Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thinking of Thanksgiving and Family...

I just watched Home for the Holidays, a 1995 movie with Holly Hunter. It's about a seriously dysfunctional family, and it made me long for the family gatherings of my younger days.

I think every family has some skeletons in the closet, odd relatives or even outright irritating ones, but it's still your family. There's something lovely about bringing all the disparate members together in the confined setting of a holiday weekend. Somehow, even when things go terribly wrong, the outright messiness of it is endearing, even precious, when we look back on it. There is nothing more grounding than being part of a big, crazy family unit.

As you gather with your family or your friends this coming week, soak in all the moments, the uniqueness of your experience. The aggravations as well as the joys, because it all adds up to a distinctly personal page in your life story.

Embrace those you are with, reflect on those who are gone, cherish every bit of it!

Wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving holiday!

© 21Nov2015 ajj

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Writing Again...

Over two years ago, I decided to give up on my writing dreams. Life just seemed so complicated. I didn't have the energy to invest. I have an odd assortment of short stories and the beginnings of a couple of books. One in particular, was close to my heart, but somehow it seemed to slip away from me.

The past few weeks, I've had a renewed urge to write. I've dabbled a bit more on this neglected blog. I've revamped the files on my computer, placing the writing folders in a more orderly set up. Everything but actually sitting down and writing, until today.

For the past couple weeks, I've been haunted day and night with old story ideas and a few new ones. My dreams have been full of people I've never met and crazy stories that are begging to be told. After another night of restless dreams, I got up today and began by reading through the chapters I'd written. The spark was still there. I did a bit of editing and refining, and then it was time to start typing. I'll admit, I didn't get more than a few hundred words, but it felt so right to be working on it again!

I love writing! I love stories! Whether I am ever published, is not the question. The question is, why haven't I been doing what I love? Life is just too short too set aside the things we love, the things we are meant to do. So, I will keep writing! I'll try to keep you updated on my progress, as well as sharing a few thoughts and stories with you once in a while.

Leaving you with this thought... Find your dream and follow it!

© 12NOV2015 ajj

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lovely Day...

This morning was my monthly ladies group from church. We met at the IHop for breakfast and conversation. My aunt shared some beautiful thoughts with us about finding joy in the small things rather than just focusing on the big miracles we'd like to see happening, letting go of our insecurities, and using what we have inside to give to others. From a song she wrote some years ago, there is a line:

"...I am nothing in my humanity. But, the Spirit of God who dwells within has a power vested in me."

I may feel insignificant and unable to provide much help to others, but if I have opened my heart to God's love, I find He has equipped me for the moment. When I am called on to give help or encouragement, I know I can draw on His power "vested in me" and it will be more than enough.

Wishing you a day filled with joy!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Felt Like Sharing...

I'm taking this moment to share a blog post by a fantastic teacher I know. She's practically a cousin and most definitely a friend. Tammy pours her heart into her young students. Please take a moment to read it. This post will show you her love for her students and for teaching. All first graders should be so blessed! Just click the following link:

Forever in First: The Jane Movement

As I take myself off to bed, I'm wishing each of you a glorious Sunday!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Updating Has Begun...

I've considered updating my blog for a long time, but lethargy set in, and I just didn't have the push to do it. With autumn weather really arriving, and thoughts of family and holidays, I began to think about change. There has been a lot of unplanned change in my life over the past several years, but I've neglected to make many of the changes I wanted for myself. I started by reviewing my blog. Step one was to post a more current and honest photo of myself. I feel I haven't aged well, at least not as well as many of my contemporaries.

I always believed my appearance wasn't that important to me, but I discovered I had a little more concern about it than I had realized. My last photo was from about 8 years ago. The new photo you're seeing is from this past June, taken by my husband while we were out at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants.  I look older than I imagine myself, but what stood out for me is how happy I was that day. I was out on a date with my husband, which we don't do very often, and we were having a wonderful time. That's what is most important to life. Not looks, wealth, or other status.  Finding the joy in relationships, enjoying our lives, and loving others! What more could we want?

I've removed some of the pictures, tags, and links from my sidebar. Freshened up the color and text. It's a beginning. Now that I've begun, I feel like there are going to be even more changes coming soon.