Starting the Year With Joy (And More)

Happy New Year, y’all! I hope 2019 started with all things wonderful for you and yours! I know lots of people choose a word for the year, but I’m not very good at choosing a word. I felt like I needed a good handful of words to get me through 365 days and so, after some long thinking (that looked suspiciously like a long nap), I chose peace, love, and joy.

Yay! Exactly what I need for 2019! But then I thought there was something very familiar about those words. I mean, besides the fact that I still had Christmas cards hanging about and peace, love, and joy are big themes of the season. So I decided to get a cuppa and think upon it.

There’s a shelf above my sink where I keep my coffee cups (and why do we call mugs “coffee cups” or “coffee mugs” but a more delicate cup, the one that comes with a saucer, a “teacup”? I only drink tea and I drink it out of the coffee mugs. Mister Man only drank coffee but he was just as likely to drink his coffee from a teacup. Is a puzzlement.)

Anyway, when I reached for a cup, here’s what I saw:


Hahahahhaaaa! My favorite tea mug! I guess as long as I don’t break that cup, I won’t forget my words for 2019.

And honestly, I needed those words, when a few days into the new year, I received an email that…well, you can read for yourself over at the Muffin in “The Value of a Professional.”

I feel like I have LOTS more to say about the value of a professional so I hope you’ll all give it a read and then come back in a day or so (or possibly six) when I expound on that topic. Meanwhile, in spreading a little joy, I have an update about my friend, Sonia, and her book, Finding Joy in Giving Back to God that I shared with you here back in early December.

41Uy077Uf1L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Sonia has not only sold her first batch of books, but several more batches (and I’m getting ready to order 50 more books for her)! A pastor from another church contacted her, asking her to speak to a group of parishioners, and so this weekend, she’ll have her very first speaking engagement (which is why I need to order more books!). She asked if she could share my Muffin post “A Christmas (Publishing) Miracle” and of course I said sure and brought her a copy of the post this morning.

Oh, my, that Sonia is a force to be reckoned with! Almost every day, she has news or questions or I-don’t-know-what-all, but mostly, she’s just full of joy. Not because of her accomplishment–though I think she still can’t believe how far the book has come–but because she’s helping so many people in different ways. That would make anyone joyful!

And her joy brings me joy. That’s the way it works with joy and with peace and love, now that I think about it. I can’t imagine a better way to start a new year, can you?


New Year, Old Values

hand-children-child-child-s-hand-159827So I just read my newspaper from New Year’s–don’t judge, I had a lot of football and family going on–and I opened my Parade magazine to find “Let’s Make 2017 the Year of Being Kind.”

That’s a swell idea but I may have laughed out loud, sitting at my kitchen table, reading. Because suddenly, people being kind to one another has become a trend. And we have all sorts of templates and books and specially made cards to help us remember to be kind.


I can remember sitting in the kitchen of my childhood home, after a particularly hurtful day at school, and hearing my mother say (for probably the millionth time): “Be kind, fair maid, let him who will be clever.”

Now, the quote is actually “Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever” from a poem by Charles Kingsley. But I’m sure Mom thought the word kindness worked better in that quote, or at least, in trying to explain to her children the importance of being kind to people instead of retaliating in some hurtful way.

She preached kindness every day, and my teachers did, too. When I think about it, most of the adults I knew growing up–family and friends–not only preached kindness but lived it. And so we grew up understanding the value of kindness, and we taught that value to our children.

I’m very glad that the old-fashioned trait of kindness was instilled in me and those I love. And for those who may have forgotten, or perhaps didn’t grow up with kindness, I hope that the Parade articles and templates and quotes will inspire all to begin the best new habit ever.

So Happy New Year’s, y’all! And may 2017 flow with kindness (and lovely acceptances)!


Magic Ticket? Yes, Please!

ticket-1539705_1920Here’s my horoscope for today:

You’ll influence others, but more importantly, you’ll comply with self-directions. To follow your own instructions is no small deal; in fact, it’s the magic ticket and the key to getting what you want.

Which wouldn’t be so weird if my post, “The Writer’s End-of-the-Year To Do List” with all kinds of instructions, didn’t just happen to be up on the Muffin.


If the universe went to all that trouble to get my attention, I think it behooves me to tackle that list. And so off I go (and I hope you’ll join me! I mean, it’s not every day that I come up with a magic ticket!)