Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tribute to a God-honoring Life

My Aunt Jackie passed away last night. She had cancer. Today I don't wish to dwell on the horror of that disease. Today I wish to honor her life.

My memories of Aunt Jackie are interwined unrepentantly with family. Whenever we spent time together, it was almost always within the context of family gatherings...cooking Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner at Mama B's house; opening presents together at the Brown Christmas; spending time at their house when my family was home from overseas on furlough.

Because my parents were missionaries, our families didn't see each other as often as we might have had we lived in the same town. But that just made the times we did get together that much more memorable and special.

My Aunt Jackie loved to laugh. She loved her family. Her husband and her daughters were so very important to her. She had the most beautiful smile, and as I was growing up, beautiful long hair (which I always thought was so gorgeous). I also remember my Aunt Jackie never treating us as just "kids". What I mean by that is, I never felt unimportant or patronized by my aunt. She had a gift of speaking with young people (and anyone for that matter) on just the right level, where they felt their opinions were respected.

I have yet to learn that lesson with my own daughter.

In later years, once my cousins and I had grown up and had children of our own, the times we spent together were even fewer. But I remember one particular conversation in which I expressed how I wished we could get together more often...it was just that we were all so busy.

She said, "I know, hon. And I promise not to think less of you if you promise to not think less of me. We all know we love each other even if we can't see each other more than even once a year!"

I knew she understood.

We were able to spend some time together this past Christmas. I am thankful for that. I also visited her twice before she passed away. Even in her state, she was still gracious, asking about my family.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and memories. My Aunt Jackie was a beautiful lady. She will be missed by those who knew her, and the lives she touched are better for having known her. I take comfort in knowing she was a believer in the God of Salvation, and that even now, she is in heaven rejoicing with the saints.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love and War

When offered the chance to review John and Stasi Eldredge's new book, "Love and War", I eagerly accepted. I was not disappointed in any way.

This book offers so much wisdom, insight, encouragement, and even correction for married couples today. I love the fact that it was written by a husband and wife "team". Because of this style of addressing marriage, we see both partners' points of view.

I laughed, I cried, I prayed. The authors guide us into accepting two central truths: first, we each come into our marriage with past hurts, failures, and brokenness; and second, no one can heal that brokenness but God.

This treasure is a must read, but I would encourage readers to pick up a copy of "The Sacred Romance" by Eldrdge and Curtis as well. "Love and War" touches on many truths that are expounded upon in this previously written book. Having read "Romance" first gave me a clearer understanding of those truths, and I was able to see how they affected and applied to my marriage more readily than I might have otherwise.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Review for "Where's My Other Sock?"

"Where's My Other Sock?" is a children's chapter book filled with fantasy elements many children will love. It almost seems to be two separate stories within one. There is the "semi-normal" world where Tori lives with her brother and mother, doing chores, and dealing with sibling rivalry. Then there is the magical world that co-exists around and beneath them. The two worlds collide with the seemingly innocent problem of missing socks!

First time author, Esther LoPresto tells a story that I could imagine as a great read-aloud to a group of children.