Tag Archives: gratitude

Consolation brought me joy

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” — Psalm 94:19 Here in the northern hemisphere, December is the month of consolation, when the cold and decay of nature’s landscape are offset by the joys of celebration and gratitude.  Today we thank you for the cheer and solace of your kind thoughts, …

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I am grateful

“I am grateful for the beauty in the midst of suffering. I am grateful for the treasure hunt through the minefield of life.  Dangerous or not, I don’t want out of the minefield.  Because truth, and beauty , and God are there.” – Glennon Doyle Melton As I write this, the day before Thanksgiving, Jeff …

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Nevertheless

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” — H.U. Westermayer I was unable to find out anything about who H. U. Westermayer was, though I did find others asking the same question. While they were similarly unsuccessful …

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Children and dogs

“Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” — Harry S Truman In fact, I’d say they are even more necessary. I’m so grateful for them! One year ago today: Unknown blessings Pasha, this will be our first Thanksgiving without you.Now and always, we miss …

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Only with gratitude

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer Have you ever had a friend who seemed to give you much more than you gave her or him?  At times, we feel helpless ever …

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Remembering: Something in the autumn

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood — Touch of manner, hint of mood; And my heart is like a rhyme, With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.  — Bliss Carman Autumn reminds us of the brevity of life as the lush blossoms of summer fade …

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Remembering: Little advantages

“Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.” —Benjamin Franklin Just as it’s often the minor irritations that distract us and wear us down, so too the power of small blessings can transform our lives.  The trick is becoming aware of …

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Time for finding

“When we are trapped in seeking, nothing is enough.  Everything we have mocks us; we see only what is missing, and all that is already here seems pale and unsatisfying. In Sabbath time we bless what is there for being.  The time for seeking is over; the time for finding has begun.” — Wayne Muller …

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Don’t pass it by

“There it is round you. Don’t pass it by—the immediate, the real, the only, the yours.” — Henry James Until this year, this would be a typical sight for a Saturday in November; Jeff mowing the grass for perhaps the last time until spring.  I took this photo seven years ago, but even if I …

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No such thing

“There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.”  — Robert Brault One of the great blessings to come from this blog has been the ongoing task of reading many wise and inspiring words from all sorts of people, all over the world, from the earliest recorded eras up …

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What we enjoy

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment…” — C. S. Lewis Tea. Books. Friends. Flowers. Animals. Family. I hope nobody is getting sick of seeing these and other topics here, over and over, because I have so much fun writing about what I enjoy — including anything …

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The incredible gift

“The incredible gift of the ordinary!  Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life.” — Macrina Wiederkehar One of the hardest things about the past year has been the need to cancel no fewer than three scheduled visits to see my parents.  It’s good that our grandson happened to be born in Atlanta, so I finally …

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They knew things

“We know some things they didn’t know in the past, but they knew things that we’ve forgotten.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Here’s something to ponder: if you were to time-travel and suddenly swap places with a person of your age, gender and ability who lived two or more centuries ago, which of you would have a harder …

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Hope is at the root

“Hope is at the root of all the great ideas and causes that have bettered the lot of humankind across the centuries.” — Ronald Reagan Touring the beautiful grounds of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, it isn’t hard to understand why he was such an optimist.  There’s something about California that always …

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Read history

“If you think you have it tough, read history books.” — Bill Maher I’m no fan of Bill Maher, but he has a point about history.  It’s a great way to gain some perspective.  Not long ago I read Bill Bryson’s fascinating book At Home, and I realized I’d never fully appreciated such things as electricity and sewer systems.  From …

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More than a hundred

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” — George Herbert Watching someone fight bravely the battles Jeff has fought these past 9 months, it’s easy to get overly sentimental about him.  Yet I think I can say without exaggeration that I have never known a man more devoted to his wife and children than …

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God’s handwriting

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  —Charles Kingsley Travel is one of my favorite ways of searching for …

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The celebration

“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.  The order varies for any given year.” — Paul Sweeney This month, Jeff and I celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary.  Without question the past year has been the most difficult and challenging time we have ever faced together, but the “together” part …

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Rejoicing that I’m still here

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.”  — Oprah Winfrey A long life is a decidedly mixed blessing.  Those of us who make it to our eighth and ninth decades will do …

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The sense of the beautiful

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe In the centuries since Goethe penned this sound …

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Expect nothing

“Expect nothing.  Live frugally On surprise.” — Alice Walker It may seem contradictory for a self-proclaimed optimist to quote Walker’s counsel to expect nothing, but there is very real difference between expectation and optimism. Admittedly, optimism involves some expectation, but it is mostly of a general sort. We expect that joy lies ahead if we …

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You should ramble

“To enjoy scenery you should ramble amidst it; let the feelings to which it gives rise mingle with other thoughts; look round upon it in intervals of reading; and not go to it as one goes to see the lions fed at a fair. The beautiful is not to be stared at, but to be …

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The world would kick the beam

“If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam.”  — Henry Bickersteth, Lord Langdale Even after I became a mother, I have never liked Mother’s Day.  It seems to me an artificially contrived and ultimately inadequate invention designed primarily to sell cards and …

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Each moment an occasion

My dog lives freely each moment an occasion to cherish and leave — Drew Denton Years ago I found this haiku, along with several others, among some handwritten drafts and school papers saved from Drew’s 10th grade year. He was probably around 15 years old when he wrote this, and I doubt he even knows I …

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After ecstasy

“After ecstasy, the laundry.” — Zen saying Perhaps no quote can so succinctly capture the experience of parenthood, especially in its early stages.  The unsurpassed joy of holding a newborn baby is quickly tempered by the grinding realities of sleep deprivation, miscellaneous messes to clean up and a never-ending pile of laundry to be done.  Yet there is joy even …

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