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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

A Few Thoughts about My Blog

I can’t believe I have been writing this blog for ten years! Where has the time gone? Today I’ve decided to share a few thoughts with you about my blog.

First, a few facts. I posted my first blog on Monday, February 13, 2012. That reflection was entitled “Why Sunflower Seeds?” In it I introduced myself and explained why I chose this name for my blog: “Sunflower Seeds: Celebrating Everyday Spirituality.” Since then I have written more than 500 reflections. That number amazes me. My blog has generated over 11,300 comments from you, my readers. Officially I’m listed as having about 535 subscribers, but I question that figure. For example, last week’s blog drew 1,621 visitors on just Monday and Tuesday alone. That number is pretty typical for Monday and Tuesday. Perhaps I have many readers who are not subscribers. Not sure.

(Photo by Pixabay)

Writing a blog was not my idea. I always blame (or credit!) my friend and colleague, Sister Susan Wolf, SND, for turning me into a blogger. When she first proposed the idea to me, I was very reluctant. I came up with the usual excuses: I don’t know how to blog… I’m too old for this kind of thing… I’m too busy… what in the world would I write about every week? Susan’s persistence and guidance led me to give it a try. She recited the old maxim: “The Church must go where the People of God are.” And many of them (like you) are online. From the very beginning, I also sensed that writing a blog each week would somehow nourish my own soul. And it certainly has.

Readers are always telling me how much they enjoy the pictures and (even more) the videos I use. In the beginning I sometimes took my own pictures because I knew I couldn’t use copyrighted pictures. (I had heard the horror stories: someone posting a copyrighted picture on their blog and getting a bill for $10,000!) Then my friend Susan introduced me to Pixabay and Pexels. These websites (and others) offer free non-copyrighted photos. This is a way for photographers around the world to get their photos and names in circulation. To help them out, I try to give credit to the photographers beneath each photo. For the first 2 1/2 years, I didn’t use any videos. Then on October 6, 2014, I wrote “Why I Like the Piano Guys” and I attached one of their videos at the end. A couple of weeks later for Thanksgiving, I posted Josh Groban’s “Thankful.” The following week, for my Advent reflection, I used “Be Born in Me” by Francesca Battistelli. And I was hooked. The videos—whether music or otherwise—are now an integral part of each week’s reflection. Needless to say, I listen to a lot of songs searching for the “right one” each week. There are many, many good composers, singers, and musicians out there producing some incredibly inspiring videos. I’m grateful for what their creativity adds to my reflections.

(photo by Miguel A. Padrinan – Pexels)

Spam is a problem when you have a blog. My “Stop Spammers” system filters out profanities or (more often than not) people trying to sell their “stuff” through my blog. Within the past 10 years this system blocked 129,157 spammers. Unfortunately, it can occasionally block a comment from a legitimate reader.

One thing I like about blogging is the instant feedback I get. Nothing else I write gives me such immediate feedback. I also like it when I can engage in a brief conversation on my blog with a reader—or when two readers can talk to each other via my blog. Some readers comment frequently—almost every week. And that’s great. Some never comment—and that’s okay too. Some readers have become friends of mine even though I’ve never met them. Occasionally a former student of mine will respond on my blog. That’s always fun for me. (They’re probably surprised to learn that their old English and religion teacher is still alive!)

People often ask me: where do you get your ideas for your blog? First, I read a lot. I’m always clipping out articles or taking notes on things I read. I have several thick folders stuffed with potential topics for my blog. My own curiosity, struggles, joys, pain, worries, fears, and hopes are also sources for blogs. So is my personal prayer life. Last week’s reflection on the hands of Jesus, for example, grew out of my own praying with that particular scripture passage. Friends are helpful too. They send me all kinds of things—ideas, jokes, cartoons, videos, articles, book or movie recommendations. Or if I’m with a group of friends talking about something interesting, sooner or later one of them will say, “Hey, Melannie, you should do a blog on that!” I enjoy writing about a wide variety of topics. I write about all kinds of things, not just so-called “holy things” like scripture, theology, or prayer. But ordinary and extraordinary things I’ve gleaned from nature, science, history, the arts, and contemporary life. I like to include humor too. (I believe humor is one of the holiest things of all!)

I know… I used this picture (taken by Annie Teder, SND) several months ago. It’s me (at 5′ 5″ tall) being dwarfed by this amazing sunflower plant that sprouted on its own in the middle of our vegetable garden in our courtyard! Our gardening sisters basically just watered it. What does St. Paul say again? “I planted. Apollo watered. But God gave the increase…”

As I celebrate ten years of blogging, my heart is filled with immense gratitude. I’m grateful for Sr. Susan for being so persistent and helpful… I’m grateful for my religious congregation who supports this blog as well as blogs by other sisters (their blogs are listed on the right side of this page)… I’m grateful for the technology that has the power to connect human beings all over the world like never before… I’m grateful to God for blessing me with the gift of writing… and for giving me the health and strength to use this gift in this unique way… I’m grateful for the life I’ve lived these many, many years… for the vast number of people I have come to know and love… and for the array of experiences I have had along the way. For it is precisely from my lived life that so many of these reflections flow… And finally, I’m grateful to each one of you, my “dear readers,” for your support, your contributions, and the beautiful witness of your own faith. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Amen! Alleluiah!

Announcing: Our Contest Winners!

Here are the three readers who won an Amazon $10 gift card (drum roll please):

1) Judith Lucyk lives in upstate New York. She’s been reading “Sunflower Seeds” for about two years. She and her sister read it together and then share their thoughts about it with each other.

2) Sister Jan Villemure is a Franciscan Sister of Charity living in Green Bay, WI. She taught science for 50 years and is now doing pastoral care for the elderly. She’s been reading “Sunflower Seeds” for about three years.

3) Kathy Lamont resides in Ridgeville, NJ but currently she’s a “snowbird” in Clearwater, FL. She’s been reading this blog for several years.

Announcing: The Final Contest!

This week I will give three winners a 20 minute phone call with me, Sister Melannie!

That’s right, if you’re a winner I will call you at a time convenient for both of us

and we can have a conversation together. This is not a spiritual direction session.

This is just a relaxing chat about things you and I might want to talk about.

We can ask each other questions and share whatever else we want.

To enter, write a comment below.

Be sure to include something like: I’d like to enter the phone call contest!

PS#1: Reminder: I will be giving a zoom retreat entitled “Living with Hope in an Imperfect World” sponsored by the Portiuncula Center for Prayer in Frankfort, IL. It consists of three sessions: Friday, Feb. 11 from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm (Central time) and Sat. 10:00 am to 11:30 am (Central) and 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm (Central). It will include input sessions, handouts, music videos, sharing. All are welcome! Check out their website for further details.

Today’s video is a simple song of gratitude, “Give Thanks.” It was written in 1978 by a seminary graduate named Henry Smith. He was struggling to find work and suffering from an eye condition that eventually led to his partial blindness. During this time Smith took refuge in 2 Corinthians: 8:9 and composed this simple song. Years later, Don Moen, a young worship leader recorded the song, introducing it to the world. I’ve chosen this choral version with lyrics. The video is by Sonya Nancy.

I welcome you to comment on this reflection below:

69 Responses

  1. Happy Anniversary! I happened on your blog a few years ago when someone shared one of your blogs to facebook! I had never followed a blog before. While your blogs are amazing, so diverse in topics, so easy to understand and absorb with everyday language and curiosity, it was the video that hooked me! I had to go see if you included video’s/songs every week….and you did! Having been the percussionist in a Folk Choir at our church for over 20 years I so enjoy hearing so many of same songs our folk choir did as well as so many new ones thanks to you. The visuals on so many of your video’s are stunning. I so look forward to your blog every Monday with anticipation of who, what, where your blog might take me. Take care Sister Melannie and may you (a bit selfish on my part) have many more years of blogging to come.

  2. 10 Years! What an accomplishment! Your Monday blog is like a breath of sunshine. It’s a wonderful way to start my week. Please know that your blog has influenced me so much and in so many ways. Keep up the great work

  3. Congratulations Sister. This has been a great way to start my week for many years. I love today’s video. I will add the song to my cell phone under Religious songs which I have done with many of your songs. I will also share your video. I GIVE THANKS for your blog and technology!
    PS. I also attended Regina High School that is “in our hearts forever)

  4. Good Morning Sister Melanie,
    I would really enjoy spending 20 minutes on the phone with you. I’ve been reading your blog for probably eight years. Like many of your faithful readers have expressed, you make Mondays special. You make God “real” in the world we live in today, showing us that He is always with us and blessing us, even in the most unexpected or ordinary things.
    May you be blessed as you have blessed us!

    1. Sister Melanie

      Congratulations on 10th anniversary of your blog. I read it every Monday evening and enjoy it very much. I too subscribe several times, but have only received the blog once by email. I also would enjoy a 20 minute call with you. My wife and I were blessed to attend an Advent presentation of yours with the Sisters of Charity in Leavenworth several years ago. God bless you!

  5. Since early January I have not been getting your blogs. I look forward to the seeds of wisdom and humor you provide. I resubscribed last week but still did not get one this week. I really miss not getting them automatically.

    1. Dear Cheryl, It is 2:19 pm (Eastern time) on Monday as I type this. I haven’t received this week’s edition of “Sunflower Seeds” yet either. It’s been arriving late on Monday or even on Tuesday lately–even though I set it to be posted at 1:00 am on Monday. I will hand your name in to our IT people. Maybe they can fix the problem. Thank you for your patience. I appreciate you as a regular reader! Sr. Melannie

  6. Reading your blog is like having a visit with a wonderful friend so I’ll pass on the phone call😜
    I can’t figure out how to subscribe so I google
    You! You have a unique combo of earthy and celestial! Hope see you on one of your beautiful
    Retreats soon. Grace and Peace AND Thanks for
    Making it LOOK easy😘 Ann Boland

  7. Good Tuesday morning, Melannie…
    Good morning, all…

    First, I would love a twenty minute chat! That would be just grand (love that word!). Second, I think I’ve reading your blog for about six years, and like your other readers, I have been spiritually enriched! I’ll never forget the dancing with Matt Harden video! I show that every year to my students. I never tire of it; it’s just so full of life and joy, much like your blog, and, no doubt, you!

  8. Congratulations on a great 10 years, Sr. Melannie! It feels like we also should congratulate Sr. Susan for recognizing your gifts, and for recognizing that in this era, a blog is a great way to reach God’s people where they are. I will continue to be a loyal reader. And I’d like to enter the phone call contest!

    1. Thanks, Sister! Vb one of my favorite church songs. We use it in Kairos and our local Mission program.

      I especially loved the flowers- being in snowy western New York State.

  9. Hi Sr. Melannie, Congratulations and THANK YOU for blogging these past 10 years! I always learn an interesting new fact that I share with my kids and some new insight or just taking a pause to reflect on how awesome God’s creation is. I don’t know how many years I’ve been following your blog but its been several.
    I would not believe your subscribership numbers either. I’ve signed up a few times and it never worked. Not even in my Spam folder. I have your website bookmarked to my favorites bar and do my best to remember to check it at the beginning of the week. With my new job, I’ve fallen out of the habit :(.
    Here is to another 10 years of blogging! And I love the nature videos especially, as I work in the basement of a building.

  10. Congratulations Melanie 10 years wow that’s wonderful and you put it in so many beautiful words as you always do I am so proud to say that you were my teacher. I only wish that I would’ve known how to use the blog 10 years ago but I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to read your writings each week. God bless you and all you do it makes a difference to those of us out here.

  11. Thanks so very much Melannie it is always good to see you Sunflower Seeds pop up in my email! Glad you are celebrating 10 years of blogging! Way to go.
    I look forward to when we can have you back here at Mount St. Joseph for a retreat!
    Many blessings to you and your Congregation in these days!
    Have a blessed day! Marty Dermody, SC

    1. Hello, Sr. Marty! I was so happy to see your post. I had several wonderful retreats at the Sisters of Charity while I lived in Ohio. You, especially, touched my heart with your kindness. You remain in my prayers.

  12. I’ve been following your blog for about a year, recommended by my dear 91 year old Aunt and unofficial spiritual director! Thank you for the time and effort you expend for our nourishment each week. I love the giant sunflower hoot. I have one I cherish from a trip to Santa Fe a few years ago. I wish I knew how to attach it to this comment.

  13. Hi Sister Melannie,
    Happy Anniversary on your achievements with your wonderful blog. After reading last week’s blog, I purchased Kathy Coffey’s new book, “More Hidden Women of the Gospels” . Thanks so much for the recommendation. It’s great and has done wonders in my appreciation of women in scripture.
    Each Monday, I look forward to hearing from you. You light up my life. Blessings, Pam OFS

  14. Congratulations, Sr. Melanie, on 10 years and counting! Even during the cold winter months your blog brings sunshine like a sunflower!

    One of my favorite posts over the past years was the one you posted about your sister describing the walks you took together. Know that I continue to keep both you, and your sister, in my prayers.

    God bless you and thank you for bringing flowers (your words) in our lives every week!

  15. Thank you for blogging!! I shared your last blog about the hands of Jesus with both my siblings. It brought new insight to all of us!

  16. Sister Melannie,

    First, congratulations on your ten year anniversary-with something you didn’t even want to do initially! It was certainly God’s plan for you, and many of us thank you for saying yes. I have learned, been amused, fascinated, and touched by so many of your blogs. I’ve been reading them for about 3 years. I also read various pamphlets, booklets and articles and know immediately when the author is you by your warm and witty prose.

    If I’m the lucky one to be on a 30 minute phone call with you, it would be so special.

    May God continue to bless you and your Sunflower Seeds!

  17. Dear Melannie,
    I’m glad you liked the sunflower photo enough to use it twice! Congratulations on your anniversary of blogging!
    P.S. Any time I spend with you is a gift!

  18. Happy Anniversary! Of course I KNOW you are still alive!!!!! No need to enter me in the drawing, I get the privilege of a meal with you when I come to town, (this September)!!!! Thank you for everything and for your blog!

  19. I echo everyones Congratulations and Gratitude, Sr. Melannie. I love how interesting and encouraging your Blog is – always an uplifting message to fill our heart space every week. And the dessert is the music video! Most often I receive your Blog on Mondays, but sometimes Tuesdays.
    Thank you, thank you, blessed be…

  20. Dear Sr. Melannie,
    Happy 10 Year Anniversary of blogging!! What a blessing this blog has been to so many of us!! I look forward to receiving it each week! Thank you so much!
    I rarely comment, but decided to do so when you offered an autographed book…. Along with many, many others who did so that week. Well, I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to win that honor. BUT! I did manage to find one of your books, “ With the dawn rejoicing” through a seller on Amazon. When the book arrived, to my delight, it had been autographed by you!! I consider that a gift from God who knows how I derive much inspiration from this blog.
    It would be my absolute joy to have a 20 minute conversation with you! I feel we have so much in common in how we view God’s creations.
    Congratulations! Here’s to many more years of blessed blogging!!

  21. Melannie,
    Your blog always brings me sunshine. I do read it every week, but I don’t always comment. I am always uplifted and inspired by your reflections and encouragement. I always treasure the retreat with our Sisters! They loved it and we keep singing!!!
    I am now in the Diocesan Vocation Office part-time as Coordinator. Of course, it is more than part-time because vocations is never part time. I would love to start a blog as so many are searching for meaning and hope as they try to find meaning and a way to love God and one another more.
    So many thanks for your inspiration to all of us.
    Yes, I would love to be part of the telephone conversation. Hearing your voice with all the encouragement you always give would be a blessing.
    Many more blogs, Melannie. Many lives are touched and blessings given that allows them to live life fully. You have my prayers always. Eamon

  22. Thank you, Sr. Melanie, for starting my week with such a wonderful, inspiring blog! I look forward to it every week. And . . . have used your chosen music many times to inspire our Women of Faith Bible Study. I am truly grateful. May God continue to bless you as you have blessed us all.

  23. Sister Melanie,
    I became a follower of yours ever since I attended your retreat at St.Peter the Apostle in Naples Florida.
    You have continued to inspire me,give me hope, make me cry( beautiful music) and share with others.

    I would love 💘 to win your 1 on 1 phone conversation. It’s been a few years. God bless 🙌.

  24. Sister, Thank you for the beautiful video. Our Lord is so good. I definitely am thankful for his many blessings.
    I bought several of your books: “Traits of a Healthy Spirituality”, “When the Moon Slips Away” and others. Also enjoy your reflections in “Living Faith”.
    What attracted me to your blog was hearing from you weekly. A letter from home so to speak. I too grew up on a farm in the midwest(Michigan). Now living in California.
    God bless you and your writings. Congratulations on your endurance.
    Alice Buckley Reis

    1. Dear Sr. Melannie,

      It’s a blessing to be able to start the week with your lovely blog . It’s like receiving a bunch of sunflowers and music that lifts the spirit and enriching our spiritual walk.

      I so appreciate your sense of nature and sense of humor.

      I love all the songs, as I now do my housework to Carrie Newcomer and have asked for your books for Christmas.

      It’s amazing how your blog uplifts many people , it seems to meet their special and personal need. You truly have a gift, and thanks for sharing it with us weekly.

  25. I am grateful for people like you who share your faith in such a down to earth way. Thanks and God bless you. Love this song.
    PS one of my favorite blogs was when you wrote about your sister and how her picture was shown from a space satellite. Memories are so very special. Miss your smiling face at St Mary

  26. Sr Melannie, congratulations for the ten years you have been doing this blog. I used to get yours on Monday, but now I get it on Tuesday morning about 10 am. I can usually look at it right away and then I look at it again in the evening. That sunflower photo was wonderful. The sunflower is our state flower, and we love it. Every year we have many types of sunflowers in Kansas. I have several of your books and I appreciate each of them.

    What a gift you are for me. I hope we can do this for many years to come. God bless you! Sr Celeste Albers from Great Bend, Kansas

  27. Always look forward to the topic of the week. Loved this one filled with memories.I’m a former newspaper reporter (mostly features so learned a LOT about people),

  28. Hi Sr Melannie! I love to read your blog every week (note: this week’s edition showed up at 3 PM EST today/Tuesday).
    I don’t know how long I’ve been a subscriber, but I know it has been several years. I remember the post where you introduced the Piano Guys, so I guess it’s been at least since 2014.
    I also enjoy reading your scripture reflections in Living Faith (which is how I found out about your blog).
    Your re-post of the sunflower picture reminded me of an article I read recently about a woman mistakenly buying “Helianthus giganteus” sunflowers seeds not realizing how tall they would grow (13-15 feet).
    I’d like to enter the phone call contest. 😀

  29. Thank you Sr Melannie for gifting us with this blog for 10 years! Quite an accomplishment for you! I started following your writings after discovering your reflections in Living Faith. Always an inspiration! Please enter me in the phone call contest. God bless

  30. Congratulations Sister Melannie on 10 wonderful years of your blog. I have been a follower for at least 2 years and maybe longer. I so enjoy your blog and I would love getting a 20 minute chat with you!
    Have a blessed week.

  31. Dear Sister Melanie,
    I forward Sunflower Seeds to my angel/Bible buddy every week. She may send it to others? Some weeks I will forward and share it with other friends and family. Could this explain some of the disparity in the subscriber to reply ratio? My math skills are limited. Congrats on the anniversary and thanks for the weekly boost and light that your Sunflower Seeds provide.
    Blessings to all,
    D. Minea

  32. Congratulations Melannie! So glad you took Susan’s advice
    Don’t know hoe long I’ve been reading your blog but it must be at leas seven years since I was in the TTW wing at the time. I was so green at technology that I signed up twice on two different email places
    without realizing it. Yes I’m getting it late too but I’m getting itI loved to days video. One of my favorite songs and Scriptures. God bless!

  33. Dear Sister,
    Shortly after I retired, about five years ago, I wanted to spend my early mornings with Jesus and purchased a Living Faith magazine to help me get started. In it was one of your very inspiring reflections. Your words deeply touched my heart, so I looked up your Sunflower Seeds. I have been a faithful follower ever since. Your beautiful words touch my heart every week. I feel like I am getting together with my longtime friend each Monday! Thank you, Sister, for saying “Yes!” to God and sharing your gift with us! I would LOVE a phone call with you! Happy Anniversary, Sister! ❤️

  34. Thank you for your blog. I look forward to it each Monday. I don’t always read it on Monday, but I leave it in my mailbox until I get to it. I especially enjoyed your choice of video this week “Give Thanks”. Not only was it a catchy tune with beautiful words, but it hit a chord with me.
    I have been reading your blog for about 15 years now. I don’t remember how I came across it, but associated it originally with Notre Dame. My daughter graduated from the University in South Bend in 2000.
    I just wanted to let you know how happy I am that you started that blog. Keep it up. You are doing God’s work.
    Thank you and God Bless you.

  35. Change is always good. God knows what we need. So glad Sr Susan persisted and you said “yes”. You are our shining light in the world. Thank you!!!!!!!

  36. Dear Sister Melannie,
    Congratulations on the 10th Anniversary of your blog! I remember well your reluctance to become a blogger–we went from not now, to I’ll think about it, to okay I’ll try it. Now 10 years later, we can all rejoice at the gift your writing has been and still is for so many readers. It was fun to see you embrace this format and then to enhance it with images and videos. It was my honor to help you find another outlet for your unique ability to put into words the experience of God in everyday living. God bless you, Sister. I am so glad that we got to YES.
    Sister Susan Wolf, SND

    1. You said it all. Thank you for inspiring sister to use her beautiful talents. Thank you for being the Instrument to nudge her to develop even more talents.

  37. Thank you for this blog, Sister Melannie. A friend (who went to school with you) told me about it a couple of years ago. I enjoy your down-to-earth writing and thought provoking topics. I would love a phone call with you.

  38. Sister – I am a chaplain at Vail Health in Colorado, and have taken much inspiration from your blog posts–inspiration that I have shared with others. Thank you for this gift (and thank you, Creator, for the gift of Sister Melannie!). Phone calls are always welcome! With love and appreciation to you, Sister Melannie, for this wonderful ministry. –

  39. Congratulations, Sister Melannie on 10 wonderful years and for reminding me when and where I first heard of The Piano Guys!!

  40. I do so enjoy your thoughts both here and in Living Faith. You broaden my thoughts about how to relate to God. Thank you so much.

  41. I believe I’ve been reading your Blog for these 10 years.
    My husband died in January of 2021. He gifted me with sun flowers often….. natural attraction. And a dear Notra Dame sister, Joyanne Sullivan from Thousand Oaks, Ca
    was DRE at our church in Ventura for many years.
    You gave a retreat there in T.O. and how I wished at that time to be there.☺️ I believe I asked you to come to Ventura.
    These are remembrances of a now 87 year old 😂You’ve touched so many with SUN FLOWER SEEDS and I thank you for sharing and continuing to share.
    Todays music I could sing along with as we’ve sung it many times in Sacred Heart Church.
    10 minute chat would be fun yet that’s not why I wrote today. Blessings on your anniversary of 10 years🌻💝

  42. Dear Melanie, Thanks for sharing how your blog evolved ! Very interesting. Thanks to you for listening to the Spirit and your friend, Susan for encouraging you!
    I can’t remember how I came across your blog, but have been enjoying your reflections and videos for several years. I used to respond more often more, but time doesn’t allow it now. I remember meeting you at a conference given by the Upper Room, held in Georgian Ct. in Lakewood, NJ. I still have the pictures and some autographed books. They are very special, as you are.
    God continue to grace you with wisdom and humor that touch so many hearts, especially mine. Many, many thanks to you and prayers for you. Love, Josita

  43. Dear Cousin –

    Thank you for the dedication to your blog and for bringing us insightful meditations, uplifting thoughts and a touch of humor. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, as I keep you in mine. Love and hugs!

  44. What are we going to do when the ranks of religous women get even thinner than they are now? It is these women who have nurtured us and the whole Church.
    They deserve to have more of a voice in the Church. They merit our eternal gratitude.

    Thanks Sister Melanie and and all Sisters

  45. Hi Sister Melannie
    Congratulations on your blog anniversary.. Monday wouldn’t be Monday without the blog,. It starts the week off with special thoughts written by a long time friend. It must be gratifying to know of another way God is using you to touch the hearts of so many people and get us off on the right foot for the week. I love the picture of you and the sunflower and am so glad Sr. Ann took it. The sunflowers in the fields in Raleigh are beautiful to behold but not that tall. The music was great too. Thank Youl

  46. Sr Melanie,
    I am a long time blogger of yours, thank you for having the courage to take up what your Sister in Religious Life saw in you, we are the beneficiaries as you are. You came onto my radar first through Living Faith.
    Kerry Crowley

  47. Hello Sr Melanie,
    You are the sunflower to so many!! You spread joy and hope, and you educate us.
    Congratulations on your anniversary. Peace be with you.

  48. Sr. Melanie,
    Congratulations on 10 years of your blogging.I look so forward to reading it and listening to the inspiring music. You are using your God given talent to touch so many lives.You are a blessing in my life for which I am very grateful…..thank you!
    Gail Checkett

  49. Thanks, and congratulations on 10 years. I’m not as regular a reader as some of the folks, but I usually get to the blog sometime during the week. I save most of them to an email file called “Prayer and Reflections.”

  50. Congratulations Sr. Melannie on 10 Years of enriching our Monday mornings! I have been reading your blog for at least 6 of those years and would love to chat with you on the phone for 20 minutes. It’s been a long time since we visited in Naples. I forward your blog to about two dz people each week.
    PS I would appreciate prayers for my husband of 65 years, Jack, who is in the hospital with Covid.

  51. Hello Sister Melanie and congratulations on your 10th anniversary! Several years ago you did a presentation for the faculty and staff at St. Columbkille School that I really enjoyed. Afterwards I subscribed to Living Faith. I can always tell when the daily reflection is one of yours before I even look for the author’s name. I love your writing style and humor! I’ve been reading your blog for about 3 years now and love it as well. God bless you and your ministry!

  52. Hello Sr. Melannie.
    Yes, indeed – Happy Anniversary of your blog!
    As I began reading this week’s post, being somewhat of a pessimistic Eeyore (according to my husbabd), I worried that you’d say you had to quit writing the blog. I am so glad that was not the case!
    I’ve been reading your blog, subscribed to your emails, for almost four years after I met you at a retreat you offered at Ascension parish in Kettering, OH. This week, I appreciated learning about why and how you decided to start a blog. Coincidentally, several of my friends have told me that I should start a blog.
    I would love to win a phone conversation with you! And it would be a full-fledged “conversation”, not an abbreviated “convo” that so many reference these days.
    Thank you for sharing your gifts, your faith, and your reflective writing talent with us!

  53. Congratulations Sister! I have been reading, learning from and enjoying your blog for several years. It sometimes takes me to the end of the week to read it, but I never miss it. Thank you and God Bless you and us that you will be able to continue this beautiful ministry for a long time. Adrienne Castellanos

  54. I would love to spend 20 minutes talking with you by phone to share why it is Friday before I remembered to read your blog this week. There are a few things going on in my life that could really use a listening ear.

    Thank you for this reflection with the reminder to Give Thanks.

  55. Just getting time to read your weekly blog. I look forward each week to sit and enjoy your thoughts. Thank you for always being here and sharing your thoughts and wisdom.

    I would love to have a phone call with you.


  56. Greetings Sr. Melanie.
    Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of your blog! I’m so grateful for the blessing you have been in my life. I have savored your books, enjoyed a couple presentations over the years, and have been inspired through your weekly blog. Thank you for sharing your gifts with me.
    Yes, I would love a 20 minute chat on the phone!

  57. This is the first time i have been to your blog. I read your reflection In
    “Give Us This Day” on the Woman at the Well and loved the sentiment of thanking her for going out of her comfort zone and talking with Jesus. I noticed you are from Chardon, OH, which is close to a camp i worked at for 7 years.

    Thank you for enriching my prayer life and persevering in sharing our Faith. I will be back!

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(I’m writing this reflection to commemorate June 19th [sometimes called Juneteenth, Jubilee Day, or Emancipation Day], the federal holiday that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States) Recently I read an article in the Smithsonian magazine (March 2024) by Cynthia Greenlee entitled “The Gospel of Truth.” It attempts

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Meet Sr. Melannie

Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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Finding God in the Ordinary and Amazing: An Afternoon with Sister Melannie

Sunday, May 19, 2024 – 1:30 – 4:00 Central – via zoom

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Weekend retreat at Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center, Pulaski, PA
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