Give thanks

A Captiva sunset, January 2013 -- no digital alteration; it really is this beautiful.

A Captiva sunset, January 2013 — no digital alteration; it really is this beautiful.

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh

Long before we had any idea Jeff was sick, we planned a quick January getaway to Captiva Island, Florida.  I had never been there, and always wanted to go.  When we began to re-structure our lives in the wake of Jeff’s diagnosis and the intensive treatments planned for the coming year, he wisely refused to cancel the trip, insisting that he wanted to go unless he was absolutely unable.  So his chemotherapy schedule was altered to allow us this respite.

What a blessing!  Our three days in Captiva underscored the immutable truth of Tecumseh’s words; there are always reasons to give thanks.  Even when we know this truth in our minds, it can be difficult to feel it in our hearts during times of great pain.  But like all truth, it is eternal and remains despite our temporary inability to grasp it…so even when we do not feel it, we can have faith that it’s still there, waiting for our awareness to return.

Related Posts:

Gratitude Made Easy  (from The Presents of Presence)

When each day is a blessing  (from Sydney Fong)

Unknown blessings (one of my posts)

…and read about the 365 Grateful Project here.

This post was originally published seven years ago today. The original post and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    What a Captiva-ting sky!
    These are the moments when we forget the minutes and hold every after, connecting us to earth and eternity both at once!

    • Thank you Susan, I’m so glad you like the photo. I hope someday to return to that lovely beach, but even if I do not, I’ll hold it in my memory for a lifetime.

  2. Judy from Pennsylvania

    Beautiful, beautiful photo! It takes me to a place of inner tranquility as my mind imagines the ocean breezes, the sounds of the waves lapping at the shore. It’s a scene that invites a time of meditation. May I capture it and use it for my computer desktop photo?

    Thank you for continuing to post your photos and words of wisdom, Julia. Although I visit here and seldom comment, you give me much in which I find joy and encouragement. You have been blessed with a unique kind of ministry. I appreciate the thought that has gone into each one of your entries!

    • Hi Judy, thanks for your kind words. Of course you may capture the photo and use any way you choose! I’m honored that you like it. I’m happy to know you are enjoying my “re-runs.” I’ve been short on inspiration lately and it’s much easier to re-post entries than to compose original ones. Believe it or not, it’s actually helpful for me to re-read my own words from 7 years ago. Often it’s painful too, as it calls to mind dashed hopes and wistful dreams that did not come true. But I first imagined this blog as a way to keep myself on track and looking up, and it still works for me in that way. The many friends I’ve made here and the readers and writers I’ve met from all over the globe are a super bonus and a wonderful, life-affirming surprise!

      By the way — I thought I saw the pachysandra coming back up already. Is that possible? I never told you, but they have had quite an ordeal. As soon as I got back from your place last year, I spent a day (a very hot one at that) re-planting all the plants that Stew was kind enough to dig up for me from your garden. Then about a week later a landscaping company came to my home with an outdated (mistaken) order to weed and put down mulch. I looked out my window and wondered what those guys were doing, digging in my back yard. I called the company and they discovered the mistake, but by the time they did, those men had already dug up EVERYTHING I planted! You can imagine how upset I was. It made the floral delivery issue seem like a tea party in comparison, hee-hee. In between ranting and raging at the guys for not ringing the bell to get my OK before destroying my 7-8 hours of work, I explained to them what pachysandra was and why the other plants (lavender, periwinkle from my York home, etc.) were NOT weeds either. They dutifully re-planted everything and threw in some mulch by way of apology for their mistake. But I was doubtful that these twice-uprooted plants would live through the chaos. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! Hope you and Stew are doing well. Spring is nearly here!

      • Judy from Pennsylvania

        That was quite an episode you had with the landscaping guys! I’m hoping that your pachysandra made it through the winter and that they’ll branch out and grow for you. They seem to be hardy and eager to put out runners to take over new areas. I’m happy to report that the ivy from the floral arrangements is doing well in our living room window. Now it’s sharing space with containers of seeds that were planted last week for our little vegetable garden areas. I’ve been spending a lot of time on youtube trying to learn the right way to grow lettuce, tomatoes and potatoes. Stew lets me do the research and then he likes to do the digging and watering. Last year the rabbits and too much rain ruined a lot of what we planted. This year we’re going to put up rabbit fencing and give more thought into the right way to do things!

        • Judy, that sounds like the ideal system to me, partly because that’s exactly how Jeff and I did things. No telling how many things he planted for me and then took care of as they grew. When I would come home with lots of shrubs and seedlings, he would have me place them exactly where I wanted them to go, and then in no time at all, he’d have them all planted. One more of a zillion ways I still miss him. Good luck with the rabbit fencing. I’ve never tried it, partly because I’ve heard people saying that NOTHING works when it comes to keeping hungry critters away! 😀 Let me know how it goes!

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: