Absolutely, positively, certainly

Fresh flowers bought for a few dollars at the Kroger markdown bin give us days of enjoyment, and lift my spirits every time I come into the kitchen.  Here’s to inexpensive joys!

“In our rush for newer, quicker, better, we seem to be missing out on what we fundamentally crave, a calmer, gentler, sweeter and more gracious life.  Is it easy to achieve such a life?  Definitely not.  Is it possible?  Absolutely, positively, certainly, yes.  (Don’t look for impossible from me; I’ve never found a solution in cynicism.)”  — Alexandra Stoddard

I’ve always loved Alexandra Stoddard’s writing.  Her words are calm, measured, and unfailingly optimistic, and she understands that life is a gift to be treasured in all circumstances.  As we struggle with the toughest challenges, we find renewal in seeking for good wherever it can be found.  May your day be blessed with eyes, heart and mind sharply focused on the abundance all around us.


  1. salpa58

    Natures beauty shared and enjoyed on a bright sunny day.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for visiting and commenting. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  2. Stoddard has solved a conundrum for me! Having recently discussed your mother, I would like to quote your father: Cynicism has been given a bad name.” I understood his stance, but craved for a reply. In the following words from your post, I learn that I do not need to condemn cynicism, but just to question its efficacy in dealing with life’s serious problems: “I’ve never found a solution in cynicism.” Brilliant!

    • Eric, my thoughts exactly. Glad you liked it.

  3. Mike Bertoglio

    Something in line with verse from John about overcoming. But Palmer talks a lot about living with the paradoxes of life so maybe its living between despair and joy within the paradox. I don’t know. Despair is also on the palette and part of the color selection.
    Cynicism is part of growing up and we all grow through that adolescent angst with people like Camus and Nietzche and you come to realise at some point that it is kind of a dead end and not that life affirming. Me: I think I will stick with the flowers.

    • Thanks Mike, I agree – flowers for me! However, just this morning I read a quote from a Johnny Cash song that I think I will include in this blog at some point; it’s about recognizing that darkness is indeed part of the color selection. Reading that particular quote from Cash at the beginning of the day today, which turned out to be another tough day with the doctors and the ever-increasingly sad realities of our situation, helped me to remember that Jesus also said “blessed are those who mourn.” Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Have you read Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts”? I think you would like it. She encourages the reader to see God and thank Him in the small gifts He gives us each day – like your bouquet of flowers. I loved reading it because of her poetic way of writing. Just reading her beliefs here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/ann-voskamp/ made me cry because of the creative way she expresses herself.

    • Barb, I haven’t read her yet but will certainly look her up! Thanks for being here with us through this, and for sharing this link with us.

    • Goldie

      Thank you Barb the website above led me to some great blogs that have blessed my heart. just hope I can find them again special thanks and blessings to you and Julia

      • Thank you, Goldie! Barb is WONDERFUL and she has such great resources to offer. So happy you visited us here – please come back 🙂

  5. You are so right about the beautiful flowers and all such pleasures! The Alexandra Stoddard quote is so right on! NO SOLUTIONS IN CYNICISM! Thanks as always for your uplifting message

    • Carla, thanks for being one of the people who have taught me this great lesson!

  6. Susan

    Thank you for being such a blessing Julia! You are a positive encourager and your attitude through out many difficult circumstances is an inspiration and a great example of faith and trust in God. May you and your family be blessed and your prayers answered.

    • Thank you so much, Susan. I really do need the encouraging words right now. It is so hard to watch all that Jeff is suffering. He has barely been awake since his surgery yesterday (it lasted over 14 hours and was quite difficult) and though I’m anxious to be able to communicate with him, I am thankful that he is mostly sleeping through everything right now. We really need and appreciate the prayers! I’m so happy you like the blog.

  7. I will keep this on my sleeve today, while my problems are minuscule in comparison to others, yesterday was a pain in the butt. I got stuck in the snow in our condo complex and spent almost an hour digging until a nice neighbour offered a push (a giant truck just got stuck moments ago), then a lady backed into me as I drove thru a parking lot. When I began to recap my day on Facebook a good friend also reminded me that I’d feel better if I looked around at all our blessings and put my feet up. As luck would have it, I have much to be grateful for.

    • Yes, and I can see why you’d have to remind yourself of that with the hassles that go along with bad weather. It was actually sleeting and/or snowing here today but fortunately I didn’t have to be outside much since all the buildings in this hospital complex are connected by covered walkways or indoor passages. I love to look at snow and ice but DON’T want to be out in it except to have fun. Digging cars out is definitely no fun.


  1. Nevertheless | Defeat Despair
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