2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Anton the Brave and Grandmother

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This has been an absolutely perfect Christmas! I’ve had help from my Mom, extra Mom, and all my sisters to get everything done without wearing myself out or stressing out. I feel so much better post-Christmas this year than I did last year. Last year the 26th was the start of my downward spiral. This year I took it slow and don’t feel too bad at all. I’m ready to tackle the New Year, get back on my diet, and maybe start working on some of the projects that have been on hold for over a year now. Don’t worry. I’ll go slow and get lots of help!

God is good.

This Christmas saw the passing away of two people who are very dear to me. I think their passing, and the sadness I know it produced in their families, sweetened the holiday for me. It made everything and everyone more precious.

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Aton the Brave, as I will forever call him, passed away in early December. The witness of his family touched so many people. Their last Christmas together, our opportunity to serve their church so their pastor could be with them, the gathering of the saints both there and around the world, both physically and spiritually in prayer, trusting God all the way was a bright light shining in this dark world.

Anton the Brave’s funeral is today. With all my heart, I wish I could be there. My prayers are with his family today as they bury their son.

God is Good.

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Me, my husband, his father, and Grandmother just after she turned 101. This was taken about four weeks before she passed.

I won’t be able to attend Anton’s Funeral because on Wednesday my husband’s Grandmother went to be with the Lord. Tomorrow, we’ll be driving out to Palestine to bury her next to Grandfather. For years now she’s been talking about how all she wanted to do was go home to heaven. She’s lived for 20+ years after her husband passed away. She’s seen one of her sons die. At 101, just before Christmas, the Lord took her to be with him. She died in her sleep.

God is Good.

The world may not understand this, but I have struggled very little with sorrow over Grandmother’s passing. She slipped from this world into Heaven. She got her greatest wish. I was blessed to know her. I was blessed by her witness, her testimony, her sweetness. She welcomed everyone with an open loving smile. I only wish I’d known her better, but I have confidence that that wish will come true. I know where she is and so I’m filled with hope, a little envy, and great joy. She has gone home!

God is Good.

As I face two funerals so quickly after Christmas, I preach the truth to myself. Death is the ultimate price of sin. Death in this world, even of saints, is because of sin. God promised that sin would lead to death. It has. We can vividly see that. Death is proof that God keeps His promises. God is faithful.

How dreadful! Yes. It is dreadful and frightening. God keeps His promises and He said we would die because of sin.

But God! But God is good. That is not the only promise He has made and kept!

As I face two funerals so quickly after Christmas, I preach the truth to myself. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ, but, what is the birth of Christ? The birth of Christ is proof that God keeps His promises. He promised a Seed. He promised salvation to sinners. Christmas is proof that God keeps His promises. God is faithful.

Christ came. He vanquished over death so it has no sting and I see that in the death of my Grandmother. God has used even that to bolster my faith. I see it in the death of Anton the Brave. His family’s witness is one of faith to the very end because God keeps His promises. We face death, but God has provided a sure salvation.

God is Good.

 

Quote of the Weekend

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

And God bless us, everyone!

Christ’s Victory On Behalf Of My Grandmother

My husband’s Grandmother passed away this week at 101. I’m so blessed to have known her. She was the sweetest woman in the world and always so happy to see us all. For the last few years of her life all she’s wanted is to go home to be with the Lord. That prayer was answered this week. My husband wrote a few thoughts and I thought I’d share them with y’all:

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My Grandmother died at 101 just the other night. She died in her sleep, as my Dad hoped she would.

She was a sweet woman who loved her family. Her greatest joy  in life was her children and her husband. Anyone who spent a few minutes with her would realize this quickly. She spoke about them, she remembered them even at 101.

She was, most importantly, a precious disciple of Christ. Her faith never waivered. She was true to the end. It was evident in the way she spoke that she did not fear death, but understood the Teaching. Jesus Christ has conquered Death. This life is not our home. The Father has prepared a mansion for his children. As with every believer, this is my Grandmother’s truest legacy. My Grandmother’s confession was simple, but most profound – “I want to go home.”

The meaning behind these words is where…

View original post 1,459 more words

Merry Christmas!

Courtesy of Pinterest.

Courtesy of Pinterest.

I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Is. 9/6

 

2015 Jones’ Christmas: Finished

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Happy Christmas Eve! Today we’ll be spending the whole day with my side of the family! There will be beer and probably Nerf or marshmallow wars. There will be sugar highs and sugar crashing and other shenanigans! Yay!!

On Tuesday I finished up all of my Christmas To Do list! I wrapped the last present, wrote out cards to my family members, washed crock pots, gave up on eating right until next week, made a Mincemeat pie using my new Fox cookie cutter, made a cheese pastry, and sent the last Christmas cards out. I enjoyed Elf one more time before the big day!

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On Wednesday, I took presents and goodies to my Mom’s house and ran the last errands with her. Back at my parents, I helped Mom set up and hung out with them, Liz, Imogene, and Remi before running to visit Deanna. The day was very slow paced overall. Nice. I got a wonderful reaction to my story from Emily S. also which was super fun.
On a more serious note, my husband’s 101 year old Grandmother passed away in her sleep last night. She was a believer and died in her sleep. God is the God of all comfort!

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My parents' tree full of gifts from different families. 🙂

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This is my favorite childhood decoration!

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Christmas elf!

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And of course Pheobe, the nanny dog.

Merry Christmas!!!

2015 Jones’ Christmas: Shopping, Stockings, and Star Wars

Every week Liz, Imogene,  Remi,  and I go shopping together.  In honor of holiday, we enjoyed some Starbucks and stopped ay Mom and Dad’s to pick up my stockings.  Mom made our stockings as kids and now I have grown-up ones!  Aren’t they pretty! Made my Christmas perfect!

This evening is Price’s work party: Cheesecake Factory and Star Wars!! 🙂

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Fun time shopping!

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Starbucks

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So happy with them!

I don’t get any pictures of our Christmas Party and Star Wars cause my battery ran out in my phone and I couldn’t seem to find a good background or poster to use. Seeing Star Wars in the theater was great fun. Everyone clapping a cheering was great. Here are my first thoughts:
It was very fun. And it was fun to see it in the theater with everyone clapping and cheering!

I think I realized that 90% of my love for Star Wars is nostalgia.
There are worlds and characters that I love much more than the Star Wars world and characters. (Firefly, Star Trek, and obviously Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter)

All that to say, it was fun. It did a great job using the music. The acting was good. It was way way way better than the last three. (Episode 1-3) I didn’t feel really emotionally connected to it like I expected too. I do think it was kinda a rewrite of A New Hope.

When I left I felt like the best movie I’d seen this year in the theater was still Fury Road.

What did you think?

Merry Christmas!

2015 Jones’ Christmas: Babysitting Claire and a Wedding

Over the weekend, we had the great pleasure of babysitting Claire. We have enjoyed two joint vacations with her family and Claire is very partial to Mr. Pie. (Price) It was great to both spend time with Rachel and Aaron, be a help to them, and spend more time with Claire! And Felicity of course!
Just to make things more fun, we spent the night and enjoyed breakfast together like we did on vacation!  🙂 Sorry again about all the dirty dishes left behind!

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Story time!

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Watching Peter Pan.

She wouldn’t let me put her to bed. Mr. Pie had to do it or we had tears. 🙂

After we returned home, we got all spiffied up for the long awaited wedding of two of our dear friends! Congrats Allen and Raelea!
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Merry Christmas!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Courtesy of Google.

Courtesy of Google.

Because so much of my first book, The Cost of Two Hands, flows around Winter Solstice, I thought I should celebrate! Happy 1st Day of Winter! Also winter is my second favorite season. Time for some hot chocolate, a good fire, a warm blanket, and a good book!