Blooming Amidst Life’s Seasons: Finding Beauty & Joy in Everyday Moments

Phyllis Inspiration 22 Comments

Dear friends,

I am sitting at my desk overlooking my flower garden right outside the window. I concluded that flowers make summer endurable. The heat in the South can get to you, but the dewdrops on flower petals seem to calm everything. We all like certain parts of every season, but we have our favorite.

That’s the way life is. Certain parts we love more than others. We must find the good in all parts. That’s hard to do sometimes. When there is sickness, loss, or discouragement, it seems impossible at times. But my plan is to find something wonderful each day and dwell on it for a while. Today, it’s the bright yellow calla lilies, red lilies, and roses.

garden through window

I find it fascinating that every winter, these flowers go to sleep and rest. When those first warm rays hit the garden, up they come. Each year, they multiply and bring more blossoms to enjoy. I have an emotional attachment to several flowers. My brother brought me a beautiful pink lily, and every year, it amazes me with its beauty. It’s in bud now and will be blooming soon. My grandson loves lamb’s ears, the soft gray plant that multiplies also. It feels like fur.

So, you are asking, what does all this have to do with life? We must make it a habit to look for the good around us every day. Find one thing that makes you smile and dwell on it. Dwelling on something causes us to slow down, ponder, and spend time resetting our outlook. It’s hard today with the uncertainty around us.


My mom reminded me years ago that flower bulbs and cuttings were shared with friends. During the Great Depression, no one had money for flowers, but some of the most beautiful gardens bloomed during that time. They concentrated on sharing beauty with others. I have flowers in my garden from my grandmother’s garden. Sharing beauty continues.

Today, I hope you find a beautiful moment to enjoy. Thank you all for the prayers and emails from you that bring beauty to me. Have a blessed day.

Comments 22

  1. Phyllis’ heart expressed through her loving words was such a gracious gift to all who knew and loved her — including we who were only privileged to know her as Ribbon Friends.
    May all who love her know His Peace that passes understanding.

  2. So sorry to hear of the passing of Phyllis. She brought such beauty to so many through her magazines, books, and blog. I have every issue of Victoria and Southern Lady, my favorite magazines. I feel a loss with her passing although I never met her. She had a way of endearing herself and her passion of writing to others. I pray her family will find peace and comfort in God’s love and remembering her accomplishments. It was clearly obvious the love she had for her family!

  3. I can’t get Phyllis out of my mind. I looked up her blog and was deeply moved by her positive and uplifting post written in June. Then I read her letter in the May June Issue of Victoria that was also very beautiful. The opposite page talked about The Live your Bliss retreat in Middleburg Virginia. Sadly she was unable to be there.
    I will miss her and we never met. She was inspiring.
    Praying for her family and close friends.

    1. Phyllis, you will truly be missed. Much loved by millions of people that never meet you personally. Yet, you were like a very close, dear old friend.
      Thank-you for letting us into your life and that of your family and friends. Only a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about a recipe you printed in your blog. It was a recipe for a pound cake that a lady in your church or neighborhood use to make many years ago.
      I believe you also made a video of you making it. I wish I could find my copy of the recipe. I would make it and sit down with a pot a tea and reread your blog.
      I hope a book is published of ‘The Best of A Ribbon In My Journal.’
      Much loved and much missed. A inspirational southern lady. From Canada.

  4. So sad to hear of Phyllis passing. I’ve been a huge fan for years, since she brought my favorite magazine back to life, Victoria magazine became as beautiful a publication as the original. I also love Southern Lady, Tea Time and Paula Dean as well as the special issues. I truly feel like I’ve lost a beloved friend. Rest in Peace dear Phyllis and thank you for being an Angel on earth to so many.

  5. I never met Phyllis in person, but her magazines have been part of my life for over 20 years. I am grieving her death like that of a good friend. I loved reading The Ribbon and getting a glimpse into her daily life. She was an inspiring businesswoman, and demonstrated that this was not incompatible with devotion to faith and high ideals. She was a good and faithful servant and will be much missed.

  6. What a sweet and special post to read this morning (through tears). Even in this last and final season, her words reflect days lived out in grace and dignity. I will always have an appreciation for who she was. Praying for the family.

  7. What a beautiful journal post this is! I am so thankful for Phyllis. Over the years I would grab one of her magazines or read one of her blog posts and gain so much inspiration for creating beauty in my home and garden and tending to important relationships. I will miss her! Sending love and prayers to her family.

  8. Thank You Phyllis for this inspiring post. I look for the good of an air conditioner in the summer heat or a day that is more like a day in Spring or Autumn. To relax there is nothing like a good ,sweet book or returning to a childhood favorite read or a new discovered friend in a book that you missed while growing up. Hope your Summer is bearable

  9. Dear Phyllis,
    Thank you for your lovely post of words & sharing your flowers out your window. So encouraging as always! ❤️
    I have flowers in my yard, in my house & recently I noticed that a majority of the clothes in my closet had floral patterns on them. I am definitely following in my Mother’s footsteps!
    Recently, I was reading a familiar Bible passage about lilies from Luke 12:22-32…but this time I was reading it from the Passion Translation which gave me a fresh take on these verses. I’ll just share part of this wonderful passage:
    “Think about the lilies…they don’t work hard or strive to clothe themselves…but not even Soloman in all his kingly garments of splender could be compared to a field of lilies. If God can clothe the fields and meadows with grass and flowers, can’t He clothe you as well…don’t let worry enter your life. Live above the anxious cares about your personal needs…your Heavenly Father knows your every need and will take care of you. Each and every day He will supply your needs as you seek His kingdom passionately, above all else. So don’t ever be afraid, dearest friends! Your loving Father joyously gives you his kingdom realm with all it’s promises!” And those include promises for us to be complete…spirit, soul & body…as Isaiah 53:5 tells us so beautifully.
    What a comfort to be able to put all our worries, needs, health issues, etc., etc. in the loving hands of our Father…and just trust Him to “work all things out for our good.” I am so thankful for His faithfulness!

  10. Hi Phyllis, When I want to bathe in beauty I pick out a poem from one of my many poetry books. Have a safe and happy Summer.

  11. Thank You Phyllis for this lovely post. Hope you are feeling better. I try to think of something lovely and calming to me. Victoria Magazine and Tea Time Magazine are two examples. Your garden is gorgeous. Continued prayers for good health and healing. God Bless.

  12. My garden of “pass me down” flowers are like a bouquet from my Granny, who made the floral arrangements for her church in Hartselle, AL every Sunday. I love seeing them each spring and summer. Your garden looks so peaceful and lovely!

  13. I am thankful for Victoria Magazine. A refuge in this world.

    Today I read a news story about a conference done by followers of a certain extreme way of thinking. They told young women to say goodbye to birth control and so to whatever dreams they might dream. They were saying …stay in the home…only. We cannot have all of the wonderful options with which men are blessed.
    I felt depressed and half-way to The Handmaid’s Tale, and then I saw your beautiful blog.

    I promise to find something beautiful every day and to remind myself to pray for those who try to put women in this narrow, unnatural, unbeautiful “place” divided from the world. I don’t think that they see ALL of the real beauty in ALL of us .

    Sorry, but I get so sad sometimes.

  14. Dearest Phyllis,
    I love this post! I agree with everything you have stated so very much. Life can be incredibly challenging and stress levels are greater than most of us even realize. Just to focus on a beautiful flower, a cloud drifting by or a little bird singing gives us a moment of peace to get through it all.❤️

  15. Phyllis, what a joy it is to wake up and begin my day (after my devotional) with reading your words. How blessed are we that there are flowers to delight us with their beauty! I am particularly struck by what Wendy has written, too, as she navigates a new chapter in life with grace and thankfulness. I am not a gardener, although every single one of my friends are, but I so love and appreciate the garden, and flowers.

    Any time possible I try to include at least a little posy with every gift that we give, a habit I learned from a dear friend who shares generously from her flower garden. Flowers are not just beautiful, they have healing powers, I think, just by their very loveliness. Once a month I share a ‘floral therapy’ Monday Morning Blooms on my blog, and that never ceases to illicit many heartfelt messages from readers about how much flowers mean to them in their daily lives. Thank you for sharing your love of flowers, here, in the many beautiful issues of all my favorite magazines and in the stunning books Hoffman Media publishes. Xo Lidy

  16. Dear Phyllis,

    May I share one more comment? I wanted to let you know another way your work is taking root and growing. I teach in the homeschool community and I have developed a mini “enrichment” class which is based on the concept of “Victoria Magazine*.

    Using the fruits of the Holy Spirit as our framework, grades 7-12 meet weekly to develop a concept for a magazine I call “Endeavor”. I facilitate the collaborative methods to establish a theme, content ideas etc. , and then each student works on features which are reviewed by their “colleagues” to make a final product. They learn a great deal from both the process and also in coming up with their own features. Next week starts another such activity with the emphasis being ART in all its forms. It is a small group of students this time but they are all very eager and can’t wait to get started.

    This is an example of the fruits of your labors and vision. And all the people who will enjoy the final product will benefit, too .

    I thought you would enjoy hearing about this.

    Warmest regards,
    Katarina Ilic

  17. Dear Phyllis,

    Your years of beautiful cultivation of printed journals have yielded an incredible garden of inspiration for me that is always available, no matter the weather or climate, both physical and spiritual. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the genuine beauty you bring into my home and life with each issue. I am a piano teacher, a part time history teacher a Sunday school teacher, a wife, mother, daughter and friend and I am able to get ideas for presentations and designs that authentically bring joy to others. I hope that you receive great grace and blessings for all the joy and beauty you spread with your important work. May God bless you and your family.

  18. Hello dear Phyllis,
    Thank you for sharing the photos of your beautiful flowers and thoughts on how we can look to flowers and gardens as metaphors for so many things in life. Yes, I agree, life certainly has seasons where it can be so much harder to see the beauty. But that is when it is most crucial we do! I am learning this first hand as I’ve entered my 60th year with a lot of change in the last 18 months. Some so very necessary, but sad. Some a great relief. And some, quite hard. Nonetheless, here I stand. I awoke today with the gift of life. And from there, I acknowledge the many, many blessings, joys and beauty that surrounds me, despite the challenges, sorrows and worries. I count your lovely blog as one of those blessings. You make the effort to add beauty to the world and that is a wonderful gift. Wishing you great health and happiness Phyllis.

  19. Phyllis, your garden is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us. I have a friendship garden and think of my friends when I look at the plants they gave me. Have a great day.

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