The Garden Year

The Garden Year

January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.

February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.

March brings breezes, loud and shrill,
To stir the dancing daffodil.

April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.

May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.

June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots, and gillyflowers.

August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.

Warm September brings the fruit;
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

Fresh October brings the pheasant;
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

Dull November brings the blast;
Then the leaves are whirling fast.

Lettered Hymns and Carols from my Etsy shop, @GraceUnderPressureSC

Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.

Continue reading “The Garden Year”

Join me on Etsy!

Sending off a box of joy! Lord’s Prayer prayer reminders, lettered hymns, lettered quotes and prints of original paintings from my new Etsy shop, GraceUnderPressureSC. 

To those of you who have been encouraging (would “hounding” be too strong a term?) to open an Etsy shop for some of my lettering and artwork…Here it is!

Grace Under Pressure SC opened up the night before Thanksgiving, and I woke up with orders!

Lettering on hymns, Christmas carols and other songs (mostly public domain), as well as some inspirations on canvas and in watercolor, have kept my desk messy but my heart full and my spirit joyful!

Y’all have been so encouraging, and I have learned a bunch about packaging, shipping, and managing an Etsy shop in these last few weeks, and your support has been humbling and gratifying. My head has been spinning with new ideas, and I am really having to work at balancing yet another aspect of life along with what is already in my bullet journal!

Collaboration with my daughter: I lettered her beautiful painting for a poster promoting a recent visit with C.S. Lewis’ son, Douglas Gresham.

Truly, though, it has been a joy and a catharsis for stress. The lettering community has been a wonderfully nurturing group in whose hands I have placed my reborn interest in calligraphy and illustration.  Artists such as Kari Beth at Grace Remembered, Krystal Whitten, and Liss at Liss Letters, and , of course, my own daughter Meg at ISayGrace,  have both inspired me, and challenged me spiritually. I encourage you to take a look at their beautiful work!

Meg and I are talking a bit of collaboration on lettered paintings, cards, and prints in the future after we did a last-minute collab on the Aslan poster (above). We will keep you posted – let us know if you have any suggestions, and watch for a giveaway in the New Year!

Merry Christmas!

With kindest regards,


3 Ways to Choose JOY This Season!

This crew was in various stages of a pretty wretched cold over Thanksgiving, but chose Joy for this picture, to please us!

“Christmas is coming!”

Hopefully, hearing this makes you smile!

However, nearly everything we experience is mixed: Happiness tinged with sadness or mingled with guilt or regret; loss softened with relief and hope; excitement coexisting with terror!

Three ways you can plan ahead and choose joy this season:

Continue reading “3 Ways to Choose JOY This Season!”

Your Perfect Prayer

The Lord's Prayer was used as a guide to craft a Weekly Prayer Reminder sheet for this bullet journal. This sheet is coming soon as a downloadable printable in Etsy!
The Lord’s Prayer was used as a guide to craft a Weekly Prayer Reminder sheet for this bullet journal. This sheet is coming soon as a downloadable printable in Etsy!

In the words of Christ:

“…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
10 ‘Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven. 
11 ‘Give us this day [e]our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from [f]evil.[g][For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] ~ Matthew 6

Known as “The Lord’s Prayer”, this prayer was actually NOT one that Christ would use for Himself, but one He gave to us !

Boiled custard in a cup to go with writing and reading.
Boiled custard in a cup to go with writing and reading.

I try to begin my prayer time with this prayer as it was given to us by the Son of God, and often something in it will give me pause to reflect regarding my own petitions.

I have used it as a base for my personal prayer time, dividing up the sections and listing categories for particular prayer.

May the dear Lord add His blessing to you as you seek Him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.

With kindest regards,


The Lord's Prayer plus website grey


Stress and the Press

It is Summertime, they said.

Old Wisteria vines and shady seating… To classics beckon on a sultry summer afternoon.
Old Wisteria vines and shady seating… Two classics beckon on a sultry summer afternoon.

This is such a relaxing season, they said.

Not feeling it, friend? Neither am I, some days.

Most likely, you are looking at your calendar and thinking something along the lines of, “Egad! Summer is halfway over!”

You probably have mixed feelings about it, from “I have not done nearly what I should do” to “I have not had nearly as much fun/relaxation/time to ______ as I had hoped to do”.

Continue reading “Stress and the Press”

Influencers: More on “You Like What You Know”

“….so, be careful what you know! “~ Susan Wyatt, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina


Awareness of one’s influencers helps to focus on what is really important, what should be pursued, and what might best be left behind.

What are your influencers? What do you “know”? Have you ever really thought about who, and what, your influencers are? Do you reevaluate this occasionally? Continue reading “Influencers: More on “You Like What You Know””

Have a Summer with No Regrets (….or, at least, as few as possible!)

September first: “What did I do with my summer? Where did the time go?”

Too many summers end with a not-so-satisfactory answer to that question. But what to do?

  1. Make lists: Things to do. Places to go. People to see. Repairs. Purchases. Health goals. Relational goals (see below for more on this one). (( If it helps to have a nice or fun pen, and a groovy notebook, fine, but do not let getting all of that distract you! ))
  2. Now, go back and prioritize what you have written, even if only with underlining or stars.
  3. Put some of those things on the calendar. As many as you can!
  4. Write action steps for your priorities.
  5. Do at least one of those things NOW!
  6. Every night before you tuck in, look at your list and write down a few action steps for the next day, as well as any comments about the day, especially satisfying or encouraging ones!
  7. Laugh! (maybe this should be number one)
Bridal Brunch - a highlight of any summer! Always room for creme brûlée!
Bridal Brunch – a highlight of any summer! Always room for creme brûlée!

Relational Goals

Relational goals may be the hardest to set. You may dread all of the family time, or realize you only have limited time with family and friends and want to maximize it.


Continue reading “Have a Summer with No Regrets (….or, at least, as few as possible!)”