Quotes often pack so much wisdom, inspiration, and ofttimes even mirth into a select few words. They so aptly fit the old saying that good things come in small packages. For me, quotes I've jotted into journals and notebooks are very traceable clues of my emotional and mental frame of mind during certain eventful, or uneventful, seasons in life. Sometimes when I have no words of my own, the words and phrases of someone who found the right thing to say are like sweet gifts to me. I do marvel to find someone else who has said something so perfectly suited.  

Because many of us enjoy these little word treasures, I've created a small collection of personal favourites for your own reading pleasure. Please note: The most recent additions are inserted at the the top of the list. One day, as the list grows truly unwieldy, I shall put these in some kind of order. But not today. Sorry that you have to scroll through. 


"So go ahead and sing if you want to. Don’t reject your own music because you are not an Artist. Each one of us is an artist with a small “a,” not because we are so trained, or even so skilled, but because we are human. And these human instincts to art and action are natural, normal, and, indeed, sacred — they express something for us all." excerpt from an article "Spontaneous Music" by Dr. Dixie Dillon Lane, as found on HearthandField.com

"I love to write to you – it gives my heart a holiday and sets the bells to ringing." ~ Emily Dickinson, L33 from Emily Dickinson Museum website

"Humans were created to care for the world, and the world was created to be cared for." ~ Andrew Peterson, The God of the Garden, p. 5

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." ~ Annie Dillard

"Maybe I can tell my story in a way that is useful to someone else." ~ Susan Branch


"What is it you want to write with the time remaining? What is it you most want to give? Sit with that, savor the question, which is really quite a beautiful one. Even if it seems a mad thing to believe.  . . . Believe in the one person who will some day pick up your book, that sheaf of paper now languishing rumpled, dusty, and coffee-stained crossways on a shelf in your study along with all the books you love, the ones you've read and admired, sighed over and dog-eared." ~ Shawna Lemay, The flower can always be changing, p. 72

"You learn by finishing things." ~ Shawna Lemay, The flower can always be changing, p. 106

"Memoirs are the distillation of life's lessons. They are experiences recollected in tranquility, and they needn't be dramatic experiences. Life, after all, consists mainly in our routines, our rituals, commonplace things that everyone shares." ~ Nancy Lindemeyer, former editor of Victoria magazine

"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring

Life is sometimes sad and often dull, but there are currants in the cake, and here is one of them. You've no idea how long life goes on and how many, many changes it brings. ~ Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder." ~ E.B. White


No room is just space. No hour is meaningless. No meal is mere sustenance. Every rhythm and atom of existence are spaces in which the Kingdom can come, in which the story of God's love can be told anew, in which the stuff of life can be turned marvelously into love. ~ Sally Clarkson, as seen on Twitter

We cannot change the world if we cannot incarnate God's love in our own most ordinary spaces and hours. ~ Sally Clarkson, on Twitter

I can't play bridge.
I don't play tennis.
All those things that
people learn, and
I admire, there hasn't
seemed time for.
But what there is
time for is looking
out the window.
~ Alice Munro

"I usually turn to books first in times of distress, discouragement, or general disillusionment with life." ~ Sarah Clarkson, Book Girl

"I am convinced, no, more like convicted, that to claim a few still spaces in which beauty is found and silence kept, is to open the door to God." ~ Sarah Clarkson

"...to read a great story is to begin to learn how to live one." ~ Sarah Clarkson, Caught Up in a Story

"To know yourself as an agent in the story of the world, one able to bring light and goodness in the midst of suffering, is a profoundly empowering knowledge, one that I believe comes to every woman who reads." ~ Sarah Clarkson, Book Girl

"The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life—the life God is sending one day by day." ~ C.S. Lewis

"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive." ~ James Baldwin
"Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you." ~ Louis L’Amour

"Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life." ~ Fernando Pessoa

"Consolation from imaginary things is not an imaginary consolation." ~ Sir Roger Scruton

"It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that when I’m in the company of others—even my nearest and dearest—there always comes a moment when I’d rather be reading a book."  ~ Maureen Corrigan

"When sorrow has made us incapable of imagining a good future, when grief has diminished our world—oh, then art, music, film and story break in upon us as agents of rescue, cutting our imaginations free from despair, helping us to our feet where we can see into the far lands of hope once more." ~ Sarah Clarkson, This Beautiful Truth: How God's Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness

"Every day is a potential seed that we can grow into something beautiful. There's no time for despair." Austin Kleon, Keep Going


"If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation."  ~ Edith Schaeffer

"The world is too much with us, late and soon"
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!"


"To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;
To study hard, think quietly,
Talk gently,
Act frankly;
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages,
with open heart;
To bear all cheerfully,
Do all bravely,
Await occasions,
Hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony."


"Poetic language is a way of giving the sense of an answer, just a sense of one, that the story itself is unable to provide." ~ Emily Ruskovich


"Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?" ~ Rose Kennedy 


"I would like to paint the way a bird sings." ~Claude Monet


"I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending." ~ Fred Rogers


"Life is sweet. . . Beyond the pain, life continues to be sweet. The basics are still there. Beauty, food and friendship, reservoirs of love and understanding. Later, possibly not yet, you are going to need others who will encourage you to make new beginnings. Welcome them. They will help you move on, to cherish happy memories and confront the painful ones with more than bitterness and anger.” ~ Rosamunde Pilcher, Winter Solstice


"You never really got to know people properly until you had seen them within the ambiance of their own home. Seen their furniture and their books and the manner of their lifestyle." ~ Rosamunde Pilcher, Winter Solstice


"Just because something is uncomfortable doesn't mean it is the wrong decision. Sometimes discomfort means growth, or not living with the false voice inside your head, or letting someone feel the weight of their bad decisions. Do not be uncomfortable of making good, uncomfortable decisions." ~ Joy Clarkson, as seen on her Twitter page


"There is an assumption that happy people aren't deep, that if you really got a handle on the world you'll be knowing, tragic, cynical. But I tend to think being cynical is the path of least resistance. It's harder (and better?) to cultivate joy which sustains you and others." ~ Joy Clarkson, as seen on her Twitter page


"Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it... well with no mistakes in it yet." Miss Stacy from Anne of Green Gables


"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." ~ Louisa May Alcott, Work: A Story of Experience


"Well, if I can't be happy, I can be useful, perhaps." ~ Louisa May Alcott, An Old-Fashioned Girl 


"We don't choose our talents; but we needn't hide them in a napkin because they are not just what we want." ~ Louisa May Alcott, Jo's Boys


"The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely." ~ Louisa May Alcott, Jack and Jill: A Village Story


"I want to do something splendid ... something heroic or wonderful that won't be forgotten after I'm dead ... I think I shall write books. ~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success." ~ Louisa May Alcott


"It is the small temptations which undermine integrity unless we watch and pray and never think them too trivial to be resisted." ~ Louisa May Alcott, Rose in Bloom 


"Life can be cruel, as you know. But it can also be kind. Filled with wonders. You need to remember that. You have your own choice to make, Armand. What’re you going to focus on? What’s unfair, or all the wonderful things that happen? Both are true, both are real. Both need to be accepted. But which carries more weight with you?” Stephen tapped the boy’s chest. “The terrible or the wonderful? The goodness or the cruelty? Your life will be decided by that choice." ~ Louise Penny, All the Devils Are Here  


We look for visions of heaven, and we never dream that all the time God is in the commonplace things and people around us. ~ Oswald Chambers


Fixating on the darkness and brokenness of the world only rendered me helpless in the face of evil, while cultivating a love of goodness made me brave in the face of it. ~ Joy Clarkson


One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


It was a perfect day. There was the shadow of sorrow, yes. It would always be there. But that was the nature of life. The bright mirror and the dark, reflecting one another. And today there was so much brightness. ~ Jacqueline Carey


Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air. ~ Georges Bernanos


Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. ~ Rumi


God still draws near to us in the ordinary, commonplace, everyday experiences and places … He comes in surprising ways. ~ Henry Gariepy


Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone -- we find it with one another. ~ Thomas Merton


Never give way to melancholy; resist it steadily; for the habit will encroach. ~ Sydney Smith


Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo


At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening. ~ Unknown


I taught my children to treat life like a big apple. Bite it, chew it, suck it, let the juice dribble down your chin. If you bite a worm, spit it out. But don't stop eating that apple. ~ Arabella Ark, Ceramics Artist, Maui


If I am incapable of washing dishes joyfully, if I want to finish them quickly so I can go and have dessert, I will be equally incapable of enjoying my dessert. With the fork in my hand, I will be thinking about what to do next, and the texture and flavor of the dessert, together with the pleasure of eating it, will be lost. I will always be dragged into the future, never able to live in the present moment. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh


Soul projects bring a smile to your face, light to your eyes, new energy to your heart, joy to all around you. Soul projects are like healing ointment on the sore places of your life. Beethoven went for walks in the countryside. Golda Meir polished her silver teapot. Josephine, Napoleon's wife, tended to her roses. Claude Monet gardened. Katharine Hepburn wrote her journal in bed with breakfast. Winston Churchill liked to paint. Einstein took long baths. Mendelssohn listened to the music of Bach. Mother Teresa listened to the silence of her soul. ~ Katrine Stewart, from Keeper of the Springs, Making Home the Place for Which You're Longing by Ingrid Trobisch with Marlee Alex


Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf. ~ Albert Schweitzer


If being peaceful and loving are among your primary goals, then why not redefine your most meaningful accomplishments as being those that support and measure qualities such as kindness and happiness? ~ Richard Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff


Isn’t there some statement you’d like to make? Anything noted while alive? Anything felt, seen, heard, done? You are here. You’re having your turn. Isn’t there something you know and nobody else does? ~ Elizabeth Smart, from Assumption of the Rogues & Rascals


"If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom." ~ Audra Foveo


"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." ~ Thomas Moore


"For a moment, let's dance in the rain and wear wild roses in our hair!" BL


“There he got out the luncheon-basket and packed a simple meal, in which, remembering the stranger's origin and preferences, he took care to include a yard of long French bread, a sausage out of which the garlic sang, some cheese which lay down and cried, and a long-necked straw-covered flask wherein lay bottled sunshine shed and garnered on far Southern slopes.” ~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows


"If stories come to you, care for them... and learn to give them away where they're needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." ~ Barry Lopez


"There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere ~ and of leaving it behind them when they go." ~ Frederick Wm. Faber


"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


"...Each of us needed to find just the right way to take our mind off our problems, and it did not matter what that was---a drive in the country, an expedition to a shoe shop, a quiet cup of tea under a cloudless sky; each of us had something that made it easier to continue in a world that sometimes, just sometimes, was not as we might wish it to be." ~Mme Ramotswe, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith


"Good cooking carries magic in it; a house, big or little, that smells good from cooking, is the place everyone wants to be." ~ Susan Branch


"Be careful to preserve your health. It is a trick of the devil, which he employs to deceive good souls, to incite them to do more than they are able, in order that they may no longer be able to do anything." ~ Vincent de Paul (1581 - 1660)


"With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy." ~ Lope de Vega


"I have been through a lot and have suffered a great deal. But I have had lots of happy moments, as well. Every moment one lives is different from the other. The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love, and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good from the bad. And perhaps there is no need to either. " ~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis


"Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty-and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.” ~ Doris Lessing


“The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.” ~ Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time


"Weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God and embrace the life you have." ~ John Piper
"I promise
if you keep
for everything
you will
become it."
Tyler Kent White

“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.” ~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free


"The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose." ~ George Gissing


"There is a life-affirming spark within you which constantly nudges you towards saying yes to life. Create your "yes" list; a list of all the things you want to say "yes" to, and be prepared to be amazed." ~ Lucy MacDonald


"There is another life I might have had, but I am having this one." ~ Kazuo Ishiguro


"The real things haven't changed. It's still best be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder


“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.” ~ Washington Irving


"When a man loves cats, I am his comrade and friend without further introduction." ~ Mark Twain


"O God help me to believe the truth about myself-- no matter how beautiful it is!" ~ Macrina Wiederkehr, Seasons of Your Heart


"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood, and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Whoever has a heart full of love always has something to give. ~ Pope John XXIII


Somehow I am necessary for God's purposes -- as necessary in my place as an archangel in his. ~ Cardinal Newman (source)


"Meanwhile, courage! Your moments of nervousness are not your real self, only medical phenomena. All blessings." ~ C.S. Lewis (source)


"Signposts toward another way of living. Simplicity of living, as much as possible, to retain a true awareness of life. Balance of physical, intellectual, and spiritual life. Work without pressure. Space for significance and beauty. Time for solitude and sharing. Closeness to nature to strengthen understanding and faith in the intermittency of life: life of the spirit, creative life, and the life of human relationships. . . ." ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea, p. 120


"Help inspire others by sharing your own epiphany." as seen in a fellow blogger's photo


"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu


"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." ~ Kahlil Gibran


"What I'm looking for is a blessing that's not in disguise." ~ Jerome K. Jerome


"May your walls know joy; may every room hold laughter and every window open to great possibility." ~ Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey 


"We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring." ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest


"So let us look for beauty and grace, for love and friendship, for that which is creative and birth-giving and soul-stretching. Let us dare to laugh at ourselves, healthy, affirmative laughter. Only when we take ourselves lightly can we take ourselves seriously, so that we are given the courage to say, “Yes! I dare disturb the universe.” ~ Madeleine L'Engle


"I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily. "I don't exactly want to make people KNOW more... though I know that IS the noblest ambition... but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me... to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams


"After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea


"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring


"In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there's no danger that we will confuse God's work with our own, or God's glory with our own." ~ Madeleine L'Engle


"If only I could write something splendid that would set other hearts on fire." ~ Louisa May Alcott


"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats." ~ Iris Murdoch


"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship." ~ Louisa May Alcott


"When you've learned to live in grace, you'll no longer need to punish yourself to 'atone' for a sense of failure. Instead you'll be able to locate the mistaken belief, which is the real culprit." ~ David Riddell


"Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion." ~ Jani Ortlund


"I am not giving in to defeatism. I am not going to believe for darkness to cover our nation. I am going to believe, speak and act for the glorious light of Christ to cover the land (Isa. 9:7)." ~ Mark Virkler


"If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." ~ Martin Luther


"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


“...your God is a trinity. There are three necessary prayers and they have three words each. They are these, 'Lord, have mercy. Thee I adore. Into Thy hands.' If in times of distress you hold to these, you will do well.”~ from Elizabeth Goudge's 'Scent of Water' (as seen in The Book of Common Life) 


"Being invited to play changes everything. Invite. Play." ~ Kathryn Schuth


"To be graced: when a person is given the strength and ability to do it easily, without toil, yet with efficiency, effectiveness and beauty." ~ Bren Leyland


"The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things." ~ Veronique Vienne


"People seek methods of learning to know God. Is it not much shorter and more direct to simply do everything for the love of Him? There is no finesse about it. One only has to do it generously and simply." ~ Brother Lawrence


"Lord, give me an open heart to find You everywhere, to glimpse the heaven enfolded in a bud, and experience eternity in the smallest act of love." ~ Mother Teresa


"The place God calls you to is the place where deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." ~ Frederick Buechner


"Joy is the infallible sign of the Presence of God." ~ Rev. Joyce


"There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and leaving it behind them when they go." ~ Frederick Wm. Faber


"For lack of attention, a thousand forms of loveliness elude us every day." ~ Evelyn Underhill


"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke


"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." ~ Ray Bradbury


"You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you." ~ Psalm 128:2


"Don't be late. It gives others too much time to think about your other faults."~ Unknown


"We raked books off the shelves by the dozens and hauled them along on picnics, to haylofts, up oak trees, to bath and to bed. The one terrifying possibility was of finding oneself without a book. " ~ Kathleen Norris, 1941


"It's not always easy to get over some of those bumps in the road, those disillusionments and disappointments. It’s going to take a strong will. Sometimes, it may take courage. Sometimes nothing but faith in God and say, I refuse to be trapped in the past. I’m not going to let the past destroy my future. I’m pressing on. I’m straining forward, knowing that God has great things in store for me." ~ Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential


"There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write." ~ William Makepeace Thackeray


"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." ~ Mary Lou Cook


"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way." ~ Unknown


"If being peaceful and loving are among your primary goals, then why not redefine your most meaningful accomplishments as being those that support and measure qualities such as kindness and happiness?" ~ Richard Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff


In difficult times you should always carry something beautiful in your mind. ~Blaise Pascal


"In every (woman's) heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty." ~ Christopher Morley


"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise." ~ Robert Fritz


"Never ever, ever leave a place of learning without taking immediate action." ~ Jenny Flintoft


"If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages." ~ Elaine Liner


"There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere -- and of leaving it behind them when they go." ~ Frederick Wm. Faber


"Continue blogging until your heart is content. If you have words to say, say them and someone here will hear you." ~ Sande Chase @ A Gift Wrapped Life


Time is Fleeting.... "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver


"It's important to empower people to say that you don't have to be an expert; you can begin with what you know and build on that." ~ Margaret Hensel, gardener (quote found in a gardening magazine)


"I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten -- happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another." ~ Brenda Ueland, If You Want To Write, 1938


"Remember that even if you have made a truly rotten piece of art, it may be a necessary stepping-stone to your next work. Art matures spasmodically and requires ugly-duckling growth stages." ~ Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

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