Pages of Memory

pages-of-memory

Hello, my dear friends! I’m not officially back from my bereavement time here on the blog, but there’s something I wanted to share with you anyway. First, my heartfelt thanks for all the support, prayers and encouragement I have received. As I shared earlier on Facebook, your kind words and thoughtfulness have been a light for me in the darkness of grief. A piece of my heart will always be missing without my Mom-mom, but your love has filled my heart in another way, and reminded me that mine isn’t broken completely. I wish I could give each of you a hug right now!

Tomorrow will make one week since my grandmother’s memorial service, although time has been a blur for me. I haven’t fully bounced back from all the preparations we made for her service, and aside from a journal entry, this blog post is the first thing I’ve written since my last goodbye to her.

However, I wrote something in her memory last week. One of my best friends read it aloud on my behalf at the memorial service. I’d like to share it here as well, in Mom-mom’s honor.

I’m not a poet, but I wrote this one out of love… and memory.

Pages of Memory
by Sarah R. Munson

In the library of my heart
Are shelves in rows and rows
And as I walk I start
To consider all my memory book shows

I bring it down with care
And open to my favorite page
To think of each memory we got to share
How you were there in every stage

When I was small, you were my favorite playmate
You could always make me laugh at any game
Every moment spent with you was a special date
Now without you, life can’t be the same

Pressed between the pages like flowers
Are our sunny, laughing days and late nights
All the times we talked and laughed for hours
The way you were so full of heaven’s light

I remember us walking hand in hand
Taking trips to church, the library and store
Loving every instant together, planned and unplanned
I couldn’t possibly love those times more

In the book of memories are also
Lessons I learned from you
All the boundless love you’d show
The kind, generous things you would do

Each sentence of our story is etched upon my heart
And although our time together had to end
So you could experience heaven’s new start,
You’ll always be both my grandmother and my friend

I know you will never be far from me
Forever you live, in my heart’s pages of memory.

Thank you again for your kindness and understanding for me in this time of remembrance. That friendship is something I hold onto, and will never forget.

With love & gratitude,

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12 Days of Christmas {Prompts}

When I was ten or so, I decided to memorize the lyrics for the Twelve Days of Christmas carol. I wanted to know every single gift that “my true love gave to me.” Never mind that the true love was rather bad at selecting presents. (He gets points for creativity, though.) How many pipers were there…? Or was that fiddlers…? I did eventually figure it out, although I had to look up the lyrics again tonight to check…

Never mind how many pipers were piping; we’re officially into the Twelve Days of Christmas!

In honor of that, I’ve made a short list of Twelve Christmas Journal Prompts, very loosely inspired by the true love’s unique presents.

Twelve Days of Journal Prompts

Spread them out over a dozen days, or do a few at once. (Or, if you’re like me, wait until the end of twelve days, then do them at once.) Make up some of your own, too, if you like, and share them in the comments!

12. Which twelve Christmas songs are at the top of your playlist?

11. List eleven people you are thankful for. Say a prayer for them and send some kind words before Christmas!

10. Think of ten ways you can make someone’s heart leap for joy.

9. What are nine things that make your heart dance?

8. What eight chores or tasks are on your to-do list this week? Is milking one of them?

7. List seven ways you can unwind and find stillness this season.

6. Write about six of your fondest seasonal activities.

5. Make a list of five things that glitter with cheer.

4. Who are four people you need, or want, to call?

3. Which three countries would you most like to visit? What would you do there?

2. Write about two peaceful Christmas memories.

1. What is your one Christmas wish or prayer?

Merry Christmas, even if you aren’t given a partridge in a pear tree!

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Thanks for Nothing

Thanks for Nothing

I have so much to be thankful for. It crosses my mind at random intervals throughout the year, but at Thanksgiving, it’s so much plainer. Towards the end of November, life seems to glow with gratitude. As the season crosses into Christmas, I want to sing and smile at strangers and express thanks for everything.

But there is one thing I’m not thankful for. I have trouble being thankful for nothing.

It’s an odd statement, and I’m pretty sure it’s grammatically incorrect, so let me explain.

When everything is going my way, when life is busy and bustling with blessings, it’s easy for me to be grateful. It’s second nature to give thanks for each good thing, for each answered prayer and successful step forward. When my dreams come true; when I get the job I wanted; when the words come smoothly, the “thank you’s” flow freely.

In the times when nothing is happening, though, when nothing is working out the way I planned, and I feel like I know nothingI don’t consider being thankful. How can I be, when there isn’t something to be thankful for? Who says thanks for nothing? 

I don’t. When nothing is going as I want it to and I feel stuck in that nothingness, my response is not to be grateful. It’s to sulk and mope about how nothing is going right. Nothing is happening. Nothing is changing. 

Although this year has been a whirlwind of change for me, it’s also been spaced out with empty caverns of nothingness. I’ve hated those “nothing” times. As difficult as change is for me, being stuck in the middle of nowhere, in the midst of seemingly nothing, is worse. I’m only thankful when I get out of those places!

Yet looking back, and then looking ahead and wondering if I’ll be in another “nothing” stage soon, I’ve realized something. Those times of stillness, when nothing happens and I go nowhere, have been some of the most life-shaping seasons for me. In every long stretch of “nothing”, something actually has been happening. God has gracefully been teaching me patience. He’s been holding me back when the time isn’t right for something else. He has given me these pauses so I can breathe, and rest, and simply wait and be still. 

Those moments of nothing are when I should be most thankful. Rather than being anxious about what may be ahead, and when I’ll get to it, I should actually pay attention to the powerful words found in Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

Every time I’ve read that verse, I’ve paid attention to the prayer and supplication part. Do you know which part I’ve ignored? With thanksgiving. 

Don’t be anxious; be thankful. Even when there is a cause for anxiety, give thanks.

In everything and in nothing, give thanks.

This Thanksgiving, I want to say thanks, even for those times of “nothing.” …Especially for those times of nothing.

give thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! In the times of everything and of nothing, I pray you’ll be blessed.

What are you thankful for this year?

Also, on a mostly unrelated note, what kind of pie do you prefer? The pumpkin pie pictured above gave me a craving, but there are some scrumptious apple pies in my kitchen at the moment too. How does a girl choose?

One last thing before I go for the pie and whipped cream: Thank you for being a reader and friend here! I can’t express my gratitude, and how much it means to share the journey with you. It’s another thing I truly give thanks for.

Happy Stuffed-Like-A-Turkey Day!

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