Tag Archives: hope

Dog Days of Summer

 “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time.” ~John Lubbock, “Recreation,” The Use of Life, 1894
IMG_0881These are strange and breathless days, the dog days…” ― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
It’s August.  Hot, humid, sticky August.  It’s the “dog-days-of-summer” and everyone is just trying to stay cool.  Lemonade and iced tea flow through the kitchen like a river over shiny, cold stones of ice.  Even the occasional rain shower is cause for celebration.  The heat of summer begs us to pause in the shade and be still.
As I sat on the porch this morning and looked out at the flowers struggling in the heat I was reminded of a scripture in the book of James.  It says, “The sun rises with its blazing heat and burns the plant; its flower falls off, and its beauty is destroyed.” (James 1:11)    Sounds fairly hopeless, doesn’t it?  But a little later James talks about tests and temptations and gives a message of hope… “Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a temptation, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him.”  (James 1:12)
As I sat there in the morning summer heat pondering James’ words I heard a swift strong breeze rustling the leaves of the trees as it approached.  It’s coolness blew through me and went on its way.  That is when I found my own hope for the day.  That “pneuma” or Holy Spirit is what keeps me refreshed when the going gets tough and I find myself in some sort of heated challenge or trial.  When I am open to the wind of the Holy Spirit I am refreshed and renewed.
So just for today, grab your tall glass of lemonade and a friend.  Find some shady spot to strengthen one another in faithful living.  Remind someone today of God’s promise of love and the Holy Spirit’s refreshing gift.

If you would like to know more about GraceStone Sanctuary, please visit our website at gracestonesanctuary.com

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The Seeds of a Sanctuary

sanctuary%20(2)When I was a little girl my momma planned a perfect surprise birthday party for my sixth birthday.  It was the first party… and the last one… she ever gave me.  That was not because she was mean nor uncaring, but because she realized all too late just how terrifying the whole ordeal was for me.  I was a shy child.  This may be difficult for some of you who know me now to believe.  But I was. It didn’t matter what size or age they were. All people seemed to me to be the monsters, ogres, and evil queens come to life from fairy tales.  People came with expectations that I didn’t understand and rules that I didn’t want to obey.  People.  I didn’t like them and I believed they didn’t like me.  So that day, at party time, when I opened the door to a room full of ghouls shouting at me I turned and ran.  I don’t remember exactly how far or how long I ran, but I do remember after all that running finding myself tucked safely away in the extra quilts at the back of my closet, far away from the sights and the sounds of my surprise birthday party guests.  Long before that day I had created this little place of sanctuary in my closet.  I loved the colors and feel of the soft quilts and blankets momma had stored in there. Under them, I had tucked a paper from Sunday School. Printed on it was a picture of Jesus carrying a little lamb.  He was standing on the words I LOVE YOU.  Behind The Shepherd were dark mountains, but he stood there loving that little lamb, surrounded by rays of light.  That picture made me feel safe.  Other things had become part of this safe place, too. I had gathered a small rock that fit in the palm of my hand that felt strong and cool and also a handmade paper fan that I used to stir the air of the musty dark space.  And on that day with the party celebration raging outside my window I felt safe with Jesus in my closet.  I did not know then that I had created a sacred space, only that I felt loved and safe and I could breathe.  I also did not know that this little space would be a seed of what my husband and I have now joined hands with God to create as our home, as GraceStone Sanctuary.


As an adult I have a very different attitude toward people.  Simply put, when I am able to see beyond the wounds and scars of someone’s life  and see the beauty God perfectly created in that person, I love through Christ’s eyes.  His view has no fear, no running away, no hiding.  Instead His eyes beckon us to come into the safe surrounding of His love and care.  My hope for GraceStone Sanctuary is that it will be a sacred and safe place for all people to come in, to be loved, to be renewed, and to celebrate.  That birthday long ago taught me something important.  That is – sometimes we all feel burdened, weary, and afraid.  And sometimes we just need to find a safe soft place to rest with The Shepherd, holding firm to The Rock, being renewed and revived by the cool breeze of the Holy Spirit.  And then we can once again go out into the world carrying with us a spirit of joy and celebration.
GraceStone Sanctuary c.1930...a long history of celebration!
GraceStone Sanctuary c.1930…a long history of celebration!
This is when it was known as Greystone Lodge.


He Heals

Day 19 January 19, 2014


He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. -Psalm 147:3

Healing Light

Circle Me, Lord

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.  -Psalm 30:2

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller

“Circle me, Lord. Keep protection near And danger afar.
Circle me, Lord Keep hope within. Keep doubt without.
Circle me, Lord. Keep light near And darkness afar.
Circle me, Lord. Keep peace within. Keep evil out.”

-David Adam

Hope Road

Day 362 December 30, 2013

“Hope is a rainbow of thought.”   ― Harley King

Hope road
“Make a rainbow ….” -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“To hope and dream is not to ignore the practical. It is to dress it in colors and rainbows.”  -Dr Anne Wilson Schaef

 “God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us-in the dreariest and most dreaded moments-can see a possibility of hope.”  -Maya Angelou

“May your journey through life be vibrant and full of colorful rainbows.”   ―Harley King

Hope Key

Day 320  November 18, 2013

“Where there is a Key, there is yet hope.” ― Catherynne M. Valente

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“Make a unique key and/or lock.  Of make something out of keys and/or a lock.”  from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

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“Lord Jesus,’ Christy whispered, ‘I want You to hold the key. I want You to decide what should happen in my heart’s garden. … Take the key, Lord. Take all my keys. I’ll wait for you.” ― Robin Jones Gunn

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“Many never realize they always had the key in their pocket,

so they die at the locked door, never reaching deep inside to pull it out.”― Anthony Liccione

“Every closed door isn’t locked and even if it is…YOU just might have the key! Search within to unlock a world of possibilities!” ― Sanjo Jendayi

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It Only Takes A Spark

Day 313  November 11, 2013

“The  spark divine dwells in thee: let it grow.”  –Ella  Wheeler Wilcox

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“Work just with matches, flames, or fire today (but be careful!)  from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“At  times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the  flame within us.”  –Albert Schweitzer

“You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.”   ― Oprah Winfrey

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all.”― Ayn Rand

Glory in the Morning

Day 291  October 20, 2013

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” ― Meister Eckhart


God’s Version

My Doodling

My Doodling

“Make something outdoors seem like it is indoors.”  from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“The morning glory which blooms for an hour differs not at heart from the giant pine, which lives for a thousand years.”  ― Alan Wilson Watts

“A new day: Be open enough to see opportunities. Be wise enough to be grateful. Be courageous enough to be happy.”  ― Steve Maraboli

“Hi! My little hut
Is newly-thatched I see…
Blue morning-glories” 
― Kobayashi Issa, Japanese Haiku

“The longest way must have its close – the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning.”   ― Harriet Beecher Stowe

Hope Grows

Day 260  September 19, 2013

“God can inject hope into a absolutely hopeless situation.”   ― Mark Evans

Hope in Brown Field by Trish Hernandez

Hope in a Brown Field
by Trish Hernandez

“How now brown cow?  Work only with brown materials today.  Try working on a brown surface for a real challenge.”  -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”  ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

“My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white. My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I’m told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, but its silver when its wet, and all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”   ― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”   ― Pablo Neruda

“Even in the grave, all is not lost.”   ― Edgar Allan Poe

River of Hope

Day 214   August 3, 2013

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.  As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”   -John 7:37,38

River of Hope

River of Hope

“Get to the point.  Use toothpicks as your main material or inspiration today.”  -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.”   – Emma Smith

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”   -Shel Silverstein

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”  -Winnie the Pooh


Hope to Grow; Faith to Go

Day 109  April 20, 2013

“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.”   –Aeschylus


“Play in the dirt.  Go outside and create something in or with the first patch of dirt you can find.”  -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin 

“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”  -Liberty Hyde Bailey

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5: 7

“Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, And looks to God alone; Laughs at impossibilities, And cries it shall be done.”  –Charles Wesley