See all the good

If this field was full of flowers, that tulip would scarcely be noticed.  Washington, DC, April 2013

If the field was full of flowers, that tulip would scarcely be noticed. Washington, DC, April 2013

“Maybe all my days are filled with little miracles, but I’m too distracted by what I think is my life to notice them. Sometimes bad news is the best way to see all the good quickly and clearly.” Glennon Doyle Melton

When trouble hits, whether it’s catastrophic or just a series of mind-numbing irritations, it’s so easy to see everything through the filter of what is bothering us most.  The good news is, if we can break out of that tendency, we might be able to use the sorrow or anger or frustration to effect a complete reversal in what we see.  The absolutely glorious beauties or profound mercies or steadfast comforts that fill our lives will glow brightly against the backdrop of all that’s not going right.

If there’s anything troubling you today, anything sad or infuriating or tiresome or exhausting, I hope you can use that as a starting point to think about all the bad things that AREN’T happening, and from there it’s a short hop to all the good things that are still there, all around us though obscured by the noise of the negative.  I hope your day brings all the good into sharp and clear focus!

One year ago today

To see takes time


  1. raynard

    Julia I almost had a epihany and a fruedian slip to receive that poem about golden daffodils. Then as this heavy rain came down I snapped out of it lol.going to scale back cake baking next year and possible take more of my Smokey&the Bandit/Cannonball runs road trips. Since I’ve been on vacation had no reason to keep wearing my watch.Been wearing one since I was 11. I’m not having a reason to keep up with the time for awhile anyway.tell Jeff hello for me and I live near Philadelphia but dont root for any of their sports get cold standing on the ledge next to the pigeons lol be blessed

    • Raynard it’s great to be able to go without a watch. Most young people seem to use their cell phones anyway but I wear a watch when I need to be on time. Are you a Yankees fan since you grew up in NYC? My older son is almost as anti-Yankee as he is pro-Atlanta Braves and Oakland A’s (his two favorite teams). Nobody in our house cares too much about football but if I lived near PHL I would probably root for the Steelers anyway. I wonder if pigeons get cold? And where do they build their nests in the city?

      • raynard

        Julia, you will find this hard to believe. I grew up rooting for basketball teams first, ( NYKnicks , then Baseball ( NY Mets) The Yankees and all the other NY teams came after. But somewhere along the line ,I started rooting for the Steelers and the Oakland Raiders.As you might not be aware of this years Super Bowl will be held in the Meadowlands where The NY Giants play.( I’ll be watching it on TV only for the commercials) Not too much a daily follower of sports these days,( you know ESPN and cable tv, Sports Illustrated) I do catch bits and pieces while online.Hope you are Jeff are resting bunny rabbit slippers and all. be blessed

        • Raynard I am glad you have such good taste in football teams, and I much prefer the Mets to the Yanks (I guess you can recall the days of Tom Terrific). My younger brother was a big fan of the Oakland Raiders in the 1970’s, especially Fred Biletnikoff, who made such an awesome receiver for Kenny Stabler. Hard to argue with that combination. I was definitely not aware of where the Super Bowl will be played this year since I quit watching football in the mid to late 70’s when baseball again took over my heart. However, Jeff does follow all of it in “bits and pieces” as you do. We are cozy today in something closely approximating bunny slippers! Hope you are too!

    • Rene

      Driving home from Arizona yesterday, we stopped at a McDonald’s. There was an 8 or 9 year old boy with his dad (or grandpa) ahead of us in line. The boy had a shiny watch on his arm, and kept glancing at it the whole time the man was ordering. It was precious.

      • Wow, that is so cool; I didn’t know whether kids even wore watches anymore. I have a fond memory of an adorable little old man who was admiring a watch that a childhood friend of mine was given for Christmas. “Hey, that’s a Mickey Mouse!” he said, impressed. “That’s one of the very best!” As if it was a Rolex or something. My older brother found that hilarious and at the time I didn’t know why. Now I get it. 🙂

  2. Look for the good and think the best of others is my motto. and indeed I’m grateful for all the my many blessings.

    • Thank you Merry, I am up WAY too late tonight but it is lovely to hear from you. I am not surprised to learn you have such a lovely motto, it comes through in your encouraging comments! Thanks so much for bringing cheer to me here (even when it’s way past my bedtime! 🙂 ) Hope you will have a great day today.

  3. Sheila

    Julia, your blog made me recall the lyrics from the Temptations song, My Girl. “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May!” I’ve hummed that song about a million times in my 65 years. Remember. I don’t sing! 🙂

    • Aw, come on Sheila, surely at least you sing when nobody is around? 🙂 If you can’t imagine yourself capturing the Temptations style, maybe you can go for the Mama and Papas version of that song, with Mama Cass and her awesome harmonic contralto at the end. I love those sunny, happy songs and I think singing (or humming) them actually lifts the spirits in a real, biological way. I am so happy to have grown up singing at least three times a week at church. The songs and the singing itself have gotten me through many a sorrow.

      • raynard

        Julia I thought I heard Shelia singing California Dreaming and a song from the 80’s titled Manic Monday..byt I think it was 69 when all our sports teams won championships ,Mets beat Orioles in World Series, Knicks NBS champs and Jets the Super Bowl. Do you remember “the hedi game was it the Jets and The Raiders ?i

        • Raynard, I don’t remember that one – it must be from the Joe Namath days. All I remember about Broadway Joe was the popcorn popper 🙂 since I was never a fan of any of the NY teams. It would be neat to have the city sweep all the championships in one year!

      • Sheila

        Julia, you share so much that is fun and also meaningful. Those are interesting stats regarding what singing can actually do. To repeat a phrase, “You’re so smart and I’m so understanding!” 🙂

        • OK Sheila, I will be listening to the “southern vibes” channel (not heard by the ear, only by the heart) for the sound of you belting out a few sunny tunes. Thanks for being smart AND understanding!

  4. I agree Julia, don’t sweat the small stuff or things you can’t affect or change. I love the photo you’ve taken of the little early riser 😀 such an sweet analogy of your quote. “out with the bad air, in with the good”…I wonder who first coined that but it was fun to repeat as a kid and is still applicable as a grown-up.

    • YES I had forgotten hearing that phrase as a kid but I remember it now! A good way to start each day. I find that when I’m anxious, deep breathing can be very calming, and is more so when I actually visualize breathing in light, joy, good things, and breathing out fear, anger, pain and sorrow. I know some people would think that sounds a bit strange but I think it really helps.

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