She Believed She Could

This beautiful image courtesy of Artsy Pumpkin- Click HERE for the link.

“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.”
Anne Lamott

Happy New Year! How was your holiday? I can’t believe it’s over already. Now it’s back to reality and real life! I couldn’t resist the above quote by Anne Lamott. She makes me laugh, cry and smile, sometimes all at the same time. Reading her books and writing can turn around my whole day.

Penny on the beach, Summer 2016

When I look back on this year, I can consider it an amazing one. I did many more events than I thought possible. My church had a centennial celebration that I was blessed to be a part of. Penelope Katherine, my newest grandchild, was born on January 24 and brought such joy to my (and the whole family’s) life. I published my first book, Ordinary is Extraordinary and sold more copies of it than I thought possible (thank you!).

On the flip side, I was sometimes overwhelmed by too much to do. As usual I think I am managing well but then a dark cloud comes over me. That is why that quote above is especially poignant. I can really relate to it. Sometimes it is other people that bother me, sometimes it is the situations I create myself.

My word of the year for 2016 was Believe. It was a great word and I have kept it in mind all year. I hoped to use it to deepen my faith and I believe I accomplished that goal. I also know I will always keep building my relationship with God. I am never done and He will never be rid of me.

In the past two months, I lost a good friend to cancer. Another friend of mine, who was to be a first time grandmother, experienced a stillborn loss that I am still struggling to believe. Both of these were deep losses that I felt (and am still feeling). This is the hard part of growing up, getting older. You lose people that you love, bad things happen and we don’t understand them.

I remember when my father died almost nineteen years ago. We didn’t really see it coming although he had been sick for quite a while. The day after his death the sun came up. Time waits for no one I thought. Despite the awful loss of my dad, the world did not stop. People came and went. Friends showed up.

Isn’t this how we get through life? We plod along and sometimes there is deep mud to walk through, rain that beats down on us, and the occasional lighting strikes. Then there are those days when the sun comes out, someone gets married, a baby is born, a new friend is made. These events are what makes life worth living.

May you go forward in 2017 with a renewed attitude, a motivation to learn something new, and an awareness of the grace that will surely come your way.

I wanted to share some highlights of my year. These moments were especially wonderful. xo

Penny’s Baptism
Meeting an old friend, Dreama after many years.
Watching my son John and his entrance into Fatherhood.
Our visit to Nantucket.
Watching Penny adore my mom.
Meeting Vivian Howard of “Chef and the Farmer”
My sisters, mom and I at the kick off party to the Centennial of my church.
Penny and me on Christmas Eve.
Siesta Key Florida March 2016.
Backpack Feeding Kickoff at FOCUS West Central PA
Last wedding of the season- Ashley and Eli, Photo by Michael Will
Join me on my graceful journey.

17 Replies to “She Believed She Could”

  1. You had me at gin in the cat dish! Ann is just the best, right?

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and your friend’s grandchild…sometimes there are no words.
    I also wanted to personally thank you for hosting me in earlier in the year. That little post you so graciously published on your site brought me blessings and surprises. Surprises from friends who didn’t know what to think of the more spiritual side of me. All in all, it helped me learn a lot about myself and others.
    I thoroughly enjoyed your book, and I look forward to seeing what comes next for you in 2017.
    As always – I adored the photos you shared. You are truly an amazing and inspiring woman.

    1. Ann is the best! And I want to thank you as well for your friendship and inspiration. Your writing has been a wonderful example to me of how to have fun and still get a message across. I love you for that. Anytime you want to guest post, I am open to it. I’d love it. xoxo Joanne

  2. Jo, believing in oneself takes away the pressure, allowing each us the unique space and time needed to celebrate life’s joys and challenges. You have had great happiness, and sorrow, this year…and weathered all with grace, love, and unconditional faith. May 2017 bring you continued health and happiness, and more balance and peacefulness in the months to come. I love you and am very proud of you. xoxo Calliope

  3. Joanne, what a great post to usher in the new year! I’ve already read it twice today! I love how you speak from your heart with such grace and humility! With all the love & wisdom you have to share, it is no wonder you are an inspiration to all of us! Iam deeply touched by certain thoughts you shared as my heart can relate. What a beautiful collection of pictures you put together highlightening the memorable moments and memories of your life this past year! I enjoyed looking at them.Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017…”believe”

    1. Cindy, thank you so much for being one of my loyal followers. I don’t know what I would do without you. Your encouragement and kudos keep me going. Thank you so much for your friendship and love! ❤️

  4. Love the gratitude and grace in this post and your blog in general. Just in the way you describe the past year, with its grief and happy moments, it’s the perfect summary of life. That balance isn’t something we have control over, but we can comfort a grieving friend, share in the happy moments too. Beautiful post.

  5. Hi Joanne, Your “She Believed” post was brought to my attention as using one of my original works of art with no credit given. I’m glad that you enjoyed my image enough to include it in your blog post, but doing so without permission or artist credit is actually infringing on copyright. Sadly, many people feel that if an image is found on the internet it’s free game, this just isn’t true. I’m an artist and small business person trying to make a living with my art and this image is an original design created by me. With that said, I’ve never said no to anyone who has asked if they could use the image as a visual for an inspirational post or article. I’d like to ask at the very least you edit your post to give artist credit and a link back to me. I look forward to hearing back from you.

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