Following the paths

Mission San Juan Bautista, California, June 2003

Mission San Juan Bautista, California, June 2003

“If you are ill or facing adversity, you can begin to heal yourself by following the paths others have followed. Forgive yourself and others, live with hope, faith and love and watch the results in your life and in the lives you touch. Remember that success and healing refer to what you do with your life, not to how long you avoid death.”
Bernie Siegel 

One year ago today:

Nothing so easy


  1. gabbie2013

    Reblogged this on Gabbie 2013 blog.

  2. Yesterday I was watching a TEDx talk in which Kathleen Taylor talked about the regrets of the dying. “… in the last chapter of their lives, most people become their authentic selves. They become courageous – they change their minds, apologize, forgive… they find joy in the smallest moments. She urges us not to wait until we are at the end of our lives to find our true selves. ”

    • Bindu, thanks so much for this link. I went to it immediately and listened to it, and it’s very good. When I get most discouraged about falling behind on household tasks, I remind myself what I DON’T want to be saying on my deathbed. I say these kinds of things aloud to Jeff often. “On my deathbed I don’t want to be saying, ‘Well my bathrooms were always clean!'” This reminds me of something that happened in 2009 that really impressed me. We were going to Drew’s seminary graduation in Atlanta, and my parents were not able to go. We borrowed my mother’s brand-new wheelchair to use for Gloria, who had recently broken her leg. That day the chair fell out of the back of our minivan, and tore the upholstery on the arm. I felt awful about it and when I went in to tell Mom and Dad, I said “I have something I need to apologize for, and I hope we can fix it.” I then showed them the torn upholstery on the chair arm. They laughed! “Oh, that’s TERRIBLE,” Daddy said in a sarcastic tone. He then added, more seriously, “When you get to be our age, you will realize how little this kind of thing matters.” Wow. That was the end of that. I had seen that same attitude nearly twenty years earlier when Drew (as a kid) wrecked Mom’s new golf cart that she had bought to ride to and from their garden. I was beside myself with anger at his carelessness, but Mom told me to stop fussing about it. All these years that golf cart has had a crunched front fender that reminds me of the incident that made me so angry, but didn’t seem to faze my parents. Aren’t we lucky to have access to online resources such as TED talks, as well as wise older folks we know and love, who can point the way to us? Thanks for sharing this link!

  3. Sheila

    Good morning, Julia. We enjoyed such a beautiful sunrise and I considered it a good indication that a wonderful week lies ahead. I prayed for strength for all your family and the medical team at the hospital, as we all turn Jeff’s surgery over to God. Your quote made me think of Charles H. Spurgeon’s words.”Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.” With love, Sheila

    • Sheila, what a beautiful and appropriate quote! Thanks for being beside us as we “watch and pray” — I too feel very hopeful. I so appreciate the countless prayers, kind words and healing thoughts that are surrounding us with serenity right now. Each time I type the word “thanks” it seems so inadequate, but I have to trust that people understand how grateful we feel.

  4. I love the Bernie quote ~ Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life is wonderful as well.

    • I find it so helpful to read these inspiring words from doctors, counselors and other professionals who understand that our minds exert tremendous power over the rest of our body. I will always believe that attitude has a very real and tangible effect on the course of our lives. Even when it does not prevent illness or death, it certainly makes the time we are granted much more beautiful. BTW I got my GORGEOUS card last night when we got in from York and got our mail – Thanks so much! It’s wonderful.

      • I loved your cards as well! Thank you ~ I’m loving our connection! Sending heartfelt hugs and prayers xo

  5. Carolyn

    Good morning Julia and Jeff. We wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and I know you have a lot on your plate. Our prayers are with Jeff for a safe surgery tomorrow. Please keep in touch. Not only are prayers for Jeff but for you Julia and the family. Hugs and love to all.

    • Thanks Carolyn, we will keep you posted. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Cyber hugs and love to you and Terry!

  6. Janette Roberts

    You are in my prayers today. May God guide the doctors as Jeff has his surgery and give you and your family peace as you wait.

    Lovingly, Jan

    • Thank you, Jan. I have always said I can feel it when people are praying for us, and I feel it very strongly right now. It is wrapping me in a type of assurance that goes beyond logic. We appreciate your presence here, and your prayers!

  7. Rene

    Julia, praying for you & Jeff already.

    • Thank you, Rene! We are so grateful for all the caring hearts that visit us here.

  8. What a beautiful quote. Keeping you all in our prayers.

    • Thank you Amy! Thanks again for the lovely gift bag and thanks to Steve for bringing it over. Sorry I was so rushed.

  9. Michael

    That was a cool TED talk. I never watched the “Bucket list.”
    Blessings and prayers for tomorrows procedure.

    • I never watched it either, but I plan to. Thanks so much for your prayers and good wishes!

  10. “Vandalism” you say? That’s like saying the artistry of Andy Warhol was mere graffiti. Humph!

    • I think I just might scan that album cover sometime and let readers vote on it. Who knows, maybe Carly S. herself would like it!

      • Thank you for tossing a smile my way, my courageous sister!

        • 🙂 If only I had saved the “IATD” issue of “People!”

  11. Michael

    Did Drew go to Emory? I have a friend who went there. Going to Atlanta for New Years. I heard the campus is very beautiful and hope to visit someday.
    I guess I should get going on the bucket list as most people- as per article- don’t get to finish half.

    • Mike, Drew has been at Emory for nearly 8 years now. He went through seminary at Candler in 2006-2009, then on the advice of professors, he entered a 5-year PhD program in American church history. He was ABD about a year ago and is finishing up his dissertation; should get his diploma in June 2014. He’s been on full scholarship plus stipend the entire time, so it hasn’t cost us anything; that’s been a real plus :-). Emory is very highly regarded in Atlanta. Although it’s an urban campus that lacks the charm of those that are situated farther out from the city, I do think it’s a pretty place.

  12. That’s a very profound message. Considering how much effort goes into postponing the inevitable, maybe even including exercise and a good diet we are all die’ing from the day we are born in a sense. I heard someone say once, (I think the other person was being scolded for wasting their life) “this ain’t no dress rehearsal you know”. It struck a chord because it’s easy to have regrets, harder to live with joy, integrity and passion every single day. It’s a good goal to set out there though.

    • Yes, nobody gets out of this world alive, and time flies whether we’re having fun or not. So we would certainly do well to discipline ourselves not to fritter time away on things that we don’t really value. Easier said than done, but as you say, a good goal.

  13. Excellent Quote.
    Self realization is cessation of thoughts and of all mental activity. Thoughts are like bubbles upon the surface of the sea. —- Ramana Maharshi. — on Happiness.

    • That’s an interesting thought to contemplate (or would that defeat the purpose? :-)) Seriously, the post from one year ago today (November 29, 2012) refers to the “froth and bubble” of life. It’s one of my favorite quotes, and very relevant to your comment here. I’ve always had the tendency to over-think everything, and I think the mental image of bubbles on the surface (as well as the Buddhist concept of Monkey Mind) are helpful for me when I get caught up in the circular tendency to obsess about something. Thanks for being with us today!

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