Joyful Noise

U.C.M. Newsletter of Joy, Humor, Laughter, and Inspiration

Editor: Rev. Doti Boon,

Volume 8 page 34 (08-21-09)


I know with God’s help all stumbling blocks can

become stepping stones.

christmas2003 017

            In re-counting my Mom’s life to a friend, I became aware of how many times life put stumbling blocks in her way. And yet, she always had a smile on her face and an optimistic out-look she imparted to everyone.

Here are some of the things she overcame:

            Molested and abused as a child

            Forced to work (physical labor)since the age of eight – all money went to support the family during the Depression!

            Constantly being bullied and teased by older siblings. She was the youngest of nine.  Repeatedly told she was ugly by all the members of her family “Old Ironsides” was the most remembered remark – since she was very thin.

            Having an alcoholic father who was constantly getting fired – she was forced to move and change schools 21 times before she entered high school.

            Contracted polio and spent three months in the contagion ward of a Los Angeles Hospital.

            Due to complications of severe eclampsia had a still-born baby boy and almost lost her life.

            Worked as a riveter (Rosie the Riveter) during World War II to support herself and small daughter while her husband fought in the Philippines.

            Her favorite brother, Herb, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

            Moved to a small town where she worked from daylight to sunset mowing, raking, baling and hauling Alfalfa hay in the hot desert (Lancaster, CA) sun.

            While waterskiing in Lake Isabella, fell and almost died of immersion shock.

            Abandoned by her husband with three small children to support; he refused to pay child support.

            Married the “love of her life” and moved to Northern California to start a business.

            Husband died after twenty-two months of marriage.

            Business went bankrupt.

            Eldest son ran away from home.

            Got a job at Fort Ord where she suffered a stroke.

            Her youngest son died of AIDS.

            Fell and broke her hip and splintered her femur.

            Suffered from a blood clot in her left leg which rendered her foot immobile (drop foot), which caused her constant pain until her death.

            Cancer removed from her left breast.

            Suffered from Congestive Heart Disease.

            And yet, this woman raised four wonderful and financially independent children who in turn have raised amazing grandchildren.

            She had an amazing voice and could hit C over high C. She had sung on the radio and as soloist in a church choir by the age of fifteen. She sang at everyone of her kids’ weddings and crooned babies to sleep.

            Elenore traveled to China, Mexico, Alaska, the Caribbean, Germany, Austria, Hawaii, Florida, Mt. Shasta, Sedona, Arizona and all around the continental United States. Many times she turned her tour badge upside down to say “WOW” instead of MOM.

            She made over 100 quillows (a quilt that folds into a pillow) many of which she donated to UCM and CCL for fundraisers and sewed layettes for newborn babies.

            For eighteen years she took homemade cookies, Chinese salad or corn pudding (sometimes all three) to the CCL Thanksgiving at the beach!

            She made friends wherever she went – at the time of her death her address book was full of hundreds of names.

            She walked at least a mile every day until she was 89 years old!

            . . .and she had the most incredible sense of humor, a sly grin and an amazing laugh.

            She left behind three children, eight grand-children and eleven great-grandchildren. All of which love and miss her terribly and know that she truly embodied the Stumbling Block to Stepping Stone adage.

“Stepping Stones”

“Isn’t it strange that Princes and Kings
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
And just plain folks like you and me,
Are builders for Eternity?
To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass and a book of rules,
And each must make ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a stepping stone.”

Mary Brooks Picken 

When life knocks you down, don’t stay down, bounce back!  Everybody stumbles or gets knocked off their feet from time to time; the winners are just the ones who keep getting back up!  That’s what Paul meant when he said, “In all things we are more than conquerors.”  If you pray and look hard enough, you’ll find the seed of good in every adversity (see Genesis 50:20).  The difference between winners and losers, is their ability to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams

“The senses have been conditioned by attraction to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant:  a man should not be ruled by them; they are obstacles in his path.” – Bhagavad Gita

“Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeplechase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along too.”

 – Lawrence Bixby

“You are the only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life.”

 – Les Brown

“A barrier is of ideas, not of things.” – Mark Caine

“The mere fact that you have obstacles to overcome is in your favor…”

 – Robert Collier

“The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a Wilderness.”

 – Havelock Ellis

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

“For a long time it seemed to me that real life was about to begin, but there was always some obstacle in the way.  Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business; time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” – Bette Howland

“The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome.  The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”

 – Helen Keller

“We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” – Maxwell Maltz

“Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them…they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.” – Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924) American author and founder of Success magazine.

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; ‘Tis dearness only that gives everything its value.”Thomas Paine

“For every mountain there is a miracle.” – Robert H. Schuller

“Life’s up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals.  Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want.” – Marsha Sinetar 

“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

 – Frank A. Clark

“The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.”

 – Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian and essayist.

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy.  From the very core of our being, we desire contentment.  In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.  Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease.  It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter.  It is the principal source of success in life.  Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone.  The key is to develop inner peace.” – The Dalai Lama

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: