How are you today?

Really….how are YOU?

Simple and Elegant Wedgwood Tablescape :: Encouragement in the Muck of Life ::


Most of us trudge, or breeze, through the day.

The trudging or breezing has to do with the load we carry.

If we have a ton of worries and responsibilities weighing us down….trudging might be a generous term.

On the other hand, when we’re working within our giftedness, living with hearts filled with joy and gratitude, and spending our hours with others who build up rather than discourage….we breeze through our day and the minutes seems to fly away as easily, too.


Mini Flower Arrangements :: Wedgwood Tablescape :: Encouragement in the Muck of Life ::


If you are one who flits through the day with hope and a joyful spirit.  Yay!!  I celebrate you and your day today.

However, if today you need encouragement in the muck of life, if you’re working hard to lift your foot from the mire and put it in front of you.  This is especially for you.


Hydrangea Centerpiece


Dear soul, I know the spot you’re in.

My goal today isn’t to pull you from that spot.  Though believe me, if I could wave my magic wand, I would have you wherever your heart desires in a heartbeat.

My goal today is to lift your eyes.

When we’re trudging….we’re looking down.  For the most part, anyway.

I’m reminded of these verses from the Bible where the psalmist says:

I look up to the hills,
but where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let you be defeated.
He who guards you never sleeps.

Psalm 121:1-3 NCV


Wedgwood Tablescape :: Encouragement in the Muck of Life ::


Whatever it is today that has you stressed out….be encouraged.

You do not need to carry that burden alone.  The Creator of the universe is here to help you.

He will not let you be defeated. !!!

It’s his joy to help you.  Lean on him.


Blue & White Wedgwood Tablescape:: Encouragement in the Muck of Life ::


This quote came across my screen recently…


Theodore Roosevelt Quote :: Wedgwood Tablescape :: Encouragement in the Muck of Life

(I’d love for you to Pin or share this image on Facebook or Instagram.)

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing
unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…
I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life.
I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

― Theodore Roosevelt


I’m sure we know a few people who seem to slide through life without challenges.

On the other hand, I have begun to notice people who have great obstacles and challenges and press on, one challenging step at a time.  And just like Mr. Roosevelt, those are the people I most admire.


Wedgwood #TableSetting


Even so, I embarrassed to say that I want to pray, “God get me out of my circumstances and give me an easy road to travel.”    You too?

Streams in the Desert (affiliate link) is a devotional book that is in constant use at our house.

The other night at bedtime, my husband read one of the devotional passages.  When he came to the following…my casual listening turned abruptly to careful attention:

There are two ways of getting out of a trial.  One is simply to try to get rid of the trial
and then be thankful it is over.  The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God
to claim a larger blessing than we have ever before experienced, and to accept it
with delight as an opportunity of receiving a greater measure of God’s divine grace.

Streams in the Desert, A. B. Simpson


Both Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Simpson challenge my thinking.

To really become a person with a depth of character, we need trials, pain, and difficulty.

Just as a tree with deep roots stands in the midst of fierce storms…we too can stand through our trials.

But, even more than standing….the psalmist reminds us that God will not let us be defeated.

God wants us to experience bigger blessings and greater measures of his grace than we would be able to receive if our roads were all easy, smooth, and sunny.


Waterford Crystal :: Wedgwood Tablescape :: Encouragement in the Muck of Life ::


If you feel stuck in the mud and your load is so heavy you feel as if you cannot take a step without falling over….you are not alone….I know that place.  Telling you to hang in there doesn’t help.  I know.  But, as I type these words…I cry out to God on your behalf….  “God, please bring another to stand beside this one.  May one who comes alongside to help carry that burden, give relief, or provide encouragement in the very way that will lift up this dear soul who so needs it.  Lord, we ask that this burdened one would receive from your hand an amazing measure of your grace.  And Lord…pour out so much blessing it cannot be contained.  I ask it in the Name of Jesus…Amen.”

We may not choose to say, “Bring on the pain, difficulties, or challenges.”   We can, however, choose to receive them for what they will do to make us people of character who live well in God’s blessing and grace.


Struggling today? If you need encouragement in the muck of life to keep going...may you find it here. :: Wedgwood Bone China & Waterford Crystal star in this simple but elegant tablescape at

(I’d love for you to Pin or share this image on Facebook or Instagram.)

Now for those of you who have had one eye on the pretty tablescape as you’ve read through the post…

I suppose you might want to know more about it. [wink]

I was blessed to be able to set the table and do a photo shoot at the home of my friend’s mother.   Each place is set with Wedgwood China and Waterford Crystal.

The tall vase  is filled with hydrangea pruned from the yard, and purple loosestrife cut along the lake with a few spiraea twigs.  I chose to add the purple loosestrife to pick up the pink in the center of the dishes, and the twigs to accent the brown in the china.  Notice I accented the base of the large vase with a swag of twigs.


Wedgwood Bone China Pattern Florentine


Each place setting has its own vase of hydrangea, as well.  The  individual vases are drinking glasses from the kitchen.   The napkins, my friend purchase in the Bahamas, as a gift for her mother.  The napkins and the china have never been used.

My friends…we are blessed to enjoy the beauty of this tablescape on the blog.  How much better it would be to be able to share a meal together, served on these lovely plates with the pretty napkins across our laps.  If you have pretty  dishes in your cabinets…use them.  Tomorrow may never come.  Because her memory is slipping, my friend’s mother now lives in an assisted living apartment.  Life changes…sometimes dramatically.  Let’s live each day to the full.


Dining Room Table Set with Wedgwood Tablescape Bone China :: Encouragement in the Muck of Life ::

Let me ask the question again…

How ARE you?

Thank you for stopping by today.

I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Wishing YOU an extraordinary day!

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  1. Beautifully written, Diane. I am not familiar with Streams in the Desert, so thank you for sharing this wise quote.
    I was blessed to grow up in a home with a Mom who liked to use “best” on Sundays as well as holidays. When I married, my sweet MIL did the same even using exquisitely stitched table cloths when we had a toddler at the table. In my post Table Talk back in Nov, 2011, I show a bit of one of them and the china that inspired it.
    Best is now.

    • Diane says

      Thank you Elaine. 🙂 “Streams” has been the one devotional that is always at the ready for us. I received it as a gift, but didn’t value it until I started this long and arduous journey.
      I’ll be by to check out your table…hope I can find it. 2011 is a ways back. {wink} Glad you stuck with blogging all these years.
      Blessings my friend!

    • Diane says

      It was easy to find Elaine. Since the comments are now closed there, I’ll add my thoughts to the thread here….

      “as I looked at each face, I knew I had, in fact, saved it for the best. And, in a strange way it seemed as if the aged cloth imparted a kind of grace and dignity to the evening, a tribute to Thanksgiving and our guests.” Beautiful Elaine! The sentiments expressed as well as the lovely tablecloth and china. The cloth is exquisite for sure and the dishes too. I hope they all have made subsequent appearances for other holidays and special occasions. You were blessed with a most lovely gift, filled with memories. Handmade treasures are the best, aren’t they?

      • Thank you for your kind words, Diane. Grandmother’s china has been on my table for many winter holidays. The story I heard was that she received it for her 50th anniversary and then did the cloth to go with it! I did not know Catherine, my husband’s Grandmother, but tales of her industry and examples of her many kinds of work are a blessing to me.
        I was given an appliqued dish towel that she stitched and it eventually set me on a course to learn the craft myself. I do not possess her skill but the few things I have stitched through the years have brought me satisfaction. I’ve gained in many ways from her creativity, diligence and love for her family.

        • Diane says

          Thank you for sharing that beautiful story Elaine. You have truly received a blessing. 🙂

  2. Debbi Saunders says

    Thank You Diane,
    I needed this Positive, hopeful, encouragement today as I strive to keep my Focus on God and not the situation or the thoughts of fear and “what am I going to do scenarios” that try to creep in!
    And thank you for that wonderful, powerful prayer!

    • Diane says

      Praise God! Debbi, we often forget how much God loves you and how deeply he cares about every aspect of our situations. Keeping his as our focus is where we receive our strength and perspective. Big Hugs!

  3. brenda says

    Thank you for the encouragement! Well timed!
    What a beautiful, beautiful tablescape. God bless.

  4. Beautiful words and a gorgeous table.

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Sandra!
      Best wishes for an extraordinary start to your week! 🙂

  5. I am going to be honest. I have been going through a REALLY tough time. In fact, it’s probably the toughest time I have ever had in my life. Thank you for your blog post and know that it made a difference for at least one person, because it made a difference to me. Ironically, the quote from Teddy Roosevelt is one of my FAVORITE! I love your tablescape and your gorgeous china. It seems as though so few people really use china anymore. Some of my friends did not even have any china on their wedding registry. Too bad… lovely china is a special thing, which helps make our daily meals just a bit more lovely.

    • Diane says

      Michelle….I am so sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time. My heart hurts for yours.
      Thank you for letting me know that you found the post helpful. I have several T.R. quotes that I have come to love, too. Such practical wisdom.
      I pray that your trial will pass soon. [hugs]

      And I agree…sitting down to a beautiful table really does make a difference. Those who don’t, don’t know what they’re missing. 😉


  6. Wonderfull tables and inpiration.
    Greeting from Belgium “with a diner in Blue Sky Mons”
    with “Monday Blue”, “Skywatch Friday ”

    • Diane says

      Welcome Louisette! And thank you for your kind words!
      Hope your week is filled with extraordinary moments! 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for sharing at the Twirl & Take a Bow Party! Love!

    • Diane says

      My pleasure Leslie! I do enjoy your lovely party. Isn’t interesting how each party has a different mix of creativity?

  8. Diane that is such a pretty china pattern!

    • Diane says

      I agree!! The color combo works for all seasons. I think at Thanksgiving it would really shine with a beautiful fall arrangement. Hmmm….maybe I should remember that. 😉

      Thanks always for popping by Sherry!

  9. Linda says

    How lovely to read your spiritual message at the same time enjoying a table of beauty.

    • Diane says

      Linda…you are so nice to say so too! Thank you for your warm and encouraging words. [hugs]

  10. Such a pretty and well said post! A very very table setting. Stopping in for the first time from the link up!

    • Diane says

      What a nice thing to say! Thank you so much!
      Hope your weekend is extraordinary!

  11. Nici says

    What a beautiful post, Diane! The tablescape is just lovely, as are the words of encouragement you shared. Love that quote from TR. I’ve been enjoying the Streams in the Desert devotional over the years too. I love what you said about bringing out the china and using our “best”. I always find it sad to go to estate sales and see the beautiful items that have sat unused for many years (or ever). As I type this, the china we have from my husband’s mother sits in boxes…unused. I need to get it out for some nice meals this fall. Thanks for the inspiration! Thanks for sharing this at my Creative Ways Link Party too. Have a fabulous week!

    • Diane says

      Nici…thank you so much for your kind words.
      As I was reading your response it made me think, that instead of waiting for special days, we should create special days.
      Anywho…Thanks so much for popping by.
      May your weekend be filled with extraordinary moments in the making.

  12. Kathy says

    Absolutely charming! I do appreciate you sharing with A Return to Loveliness,

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Kathy!
      Hope your day is blessed in every way!

  13. Julia says

    Diane – thank you for the encouragement with the beautiful tablescape. I received as a gift an original Streams in the Desert many years ago. The pages have started to crumble so I no longer am able read it. I agree with you that ordinary days can be special days and have taught my children to use the good china often! Blessings to you!


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