☺♥☺ You Know Me ☺♥☺

☺♥☺  YOU KNOW ME ☺♥☺

Written by Denise Kennedy

One of my trademark sayings (so I have been told), is my regular use of the brilliant phrase “God Knows!” – Yes, I admit that it rolls off my tongue quite a lot and usually when I have unanswered questions on my mind. ☺♥☺

Who knows you? . . .  I mean really knows you?  Has that question provoked a slight awkward nervousness in your heart just now?  Maybe it brings a calming sense of well-being and peace because you know you are loved unconditionally and completely?  Possibly it challenges you to the core of who you are or aspire greatly to be?   Well today God sent a lightning bolt (as real as the one about to flash again outside my window), a gunshot, a bow’s arrow straight into this heart of mine .. .. .. I was asked the same question.

God challenged me to look at the things my heart hungers and thirsts for.  Some moments later, I answered Him.  It came through a song.  It came through painful realization.  It came through the acknowledgement that ONLY one person can truly ‘know’ every single facet of me.  Though I choose to share different parts of myself, my life, my thoughts, my desires, my dreams, my jokes, my writing, my cooking, my achievements, my longings, my laughter, my creativity, my love, my affections and my passions with people in varying degrees of intimacy, truly there is only ONE who really knows the real me.  He knows the “me” with no barriers, no pretending, no masks, no hidden motives, no insecurities, no fears, no vulnerabilities or barriers.  He loves me despite my weaknesses, sins, frailties, failures and vulnerable ways.

He jumps right into each day with me, longing to make me even better than the version of me I was yesterday.  He proudly comes alongside me to help me in my attempts to improve on yesterday’s performances and choices, because He knows my heart truly longs to be the best me I can be for Him and those I do life with.  He giggles at my childish jokes, and loves the unique traits He has given me –  He calls into being every dream and desire that resides in my heart;  He gently holds me when the storm rages and I have no solution for the circumstances my little boat sails through; His name is God.  He whispers goodnight as the moon hangs in the midnight sky, with His promise to never leave my side; staying with me through every twist and turn the road may take.  Nothing surprises Him, and nothing about me is hidden from His eyes.  When I have days where I would rather run from Him and life seems to dare me to give up, He will still be there, here, beside me.  He is ever present, He never slumbers or sleeps.

Hunger (whether physical or psychological) is not a game; it can lead people to do crazy and dangerously soul-destroying things.  You may be quite familiar with your own “hunger games” and the cravings of your own heart.  Maybe you don’t believe in God? .. .. .. but truth be told He believes in you.  He created you with a void that only He can fill.  He sees the amazing dormant potential in you, that awaits for His breath of life to create a new and amazing detour to the road you currently walk on – is there a hunger in your heart, even now, to be ‘known’ – truly known?

He sees you weep when you feel the floundering winds of change sweep you to a place where life is scary or hard to understand.  He holds your arms up when you are tired or weary from the fight.  He cheers you on when life is victorious and hugely rewarding.  He is God and He does not miss one solitary moment of your life.  Even in a crowded room, where you are surrounded my many, He does not miss one thing about you.  He knows you, but He also loves you!  Sure many others can touch your heart, occupy space there, impact you deeply and love you there.. .. .. but there is  truly only ONE who can know every facet of your life, your mind, your thoughts and your soul – GOD!  Wisdom tells us to choose carefully the ones we allow into our hearts, to select these special ones wisely and cautiously, but we are always better off the closer we walk with God.

Today this truth hit me like a bolt of lightning .. .. .. like a dart aimed for the bulls-eye, like a perfect 180 shot straight into the dart board of my heart.   I’ve experienced a lightning bolt to my heart before,  but this is not the time to share those stories –  all I can say is that upon reading a challenging piece of text today, I realized that God was speaking loudly, directly, clearly and seriously into my heart, asking me “Denise, do you know that I know you?  You are not one of the ‘unknown’, you are not forgotten or undiscovered by me – I see you” ~

Can I be honest here?  Well, I will be anyway and hope that you too will be honest with your own heart.  I really forgot that God knew me .. .. .. that He both wants to and desires to, and is delighted to know me!  The God I sing to and speak daily to, this amazing God that I daily surrender my life to, knows me. WOW .. .. .. think about that: The God who flung stars into space, knows you. The One who has seen and will see everything about this Universe; the One who sees when you win or  lose – knows you.  He knows exactly how many hairs are on your head, how many tears you have cried, how many years you have lived, the breaths your life will amount to, the past, present and future for you – He knows your name!

Maybe the land of being “known” is already a land you frequent a lot, sharing glorious moments, hours and occasions of great joy and strength in His beautiful presence? but for some it is a land where they feel like an alien; hungering to be accepted unconditionally.  Well, today I remind you, invite you, beseech you, to find a quiet place (like I have), to take a realistic look at the activities of your life – who do you do them for?  Are these activities a reflection of the desperate hunger in your life for acceptance and love?  God does not want your life to be one series of relationships, endeavours and “hunger games” after another, where you seek to fill your life with anything rather than emptiness.  He wants to fill you with the greatest acceptance, love, favour and romance you could ever know.

Close your eyes, listen, He is already here.  No more hunger games, no more running, no more pretending; It is time to experience the liberation of being known by Him, and in that place you will experience God loving what He knows about you; and making you the best you possible! =)

Then go and feed others – show them how being unconditionally loved by God satisfies beyond any other source!

Xx Denise

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ▬▬✿ Pleasant Places✿▬▬Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ▬▬✿ PLEASANT PLACES ✿▬▬Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

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 will bless the LORD who has counseled me;  Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

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

☀ ★ These Colours Don’t Run ★ ☀

☀ ★ These Colours Don’t Run ★ ☀

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!

I read a caption written underneath the American flag the other day…it read;

” 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 .•°*★

★*°•. ROCKY ROAD .•°*★

by Denise Kennedy

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…..

(Rocky Road Recipe…Just sayin’)

With heartfelt loss, lots of love, and marshmallow chocolate…

xX Denise

♡♫♡ ~ “I’ve Got You!”~ ♡♫♡

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! =)

Denise

♚ ~ “Checkmate” ~ ♕

~ ♕ ~ written by Denise Kennedy

“Life is like a game of chess, changing with each move.”
(Chinese proverb)

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.”
(Bobby Fischer)

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.

Remember…

“Nobody ever won a game by resigning.”
(Unknown)

…Are you ready?  It’s your move! ♚ ~ ♕

The View From Here ❤ღೋ ೋღ❤

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

Written by Denise Kennedy ❤ღೋ ೋღ❤

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

February 2012

 

Cherry Blossoms & Stabilisers ~ ❤ ~

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 ~ ❤ ~

A Good Cheer! ✫✫✫

✫✫✫✫✫✫✫

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)

What Are Mercies Anyway?~~ ♥

 ♥ by Denise Kennedy~~ ♥

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;

Mercies

  1. Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm:

  2. An event to be grateful for, especially because its occurrence prevents something unpleasant happening or provides relief from suffering.

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! ~ ♡ ♡

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!

Cheers!

Denise

~ ♡ ♡

✤ The Language Of Flowers

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
(by Father)
¸.•*”✤✤
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

❀¸.•* 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 ~ HOLY AMNESIA ~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
Written by Denise Kennedy
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
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”.
Denise

Meaning’ Full ★

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.”
{Keri Russell}

Don’t Say “Some Day.•*”♣

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 ¸.•*”♣

“You’re Cooler Than Ice!” ღ♣ღ

ღ~♣~ღ  “YOU”RE COOLER THAN ICE!”
an Idiom by NiseyK ©
ღ~♣~ღ
“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!”
Love Nisey
ღ~♣~ღ

A lesson from a Ladybird ✤


A lesson from a Ladybird…✤ ✤
By Denise

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!

 

God just wants me to trust HIM – It may hurt, it may be scarey (especially if you are afraid of heights) But if I just hold on and wait then I will see what He has promised…I may not know where I am going next but if I keep the right attitude, and am ready to MOVE when He ‘lifts me’ then He will work out how I get there too! I just have to be available and willing to agree and obey and surrender to whatever His hand plans next…
Are you like the ladybug?…You see where you want to be and the freedom you desire, but you cannot seem to get your legs (or heart) there, or you may have no idea where you want to be except you have a deep restlessness to move in a new direction…either way we all need Him to do the “moving” and as we trust His gentle hand even in pain and confusion, we can be sure that He will cause all things to work out for our good – We may never know what He is doing behind our backs, until He reveals it before our eyes…

There may even be a struggle to believe something is good for us, but He will give us the courage and strength to handle the situations He allows us to walk through…He may even give it back to us completely changed and even greater than it was before!
So I pray that just as I desperately am longing for freedom and direction on the other side of my window pane (and pain) that when He comes with His greeting card to pick me up and move me,

I hope I come running with humility, trust, willingness and excitement to let Him take me where freedom waits! I am glad that God can use the simple ladybugs of my life to remind me that HE KNOWS where I am and how to MOVE me where He wants me to be, and He has provided all the wisdom I will need for when I get there – I hope I never take for granted these lessons from my window sill, that He sends to remind me of His amazing greatness in my life.

May we always want what He wants even in the questions and the waiting!
Please be ready to go when He comes to “Move You”
Love
Denise

Copyright owned by
Author Denise Kennedy

THIS IS A COPYRIGHTED ARTICLE & NOT TO BE COPIED
Thanks! If it is used it will violate my future publishing rights to use it. Denise

God in Dirty Water By ❦ Dawn Hood

❀ ~ Hey Friends, please lend me your eyes and attention, while I introduce you to the wonderful, insightful and brilliant writings of the talented Dawn Chambers Hood. This is Dawn’s debut appearance on my WordPress blog and I hope you will give her a hearty warm welcome, and drop her a comment or two. I love this piece Dawn, beautiful! ~ ❀
♥Peace, Denise
❀ ~ God in Dirty Water
by
Dawn Hood

Standing on the Jordan-side banks of the Jordan River I could hardly contain my excitement.  I felt shaky with adrenalin and a joy that was manifesting itself in an open-mouth, squinty-eyed smile on my face. How could a simple body of water invoke such strong emotion?  It was a small river, what this Southern girl would even call a creek.  And directly across from where my feet were planted I could clearly see an Israeli guard station, flag flying proudly and soldiers watching carefully.  No white-capped rush of rapids here, not even a significant current to focus on.  But standing here, watching the bull rushes sway gently in the breeze, ‘listening’ to the quiet, I was consumed with the reality of the Word of God.  Jesus stood here.  In the flesh.  Bare feet and soaking wet hair, Jesus was baptized in this same water!  Looking around, it occurred to me that the voice of His Father from Heaven breaking this calm stillness must have sounded like thunder.
Leaving my hotel room earlier that morning, I had grabbed an empty water bottle for the express purpose of retrieving 16 ounces of the Jordan River.  And now I held in my hands my very own, very personal bottle of history.  Jesus said throughout the book of John that He was in fact “Living Water” and those words had never seemed more alive than in that moment.  Thrilled with my accomplishment, I carried my bottle up the path and set it down on a section of deck railing to wipe off the excess water.  Sealing the cap with masking tape, I placed the bottle in my handbag for safekeeping until I could nestle it safely in my luggage for my trip back to the States.  Struck by the sight of my bottle sitting on that simple plank of wood, surrounded by beautiful shade trees, I quickly snapped a picture to send home to my children by email.  They had enjoyed being able to see where I visited each day during my trip to the Middle East.
Not until I was back on the tour bus editing pictures on my digital camera did I realize what had been captured in that photograph.  There to my surprise was the bottle’s label, clear as a bell, proclaiming Truth in a way only God could orchestrate.  Pure Life, the label read, plain white words on a simple blue label.  And there, in those 16 ounces of water encased in clear plastic, was a profoundly personal moment for God and me.
Pure Life – the kind of Life that only Jesus can offer.  He IS pure life, reaching out to those in need – those who hurt physically, emotionally, and spiritually – offering the pure life of a personal relationship with Him.  Alive and real.  Not a life that looks pure on the outside, but a life that is pure on the inside because of His sacrifice, His obedience, His heart.
A few days later, my bottle and I made it safely home.  It now sits on a shelf in my office where I am reminded that God delights in surprising us with His presence.  We need only slow down long enough to look for Him to realize that He is everywhere.  I am awed by the realization that the God of the Universe so passionately desires to make Himself known to us.  Pure Love.  Pure Life.
Written by Dawn Hood

✈ Choose Life by Bob Carley

I want to introduce you to a great friend and writer Rob Carley ~ He is walking a path of grief after the passing on of his adorable wife Jean, whom we all miss so much! I want to make him my first invited guest blogger ~ I hope you are soul fed! Love Denise
Bob Carley
Choose life!
It’s about the time when on a winters morning the crisp silent air is occasionally jingled by the lonely footsteps of a milk delivery or a newspaper drop or a Christmas party reveler beginning the lonely walk home with party hat askew and tatty Chris Kindle gift clutched tightly in a frozen hand. It’s a time when life hangs between the memories of yesterday and the hopes for tomorrow. In this small parcel of life is the darkest hour. It’s as if the candle of past has been extinguished and we await the burst of light as the match of future strikes and ignites tomorrow’s possibilities. It is a place where all things are possible. Imagination has property here. A shore front property with amazing views but in an exposed setting. In this time ones mind can wish the best or wonder the worst. In this time our hearts can dance or die. We can sing or sink. We can choose life or death. Often our pain or loss screams out an invitation to us to pitch our tent towards hopelessness but a still small voice beckons to us to dwell in what old time gospelers referred to as Beulah land.
My Aunt Charlotte who is now singing in heavens choir used to sing a chorus (there’s a word we don’t use in church now!) and in it was a line
“Oh Beulah land oh Beulah land on heavens higher mount I stand”… that sounds such a glorious location.
It sounds like a VIP area for overcomers, it almost sounds like an exclusive area. I guess it is but it’s more a place we are carried to rather than a place we climb to. Arrival is by right and choice. As Christmas arrives we celebrate the arrival of Jesus who came to redeem a people and give them unrestricted access to heavens riches. He came to bring abundant life to those who choose to follow. He offers us a way to peace and freedom just based on that word gift. It’s a done deal a finished product a total whole shebang! When we were kids and even now when we are bigger kids our mother would often tell us to choose life, what wisdom what simple truth. You see in this quiet hour when the flowing waters of communication are stilled two voices call to my heart, the voice that says all is lost and or the voice that says the best is yet to come. I will choose which one gets my heart.
There is a native Indian tale that says something like this ~ Two wolves called despair and hope are fighting a viscous fight to the death battle. The little boy asks which one will win?
His dad replies whichever one we feed the most! Chose life!
Written by Robert Carley

A Street Called Contentment ♥♥ by Denise

Contentment; The Oxford dictionary describes it as ~ “a feeling of happiness or satisfaction with what you have: The good feeling that you have when you have achieved something or when something that you wanted to happen does happen:
Do you live here? Do you go there frequently or is it a place you long for? I feel qualified to ask these questions because I too am asking myself them. So it is OK to be honest, brutally honest but at least be honest. You don’t have to tell me the answer, or anyone else for that matter, but you cannot hide the answer from your own heart. Is something stirring within you now?
So how did I arrive at this junction, this question about contentment? Well I am on the journey of trying to learn it. There are times when it is easy to feel JOY and happiness, when circumstances have ‘rocked on’ exactly as you wanted. When the flowers grow exactly where you wanted them, when it rains precisely when you need it to and when your favorite things happen in your favorite way! When life never throws a curve ball and there are no obstacles to your dreams coming true, it can be a simple thing at these times, to be content.
So were we born content? I don’t believe so, I believe we begin to learn to be content even as children when things don’t go the way we want or lessons come along to teach us that the world or those living in it, will not always be able to please us. So give yourself a break, it is OK to admit that you are learning to be content. I did just that this morning. I exhaled a deep sigh, dropped my shoulders from their tense raised up position and gave myself permission to say I am not there yet, and I am not as content at all as I would like to be. Not only am I aware of the fact that I need desperately to learn to be content, but I am making a choice to pursue it. I am choosing to engage my heart, mind, body and soul in the activity of learning to live on the street named contentment. I feel afraid if I am honest. It will require changes in my expectations and a certain measure of discipline. Maybe I will have to evaluate my desires and my dreams.
But, what if it is too hard? …And then it came, a sweet soft voice, reminding me that I cannot even begin this endeavor alone. I cannot even find the starting point or the destination mark. All I can do is position my heart in the humble state of starting with honesty. Nothing of any value or real progress happens in our lives or relationships or decisions without genuine honesty about where we are. Maybe that is a new concept for you? It is a place of courage and determination, and it starts first with an honest look at your own heart.
Whether you believe in God or not, or whether you ever read the Bible or not, there is a worldwide hunger for contentment. The moment I said the word you were hooked, or why did you bother to even read any further? Did it intrigue you, as it did my own heart this very morning? Good, that means you know it is deserving of your attention and that something needs to be looked at.
So what is contentment? Is it having all you want, the perfect life, the dream marriage or single life, the fast car or grandest material possessions? Is it being healthy, rich, famous, or beautiful? For each of us it may mean some or all of those things. So, let’s say you get all of the things that should make you content, WOO HOO!! You have arrived and have unpacked your bags at destination contentment. Then one day everything changes, your world falls apart, and you cannot control it. What then? The Bible talks about learning to be content regardless of our circumstances ~ Gulp! ~ Hard to imagine isn’t it? I am gulping right along with you! I have met people who do not believe in God, and though they have walked a hard road they still seem to have found contentment. When I asked them how this is possible without God? They say they just choose it, in their own will power and strength. Not easy.
Believers have an oasis of strength in God to draw from in order to do this, and yet we openly and honestly struggle to learn to be content in our challenging circumstances. I believe the ground that exists between reality and our expectations, is the place where disappointment lives! It is the place where dreams are shattered or loss or illness come and steal our perspective or our belief that a certain event or thing would or would not happen. We are faced with the truth of what we really believe about God. We are faced with the obligation to find a way out of our despair. That is when we have to choose to learn to be content. It is not a mind over matter thing, but it starts in our mind. It starts with an honest, hard, humble (and any other ‘h’ words you want to add in) look at what we really feel contentment is. It does not come naturally, it comes supernaturally! It does not come over night, it comes slowly, deeply, painfully but with a promise of joy. real joy that circumstances cannot steal away in a phone call or bad report.
I believe most of us would admit that we are not content. Some are not content with the impact they are having in this world, and that is a different kind of contentment. What I am talking about is that peace that surpasses all understanding, that joy that fills every nook and cranny of your soul.
Imagine if you will, that I have a room in my heart, it has a door leading into it. On the door is a sign, with the name contentment written on it. Today I decided to open that door, although hesitantly, but never the less opening it. Once inside I looked around, and was not at all shocked that it was quite spacious and empty. You see there is a lot more space for contentment in my life than I had otherwise thought. I want my contentment room overflowing, full of life, full of God, full of gifts, full of flowers of joy, overflowing with hope and faith. So much so that I can share my contentment  with others who have forgotten about the hunger they have for it or indeed their loss of it. maybe you had never before admitted that you have been living for years with out it?
So at the start of what the world calls a new year, I want a new room in my heart to begin to explode with life. First it begins by placing your hand on the door knob and turning it, opening the door and allowing truth and time and God to have their way in working together to make all things new in you. We could choose to ignore this room, and carry on pretending that we are fine and don’t need to learn to be content no matter how hard the circumstances are, but is that not tiresome to try to keep a mask on our disappointments, when really all of us struggle with them.
I say open the door, I know I am. I am allowing God’s gentle yet powerful wind to blow through this room, to rearrange the furniture and put things in their rightful place. Some things may stay exactly as they are, but I will have changed. I will find out if I truly trust Him as I say I do. He will show me the sovereignty of His will. I will have learned that the true secret of contentment is in learning that God is good no matter what I see, come what may, day in and day out, rain or shine, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, or in sickness or health.
He is good and He is faithful. This is the truth and only when we can admit that we need to learn to be content can He really take us on an adventure that nothing can ever compare to! When we come to the place of admitting that we are disappointed, only then can healing really begin. Only then can our perspective be strengthened by a God who really wants that kind of real relationship with us. Then we can say with Paul in the book of Philippians:
11 ” Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ  who strengthens me.” (Phil 4: 11 – 13)
I have not yet arrived, nor do I assume to understand all the workings of God’s will in my life, or yours. But all I do know, is that our own understanding fails us, as does our own strength. So come, let us reason together, let us choose to at least start to learn to be content, and allow God to plant flowers along the way, and cause our souls to blossom with joy and hope like never before.
Open the door, decide to let your heart move into the street called contentment….It is never too late!
Love Denise

=) Nisey

What’s In A Rose? ♣¸.•*”♣

Have you ever wondered what a ROSE really means? If someone significant gives you a certain rose, in a specific color, what does that color mean?
Well over the past few days while watching a certain Elizabeth Gaskell 1800 period drama, I was reminded of this very thing.
So I began searching for the message behind the giving of a rose to someone…
Here are my findings…
Coral Roses convey ‘Desire”
Lavender Roses symbolize “Love at first sight and enchantment
Orange Roses indicate “Enthusiasm, desire and fascination
Pink (Deep) says “Thank You . . . it also means “I will wait”
Pink (Light) Rose conveys “Admiration, gentleness, grace, gladness, joy and sweetness
Red Roses symbolize sincere “Love, Respect, Courage & Passion”
Red (Dark) Rose reveals “Unconscious beauty”
Red (Single) means “I Love You”
Red & White Roses together signify ‘Unity”
Single Rose in any color expresses ‘Simplicity and gratitude
White Roses express “Purity/heavenly, secrecy, silence, innocence and charm
White (Bridal) Rose symbolizes a “Happy love . . & “I am YOURS”
Yellow Roses indicate “Joy, gladness, friendship” and “I Care”
Yellow Rose with Red Tip indicates “Friendship that is falling in Love”
The description after the color indicates how you feel about the person to whom you are sending the rose…
Here are some other rose color descriptions I found ~
Red Roses
The meaning of red roses is romantic love. A deep red rose is for lovers, a bright red rose signifies passion, while cardinal red roses symbolize desire.
Red roses that are fully opened are thought to mean “I’m still in love with you”, while a bouquet of red rose buds is an expression of first true love or a new love.
The meaning of red and white roses mixed in a bouquet, conveys the feeling of love.
Yellow Roses
Yellow roses mean friendship, happiness in the home.
Yellow roses can also symbolize or convey a message of ‘I’m Sorry”. The ‘Yellow Rose of Texas’ is often used for these purposes.
Meaning of White Roses
White roses symbolize innocence, purity, loyalty and sincerity. White roses are also the most popular bridal roses or wedding roses.
When white roses are mixed with red ones, it conveys the feeling of love.
Pink Roses
The meaning of pink roses and many shades of pink of different color roses symbolize an expression of romance, beauty, elegance, joy and admiration.
Dark pink roses, or hot pink roses, also conveys the meaning of thankfulness. A bouquet of both pink and red roses symbolizes a romantic partnership saying ‘I will wait”
Orange Roses
Orange roses symbolize great achevements in someones life. Orange roses are given at graduations and at job promotions!
Peach Roses
The meaning of peach roses is to convey a message of appreciation and thanks. If you would like to thank someone, send them a bouquet of peach or coral roses.
Purple Roses
The meaning of purple roses is eternal true love. And that “I will love you forever!”.
Lavender or lilac rose colors mean the beginning of true love…
Purple roses are most often used for wedding anniversaries after 25 years and beyond. They are also used as a memorial rose for a departed spouse.
Very deep purple roses are meant to be given for intimate personal situations.
Black Roses
Black roses symbolize death and sorrow and are often used at funerals, The meaning of black roses can bemisunderstood, so be sure you know the persons beliefs before you give or send red black roses.
I hope I have shed light on what different color roses symbolize.
If you know of any others, please feel free to add them in a comment at the end here…=)
Now, all I can think about are the specific roses I wish to send someone…how about you!
xXx Nisey

The Gift Of Time ❤¸.•*”❤ by Denise

I have heard it said that “Time heals!”….but I disagree. Why? Well…I have had time…lots of it! I have had buckets of time to walk through lots of dreams and disappointments. Time to think about lots of questions and plans. I have had more time than I thought necessary to lay down my heart, to dare to dream again, to believe that God will make all things new. Time and I are best friends by now, except for the fact that there never seems to be enough time in one day to do all I desire. But I know that is the way time rolls, it waits for no one. But lately TIME has taught me a few lessons of its own. I do know for sure that only God can heal, not time!

Let me explain ~

Over the past months, I have heard of the deaths of the most extraordinary people. Many of them are precious friends of mine. Loved ones that I planned to walk this earth beside until God called us all home together. I have had to say goodbye to the most incredible human beings to ever do life with, and it is never easy to comprehend the “why” of it all. But one thing that these goodbyes have taught me, is that I have what they do not, TIME! Yes time for them is free, limitless, never ending, and eternal. A concept I can barely get my head around. But yet it is still true. Time for them is beautiful peace, eternal heavenly gifts in the presence of angels, and the presence of God. Time for me is different; some days it is a gift while on other days it is something to be endured or wished away.

But it is still true that time for me is a gift I sometimes forget to be thankful for.  It is a gift that many who have said their goodbyes to this world, would probably be willing to have more of.

So these days, be grateful for the time you have…for the butterflies that special people give you. Be thankful for the hard days that leave you tired, because at least you are alive to endure them. Be happy that some days are amazing, blissful and full of the most incredible memories life can make, because one day they will be the best part of your yesterdays. Embrace every golden moment because it can suddenly wrap around you on a rainy day and make you smile! Speaking of which, I love the rain, for it cannot steal away the joy that memories of special people bring me.

So when I say that time doesn’t heal, I mean it. Only God can heal and only God can really wake us up to all we have. May we take hold of the gifts that time has for us and may we hold on to them with a full heart of appreciation. Be grateful for time, it is indeed the most incredible gift, and never take for granted the other gifts time gives you, in the shape of people, love, work and dreams.

Just this week, a special dear sis Dawn Chambers Hood, said she wished she were here, walking along the snowy road with me, “Shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart, with a hot cocoa…!” her words made me smile, for it is the simplest of things that are shared with another, that make time one of the most special things we will ever get to share.

Take the time to make every moment a precious one!

Love Nisey



Boo Hoo or Woo Hoo ♥ by Denise

OK…This is raw and hot off the press of  own heart. Some people say that you should guard your heart, not share too much, don’t tell people how it really is, don’t be too vulnerable or even vulnerable at all. Well, whatever is the case for you, then by all means stand by your own convictions. All I know, is that when I read a real gutsy true to the core story written in honesty and humility, I am touched, challenged and motivated to keep on pressing on…After all this is Word PRESS… So I hope it is alright with you if I do just that, and share what is fresh off the press of my own heart. ♥
Resenting the happiness of others… is a phrase that has resounded deeply in my thoughts and affections recently. Did you feel uncomfortable when you read those words? Well to be honest, I didn’t! I felt completely uncomfortable recently when these words floated across the screen of my imagination in brilliant vivid colour.
I did not ask for this test. I did not want to look at the fact that maybe I was guilty of this crime. But in a moment I was undone. Could it be true that I was resentful of the happiness of others? The answer is yes! I stopped everything I was doing. Where did these words come from and why did they arrest my attention so suddenly? The answer is because it was true. I knew it and the God who I surrender my life to daily also knew it.
I won’t describe in detail all the things that I am waiting for in my life. I am sure you have your own list. So think through your list right now. What is first on your agenda? Are you content with how you are handling this ‘holding pattern’ or waiting period? Are you trying with all that is in you to make these dreams become a reality for you and those involved? Only you & God know the answer to these questions. Only you know the reality of your heart.
I wish I could say that I can reveal a huge deep truth here, that will make it easier to come to grips with disappointment. I wish I had an instant cure for handling the waiting room scenarios in our lives, but I cannot. All I can say my friend, is that you are not alone in this season of why’s. You are not the only one who is tempted to look at the lives of others and wish you had what they do. Contemplate this, that when you lower your standards and give way to resentment it will soon turn on you and take your energy, your peace, your joy and  contentment. So stamp on it and determine to be grateful for your blessings, even in the ebb and flow of the sea of life. It may appear in your eyes that others have all they desire, but maybe they look at you and would gratefully swap life with you in an instant.
If you knew the journey I have walked even just today, you would better understand the reason I write these words. If I could paint a picture for you I would, but it would take too long. What I can tell you is I am walking through my lessons right now so please know dear reader, whoever you are, that you are not alone in your circumstances. Se sure that there are others who look at your life and call you blessed. It is time for you to do the same. Let it start with a determination to look at what you have and be grateful, learn to treasure and appreciate the gifts in your life, while on the road to where you want to be!
Honest to goodness, I am walking beside you, learning to make the same choice to be grateful, even at a time of questioning!
In complete sensitivity and compassion I say, there is only One who can turn a Boo Hoo into a Woo Hoo!
He stoops to heal the heart that is hurting!
Love Denise ♥♥
 
THIS IS A COPYRIGHTED ARTICLE & NOT TO BE COPIED OR SHARED….
Thanks! If it is used it will violate my future publishing rights to use it. Denise

A Little BIG Love ~ ♡ ♡ by Denise

~Written by Denise Kennedy

~ ♡ ♡

It was a Sunday morning….

I was sitting beside my brother, on the front row in Church ready to enjoy the service and hear a wonderful message. A few minutes later there was a sudden rush of activity at the end of the row we were on. I saw my two darling nephews and my pink little niece arrive with their lovely mum! None of them had noticed me as I was hidden beside my taller~than~me brother!

~ ♡ ♡
I then turned and arched my head around all obstacles to catch their eye…the first one to see my loving look was my sweety pie nephew. He is a few months away from being 4 years old and I am honored to have him as my godson! What a sweetheart he is! What happened next still remains a source of absolute bliss to me…Conor lept from his chair, and instantly transformed into a battery operated toy…Well what I mean is, that he shook his arms, began to jump up and down on the spot….then with face lit up and a smile from ear to ear, with eyes as big as a baseball, he ran to me and began to literally climb up my legs to get into my arms…I of course opened my arms for him and lifted him up to me. He scrambled up and wrapped his arms and himself around me.

He tucked his head into my neck and said over and over ‘Nisey Nisey Nisey!’…..I was overwhelmed with surprise, not that he was happy to see me, as he always is…but the outward display of affection took me by surprise. He was animated with excitement and wanted to be nowhere else. It had only been a few days since I had last seen him.
Now if I had promised him earlier in the week that I had a small gift or a treat for him, then his eagerness would have been expected ~ But I had only me to offer, no gifts, no promises of his favorite treats, nothing but me, my love and my open arms ~ And I was enough!!!
I was the focus of his efforts and his energy! And I loved receiving his animated love!
As he squeezed his little self around my neck and hugged me affectionately, another thought began to rise in my mind and my heart. Another Love began to speak to me. The love of God. God has chased us with His love. He longs for me to run to Him, not for what He can give me, not for what He has promised me, not for what I need, but simply because He loves me and I want to be near Him. Simply because with Him I am lifted up and I am safe. Simply because He loves me and longs for me to want Him with no strings attached. My eyes welled up as I sang a song of thanks to God for this little excited affectionate nephew in my arms, and for the God who holds me in His….It felt like a massive group hug….

~ ♡ ♡

I was wrapping my love around this little warm bundle and God was wrapping His big love around me. Love is amazing, but WOW unconditional love is quite breath takingly beautiful! Don’t miss it today ~ both in giving and receiving!

♡♡ ♡♡

It just could make your day! xx NiseyK

~ ♡ ♡

Time & My Last Rolo…❤¸.•*”❤ by Denise

by Denise Kennedy
Yum…is there anything better than finding some chocolate that you forgot you had?…I did just that today. Even better it was a Rolo, and better still, it was the last one. I looked at it and mused, surely I should be giving this to someone else? But there was just me here, and just me who really wanted some unexpected chocolate. I deserved a treat after all.
There are times in life when you really want to give something away, when you have such a desire to touch someone’s life with hope, peace, joy, affection, words of support and strength. But there are days when you have to be that word of support to your very own soul too.  So I popped that lovely sweet last Rolo into my own mouth and just savoured it.
I let it melt in my mouth.
Knowing that it was the last one made it even more special, but also caused me to take time to really get the most out of it that I could. If there had been another two in the tube maybe I would not have appreciated that last one as much.
But for me it would have been more special to give it to someone I love, because I love romantic gestures. Life is about reaching out to those around us and making a hard day somewhat easier for them to bear.
I have been blessed with some real treasures in my life, who brilliantly shine their love and warmth into my life on a daily basis. I am grateful for them.
But today I just needed the last Rolo. I needed to give something to my own heart.
“It is just a chocolate Rolo Denise!”,  I hear you say.  Ah yes I agree, but it was the value on it, which changed it for me. I could have quite easily wrapped it up and decorated it in a nice gold wrapper and posted it off as a surprise to someone dear.
Today I needed to let myself receive. Sometimes we forget to give to ourselves.
For the past few weeks, a line from a famous U2 song has floated through my mind at random times of the day…”And you give yourself away, and you give, and you give…”. Yes what a gift it is to give to others. What a precious thing to have those in our lives who unconditionally give to us. They call you up just to simply say they were thinking of you. Or they drop you an email to let you know you are loved. Precious! But when was the last time you gave something to yourself? Did you feel guilty being kind to yourself?  Sometimes we forget to wrap love around our own selves, to listen to the cry of our very own heart for quietness and stillness, for understanding and focus. Well as I lay on my bed and savoured that last Rolo, I allowed a very small piece of chocolate remind me in a big way, that it is OK to take time out for the simple small round chocolate things of life, as well as the grander more important events too.
I would have happily given that last chocolate away, but it was nice to give it to myself.
So time and chocolate are my lesson today. Take the time to enjoy something that you give to yourself. Take the time to give to others because everyone is battling something more than likely and chocolate shared is always more fun!
If there is something you need to change in your life, than do it! It may mean that you are quiet or it may mean that you become more vocal than you have been in recent days.
You know what needs to happen in order for you to be more YOU these days than you have allowed yourself to be.
I recently sat down and watched the movie My Fair Lady, with my Mum. I loved it. The innocence and the beauty of a life that realized her worth, her potential and her creativity.  But when the intermission came, I paused, because it just made the second half all the more worth waiting for. The intermission told me that what was coming next was worth pausing for, worth pausing for effect, worth taking a few quiet moments to either put the kettle on or think about what had taken place up until that moment. Maybe you need an intermission in your life. Maybe you need to hit the pause button, and think about your position. It is so true that life has no remote control, you have to get up and change it yourself.. I know this full well having broken my TV remote several months ago. So when I do watch TV, which is only now and them, when I really want to change the station I must get up to change it myself! So must you, in your life….take the time to pause, savour that last Rolo, then get up and change the station. Time ticks by so fast.
There are some things in our lives that we simply cannot change and these things we surrender to the hands of God, who is all knowing. There are people we wish we could change but we cannot, and we must simply give them time. Time is a gift, that is for sure. So today, give yourself time, savour that special moment, learn in all your giving to give also to yourself.
Be a friend to your own dear heart too, for it will make you an even better friend to those around you.
So go and buy a packet of Rolo. Open the bottom end of the wrapper first, and give yourself the last one, then go and share the rest with those you love!
There comes a time, and this is yours….There is no remote for life, get up and change it yourself, but remember dear one, you’re not on your own!
X
Denise


A Lesson From Alice In Wonderland * ♥`•.¸¸.•♥ by Denise

Written by Denise Kennedy ♣¸.•*”♣¸.•*”♣
You are never too old to dream……
(SIDE NOTE ~ Even though I wrote this a while ago (in 2009 actually) I somehow felt it may touch someone today who needs to read it!)
It was early one February morning. I was on my way to work. I took a detour through the Westbury Mall
(off Grafton Street)…Dublin city centre..=)
As I sipped my vanilla latte & searched my bag for the keys I needed…my eyes were distracted by a huge poster hanging on the lower half of a children’s clothing store in the Westbury Mall…Giving it only a quick glance I kept on walking, not giving the details of the big white poster with heavy bold writing on it much attention. But….As I kept walking I “felt” I should go back and read it, that there was something in it I needed to see – But I still kept walking to work…Eventually I stopped in my tracks, I could not ignore it, for some reason I had to walk all the way back to the shop to see why I was supposed to read this poster.
….BUT…….before I tell you what was written there…I must tell you of the thoughts that filled my head on my stroll from where I live to the city centre that morning….
I was thinking over & over about the future, about where God wants me? What shall I do next in my life?…and about many people in my life…Well to be honest I had myself all tied up in knots by the time I got to the Mall – thoughts were looming over me, fears of the future, the economy (although there is no recession in Heaven) and how will I provide for myself etc etc…I am sure you all get my drift.
All my questions seemed IMPOSSIBLE to answer for my heavy heart and tired mind! Then…..I walked back to read the poster that seemed to stop me in my tracks…this is what it said….(Keep in mind it was hanging on the door of a designer Children’s clothing boutique…)
~~~~~~~”There is no use trying,” said Alice.”One can’t believe for impossible things .”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” replied the Queen ,”when I was your age I always did it for half an hour a day. Why ,sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast !!”
(from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.) ~~~~~~~
WELL as you can imagine tears welled up in my eyes…I felt so reminded by a seemingly insignificant shop poster that the GOD of the Universe sees me – knows me and more than that HE wants me to believe for IMPOSSIBLE things – no matter how hard things ever seem with my limited vision – HE SEES ALL THINGS and with HIM all things are POSSIBLE – Suffice to say that before I even took another step from that door, I began to believe for impossible things…and all before breakfast!!!
If we would only take a few minutes to notice the seemingly insignificant things around us, God may actually be trying to use them to remind us of His truth!
“All things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9 v23
(“,) with childlike faith…believe for the impossible! DREAM A BIG DREAM!!
It is never too late to start!
✟ღ◄♥*´¨`*♥*´¨`*♥♫ ♫ ♪
Denise
 

THIS IS A COPYRIGHTED ARTICLE & NOT TO BE COPIED OR SHARED….
Thanks! If it is used it will violate my future publishing rights to use it. Denise

Strength Will Rise ♣ by Denise

 ~ written by Denise Kennedy

“Hello Sunshine!”…I said as I stood on my bed to open my bedroom window as far as it would go without falling out…and then lay in the early morning sunshine that seemed to promise it would be a glorious blue sky day. The sun streamed in my window and warmed my skin as I eased in to the day with my daily reading and God time. I love days like this when I can be still and quiet and waken my mind to new ideas and plans. My attention drifted as I turned the page of my current devotional, to the sounds of life outside my open window….I thought of God and His creation, and the amazing bird song that filled the garden below.

A huge bumble bee buzzed loudly as it hovered at the entrance to my window, I stared at it intently, and it seemed to stare right back at me as it pondered what to do next. It was so big I am not even sure how those tiny wings actually kept it in the air at all. Finally I won the staring game and it buzzed off to leave me in peace, for if it had come in surely there would have been  a contest between us, and I would have won.

Then the most incredible sound rose from the trees in my garden, a melody so beautiful filled the warm summer air. A lone voice with pitch and accuracy sang a song of frenzy and excitement.

It made me smile. I wondered what birds think as they sing? Do they think of the Creator who made them? Do they think of the next juicy worm they will catch?  Do they wake up eager to fill those lungs with air and belt out those amazing tunes of life and celebration at the dawning of a new day?

I would like to think they do. I guess on a stunningly beautiful day like this, that a song is never hard to find. That it is easy to sing, with such enjoyable and peaceful surroundings as your stage.

No microphone was required, all that is needed is a branch and a key to start. And so it sang and I found myself staring at the incredible blue sky above.

Moments later I returned to the next page of my book and was soon lost in the challenges and truth of the writer and allowed my mind to be consumed with the lesson at hand.

Pages turned and minutes past, and a sound of a different kind drew my attention to the window opened wide beside me…a fresh cool breeze blew and the warmth of the sun vanished…I left my book aside and crawled up on to my window sill, just catching the final ray of sunshine as it disappeared behind a cloud….not just one cloud, but the largest thickest black cloud you could imagine. What a contrast to the scene I had last enjoyed. Just then the rain started, no subtle drops or gradual introduction, it came hard and fast upon an unsuspecting garden. I could smell it in the air…serious rain! The sun was nowhere to be seen, although shining above the clouds for sure. The rain was furious, racing down to kiss the earth, nothing was untouched, it pounded the pathway to the clothes line and bounced off the window sill, inches away from where I sat inside. As I looked I dragged a warm fleece blanket around me and just watched it, it kind of entertained me. I giggled and thought to myself how glad I was to be this side of the window pane.

It was a downpour, of monsoon proportions, huge drops that flattened the grass and weighed heavy on the leaves of the trees. The flowers and summer buds danced along with little choice or option as the rain clearly led the way. Soon came the loud thunder in the clouds, it almost commanded attention with its sudden outburst. I jumped a little as I didn’t expect it. But I still remained on the window sill, as if testing the elements. I was strangely relaxed on my own perch.

Then I heard it, a beautiful response, coming from the heights above me…in the tall trees near by…the birds still sang!  Though everything had changed from a peaceful morning-glory to a darkened wet storm, the birds still sang! I dragged my legs close to me and wrapped my arms around them, huddled and warm and dry under my blanket, as the birds still sang in the rain. Their surroundings were harder now, it was not so easy to sing now as it had been moments ago. This was the kind of rain that would  cause shoppers and cyclists to stop and take shelter in a shop or nearby bus shelter….but no, not the birds, they still found a reason to sing!

If anything they sang louder, as if in competition with this very wet imposter who dared to cause them to be silenced and flee for safety. They sang out the sweetest victorious refrain, and now there were many of them, all joining in together…all different pitches and squeals and twitters. It was magnificent.

I thought to myself, it is a lot like life….the storms come to try to silence the song in us. The rain comes suddenly at times, when we least expect it, and tries to cause us to run away and hide.

But I want to be like these birds, when the storms come, and they will my friend, I want to find a voice deeper with in me that will not be quiet, that will find a way to sing, no matter what I see!

I want to celebrate the rain as well as the sun, for each must come in order for there to be life.

In the storm I want to find strength, the kind of strength that rises from weakness, the kind of strength that finds a song come shine or come rain! The kind of strength that turns in to a song that rises from the lungs of a vessel that knows God is in control and will never fail, never!

I thought of those melodious birds, as the harsh rain drops pelted them on the head, yet they opened their beaks and sang their sweet song, despite the elements or circumstances that surrounded them. Were they taken by surprise by the sudden heavy rains? I doubt it, and even if they were, I think they would still have chosen to respond with their victory song. They know the One who looks after them, who feeds them and clothes them. They know the One who never lets them down, in every season of life. I want to be more like these beautiful songbirds, to sing in every season, a song of trust!

To choose to trust whether sudden or expected changes come my way. Whether I understand my circumstances or not, whether the morning brings joy or the night brings tears.

I know, I am sure you do too, strength is rising! I can hear you now, opening your beak (lips) to sing……=)

Written by Denise Kennedy

June 13th 2011

♣¸.•*”♣¸.•*”♣¸.•*” THANKS for the follow! =) NiseyK

 


Ouch! ╰☆ by Denise

╰☆╮╰☆╮..
Sunday, October 9, 2011

…Ouch!

written by Denise Kennedy ©

Well…These recent days have been filled with a sense of loss and a deeper surrender than I have ever walked through before. It is easy to trust God when all your heart’s desires are just a heartbeat away…but when He is calling you to an ‘Abraham’ moment, or day, or life, it is not so easy to rise to the challenge and let go!

But that is where I am. And where He is standing beside me! With all this in mind, I surrender my Isaac on the altar of letting go! I found myself saying “OUCH! Lord!”…and the word OUCH says it all…My heart is hurting and I looked up and said “Lord, do you not care? Do you not see me, hear me, or feel the loss I do? Why do I seem to have to walk a path of learning to always let go?”…
For some (silly?) reason I went to look up the word OUCH in my dictionary application on my phone…
Read on…Here is the exact definition of OUCH…
~ A setting for a precious (of high price or great value; very valuable or costly: precious expensive or rare) stone ~
~ “Ouch!” is used in writing to represent the noise that people make when they suddenly feel pain. ~
~ The place for holding something excessively delicate, refined, or a precious gem ~
If you are not WOWED by now than read this…
~ (Ouch) An Old English word denoting cavities or empty places in which gems were set (Exodus 28:11).
~ “With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.” Exodus 28 v 11 (KJV)
…See what I mean? Ouches are a place for gems to be set… They resemble an empty place…A place that waits to be filled with something better…
They provide the perfect setting for a gold finish!! That even when we are “Ouching!”…we are still becoming a gem to be set in a place of gold! It will not be wasted. Pain and ouching will lead us to a place where the King smiles down, and declares that it is alright to weep, because we will shine like gold, as we come to Him and allow Him to reveal something precious from the ouch places in our lives.
So when I found myself asking the Lord if He cared at all? I soon was shown in a sensitive and loving way by my Master Craftsman that all will be revealed. That you and I are on His work table, where He is refining, and making the ouch places a sweet altar of surrender, where He will perfect His will in us and make us perfect gems set in gold. I want to be as gold to Him. I want to run the race set out before me, even when it hurts and I would rather retreat away from the heat of the refiners tools….
But then where would the precious gem or beautiful stone be set? We would never know what may have been created by the hand of the Master, unless we surrender to His loving care and the knowledge that He knows exactly what He is doing.
Dear God,
May I sit still enough for You to work. May I not choose to run away to happier days. May I surrender to You on painful days of loss or disappointment. May Your face be seen in me, as You craft me to be what You desire!
“Jesus Wept…”…. He is acquainted with grief…He is not afraid of our pain because He holds the balm that will heal us. He knows exactly the setting that is needed to make us beautiful, stunning and precious gems in a golden ouch! May our OUCHES be golden, simply because we choose to worship Him through every ouch that yesterday, today or tomorrow may bring!! For His glory and in the careful gentle grip of the best Jewelery maker the world has ever known or my heart could ever trust.

With love,
for the display of His choice!
XxX
NiseyK
╰☆╮╰☆╮..


A note from Nisey <

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Hi…

Thanks for visiting my page! It is still undergoing some changes and making the finishing touches to its design,

so please bear with me! Feel free to have a look around at my different tabs.

You are most welcome to make a comment or read other comments on my blog entries ~

It is always nice to know you were here!

Make sure ti check out my 1st published book I WISH I WERE…

I WISH I WERE is a beautiful book describing the precious moments of love throughout an ordinary day.

From the pillow to the paper, to the simplicity of the unfolding day, Denise brings home the warmth that

can lie in friendship and companionship.

A book suitable for all age groups, for any loved one, family member, husband or wife…

boyfriend or girlfriend…or anyone whom you miss…or to simply let them know you care!

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ღ◄♥*´¨`*♥*´¨`*♥♫ ♫ ♪♥†


Making every moment a precious moment~

…Denise

Continue reading “A note from Nisey <“