Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pure Gratitude

I've been reminded once again that the people around me that I call my family and friends are not to be taken for granted. It has been brought to the forefront of my mind and heart over the last few days how incredibly fortunate I am to be a part of such a loving, giving and caring group of people. I read the heartfelt sincerity in the anguish and sorrow each one of you are feeling over the tragedy at Virginia Tech and I feel so blessed to live amongst people who have such compassion for human kindness and who understand the depth of it's value in our society. I'm so grateful for the examples in my life that have encouraged this mindset and try each day to live in such a way that is reflective of this compassion and quest for justice. I'm feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude for the wonderful people in my life and want to remind each of you that I love you and am so blessed for your presence in my life. You are all lights unto this world and I'm proud to call you family and friends.
"Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity." Buddha

Thursday, April 12, 2007


From the depths of abuse and torture ~ confined for more than 15 years to the elements of "life" in a hot dusty garage...lost beneath the mounds of items too treasured to part wooden rocking horse that my dad crafted for me during my toddler years was resurrected! It certainly got it's share of use and abuse when I was young, but when I was in high school a couple of my sister's friends were messing around on it and my poor little horse's head and neck were splintered down the middle. I remember shedding some tears over this treasure of mine that I knew would never be the same. I was angry at those stupid boys! I was especially sad because it was something my dad had so tenderly made for me ~ there was love involved.
As always life went on, I moved away from home and in the meantime my family moved to another state. It was many years later, as I was rumaging through their garage that I saw my old rocking horse again (surprised for some reason that it was still around). All of the old feelings of sorrow came rushing back. How I wished it were whole, how I wished that those boys hadn't ruined my horse, so that maybe ~ someday~ it could be passed on to my children to enjoy as much as I had. I remember expressing this to my dad and a few months later , much to my surprise, he told me that he was pretty sure we could bring this horse back into existence. He had a plan for it. I was thrilled!!
Well, he had also started a tradition of crafting cradles and toy boxes for his grandchildren. So, if you're at all familiar with the rate at which my sisters are having babies you can imagine how long my poor little horse has taken a back seat! But I would see the improvements that were being made...slowly but surely. Well, it was getting really close to being completed a few months ago when Brittni announced she was pregnant ~ I figured once again the cradle would take priority over my horse...not that I was really in any rush to get it. But my dad suprised me a few weeks ago when he took me out into the garage and there it was...exactly as I had remembered it (except much sturdier!) All I could do was cry, becasue it was perfect and it meant so much to me that my dad took the time and energy to re-create this special gift for me. He put in so much hard work and creativity to ensure that it was even better than before. He sanded the stain down for hours and hours, just to re-stain it the same color it was 30 years ago. Now, because of his willingness to give me back this treasure, I will be able to see the joy in my children as they "ride it away into the sunset". So here it all it's glory ~ resurrected! Isn't it beautiful!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Always there ...

I wanted to share something with anyone out there who might need to be reminded of this as much as I did. Last Sunday Matt and I attended an absolutely wonderful church service. It was the first time we had been there and both of us were completely drawn in by the amazing art, music and message. We were truly surrounded by beauty. It's a fairly small congregation which we love and the craftsman style church just bellows "home". Who knows if this church will become our place of choice (it certainly seems to be now), but no matter what ~ it was just what my heart needed that day. The pastor spoke about many things, but one thing in particular has stayed on my mind. He simply reminded us of the fact that God never promises us that life will be easy, that we won't have addictions, that we won't face immense struggles, that our hearts won't be broken, that loved ones won't leave us, or that we won't feel pain....but He does promise that no matter what, He will always be with us through everything. I know this ~ I've heard it before, but it felt SO good to hear it again and to be reminded that no matter what, I have someone to comfort me, to heal my sorrow, and give my burdens to. It reminded me of something Diane told me about one time. She had read a book that made this concept very clear. A father walking beside his daughter....he couldn't manage where she stepped or if she stumbled and fell, but what he could do was make sure he was there to to pick her up, wipe her off and dry her tears. This is what God does for us ~ and for that I feel truly blessed and thankful.
"The Lord goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Jessa-mini-turkeyskin!

Happy 26th Birthday to my youngest little sister! Wow, how time does fly ~ I remember you looking just like Asher (with crazier hair) just like it was yesterday!
I wanted to let you know how much I love you and that you are a beautiful person inside and out! Anyone who knows you ~ knows how truly blessed they are to call you "friend"...and especially "sister". :)

J = juggler of desires
E = earnest seeker of truth
S = sincerely devoted
S = sister of many
A = advocate of her heart
M = mother of children
Y = yearner of peace
N = nurturer of the soul

I love you and wish you a beautiful day full of happy moments and long lasting memories!
Happy Birthday my dear sister!
Love ~ Jamie