Snuggled in bed admiring the little tree my favorite girls gave me a couple of years ago. Reminds me of a favorite Christmas moment. I sneaked into the living room way after bedtime and crawled under the tree to see all the lights above me. I must have fallen asleep because I was still there when I woke the next morning! Thankfully I had a wonderful mother who always encouraged me in moments of whimsy. She just covered me with a blanket and left me to enjoy a magical night!
30 November 2014
Never before in my life has Advent seemed so important to me. In this season of waiting for the Light of the World the earth seems to be covered in darkness. The Church is under attack. Brothers and sisters are being murdered for their faith. God's people in Israel are under constant threat and very real danger.
If ever we needed the light, we surely need it now! Thankfully, this season is to remind us the Light is here! As I wander my way through Advent, I'm comforted. Comforted in knowing my Savior brought His light into my life. I'll never know the despair of complete darkness!
As this Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end, I give thanks for God gifting me with His Son.
28 November 2014
In my life as a single woman there have been very few moments of real fear. One such moment happened tonight. As I was taking off my shirt it got caught on my earring. After a few panicky minutes while I was all tangled up, I couldn't help myself and began to laugh! Oh the perils of living alone!
10 November 2014
This little sweetheart is my great niece Arianna. The picture was taken by her Aunt Nina. She's a most treasured and well photographed little one. Her mom, granny & quite frankly most of the family have captured hundreds of shots.
But this one is different. There's just something about this photo which keeps drawing me back. I think I've finally figured out why. In this one I see so much of her great grandmother! Those magnificently bright eyes, that oh so sweet smile, the delicate way she's holding the doughnut. All of these remind me of the woman she'll never know this side of heaven.
But thankfully there are many in Ari's life who can share all the great treasures we recall. So this is my hope & prayer for you sweet one:
May we teach you to love
as fiercely as she,
to carry kindness everywhere.
To have the never ending
patience she employed,
the steadfast faith which was her guide.
May you learn to be as wise as she,
to show the same generous soul
to all you meet.
And may you always, always know
just how much you are loved!
With love from Aunt Jené
09 November 2014
It seems everywhere I looked today I found myself amongst those in difficult times. As is often the case, the best I could offer in way of support is a big hug! Hugs show love, support, and empathy in a way words struggle to convey.
Yet more than once this day words were sung which brought peace to suffering. Just a few singing together in a hospital room can bring such a blessing to all. Consolation came today from a hymn written during the Civil War.
He leadeth me, O blessèd thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, over troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
I can't really say it's my favorite hymn because asking which is my favorite is akin to asking a parent which is their favorite child! Even hymns which I may not know by heart always bring some sort of joy or solace.
So grateful for the blessings music brings to my life,
15 September 2014
One of my nieces has a birthday today and she's been on my mind. I've been blessed in spending quite a bit of time with her in the last few years. "Auntly" pride aside, she's a fantastic girl. I pray I get to see the woman she is on her way to becoming.
It's easy to be a great kid when everything is going your way. But she's traveled through some harsh and painful adventures in the last few years. In times of fear and uncertainty she knew to lean not only on her supporting family, but in her growing relationship with her Savior. I've seen her find calm in the face of adversity. I can't help but think the soul stretching lessons she has had will give her a more grounded faith than many young women.
I love you Gracie and I can't wait to see what the future will bring!
02 September 2014
It's the way the little things weave together that make life count. The past 7 days have been overwhelmingly horrid. But there have been some bright moments; hugs from sweet girls, a birthday party, & the soul soothing relief holding a newborn brings. God is certainly with me in my trials!
Today was filled with juxtaposition as well. Several challenging situations at work including one which caused me to stay late. But my God who continues to sustain me led me to a breezy shady spot for my picnic dinner. (read, sandwich to tide me over so I could run errands tonight) My handy dandy first aid kit got a workout in Target's parking lot for a little guy who fell. He was so excited when I pulled my bag out he forgot to keep crying. His big smile & thank you hug just made my day! Getting in late to shop had me there right as they were marking down a few items I needed!
I'm grateful for these days of anguish for they reassure of me of God's never ending care in my life. For, to whom else could I have taken all my tears & joy!
24 July 2014
A year ago today my life all boiled down to a breaking heart and fervent prayers. My neice Laura was fighting for her life. All I could do was cry and call out for my Heavenly Father to hear my prayer to save her. I knew there was nothing which would take her from me eternally but couldn't bear the thought of her not being here for me to hug. I knew her two sweet children needed her love and guidance. I couldn't even imagine the terror her dear husband was going through. Nor the nightmare in which her parents & sisters found themselves. I was comforted in knowing that at this point all of us who loved Laura were banded together in prayer for a miracle. All over the world, brothers and sisters in Christ united to beseech our Creator for His grace and favor.
Today I am taking a moment to recall how generously my prayers were answered. In DFW, family are gathering to celebrate the gift we were given in keeping our Laura with us for a little while longer. I wish I could join them but I'll be there next week to give my own hug to that wonderful woman!
So as I say everyday; Kind Father, Thank you for blessing me with your grace and favor!
From a heart filled with thanks,
20 July 2014
Today America remembers the anniversary of Man walking on the moon. It was a momentous occasion for us as a nation and human beings. We had ventured away from the planet on which God had placed us. I was eight at the time and remember the day well. However my recall of the day had little to do with event of national focus.
In our house we celebrated the arrival home of my baby sister. She was born on the day the astronauts blasted off. Today was when she came home! It was such an exciting summer!
It all started with my cousin Pat coming to stay with us. Though at that point I was calling her Tricia. She had come to help out and as little girls often do, I idolized her. She was so kind and funny. She had a great sense of style and I used to imagine I would grow my pixie cut out to imitate her hairstyle.
She helped me practice my baby holding skills with a favorite stuffed toy. This was going to be the first time I could remember holding a new baby sister. My first little sister came when I was just a toddler. My second sister had a few health concerns that rarely saw her out of my mother's arms. So for me, this was the ultimate chance to be a big sister!
Tricia had several siblings herself and frequently shared stories of their growing up. I was enthralled! Here was a living example of how to be a big sister. I decided to learn all I could!
I can tell you now some years later, I don't recall many details from watching the telecast. I do remember though just how soft Julia's tiny hand was when I held it. How warm and cozy I felt while holding her. And for the first time I was aware of falling instantly in love with another human! As I looked at her sweet face I knew I would love her for all of my life! Like most siters, there were some moments when I let that slip from my mind, but it never left my heart.
I am so thankful for all of my sisters, they are my forever friends!
20 March 2014
I hope this tale has given you a moment of joy on this first day of spring!