A Thousand Ways to Say “Thank You”

Dear Reader:

It happened…yesterday at 3:31 p.m. – the number I had been imagining as I (peripherally) glanced at the followers count of 999 while writing three more daily posts…that elusive four-digit number 1000 and then suddenly… there it was!

Oh Happy Day!

And what a God Wink…It was April, the fourth month, on the fourth day (yesterday at almost 4:00) when I was notified by WordPress that someone new was following me. I now have “4-digit” (1000) followers! My first “4-digit day!” I never thought it would come to reality…I just kept writing and letting the chips fall where they may…but then when it really happened I was completely filled with joy!

When I think back to how this blog  came about…all the credit for the original idea goes to Mike and Honey Burrell for finding and then introducing me to the chapel...followed by Georgia Dupree and Mandy. Then it became reality with the help of my son-in-law John.

When I returned from visiting St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope for the first time in July of 2010…excited beyond belief…Georgia just happened to call. As I excitedly told her about my trip with Honey and Mike and this amazing little chapel of hope in Trust, North Carolina… Georgia first uttered the word “blog.”

What was a “blog”? She thought I should share my journey and findings around this chapel. I had definitely experienced an epiphany while there.

I was at Mandy’s house visiting my four-month-old grand-daughter, Eva Cate, when Mandy (who over-heard the conversation) re-enforced this same idea…I needed to start a blog post. I was completely clue-less…but with John’s help that evening…the post was up and ready to go.


Now…what to put in it? It took a couple of weeks for me to gather the courage to start…isn’t “beginning” the hardest part in any worth-while endeavor in life?

The first few days were pictures of St. Jude’s Chapel from my initial visit including all my earliest impressions of it…its amazing history and the story behind Bill and Beverly Barutio’s astonishing contributions to Trust, North Carolina… including the countless thousands of pilgrims today who visit the chapel because of the Barutios’ dream… followed by the actual reality of its construction.

It was also the power of Beverly’s spiritual presence of serenity and quiet encouragement that I felt the minute I entered the chapel…which has been with me ever since.

But when Beverly’s stories ended…what then?

This question was still hanging in my mind when a lovely woman, who used to substitute for me when I taught school, bumped into me at CVS and came over to tell me she heard I had started a blog.

She thought it was great news….While I was still wavering over whether to even continue the post… wondering what to put in a daily blog  …suddenly Ava said…“You have more stories in you than anyone I know…why you were always the “Teacher of a 1000 Stories!”

That night as I tossed back and forth I made a leap of faith…I would write a story or post each day for 1002 days and see if I could beat the fictitious Scheherazade (1001 Arabian Nights) by one story in a personal contest between me and time.

Secretly I never suspected that I would still be around in 1002 days…the prognosis of my breast cancer was ambivalent at best. It was a potentially treatable type breast cancer but not necessarily curable (I had been told.) It was a cancer one lives with for as long as God, the Great Physician, intends you to live.

Then it happened…the day came when I broke Scheherazade’s record…I was filled with joy but also uncertainty…what now? Little did I know “What now indeed!” 

Psalm 90:4  “A thousand years in thine eyes are like a day that has gone by, and like a watch in the night.” 

Time has flown since August 2010 (with a few obstacles along the way- like starting over with a clean slate in 2014 with the first four years in archives) but never in my wildest dreams did I ever consider that I would still be here or still writing Chapel of Hope Stories over a decade later… following my first visit to the little chapel of hope in the woods. It is definitely in the right location…Trust, North Carolina.

The essence of the number 1000 is a composite containing the ideas of:

*Self-reliance  *Independence  * Self-determination  *New Understandings  *New Beginnings  * Infinite Potential

So until tomorrow…No one knows what tomorrow brings but as the cross at St. Jude’s tells us…”Fear not tomorrow…Jesus is already there.”


Thank you followers, one and all, for your loyalty, comments, ideas, and most of all encouragement…YOU give meaning to my life beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


*Let us now continue with our lives…  always remembering that possibilities are infinite if we never stop wondering and trusting!


“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh



So let’s stick together as we “follow the path that leads nowhere…yet everywhere.” (Creative Cafe) The light is calling. And as Roethke once said,  May we all  “Live in perpetual great astonishment!”

*…And on this final happy note…Guess who doesn’t have to travel to Mt. Pleasant to the Comprehensive Wound Center today…on a Friday? (First time since October 20 2018!)   ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

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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10 Responses to A Thousand Ways to Say “Thank You”

  1. lregister6 says:

    So very excited for you!!! Your stories are truly inspiring! They helped me through a tough time in 2010 and have provided constant inspiration ever since! I am thrilled you have gotten 1000 followers—you deserve every one of them 🙂 Keep doing you—because you are making an impact on all of us!!!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you LIsa…I was so glad the blog post reunited us again and that we have been able to remain in each other’s hearts ever since….so many good things have come from embarking on the Chapel of Hope Stories path…one of which is you. Here’s to another day and another God Wink!


  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    Congratulations, Becky, I am not surprised you have 1000 followers of your blog, and I am very sure that number will greatly increase in the coming years. I am so glad Deb told me about your blog and actually put it on my computer. You have touched lives all over the world and that is exciting. I am glad you gave a quick summary of the beginning of the beginning for those who may not know it and for us who truly love everything about your blog. So glad you are not traveling today for several reasons including the rain. Lunch soon?


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you Jo…you have been one of my best cheerleaders and I will always remember and cherish you for it. And yes I think a lunch date is calling too…find a date that suits you and let’s do it.


  3. bcparkison says:

    Congrats!!! Wow….I am so proud of you. Now…Go enjoy your first ‘free’ Friday. And keep up the stories we all look forward to.


  4. Janet Bender says:

    Congratulations Becky on your 1000 followers! You and your stories are making a difference in at least 1000 lives! Thank you!


  5. Becky Dingle says:

    What a gratifying comment….thank you sincerely Janet for it and for all you have done for me….especially at the onset of the foot infection…I will never forget all you did for me…unbelievable!


  6. Pam says:

    I want to thank you, Becky, for all the inspirational, thought provoking, & amusing stories you have shared on your blog. It never fails to brighten my day. Keep it up!


  7. Becky Dingle says:

    Pam….how kind…you brought sunshine into my life on a cloudy day and I do appreciate it more than you know.


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