A LOOK BACK TO DADDY’S GOATS is a tribute from Daddy’s girl (me) to my Dad Arlie Lott. You can see who I was named after and miss this man who shared so much of my childhood with hunting and fishing. We rode the country side together and if he had his head under the hood of his 1949 truck, my head was under there too. I treasure those times and I found this post from several years ago. I hope you enjoy the humor in it because that was something my Dad and I shared too. Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers this Sunday.


Here is th7a0b6-bobw1e post featuring my attempt at writing a song (you can see I was smart enough to stick with blogging. A little update, I finished the second book and started on the third book.


TODAY THE WORDS are DADDY’S GOATS.  Usually,from the stories I post which encompass the animals, I get a lot of response. This one may give you a little laugh or smile. Many of you will know who I am talking about when I mention Peggy Mercer, a classmate of mine, author of several children’s books and songwriter  encouraged me to try my hand at song writing. I assured her she might want me to stick to writing on the blog and on the book, but many of you know how persistent Peggy is so here is the first verse and chorus of my “song”  DADDY’S GOATS. The beauty of the story is such a good one for all of us to learn from the goats. They knew how to keep life simple. They had goals and if something happened to upset their completion of those goals (climbing up and going down) they got up and tried again. I miss my Daddy since he died and I miss those special times when we would go out and visit with his animals and what I would give to go fishing with him one more time. When this song writing fiasco happened years ago, I emailed my song to Peggy and once she stops laughing at my amateur attempts at song writing; she will probably tell me to get up and try again LOL.  (Side note: As of July 2015, I have received no offers for song writing contracts so I leave all of that to my friends, especially Michael Rey – Country Songwriter; Lily Nelson; and Peggy Mercer but on a good note, I have published my first novel, “A Mistress, A Wife” and now writing my second one, “Tell Me Lies; Love Me Still”.)


The moral of this story is we may not be good at everything, but it never hurts to try. We may have to try several times to get it right, but we need to keep trying. God allows us, by forgiveness, to try and try again to get our lives and souls right. I hope you smile when you read Daddy’s goats. Live life; love life and live life to the fullest!



Verse 1


My mind goes back to a better time

When life was simple and people were kind

I would  visit on My Dad’s country place.

The farm; my Dad; and his goats in a line,

Laughing and loving, all the love we could find.


Love was simple way back then

Nobody was mad; everybody was glad

Dad loved his goats and he loved us.

They loved him back like the rest of us.

He was simple in love; he was simple in life.

If life could be free as Daddy with his goats.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 

(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if source is known, is credited to original location for credit references.



 This post was originally posted in 2014, but I have thought more intently on this subject and enhanced this message worthy of repetition. Enjoy the enhancements and live life with expectations of joy and happiness.
TODAY THE WORD is EXPECTATION. What is expected in life? We look forward with excitement and expectations of upcoming celebrations and holidays. The excitement builds as the event comes closer. We build up certain expectations; some are realistic and some are fantasy filled. I see peoples faces filled with pleasure and I see some people that are disappointed in what they receive as gifts. They may try to mask it but it somehow shows on their face.
Expectations in relationships; expectations in careers; expectations in child bearing; and expectations in friendships can all be wonderful or can be disappointing if either of these expectations fail. What is a realistic expectation? To me, and this may differ with some of you, a realistic expectation is one which all factors, good or bad, have been thoroughly thought and a willingness to accept its acceptance whether it comes to succession or unable to manifest itself. In other words, can you live with or without this desire or expectation? We sometimes build our expectations up only to have them shot down by outside factors and not anything we could have done to make it happen. This is what I wanted to talk with you about. I don’t need to write about fulfilled expectations; you accept those with excitement and the adrenalin is flowing. It is the unfulfilled expectations which are the hardest to accept. You were expecting a raise or promotion or you were expecting to get the new job; it doesn’t happen. You were hoping the man or woman of your dreams would ask you out for a date; he or she doesn’t. You were expecting your marriage to last forever; it doesn’t. You feel you have a great friend; you find out he or she wasn’t your friend at all.
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What is a person to do when expected expectations do not occur? Your life can either accept disappointment and move past the adverse situation. If you do; usually something better comes along. I don’t understand this rationality; but it is true. If you don’t accept it and if you don’t move past; you bury yourself in depressive thoughts. “Nothing produces Nothing” so there you sit having a pity party. Anyone who shows up at your pity party only want to wallow with you. A true friend tells you to get up and get moving. Expect and get excited; if it changes; change with it. Life is an interesting expectation but is full of changes.
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The Expectations Trap

Why we’re conditioned to blame our partners for our unhappiness.

By Hara Estroff Marano, published March 1, 2010 – last reviewed on April 10, 2017

The Expectations Trap: Perfection, Please

If there’s one thing that most explicitly detracts from the enjoyment of relationships today, it’s an abundance of choice. Psychologist Barry Schwartz would call it an excess of choice—the tyranny of abundance. We see it as a measure of our autonomy and we firmly believe that freedom of choice will lead to fulfillment. Our antennae are always up for better opportunities, finds Schwartz, professor of psychology at Swarthmore College.

Just as only the best pair of jeans will do, so will only the best partner—whatever that is. “People walk starry-eyed looking not into the eyes of their romantic partner but over their romantic partner’s shoulder, in case there might be somebody better walking by. This is not the road to successful long-term relationships.” It does not stop with marriage. And it undermines commitment by encouraging people to keep their options open.

Like Doherty, Schwartz sees it as a consequence of a consumer society. He also sees it as a self-fulfilling phenomenon. “If you think there might be something better around the next corner, then there will be, because you’re not fully committed to the relationship you’ve got.”

It’s naive to expect relationships to feel good every minute. Every relationship has its bumps. How big a bump does it have to be before you do something about it? As Hopkins’s Cherlin says, if you’re constantly asking yourself whether you should leave, “there may be a day when the answer is yes. In any marriage there may be a day when the answer is yes.”

One of the problems with unrestrained choice, explains Schwartz, is that it raises expectations to the breaking point. A sense of multiple alternatives, of unlimited possibility, breeds in us the illusion that perfection exists out there, somewhere, if only we could find it. This one’s sense of humor, that one’s looks, another one’s charisma—we come to imagine that there will be a package in which all these desirable features coexist. We search for perfection because we believe we are entitled to the best—even if perfection is an illusion foisted on us by an abundance of possibilities.

If perfection is what you expect, you will always be disappointed, says Schwartz. We become picky and unhappy. The cruel joke our psychology plays on us, of course, is that we are terrible at knowing what will satisfy us or at knowing how any experience will make us feel.

If the search through all possibilities weren’t exhausting (and futile) enough, thinking about attractive features of the alternatives not chosen—what economists call opportunity costs—reduces the potential pleasure in whatever choice we finally do make. The more possibilities, the more opportunity costs—and the more we think about them, the more we come to regret any choice. “So, once again,” says Schwartz, “a greater variety of choices actually makes us feel worse.”

Ultimately, our excess of choice leads to lack of intimacy. “How is anyone going to stack up against this perfect person who’s out there somewhere just waiting to be found?” asks Schwartz. “It creates doubt about this person, who seems like a good person, someone I might even be in love with—but who knows what’s possible out there? Intimacy takes time to develop. You need to have some reason to put in the time. If you’re full of doubt at the start, you’re not going to put in the time.”

Moreover, a focus on one’s own preferences can come at the expense of those of others. As Schwartz said in his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, “most people find it extremely challenging to balance the conflicting impulses of freedom of choice on the one hand and loyalty and commitment on the other.”

And yet, throughout, we are focused on the partner we want to have, not on the one we want—or need—to be. That may be the worst choice of all.

Disappointment—or Tragedy?

The heightened sensitivity to relationship problems that follows from constantly appraising our happiness encourages couples to turn disappointment into tragedy, Doherty contends.

Inevitably, images of the perfect relationship dancing in our heads collide with our sense of entitlement: “I’m entitled to the best possible marriage.” The reality of disappointment becomes intolerable. “It’s part of a cultural belief system that says we are entitled to everything we feel we need.”

Through the alchemy of desire, wants become needs, and unfulfilled needs become personal tragedies. “A husband who isn’t very expressive of his feelings can be a disappointment or a tragedy, depending on whether it’s an entitlement,” says Doherty. “And that’s very much a cultural phenomenon.” We take the everyday disappointments of relationships and treat them as intolerable, see them as demeaning—the equivalent of alcoholism, say, or abuse. “People work their way into ‘I’m a tragic figure’ around the ordinary problems of marriage.” Such stories are so widespread, Doherty is no longer inclined to see them as reflecting an individual psychological problem, although that is how he was trained—and how he practiced for many years as an eminent family therapist. “I see it first now as a cultural phenomenon.”

First Lady Michelle Obama is no stranger to the disappointment that pervades relationships today. In Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, by Christopher Anderson, she confides how she reached a “state of desperation” while working full-time, bringing in the majority of the family income, raising two daughters, and rarely seeing her husband, who was then spending most of his week away from their Chicago home as an Illinois state senator, a job she thought would lead nowhere while it paid little. “She’s killing me with this constant criticism,” Barack complained. “She just seems so bitter, so angry all the time.” She was annoyed that he “seems to think he can just go out there and pursue his dream and leave all the heavy lifting to me.”

But then she had an epiphany: She remembered the guy she fell in love with. ” I figured out that I was pushing to make Barack be something I wanted him to be for me. I was depending on him to make me happy. Except it didn’t have anything to do with him. I needed support. I didn’t necessarily need it from Barack.”

Certainly, commitment narrows choice. But it is the ability to remember you really do love someone—even though you may not be feeling it at the moment.

Commitment is the ability to sustain an investment, to honor values over momentary feelings. The irony, of course, is that while we want happiness, it isn’t a moment-by-moment experience; the deepest, most enduring form of happiness is the result of sustained emotional investments in other people.



This excerpt from the mentioned article is reflective of the trap of expectation and you might take the time to read the entire article by clicking on the title link. Interesting read. 

Bloggers note: My thought is live by expectation of adaptation and flexibility. Whatever happens today, expect to be surprised by the unexpected. Bend, shape, and mold yourself into a workable art form. Try to use materials (thoughts and knowledge) that will conform to the environment and current life standards.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIFE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by expecting changes and welcoming the newness of those changes.

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Acts 3:5 ESV 
And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them
(C) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material if known is sourced to original location for credit source.


WHEN DOES VILE BRING A SMILE? Coming from a positive person as I am, there are times when I want to tell it like it is. As someone said “It is what it is!” In the last few years, I have watched an erosion of goodness and kindness. Yes, we see the occasional good Samaritan and we ooh and aww at their heroism. We stop for a few seconds on social media, maybe like the post, and maybe even share it and then…..we return to the now common place vulgarity. The thrust of this vile exchange is easily blamed on our current president and without getting political, I want to give a personal opinion. It is coming from places all over this country and the world. To blame one person, one party, one religion, one culture is a vile mistake and I feel this is the basis for this destructive bullying. Yes, I said it. This is the worst kind of bullying and has gone rampant. Today is the day I would like to bring this to the forefront and see how many people think about what is going on in the world. This is not a liberal or conservative stance; it is a moral stance.

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Media of all sorts have linked all of us in the world in a seemingly personal but deceivingly impersonal communication. What is the difference? It is such a firestorm resulting in strangers feeling freedom from accountability and consequences from their words.

In a different time in our history, if a person said a minute amount of the words to a person’s face as commonly posted on Twitter, Facebook, and other outlets, someone was going to throw a punch. It was immediate rebuttal and an instant source of accountability. Bystanders might have egged in on but they were in the line of fire so it was more of bystander instead of instigator. Maybe the one who said the vile words threw a few punches back and occasionally it was a free for all. It was settled with the immediate participants and maybe some neighborhood kids and/or adults but it was over.  It makes me wonder if we had to face the person we deface in person and would we say the same things we post.

In this current environment and because of the anonymity of social media, which I use and have seen how this vileness can give an unknown person a feel of superiority and entitlement of invasion into personal attacks. What happens now? Let us look at  recent events. Two female comedians both attacked two people in the limelight but outside of the entertainment world. Both attacks were vile and unacceptable. Both people exercised their “freedom of speech” but I want to express I felt they showed freedom from respect of others. All of us have people who we don’t especially like or agree with the lifestyle or politics. We have that right and we can in a positive light, choose to not agree with them.  I say this in no conversation or disagreement should we become vile ourselves as this only puts us on the lower level of decency. Ponder this, if someone spit in your face, would you want to knock their lights out? Well social incivility is the equivalent of spitting in someone’s face.

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What has happened in our world that we can bully others and call them vile names and criticize their looks, hair, weight, culture, religion, and intelligence? When did our military come under attack and our law enforcement? When did we stop being a good samaritan ourselves? When did we become so coldhearted and insensitive we can watch natural disasters or murders only to make snide remarks about “nun-ya”  business? When did we become so vocal on everything that someone else does wrong and at the same time feel we are above the law or disrespectful of morality?

I ask these questions to bring some thought-provoking internal mental checks. I have composed a short list of should have and would have checks for us to ponder:

  • If the words coming out of my mouth were being said to me or someone I love, how would I like to hear them?
  • Is what I am saying to another person meant to encourage or inspire OR do I say them to discourage or destroy this person?
  • What would my grandmother or grandfather say in response if they overheard my conversations about someone else?
  • Would I allow a child to bully my child or grandchild in the same way that I talk about others or to others?
  • Do I think it takes me to a higher level when I use vile or crude language in any conversation? 
  • Do I feel better or worse after describing or criticizing another person whether I know them or not?
  • Do I think before I speak as a proactive statement or a reactive conversation?
  • Do I think of the golden rule “In all things, do unto others as you would have others do unto you”? 


Golden Rule, precept in the Gospel of Matthew (7:12): “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. . . .” This rule of conduct is a summary of the Christian’s duty to his neighbor and states a fundamental ethical principle. In its negative form, “Do not do to others what you would not like done to yourselves,” it occurs in the 2nd-century documents Didachē and the Apology of Aristides and may well have formed part of an early catechism. It recalls the command to “love the stranger (sojourner)” as found in Deuteronomy. It is not, however, peculiar to Christianity. Its negative form is to be found in Tob. 4:15, in the writings of the two great Jewish scholars Hillel (1st century BC) and Philo of Alexandria (1st centuries BC and AD), and in the Analects of Confucius (6th and 5th centuries BC). It also appears in one form or another in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, and Seneca.

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My final thought on this subject is when we return to a place of using our minds instead of our mouths, this world becomes a nicer place. When we find our souls again, and renew our hearts, we become kinder. As my husband said to me, “Character doesn’t cost a penny but it worth millions.” I add to his remarks, “Freedom of speech is not freedom from accountability.” 

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original  location for credit references.


This morning, Memorial Day 2018, I woke early and prayed a prayer for all of the brave soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I thought of how little people pay attention to the true meaning of Memorial Day and many don’t realize the difference between Memorial and Veteran’s Day. Both are respectful holidays paying tributes on Memorial Day for those who died fighting and Veteran’s Day for all who have patriotically served in the military and don’t forget Armed Services Day for those actively serving, but whether or not it is for the right reason, I believe in respecting those in our Military, past and present. I posted the TOY SOLDIERS in 2013 and I come back to it as my best post focused on Memorial Day.

TODAY THE WORDS are TOY SOLDIERS. In honor of Memorial Day, I am reposting a Memorial Day tribute posted in 2013.  How many times have you picked up a toy soldier and really gave any thought as to what it actually represents? Probably, like me, not many times have any of us visualized the representation right in our hands. A toy soldier is not very big, no more than 3 inches or less and they come in bright colors or a muted green and come with a lot of them in a bag. Boys and some girls have played with them and knocked them down “killing” them. The kids would then pick them up at the end of the battle and either start a new war or put them in the bag for a future battle. A game of pretend enemies with usually the best of friends taking sides and a lot of “bang, you are dead” was heard. Children are innocent and learn from others and many people don’t see any harm in playing war or even violent video games but now for the deeper thought…..War is real and deadly……Soldiers can’t be stood up again in the real war games and lives are taken or forever changed by injuries. 

As Memorial Day is here, my mind went to the toy soldier and it felt sad as if I had a soldier in my hands and wondered if he was alive or dead. Do we as humans try as hard as we should to avoid war? Are we so wrapped up in proving a point that we do the same as precious, innocent children do when they play toy soldiers and kill without thought and reality that some one’s son; some one’s husband; some one’s daughter; some one’s wife; and some one’s brother or sister can or will be killed. 

Soldiers face death on a daily basis if sent to a military zone. I can remember my brother Joe, who served two terms in Vietnam, and who retired after 21 years in the Army, when he said to me in reference to how the soldiers got booed at the airport by Americans, “Sis, a soldier doesn’t ask why, they are told where!” In other words a soldier obeys commands from a superior officer and is not in a defining position; he is in an obedient position. That tells me in order to protect us a soldier responds to an order. We should respect this demeanor and honor their willingness to serve. If there are opposing positions to a certain engagement, it should be brought to higher officials. Tomorrow, and every day, thank a soldier for our freedom which we value. Thank God for the highest protection of our life as God gives us every breath we take.

Excerpt from the following article on Memorial Day History (click on title for complete article)


The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear.

In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.

After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.

No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs. 

Now for the deeper thought…In a perfect world, there would be no soldiers; there would be no wars; there would be no hate. We live in a world where evil does exist and in a world where there will be wars and rumors of war. We, as humans, should put more value on human life, animal life, and our earth which are all blessings and are our treasures here on earth and are to be valued and protected. May I bow my head and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

How many Americans have died in U.S. wars?


Nearly 500,000 military personnel died during the U.S. Civil War. That’s almost half of all Americans who have ever died during wartime, and more than a hundred times more than died during the American Revolution, according to the latest estimates from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. This Memorial day, we decided to take a close look at the number of American servicemembers who lost their lives during wartime in an effort to put their sacrifices into a broader perspective.


This excerpt was from the linked article in 2015 and the current number would be higher. May we honor our fallen and pray this number doesn’t have to rise.

Matthew 24:6-7     
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to the original location, if known, for credit reference.


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DO WE NEED TO CLEAN OUR HEARTS? I thought about this thought as I am beginning my master bedroom closet clean out and organization today. I am going to combine these tasks for a great life lesson. You may learn some tricks on organizing closet space as well as some of us may learn some important cleaning tasks for our hearts. Let’s dive in.

I would like to make some suggestions on closet cleaning and then we will see if they apply to the harder task of cleaning our hearts from harmful and hurtful thoughts.

Sunday morning addition to post: Our closet cleaned out and organized. I thought I would share that it can happen.

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Preparing for the Big Clean-out of a closet:

  • Trash bags are necessary for both trash and for donations. Large but tote-able bags.
  • Freezer tape or other tape that a sharpie can label the tape on bags for trash, charity names, or individual names. Label and keep separate piles of items to be placed in the bags or you can load as you go.
  • For the trash bags, I punch a hole large enough to hang on door handle for easy disposal of trash.
  • Move out all boxes, bags, storage tubs out of closet. I place all of these “gets in my way” bulky items in my bedroom the night before. This keeps me from procrastination and maintains the goal in front of me.
  • Dress comfortable for this task as it requires bending, reaching, moving, and not a fashion show. Hair should be out of the way too.
  • Scissors, cutting knife, tape, and any other tools to pack up or open to see what has been hidden, and a sharpie or other marking tool should be laid out on an accessible table.
  • Keep some drinkable water handy so dehydration will not be an issue while this task is being undertaken.
  • Schedule yourself and keep on point without distractions. Unless you want this to be a multiple day undertaking, allow yourself an amount of time to empty, arrange, dispose, and clean.
  • Take a picture before and after for you to appreciate your hard work and efforts.
  • With everything ready, BEGIN NOW.

    Step 1: Assess Your Big Obstacles

    Are your shoes overtaking the space? Try a hanging-shoe rack or over-the-door organizer. Do your clothes overcrowd? Thinner hangers create space so you can find things easier. Feeling rushed each morning?  Dividing shirts, dresses, jeans, etc. bring a sense of order and saves time. Solving your biggest problem will motivate you to create the closet of your dreams.

    Step 2: Make it a Family Effort

    Getting your hubby and kids involved in organizing can make a difference in your family’s day-to-day life. Everyone should be in charge of his or her own clothes, accessories, and toys. This will cut your cleaning time in half and ensure nothing important is thrown away by mistake.

    Step 3: Take An Hour

    Scheduling just 60 minutes a week can really make a dent in your overstuffed, cluttered closet. Can’t spare that much? Try two half-hour sessions. If you’re constantly being interrupted by “Hey Mom!” — ask your spouse to take the kids out for the afternoon. Remember to return the favor when it’s his turn to hit the closets.

    Step 4: Start from Scratch

    Take everything (yes, everything) out of your closet. If you don’t remove it all, chances are the same unworn clothes will be moved around the closet. Now it’s time to sort. Throw out old and damaged clothing. Donate what you don’t need or don’t wear.

    Step 5: Out with the Odd

    Remove items that have no business in your closet. Bank statements, insurance information, or tax documents don’t belong next to your shoes, scarves, and sweaters. Create a Life.doc to organize and store all of your important documents in one accessible place. File the remaining papers in an office cabinet or milk crate.

    Step 6: Organize in Sections

    Designate a place for everything in your closet. Shoes in one place, sweaters in another, and so on. This will help you keep order and save you time each morning. Make smart use of the space. Installing shelves will double your storage and help sweaters and t-shirts keep their shape better.

    Step 7: Apply the 80/20 Rule

    You may not want to admit it, but the majority of clothes you have probably go unworn. It’s said that the average American only wears 10 to 20 percent of their clothes. To cut down on the fluff, remove items you haven’t worn in a year. Drop off the excess at Goodwill or arrange a clotheswap with friends.

    Step 8: Put One In; Take One Out

    For each new item you buy to put in your closet, donate one item (or pitch it if it’s past its prime). This will keep you from returning to your pack-rat ways.

    Step 9: Keep It Going

    Dedicate 15 minutes a week to straightening your closet after the “big clean”. Spending this small amount of time will ensure you never have to go through a major de-clutter again.

    Step 10: Reward Yourself

    Recognize and celebrate what you’ve done. Treat yourself to some new hangers or buy that silk blouse you’ve been eyeing. Now, you actually have room for it!
    Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore are the co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stretched and stressed people get themselves organized. They are also co-authors of Everything (almost) In Its Place.

This article 10 STEPS TO A DECLUTTERED CLOSET can be read by clicking on this link.



Now, we have our closet(s) clean and let’s move on to how we can apply some of these tips to cleaning our hearts. I love the first tip from the article

Assess Your Big Obstacles is a wise way to assess our heart’s status.  Do we have obstacles and/or issues that stand in our way to feel love and kindness toward others? Do we hold grudges or have jealousy that need to go in the trash bags I mentioned we should have on hand in prep to cleaning our hearts.

Make it a family effort will give you support. Let your family know you want to clean your heart or in other words, purify your thoughts for displaying your beautiful heart. Ask for advice from those who display a kind heart and seem to be calm and loving.

Out with the Odd  could eliminate some unnecessary people and things from our lives. Are others influencing your heart and mind? Do you listen to negative and cold people? Do you surround yourself with positive and good hearted friends? Do you cloud your thinking and feelings from media, groups, clubs, and regretfully sometimes churches? Choose places and people that enlighten your life and your faith.

Keep it going is one of the best ways to keep your heart clean in the same way you maintain your closets, drawers, garage, and home but decisions not to re-clutter. Maintaining is as important as cleaning and this applies to our hearts.

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(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced when known for credit references.



Today, I dedicate this blog to the dedicated gardener and my friend Linda Christian who was celebrating her birthday when this was first posted.
THE GARDENER’S GLOVE was a popular message and I love the lessons behind it. We have a beautiful growing container garden this year. I have mentioned our garden before but in watching our “crop” grow, I am amazed at how the rain, the pruning, and the feedings affect the amount of growth. It led me back to how proper care of ourselves can affect our growth and especially our health. Stay tuned and when we begin the harvesting, I will share some recipes and photos.

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TODAY THE WORDS are THE GARDENER’S GLOVE  This topic may seem a little strange coming from a lady whose husband does all of our landscaping and who considers herself blessed to not have to pull weeds (but he doesn’t do a lot of that with his routine weed control). I have several FB friends who grow beautiful gardens (Linda Christian whose birthday is today and she can make us envious of her gardening skills and beautiful spirit of sharing with others) , some who are in their rose gardens and flower beds, and there are my friends who do not like the outdoor gardening at all. I love flowers and there is nothing better to eat than fresh home grown vegetables but I think my resistance stems from my childhood.
Let’s return to my childhood to give you my thoughts. In order to make some money, my Mother grew turnip and mustard greens in our back garden. Before school, and sometimes in the bitter cold, we would go to the garden, gather the greens which were ready, clean them off and bundle with string. Off to the grocery store they would go and off to school we would go. It wasn’t the work as I had too much energy; we didn’t use gloves. In those days, you used your hands (maybe others had enough money to buy gloves; not us). It was the smell of the greens on my hands and mind you, I washed my hands several times and they were as clean as they were going to be. I see my husband prepare, by putting on gloves, before he goes out to do yard work, gardening, and/or pruning. He is very particular about how the gloves have to fit as a proper fit will not slow him down. He jokes with other guys that his wife does yard work. He says “She tells me where to put everything and walks back in the house.” He smiles when he says it but I know he loves being in the yard and in control of its beauty. I am usually the one who is in charge of the interior of our home and I love doing it.
Now for the deeper thought….as important as gloves are to a gardener or landscaper…..gloves of life are as important to our being. Gloves are a protective covering to avoid scratches, cuts and sometimes bites from insects. They wrap around the hand and fingers securely and when properly fitted, are an extension of our very bodies. They become a second skin in other words. Our “character” is a pair of gloves of life. We start, at an early age, to develop (or put on) our character which comprises of several things: our personality; our integrity; our work ethics and our moral ethics (may be the same or sometimes not); our nurturing persona; and our spirituality. With the proper gloves of life, we can garden our souls and protect ourselves from the scratches, bites, and burns which the garden of life brings. I am not discounting God’s influence in our gardens, but we as His Children, need to put on our gloves and protect ourselves too. Good gardening, my friends, and don’t forget your gloves. 
Genesis 2:9                 
And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if known, is sourced to the original location for reference.



My beautiful daughter, Missy Smith Haas  has produced over 100 pastels depicting the soul of the butterfly. This is one of the recent ones she drew for her Dad.


I am a writer, working on my third novel but it is so easy to be distracted by “noisy noise”. Media, whether it be social media, the news media, or just chit chat. This brought me to this photo which was on Twitter. I found myself calming while gazing at the beauty. I found a source of focus and wanted to share a tip which if chosen can be applied to all of us.

the center of interest or activity.
“this generation has made the environment a focus of attention”
synonyms: center, focal point, central point, center of attention, hub, pivot, nucleus, heart, core, cornerstone, linchpin, cynosure
“schools are a focus of community life”
an act of concentrating interest or activity on something.
“our focus on the customer’s requirements”
synonyms: emphasis, accent, priority, attention, concentration More
the point of origin of an earthquake.MEDICINE
the principal site of an infection or other disease.
the part of a sentence given prominence, usually for emphasis or contrast, e.g., Bob in it was Bob who came, not Bill.
the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.”his face is rather out of focus”
synonyms: focal point, point of convergence More
another term for focal point.
the point at which an object must be situated with respect to a lens or mirror for an image of it to be well defined.
a device on a lens that can be adjusted to produce a clear image.
one of the fixed points from which the distances to any point of a given curve, such as an ellipse or parabola, are connected by a linear relation.verbverb: focus; 3rd person present: focuses; past tense: focused; past participle: focused; gerund or present participle: focusing; 3rd person present: focusses; past tense: focussed; past participle: focussed; gerund or present participle: focussing
(of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.”try to focus on a stationary object”
cause (one’s eyes) to focus.
“trying to focus his bleary eyes on Corbett”
adjust the focus of (a telescope, camera, or other instrument).
“they were focusing a telescope on a star”
synonyms: bring into focus; More
(of rays or waves) meet at a single point.
(of a lens) make (rays or waves) meet at a single point.
(of light, radio waves, or other energy) become concentrated into a sharp beam of light or energy.
(of a lens) concentrate (light, radio waves, or energy) into a sharp beam.
pay particular attention to.”the study will focus on a number of areas in Wales”

FOCUS is one of the best ingredients for the formula for success. Let me say it this way, “How many times have you sat and pondered (or in essence, focused) on one simple word, photo, poem, etc. until you had an idea of your own. It simply came to you. The possible reason for the result? FOCUS. You were able to eliminate the white noise of this world and tune into your inner self.




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My husband Greg Miller finds focus in a camera lens and creates beauty from nature. I love to watch him grab his camera and go out the door. I am assured the world of nature will appear in his photos.

TUNE OUT; TUNE IN! Focus on something like this photo or an object in nature itself. Look intently at the object, animal, photo or image until you don’t hear the outside, distracting noise and I feel you will be enlightened to new thoughts or ideas.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third part material sourced to original location for credit reference.

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