Category Archives: Inspiration

Sisters

mom and sisters oct 1934

My mother and her sisters in 1934.

For there is no friend like a sister  in calm or stormy weather   – Christina Rossetti 

Easter 1957 – With my sister in dresses sewn by our mother

You can fool the world but not your sister. – Charlotte Gray

My father-in-law’s sisters around 1940

A woman without her sister is like a bird without her wings. – Moosa Rahat

My maternal grandmother and her sister in 1902

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.- Marion C. Garretty

My father’s sisters winners at a music festival early 1950s

Once sisters are grown their relationship becomes the strongest in the family.  – Margaret Mead

grandma peters

My paternal grandmother far left with her sisters and sisters in law.

A sister is both your mirror – and your opposite. ~ Elizabeth Fishel

My mother-in-law and her sisters  in 1931

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden- Author Unknown

Other posts……….

Brothers

Siblings

Birthday Books- A Hundred Years Old

 

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Let Me Count The Ways

 

Let Me Count The Ways……….

 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”  – Luke 10:27

 

heart of compassion

my mother listening to people…. as if what they had to say to her was the most important thing in the world

those women in my church hugging me and quietly sharing their own stories of loss

my mother-in-law’s nurses whispering words of love to her as they tenderly provided palliative care

 

soul of wonder

Grandma teaching me to split open pea pods with my fingernail

watching my son hold his infant son against his heart

marveling at that black sky over our mesa just jam-packed with stars

 

strength of spirit

my husband’s grandmother surviving that week she hid in the cellar with her four little boys while the bandits terrorized their village

my father supporting my mother through more than a thousand dialysis treatments

my son’s music group continuing their international tour even after thieves stole all of their instruments

 

mind of curiosity

that Old Testament professor making us reconsider all our assumptions by assigning an essay about the geography of our faith

the inspiration of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her friends who in 1895 wrote reflections about every single woman mentioned in the Bible

the children I guide at the art gallery who are always finding things in the paintings I’ve never seen before

 

neighbor as self

my husband stopping to listen to the stories of the people who ask him for money on the street

my sister opening her heart and home to that refugee mother and her children

my former church congregation singing in full harmony at the end of every gathering …..ubi caritas et amour deus ibi est

Where charity and love are, God is there.

 

Other posts………

Encouragement 

Wisdom from Dr. Seuss

Wisdom on a Wine Bottle

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Wisdom from Dr. Seuss

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.        Dr. Seuss

I’ve been thinking about that Dr. Seuss quote often during the last while.  I’ve had to say good-bye to many good things in my life. Sometimes it’s hard not to be sad about ‘what was’ but it is important to put that sadness into perspective because our lives change and if we keep being melancholy about what we once had and have lost we sometimes can’t appreciate what we have now.  This post is a personal reminder to not be too sad because some good things are over and no longer part of my life but to smile because I was fortunate enough to have such good things happen to me like………………

Teaching in Hong Kong for six years

Farewell party staged for us by friends when we left Hong Kong

Having a faboulously supportive, affirming and caring mother

With Mom at Christmas a year and a half before she died

Having a rewarding and enriching teaching career

My class of students at Elmdale School in 1982.

Having so many memorable family times at my grandparents’ house in Gnadenthal Manitoba

Playing dress up with my cousins on my grandparents’ farmyard.

Having the opportunity to study and expand my world view exponentially at university.

Having the privilege to parent young children.Having a chance to live on the Hopi Indian Reservation for a year. 

Having such a kind and supportive mother-in-law.

With my mother-in-law Anne on our last visit before she passed away

Having been a columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. 

Having the chance to explore so much of Asia in our travels. 

On the great wall of China

Don’t cry because its over. Smile because it happened.

Other posts………

Better With Friends

The Station of Tears

Start and End Happy

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Inspiration From Dr. King

martin-luther-kind-day-talking-stick-arenaWe attended an NBA basketball game here in Phoenix on Martin Luther King Day.  Before the game started the arena was ringed with words of inspiration from Dr. King. I’ve added a photo of my own for each quote. 

decided-to-stick-with-loveI have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden. 

Photo taken in Dehli India 2007

Photo taken in Dehli India 2007

live-as-brothers-or-die-as-foolsWe must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. 

Our son with a good friend when we were living on the Hopi Nation

Our son with a good friend when we were living on the Hopi Nation in 1990

succumbing-to-bitternessNever succumb to the temptation of bitterness. 

Ringing the peace bell in Hiroshima

Ringing the peace bell in Hiroshima

darkness-cannot-drive-out-darkness

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. 

A candle given to me after my Mom died. I lit it the day of the American election.

A candle given to me by a friend after my Mom died. I lit it the day of the American election.

Other posts…….

Thoughts on Hope

And That Led Me

Costa Rica Inspiration

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Encouragement After the American Election

Last night I had supper with a university professor who had just returned from the American Academy of Religion conference in San Antonio that annually brings together more than 10,000 religion professors, authors and students.  The professor talked about the feeling of sadness that had permeated the meetings in the wake of the election results and said it was striking to see how many of the speakers while presenting their academic research and papers to the conference began to weep. It inspired me to look for words that might offer encouragement and to go through my photo collection to find related images. 

A stained glass window created by Jewish artist Chagall for a church in Mainz Germany as a way to bring people together after World War II

A stained glass window photographed in St. Stephan’s Catholic church in Mainz Germany. It was created by Jewish artist Marc Chagall as a gift he hoped would bring people together after World War II 

This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. – Toni Morrison

A trio of Quebec suffragettes who fought for 22 years to get women the right to vote in their province.

A trio of Quebec suffragettes photographed in Quebec City.  They never gave up even though it took them twenty-two years of determined and unrelenting effort to get women the right to vote in their province.

I just want you to know you have to stay encouraged. Don’t ever think you can’t make a difference. -Barack Obama

In the Chernobyl Museum in Ukraine A huge mobile contains dozens of threads hanging from the ceiling of the museum and dangling at the ends of these threads are black and white pencil portraits of people who died or got seriously ill because they were 'doing their job' and were trying to help the people in the effected areas. There are sketches of doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, military people, police officers and fire fighters who were called to the scene of the disaster and went without even stopping to think that they might be placing themselves in danger.

Photographed at the Chernobyl Museum in Ukraine where there are a multitude of pencil portraits of doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters and ambulance drivers who died trying to help the people injured by the disaster. They were heroes just doing their jobs. 

Everytime we think we have reached our capacity to meet a challenge we look up and we realize that capacity may be limitless. This is a time for heroes. We will do what is hard.  – President Bartlett on West Wing

Thomas Edison was good friends with Helen Keller who autographed this photo for him with the words..... Not loudness but love sounds in your ear my friend. Helen Keller

Portrait of Helen Keller photographed at the Thomas Edison estate in Fort Myers, Florida. Helen was born deaf and blind. She became a famous author, political activist and lecturer. 

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein

Photograph of our son taken at the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown New York with the Jackie Robinson plaque.  Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball.

Photograph of our son taken at the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown New York with the Jackie Robinson plaque. Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball.

Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. When we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart. -Ed Koch

Photo taken at the Anne Frank exhibit in Hong Kong.

Photo taken at the Anne Frank exhibit in Hong Kong.

Inspite of everything I still believe people are really good at heart. – Anne Frank

Lighthouse carved from a tree damaged in a tornado in Seacliff Park Leamington Ontario

Lighthouse carved from a tree damaged in a tornado. Photographed in Seacliff Park Leamington Ontario

In a time of destruction, create something- Maxine Kingston

Sculpture photographed in Singapore

Sculpture photographed in Singapore

Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. – John F. Kennedy

With Starry NIght at the Museum of Modern Art

With Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Van Gogh suffered from anxiety and depression while creating this beautiful vision of the night sky.

Without the dark we would never see the stars. – Stephanie Meyers

Dream Catcher at a Wendat village near Quebec City

Dream Catcher photographed at a Wendat village near Quebec City

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.
― Langston Hughes

Other posts………

A Little Light

That’s How Light Gets In

Thoughts on Hope

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Thoughts on Hope

John Lennon Wall in Prague

John Lennon Wall in Prague

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.
― John Lennon

Palm Tanagers photographed in Costa Rica

Tanagers photographed in Costa Rica

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

School boys in Boreno

School boys in Boreno

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. 
― Tom Bodett

My Grade Five Class in 1963 with our teacher Mr. Klassen. I am second from the left in the second row.

My grade five teacher Mr. Klassen was an inspiring and creative influence in my life.

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning – Brad Henry

My Mom and Dad with children from a refugee family from Sierra Leone they sponsored

My Mom and Dad with children from a refugee family from Sierra Leone they sponsored

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. Maya Angelou

Photo taken near Sanford Manitoba

Photo taken near Sanford Manitoba

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

My Dad examining patients in Haiti

My Dad examining patients in Haiti

Hope is the physician of each misery. – Anonymous

Photo taken in Jiang China

Photo taken in Jiangsu China

May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears. – Nelson Mandela

Other posts……..

Inspiration in Quebec City

Rumi Inspiration

A Balm for my Soul

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And That Led Me

This morning my brother who is traveling in Bulgaria sent me a photo of the spectacular view he encountered as he hiked above the tree line in the Pirin Mountains.  His only comment in the e-mail was……… What a wonderful world it is!

That led me to a poem by Mary Oliver…………

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

so why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime

wild flowersAnd that led me to remember my visit to the house in Rome where Keats died at age 25 and these lines from a Keats poem…….

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

And that led me to start this day, 9/11, with a prayer to look for and appreciate the joy, the beauty and the wonder that it may bring. 

Other posts……….

Beauty on the Beach

Beauty in Ordinary Things

The Beauty of Surgery

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