Chatty Cathy and Prayer

Do you remember that doll from the sixties named Chatty Cathy? When you pulled the magic cord in the back of her neck, she chatted with you.

“Let’s play school … Do you like my dress?”

Could there be anything more wonderful? A best friend who was always there whenever you wanted to talk.

But after a while, Chatty Cathy wasn’t that much fun.

She always said the same phrases over and over.

Sort of like my prayer time lately.

The other day, I filled my prayer journal with pages of the same words.

Same situations. Same people. Same problems.

Same concerns.

Could’ve just written, “Ditto.”

After I finished, I closed my journal and traced the letters in the word SERENITY.

My prayer time hadn’t brought much serenity that morning.

Later while I was washing dishes, I glanced out the kitchen window and spotted a deer.

He stopped eating, raised his head, perked his ears, and looked right at me. He didn’t run away!

He stood quietly as if he enjoyed my presence.

Such a peaceful moment.

Sweet. Unexpected. Unscripted.

Maybe my prayer time can be more like this …

Knowing for certain that God is with me.

He’s not in a hurry.

Sometimes I can just be quiet,

And rest in His presence.

No words are necessary.

Because He knows my heart.

He understands.

 “… a time to be silent and a time to speak …” Ecclesiastes 3:7 NIV.

Have you ever prayed like you’re a Chatty Cathy doll?

Have you had one of these quiet times with God lately? Aren’t they wonderful? 🙂




  1. Great message Julie and a great reminder to just be still and know that He is God. LOVE the pics too. What praises arise from gazing upon His beauty:) Blessings as you dwell with Him.

    • Thank you, Tom. That’s right. You love the woods. Bet you did like our deer. 🙂 “Dwell with Him.” Beautiful words.

  2. Patricia Martin says:

    Rest is such a wonderful word! What a beautiful deer, Julie, it reminds me of the deer I used to see out our basement windows when we lived in Maryland.((((: hope you are enjoying your summer and having peach pie!
    Patricia (((:

    • I know, Patricia. Isn’t it the best word? And sometimes we (me!) have the hardest time simply resting. And I really believe it honors our Father when we rest in Him.

      I’ve had peach cobbler this summer For me to make peach pie, I need to go to a special store to buy GF crusts. Which I should do! Thanks for the reminder.


  3. Anna Haney says:

    Much needed message today. Momma in hospital. Not sure of anything. Not sure how to pray. Just being still and letting God be God

    • I know, Anna. Saw it on FB. I’m praying, lifting you daily. Wish we could do coffee together.

      All my love.

  4. Eileen says:

    Julie, I really needed this message this morning. Lately, it has been the same way with me. I need to remember that He is with me always and does know my heart. Just resting in His presence can bring so much peace. Love the deer pictures too! There is nothing more peaceful than this beautiful creation our Lord gave us to enjoy.

    Yes! I had a Chatty Cathy doll. I thought it was the neatest thing. But, as you said, after awhile, she kept saying the same thing over and over. I remember when the string on mine broke and she was just a regular doll after that! 🙂

    Hugs! Eileen xxoo

    • I know, Eileen. I just couldn’t believe Mr. Deer didn’t run away.

      When you first get Chatty Cathy, she IS your best friend. Then isn’t it funny how you finally just put her aside. I mean, how many times can you assure her that yes, her dress is pretty! 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, my friend.

  5. Margaret says:


    Nice piece and a good reminder that prayers come in other forms besides words.

    How are your daughter and Jax?


    • Hey Margaret,

      It was just revolutionary to realize I can be quiet and not use words and pray.

      Jamie and Jax are wonderful! She was afraid he wouldn’t get along with her two cats, but it’s working beautifully. Sometimes he even sleeps with her, and the cats ignore him! What a miracle.

      Thank you so much for asking. She talks to him all the time and walks her neighborhood with him. They’re best friends–and he only had one more day to live before she rescued him.


  6. Brenda Greene says:

    Love, love, love this one Julie Girl! The picture from your kitchen window was awesome! Blessed to see those often down here, also! Never had the Chatty Cathy doll, but a niece did….and, yep, got tired of her monotonous words, too! Made me chuckle at your reminder of how Our Father must feel when we begin our same old words!

    Just this past Monday as the dog and I were walking our “beat” during mid-day, no less (it was beautifully cool with a gently breeze blowing)! I started out with my same old words when I got the urge to just say “Father, you know my heart and my words, thanks for the work you’re doing in the lives of my loved ones, I’m just gonna spend the next 30 minutes praising you for all I see.” I remember feeling so “light” and “open” to the beauty around me….a wild pea vine in full lavender blooms, a box turtle shuffling his way across my path, and a white wild morning glory turning her sweet face to the sun! Don’t know exactly why, but Praising Him sure beats the discouragement that praying the same old prayers often brings. Thank you for sharing your heart… we seems to be following the same path this week!

    Much love! Brenda

    • That’s EXACTLY how I felt, Brenda–such a wow-moment to realize, I don’t have to work so hard at prayer. Yes, it’s good to voice our concerns and needs, but sometimes, we can just praise Him for being God–for knowing and understanding.

      Loved your precious comment. Such pretty writing!

      We’re definitely on the same “page” in our prayer journal.

      Thank you.

  7. Linda says:

    It’s Wednesday!–the day for Julie’s blog! I too could sometimes write “ditto” in my prayer journal. I am a long-time fan of your mom’s. I just wanted to let you know the joy and inspiration I receive from reading about your thoughts and experiences.

    • Thank you, thank you, Linda. So nice to get to “meet” you. You can’t imagine how wonderful it feels to know that people actually connect with my words. With my heart, really.

      Giving you a hug from my little loft office.


  8. Ahhhh…Chatty Cathy. Maybe it’s because of her that I like the peaceful, calm, quiet of no words at all. Oh, the world pounds on all around me, oftentimes in a roar, but it’s at moments when I am still, with no radio on, no TV blaring, nothing but the whisper of the wind in the trees, that I hear His voice the loudest.

    • B.J., this is beautiful. Poetic writing

      I’d never considered it that way–that when it’s the quietest we can hear His voice the loudest.

      Profound, my friend.


  9. marci says:

    My Dear Julie, Since Monday, I have been so looking forward to your Wednesday blog- no matter what it was about, though I did pray that the Lord would supply a bit of joy in the message for me and something I needed to hear- He answered that. As I read about Chatty Cathy. I never had one of those dolls, they were after my time- but knew them well from nieces as was mentioned above.

    And – how well I relate. How often have I found myself, in my journal, repeating the same things over and over. I have dug those ruts pretty deep. .. and like you I could just write ditto! Someone once said, “after a while, I got tired of hearing myself talk about “it”.” God Did answer my request so much in your writing and in Serenity. (BTW I love your Serenity journal). Serenity is what I have longed for. Monday, our church burnt, the church, where I have been for 50 yrs. Even having the date etched in my mind, Sept 13, 1964. I prayed there as a teen, and now as a senior citizen. Then a brother in law passed away last night. So this is quite a week. I just came home from a trip to the church, where I am trying to save some things. I will still need to go up there again. At some point I am sure there will be a clean up time, but right now we all seem to be in shock,… I will deal with this with prayer, and of course, I will get out my journal and write it all out. I know of all people you understand where I am coming from with that. I have been thinking of possitives, as much as I can. At least this or didn’t burn, etc.

    I am also praying for Anna, as I read her comment, I stopped right there and prayed. I guess it is a God thing- that people we have never met, we can feel so close to and our hearts go out to them. We really are a Village.

    I know this is way too long so please forgive me dear Julie.
    Note : on FB I am Marci’a Swonger Greer- and I do enjoy reading what you write on FB also. I just have not had a lot of success lately with FB.

    God Bless you always in the way you serve Him.

    • Ohhhh, sweet Marci. My eyes are filled with tears for you. What can I say?

      Oh, how He loves us. I think He draws even closer at times like this. I’m so sorry. I hope you can feel my prayers. I’m so very sorry.

      And writing this blog keeps me on my knees–just knowing we are gathered here together–seeking Our Father. Caring about each other. Oh, that He’d keep filling me weekly, so we can pour our His love to each other.

      How precious that you’d pray for Anna. Anna and I have never met, but that doesn’t seem right…because we’ve become friends through my blog and we pray for each other. She encourages me. And I’m praying for her right now–with what she’s going through.

      You’re exactly right. It takes a village.

      I’m praying for healing and peace with all that you’re going through.

      And thank you for giving me your full name. I only knew Marci. Hugging you from Georgia.

    • P.S. Marci, I can’t tell you how much I love my Serenity Journal. It’s full of just the right Scripture. And it has pieces of the Serenity Prayer throughout it. I can’t remember where I got it–maybe Walmart???? I definitely recommend it. Might just buy me another one because I’ve almost filled this one!


      • marci says:

        Thank you dear Julie, Your words are such a comfort to me and I feel your caring through them, and an understanding. It is just starting to sink in about the church, and the journey will be a long one. I do appreciate you so and the small ‘village’ here- Thanks to you and thanks to the Lord. Thank you also for telling me about the Serenity Journal, and I will be looking for one like it. I have gotten some good ones at Walmart.

        The Thur. Noon Prayer. That started, because of a friend, (minister/ and wife) who have a sm. service at their church at that time, so I started “joining them– in Spirit. Another friend, who lives on the East Coast, decided to join in too– so with the time difference, (we are central she is eastern), She starts about 1pm,.. Isn’t it something how very small things like that grow and how we get ideas from one another? I so want to try Kim’s Holy Hour of silent prayer and reflection.
        God Bless, Marci’a

        • Yes, I love what you said about something very small growing. Like a seed becoming a mighty oak. Wonderful idea!

          Let me know if you find your serenity journal. You will absolutely love it!


  10. Kim says:

    My favorite church service each week is the Noon Holy Hour on Thursdays. An hour of silent prayer, contemplation, reflection… Just being with God. Sometimes I read the Bible, other times I write a prayer or what I feel God is speaking to me. It is so calming and renewing. My verse of the year is “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.

    Also, most of my early morning porch parties this year, have been practicing “Pencil in Hand” prayer and response writing. (by John and Elizabeth Sherrill) But, I definitely have days where I do all the talking and struggle with the listening. Life distractions sometimes call loudly.

    Marci’a, Prayers for you and your church family during this difficult time.

    • marci says:

      Thank you! As I read what you wrote- I also have Noon Prayer on Thursdays, along with some friends across the miles. I admit it is a favorit service for me also. We call it Together in Spirit. How wonderful to know there are others also praying at the same time. Thank you for reminding me about the Sherrills prayer idea. I should do that also. God Bless.

      • Really, Marci? Okay, I need to start doing this. I LOVE the idea! Can’t believe I’ve never heard of it.


    • Hey Kim, I’ve never heard of Noon Holy Hour but oh, how wonderful it sounds. So often, wherever we are, wherever I go, requires talking.

      But just to have one hour a week dedicated to being still and quiet. Hmmm….. maybe I should do this….

      And you’re having porch parties!!!!!! Wonderful!!!! And using Elizabeth Sherrill’s prayer teaching! When I won a spot to the Guideposts writers contest in 2004, she lead my small group. When she edited my story, she wrote in pencil–so lightly. I’ll never forget it. She’s such a tender, amazing writer.

      Thank you, thank you for telling me. Love to you and yours.

  11. Kathryn Richardson says:

    Hi again, Julie! How ironic…my nickname is Kathy, and, one of our church members always says ” hello Chatty Cathy” when I come to get my fellowship coffee after services. Right now he is busy visiting his wife in a nursing home. She had a serious surgery on her heart…..3 bi-passes and aortic valve replacement about a month ago so I keep her in my prayers. We too have lots of deer….does, fawns, and bucks coming in our yard. They eat the corn my partner puts out, also graze the grass. They are very comfortable around here. I was doing dishes earlier today, and, I had the same experience as you. A doe was wandering through the yard and must have heard something because she raised her head and looked straight at me. I so enjoy wildlife. God’s creatures are wonderful!

    • Wow Kathryn–same thing happened to you. Isn’t it just amazing?

      You’ll have to remind your friend that your name beings with a K so you can’t be Chatty Cathy. 🙂

      Saying a prayer right now for your friend’s wife.

      Blessings, my friend.

  12. Julie, my prayer journals from 25 years ago have similar themes…over and over – on different levels I pray the same things. Thank you for the beautiful photos and reminder to just abide.

    • Mine do too, Robin. And when I look through my Bible, I see dates of my prayers going back over so many years.

      And He knows, and He doesn’t–He CAN’T forget.

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