That’s why I recommend it

I photographed Alfred Stevens' Le Bain at the Louvre in August 2005. (Artwork is in the common domain.)

I photographed Alfred Stevens’ “Le Bain” at the Louvre in August 2005.
(Artwork is in the common domain.)

“People often tell me that motivation doesn’t last, and I tell them that bathing doesn’t either.  That’s why I recommend it daily.”Zig Ziglar

I hope it’s obvious why I like this quote.  As I’ve often said, this blog is my own way of forcing myself to focus on the positive things and be grateful for blessings that are always there even in times of great sorrow.  But I could do that in a private journal; why a blog?

For the answer to that question, just read the comments; it’s YOU!  Through blogging I have “met” more people all over the world than I ever dreamed possible, and have been the happy recipient of so many kind words, deep thoughts, interesting exchanges and pure fun.  As with so many valuable experiences, motivation is always more powerful when shared.

In sharing my thoughts and photos, I hope to help others and I always feel happy when someone tells me a post has been beneficial for them.  But one thing is certain; I have gotten back far more than I have given.

So thanks for being here, and being part of my day!  I hope you will find some motivation here, but if not, I just know you can find it elsewhere in the blogosphere, where optimism, big hearts, and sympathetic understanding are available in abundance.  And if you don’t care for blogging, just visit with a friend in person.  People make life worthwhile, and taking a few minutes to check in with people we care about can lift our own spirits as well as theirs.

Motivation is easy to find if you look for it.  And I recommend looking for it daily!

One year ago today:

Unless we share


  1. Dear Julia, it is so true – connection with people and having that informal support network is huge. A lot of us tend to isolate when we’re feeling down (maybe we don’t want to drag others into whatever icky place we find ourselves), but is not the best choice. I read a book titled “The Happiness Hypothesis,” and although the author is not Christian, he presents historical social phenomenon and cites more recent studies in a more scientifically objective manner, and towards the end of the book (spoiler alert) the reader can see quite clearly that it is in giving of ourselves and helping others that brings us happiness . So you see, it is not only good for ourselves to reach out when we’re feeling down, it’s good for our family, friends, and community, as they reach back!
    Thank you for helping us help you! (Not to mention the pleasure that your daily posts bring to this community! )
    Love and hugs,

    • Susan, thanks so much for your kind comments about this blog. I would like to read the book you mentioned and I’ve put it on my reminder list of titles. I agree with you that feeling sad can easily become a self-perpetuating cycle, as we tend to isolate ourselves and/or become so unpleasant that people want to stay away from our gloomy world. Without fail, I have found that the best way to break that cycle is to reach out. Write a note to someone, donate time or money to a cause I believe in, or get out and take a walk and visit with neighbors (dogs are a GREAT ice-breaker as nearly everyone is comfortable with a stranger’s friendly attention to their dog). This blog is my attempt to help break that cycle by creating a safe and friendly place online, where EVERYBODY is welcome. Thanks for being here with us!

  2. Jim Beavers

    Julia, your entry this morning reminded me again how important your words are to me each day. I want you to know how much I appreciate what you do here. I never miss a day reading your blog.Thank you.

    • Jim, thanks so much for being here daily. I am always happy to hear from you. It’s an encouragement to me if anyone is enjoying what I post here. I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment now and then. I know some people aren’t naturally inclined to get chatty online, so it’s nice to hear from those who have introduced themselves in the past, just a quick check-in to let me know you are still there and doing at least well enough to post a note! I don’t want this blog to be all about just my family, though of course that’s my favorite topic. 🙂

  3. This is your ‘purpose.’ Most people wonder and continuously look for the purpose God has created them for. Well–it’s all in your natural, God-given talent. So just keep on, keepin’ on because we absolutely LOVE IT! (and YES–it’s very therapeutic for “such a time as this.)”

    • Thank you Renee! If Mary Ann is my west coast cheerleader, you are my east coast cheerleader! How lucky am I, to have such amazingly strong women behind me? I miss seeing you lately, and hope we will be back at church soon – for various reasons we have ended up in the DC area on Sundays lately and might not be back for a few weeks, but you know I will be looking for you then. We’ve been in York mostly during the weekdays lately. Hope you are having a great week!

  4. Carolyn

    I enjoy reading your blogs. I’m happy that we were able to connect again. I will send a note soon. Eyes are still sore. Hugs to all.

    • Thanks Carolyn, I so appreciate your taking time to stay in touch despite your health issues. Hope your eyes are feeling better each day. Sending love and get-well wishes!

  5. Mary Ellen

    Still read your blog. Nearly every day. Always motivated by your insightful quotes and thoughts and beautiful photographs

    • Thank you, Mary Ellen! I am always so encouraged to hear from someone who enjoys the blog. Thanks for being here!

  6. Motivation comes in various forms. It calls us to action either from an inner push or an outer pull. The former being generated by our own purpose, the latter generated by another’s. In answering either call, a condition can be substantially improved.
    I “am” pleased to be considered a part of your day, Julia. And please know you have become an enjoyable and influential part of mine.

    • Thanks so much, Alan! I appreciate your explanation of the difference between internal and external motivation. I suppose the most potent calls are a blend of both, but sometimes the two appear to conflict (or at least compete) and therein lies the dilemma, at least for me. So much to do, so little time! Thanks for being here.

  7. singleseatfighterpilot

    Though I met you in a small Texas town, in the mid-Fifties, I hope lately I have been a part of some of your “interesting exchanges”?

    • Oh, definitely. In fact, some of the most interesting and memorable! And that’s not even counting the tail-kicking contests or all night zany laugh fests of years gone by!

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        Arigatou gozaimasu

        • dou itashi mashi te

          • singleseatfighterpilot

            Anata wa Nihongo wo hanashimasu ka?

            • いや、しかし、あなたは、インターネット上で何を翻訳することができます
              Iya, shikashi, anata wa, intānetto-jō de nani o hon’yaku suru koto ga dekimasu

  8. MaryAnn

    “People make life worthwhile”. A perfect foundation from which to accomplish the things we must do. Putting people first is how God treats us & wants us to do the same.
    Great reminder!

    • Thank you Mary Ann! It’s a rewarding, if difficult, message to keep in mind.

  9. Dorothy Walker

    Thank you Julia for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us! When my husband and I traveled many years ago, as well as sharing experiences with one another I sent many postcards to family and friends telling of our daily adventures. Members of our family and friends gave back the cards as I had mislaid the diary I’d been keeping! these cards are now in an album with the many photos. It is easy to share our happiness but not always so easy to share our sadness, so blogging is a wonderful outlet. Thank you again for sharing.

    • Thank you Dorothy, I am so happy to hear from friends “Down Under” (well, anyplace really, but I so hope to visit that part of the world someday). I just love old postcards, and have a few that I sent Jeff and the boys on those rare occasions I traveled without them. But I’ve even bought postcards at antique shops, with their evocative messages from people I never knew. They are indeed the forerunners of blogging, so I feel an affinity for any sort of written correspondence. To me, letters are the most meaningful form of writing. I agree with you that it’s important to acknowledge ALL of life, the good and the not-so-good, though it’s easier to share the happy stuff. Thanks for being here!

  10. Isn’t it so true, that’s why I’m here. I’ve been thinking of you and needed my Julia fix STAT. Were you little ears burning? Or is it itchy palms? One of those things used to be said. Silly things we adopt from our parents. One of my dads frequent sayings was, “like a moth to a flame”. Of course he was the flame, LOL. But I truly know people like that, like you. They are effortless in conversation and everyone enjoys their company. That really was my dad too. You could sit and talk for hours and never be board. It’s nice to be a moth, but even better to be a flame, I think. I think the blog-a-sphere by nature has a lot of flames. Because flames naturally want to share the warmth and glow. You wouldn’t generally find a negative or sullen person with a Blog. They probably wouldn’t have the initiative. Are they the same thing? Now I’m wondering. I think of one who initiates as being on board before the prizes are known, while one who’s motivated see’s a reward in a task and wants that reward. That being said, I guess I associate my blog more with initiative. Thanks for being my flame Julia 😀 xoxo

    • Wow, this is a lovely compliment, as I tend to think of myself more as a magnet that repels far more people than it attracts! 😀 I agree that the blogosphere has a lot of bright flames, amazingly so, and it tells me how many talents have been stifled by the gatekeepers of the publishing world — not that they don’t have their place, of course. But initiative is a precious thing, and a timid person is easily discouraged by the brutal world of traditional publication and all the self-serving games played by its power brokers. I think you are spot on in defining initiative as something that’s not connected to guaranteed reward. I never thought of it that way, but it’s quite true. The adventurous spirit was never guaranteed a return for the risk involved. History proves that over and over, as winners and losers do not always achieve based solely on talent or effort. But even the losers are a benefit to humanity, if nothing else for the lessons they leave behind. Thanks for drawing the parallel between me and the image of a flame – it’s a comparison I find very flattering.

  11. Julia, hello! thanks for sharing this interesting photo. I like the quote…A bath refreshes us when nothing else can. 🙂
    It has been a pleasure becoming friends via your blog.
    Blessings to you, Jeff, Matt and Grady’s parents. 🙂

    • Thank you Merry! I am a confirmed bath person. I take a bath every night just before bed, though I do shower when I wash my hair. People often say they don’t have time for a bath, and a shower is quicker, but even a very quick bath is refreshing. When we were searching for a town home in the DC area, realtors told us that very few had bedrooms with adjacent bathrooms that had separate tub/shower combos. Jeff knew how much I would enjoy one, so pretty much the first place we saw that had one, he said “offer them more than asking price.” 😀 That’s a memory dear to my heart. It wasn’t just for that reason he wanted to buy our place here (we love many of its features) but I remember how he held out til we found one with a bathtub off the master bedroom! Thanks for your kind words, I have really enjoyed our friendship too!

  12. Sheila

    Julia, it may come as a surprise to many that we are acquainted at your blog only. We have shared so much and I treasure our friendship. We laugh, we share a few tears…..we’re southern sisters, that really came into each other’s lives through the Upper Room site. My days are complete because of you! 🙂 Love, Sheila

    • Sheila, how true! As I wrote to Boomdee, “some things are just meant to be.” We are like the east coast version of Boomdee and Alys, and I know that one day we will meet in person. Love right back at you! Pass the iced tea!

  13. Michael

    I did not realize you also speak Japanese.

    • I don’t! I got it all off Google Translate. I hope they are not playing practical jokes – I’d hate to leave something silly or offensive in the comments but I wouldn’t know it if I did.

  14. singleseatfighterpilot

    To our studio audience I’d like to say: “This episode of Sibling Rivalry has come to an end; thank you for joining us!” To the winning contestant, let me say that Wink Martindale misled me about your game show prowess. I had no idea you were as fluent in Japanese as you were in Mandarin Chinese.

    • Which is to say, NOT FLUENT AT ALL! I hardly remember any Mandarin except “Wǒ bù dǒng!” which is the phrase I’d most need to use. I can also sing a song that teaches the numbers one to ten; other than that, pretty much nada. But I don’t know any Japanese whatsoever, I just got it all off Google Translate, which is how I figured out what you were saying. Since Google Translate is inexact at best, I hope very sincere much not bad phrase appear on accidental blog comment, profound sorry if apply!

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        And I drew from passengers disembarking at the Narita airport, Tokyo. For all I know what I sent said: “That sure was a bad landing!”

        • Or maybe just “Please Help Us!” (esoteric reference from long ago)

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