Tuesday, November 22, 2011

BEEing A Mom: Papa & Me

"When someone you love becomes a memory,
the memory becomes a treasure."
~Author Unknown~

Last week I found a treasure wedged between the pages of my son's schoolwork: a picture he drew in his kindergarten class a couple of weeks ago. My eyes filled with tears as I studied the artwork. With big smiles on their faces, two stick figures stand side-by-side next to snow-capped mountains. The picture bears a caption in my son's handwriting:

Papa me
In The mountains

Three months ago, my dad--Hayden's grandpa who he calls Papa Jack--lost his fight against cancer and went to be with the Lord. Hayden adored his grandpa. One of the most difficult moments in my life was telling my five-year-old that his grandpa was gone. My heart ached for my little guy's loss. Since his birth, I'd dreamt of him growing up with his Papa Jack, the two of them going fishing together, playing jokes on one another, and of course, my dad sharing his wise advice with my son.

A few days after my dad's passing, I remember saying to my mom, "I don't want him to forget his grandpa. He's only five. Will he remember the time they spent together?"

My mom stared directly into my eyes as she said, "Did you know your grandfather?"

I hesitated for a moment. I'd never met my mom's dad. He passed away when my mom was fifteen.

"You knew him," my mom said, "because you grew up hearing stories about him, didn't you?"

I nodded. Yes, I knew him because my mom passed on his legacy through her memories of him.

"And Hayden," my mom continued, "will know his grandpa, too."

Deep within, I knew my mom was right. And yet in the weeks that followed, I wondered if Hayden would truly remember his time with his Papa Jack.

Last week when I saw the picture Hayden had drawn at school, I knew he hadn't forgotten the many moments he had shared with his Papa Jack. He remembers.

And so I, too, will carry on the tradition my mom began when I was a child. With Hayden in my lap, I'll tell him about the memories I have of my dad. Hayden
will know his grandpa.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Raffle Fundraiser for Sandi Rog

I'd like to take a few moments today to share a special opportunity to help a family with costs associated with fighting cancer.

On November 1, 2010, Sandi Rog was told by her doctor that she had stage 4 T-cell lymphoma, possibly caused by the medication she had been taking for MS. This was on the same day that her debut novel, The Master's Wall, released. For the last year, Sandi has endured chemo, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant, with the hope of destroying this aggressive cancer. And then, just a few weeks before the release of her second book, new tumors were discovered near her spine that show the cancer has not succumbed the way we had all hoped.

So now, in the face of the holiday season, the Rog family finds themselves settling in for another year of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual battle as Sandi faces more treatments--one of which holds much promise but is not covered by insurance. As you can imagine, the financial cost of fighting cancer can be overwhelming.

Sandi's friends are hosting a fundraiser to help the Rog family with these financial costs. Beginning on November 25th, you can purchase raffle tickets for gift baskets and individual prizes. Every $5 donation gets you a "raffle ticket"--a comment on the blog post containing the basket or item you want.

For more details about the raffle and the gift baskets and individual prizes that will be raffled, please visit the Fundraiser for Sandi Rog Blog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BEEginings: Blogging at ChannelMom.com

About two years ago, I began blogging here at BEEsy Mama. It's been such a joy to share my day-to-day musings of the life of a BEEsy Mama trying to slow down to savor the sweet things in life. I realize this last year I haven't blogged here as often as I hoped. My family has faced heartbreaking circumstances this year, and during that time, I sensed I needed to take a short break from blogging.

Now I'm entering a new season of life and looking forward to posting more articles here at BEEsy Mama. Additionally, I'm happy to announce that I will also be periodically contributing blog entries at ChannelMom.com. This website offers a wealth of information and advice for moms of children of all ages. Please check out this website, particularly the ChannelMom Show and my dear friend and talented writer Lydia Shoaf's "Lydisms" blog entries.

My first blog entry was posted yesterday at ChannelMom.com. Here's a link to the article: More Than A Spectator. Please stop by the website and check out my article. I'd love to hear what you think.

Juliet Kennedy
A BEEsy Mama

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BEEyond the Hive: Autumn's Splendor

"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."
~George Washington Carver~

As an annual tradition, my family and I embarked on a day-long road trip this last weekend through Colorado's mountains. This year, we decided to take a different route than in year's past. We ventured into the mountain's in northwest Colorado near where I grew up. Our journey took us through Silverthorne, Kremmling, Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek, and Vail. The brilliant changing colors on the aspens and foliage dazzled us! Here's a sampling of the photographs I took on my trip. I hope you enjoy them! :0)

Gore Range near Silverthorne, Colorado

Gore Range near Silverthorne, Colorado

Oh, what exquisite cloud formations God painted in the sky!

View from the road between Silverthorne and Kremmling.

A corral between Silverthorne and Kremmling.

A field of hay bales on our way to Kremmling.

Gorgeous foliage on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Rabbit Ears Pass

Rabbit Ears Pass

Grove of aspens on Rabbit Ears Pass

Rabbit Ears Pass

I love the beauty of barren tree branches.

Rabbit Ears Pass

View of Lake Catamount from Rabbit Ears Pass

Aspens in Vail, Colorado

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

BEElievin' God's Word: Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of
what we do not see.

~Hebrews 11:1~

This Scripture has encouraged me to stand firm in my hope and faith in God as my family and I have faced difficulties and sorrow this year. It's been my faith in God and His promises of who He is and what He's capable of doing that have carried me through these trials.

FAITH breathes HOPE into us.

Here's a song from Kutless that reminds us of how beautiful and powerful faith can be in our lives.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

BEEtween the Pages: The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

The end of the only life I've known, thought Mariah Aubrey, looking back through the carriage window at the shrinking figures of her mother and sister. Nineteen-year-old Julia stood in the foreground, shoulders heaving as she wept. The sight seared Mariah's heart. Their mother stood behind, hand on Julia's arm, in consolation, in empathy--perhaps even in restraint. And there came their father, down the steps of Attwood Park. He had not come out to bid her farewell. He would not, he insisted, "sanction vice, nor seek to lessen its disgrace."
~Opening lines in Julie Klassen's
The Girl in the Gatehouse

Set in England during the Regency era, Julie Klassen's latest novel, The Girl in the Gatehouse, tells the story of Mariah Aubrey, a young woman banished from the only home she's ever known to live in a secluded gatehouse on a relative's estate. With her faithful servant, Miss Dixon, Mariah begins a new life at the gatehouse, befriending other servants on the estate and residents at the neighboring poorhouse and supporting herself and Miss Dixon by writing novels in secret. Mariah resigns herself to a solitary life with no hopes of ever marrying. But soon she meets the estate's new tenant, the handsome Captain Matthew Bryant, and in the months that follows, an attraction forms between the them. Will Captain Bryant uncover Mariah's identity and secretive past? And how will he treat her once he learns of her impropriety?

This is the second novel written by Julie Klassen that I've read, and I must say that Klassen is becoming a favorite author for me. Not only does she skillfully paint a vivid picture of life in England during the Regency era, but she also crafts a diverse and interesting cast of characters and keeps the reader curious by the mystery she weaves throughout her stories.

I recommend The Girl in the Gatehouse to ladies who enjoy Regency era stories.

For more information about The Girl in the Gatehouse, please visit Bethany House's website.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BEEtween the Pages: Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson

"Worship-based prayer seeks the face of God before the hand of God. God's face is the essence of who He is. God's hand is the blessing of what He does. God's face represents His person and presence. God's hand expresses His provision for needs in our lives. I have learned that if all we ever do is seek God's hand, we may miss His face; but if we seek His face, He will be glad to open His hands and satisfy the deepest desires of our heart."
~Daniel Henderson in Transforming Prayer~

In his new book entitled Transforming Prayer, Daniel Henderson shares with readers the transformation that can happen when they seek God's face before His hands during worship-based prayer. In the first part of this book, Henderson describes how worship-based prayer differs from request-based prayer and how this type of prayer sets us up for an intimate encounter with God.

In the second part of the book, Henderson explores best practices for praying. While he recognizes some of the benefits of prayer lists, he encourages believers to rethink how they are using their "lists" during prayer. "Lists are simply tools," he writes. "It is important to keep in mind that, in any arena of Christian life, tools are meant to be used for a greater purpose, not cherished as the greater purpose."

In the third part, Henderson provides examples of how to adopt worship-based prayer during your daily devotional time. He emphasizes the importance of reading Scripture during your prayer time and meditating on the Scripture to: (1) learn about who God is, (2) give Him reverence, (3) seek how you are to respond to the passage, (4) articulate your requests to God, and (5) ponder on "the mission of your life and the warfare you can anticipate."

This book gave me a fresh perspective on how to pray. Since finishing it a week ago, I've tried some of the suggestions included in it. I can already see a transformation in my prayer life, and I'm encouraged and excited about further adopting worship-based prayer in my daily devotional time.

I highly recommend this book. For more information about it, please visit Bethany House's website.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

BEEtween the Pages: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

"... the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story...It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is the missing piece in a puzzle--the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture."

~Excerpt from
The Jesus Storybook Bible:
Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones~

A few days before Christmas, a friend and I chatted about ways we could share our love for and faith in Jesus with our young children. My friend mentioned a children's Bible she found valuable in imparting her faith to her sons. After our meeting, I hurried to a nearby bookstore and purchased this book--The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

Since Christmas, my son and I have been reading the stories in this Bible as part of our bedtime ritual. We've both been richly blessed with the stories and their messages. Over the years, I've purchased several different children's Bibles for my son, and this one ranks at the top as my favorite. With content targeted for children ages four to seven and colorful illustrations on each page, my son is eager each night to read a story from this Bible. And as a mom, I'm thrilled that this book not only teaches him about the different characters and stories in the Bible, but it also whispers Jesus' name in each story, just as the subtitle promises. This book shows children that from the beginning God had a beautiful and marvelous plan to send a Rescuer to save us.

I highly recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible for families with children ages four to seven.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

BEE Fulfilled: My Heart's Desire for 2011

"No matter where you live and what your days look like, you have a choice each day to depend on yourself, to live safely, and to try to control your life. Or you can live as you were created to live--as a temple of the Holy Spirit of God, as a person dependent on Him, desperate for God the Spirit to show up and make a difference."
~Francis Chan in Forgotten God:
Reversing Our Neglect of the Holy Spirit

Like many, I've spent the last couple of weeks contemplating what resolutions I might set for this new year. In doing this, I reflected on what I learned in 2010 and how I could carry those lessons forward to 2011. Last year was a year rich in learning--learning about God and the Bible, about my family and friends and their needs, about the craft of writing, and about myself.

As I reflected on 2010, the lessons I learned from one of the Bible studies I participated in stood out. During the last three months of 2010, I completed a study of Francis Chan's Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit with some dear friends from my running group. This study challenged me to reexamine some of my longstanding beliefs about the Holy Spirit and my motives for wanting the Spirit's presence in my life. It also challenged me to seek the Spirit and follow Him in all areas of my life, which is a day-by-day journey. I marvel at the growth, wisdom, and understanding each lady in the group gained during the study. Friendships deepened and God transformed hearts. I love how God does that!

So for 2011, instead of jotting down a long list of resolutions, I only have one desire for this year: to follow the Holy Spirit to wherever He wants me to go. That's it. No small feat, I know. But I can't think of anything else I want more in my life. I yearn to be more dependent on God and to be obedient to what He calls me to do each day.

Chris Tomlin's song "I Will Follow" encapsulates my heart's desire for 2011, which you can listen to below. May this song and desire touch your heart as it has mine. :0)