Finding Joy & Looking Ahead

Phyllis Inspiration 53 Comments

As we are ending 2022, I thank you all for your lovely emails, texts, and cards. It was a hard year for our family, as Mom passed away this summer, and many of you know all that entails. I still struggle with this rare anemia, and you have offered up meaningful prayers for me, and I thank you. Still fighting and praying.

I have not written to you in quite a while, and many of you have reached out. Thank you. I have learned more about perseverance during this time than I could have imagined. But we must all go forth and never give up. Never lose hope. I think you must live it to really understand it.

This time of year is hard for so many, and finding joy is difficult. Just when you think you have it nailed—boom, something else seems to pop up. I have started looking at these moments as another trail on my journey. We all must stop and evaluate how blessed we are in so many ways, and these challenges will make us stronger.

Next year, we will start Ribbon in My Journal over with encouragement and finding joy. Our family wishes you a blessed Christmas and holiday season. I am thankful for you and for being a part of Ribbon. Please encourage your friends to sign up. Thank you for your love and concern! We will go forth together.

(Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash)

Comments 53

  1. Dear Phyllis,

    How sweet of you to give the gift of yourself to all of us. Thank you.

    Heartfelt sympathy to you and your family for the loss of your beloved Mother. May you feel peace and smile with the wonderful gifts and memories she has given you.

    I wanted to let you know that you may want to seek some information about your anemia from Dr. Ken D. Berry. There are sound and practical things that can be looked into. I have learned that healing encompasses physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual all at once. Dr. Berry can be seen here

    I wish you healing and joy beyond your wildest imagination! Please keep in touch!

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your Mother’s death.
    And I hope you are feeling a little better.
    Some years are much better than others.
    Just take everything one day at a time. That’s all that anybody can do.
    I’m so glad that you will start these “Ribbon Journals” again in the new year.
    I have truly missed them. I almost thought that you had retired.
    In this holiday season, take time to just BE. That’s what my late Mother used to say. Just BE.

  3. Thank you for continuing the Ribbon next year. Your posts are meaningful and uplifting and bring joy. I lost my mother 33 years ago; much too soon, and I miss her every day. The pain lessens, but there is much I want to share with her. I still long for her wisdom and advice and encouragement. I want to talk gardening and canning, and go thrifting with her. She never met my husband, or her great grandchildren but we are comforted knowing some day, she will. I strive to keep her memory alive with the rest of our family.
    Christmas blessings to you and your family.

  4. Dear Phyllis, I lost my Mother, then my Father 9 months later. I realized the feeling that I could not name was that of being an orphan. Yes, at any age when we lose our last parent we are orphans. Once you realize that your memories start to flood your heart and mind and you cherish each and every one of them. This was 44 and 43 years ago. I still feel that way. Even with a loving family and friends you realize no one loved you like your parents. Oh how I wish I had listened more, asked more questions. I do have the memories of the stories they would tell of their life and families. Not enough of that today. You have my deepest sympathy and many prayers.

  5. Dear Phyllis, I am so sorry for the loss of your special mother which will make Christmas a bittersweet occasion. It is also difficult when dealing with a chronic illness. May your holiday season lift your spirits and the new year bring you good health and happiness!

  6. So glad to hear from you and very sorry for your loss. I pray that 2023 will be a better year for all of us.
    May you find Christmas Joy in the small moments.

  7. Sorry for the loss of your dear mother. May comfort and sweet memories bring you comfort and peace.
    It is a nice surprise in my in box about the Ribbon In My Journal will make a comeback in the new year.

  8. So sorry for your loss of your mother. I hope you can take comfort in your memories. May she rest in peace. What a treat to receive the Ribbon e-mail. It has been missed. Looking forward to future e-mails from Ribbon. Sending you prayers and good thoughts for a complete healing. God Bless.

  9. Sending positive thoughts to you and your family. Life journey only makes us stronger. Merry Christmas looking forward to the New Year.

  10. I was so happy to have this email. You have always been such a positive and happy part of Hoffman Media. I am soo sorry about the loss of your mom

  11. So happy to see Ribbon in my e-mail box. I have missed your special posts and thoughts. Sorry about your mother. May she rest in peace,. Phyllis, prayers for your complete healing.
    God Bless you and yours.
    Blessed Christmas.

  12. Kind thoughts & warm hugs to you Phyllis. I understand how devastating losing ones mom can be, mine left 6 years ago and theirs not a day I don’t think of her or want to pick up the phone. This time of year is always the hardest, as I always decorated her trees It was her favorite holiday and she went all out~~the food especially, yum. Just remember we’ll get to see them again soon enough, I cling to that thought always. Blessings to you and yours and Have a lovely Christmas ❤️ Jill

  13. I found this on Facebook and wanted to share with you:

    Let it in…
    I get it if you’re not feeling festive. I get it if you can’t muster up enough light inside of you to sparkle and twinkle this year. It’s been tough. But the thing is, you’re here. Put your hand to your chest right now and feel the heartbeat. That’s life. You’re alive. And sometimes that’s all you need to remember when you’re low. There must be no pressure to perform when life is hitting you from all angles. But there is always the need to be grateful. Not because others are worse off (everything is relative) but because without gratitude there is no hope. And without hope there is no magic. And you need that magic back. You need that magic more than ever my friend. Let it in. Written by Donna Ashworth

    Sending the Lord’s Blessings to you through the Christmas season and the new year!

  14. I am sad to hear about your mom. I lost my son this year. trying to find something
    to decorate with meaning to honor him.. A sad time for us. Thinking of you and was so excited the see The Ribbon in My Journal in my email. Thanks

  15. I know you will tell your grandchildren stories of your mother so they, too, can tell their children. When you think about it, memories are an example of eternal life that we can understand . Of course we laugh when we clap a hand over a mouth and say, “Mama, be quiet!” when we repeat something she would have said, but it is her spirit living on through us. I have missed your essays and look forward to reading more in the coming year. Health problems are difficult and frustrating. I know you will find solace in your faith.

  16. I have read all the heart warming comments folks have made to you and I know from them you are well loved. The comfort of knowing our moms are in a better place helps the ache in our hearts from missing them. My mom has been gone over 30 years but I still chat with her frequently and look forward to the time I will see her again. I do pray that God will choose to heal you from the anemia that you have. Until that time be encouraged that He is with you. All of us who treasure who you are and what you bring into our lives are here to encourage you also. May you enjoy a blessed and warm Christmas focusing on our Christ Jesus who came as a baby to love us unconditionally and then dying as a man for our sin giving us life abundantly!

  17. I too have missed your lovely encouraging posts and have been thinking more of you and especially when I receive your lovely magazines and then read your letter at the front. So special to read your post of yesterday. Sincere sympathy in the loss of your Dear Mother and I understand that as well as I am left alone after caring for her. She was someone I could share my earthly cares and concerns with etc., but I am blessed she knew the Lord as her own Savior so she is in a better land where her mind is not effected and she is rejoicing up there in heaven.
    I trust your anemia condition does not become worse and it does not make you too fatigued. Prayers,
    Warm wishes as we enter a new year and may you and yours be blessed as you seek to help others with your many loving talents. Look forward to more of your Ribbon In My Journal entries as they were missed. Thanks.


  18. Sending hugs of peace and calm your way. I have missed your posts this year….thought it was just me as I have endured some rare health issues as well. Loosing a parent especially our moms is so difficult. They are the hub of our family wheel. My younger sis passed the day after Christmas last year. Too young and her kids and 18 grandkids are floundering. She so enjoyed all of your publications and books I shared with her. Sending you wishes for a beautiful holiday season and improved health in 2023.

  19. The Lord bless and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.

  20. In Sept, 2018 , while sitting by my moms bedside around 2:00 am, I was so sad thinking of what was soon to come. She would be gone and I felt very alone. I looked at my emails and there was one from Ribbon in my Journal. What you wrote was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment on the very long night. I wish I could send it back to you now after reading about your loss. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been ill. Praying your New Year brings health and more of your inspirational writings.

  21. God bless you dear lady. You are a shining light for Him on this earth. Thank you for the multitude of ways you have encouraged and blessed us, your readers.

  22. Oh, Phyllis, I am truly sorry you and your family have lost your mom. I will be praying that the comfort of the Holy Spirit will sustain you and give you peace. I also hope your health continues to improve.
    I have missed reading your posts! I look forward to hearing from you and your readers in the new year. You have been a beautiful light in a dark world.
    I love new beginnings… a new day, a new week, a new month, a new season, a new year! Each new beginning helps us move forward with fresh hope and courage !
    I know your 2023 Ribbon will bring us fresh inspiration!!

  23. Words of Comfort and Joy……. .sent with my prayers and love ❤️
    “ So do not fear,
    for I am with you,
    do not be dismayed,
    for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you
    with my righteous right hand. “ Isaiah 41:10

  24. Dear Phyllis, I am saddened to hear u are suffering with a difficult anemia. I was not aware. I will keep u in my heartfelt prayers now. I love your work and I am a huge Victoria fan and alot of special issues. I have gotten many years of Cottage journal as well. I lost my Mom she was young. It has been 42yrs. It does get easier I promise. I was 29 with 2 little boys. Thankfully she loved them. Mery Merry

  25. 2020 was my “hard” year. Mom had dementia for years and was in a nursing home. As her health deteriorated, we struggled to get through the holidays, not even able to see her until right before she passed due to the pandemic. She passed away on New Year’s Eve that year, with my daughter and me at her bedside. The holidays aren’t the same without her, but we all must move on. It is a new reality and we deal with it the best we can. Hugs and prayers.

  26. To Phyllis, and others who have lost their dear mothers ~

    There is a beautiful poem, ‘My Mother’ by Jane Taylor. It’s words were very meaningful to me when I lost my mom, and I had it read at her funeral.

    Wishing you comfort and peace ~

    1. I was so glad to get this email from you as I missed The Ribbon in my Journal…. I am so very sorry about the loss of your mother…xo

  27. I was so happy to see your post, I have missed you. I know how hard it is when you loose your mother, but you are a strong woman and have wonderful memories to carry you on, I pray you have a healthy year ahead and look forward to reading your stories in the new year.

  28. Heartfelt condolences on the loss from this earth your precious mother. I lost my mother in September. You and I belong to the same group who can no longer be called daughter. The loss of the one on earth who loved us most dearly is indescribable. However, we have hope. We are the daughters of the King. We will see our mothers again, and each day brings us closer to that reunion. Because of that, we move forward. God bless you and your family as you navigate life through unfamiliar territory.

  29. I am so glad you are feeling better. I too have lost my mother and my father. I know it is a very hard time. I have lost nine members of my family since the start of COVID-19. Not one from COVID.

    Today is my last day of work. I am retiring. It is time to put me first for a change.
    I purchased your son’s new cookie book. I am going to bake cookies for the family and whom ever else that will eat them. Whether they are on a diet like me or not.

    I wish you and yours all the best this Christmas and in the year to come. I will be waiting at home with my feet up for your next blog.

  30. Yes, you have been missed but I really look forward to more of the beautiful moments in 2023. Good health and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  31. I have missed your beautiful posts and so look forward to hearing from you next year. My husband is struggling with health issues and has had anemia issues for the last year. I know how exhausting it can be. Moments of joy are so lovely, often small and often unexpected. I treasure them when they arrive. Prayers.

  32. Very sorry to learn of the loss of your mother. As daughters, the impact and scope of that loss often hits us in unsuspecting ways. Stay strong, stay hopeful, stay conscious of the love that remains in your heart and around you! I will be looking forward to the re-start of our beloved “Ribbon In My Journal” in the coming year. Be blessed dear one!

  33. I’m sorry for your loss. Praying for comfort for you and your family. Also praying for your health, for comfort, for wisdom and peace. Merry blessed Christmas.

  34. I am so sorry for your loss. Good moms cannot be replaced, and I know you were
    blessed with a very good one.
    Your magazines have brought me joy for many years, and also each time you have
    written in the Ribbon.
    Trusting the new year will be filled with joy and new blessings.
    Love and prayers,

  35. You have been in my thoughts… I felt as if something was wrong and I will keep praying for you! This has been a tough year for us as well. Wishing you and your family many Christmas Blessings…. I Look forward to hearing from you in the New Year.

  36. Mothers are the hardest to loose. I lost Mother in January and have just about finished settling everything. Love and Light to you and your family. I’m moving forward into a new life chapter. So glad to do it together with the refocused Ribbon in January.

  37. I’m so sorry for your loss of your mother and your anemia. You’ll be in my prayers. Thank you for all the beauty your publications provide for us. God bless you.

  38. Phyllis, I’m so sorry for the loss of your wonderful Mom. I know it’s so difficult, and especially during this time I pray that God warms the hearts of all who love her. I’m sorry, too, that you have not felt well, and will pray for your healing and health too.

    I wish you and your beautiful family a blessed holiday season, and a new year with health, especially for you. Thank you for taking the time to write, you are certainly missed! Love, Lidy

  39. So sorry for your loss . You lost your best cheerleader with the passing of your mom. Hope the new year brings you better health and you are showered with blessings .
    Clara Spanos

  40. That would be wonderful. I have been a subscriber since the very beginning and have loved every minute. I especially love the English month and have been to England four times since reading your magazine. Visited many of the places your magazine presented. Especially Coswolds and Beatrix Potter country.

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