About this blog – updated 2022

Wayfarer’s Chapel, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, 2004

My husband’s 2012 diagnosis of Stage IV cancer turned our world upside down.  We had then been married over 32 years, and together for almost 35 years.  All those years he was the central focus of my life, my unfailing source of strength and support.  We were facing our most significant challenge in a life together that had been filled with challenges.  Read more about Jeff here and here, and in many subsequent posts that will be found simply by searching for “Jeff” at the blog’s search  box.

In addition to this formidable battle, we continued to deal with the ongoing cardiac problems in our younger son, now an adult, who was born with a rare genetic disorder that included multiple disabilities.  I often found myself struggling with feelings of hopelessness that threatened to defeat my natural optimism.

Life is hard. For most of us, it is likely to get harder, at least in some ways, as we grow older and our future unfolds in unexpected directions.  Yet our lives also are filled with blessings and promise.  I started this blog in November, 2012 as an effort to provide a reminder of beauty and an uplifting thought each day.  My hope was that I might somehow reach others who faced daunting struggles and needed a note of cheer.

In the beginning, I intended to keep the daily postings simple, with just a photo and a brief quote. Very quickly it expanded into written commentary on the quotes, along with an active comments section through which I’ve made many wonderful friendships I never dreamed would result from my feeble efforts to stay positive.  I’m amazed at how God can continue to bless us so richly even in the darkest of circumstances.

Jeff lived for a little over four years after his cancer was first discovered, and the details of his final months, weeks and days are mentioned in several posts. But at his insistence, and according to my own intention, I kept the focus of the blog on many other topics. Despite the harrowing grief and frequent trauma of the years this blog has been in existence, it has helped me again and again to step back and look at the bigger picture. In so doing, I was kept from getting hopelessly mired in my own often dismal circumstances.

After two years of daily postings, I was no longer able to keep up that publishing pace, as life became more and more demanding, and we were spending fewer hours sitting around hospitals and chemotherapy clinics.  I switched to publishing only two posts a week, and three years after Jeff’s death, I was unable to keep up even that much, as I was juggling so many responsibilities with no sustained help from anyone for much of it.

In mulling over what to do about the blog– does it stay or go?– I decided to re-post the more than 1100 posts I had written over seven years, many of which I had totally forgotten myself.  I re-post according to the methodical schedule on which they were originally published. Re-posting has allowed me to stay in touch with those steadfast friends who have been with me here from the beginning, and has allowed me a means of remembering all that I have survived, and those special people who have helped along the way. I hope the old posts also will be useful to new readers.

If you are a longtime reader, I am especially honored that you are still here with me, occasionally or regularly. If you are new here, welcome! For all readers, I hope there is still something here that will be of value. Feel free to chime in with your own observations or links that inspire joy, gratitude, and serenity.  Because this blog exists to provide positive and uplifting content, all comments will be moderated to ensure suitability to this purpose.  This blog always has been, and will remain, a safe online refuge from distress; a hate-free, argument-free, insult-free zone.  If you believe life can be beautiful, you belong here!


  1. audrey Mosley

    I never understood when I first met you struggles or problems and your life just blew me away. Following me around in my mind and prayers for years. All I want to do is be near you because I now know how it feels to struggle. The beautiful picture above totally explains where our comfort, strength and peace comes from. He is right by us and the little and big miracles take our breathe away. God goes beyond what we can ever utter with words. He has plans for us that He reveals gradually and I love this about God cause it strengthens my reliance on Him! I love the Lord God Almighty because of who He is and all that He does. He is the only one that helps me every second with my struggles! With Him right by me in that second I have direction and purpose and strength to carry on. Seven years ago Doctors could not tell me my future, they gave me no hope… and now God tells me right before almost every Doctors appointment and it stills blows me away How He gives me everything I requested plus more! Has He fully completely healed me no but the best is yet to come :):):)!

    • Audrey, thanks for your generous thoughts and continual encouragement. I will keep praying for your health and for blessings on all your family.

  2. Lynn Hayner

    What a lovely idea, Julia. I look forward to your posts and expressions.

  3. Thanks, Lynn! I hope you enjoy what I post – feel free to chime in with any links you find inspiring!

  4. Eric Hedden

    “Though much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
    Alfred Lord Tennyson

    • Wow, Eric, what a beautiful verse — and so appropriate for now. I don’t remember ever having read it before. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  5. Eric Hedden

    Aw, shucks! Now I gotta come clean. Anyone who goes to see the new James Bond movie, “Skyfall” will hear that very excerpt. That and other amazingly “high-brow” aspects make this film stand out. I’d like to think Albert Finney’s character would remind you a little of your big brother (though he is not the one to quote the verse). have I whetted your appetite for an otherwise worldly medium?

    • It’s TV I don’t like– but I love good movies. However, we hardly ever seem to have time to see them anymore. And when we get videos we usually fall asleep while we are watching them. I guess that’s what happens once we reach our mid-fifties! We did see The Artist and loved it. Actually, it’s a very appropriate move to recommend on this blog.

  6. I soooo look forward to your updates. Praying for you and your family as you travel along this journey.

    • Thanks for joining us on the journey, Jennifer. Your prayers mean a lot.

  7. What a beautiful idea. Blessings to you.

    • Karen, so glad to hear from you! Thanks for joining me here.

  8. Judy Wilson Holley

    Julia — What a wonderful solace and inspiration to others your blog is and will be. Thank you for being such an awesome example of a joyful child of God in the midst of uncertainty. My prayers are continually with you.

    • Judy, thanks so much for your messages of encouragement!

  9. Don Buckner

    You have amazing talents! Thank you for sharing them with us! You and your family will be in my prayers.

    • Thank you, Don! We really appreciate the prayers from all of you. Prayer is keeping us afloat through this very uncertain and frightening time. Blessings to you, and I hope that my words or photos will brighten your day!

  10. Lani Beagle

    psalm 30:5 “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning:. And, another favorite…….
    “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    I like quotes and verses, but I did not realize how difficult your life had been, or become. I know the words are shallow when you are walking “in the fire”, but really, all we can do is keep going and hope. I want to give you hope, but I only have words. I’m sorry life is hard, but you know, in life virtually all of the happy people I have known had a purpose, but they also all had burdens. Anyway, I will be thinking of you daily and pray for strength for you and your family. I do hope to see you again some day. Blessings to you and yours. Lani Morgan Beagle

    • Lani, thank you so much! For the kind thoughts and most of all for the prayers, which are getting us through this. Do come to see us!

  11. When our only son, (“Like every son, he was the only one” in “Two Lights” by Five For Fighting) was very ill, I felt like we were thrown into the deep end of the pool, grasping for help and finding none. I prayed to our God, who I always knew was there, for peace and mercy. He gave us more than we knew to ask for in the form of a beautiful little girl and boy. Now, when I feel tense, the words “Peace and Mercy” cause a physical reaction of my shoulders relaxing. I am now praying for you and yours as we all face this new challenge for you. As I told you many years ago, you are not alone. (Another verse from “Two Lights” is “tear out my heart, feed it to lions.”)

    The photos and verse are very calming. Thank you! I will go to that chapel in my mind now. Sherry

    • Sherry, thank you for joining us on this site. I am so glad you like the photo and verse. I read a research summary somewhere recently that found looking at photographs was the most effective of several methods tested for fighting sadness and depression. I hope you and many others will find the photos helpful. It’s part of the reason I started this blog.

  12. Hi Julia, much blessing and prayers to you in this journey. Life brings the unexpected and, thankfully, there will always be daily blessings to inspire our spirit. I’m glad that you started this blog, Defeat Despair — it’s inspiring. Out of the bitter-sweetness of life, grace emerges. I love your spirit and wish you health, healing and laughter in all its forms! 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I’m happy you have visited us here.

      • My pleasure! Great posts! 😀

  13. This has been a pleasure this morning. I’m happy I stumbled by and look forward to your quotes and thoughts. This is a stunning Chapel, looks like it would be a comforting place to be at times. Take care K

    • The only thing prettier than the chapel is the surrounding land – close by I took the photo posted under the entry titled “Always Springtime.”

      • Thank you for sharing that past inspiration Julia. Very very pretty there. 🙂

  14. I have nominated you for a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”. To discover the terms of acceptance and see what I wrote about your blog, click here –


    Don’t feel obligated, though, to follow the conditions of acceptance. Just know that I am inspired by your blog and keep up the good work.

    • Thanks so much! I am so happy you like my blog. We have so much going on right now that I don’t have time to go through and read about the conditions etc. but I am honored that you nominated me. I’ll read more about it as soon as I can. I’m still pretty new to everything related to blogging. I appreciate your encouragement!

  15. Kathy

    Dear Julia, Im so happy God lead me to this blog. It is very inspiring. I will pray for you and your family’s intentions. God bless you!

    • Kathy, I’m so happy to have you here and THANKS so much for the prayers. We are surviving on the prayers and good wishes of so many people, a lot of whom we have never met but who feel like friends to us because they care. I’m glad you like the blog! It’s a blessing to have you visit us here.

  16. Hello Julia,
    As I promised that I’ll sojourn your blog, I am here.
    I didn’t knew that you and your family are facing such problems in life. But believe me God is surely there for you, all you need to do is to have faith in Him and patiently wait for that glorious day when He’ll shower His supreme blessings on you. I am younger than you but do have minuscule experiences and what I fell is that, “once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible. I really feel for you and your family but what only I can do is, hope for better future for your family and prayers for your Younger son.
    I am really glad that we encountered. Moreover I’ll also ask you to join my facebook network, if your facebook doctrine allows.
    here if the link on my facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/iharshitchauhan
    take care

    Harshit Chauhan

    • Hi, thanks so much for visiting us here and especially for your kind thoughts and prayers. We take great comfort in the prayers of others and we believe this is how we are surviving the difficulties we are facing right now. Your words have brightened my day! Thanks again

  17. Congratulations Julia, 10,000 hits 🙂
    take care,

    • Thanks, Harshit!

  18. After looking at your amazing posts, I love you already! You are a kind and sensitive soul – one who loves beauty in nature as much as I!
    I will be catching up on more of your posts, but they are all true beauty.
    You have so many amazing photos that are perfect for this week’s ‘let’s be wild’ travel site’s theme of ‘green.’
    Though this poem doesn’t quite fit where you and your family are in life, I think it might still bring you comfort: http://playamart.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-undertow

    • WOW, thanks SO MUCH for this beautiful post and the poem – I will be sending a link to others! The poem does fit me in terms of the 27+ years we have lived wit our younger son’s multiple health challenges and disabilities. And sadly, I lost a friend with similar struggles to the rip/undertow, in 2005. It is now nearly eight years later and scarcely a day passes when I don’t think of her. Thanks again for the link to this wonderful message. I will most definitely be sharing it with others!

      • i often think of my friend as well; suicide has touched my life way too often; three of the four were very dear to me.
        another dear friend was addicted to cigarettes, and they caught up with her; she too suffered from that undertow, and like you, i think of her often. i remember all things good and great about her; it seems as if her spirit lingers.

        • My friend left me many thoughts and words (in letters, emails, gifts books etc.) that continue to bless me, and even in the tragedy of her death, I find lessons and the will to continue no matter what. I do think, in this way, we have loved ones always with us, even when they leave the earth.

  19. I wandered over from Boomdeeadda’s to take a peak. I like what I see and will continue to paruse your posts. I have found that adversity is so much lighter when shared even by the virtual community. I know it’s made my load easier. I look forward to getting to know you.

    • Thanks so much for visiting! I look forward to seeing your blog too. Boomdeeadda’s blog is my Happy Place! Yes, I have found that the blogging community is a place of great encouragement. I’m so glad you like the blog!

  20. Congratulations ~ I’ve nominated you for the WP Family Award! Please stop by to pick up your award ~ Hugs to you! http://misifusa.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/a-la-familia-wp-family-awards/

    • Thank you so much, it is a joy to have you visit us here!

      • It is a joy to read your posts daily!♥

        • Thank you so much, it makes me very happy that others like the blog!

  21. Yes. Writing, know what others are going through, reading comments all bring great relief to us. And once again your optimism inspires me and reminds me to count my blessings. God bless the whole family!
    Such a lovely chapel!

    • Thanks Bindu, we are so grateful for your good wishes. I pray for you and your family often.

  22. Hey Julia, I’ve nominated you for the Shine On Award — because you shine. No obligation to accept. Rules for acceptance are viewable here:


    • Thanks so much, I am honored! I look forward to exploring your other nominees – so much wealth out here in the blogosphere! I appreciate your visits here.

  23. As a follower of “A Way With Words”, you are invited to a domain warming party as I move to a new blog address. Click on this link –


    You’ll think you are in a parallel universe.

    While you are there, be sure to click the “Follow” button. Within the next week, I plan to publish exclusively from this site. Don’t miss out on any of the fun!

  24. This has been a rough week for me, rough in comparison to others weeks in my life. I was googling a scripture that the Holy Spirit reminded me of earlier this week and I came across your blog. I read it and was encouraged me it; You are accomplishing your goal. I, too break tasks into small pieces every day and it really works. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I’m looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on how to defeat despair.

    Many blessings,

    • Thanks so much Mechelle, I am so happy that a Bible verse let you to this blog! I really appreciate your visit and comment, I hope to hear from you again. Have a wonderful weekend!

  25. Kathy Wilson

    Julia you have always been a great example of a woman of strength to me, I am sorry about Jeff and know you are a great strength for him and Matt. I wish we were still there to help you, but know that we are praying for you , Jeff and Matt. Even through the bad days God is there. Casting Crowns song, I will Praise you in the Storm kept me going during My dark depression. I cannot imagine what you are feeling or going through, but know you are not alone.

    • Kathy, thanks so much for visiting us here and for your comment! I love that song too, and have listened to it so many times in the past 6 months. Truly one of my favorites now, it says so much. We need and appreciate your prayers! Thanks again.

  26. Hi Julia!

    I’ve nominated you for the ‘very inspiring blogger’ award. Check out the link below for details:

    itsfruitcakeweather 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I am so honored that you like the blog and really do appreciate your visits here!

  27. My wife has survived cancer twice. Have been—are going through—the Valley, but not as you have been. The Lord Christ is good….His mercies endure forever! 🙂

    • Thank you Jonathan. I appreciate your faith; it’s an encouragement to us. God has seen us through so much and I know He will continue to do so! Thanks for visiting, and for your comment!

  28. FOR YOUR KINDNESS, and your blog…http://bythemightymumford.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/the-award-trio/…! May I be a blessing to you, too? 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I just visited your list of blogs and see a few I am already following, and the rest look interesting! I am so happy you like the blog and I appreciate the honor.

  29. Julia, I followed the link from your UpperRoom post today and found myself here at your wonderful blog! Praying for you, Jeff, and Matt. If I remember correctly, you live in VA just outside DC. My husband has taken a job in DC and I’m trying to find one and follow him there. Would love to meet you in person.

    • Welcome, Leah! I’m so glad you found us. I hope you will find this online group as encouraging as the UR fellowship. We do live in Alexandria, although not all the time, but we’re here enough that we should have no trouble getting together. Cindy (the professor who, along with Sarah, prays individually for, and visits with, the many people who comment there) was in town a couple of weeks ago, and she, Henry and I got together; it was wonderful. Others from UR have met together in various places. What type of work are you looking for? I’m not working currently but the job market here seems better than it is in some places — but only for certain types of jobs, apparently. I know of so many professionals who have been looking for work for years now. Thanks for visiting and for your comment!

  30. Thank you for following my blog. I think your blog is an inspiration to others.

    • Thank you for stopping by! Seeing your books made me wish I was a youth services librarian again. I always loved reading children’s and YA literature. Sometimes I think that was a big reason why I went to library school.

  31. Hello, Julia
    Thank you for following my blog. I’m want to spend more time milling through your sight and getting to know you better. I’m rather new to blogging as a place to share my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Although I’m not Methodist, I’ve been writing for the Upper Room magazine for about two years. I knew I could never write as my heart would like since Upper Room must keep the devotionals simple, so blogging has given me a way of expressing my deepest beliefs. I love to write and now that I’m retired, I have time to spend pursuing that love. Your sister in Christ,
    Mary Baird

    • Hi Mary, thanks for visiting my blog! I’m not Methodist either, but I find that the Upper Room is a welcoming community of believers who are able to share common (and sometimes conflicting) viewpoints and encourage each other in faith. I think that writing is such a good way to get to know each other and share the things we often feel too rushed to share in other venues. Best of luck with your blog – I look forward to reading more of your work!

  32. Thank you kindly for reading my blog and “liking” my post. I also love the Upper Room and try to read it often if not daily. I sympathize with your trials and will add you to my thoughts and prayer, Julia. Please come back and visit again as I also have had many trials in my life and with health. My intent is also to share what can uplift or at least entertain, without doing harm to anyone. I have decided to follow your blog. Regards to you and yours.

    • Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts! I look forward to reading more at your blog. People who have been through a lot have so much to teach me and such a depth of understanding about how to encourage. I appreciate your following my blog!

  33. Nancy

    I love your blog. Your articles with accompanying pictures are so very soothing. As a counseling intern, I intend to share your website with my clients who need encouragement. Thank you!

    • Wow, that is quite a compliment, thank you! If you will email me with some sort of physical address (work or home) I can send you some business cards with the blog address on them, to hand out. I appreciate your encouragement!

  34. Hi Julia, I’ve enjoyed reading through several of your posts and am looking forward to reading more. Blessings to you!:)

    • Thanks so much for visiting and commenting! It reminded me to pop back over to your blog where I saw the CINNAMON TEA! You had me at “cinnamon” but when you add the word “tea” to that, it’s about as good as it gets! Thanks for your words of encouragement.

  35. I have awarded you a “Blog of the Year Award.” To read the details, visit –


    Participate if you feel so led. Otherwise, just enjoy the blessing, my friend.

    • Thanks so much, Tony – I am honored to be included in that post!

  36. I am awed by you strength and optimism while facing so much.

    • Thank you, I appreciate so much your visit here and your kind words! I think we are all able to get through far more than we imagine we can, especially with the strength and support of others.

  37. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am looking forward to reading more here. I have found there is beauty – even in the difficult things. Thank you for your inspiring words.

    • Thanks, Laurie! I loved the Mermaid quote, and had not seen it before. Yes, there is beauty to be found in the difficult, and usually it’s of the deeper, less superficial kind. I’m so happy to have you visit us here!

      • Happy to find you! I like the simplicuty of pictures and a few words too. 🙂

        • Yes, at times I get a bit too gabby, but I do like just pairing a quote with a photo. Thanks for being here.

  38. I am feeling your spirit deeply, and i was moved to visit your blog! I found myself reading your words and I wanted to send you a smile… You do not know me, but I have known Rosy a while, she is my sister in the Lord, just as all who live are my sisters and brothers. I have been through many things in my life, and your faith in the Lord touched my spirit so I know he hears your prayers so I just wanted to share with you a couple of poems hoping they will lift your spirit Julia, one I share a recently on my wordpress blog wherewordsdailycomealive.wordpress.com I will embrace you and your family in prayer every day! Visit me sometimes and it may really bless you each day! Hugs and blessings!

    I Shall Wait On You

    As this day slowly comes to an end
    When it seems my strength is gone
    As the hours seem to pass by slowly
    When all I do just seems so wrong

    Within my heart I seek the words
    A psalm that will lift my spirit high
    For often when I feel so tired
    Even on my bed I do not want to lie

    I reach within my soul for the energy
    I seek with my inner voice to pray
    And I find that I have a great need
    For your spirit to come my way

    And as I pray silently and so sweetly
    While I gently embrace your name
    I find that I shall always wait on you
    Knowing soon I will not be the same

    For you are the power that saves me
    The blessed assurance my heart does know
    And I happily will always wait on you
    Because my Lord I do love you so.


    I Praise With All My Love

    So blissful is the
    morning when in my
    ears is heard the

    The song that is
    sung by angels
    as they awaken
    with the dawn

    And go on their
    appointed duties
    to make a day
    become so alive

    With the love
    of the eternal one
    who dwells up in
    the sky

    The flowers open
    wide this day and
    with their beauty
    give him praise

    The birds in the air
    do spread their wings
    in prayer dancing as
    they fly upon their way

    And the sun so
    bright does awaken
    and shines his very

    For he knows the Lord
    is deserving of his praise
    And he will deliver
    Nothing less

    And so blissful is
    this glorious day
    that is so alive
    with my Gods love

    That I am not
    unlike the others,
    for it is He alone
    I do praise with
    all my love.


    My faith in God as always kept me, and He is still the same God who opened up the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites….He is alive and well and still healing many. As he did with the woman whom Elijah stayed with when He healed her son after hearing Elijahs cries and prayers, He will answer you prayers, because He loves all of you deeply! God bless!

    • Wendell, thanks so much for sharing these lovely words with us! Reading your poems I can tell that you have known the goodness and mercy of God. It did cheer my heart to read them! I will look forward to visiting your blog. Thanks so much for being here.

  39. sarvjit

    May God bless your family and your efforts.

    • Thank you, Sarvjit! I am so happy to have you visit us here!

      • sarvjit

        Be happy and keep following your heart.

        • Thank you! I am so happy to have you visit us here!

  40. Carol Hoyos

    Julia, I just want you to know how your thoughts and words resonate with us. To be dealing with your family’s health issues, yet able to lift our spirits each day is a blessing beyond belief. Simply put, I wish you peace above all and a sincere THANK YOU!

    • Carol, thank you so much for being with us here, and for adding your comments to the discussion. I am always so happy to learn of people who are reading the blog. My brother Al asked me a few days ago what the purpose of my blog was, and I told him “to keep me from losing my mind.” 🙂 Truly, it has been a source of great comfort and joy to me to think each day of why we should be happy, grateful and hopeful. If anything I do here helps other people, that is the happiest part of all! Thanks again for your comments, and I hope you will continue to visit with us here.

  41. bobmielke

    Hello Julia. Feel free to reblog any of my posts or link back to posts you like. – Bob Mielke

    • Thanks so much Bob – watch for the link at the end of tomorrow’s message. I hope many of our readers will get acquainted with your amazing wildlife photography! Your blog is one of my favorites.

      • bobmielke

        I’m still embarrassed that I failed to recognize you as one of my most ardent followers. Thanks again for understanding and for your blog.

        • Bob, no problem…I’m old enough to TOTALLY identify with those type memory lapses! Your pics are so great it would take way more than that to keep me from being a fan. 🙂

  42. You and your family are so brave. I am so grateful we have an opportunity to meet via Internet.

    • Thanks so much, I loved visiting your blog and look forward to reading more of it!

  43. I wish you and your husband all the best!

    • Thank you so much! I am honored you visited our blog and I hope you will come back again.

  44. bobmielke

    I have been through so much in my life I no long have any fight left in me. If God were to bring me home right now I’d be very happy but I’m not depressed to the point where I would take my own life. That’s usurping God’s plan for me. I’ve been down that road and know when it’s my time He will bring me home. Until then I remain His humble servant.

    • Bob, I am grateful that you are willing to stay here and keep bringing us beauty through your photos. I too trust that God will number my days rightly and I would not ever want to treat this wonderful gift of life with contempt. At the same time, I know that as I grow older, I become less attached to this world, especially as I see so many people I love who suffer each day and endure it all with patience. Reading your words, I thought of the beautiful melancholy of the words of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce nation. “Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.” I have echoed those words more than once, mostly in the context of the continual advocacy that goes along with helping Matt have a place in this world, but somehow I always keep coming back to fight another day. Perhaps you identify somewhat with those words also. Thanks for being here, and for blessing us with your beautiful photos!

      • bobmielke

        I spent 10 days in a hospital suicide ward about 10 years ago. My 3rd marriage was ending and I didn’t want to go on. Yet here I am, having proved that God is still in control. He saved me from myself and despair all those years ago. I don’t know why I’m still here and what He has planned for me before my time is up but I’m trying to stay in His arms and hope. – Bob

        • Bob, I am so happy you are still here! Perhaps your ability to see the beauty of the things you photograph (especially the animals) helps to keep you close to God and to all life. I know watching animals is one of the most therapeutic things for me. Seeing them in real life is best but since I can’t see wild animals too often, having photographs such as yours to see is really a blessing. I hope you will keep on defeating despair through your photos and whatever else God may have in mind for you. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I know that it will encourage others who are struggling.

  45. Carol Hoyos

    Dear Julia, you’ll appreciate the fact that it’s official, We’re downsizing! We’ve bought a small house….1 story, 1 bath, 2 bdrms. Down from 2 story, 3 baths & 4 bdrms. We’ve been looking 4 this house for 3 years thinking it would never happen…then, just when I turned the search and anxiety accompanying it over to God it happened. We feel blessed and soon hope to feel liberated from much of our “stuff”. Let the downsizing begin.

    • Carol, how exciting! I appreciate your sharing this – it will give me some inspiration. Just think of all the fun things you will be able to do with your time once you have less to store, clean and maintain. I’m so happy you found the house you were waiting for!

  46. I love your blog! I look forward to every post. You are very encouraging. I nominated you for the Sunshine and Versatile blogger awards. if you are interested here is the nominating post: http://thisbeautifullyimperfectlife.com/2014/08/08/thank-you-thank-you/

    Hopefully, I will send some more people your way, not that you need it, it’s just nice to have traffic 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I am honored that you nominated me, and quite happy to see anyone refer to me as “refreshing” — especially today — that’s not a word I normally associate with myself! I am so happy to have you here, and thanks for your kind words about the blog. It means more than I can say.

  47. Julia Tucker

    Had no idea what has happened to you. Your thoughts and descriptions of your emotions and challenges are so well written. Prayers for you and your family as you journey through these challenges.

    • Thank you, we need and appreciate the prayers!

  48. Man, you really know how to defeat despair.

    • Thank you, Dan. 🙂 Some days are much better than others, but I keep trying.


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