Quote of the Week // 51st Week

Quote of the Week - 51st Week Simply Megan Joy Blog.png

Luke, the author of the third gospel in the Bible and one of the twelve disciples, is well known for recording the birth of Jesus, which can be found in Luke 2:1-20. Originally a physician, Luke researched and gathered Jesus’ past history and reported it in his book, which was later selected to be part of our Bibles today. It is said that Luke died at age 84, supposedly of being killed for his religious beliefs. Over 2,000 years later we can read his works of Jesus’ birth.

In the passage above, an angel is speaking to a group of shepherds in a field in Bethlehem, around 4 A. D. Here are those two verses in context:

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:1-20, King James Version

Did you happened to notice that between those twenty verses, fourteen of them involved the shepherds? Do you find it strange that the angels appeared in a field to tell a group of lowly sheep keepers of the King of the Universe’s birth? If this baby is so important, why didn’t the angels appear before the governors and priests of the town, or the richest of residents so they could see this baby? Why did God choose poor shepherds?

Shepherds of that day were considered the lower class of the city. They spent all their time out in fields, no matter what the weather or time of day. (Fun fact: each night before a shepherd would doze off each night in the fields, he would count his sheep to make sure they were all together, which is possibly where we get the idea that counting sheep will help us go to sleep!)

Shepherds certainly weren’t the most accepted group in Bethlehem, but to God, the shepherds were the prefect people to tell about Jesus’ birth! It shows us that clearly God loved the shepherds just as much as the priests, governors, and scribes. God didn’t choose from the top of the wealth list, but from the list of those who were less fortunate, those who were looked down upon, and those who knew how to spread the word! Verse 18 says that the shepherds went about to declare Christ’s birth, and that their listeners were curious of the news. I doubt that a governor would go about the streets at night telling news of this baby born in a stable!

It was God’s plan for the angels to appear to the shepherds. Their wealth, social status, and class didn’t matter. God doesn’t look at those things when He chooses people for important tasks or jobs. Instead He looks at the heart. So we must be well prepared and ready for any task that we are given, whether it be traveling to see a newborn king (which is sort of unlikely nowadays), telling a friend about the birth of Christ, or even just simply smiling at a grumpy person you happen to cross paths with. Whether you’re a shepherd or a governor, you never know what God will ask you to do, so be ready and willing for anything, because I know that He has something very special in store for you!

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Do you have any other thoughts of why God choose the shepherds to see Jesus?

Did you know that counting sheep may have come from the Bible?

Are you ready and willing for anything God has in store for you?

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 50th Week

Quote of the Week - 50th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was the renowned British author of Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abby, and more, all of which have been adapted into numerous films or tv series’. Austen died at age 41 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Only after her death did her literary works become popular.

It is a sad thought, but true. After years of constant life, it may seem as though we are quickly skidding across time doing many little and frivolous things of no great importance. Yes, there are moments and events that break up this feeling of continuous life and trivial tasks, but the succession of “busy nothings” we execute daily can pull us into a gloomy lull, and I think that this happens to everyone, whether we realize it or not.

My suggestion is; go back to the basics. Focus on what matters. This day, this moment. Pick the top ten things that matter to you, and stick by them. Make a list of things that matter, and another list of things that don’t, things that you could let go of for now to get back on track.

Let not our days be filled with little nothings and useless tasks, but be helpful, useful, and productive. Let’s get back to the simple basics and keep close the things that matter.

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Do you like Austen books or movies better?

Do you find that life has turned into a succession of busy nothings?

Do you plan to go back to the basics?

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 49th Week

Quote of the Week - 49th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog.png

Benjamin Franklin, born in 1706, was one of the Founding Father of the U.S. During his lifetime, he was the 6th President of Pennsylvania, the United States Minister to both Sweden and France, and the 1st United States Post Master. Besides his many more well-known inventions and experiments, he also developed a version of the glass harmonica, and founded one of the first volunteer firehouses. He died in 1790 and today is buried in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Good ole’ Benjamin Franklin said many wise things. This quote is certainly one of them! Preparation and failure; two terms that seem to be non-coexistent. If you have one, you don’t have the other, and visa-versa.


Taking the time for preparation is a wonderful way of earning ourselves a better chance of being successful in our tasks. In a lifetime, there are so many things to prepare for, like practicing for a piano recital, studying for an exam, packing for and routing a trip, getting ready to take a driver’s test, memorizing answers for a job interview, rehearsing for a competition, or even hosting a party. All of these things require preparation, if we wish to succeed.


Not to say that good preparation will eliminate every chance of failure because of unforeseen occurrences, but the probabilities of failure will be significantly slimmer.
While I write this, I must confess that I’m not the best example of this! Lately, I tend to think ahead to the things I need to prepare, and then quickly forget about them like they’re flower petals, fallen in a stream and floating away with the swift current. So, I write this post mostly for myself, as an attempt to help remember what ole’ Ben once said about preparation. Do you have any thoughts on preparation, or how to make it easier?


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Do you have a story of when you forgot to prepare for something?
Was there a time when you prepared well for something and it was a success?
Are you excited for Christmas?
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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 48th Week

Quote of the Week - 48th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog

It’s another quote by Mark Twain!

Do you speak more than one language? If you are reading this, it’s likely you speak English, but are you fluent in any other language? How long has it taken you to learn how to speak that language well? Can you converse with others in that language?
The reason I ask all these questions is to introduce an idea that “kindness” is just another form of language.

“Kindness: the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”
This language is easy to learn, and everyone can speak it if they try. All it takes is some practice and then some determination to speak it in your everyday life. Speak kindness to that older lady at the grocery store who is hard of hearing, or that man who skipped ahead in the checkout line. Speak kindness to that friend who can’t seem to say anything nice or who talks behind your back.

Everyone is given the ability to speak the universal language of kindness and is offered an opportunity to speak it to others every single day. Even those who do not speak our language can understand us if we speak the language of kindness. Do we choose to speak this language to everyone? Do we make exceptions for those who are rude to us? Are we forgetting to speak this language to those who need it most? By this I mean, those who don’t expect kindness and generosity.

Because kindness is a universal language, everyone can understand it, from babies to great-grandparents. The deaf can hear it and the blind can see it; there are no exceptions to who can receive our kindness, and there are no exceptions of to whom we can give it, regardless of the person’s attitude or opinions.

Ephesians 4:32: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

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Do you speak more than one language?
Would you consider “kindness” a universal language?

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Megan Joy

P.S. Speaking of this quote, I encourage you to check out “My Blurred World,” a blog written by a legally-blind teenage girl, Elin. She tells her story and helps her readers to better understand what life is like for those without sight. Go read her latest post, “10 FAQs About Sight Loss.”

Quote of the Week // 47th Week

Quote of the Week - 47th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog

William Arthur Ward (1921-1994) is known as “America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims.” His works would often appear in Reader’s Digest, This Week, and twelve other magazines. He was the author of four books and more than one hundred articles.
I like the wordiness of this quote by Ward. It sounds like a secret recipe with only one ingredient: gratitude. It’s just one simple word that changes everything. Just for the sake of reaffirmation, let’s break it down into three points.

Gratitude:
– transforms common days into thanksgivings
– turns routine jobs into joy
– changes ordinary opportunities into blessings

For example, when we only remember to be grateful when our hearts are full, when we’re observing a beautiful sunset, or sitting around the table with family, we’re missing out on its full-time potential. We should remember to be grateful on common days, routine jobs, and ordinary opportunities. When you’re at work, at school, sitting in a waiting room, stuck in a traffic jam, cleaning up the house all by yourself, or babysitting those neighbor kids (who love to terrorize you by playing hide-and-seek and not coming back until the parents pull into the driveway, forcing you to explain to them why you have lost their children in their own home), we always need to remember the word gratitude. It changes everything.

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

When we leave out gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for all of our many blessings, all we have left is a bucket load of complaining, grumbling, and misery when it comes to our attitudes. So, if you find that there’s an excess amount of complaints, grumbles, and discontentment in your everyday life, I suggest that today you take a sticky note, place it on your wall, in your car, or by your computer, and write just six words on it:

“Is my attitude filled with gratitude?”

It’s likely to be a good reminder for when life isn’t all picnics and roses or when it’s just easy to be ungrateful. On bad days, it will help us remember that gratitude is a choice worth choosing, and that being thankful isn’t just for Thanksgiving; it’s for life.
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Have any other ideas to keep “gratitude” on our minds?
Are you ready for Thanksgiving?
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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 46th Week

Quote of the Week - 46th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog

Mark Twain, the famous American writer born in November of 1835, was known for his many novels including Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Prince and the Pauper.  He was a strong supporter of civil rights and also of women’s suffrage. Twain is sometimes confused with “Colonel Sanders” because of his white hair and smart mustache, but I can assure you, Mark Twain never made a living out of fried chicken! Twain died in 1910 of heart failure and was buried in Elmira, New York.

Procrastination: “the action of delaying or postponing something.” We’ve all been guilty of procrastination. Schoolwork, chores, work assignments, cooking dinner, laundry; these are some of the many things that are easy to put off until later. To the human brain, it may sometimes seem that if we put something off long enough, we won’t have to do it. Unfortunately, this is not how it actually works. We put it off, and put it off, until it’s the last minute and we find ourselves scrambling to get it all done. It’s a pretty horrible feeling, one that I know all too well!

When we postpone something for too long, we end up rushing, not doing the job right, and sometimes not even finishing it at all! Although procrastination is much easier to choose at first, it makes things twice as hard for us later.

As Twain’s wise words suggest, the best way to get ahead is by just “starting.” If it’s something we know we have to do, we might as well get started, and the sooner it will be finished! Even if we don’t have time to finish it all in one sitting, we just have to start.

If there is something that you’ve been putting off this week, I am here to encourage you to begin today! It probably won’t be as bad as it seems. All you have to do is begin, and so I am not being hypocritical, I, myself, will also be starting something that I have been putting off. I will be working on a sewing project that is due in a week and will try my best to leave procrastination out of the picture, before it’s too late and I’m threading bobbins at 4am. . . again!

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Is there something that you’ve been putting off?

Do you have any advice to eliminate procrastination?

Have you read any books by Mark Twain?

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 45th Week

Quote of the Week - 45th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog

This quote is from the 1985 movie, Anne of Green Gables. In the book, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the words are slightly different, but the meaning is equal. In the film, Diana Barry says this in remembrance of what Gilbert once said.

I often forget this word of truth. In a world and society were being pretty is a major focus, it’s hard to remember that living isn’t all about having a flawless complexion, perfect teeth, beautiful hair, makeup, and wardrobe, and sparkling eyes.

I spend so much time, and too much time, worrying about what I look like. It seems like I’m surrounded by people who are just naturally beautiful – who look like they’re perpetually ready for a magazine photoshoot! But, for as long as I think this way, I am forgetting what Diana once reminded Anne. Being knowledgeable on the inside is quite more valuable than being pretty on the outside; because the things we do in life, whether it be school, or work, and even just daily life, will require our brains more than our looks.

Having common sense and knowledge will get us much farther in life than if our only quality is having a pretty face. If being beautiful is all we care about, we are overlooking the truth: that we don’t have to be flawless in our appearance to be beautiful, or important. I believe that people will remember us by what we do, what we say, and what we accomplish, and not by how rosy our cheeks are.

Now, I haven’t even begun to delve into this topic, but this is just a little reminder: Let’s not fill our brains with thoughts of “I wish I were prettier,” but instead fill it with knowledge, inspiration, encouragement, and all things worthwhile!

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Do you agree that being smart is better than being pretty?

Have you ever felt jealous?

Do you think that having common sense will be more valuable in your future than having a flawless complexion?

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 44th Week

Quote of the Week - 44th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog.png

Audrey Hepburn was a British actress born in 1929. She was once dubbed the third best female actress in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Hepburn starred in many box office hits like, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and My Fair Lady. She was a well-studied ballet dancer, and in her later life, a UNISEF ambassador in the 1990s. Sadly, she died at age 62 of appendiceal cancer in Switzerland.

I can just hear those words spoken in her perfect accent! The cleverness of the quote just makes me smile. I had never known that little secret about the word “impossible” before. Just add an apostrophe and you have a whole new meaning to the phrase!

The definition of the word “impossible” is: “something not able to occur or be done.” It means that something is positively, without a doubt, absolutely not possible. Reading the definition got me thinking. It reminded me that nothing is impossible! All things are possible, with God! 

But what about wildly impossible things, like talking animals, walking on water, and surviving an over one-thousand-degree fire? These things seem impossible, right?

 Read Numbers 22:28, where it tells us about Balaam’s donkey, speaking out loud! Also, in Matthew chapter fourteen, we find the story of two different people walking on water. Finally, in the book of Daniel chapter three, is the telling of three men who were thrown into a fiery furnace, and lived! All of these things were done through God and by God! 

With God, all things are possible. The word “impossible” doesn’t apply when it comes to God’s abilities. No matter how out of this world, different, or unusual it is, God can do it and with God’s help we can do it too!

So the next time someone tells you that something is impossible, think of Audrey Hepburn’s little secret in that word, and know that with God, all things are possible.

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Did someone ever tell you it was impossible to achieve or do something?

What do you think those three stories in the Bible prove to us?

What is your favorite Audrey Hepburn movie?

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 43rd Week

Quote of the Week - 43rd Week Simply Megan Joy Blog.png

Beverly Cleary, born in 1916, has composed nearly fifty fiction books for children and young adults. Though most commonly known for her “Ramona” series, she has written two other crowd favorites, “Henry Higgins” and “The Mouse and the Motorcycle.” During her long life, Cleary was given The National Book Award, The Newbery Medal, and The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. Today, at age 101, she has retired from writing, though she still hasn’t lost her good humor. During an interview for her 100th birthday, she was asked if she was excited about her age, to which she replied, “Well, I didn’t do it on purpose!”

After Clearly learned to read in the second grade, she found that she wasn’t interested in many of the books she found at the library. She thought of them as boring and drab. She wanted to read something with character and spunk! Forty years later, she published her first book, one that checked every box of what she would have wanted to read back in grade school. She was determined to write something that would change the options children had when choosing a book to read, and she succeeded!

To every writer; one of the reasons we write is because we want to tell a story, not just any old story, but a different story. We write the books that we want to read, something that is unique, special, and inspiring! Like Beverly says, if you don’t find the story you’re looking for, write it.

This doesn’t just apply to writers. It’s good advice for every musician, filmmaker, artist, and designer. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, create that thing, enjoy it, and share it with others. Sing a new song, shoot a new movie, paint a new picture, or design a new room. We shouldn’t be bound by what others have already created! Make something new yourself, and use it for good. If you can dream it up, you can create it!

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Do you write fiction books?

Have you ever realized that you write the books you want to read?

What is your favorite Beverly Cleary book?

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 42nd Week

Quote of the Week - 42nd Week Simply Megan Joy Blog.png

Often times I plan to accomplish too many things in one day. I declare to myself that I will sew an entire historical dress in one day or finish writing a book. I tend to overestimate what can be accomplished in a day, therefore when the day is done, it becomes dissatisfying because I didn’t complete everything I set out to do.

It’s hard to know which goals to set every day when you have a million of them racing around in your head, each one fighting to win your attention at the finish line. When you have a huge amount of goals, which ones should you tackle today and what should you set aside for another day? How do you know how much is possible to achieve in one day? Are you setting yourself up to fail if you try to complete everything? These are tricky questions!

 To try to answer them, let’s get rid of the one-day deadline mindset. Instead, let’s broaden our time limit to a week or a month. Then, create a physical list of all your goals and impending accomplishments. We can divide them between the days in a week or in a month (depending on how many goals you want to set) and then begin with just a few goals on day one! Then you have a clear idea of how much you can get done, what should be done first, and what can wait for another day.

When your goals and your schedule don’t seem to work together, you can’t just stop life with a little button so you have time to achieve your goals (but that would be really awesome if you could!). However, this doesn’t mean that you must then cut down on the goals either. Distributing your goals evenly throughout the duration of a week or a month will create an easier way to keep track of your goals. It may take some special planning, but you don’t always have to sacrifice your goals just because your day is filled with too many things. So instead of perpetually focusing on all the goals you want to achieve, you can divide them, and focus on what you can do today. Doing this makes it seem possible to get everything done, because it is possible!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven: KJV

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Do you find yourself overestimating what you can achieve in a day?

Are you often overwhelmed by the many goals you wish to accomplish?

Do you have any other suggestions to help achieve goals and tasks?

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P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you haven’t already! The giveaway closes on Wednesday at midnight!

Megan Joy