“She Designed a Life She Loved”

She Designed Life Wood Sign ET1554-800x800

Dear Reader:

A God Wink for me! Yesterday I was doing some research on a cool sculpture I read about in a novel and ended up going *from sculptures to wooden plaques* and there it was: “She designed the life she loved.” *(I call these unexplained internet mystery links “Blink links” because it seems that I blink and suddenly find myself in a new genre I didn’t even know I was looking for???)

Immediately I squealed out loud (all by myself)“That’s me….in a nutshell!” For the (almost) past decade that is what I have consciously, and unconsciously, been doing… Paving new paths off old roads…designing the life I love.

images (1) I have never taken the time to actually sit down and make a “Bucket’s List.” And if I ever do….I won’t call it a Bucket’s List…I don’t really like that term. My life list will be called “Desiderata” from the beautiful poem by Max Ehrmann.

It speaks to me of the way I want to live my life and find myself blooming in my own creative personal design. If you have never read this poem or have forgotten it (written in 1952) pause and read this excerpt now. The last three stanzas are my favorite.


…You are a child of the universe

no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Slowly but surely….my dreams of a whimsical, brightly colorful, meaningful dwelling place to call home is becoming more and more a reality.With each new project, can of paint, old piece of distressed furniture, wooden plaques, fresh flowers in old cans…my home is becoming my adult “candyland” of creativity and contentment.

I can’t say that I spent my life in an unhappy state before this past decade…(that involved  living with “little c”) ….that would not be true! That’s just not me!  Even living under the shadowed umbrella of restrictive resources for most of my life, I have always been happy! I truly love life and people around me….all kinds. (And I love to laugh!!!)

This past decade, however, has provided me the time to see life in a different light, grow closer to my Creator, and understand my purpose in life. Those are three powerful change-agents.  These changes have morphed into home renovations, a  garden peace center and a daily blog.

I can’t imagine my life without my garden today…my sanctuary. It has provided me the space that I need to converse with God, which I do casually on a daily basis, the beauty surrounding me in God’s Creation, and my blog with which to share my story…my journey to you loyal readers and supporters.

Today I have the most amazing friends one can be blessed with, a supportive, loving family, a mostly renovated home, a magical garden, and hard-earned pensions that provide adequate financial resources…enough to live on and enough to save on for surprising and spontaneous opportunities that makes me shout, “I am a child of the universe and I have a right to be here and be happy!”

So until tomorrow….I can think of no better compliment than to remember a life with the statement …(He) “She designed a life she loved.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Last night was a moon fest….on my side of the fence and my neighbors….my moon flower vines crept through the slants in the fence and started blooming on both sides. (I hope my neighbor likes moon flowers!) *That lovely fragrance that should be made into a perfume!

The stage was set yesterday morning when I spotted all the buds about to pop on the fence and then noticed three more on the back of the fence. Around 7:00 last evening the first moon flower opened.









IMG_2800And then at 7:30 the second moon flower appeared… as I walked around the fence looking for more buds about to open I glanced behind the fence in my side neighbor’s yard and there were five of my moon flowers blooming away on the back of the fence....sept’un coup! Seven total! A record! And the buds are still coming….moon flowers really like the fall much better than the summer….I reckon this “cool” spell makes them happy.




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to “She Designed a Life She Loved”

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    Interesting blog today. You are certainly “Designing a life that you love.” But as I remember you, you have always seemed to “Bloom wherever you found yourself planted!” Finding beauty in God’s world and the people around you seemed to always be your nature. However, I am so happy that we are retired and have time to do some intentional designing in our lives. I’m so glad your life design includes an inspirational blog called the Chapel of Hope Stories. And I am grateful that I am getting to live and enjoy your beautiful garden vicariously through your photography and wonderful stories. Keep designing and sharing.


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Jo, well you did it! You have me in tears! I love you Jo Dufford!


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