30 Questions You May Not Know To Ask

Photo Credit: Sorayanulliah blog

Photo Credit: Sorayanulliah blog

Everyone who has ever lived has one.

It separates us from all others and can often make us stand out in a crowd. But sadly many don’t know their’s, or if it even matters. I’m talking about your family’s story. I was privileged to have a mom who loved researching our family’s story. I could ask her any question and if she didn’t know the answer, she would go to work trying to find it. I loved that about her.

But I didn’t always. There was a time when I found our family history quite boring. Didn’t we all? You may still think this subject boring, but please don’t click away from this post just yet. 

Here’s the plan. Starting on Monday, April 1st, I’m going to take part in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post one question each day for the entire month.

UBC-banner2

It will be a probing question about your story. You may already know the answer to it, and if you do, I invite you to share it with me using the comment button. If you don’t know the answer to the day’s question, then ask someone in your family who may know it. Taking one question per day will make the process easy to do, even for the busiest among us.

I hope you’ll sign up for my blog, so every day you’ll get the daily question in your inbox. This will make the challenge easy for you to remember, and it will make me happy to have more followers–call me sentimental! 🙂

Finally, I want to share with you the following music video by Brandon Heath, titled Paul Brown Petty. Brandon is an excellent story teller whom I had the privilege of meeting and seeing live in concert last year in Gainesville, FL. This song is off of his latest album, Blue Mountain. Once you listen, I think you’ll understand why I chose to share it with you. Enjoy…

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Scents of Life

Driving down the road the other day I caught the scent of orange blossoms in the air, and immediately my mind went to another time and place.  I was running through the groves at my grandmother’s home in Clermont hoping to avoid being hit by my brother’s usually perfect aim, with rotten oranges!  While many of you grew up enjoying snowball fights, I was caught in a messier version where the same rules applied.  Unfortunately, I was almost always on the losing team.  What triggered those memories was nothing more than the sweet smell of orange blossoms.

Florida State Flower

Florida State Flower

As I child, I loved coming into the house for dinner and smelling my mother’s wonderful cooking.  Somehow I didn’t realize then just how much thought and time went into her preparations each evening.  All I knew was that I loved the result. Unless, of course, she was fixing something I didn’t like!

How often are our thoughts affected by the smells we encounter during the day?  For example, where does your mind go when you smell hot, buttered popcorn, chicken frying, or roses in bloom?  I’m sure you have your own list of favorite scents.  Remember the smell of mimeograph copies?  (Those of you under the age of 30 probably won’t know what I’m talking about!) Nothing evokes the memories of life at my elementary school than this.

With spring in the air fresh scents abound.  I hope you will be able to get outside to enjoy God’s creation as it comes back to life from such a long, cold winter.  Me? I’m going to work on greeting my husband tonight with some delicious smells from the kitchen.  That’s the best aromatherapy you can’t buy in a bottle!

What are the scents of your life? What memories do they evoke?

Joy In Heaven

Mom's 90th birthday party last year. L. to R.: Me, Mom, Bill (my brother), Bettie at top (my sister)

Mom’s 90th birthday party last year. L. to R.: Me, Mom, Bill (my brother), Bettie at top (my sister)

My last post talked about Grace’s birthday which was March 2, 1889.

I want to share another birthday with you–my Mom’s, who would have been 91 today. She passed away 3 months ago, but it feels like only yesterday. I guess you’re never prepared to say good-bye to your mom. After all she is the one person who has known you literally from birth. If it wasn’t for her willingness to go through the pain of pregnancy and delivery, I wouldn’t be here.

So much has happened in the past three months:

  • We cleaned out her home, put it on the market and got a contract the first week. We’ll close before the end of March.
  • My niece found out she is expecting her 3rd baby in July, which is Mom’s 11th great-grandchild.
  • My son and daughter-in-love found out they are expecting their 3rd baby in September, which will be our 6th grandchild and Mom’s 12th great-grandchild.
  • My book is doing well, receiving 5 star reviews along with great encouragement for me to write the sequel.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Life continues when someone dies. Only those who are mourning actually slow down to ponder the loss. We do well to ponder in such times.

My heart is heavy today for another family in our church that we love dearly.

Tomorrow we will attend the memorial service of a newborn baby who never took a breath in this life. Her parents and three big brothers have slowed down to mourn the fact that she will never come home to see the nursery prepared for her. She will never try on any of the cute baby clothes received at her baby shower. She will miss so much that was planned for her.

But what she has far outweighs what she’s missed.

Consider this: She took her first breath in Heaven. She was embraced from the womb by her Savior. Her life will impact hundreds who hear the testimony of how God has helped her parents face the tragedy many parents fear. God’s faithfulness will be on display at the memorial service tomorrow in a way many will find perplexing.

flier

 

Her name is Esther Grace. Her parents believe she was born for such a time as this, like the story of Esther in the Bible. If you don’t know the story, I encourage you to read it. She faced the plan marked out for her, not knowing if God would give her life or death. This is true faith on display and it brings great glory to our Heavenly Father who deserves such praise.

The service is at 2p. tomorrow. Won’t you pray for this dear family that they would sense God’s nearness in their dark night of the soul.

The good news is the fact that there is great joy in Heaven today. Let this fact fuel our resolve to press on towards the mark, for we know that we do not run in vain.

What things are you facing today that requires such faith? How can I pray for you?

Something To Ponder

Photo Credit: jordipostales on Flickr

Photo Credit: jordipostales on Flickr

Today would have been Grace’s 124th birthday. And more people know her story and care about what happens to her next than she ever could have imagined. I hear it all the time…when are you going to write the next book? My plans are to begin soon. Since my mother passed away I have found much inspiration from her boxes of genealogy research papers. Here are few things I’ve found:

  • a picture of one of William and Grace’s sons when he was 2. She had it mounted under a clear paper weight. It is fading now, but I would love to try and get it restored.
  • Uncle Bud’s family bible complete with his handwriting marking the births, marriages and deaths of family members.
  • Grace’s journal of a trip she and William took out west.
  • A turquoise and silver indian belt.
  • Mary Elizabeth Ishmael’s crystal candy dish.
  • A tiny porcelain cup that Sarah Kirwin gave to Grace when she was 12.

It has been exciting to discover these items, but it comes with such sadness. I can no longer call my mom for answers to questions I have. I’m on my own when it comes to writing book two. It won’t be the same. I will miss Mom with each page I write, but knowing she read and enjoyed Through The Eyes Of Grace before she passed away thrills my heart! And to think…she’s in Heaven with my grandmother telling her all about it.

Now that is something to ponder, isn’t it?