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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

What a day!

Today I get to do something special – something that not many people get to do. Those who take the opportunity to do this always come away blessed, and those who don’t…well, they don’t know what they’re missing.

If you’re like me, you look forward to days like today. Not just because they are special, but because of how it will impact the rest of your week, and maybe even your life. I know it has mine.

When I first got the opportunity to do this many years ago, I didn’t have a clue as to what an incredible path it would lead to. I had no idea how incredible it would make my life.

To use old cliches –  my days are brighter, the dark nights are shorter, and the colors of the world seem more vivid – all because of this day.

So, what is today you ask? Why is today so different from other days. What makes today so incredible that I had to blog about it?

I’ll tell you…

It’s Sharon’s birthday! (Shhh, don’t tell her, it’s a surprise!)Sharon at the Hermitage

And I get to spend the day celebrating who she is and how she has impacted my world.

She is what makes today special, and I plan to let her know how much she has made my world better and brighter.

I hope you’ll take the opportunity and do the same!

(Yes I know I recycled the picture form last year, but it’s my favorite one I have of her!)

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REPRINTED in Loving Memory

Jack A. Smith – March 12, 1922 to March 29, 2011

Rest In Peace, My Amazing Pa

85 REASONS I LOVE MY PA

Written by Sharon (Smith) Tankersley for her Pa – Jack Smith
On the occasion of his 85th birthday – March 12, 2007

1. He loves my Father in Heaven.
2. His face never fails to light up when he sees me coming.
3. He would always let me sit on his lap and snuggle as a little girl – even when I was not so little anymore!
4. He knows how to make me feel special.
5. He has smiling eyes that crinkle up in the corners when he laughs.
6. He’s tall and broad and fair-haired.
7. Everyone says I look like him. I think so, too!
8. Everyone says my dad looks like him, too.
9. It feels nice to see the family resemblance – somehow it means that I automatically ‘belong.’
10. Pa helped me feel comfortable in my own skin, even when I was taller than the other girls, and gangly.
11. He made me feel beautiful – on the inside and out.
12. He’s never still for long; always busy doing something worthwhile to serve others.
13. He set an example for me of what it means to be a devoted member of a church family.
14. He loves God’s children and tries to make sure they have what they need in life.
15. He has always taken care of the elderly, including his own aging mother.
16. He told me stories from his childhood.
17. He was a really good storyteller.
18. He spent time with me out in his garden, teaching me about growing vegetables.
19. He’d let me help him pick and shell pecans, even when my little hands could barely do the job.
20. He gave my summertime babysitter – also a student in his college class – money to take me to Baskin Robbins because “I’d been a good girl that day.”

21. Sometimes he took me swimming at the beach and let me be a silly, carefree kid.
22. After swimming at the beach, he’d buy me a rainbow colored snow cone.
23. For years he drove a faded and cranky old pickup truck and I never once heard him complain about it.
24. He wears a wide-brimmed straw hat and looks like a friendly, happy scarecrow.
25. Everyone in town knows my pa and has good things to say about him.
26. He gets along well with people of all ages – small children, on up to college students and the elderly.
27. He visited many interesting places, sharing the gospel around the world.
28. He took lots of great photos of his mission trips and would show us the slides, so that it was like we were there with him on those trips.
29. He is a very brilliant and educated man, but he’s still able to explain and teach me things in a simple, easy to understand way.
30. Even though he obtained several higher degrees and traveled the world, he never forgot his roots.
31. He always remembers my birthday and sends me a card.
32. He helps me to understand my dad better.
33. He has always tried to see the other person’s point of view.
34. He has intentionally continued to learn new things, like the computer.
35. Though most folks his age don’t want anything to do with the internet, he uses email just as easily as I do.
36. It’s always easy to keep in touch with him through email.
37. Though he has strong opinions on religious and political matters, he makes an effort to understand other points of view.
38. He respects quiet, and is perfectly comfortable sitting in a room with me for a long time not saying a word.
39. Whenever we sit in silence together, we are still communicating important things like love and acceptance.

40. He loves spending time with his wife – my grandmommy.
41. He treats my grandmommy with dignity and respect.
42. He takes really good care of my grandmommy.
43. My grandmommy is his best friend, next to Jesus.
44. I love to hear him say prayers out loud.
45. He has a nice singing voice.
46. He enjoys singing praises in church.
47. He is a strong and natural leader.
48. He’s never been too shy or too selfish to share his strengths in service to God’s people.
49. He is well-thought of by those around him.
50. He has never stopped reading books.
51. Learning is a very important part of life to him.
52. He set an example to me about the value of a good education.
53. He was always proud of me when I worked hard in school.
54. He was patient with me whenever I was struggling to understand something in school.
55. He helped me understand difficult concepts I was trying to learn in school.
56. He made me feel like I was smart enough to pursue a college degree.
57. He makes me feel smart when we have intellectual conversations.
58. He always treats me with respect.
59. I know from his actions and his words that he is proud of me.
60. He has supported me through many difficult choices in my adult life.
61. He likes my husband and is respectful of him.
62. He and my grandmommy were ‘there with bells on’ for our wedding many years ago, even though it meant traveling across country.
63. I love to take out our wedding photos and see my Pa’s face there among the guests.
64. He readily accepted my husband into the family and considers him to be his grandson.
65. He has been our champion through the various educational and career choices we’ve made in our marriage.
66. He encourages me to be a strong and supportive wife.
67. He expects me to remain a committed Christian.
68. I know that he prays for us every single day.
69. He likes to hear about the various ways I serve God in my local community.
70. He gives good advice about how to handle difficult situations and people in my life.
71. He allows me to have my own opinions about anything and everything.
72. He reacts to things I say and thoughts I share as though he thinks I am the most brilliant woman in the world.
73. I feel smart when I’m with him.
74. I think he’s a very funny man, and he thinks I’m very funny, too.
75. He laughs at my jokes and teases with me.
76. I feel funny and intelligent and quick-witted when I’m with him.
77. He understands me well, and always has, without me having to do much explaining.
78. We are connected in a way that defies explanation, because we are similar in some important ways.
79. Because we are so similar, we just sort of ‘get’ each other, which somewhat mystifies those around us at times.
80. I owe much of my sense of self, my self confidence and self esteem, to the way that my Pa has always loved and accepted and appreciated me.
81. He loves me for ME, not for what I can do for him.
82. He has never failed to be a reflection to me of the constant and easy way that Christ loves me.
83. Because of his love I feel strong.
84. Because of his love I’ve been able to get a glimpse of God’s love.
85. He is my Pa, and I am his Shari – enough said!

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A Quiet House…

A quiet house usually isn’t a bother to us. We like a quiet house. Things around here don’t usually get very loud, and we like it that way.  Although we’ve worked with and around kids for years, we were never blessed with any of our own.  Over all we’ve settled into a pretty comfortable routine after 20 years. The loudest our house usually gets comes around the full moon when our cats instinctually seem to know that these are the few nights of the month that they absolutely must make as much racket as possible.

No, a quiet house isn’t really a bother…until it is.

Tonight we came home to a very quiet house. It’s been a “loud” few days. For the better part of the past week, we’ve had members of our “chosen family” from North Carolina. This family is some of our oldest and closest friends, and this morning they left to go home. We had (as always) a great week – visiting, catching up, being a refuge for each other and exploring new places around the state.

But now it’s quiet. I’ll get used to it again, but for now…

     I miss the excited chatter of young girls,

     the “clinking” of extra plates around the dinner table,

     the hours of moving discussions,

     and the laughter of a family once again reunited.

No, a quiet house isn’t really a bother…until it is.

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