January Hope Whispers

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
“And my God will supply all your needs
according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19 NASB
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
 “He who did not spare His own Son,
but delivered Him over for us all,
how will He not also with Him
freely give us all things?”

Romans 8:32 NASB

What Is Empathy?

🦋 “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee

🦋 “An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like.” – Tarana Burke

🦋 “Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’” – Brene Brown

Truly, no one can show perfect empathy like Jesus, but through Him we can empathize more with others. “The Gift of Presence” by Linda Stoll is a great example of empathy!
“No judgement. No opinions. No pontificating.
I felt validated. Heard. Safe to be myself, all kinds of messy, imperfect, and flawed.”

Nature Retreat

All my life through,
the new sights of nature
made me rejoice like a child.“
~ Marie Curie ~

Thank you to my brother John
for views of unique species
and to our son Glen
for the beautiful sky views.
🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂

Unique Species

Out of 750 butterfly species in North America, the Western Pygmy-Blue is the smallest. Only 3/8 to 3/4 of an inch!
The underside of the Western Pygmy-Blue
Can you believe this is actually a butterfly? A Western Giant Swallowtail can disguise itself as bird poop! (Correction: This is actually the Swallowtail still in its caterpillar stage. Still amazing though!)
Chalky Bird Dropping Moth

Spectacular Sky Views from the Dominican Republic

27 thoughts on “January Hope Whispers

  1. May our hearts reach out to others with true empathy and understanding, Trudy. Thank you for the quotes, the reflection, and of course, the amazing photos that always take my breath away.
    Praying you have a wonderful day and a blessed February, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad your heart was lifted, Martha. Amen to “May our hearts reach out to others with true empathy and understanding.” Thank you for your prayers, my friend. Right now I’m praying the same for you. 🙂 I pray also that your body becomes stronger and healthier. May God give us the grace of true empathy with others!

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  2. What an uplifting and encouraging post, Trudy. Thank you so much. That yellow color of the flower is incredible. Just so beautiful. And I love the Marie Curie quote. God’s creation truly brings such delight to our hearts.

    I was also so touched by that first graphic – just to be reminded how deeply God cares about the little things too. He is so tender-hearted, so full of compassion.

    Sending love and hugs from afar. May God bring such sweet encouragement your way too 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad your heart was uplifted and encouraged, Anna. Yes, God’s creation truly brings delight to our hearts. 🙂 Love and hugs back to you! May we cling to our tender-hearted, compassionate God who loves taking care of us!

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  3. Such encouragement here, Trudy. I enjoyed sitting, breathing and resting. Your photos are stunning, and I truly found your thoughts on empathy a blessing. Too few people understand the difference between sympathy and empathy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Sitting, breathing, and resting.” It brings joy to my heart that you were able to do that here, Donna. Yes, sympathy and empathy are so different, aren’t they? May God give us grace to truly empathize with others!

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    • I’m so glad you were refreshed, Lynn. Yes, those butterflies are smart and beautiful. I am amazed how God equips His creatures with defense tactics. I never knew before that there was a butterfly that could disguise itself as bird droppings! May we continually be awed by our powerful Creator and the unique creatures He creates!

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  4. Empathy is so important! I love that Brene Brown video – it’s such a good explanation – and Linda’s post too. As always the photos are stunning. I had no idea there was a butterfly that could disguise itself as bird poop! Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, empathy is so important! I’m certain you have many opportunities to practice it with the children and with those who have been abused. I had no idea there was such a butterfly either! Love and blessings to you, too! May we be given the grace to be attentive and empathetic listeners!

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  5. I appreciate Brene Brown’s insights about empathy, especially as I begin mentoring several younger women soon. Thank you for sharing! Also, I never get tired of learning about God’s creation–like North America’s smallest butterfly and another that can disguise itself as bird poop! Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Brene’s insight on empathy, too, Nancy. May you have wisdom and the grace of empathy as you mentor younger women! I’m so glad you have that opportunity. Yes, I find it so fascinating, too, to learn more about God’s creatures! May we continually be in awe of God’s power and wisdom in creation!

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  6. CORRECTION: My brother just informed me that it’s the caterpillar stage of the butterfly that can disguise itself as bird poop. Sorry about that. It’s still fascinating though. At least the caterpillar will hopefully have a greater chance of surviving and becoming a butterfly when it looks so unappealing. 🙂

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  7. That’s such a powerful video, Trudy. I was just thinking yesterday about how unhelpful those “at least” comments are. Maybe well-intentioned, but definitely not comforting. I loved Linda’s post too. And your son’s sky photos are amazing. (Also the little butterfly!) I hope you’re staying warm … love and hugs, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that powerful video, Lois. No, those “at least” comments aren’t helpful at all. They hurt, don’t they? I’m staying warm inside. 🙂 Love and hugs to you, too! May God give us wisdom to use grace-seasoned and empathy-filled words and actions!

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  8. You always share such beautiful thoughts, Trudy. I just finished Brene Brown’s newest book, Atlas of the Heart. It is AMAZING! She has so many wonderful insights about all the different emotions we experience, including empathy. I learned so much reading it.

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    • I just put that book on my Amazon wishlist, Lisa. She surely has a lot of wisdom in those areas, doesn’t she? I used to watch more of her videos. She makes a person know their feelings count. May we keep learning valuable lessons in this journey of life!

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  9. Trudy, I love how you put words (yours and others) to what empathy is. Such beautiful depictions. And I LOVED the photos from your brother and son. Capturing beauty must run in the family. Have a great weekend, my friend. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words, Jeanne. “Capturing beauty…” I love that. We certainly need to not only seek it but to capture it, don’t we? Love and hugs and a great weekend to you, too! May we intentionally seek and capture beauty in our everyday lives!

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    • I love that video and was glad I looked it up again, Linda. Yes, empathy and compassion do seem to be in short supply these days. 😦 May we show others the same love and compassion Jesus gives us so freely!

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  10. Oh Trudy, this is just so beautiful. The way that your opening graphic speaks about nothing being too small for God, and then your brother’s photo of that smallest butterfly! Our God is so very creative and caring. Thank you for the sweet encouragement you brought this month. It was such gift and blessing. I pray blessings and love for you now too, dear friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Our God is so very creative and caring.” Thank you, Bettie. So very true! And thank you for your prayers and love, too! Blessings and love to you, too! May God give you peace and strength for each moment in this difficult season of life!

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  11. Dear Trudy! I almost never ever go back to a post that I have previously commented on, but tonight I did that on Linda’s post. It was still in my inbox, and I couldn’t remember if I had yet read it/commented on it, so I went there and scrolled down to make sure I had commented. There was my comment, and then under mine was yours. I was SO touched by your words and clicked on your name to be directed here to your beautiful blog. I think you may have commented on my blog many years ago because I seem to remember your name. Anyhow, I just wanted to tell you how much your comment meant to me, and it is just amazing how iron sharpens iron. I just subscribed to your blog so I don’t lose touch with you again. May the dear Lord bless you and meet your every need.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was so touched about the store owner’s story you shared, Cheryl. And then it being the same verse as Linda shared in her post. It gave me such hope that God is still working behind the scenes of all the chaos in this world. He’s got us! May the Lord bless you and meet your every need as well! May we lean into God our Refuge and Defender!

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