Courage Comes Only From Within

courage_smallWhen I was a teenager, I would love to read Erma Bombeck books. Her thought filled whit would make me smile. Before her death she wrote a list entitled “If I Had My Life to Live Over.” In the list she includes many poignant ideas, but there was one that permanently stuck in my mind:

“I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.”

I often follow this rule. When I remodeled my kitchen last year, I was faced with some downsizing. I opted to get rid of my every day dinnerware and replace it with the china that I stored away. I just couldn’t part with the dishes because my dad bought them for me. We also use those fancy crystal wine glasses before we reach for the cheap glass ones. I would rather see these items used for my daily enjoyment than stored away to be possibly broken in the next move.

Erma Bombeck also wrote:
“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”

courage_sideviewThis quote also says a lot about what I do here in this blog. In this blog, I tell you about my hopes and dreams and share the challenges and rewards that occur during my journey. It takes courage to open up so publicly.

Its odd how things are connected in life. The hours I spent devouring Erma’s stories came back to me this year. Of all the quotes that Lesley Riley could ask me to illustrate for her new book “Quotes Illustrated” it just so happened to be the Erma Bombeck quote about the courage to show your dreams. Ironic. Lesley had no idea when she offered me this quote that I was an avid reader of Erma’s writings.

"Quotes Illustrated" by Lesley RileyWhen I started work on the piece for Lesley’s book, my thoughts stuck on the word courage and kept connecting to the cowardly lion from “Wizard of Oz.” Just like the lion we must all look inward to face our fears. Thanks Erma for once again guiding me with your wisdom. True courage comes only from within.


Lesley Riley’s book “Quotes Illustrated” includes works from over 90 artist including my piece “Courage.”
You can pick up a copy of “Quotes Illustrated” at or click over to Lesley Riley’s blog and try to win a copy.



One comment

  1. Linda James says:

    The last decade of my Mom’s life, she taught me to use what I love. So I drink out of beautiful tea cups, use the crystal and the silver, and the Lenox is my everyday (and only) china. Every time I use one of those beautiful silver spoons, it makes me smile. Erma Bombeck’s pink candle quote is a great reminder. She always had a way with words. Love your courage lion. I had to leave yesterday as you were showing it, so I just got a glimpse. I understand what it represents. I’m trying, but it is a struggle. Eventually I’ll win. Thanks for the encouragement.

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