"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

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Sunday’s Song: Hope

You cannot put a great hope into a small soul.” –J.L. Jones

So, let us be people of great hope and great souls.

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It is the easiest thing in the world to obey God when he commands us to do what we like, and to trust him when the path is all sunshine. The real victory of faith is to trust him in the dark, and through the dark.

–T. L. Cuyler

Amen. And we will.

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A Thankful Heart

“God has two dwellings: one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.” — Izaak Walton

This quotation says beautifully how I feel today.

My heart is filled with thankfulness for many good things.

I have been reminded today how a person’s greeting or reply or response can totally change one’s outlook, how easy it is to say something positive to someone, how making a choice to do good benefits the giver every bit as much as the recipient.

I believe that God shows His great love for us through His people. I just have to remember to notice it for what it is.
It is love.
Every encouraging word, smile, and effort to be kind can change us for the better…
to have God dwelling in our hearts.

Blessings for a lovely week.


Learning to Love the Questions


Question Mark Graffiti


From the book The World According to Mr. Rogers (by Fred Rogers):

“The great poet Maria Rilke wrote: “Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart, and learn to love  the questions themselves.”

I think I may create a journal page with this quotation at the top and just start listing…


I like the idea of loving the questions. I like to think positively in the midst of chaos.


I have always been able to find the silver lining. I hope I always will.







Trees Will Remind Me


“Scratch the green rind of a sapling, or wantonly twist it in the soil, and a scarred or crooked oak will tell of the act for centuries to come. So it is with the teachings of youth, which make impressions on the mind and heart that are to last forever.  The highest function of the teacher consists not so much in imparting knowledge as in stimulating the pupil in its love and pursuit.  To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.”–Amiel

I have paid attention to a lot of trees this summer. I have photographed them, studied their shadings and textures, tried to capture their differences on various art papers. Each tree and branch and leaf holds its own story. The more I experiment, the more I want to learn.

Many new students are coming  my way soon. They will have their own stories as well.  I want to remember that what I do each day will shape their futures in some way.

Because of the time I have given myself to watch and experiment and create, I am still wondering and questioning. Still learning. That is the kind of year I want for my students. A year of wonder and appreciation and experimentation…with writing, art, books, and most importantly, with imagination.

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English: Signature of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

English: Signature of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I think this is a good quotation to think about as I start getting things ready for a new school year.  I enjoy finding quotations I like and listing them in my writer’s notebook.

Goethe’s quotes are among my favorites. I remember seeing his name on a street sign in Chicago, and my colleague pronouncing his name correctly: Ger-ta. I had mispronounced it for so many years, but it doesn’t matter. What I keep from his quotes is what really matters. Still, it is nice to know the right way to say his name, too.

His message rings so true to me. I know that as teachers we must correct. It comes with the territory. If students didn’t need correction, we wouldn’t have jobs. Still, it is crucial to temper that correction with an encouraging word.

It is so easy to walk in and see what is wrong with a picture. This year, with my students and with the interns I mentor, I am making it a daily goal to focus on what’s right.