Monthly Archives: March 2012

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Spring blooms on tree in front of my house

“Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love” has always been one of my favorite hymns. And now, with spring’s abundance all over the place, it seems even more evident to me that God is one of love and glory is due. (Click on the link to hear the hymn.)

What is your joy factor today?

For me it is finding the beauty within and without. It’s not easy for me to see my own beauty within. I’ve spent a lifetime blaming myself, feeling sorry for myself and playing the victim. A friend told me last night, “Lots of people have a hard time forgiving themselves. You have made it an art form.”

And she is right. I find it so much easier to forgive others than to forgive myself.

But today I feel joyful. Spring is here, the trees and flowers are blooming profusely, and everyone seems to have a spring in their step.

Many years ago I had a very rough year. It was 1974. My daughter was born in February and in March someone vandalized our little house. They broke the mobile over her crib, smashed the vases from the flowers people had sent while I was in the hospital and poured cooking oil over our brand new chairs (the first new furniture we’d ever owned). Later that year, our business burned down and our best friend died suddenly. I was talking with my priest and he said, “Ellie, I once had seven years of Good Fridays, but Easter finally came.”

And that is how I feel today. Easter has come in terms of my health. I am healthier than I was a year ago, even more so than a month ago. I’ve always taken my health for granted. I will never do so again.

Anyway, I am joyful because some people recently told me I’m an inspiration to them. Wow. What a wonderful compliment that is.

I’m joyful because I have so many things to be grateful for: a comfortable and serene place to live, friends and family who care, food in my fridge and two cats who adore me! I adore them as well and have not had to get rid of them, thank God.

I am joyful because I’m getting ready to start working on my book again and know I will finally finish it.

I am joyful because I have eyes that see, a mind that works, ears that hear, feet that walk and hands that do what I tell them to do. Not everyone can say that.

I hope you are joyful during this season of renewal. Feel free to comment and tell me about your joy or to contact me by email or phone. Thanks for reading.



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How Important Is It, Anyway?


My peaceful and serene abode

The last time you spit out a few choice words and maybe a gesture to the person who nearly caused you to have an accident on the freeway, how important was your reaction anyway?

When you remind your other half, partner, spouse or housemate to stop leaving the cap off the toothpaste for the umpteenth, zillionth time (is zillionth a word? lol), how important is it anyway?

I’ve been thinking about this for the last 24 hours, ever since I found out one of my two close friends here in Spartanburg died. I remember our last words to each other a week ago, “Love you,” and “I love you,” with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Now, THAT’S important, don’t you agree?

So you drop the butter on the floor. Do you think it will make any different a hundred years from now? Probably not. I remember back in 1979 I was housemates with another woman my age. I had just separated from my husband and Anne was the perfect roommate. She was loving and kind, generous and caring, and her faith was something to be admired. Anyway, one day she dropped the butter on the floor as she took it out of the fridge. She leaned over, picked it up, and threw it against the wall. She didn’t swear or act upset. I stood there with my mouth open. “Why did you do that?” I said.

“Because the butter wasn’t good anymore anyway, and it was just my way of expressing frustration at having dropped it. I know I’ll have to clean up two messes now, but it sure did feel good to throw it against the wall!”

I’ve never forgotten that (obviously). Dropping the butter wasn’t important. Throwing it against the wall was, because in that way, she could express her aggravation in a healthy way.

Does it really help to yell at your child when s/he doesn’t do exactly what you want him/her to do at the moment you request it? Does the sound of your loud voice enhance lives, whether it be your children, your spouse or your parents or friends? Nope.

Fifteen years from now, will you be remembered for speaking quietly, smiling greatly and letting people know how important they are in your life?

Or will others remember you as complaining, whining and gossiping about your neighbor?

What were the last words you spoke to the people in your life last night or your kids before they left for school this morning? I hope they were loving and sweet.

I wish for you all the good things and feelings in this world. While we might not always be able to control things (life just happens sometimes), we can control our attitudes toward those things, situations and people. And the more peaceful we are, the more we express our gratitude, and the more ways we let God’s light shine through us, the happier we and all the people we know will be in the long run.

Have a blessed day.


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I’ve Been Thinking

This Christmas cactus in my home has bloomed three times since Thanksgiving!

Of course, the problem with thinking too much is that a person can often wind up with obsessing instead of just “thinking.” That’s happened to me, and it’s probably happened to you as well. I’ve not been obsessing about the following things, but I’ve definitely been thinking about them…

One of the things I’ve been thinking about is health. I wonder why some of us (me included) wait so long in our lives to develop and maintain good, healthy eating habits. At the same time, how is it that many of our parents had horrible eating habits (by today’s standards), yet still managed to live until they were 90 or more years old. Yet today, with all the health information available, many people die in their 60s or 70s. I keep thinking that maybe it’s because of all the pollution and food additives, as well as to the stress we put ourselves under by working 24 hours a day. What do you think?

Another thing I’ve been curious about is why we are cruel to each other. Here are some examples.

1. We have bullying in schools (of course, it’s always been that way, but now it’s coming to the attention of many people who either hid their heads in the sand or who chose to look the other way).

2. Many children totally disrespect their parents by the way they talk to them in the United States, but in Asia, most kids do not do that.

3. We are not always very nice to our friends. We act as if we are friends with someone, but then that person turns around and poof – the supposed friend has disappeared without rhyme, reason or even a simple “Goodbye; this relationship is no longer working for me.”

4. Some of us claim to be Christians. We go to church every Sunday, volunteer to cook the Wednesday night or other special occasion meals, help with the yard sales and send cards to other parishioners who are ill or grieving. Yet, we walk out of church and immediately start gossiping about so and so whose dress seemed totally inappropriate or asking the person we’re with if they’ve heard the latest news about x and y’s divorce and custody battle. We give money to support our church, but when we see a homeless person on the street, we turn our heads and make a fast track for wherever we are going…thus totally ignoring Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40 — “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

And one more thing – why has my Christmas cactus bloomed three times since Thanksgiving last year? lol – I sure do love these plants!

Anyway, I guess that’s enough for tonight. It seems that it’s been so long since I wrote a blog – another trip to the hospital and the days just fly by. But I’m out now and really paying attention to eating more healthily and using some natural remedies to help God heal me! (Not that He really needs any help, but I think you catch the drift!).

Have a blessed day and week and month and year. And please, please let me know what you think of any of these things – either by email or by leaving a comment!


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