Tag Archives: Joy

A Little Christmas Story

23 Dec

Guest Post

Patricia Franklin

 We have not had any birds in our yard since about July when that old chicken hawk took residence in our neighborhood.  We have had suet in our feeder all these months and no one came.  We even had snow a couple of times and no one came.  We had 4 inches of snow the other day, so my husband put out some bird seed in our other feeder.  Still they did not come…. finally I saw one or two of the little snow birds with their black hoodies and galoshes on their feet.  They came and went so quickly, I thought I was dreaming.  Then yesterday I saw one of the little black and white woodpeckers at the suet feeder.  He and his mate used to live here all the time.  I was so happy to see him.    

Image result for Pixabay small birds

 This morning while I was sitting at the table with a cup of coffee, I opened the curtains and there was a party going on out there…. the sparrows, the little red headed finches and the snow birds, along with a couple of doves are at the birdseed and are squabbling over it like they normally do.  Three little squirrels are gathering up the remaining seeds from the ground.   Christmas is finally here! 

  Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

Summer Has Arrived

28 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


It’s February 28 and summer has arrived in Florida. Way…Too…Early. Temperatures in the 80s have triggered the annual pollen. My eyes are itchy but I can’t rub them. That is a huge No-NO for someone with cornea transplants. I miss my mountains.



Okay, my public whining is over. Notice I said public. I am sure I will continue to inwardly whine until I give myself an attitude adjustment and decide to choose thankfulness and joy.

It has been a busy week and aside from grumbling, I haven’t had any blog inspiration. So, I will leave you with this message from hot Florida:








I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.


Finding Joy in a Busy Life

19 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles





Reblogged January 19, 2019

“Oh, you poor thing,” my friend’s email read. “I’m worried about you. You’re burning the candle at both ends. You must take lots of vitamins. Are you getting enough sleep?”

I grinned when I read that. Although Sundays I relish in a full day of rest, from Mondays to Saturdays my days are full.

Confession time.

When I was sighted, I was even busier—with finding ways to fill a nagging void in my heart. With coveting others’ accomplishments. With efforts to cover up insecurities. And with futile efforts to catch the wind called success.

But my abilities weren’t enough. My work didn’t measure up and all that work to find happiness and success proved feeble.

All changed when I lost my sight and God replaced it with 20/20 spiritual vision.

Then I saw a sweet revelation: life Is not what we cannot do because of circumstances out of our control. Success comes when we recognize what we can do with God has given us.

He gave all of us the same 24 hours a day. Whether we’re sighted or not, we can accomplish enough because we’re God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (see Ephesians 2:10).

And to my delight He had prepared plenty for me. Sometimes, my problem is choosing which I love the most—writing sassy chapters for my new book, traveling to speaking engagements, writing blogs like this one. Working on my personal success coaching or hosting radio shows. Or is it my work as a Spanish interpreter?

This busyness for a blind person might seem too much.

And it would be for me to if I thought for a minute that it was my abilities that sustained my schedule. But it’s His hand that leads, guides and provides. In proverbs 16:3 he said “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Rather than commit to find success, we commit each task to the Lord. The, when God establishes our plans, joy dances into our success. Gratitude fuels our passion. His power feeds our energy. Our wisdom is at work. and our confidence grows.

With that confidence, no matter how heavy our load becomes, we declare: “You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest” (Psalm 139:3 NLV).

Let’s Pray

Father, I thank you that when I allow You to chart my path, design my plans and define my steps my heart is calm and my days find peace. In Jesus’ name, amen

Who charts your path to success? What path to success have you taken lately?



Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Let’s connect:

Source: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/encouragement/finding-joy-in-a-busy-life.html


Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.


Today I Choose to Seek Peace

4 Jan

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


2018 was a year-long journey to experiencing joy. I have a tee-shirt that is inscribed with “Joy…in spite of.”  While reading Galatians 5:22-23, I decided that my purpose for 2019 would be to aspire to the next aspect of the Spirit’s fruit and peace was next on the list.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!


I confess I am not looking forward to 2020 with long-suffering following peace!

Hebrews 12:14-15 advises us to make every effort to live in peace with everyone. How hard can that be?  Ha!

I confess that the state of my mind this first three days of January has been a war zone with past angers rising like a bon fire’s hungry flames.



Hebrews 12:14-15 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.


We are living in an era that is soaked in contentious speech and disrespect.Seeking peace will be challenging, yet exciting.  I’m counting on converting the flames of anger into flames that will purge bitterness from my heart and mind so that no roots will survive.

In The Woods

26 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis




Have you ever been in a difficult situation and you have cried out for help, waited on a word of encouragement and felt despair attempting to wash your heart in endless tears?  In my Monday morning quiet time, this verse resonated with my heart.  I found this picture of my husband. It brought a smile to my heart so just for fun, I created this graphic and decided to share it with our readers. Just in case you have ever felt this way. You are not alone.




Reach Out

3 Nov

From the Heart

Louise Gibson


author of Window Wonders



Lord, thank you for friends.
They warm our heart and lift our spirit every day
Our thoughts are lifted to you, Lord
You are The Truth, The Light, The Way


The joy of creating, of touching another soul.
That is the reward of reaching out.
Lord, in You we are all made whole.


Knowing God has a plan for our life
is important, don’t you see-
Faith in God’s plan allows us to trust
that the events in our life are meant to be.


The joy of creativity,
of touching another’s soul
That is the reward of “reaching out”
The reward will make you whole.


31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 30

26 Jun

Painting and paraphrase by DiVoran Lites



Day 30

Acts 20:24




What matters now is the job

Jesus gave you of radiating My

Incredible generosity

And extravagant caring.

I have designed you as a chalice

To carry My Kingdom to friends and family.

I want you to experience good health,

Right-thinking, peace and joy.

12 ways to overcome sorrow.

15 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Everyone celebrates Easter Sunday, but for so long, I was stuck on the Friday, the day of sorrow, the day of pain and the day of darkness. It was because the death of our son, Joe, had covered us with the veil of grief.

But one spring, right before Easter, healing came. It arrived with Christ’s example as He also dragged the cross of His own sorrow. He bled his pain.

Without complaint, sorrow scraped his heart too. And then nailed on the wood, he tasted the bitterness of betrayal mixed with the hardship of injustice.

Why did He not fight? Beg for freedom from the cross? Or curse His fate?

The answer nearly exploded in my heart. Because He knew glory awaited Him. He was certain eternity was his. And He counted on heaven.

“I want the same,” my soul cried out. And God heard my plea.

So with the celebration of the resurrection of hope, and the rebirth of my joy, came a new beginning – my own Easter Sunday. And while wearing the new outfit of healing, of joy and renewed gusto, I got busy creating a new joy-filled life.

When the day comes and my chair is empty at the dinner table, celebrating Easter, what will my family say about my life? While they scoop up a second helping of mashed potatoes or more slices of honey-baked ham, will they remember the way I dreaded my Calvary or will they recall how I lived my Easters?

How about you? Have you reached your own Easter of triumph for others to see? Whether sorrow or serenity, we’re subtly creating a legacy, weaving memories and painting strokes on our own portrait. The one our family will hold in their hearts.

And for the Easters to come, the portrait will display the life we lived, the values we held and the conviction that danced in our heart when we answered:

  1. Did we sink under the weight of our cross?
  2. Did we keep moving with the strength of hope?
  3. Did we relish on our own Easter of joy?
  4. Did we choose to see life beyond circumstances, or did circumstances see us to despair?
  5. Did we face challenges with determination, or did we allow them to determine our destiny?
  6. Did we look for tomorrow with passion, or did momentary trials rob the passion for today?
  7. Did we reach out to others to encourage them, or did our own discouragement reached out to hold us back?
  8. Did we live life rich with God’s reassurance, or did we live empty of His grace?
  9. Did fear steal our joy, or did God’s joy erase all fear?
  10. Did we do things for our own interest, or did we first take interest in God’s ways?
  11. Did we follow our plans, or did we first plan to follow God’s path?
  12. Did we fret over petty things, or find the power of God’s precepts?

No matter what the answer, there is no cross of pain that can hold us down; no suffering that can hold us back because Jesus is alive. And with passionate Love He declares, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Father, I thank you for the triumph. And I pray your everlasting love nourishes my desires, goals and dreams. I ask for wisdom to leave a legacy that honors you, resonates with my children’s children, and reflects my obedience to your precepts. In Jesus’ name, amen.



Source: 12 ways to overcome sorrow. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Just be Happy and Live

28 Feb

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Teach us delight in simple things. Rudyard Kipling
Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you. Deepak Chopra
When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Relax, stop worrying, let go and just live.  unknown




I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.

Fishing Therapy Part 2

16 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Because my brain begins racing as soon as I wake up, I have asked God to give me a scripture or song to start my day in a grateful mindset. Last Thursday morning I was given the word joy. My first thought was oh boy, what will I face today that I need to count it as joy.


We had planned to try out the fishing at Port Canaveral but I wasnt feeling  energetic so we changed our fishing plans and went back  to the park close to home.

A beautiful family from Ecuador stopped by to talk and we enjoyed communicating with my high school Spanish and his pretty good English. Then they went to have lunch under the pavilion.




A few minutes later, the little boy around 4 yrs old and his sister around 8 came running up to me with big smiles. The little guy had a fresh chocolate covered glazed donut in his hand for me. God’s joy gift can come in many forms, today it was in smiles and my favorite donut!

This fishing trip resulted in actually catching some fish. I caught a whiting, which is my favorite for eating, a silver trout and my husband caught a speckled trout. We didn’t keep them as they were too small, but it was fun catching them. Even though we tried to be gentle, the trout after swimming away, showed up floating on the water, I wanted to believe it was resting  and I was upset when the gulls tried to make it their lunch.

The fishing reel I use is a bait caster and over twenty years old. It is having some problems. I think I am going to go back to my favorite reel for fishing in the river, a Zebco 33. It’s kind of like having a reunion with one’s first love.

Something scary did happen during our outing. I had placed my phone in the drink holder of my bag chair so I could listen to the radio. It was very windy and when I stood to reel in my line, a gust blew my chair over and my phone went flying towards the water. My heart sank. Then I realized I could faintly hear my phone and when I looked over the side, I saw my phone lying on a boulder. My husband went down on the rocks and retrieved it. I feared the screen would be broken but it was fine. I thanked God for this and added another item to my lessons learned list.

This week we won’t have a chance to fish. I will miss it.

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