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“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 Last March I was inspired to write a poem about the Forget-Me-Not Cross. I never thought for a moment I was writing it to help me through a trial that I would endure several months later:

In a field of green hills and flora,

I could see a vision of grace and familiarity,

There stood the cross left in all it’s glory,

with spirit-filled memory.

The closer I came, the more perfect it’s reminder,

as a carpet of flowers adorned each bough,

And once I touched my Savior’s cross,

I remembered what He did for thou.

For on the cross lay hundreds of flowers,

draped over my Lord’s gift to me,

Each one a sweet forget-me-not,

A fragrant reminder to stay close to Thee.  

Months after I wrote this, I was facing a difficult trial regarding my daughter. The grief I felt was almost unbearable. None-the-less I had to see my 81 year old mother for mother’s day, so I got in the car and drove four hours. Along the way I stopped at my favorite place in the whole world…Stowe Vermont and the beautiful Von Trapp Lodge. As I walked through the fields and photographed the beauty around me I hoped to find some grace amongst the beauty. I came upon a spot I have never noticed before, as I walked through the path I looked down and saw a bunch of forget-me-nots. A little further and I was in the grotto and came upon the cross, and there He was in all His Glory, Jesus. Just like in my poem reminding me to Forget-Not who is there for me. I wept at His grace. You see I was walking in my poem and He was with me under that magnificent sky against those majestic mountains. I have been visiting the Von Trapp Lodge for over tens years, and I have never walked on that path, nor saw the cross. The timing was perfect…God’s timing for me to discover such a beautiful place on such a day of despair. He is always with us, all that we need to do is not forget what He did for us on that cross.  

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By Your favor , O Lord You have established me as a strong mountain.” Psalm 30:7

How many praises and thanks do I owe you Lord?
For your sweet prayers for me,
when I was as hurt or sad,
for all the unnoticed answered prayers of mine.

How many blessing have you sent me Lord?
It would take forever for me to count.

How much favor Lord have you graced my steps with?
All the time thinking that these are the same gifts,
which all that walk the earth receive.

How many sweet things dwell in my mind?
Placed there by your precious Holy Spirit’s guidance
and whispered into my soul.

How much inspiration have your angels have whispered into my Spirit?
Ideas that I dare not claim to be mine,
but perhaps I have sometimes.

How much Glory have I denied you Lord?
For your guidance as I walk thru this avenue called life
deserves all the glory.

How many sweet times have you waited for my company?
And I foolishly busied myself instead with idle tasks.

How many times have I suffered needlessly?
Instead of turning to your Word,
or inviting your sweet presence to visit within.

How many times have I disappointed you Lord?
Yet you are always there when I call on you.

How can I express my love for you?
When you have your Glory honored by more faithful and gifted
servants than me.

My heart is full Lord, tears of spirit well in my eyes for the gratefulness I feel.

And I am so small in your presence that all that I can do is bow down and
praise you.

Amen

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“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

In March I was inspired to write a poem about the Forget-Me-Not Cross. I never thought for a moment I was writing it to help me through a trial that I would endure several months later:

In a field of green hills and flora,I could see a vision of grace andfamiliarity,There stood the cross left in all its’glory with spirit-filledmemory,The closer I came, the more perfect its’reminder, as carpet of flowers adornedeach bough,And once I touched my Savior’s cross,I remembered what He did for Thou.For on it lay hundreds of flowers,Draped over my Lord’s gift to me,Each one a sweet forget-me-notA fragrant reminder to stayclose to Thee.

Months after I wrote this, I was facing a difficult trial regarding my daughter. The grief I felt was almost unbearable. None-the-less I had to see my 81 year old mother for mother’s day, so I got in the car and drove four hours. Along the way I stopped at my favorite place in the whole world…Stowe Vermont and the beautiful Von Trapp Lodge. As I walked through the fields and photographed the beauty around me I hoped to find some grace amongst the beauty. I came upon a spot I have never noticed before, as I walked through the path I looked down and saw a bunch of forget-me-nots. A little further and I was in the grotto and came upon the cross, and there He was in all His Glory, Jesus. Just like in my poem reminding me to Forget-Not who is there for me. I wept at His grace. You see I was walking in my poem and He was with me under that magnificent sky against those majestic mountains. I have been visiting the Von Trapp Lodge for over tens years, and I have never walked on that path, nor saw the cross. The timing was perfect…God’s timing for me to discover such a beautiful place on such a day of despair. He is always with us, all that we need to do is not forget what He did for us on that cross.

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You have granted me life and favor, and our providence has perserved my spirit”. Job 10:12

Once upon a time, I lived on the other side of the world and every day was filled with wonderful sights and sounds unfamiliar to me then, but now it is etched into my heart forever.

Purple water lilies perched on green leafy pads floated on a serene pool of water surrounded by wonderful gardens and glistening cement pathways. How many times I had walked passed this feast of beauty and yet each time it took my breath away. Flowers danced about the great white fountain creating sounds to serenade the spectator. Tall pink high rise buildings bordered the gardens of Parkview. In the distance majestic mountains speckled the horizon. Just above the pond stood a staircase leading to a great white gazebo on a grassy hill, and just beyond the walls you could see glimpses of the exciting city. The neon city lay just beyond the reservoir and beneath the steep mountains of Tai Tam. I had embraced this beauty for so many years. I memorized each and every detail for today. As I reflect, I can still feel the thrill within my soul at the memory of the sights I once was privileged to enjoy.

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“Without Faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to God. For to come near to God I must believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

One of my cherished possessions is a little volume signed by the author, Margaret Moore-Jacobs. The name of this treasure is The Secret of a Happy Life. In it Margaret Moore-Jacobs writes short stories reflecting a sweeter time. A time when God was at the forefront of most lives, and people were mindful in all that they did. Families sat down to supper around the same time every evening. and the children were tucked safely into their beds at an early hour.

The wisdom in this enchanting book encourages me to think about designing my own life and that of my family around the sweeter things in life. Her book was published in 1952, but her view of life can be applied to our lives today. Whenever I read her stories I am always comforted. I am inspired by her writing to embrace the simple abundance that surrounds me now and to be thankful. On ever page of The Secret of a Happy Life, the warm memoir rekindles the desire to dwell on what is good in life. I found this little treasure many year ago in a wonderful old book store in Cranbury, New Jersey. I keep it by my reading chair, and whenever I lose perspective I pick it up and read one of her stories. The title is just what the book holds inside, a simple reminder of the secret to having a happy life.

Recently someone criticized my “Be Happy Attitude” life philosophy. She said that this does not work in today’s world. I thought about her words and how I want to inspire people and not to turn them off by some sugar-coated messages. The world that Margaret Moore-Jacobs lived in went through a depression and WWII. In that chapter of our history people held God closer to their lives. They knew that the harder the times the more closely they needed to cleave to faith in God. They embraced their faith, romance and a sense that they cherished everything because of the vulnerability they felt.

Shortly after 911 people flocked to church. Charles Stanley in his sermon remarked about how it was the first time he had seen traffic jams on a Sunday. During these times in a world of so many hurting people and during such a vulnerable time, I believe the only thing that can keep us strong is to have even more faith. To embrace the good and to cherish those dear to us in romance, nostalgia, and love gives our life more purpose. My “be happy” attitude has worked for me for all my life and it has been the key to receiving even more blessings than my arms can hold. Now, when the world is so vulnerable I cannot imagine getting up every day and not relying on my faith in God. We need to lift up, encourage and inspire those around us so that we can give, help and support one another.

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Once upon a time, when my two daughters were small I had a reason to be in the Children’s section of the library or the book store.

Over the years I learned what wonderful lessons, ideas and simple fun are inside every book. I have quite a collection of children’s books now that my daughter’s have grown. Yet from time to time when I am not having a good day, I wander over to my favorite book store. I march right over to the Children’s section of the store (I pretend that I am buying a gift for some other child) and I find life’s best therapy for this child. Besides the marvelous illustrations found on the covers and in all of the picture books, the area is usually quite charming. I always leave with a smile and a sense of renewed hope.

There is a great deal of wisdom to be found in the Children’s section and all of our old friends are there. Why you will find Peter Pan and Wendy, the characters of The Secret Garden, and Goodnight Moon, and of course good old Paddington Bear and his amazing adventures. The best part…even though we get older, our favorite old friends never do. They are right there waiting to bring back the loveliest memories. The classics are there too, and to step back through the pages of Little Women or some other favorite treasure is such a comfort. No matter how chaotic this grown- up world seems, the characters in the Children’s section always manage to lead me back home.

I have a blog on Childrens Stories I have written and links to favorite places.
http://karenharveycox.wordpress.com

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I sat in my favorite chair this morning reading Proverbs and meditating on the meaning of each verse to feed my heart. Whenever I sit in my chair I can look out of the window and see the all flowers in my garden. My immediate view includes the tall red flowers of “Jacob’s Ladder” against the backdrop of the neighboring purple flowers of “Sweet William.” The hummingbirds love this plant and they drink the nectar from these sweet red flowers daily. I often catch a glimpse of these illusive miniature beings as they visit my garden every morning.

I had just finished reading Proverb 5:23:

“Above all else guard your heart
for it is the wellspring of life”

When I glanced up and I saw my little friend the hummingbird hovering over each red flower. As she gathered the sweet nectar, I could see God’s parable. I am as small as the hummingbird in comparison to the Great Almighty. As I hover over the scripture, I am guarding my heart as the Word says to do, by providing it with the nourishing sweet nectar of God’s Word.

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