20 Quotes for Hard Times

This week I want to share some quotes from an article I wrote many years. If you’re experiencing some hard times, I hope these quotes might speak to your heart.

1. Good is never done except at the expense of those who do it. (John Newman)

2. Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. (John Wooden)

3. Failures aren’t failures if you learn from them. (Anne Morrow Lindberg)

4. There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going. (Beverly Sills)

5. When God closes a door, God opens a window. (Gerald Bath)

6. God gives every bird its food, but God does not throw it into the nest. (Josiah Holland)

7. The rower reaches the shore, partly by pulling, partly by letting go. (Egyptian proverb)

(Photo by Adiran Jozefowicz – Pexels)

8. The person who makes no mistakes, never makes anything. (English proverb)

9. To live is to adapt. (Goethe)

10. The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter their life by altering their attitude. (William James)

11. The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. (Anonymous)

12. Pessimists complain about the wind. Optimists hope it will change. Realists adjust the sails. (William Arthur Ward)

13. There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. (Willa Cather)

14. Where you stumble and fall, there you will find pure gold. (Carl Jung)

15. No Christian escapes a taste of the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land. (Evelyn Underhill)

16. For every complex problem there’s a solution that’s clear, simple, and wrong. (H. L. Mencken) Adversity introduces us to ourselves. (George W. Bush)

18. See all, overlook much, improve a little. (Pope John XXIII)

19. Love and suffering are the primary spiritual teachers. (Richard Rohr)

20. Life is never so bad at its worst that it is impossible to live; it is never so good at its best that it is easy to live. (Anonymous)

(photo by Valiphotos – Pexels)

For reflection:

Do any of the quotes speak to you today? Why?

Do you disagree with any of the quotes? Or would you modify any of them? Why?

Our song today is a song by Carey Landry: “Peace Is Flowing Like a River.” This is a gentle version with lyrics and nature pictures. I hope it brings you peace…

I welcome your comments below! I always love to hear from you!


  1. Sue on September 12, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Sister,
    I like #2…… I’m learning to play a guitar, and my fingers don’t want to do what they’re supposed to do!!🙄☺️….. but I’ve sworn to keep at it, if it takes me years!!!!!
    Love your blogs every Monday.
    I feel like the lone ranger though!!! Hope it all gets worked out.
    God Bless

  2. Joanne Bennardo on September 12, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Don’t feel alone! Blessings Sister Melannie,
    #13 resonates with me.
    In our early years, life is black and white and who could imagine a hurdle our young initiative couldn’t take on. But life’s graces slowly equalize this youthful perspective with circumstances that require us to look at ourselves realistically, which means identifying our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Wow! And then the real work of life begins when we begin to see God’s hand in everyone and all events, past and present. At this blessed time of life, God invites us to accept His hand to lead us.

    • Dodie Brossy on September 13, 2022 at 10:52 pm

      Insightful comment. Feels like you should be writing your own blog or column… Living Faith?

  3. Jane McCarthy on September 12, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    My friend, Jeanne, is forwarding your blog to me. I loved hearing Peace is Flowing Like a River. It brought back memories of the golden years of the seventies and eighties….the marvelous glow of Vatican II, My children grew up with this. They all sang in a children’s choir in Alliance, Ohio. It was a time of growth for all of us. I’m so grateful for that time in my life. It had a lasting impact on all of us.

  4. Kathy Donnermeyer on September 13, 2022 at 7:45 am

    Sr. Melannie, thank you!

    All of the quotes are lovely, and very timely. My 90-year old mother has a terminal illness and will be leaving us soon. I especially liked #s 7, 15 and 19. This has been a time of mixed emotions as I’m preparing to lose my mother, while my oldest daughter just got married this past Saturday. Great joy and sorrow at the same time!

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on September 13, 2022 at 8:45 pm

      Kathy, My prayers are with you as you accompany your dear mother on her “way home.” I’m sure many of my readers will also support you in prayer… And I share your joy at your daughter’s wedding…Prayers for the newly married couple… And I like your choices of quotes too. Sr. Melannie

  5. Linda Taylor on September 13, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    I am no longer receiving Sunflower Seeds via email.

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on September 13, 2022 at 8:48 pm

      Linda, I apologize for the inconvenience. I’m working with our IT team to locate the problem. Many of our subscribers are not receiving our blog. Even I am not receiving it! I’m sorry… Sr. Melannie

      • Linda Taylor on September 15, 2022 at 10:36 am

        Thanks so much for checking into this. Looking forward to getting back online with you and Sunflower Seeds.

  6. Rose Imig on September 14, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    I am a subscriber but have not been getting Sunflower Seeds. Please check why I am not receiving it. Thanks

  7. Susan Bachner on September 15, 2022 at 4:43 am

    I am still not receiving Sunflower Seeds. Please have the IT department restore my email.

  8. Joy Martin on September 17, 2022 at 3:47 am

    I am no longer receiving your emails for Sunflower Seeds. Miss it alot

  9. Marilyn Friga on September 17, 2022 at 11:01 am

    All of the quotes touched me but I guess I liked adjusting the sails the best.
    It is very easy to go on Google and put in Sunflower Seeds and click on the date you are looking for. This is how I have been getting them for some time and I appreciate them all.
    Thank you!

  10. Kathy Kovell on September 28, 2022 at 11:04 am

    Thank You for your beautiful quotes
    and songs please put my e-mail
    in your future have missed you,Sister

    [email protected]

    God Bless your continued good
    words and songs

    Kathy Kovell

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