The last refuge

I caught our son dozing with his canine companion, sometime around 2001

I caught our son dozing with his canine companion, sometime around 2001

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.”Oscar Wilde

I know very few people who do not lead complex lives, and most of us yearn for simplicity.  Yet the complexity is also a blessing; a rich fabric woven with countless threads that add color, durability or utility.  Thus I have mixed emotions about clearing distractions from my life; I can’t really say that I would be better off without the many people, interests and responsibilities that fill my days.

Perhaps the answer lies somewhere between simplicity and complexity. If we keep places of retreat in our lives, corners where we can find quiet and serenity, we will be better equipped to navigate the more difficult terrain where we encounter challenges that reward us with different gifts.  Today, I wish for you a retreat to — or discovery of — a safe, warm refuge of calm amid the inevitable busyness of life.


  1. God Morning, Julia, Thank You for sharing the gift of your thoughts this day. Fruit of your spirit. i too give thanks to God for the blessing of drawing near to Him alone first so that i may secure my life and reNew my Spirit with the Trinity. Petitioning and surrendering all the needs of this day for All to ForeverFAITHfulFATHER in prayer in Jesus, in His glory and honor and thanks to Him. Love and Hugs to my sister & all in your domain in Christ.

    • Thank you Kate! I hope you have a wonderful day.

  2. Good Lord’s day.
    “Jesus is a rock in a weary land…
    A shelter in the time of storm”
    We always have Him as a place of refuge if we will avail ourselves of it. In fact, let us not forget that He is the source of any of our “places of refuge”….such as Pasha!

    • Thanks Carla! I have come to believe that all our animal friends are gifts from God, and I am especially grateful for the dogs and cats and birds and other pets that have added so much to the lives of so many people I know. God has given us so many places of refuge and peace, and even when it’s hard to make time for them, we always know they are there.

      • Such a darling picture! So many lessons to be gained just from photographs. How can you not be peaceful and happy when you look at it! Thanks for sharing!

        • Carla, I started this blog partly because I read of research that said looking at photographs was as effective at raising the mood as a number of other remedies including chocolate, exercise or therapy! In the few months I’ve been looking through my photos for a post each day, I have found that to be true. I’m so glad you like the photo.

  3. Thank you for sharing such a sweet photo. They both look so comfy in that moment. I do enjoy watching the cats snoozing in the sun or snuggled together in their favourite places. Since they sleep 18 hours a day, it’s an easy fix to a stressful day. Which admittedly , I don’t have many off. Lucky lucky me.

    • I think cats are maybe the most relaxed and relaxing animals around. I am so happy you have relatively little stress in your life – something we can all aspire to. It may be partly due to luck, but also I think it’s a mindset and a way of life, one I’m trying to cultivate here and elsewhere.

      • Oh, I think you give many a soft place to land everyday Julia. You are truly a nurturer that cultivates that right here.

        • Thank you, I really appreciate your encouragement!

  4. Sheila

    Julia, I often refer to special family members and special friends as ” nearest and dearest”!
    I try to be close and available to them, but also reserve time for Bill and me (and Salty). I always love Sunday afternoons, sorta comfort food for the soul! Sheila

    • Sheila, I agree — Sunday afternoons are special. When Jeff and I were first married we had several years with no kids, and I used to nap pretty often on Sunday afternoons. I admire Chick-Fil-A for refusing to stay open on Sundays. It’s always refreshing to see a company that doesn’t make every decision based on dollars.

  5. Ryan

    Drew really favors you in this sweet picture.

    • Ryan, thanks! People used to always talk about how much Drew looks like me, but we don’t hear that as much anymore – maybe it’s his beard or my aging face! 🙂


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