Tag Archives: God

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. ~Christopher Reeve


Take hope. Each new day holds possibilities, and God is with us, even though sometimes it may not seem so. Below are some inspiring quotes to uplift our spirits as we go into 2017 with sunrise images from the farm.

sunrise-of-beauty-on-the-farm(Sunrise of glory on the farm taken by me)

Hope is the physician of each misery. ~Irish Proverb

God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us — in the dreariest and most dreaded moments — can see a possibility of hope. ~Maya Angelou

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all….
~Emily Dickinson, c.1861

What is Hope? a star that gleaming
O’er the future’s troubled sky,
Struggles, tremulously beaming,
To reveal what there may lie.
~R.A.P., “Hope,” in Southern Literary Messenger, December 1840

morning-has-broken-on-the-farm-jpg1(Morning has broken taken by hubby Dennis)

Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com

All it takes is one bloom of hope to make a spiritual garden. ~Terri Guillemets

You’ve gotta have hope. Without hope life is meaningless. Without hope life is meaning less and less. ~Author Unknown

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott

glorious-sunrise-on-the-farm(Fiery sunrise by me)

Hope is warmth against the cold winter of adversity. ~Terri Guillemets

Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man. ~Victor Hugo

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. ~George Iles

Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them. ~Vincent McNabb

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
~Author Unknown

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” ~Irish prayer


White Dove and Rainbow“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” ~ From a headstone in Ireland

“In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.” ~Robert Ingersoll

“The death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still alive — perhaps for some purpose which we ought to re-examine.” ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

God's hand reaching out to man

“Let life be as beautiful as summer flowers
And death as beautiful as autumn leaves.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ~Albert Pike

“He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“People living deeply have no fear of death.” ~Anaïs Nin, Diary, 1967

“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.” ~The Crow, written by James O’Barr, David J. Schow, and John Shirley, 1994

Heavenly light in white clouds and blue sky

“My soul is full of whispered song;
My blindness is my sight;
The shadows that I feared so long
Are all alive with light.”
~Alice Cary, Dying Hymn

“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death.” ~Leonardo da Vinci


“Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.” ~John Muir

cupped hands holding light in the sky

“He spake well who said that graves are the footprints of angels.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The memory of a good person is a blessing.”
Proverbs 10:7

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
Irish prayer

Young woman angel with wings

“Angels descending, bring from above,
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.”
~Fanny J. Crosby

Angels are all around us, all the time, in the very air we breathe.” ~Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

This post is in honor of my brother-in-law David who died today. Dennis and I were with him when he passed. Peace filled the room.

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” ~Neale Donald Walsch


gluten free butternut squash bread, squash, autumn leaves, autumn decor, ThanksgivingThankfulness quotes for the whole year:

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 (I just made my gluten-free butternut squash bread for supper and am thankful for it, so thought I’d add this image. If you want the recipe, click this blog link)

 “Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” ~ Thomas Goodwin

autumn assortment of gords and pumpkins“Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!” ~ Jeff Dixon

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” ~ John Henry Jowett

“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”  ~John E. Southard

Log cabin in a wooded setting during the autumn season“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.” ~Terri Guillemets

“For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”  ~William Faulkner

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” ~Neale Donald Walsch

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.  It will change your life mightily.”  ~Gerald Good

 Autumn-Leaves-Garland

“Wherever I have knocked, a door has opened.  Wherever I have wandered, a path has appeared.”  ~Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”  ~Henry Ward Beecher

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  ~Cynthia Ozick

autumn woods, autumn forest,“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.”  ~Mother Teresa

“Rest and be thankful.” ~ William Wordsworth

“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” Henry Clay

“Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful!” Elif ShafakThe Forty Rules of Love

Mother and Child - Education--Victorian Era“Gratitude is the real treasure God wants us to find, because it isn’t the pot of gold but the rainbow that colors our world.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~ William Arthur Ward

‘Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.’ ~Regina Brett & Other Inspirational Quotes


mystical holy rays of light“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” ~Regina Brett, Author of God Never Blinks

My daughter Alison reminded me of this excellent quote. I contemplated what image I might use to symbolize the Divine and decided this mystical holy rays of light (royalty free image from istock) seemed best.

Ms. Bret has much wisdom.  Here are a few of her most noteworthy quotes.  With commentary from yours truly, of course.

colin and Grady-soft-coated Wheaton Terrier“Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.” ― Regina Brett

*Even a sympathetic dog will do.  Or a purry kitty, very comforting.  Although the dog will probably care more.  Cats have their own way of relating.

*My grandson Colin and his best friend Grady taken by daughter Alison.

“Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” ― Regina Brett

*This is more true than many of us realize.  Definitely worth bearing in mind.

“When in doubt, take the next step.”
― Regina Brett

And from Folk Singer John McCutcheon, “Step by step the longest march can be won.”

To this I add, it helps to have a friend walk with you.

*Image taken by my husband Dennis of two little Old Order Mennonite brothers.

“God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.” ― Regina Brett

*Thank heavens for that!

My Fall Garden in the Shenandoah Valley--Beth Trissel“Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.”
― Regina Brett

“Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.”

― Regina Brett

*Yes, yes, very sound advice.  Tough to do.

“I once heard someone say that prayer is more than words. It’s a stance you take, a position you claim. You throw your body against the door to keep the demons from advancing and stay put until they go away.” ― Regina Brett

*Stand firm.  And may God be with you.

“Life isn’t about how you survived the storm … it’s about how you danced in the rain. Dance with me.”  ― Regina Brett

(Image of the garden and old red barn in the background)

*Perhaps a gentle shower, or mist.  It’s raining outside now and I don’t feel inclined to dance in it.  But her sentiment is lovely and I suspect not meant to be taken literally.

*Image of North River in the mist taken by my mom, Pat Churchman.

“…there were two kinds of women: those who wear nail polish and those who don’t. Which do you prefer?…” ― Regina Brett

*Actually, those who don’t.  There’s no way an avid gardener can keep their nail polish looking good, and I feel more at home with earthier sorts like gardeners.  Not that I will shun you if you wear polish.  You may have other superb attributes.

To Ms. Brett’s trove of wisdom I add my own adage, When the going gets tough, the tough get kittens.  And if it’s really tough I recommend a basket of kittens.   I also adhere to the eating of dark chocolate.  And to that Regina Bret says, “Resistance to chocolate is futile.”  I’ve already had my chocolate ration for the day.  May need to up the ration.

*Kitten image is royalty free, but perfect so I bought it.  We didn’t happen to have a basket of kittens on hand for this post. Although they are scampering among the corn, pumpkins, and potatoes in the garden.

“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.”
― Regina Brett

*Ummm, but not if you have anything contagious, please.  But I suspect that’s not what she intended.

*Image of my niece Cailin as the fairy princess.  An ardent believer in fairies whom I fully support.

“Your children get only one childhood.”
― Regina Brett

Unless you’re Peter Pan, or headed to Never Never Land.  In truth, some of us never really grew up, we just got older.

Lastly, do no underestimate the wonderfully restorative value of naps.  Even a cat nap does a body good.

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”  ~Irish Proverb

“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”  ~Carrie Snow

Had mine today.

Bring on the kittens.  :)

June Fairy Update–Beth Trissel


cailin_fairyNiece Cailin, our resident fairy expert, celebrated the birthday of her newest fairy, Taler, today.  We contributed presents, and a good friend sent fairy furnishings. Cailin has excitedly redone her fairy garden and is at work compiling a fairy journal. She tells me that I should be able to see fairies in my garden because I’ve attracted some of the more readily discerned kinds, if I’ll keep my eyes open. I like to think I do. Cailin confided her sadness that many people do not believe in fairies. My oldest daughter Alison said, ‘think how God feels.’  Many don’t believe in him and he even created us. Good point.

Ian and Cailin fighting wind fairiesBack to Cailin. In her journal she warns, “Outside is dangris becas of wind fairies.” And that has certainly been true for much of the country this late spring/early summer. Very scary. Cailin and her cousin, my grandson Ian, created shields and swords out of cardboard boxes (I hoard them) and joined forces with the good fairies (rose, animal, healing fairies…) to wage battle against the wind fairies. She says, ‘Wind fairies are evil and powerful. Never get near or be bad to one. If you make them angry they will make sparkly lights flash through your room and send leaves in a swirling circle, like a small dust cloud, all around.’ So beware.

Above: Cailin and Ian fighting wind fairies on my sun porch–a problem because they can come through windows. But not doors. And not windows with shades or curtains. My thoughtful five-year-old granddaughter Emma, upon learning the rules of wind fairies, noted all the windows on the sun porch and asked why they’d taken position out there and not a more secure location? Well, that’s where the action was.

Cailin fighting wind fairies

Cailin opening her fairy presents above.

Cailin fighting wind fairies above:

Cailin’s new fairy garden below:

Cailin's fairy garden (2)

“The garden is the poor man’s apothecary.” ~German Proverb–Beth Trissel


herb garden“A man may esteem himself happy when that which is his food is also his medicine.” –Henry David Thoreau. 

“All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature, the challenge of science is to find it.” ~ Paracelsus (Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim) (1493-1541)

“What can kill , can cure.”

“Yesterday I had peas and pot herbs, today pot herbs and peas; tomorrow I shall eat peas with my pot herbs and the day after pot herbs with my peas.” ~Benedictine Monk, 1053.

“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.)

herbal arrangement

“Garlic is as good as ten mothers.”
~Traditional European Saying

“Eat leeks in oile and ramsines in May,

And all the year after physicians may play.” (Ramsines were old-fashioned broad-leafed leeks.)

“The leaves and floures of Borrage put into wine  make men and women glad and merry, driving away all sadnesse, dulnesse, and melancholy, as Dioscorides and Pliny affirme.  Syrrup made of the floures of Borrage comforteth the heart, purgeth melancholy, and quieteth the phrenticke or lunaticke person.”
~John Gerard, The Herball, or General Historie of Plantes. 1597

herb garden with parsley“The revival interest in herbal medicine is a worldwide phenomenon.”
~Mark Blumenthal, Executive Director of the American Botanical Council

“Oh, the powers of nature! She knows what we need, and the doctors know nothing.” ~Benvenuto Cellini

“Botany and medicine came down the ages hand in hand until the seventeenth century; then both arts became scientific, their ways parted, and no new herbals were compiled.  The botanical books ignored the medicinal properties of plants and the medical books contained no plant lore.” ~Hilda Leyel   

“Much Virtue in Herbs, little in Men.” ~Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Poor Richard’s Almanac

“Time is an herb that cures all Diseases.”
~Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790,  Poor Richard’s Almanac 

“Eat an apple going to bed , make the doctor beg his bread.”

“What is Paradise? But a Garden, an Orchard of Trees and Herbs, full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights.” ~William Lawson, 1618.

“With the growing recognition of the value of herbs, it is surely time to examine the professional therapeutic use of these herbs. There are profound changes happening in the American culture and herbal medicine, ‘green medicine,’ is playing an ever-increasing role in people’s experience of this transformation.”   
~David Hoffman, past President of the American Herbalist Guild

“The olive tree is surely the richest gift of Heaven.
I can scarcely expect bread.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“I borage, give courage.”

“He would live for aye, must eat sage in May.”

“Gardening with herbs, which is becoming increasingly popular, is indulged in by those who like subtlety in their plants in preference to brilliance.”~Helen Morgenthau Fox 

Come Into The Garden–Beth Trissel


To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.  ~Beverly Nichols

iris_2 smaller

The lighting this morning was exquisite and Elise took some pics of the garden. Now it’s pouring rain again and thundering, but for a time, it was heavenly. So join me for a tour of my lovely May Garden. I think May is the most exquisite time of year. Balm for the soul.

“I hope some day to meet God, because I want to thank Him for the flowers.” ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~Terri Guillemets

(***A shorter form of iris)

No two gardens are the same.  No two days are the same in one garden.  ~Hugh Johnson

wood hyacinths from Uncle Houston

***Wood hyacinths given to me by my late Great Uncle Houston, like fairy bells.

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.  ~Walt Whitman

From an aunt, long ago:  “Death has come for me many times but finds me always in my lovely garden and leaves me there, I think, as an excuse to return.”  ~Robert Brault

tulip_pink and white stripedMany things grow in the garden that were never sown there.  ~Thomas Fuller,Gnomologia, 1732

My garden is my favorite teacher.  ~Betsy Cañas Garmon,www.wildthymecreative.com

Shall we compare our hearts to a garden —
with beautiful blooms, straggling weeds,
swooping birds and sunshine, rain —
and most importantly, seeds.
~Terri Guillemets

(Late season multi-colored Tulips)

I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself.  And I find sufficient purpose for my day.  ~Robert Brault

tulips late seasonThe kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, “Garden Thoughts”

Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing.
~Albert Laighton

(Late season tulips that are just gorgeous)

That God once loved a garden we learn in Holy writ.
And seeing gardens in the Spring I well can credit it.
~Winifred Mary Letts

tulips against the barnAnd Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast rose from the dreams of its wintry rest. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant

Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.  ~Ellis Peters
Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men.  ~Chinese Proverb
(***Tulips with our old red barn in the background)

The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.
~Julian Grenfell

poppy_ lovelyI think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?  ~Edward Giobbi

Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

(Heirloom orange-red poppies that have bloomed every May here forever)

The sun has come out… and the air is vivid with spring light. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens

Images from my May garden by daughter Elise