Beauty Leads to Serenity, Peace and Joy

May 9, 2019
living room view

I have always loved beautiful things—who doesn’t?—but beauty was not essential to my happiness until I was widowed. Perhaps because of the drudgery involved in settling the estate and learning Lev’s business after his death, I desperately needed to be in light-filled, tranquil, soothing space to fill the emptiness and mitigate my pain. I describe those early months of grief in Reclaiming Joy: There was …

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Men: Don’t Do This to Your Wives

May 2, 2019
Ella in file room

Everyone—all the banks, all the media—seems to have waked up at the same time to the fact that women outlive men and almost all will have to be responsible for their own financial affairs at some point in their lives. There’s not a week when I don’t see another story about it. It’s not just the Wall Street Journal or Brown Brothers Harriman’s Women and …

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Throwback Thursday: Remembering Sri Lanka

April 25, 2019
Indian Ocean 1/1/05

The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka reminded me of the two weeks I spent there as part of a construction team one year after the 2004 tsunami. As I wrote in Reclaiming Joy, “the people’s serenity as they faced the future without loved ones, without homes, and without other possessions awed me.” I was the cook and travel guide for a group from First …

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For Easter Joy, Thank You, God

April 21, 2019
Easter joy--a prayer

For surrounding me with your grace; for granting me the years with Lev; for hearing my prayers for discernment; for equipping me with courage to face the future; for leading me to contentment and purpose; for lifting my eyes from myself to reclaim joy; for protecting and unifying my family. for love that overcomes fear, thank you, God. For teaching me to encourage and nurture …

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Day 28. On Your Journey to Easter Joy, Be Generous

April 20, 2019

The Philippians, in spite of their poverty, had sent gifts to Paul in prison that satisfied his needs. He wrote to thank them for their generosity and assured them:  …my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NRSV Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to …

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Day 27. On Your Journey to Easter Joy, Enjoy an Abundant Life

April 19, 2019

[Paul wrote] I have been paid in full and have more than enough. Philippians 4:18a NRSV Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today. Start with Scripture. Today, read Philippians 4:14–18a from your favorite translation of the Bible or from the epigraph printed at the top …

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Day 26. On Your Journey to Easter Joy, Accept

April 18, 2019

…I have learned to be content with whatever I have…I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11b, 13 NRSV Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today. Start with Scripture. Today, read Philippians 4:10–13, a sentence at a time, from your favorite …

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Day 25. On Your Journey to Easter Joy, Change Your Attitude

April 17, 2019

  …whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NRSV Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy …

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Day 24. On Your Journey to Easter Joy, Find Peace

April 16, 2019

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 NRSV Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today. Start with Scripture. Today, read Philippians 4:6, 7 from your favorite translation of …

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Day 23. On Your Journey to Easter Joy, Be Gentle

April 15, 2019

Let your gentleness be known to everyone. Philippians 4:5a NRSV Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today. Start with Scripture. Today, read Philippians 4:4, 5 from your favorite translation of the Bible or from the epigraph printed at the top of the chapter, page 161. …

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