An untroubled spirit

Jeff at Natural Bridge Virginia, 2005

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.” —Marcus Aurelius

I’ve always admired my husband’s stoic nature, even as I get frustrated and impatient when he seems unable to share my highs and lows.  In the face of his catastrophic illness, with wave upon wave of bad news overtaking us, that quality takes on huge dimensions and increases my admiration exponentially.  It provides a stark context for the deep faith that has always been the foundation of his life.  May we all have access to such a firm foundation when the storms of life pound away at us.


  1. Faith sometimes is hard to find, especially when life is so difficult, but God has given us all a measure of faith so it’s up to all of us to grow that faith. I thank God that Jeff has been a loyal servant and done just that.

    • As have you, my stalwart and tireless friend! Thanks for being there all the times when I come running to you for understanding.

  2. Eric Hedden

    Julia is certainly describing the Colonel that I know. Even the photo chosen is a very natural one, and typifies an air of humility she hasn’t mentioned. Nor could I ever think of him as being one of “those who have no hope”, mentioned in 1Thessalonians 4:13!

    • Thank you Eric. You have probably seen Jeff in more different contexts over the past 34 years than almost anyone else, so I appreciate your words of praise. Of course I am biased, but I could not agree with you more.

  3. Barbara Winters

    Julia – Thank you for the pictures & posts. They provide me with a few moments of pondering. And your pictures are breath-taking. Thank you for sharing. Praying for you and your family!   Barb 🙂

    • Barb, I’m so happy to have you on this site with us. Visiting with you and Ann (in person and via correspondence) has filled a real gap in my life. You both share my drive to write as well as my determination to put that calling squarely behind the other priorities that sometimes must come first. You’re an example and a blessing!

  4. Thank you so much my dear sister. I needed this so much right now.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you….both you and Jeff, for being who you are.

    • Carla, that’s especially kind coming from you; you have seen both Jeff and me at our worst! But hopefully we will live up to your tribute.

  5. Carlyle

    You highlight the element of Jeff’s character and personality that I have found most outstanding. Your steadfast support and love are the greatest gift you can give.

    • Thank you Daddy. As a lot of daughters do, I married a man who reminded me in many ways of my father.

  6. Mike Carter

    Came across this quote today on devotional site. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Hellen Keller


    • Mike, AMAZING – I just read that quote myself (for the first time) yesterday, I think — and thought “that’s a really great thought, I should include that on my blog.” Thanks for sharing it!

  7. in Jesus name. amen. joining in praying without ceasing … in Love.

    • Thanks so much, Kate. I appreciate your presence on this site and your steadfast prayers for us.

  8. Kathy

    Beautiful photo! And beautiful commentary on Jeff’s courage and faith. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Kathy, for walking with me through so much over the years, and now through this…

  9. Don Buckner

    Al filled me in last night on the latest. My Grandmother was fond of saying “watch and pray”. We are here with you, watching and praying.

    • Thanks so much, Don. Your family means the world to me and your prayers are helping us survive.

  10. Carol Douglas

    John and I were upheld by the prayers of family and friends when Tara went through cancer. Such a privilege to do so now for your family. The thought that won’t leave me alone today as I pray/contemplate is that we serve a God whose business is the restoration of all things; He is making all things new. Such comfort!

    • Thank you, Carol. Our memories of the years shared with you and our other “family” on the Central Coast are among the happiest of our lives. It is wonderful to have you still with us in thought and prayer.

  11. Still wandering around, my gosh I’m so sorry to know you and your husband an family are facing such a difficult thing. I can’t even imagine. I’m touched that you put these lovely quotes and photos together every day.

    We’ve been at this very spot and actually got engaged on a trip to Virginia

    • Isn’t it a beautiful place? We have come to really love Virginia, although the first few years here I was still in mourning for having to leave northern California. But each place has a beauty all its own and I guess I’ve never lived anywhere I didn’t love. Thanks for your kind words about the blog – I can’t wait to try some of your craft ideas. Your blog is a real visual treat and a great boost to the spirit!

      • Thank you Julia, that’s just lovely of you to say.
        We also thought Virginia was gorgeous and hope we can visit again sometime. Alas California is much closer and we love it there too. Mind you, everything is a bit far from here LOL.

        • The good part is that computers (for all their annoyances and pitfalls) do help to bring the whole world closer! The blogging community is truly international.


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