way out –
I could see how to set it free far easier than it could, from it’s vulnerable position…so I grabbed a nearby greeting card and slowly approached the hesitant tired bug, planning to help it slide carefully on to a corner of the thin card – At first the little ladybug seemed to work with me and allowed itself to be transported from the glass to the card pretty easily, but just when I had almost lifted it to the desired open window, the little red lady jumped from the card and landed on the window sill below, even further away from it’s original starting position, and must have been quite dizzy from the fall. My next attempt to carry it to the outdoors was even harder….it was now not as trusting as before!
I kept gently trying to slide the insect on to the card, with little whispered promises of “Come on, it’s OK!”
But all failed attempts…resulting in the ladybug falling several times and seeming to be determined to not cooperate with me – On one such fall it landed on it’s shell with it’s legs scrambling in the air for something to hold on to so as to turn itself right-side-up again!! It then ran and hid from me, in a corner, obviously feeling I was it’s enemy rather than a friend.
Eventually after it rested a little it appeared again, I gently slid it on to the friendly greeting card, and whispered softly again to it’s dizzy head…
“Trust me, I’m not trying to kill you – I am trying to set you free!… and Viola! it held on for the greeting card ride, and was soon sliding off the edge of it’s comfort zone into the great outdoors, leaving captivity behind..and finally breathing in the fresh air it had been merely looking at from the other side of the glass…”FREEDOM!” I said to myself as it vanished away into the great green world outside.
I sat back on my bed and thought for a moment about what I had just said out loud to a little trapped ladybug…”Trust me, I’m not trying to kill you, I am trying to set you free…!!”
Hmmmm…Suddenly I felt like a little ladybug myself. Praying for open doors or windows in my life…but running from the hand that can take me there! Or desperate for changes, and searching for a sweeter place than where I feel my feet are right now …but no matter how I attempt to find the right window or door or opening it just seems out of reach for me, but I just have to be still & let someone bigger MOVE ME!!…There are some things you just cannot do alone!