Inner Peace Award


A very lovely thing happened to me today…Steven Fox, a delightful young man from the UK, contacted me letting me know that he’s nominated me for two thoughtful blogging awards–the Inner Peace Award and the Sunshine Award. Steven has a great blog himself as he is blossoming into quite a young writer….. I highly recommend a visit to check out his work, as he even has a book now published—I think the dream of so many of us blogging.

If you’ve ever read any of my posts regarding awards–be it the Inspirational blogger award that I was awarded by Jolandi Stevens at
or even professionally when I was awarded the Teacher of the Year award for my school system… I never feel very deserving. All because I know there are so many more talented folks out there…folks I look up to, admire and yield to for my own motivation and inspiration.

Blogs of more merit than my own such as Emma’s, in Queensland, whose blog is based and maintained solely on the memory of a dear friend who passed away not long ago and for his love of history and trivia—it is a blog which offers worldly historical information and tidbits, one I enjoy viewing each day in order to get my historical fix:
Emma was equally as kindhearted and most generous when she nominated me for the Shine On Award–that was a couple of weeks back while we were out of town on holiday and unfortunately I’ve yet to fulfill the requirements for that one…. which certainly should not be taken as a lack of deep appreciation–again thank you Emma!!

I’ll be the first to tell you that those who know me may raise an eyebrow when they see the phrase Inner Peace and Julie associated together. But it is for this type of award that I am most honored because I think the ability to project such a beautiful attribute is truly gratifying. I’ve never been known to be too much “at peace” within. I’ve spent much of my life fretting and worrying. I want to be the positive one, the optimist, the glass is half full girl—Ottimista verses Pessimista, as my Italians friends will say….but sadly, within, I do worry.

I think this goes back to losing my mom to cancer. She was young, I was younger…it was all within 6 weeks..all from diagnosis to the end. My dad and I had barely processed what was going on when she was gone. From that moment, I can’t seem to help it, but I now tend to think the worst. Not for others, I always hope and put forward the best for other people and their life situations and truly believe that the best can and will prevail. It is, however, for me and my world that I tend to lean to the Eeyore (you know Eeyore, the little gray donkey from Winnie the Pooh) mentality of my dad….”oh no, we’ll (I’ll) never make it”…..

I fear. I fear losing those I cherish, I fear being too happy because that means tragedy can’t be far behind. I fear feeling good because feeling bad is on it’s way…it goes on and on….crazy I know. It doesn’t help my son being an only child and the sole focus of his mother’s (and dad’s too) worry.

I am a Christian. To be such means I trust in my God and Savior. There is to be no fear, no worry—He is to take my fear and my worry…as He took all of that with Him that day on the cross…as that was a day ushering in eternal Victory. I continue working on this with Him, truly I do —if anyone has had to bear this messy angst of mine, it has been Him—He is patient and kind and has yet to walk away from me….thank goodness….so maybe as I age, I may see an inkling of that “peace” slowly creeping into my being, taking over those screaming corners and areas of dread, gloom and doom….doing so quietly and, aptly, peacefully, as so it should be…….

So it is with great humility that I share this award with those of you who take time to read my blog.

Inner Peace is a desired goal of mine as it is THE desired goal for this quite un-peaceful world of ours.
Here is my prayer for inner peace for us all………..
Thank you Steven………

“Peace begins with a smile..”
Mother Teresa

Part of this award it that I am to share it with another……

I wish to share this with a friend who has actually two blogs. It is for her second blog that I wish to offer her this award of Inner Peace. If you visit her blog you will immediately understand. Her’s is a blog that deals with the incapacitating battle with and against depression. She has lived her blog and it is now her desire to pay it forward if you will– as she does so daily…encouraging others to hang in there, move forward slowly–one step at a time, one day at a time..always with the hope of joy and peace in sight…here is to you nonfatlatte, my friend Elizabeth…the voice of support, kindness, compassion, empathy—a true life coach who isn’t walking away even when things get tough…..

Inspirational Blogger Award–really?

or as one blogger put it, How to best build a blogging community…and I suppose that’s in part what I’m doing……


This is the second time a wonderful fellow blogger has desired to bestow this honor on to my little blog. My intent has never been fanfare so I thanked the first blogger and opted not to showcase the “gift” as I prefer flying under the radar so to speak.

I have been reading and following Jolandi on her journey (– being drawn to her site as she first proclaimed her love of travel, explaining her passion as to having rather “itchy” feet–and I thought that was the greatest description I had read for having a love of travel, or as some may say, the “travel bug.” I too have itchy feet!! Unfortunately I have a bit of a limited wallet 🙂

I’m posting the award this time rather reluctantly as I am not one for accolades. My former principal will tell you, much often to his frustration and chagrin, that “Mrs. Cook tends to eschew the deserved honors and awards.” When I was retiring, this time last year, our School Board hosted a reception for me, as well as for a few other retirees—I wrote a heartfelt note to our Superintendent as to why I would not be attending and thanked him for his constant support and friendship. That sort of thing is just not me. My principal did not know that I had declined the invitation. I knew that if I told him, he’d have “made” me go—and sure enough when he got to the reception and had to get up to give a little talk about his art teacher, his art teacher was no where to be found, I got an immediate call on my cell phone.

Some may think that my declining to attend such a reception appeared as my being ungrateful or perhaps even rude–those who know me, knew it made perfect sense—the reception was wonderful for those other teachers, I didn’t need to be there. I wanted to leave quietly, no hoopla. Just a good-bye with my high school colleagues at our end of the year luncheon was all I wanted–he eventually understood. It was all quite humorous. I love our principal. He is much younger than I am, former military. My whole “no” last Spring threw him for a loop—it was good for him. 🙂

I taught and that was all there was to it. If there was an honor, accolade or award along the way that was nice. Receiving the Teacher of the Year award for our High School, only to be followed later by the Teacher of the Year Award for our entire school system was humbling but it was of my opinion not deserved as I knew the caliber of people I worked with–there was always someone else I deemed much more deserving.

So it is with something like this. I just write because God gave me a gift of wanting to share my soul with others. I taught because caring adults taught me and I wanted to, in turn, do the same…I loved art and the whole creative process, but it was simply the vehicle that put me in the classroom… my real passion was working with the kids—living life through their eyes–helping to steer them, keeping them on track as best I could. That was my life for 31 years and for the most part, it was, as the kids would say, all gravy.

For this award I am to nominate other bloggers and list some random facts about myself. Well since most of you do not actually know me, most any fact must seem “random”

1. I am really quite shy–I do not like large social gatherings preferring more intimate affairs with just close friends and family (hence that whole reception ordeal)

2. Being from the South this is a sacrilege but I do not drink, nor do I like, ice tea.

3.I wish I was blessed with the ability to sing–I mean really sing…even though my students will tell you I tried all the time in the classroom, much to their misery 🙂

4. I am adopted (but if you’ve read any of the posts regarding Sylvia Kay, you already knew that)

5. I am not a frufru girly girl–I am more of an outdoors sort of girl–a bit of a tomboy

6. I have been told I’ve been blessed with good genes as I do not look my age–which is a good thing.

7. When I travel, I try to do so with the mindset of a pilgrim verses that of a tourist. Absorbing and immersing myself in my surroundings verses snapping up a picture and off I go….trying to be a good ambassador for my own country and interacting with others in the spirit of kindness, gratitude and unity as we are all more alike than we are different.

other sites who deserve this award more so than I do:

1. obviously Jolandi who has already been awarded this honor–

2. my dear friend nonfatlatte at Following the Shepherd —

3. Sister Pat Farrall at O Preach –

4.the beautiful heart and soul of Jenna Dee –

5. the beautiful images and tales found on Life in the Foothills –

6. my kind friend Joanne at

7.the warm and caring Christine at

8. the inspiring former educator Catnip at

9. the wonderful family in Queensland who are carrying on the legacy of their dear friend–

10. and even though I’m suppose to list 15, I’m stopping with my top 10, rounding out the list with one of the most deeply engaged theological minds I’ve met, Val the eccentric at–

If you are interested in learning more about this award, as well as for a description and explanation, may I simply refer you to Jolandi’s site as she is much more professional and informative…