Encouragement (for Life as well as the Garden)

Thanksgiving Message – Choose Your Path Carefully

In spite of the sorrow I’m experiencing over my loss of Bill on October 3rd, I still have much to be thankful for.

One of the things I’m most grateful for is taking the road many years ago that was in our hearts. It was probably the one most unlikely to lead to success. But it was a road that taught us more than we could ever have hoped to learn by walking a normal course. It was a road that was long with failures and/or minor successes, poverty, and a wide range of obstacles to be overcome.

Will You be Bitter or Better?

Things that happen to us in life can make us bitter or make us better. The nice part is – it’s pretty much up to us. We have a choice. We have a major part in our making. We can choose how we’ll be molded. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but still, the choice is ours.

The Path Less Traveled

Bill and I walked the path in life less traveled. A good path to be on but one, if you walk, you should expect some opposition. Being diplomatic and keeping your thoughts to yourself will go a long way towards avoiding a lot of it. But it’s inevitable that criticism will come sooner or later if you’re not walking along with the majority. And sometimes it’ll mean you lose favor with those you don’t really want to lose favor with. And of course, it can mean you lose money as well.

Standing for Something

I never liked it when it came (the opposition). When it did come, it always seemed major. But the way Bill and I figured it was just about like the country song said it, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” We tried to chose our battles wisely, but when we needed to take a stand we did so, no matter what the consequences. Not easy. But in our opinion, something we had to do.

Freedom at a Price

The freedom to do what we want – most especially when it’s not what the majority does – always has a price. We can’t expect someone else to see our dream or share our enthusiasm for what we’re doing.

As I’ve struggled to find my footing and determine a path to take to earn my way and support myself, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the path that Bill and I chose to walk together. I’m so grateful for his being able to fulfill the dreams of his heart and I’m extremely grateful for being a part of making that possible.

Below this post is a Tribute to Bill that appeared in some of our local papers and was funded by a handful of friends and patrons. It’ll give you an idea of what Bill’s life’s work was all about and what it means to our 5 county community.

How does all this apply to you?

I would encourage you to start this week to think about how you’re living and what path you’re on. Is it what you really want in life? We alone can determine what we’re willing to do to recognize our heart’s dreams.

In thinking things over, just remember that life is extremely short. Choose your path carefully.

I wish you every happiness and your heart’s dreams fulfilled!

With much love and gratitude for your friendship and support – Happy Thanksgiving!


Tribute to Bill

To see part of Bill’s legacy visit his website http://billmartz.com.

All content including photos are copyrighted by TendingMyGarden.com.Β  All Rights Reserved.


  • I had to write to say how very moved I was by your wonderful post and sharing about your life with Bill. How blessed were you both to find each other in the first place and then to go on and to build and share such a wonderful and innovative life . . . even when a few paths were problematical!
    The tributes say so much, it almost feels like I knew him now I have read them all. Lately I keep saying the world needs a “few good men” . . . and your Bill was certainly one of those so he will be missed by many. I send you all good thoughts and wishes as you find your footing after this wobbly bit of time.

  • Thank you for sharing so much of your journey with us, allowing us to learn from your wisdom. Along with many, I’m sure, I will be praying that God shows you the way He has for you now, and helps you to walk in it. God bless you, Theresa.

  • Thank you for sharing your heart. It is beautiful to know that real love and devotion are still alive and well in this country. I know how proud of him you are and I regret never having had the pleasure of seeing any of his work of love. Maybe someday you will be able to share it and maybe offer some of it for sale on your site. Happy Thanksgiving yourself and may “God Bless You” for being true to yourself and Bill.

  • Theresa,

    Im so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your articles, memories and thoughts. You are greatly appreciated from afar and my heart goes out to you.

  • Looks like Bill lived a life I understand. I looked through some of his paintings again today and seeing his rendition of the Blue Herons took me back to one of the best times of my life. We had a little fishing marina. The beginning is too long a story but for some weird reason a Heron and I struck up a friendship and I use that term because he was definitely “not” a pet. Many quiet summer evenings I would sit by the water and he would come down about 20′ from me and make a churring sound, kind of like a cat purring. I would talk to him and he would chur back and so it would go for a while until one of us had something to do. Nature has a way of paying us back for any kindness or love we show. I wish I had known him.

  • Oh Theresa, I just looked up Bill’s website (http://billmartz.com/) and saw his paintings and watched the video and now I understand what it was all about.

    You made the right choice, the soul’s choice – for both Bill and for you. I’m sure your relationship nourished both your souls deeply – even as your gardening nourished your bodies.

    As you look for ways to support yourself and to keep fulfilling your own heart’s dreams, don’t underestimate the skills you have learned along the way. Writing, using the internet, teaching – these are all skills evident in your website (and Bill’s, dare I say), and they are in demand these days.

    My best wishes for this next phase of your life.

  • Theresa

    May GOD keep his hand upon you in this time of grief and celebration of Bill’s wonderful life and the wonderful life you both had together.

    I knew Bill was struggling with his health, but I did not know that he had passed. You are in my prayers.


  • Theresa, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m feeling more inspired than ever to choose my own path with my heart, and to follow my dreams, even if I’m the only one who believes in them. You and Bill are great examples. Thank you for everything you do and for carrying on with this blog. You are making a difference πŸ™‚

  • Thank you, Theresa. This was both moving and inspiring. I thank God for you and Bill and the hearts and talents that you’ve shared with the world. You continue to bless so many.

  • I am so very sorry for your loss of your Bill, but thank you for sharing your encouraging blog post of your keen perception of your own experience and journey. It helped me a lot, I hope your Thanksgiving is blessed and the Lord abundance is upon you and your family.

    Prayers for all

  • Very well put Theresa, so many of us drift along and then want to blame others because we didn’t end up where we wanted. I love, ‘better not bitter” – great quote. I am learning from just seeing you go through this past few years, and in recent times. Love you Theresa.

  • I hope you find comfort and some joy through this Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. My wish is for a very comfortable new year for you. Strength and determination seem to be what you are made of. I admire you.

  • Oh Theresa,
    I’m so very sorry for your loss of your Bill. Anyone reading your posts had no doubt of your love for each other.
    I’ve been working 12 hour night shifts with busy days, and haven’t even checked my emails or looked on your site.
    I will surely be praying for you.
    May God Bless you and keep you.
    With tears and sorrow for you, Dear Friend I’ve yet to meet,

  • Dear Theresa,

    Your journey with Bill was and is inspiring. Know that I think of you daily and am holding space for you in my heart.

    The best tribute we can give to Bill is to follow our hearts along our path here at Peacegarden.


  • Dear Theresa,

    I hope that you have physical friends and family to spend the holidays with; we are all out here sending you internet love and blessings! Julie

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