As the magnet finds iron

Inconvenient, even dangerous, but also beautiful; a December 2004 snowstorm.

Inconvenient, even dangerous, but also beautiful; a December 2004 snowstorm.

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” Henry Ward Beecher

As I write this, two weeks before publication, much of the country is in the grip of yet another fierce winter storm.  This is especially difficult for those in the south, where such weather is far from typical.

Hundreds of thousands of people (including my parents) are without power.  I worry about them, and about people who have emergencies that require them to be on the road in dangerous conditions. I am dismayed to think of the storm-related deaths that likely will be reported by the news.  I feel sympathy for stranded travelers whose flights are cancelled or delayed.  I hate to think about the inevitable financial fallout associated with such weather, as work schedules are curtailed for those on hourly pay, and heating expenses rise.

Yet, as always, there is much to be thankful for.  This morning we saw our neighbor (who knows Jeff is fighting cancer) shoveling the snow outside our home, giving valuable help without waiting to be asked.  I know there are countless others who are acting as Good Samaritans in these adverse circumstances, helping friends, neighbors or strangers with no thought of getting anything in return.

I’m thankful that my brother Al is there with Mom and Dad, available to help with tasks they are unable to do. I’m thankful for the competence and dedication of emergency professionals such as Michael’s son in Atlanta, who are on call to respond when needed.  I’m thankful that Jeff was taught how to disconnect his chemo IV from his port here at home, making a long risky trip to Bethesda unnecessary, enabling him to be here at home with us today, safe and sound.

By the time this post is published, I hope that most of the country will be nearing the end of this exceptionally rough winter.  But those in regions farther north still have many weeks of cold weather to get through before spring arrives.  Whether you are bracing for more storms, or seeing the first hopeful signs of winter’s end, I hope your heart can sweep through the day today and find heavenly blessings that will bring you hope and joy!

One year ago today:

Give thanks

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Judy from Pennsylvania

    I’ve not been commenting here much lately but I want you to know that I do read and am inspired by your blog every day. I’m taking today’s quote, in part, and using it with a faith group I lead every week: “…let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” — Henry Ward Beecher

    The quote blends right in with another avenue of gratitude, as expressed in this examen that focuses on attending to our senses as being blessings from God. I’ll be using this with a different group soon:

    Thank you Julia for your ministry of encouraging others through your writings, quotes and photos. Much appreciated! I hope you and Matt are doing well, and Carla and George too.

    PS. I haven’t done a painting of the mountains yet because I recently returned to doing my carvings. After taking 2 years off from the carvings due to problems with my hand, I was surprised that now I can make them again if I do just a little at a time 🙂

    • Judy, you must have picked up my neurological wi-fi this week, because I have been thinking about you and hoping it won’t be too much longer before I can come up to see you again. Thanks for the helpful link; I enjoyed reading it and I especially loved the colorful primroses in the photo. WOW, you were doing the carvings when you first met me here many years ago. How wonderful that you are able to return to that! I am finding (with age) that allowing myself to go more slowly is the key to so many things. I find that most tasks are more fun and joyful if taken in measured steps. I love being able to slow down. It seems such an appropriate way to move ever closer to the final phases of life. Thanks for being here with us all these years, and for encouraging me with your steadfast presence and wise observations. Blessings to you and Stew, with hopes for a bright and beautiful springtime!

  2. MaryAnn

    “…let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” — Henry Ward Beecher
    I, like you & Judy, love this quote. There is a concrete bench, made for me by my father when I was very young located on my front porch. Sitting on it is a hydrangea I planted in a beautiful blue pot. Currently, it is growing again; with wonderful new leaves prompting overwhelming JOY each day! Immediate praise swells in my heart as I vocalize it to our Lord!
    Thank you, Julia & Judy!

    • Thank you, Mary Ann! What a beautiful image you have drawn for us with your words. Sorry to be so late getting to this…I’m having to re-learn the WordPress changes YET again! It’s like having a job where I PAY someone else to work, instead of getting paid! 😦

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