Showing posts with label sister. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sister. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2015

Remember God's Faithfulness...The Blessing in My Life.

Hello lovely readers,

Last week I posted "Things seem up in the air" but even as I finished it I did not feel that it was complete. At my church we have been going through a series called "From the Rubble" about the book about Nehemiah with many of the messages hitting very close to home. Last week my friend spoke about our story and how the main point of it is God's faithfulness not our brokenness.

In the book of Nehemiah, some of the Israelites, who have been in captivity come back to Israel to rebuild the wall around the city. They face many oppositions from mental to physical oppositions and yet they are able to complete the tasks in 52 days. Then they are at a lost of knowing what to do and they go to Ezra, who has been in Jerusalem for 14 years and working to rebuild the temple. He read from the book of the law and they here the story about how God makes a promise, but then the people go astray, problems come, people cry out to God and He restores them. And the people listening into the story begin to weep because they focus on the part of the story where their ancestors went astray. However Nehemiah said, Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Okay this is just a brief summary of the story... I suggest you read the whole thing(link to Biblegateway). 

It seems kind of strange to celebrate when we go a stray from God and suffer, but that is not what Nehemiah is saying... Nehemiah is saying to celebrate God's faithfulness. I will admit that I am quick to hold onto pain, and I sometimes hold onto my own flaws and regrets far more than I hold on to the compliments I get or the love I receive.

So here I go... I am going to remember the good things in my life, the things I want to hold onto. 

First, I am thankful to have these two inspiring women as my sisters. Both them have taught me a great amount what it means to faith even in struggles.
 I am blessed to have two sets of wonderful parents who have given me courage, taught me to stand on my own, allowed me to follow my dreams...even if they didn't understand me, and have shown me love is not based on blood. 

I have also been blessed with a great amount of friends here in Boston, and a church that has shaped my second family for me. But the thing I probably love the most in my life are my niece and nephews...they give me hope in the world, joy, and love I didn't know really existed till they came into the world. 
All these people make me who I am. And I am so thankful to them for how they have shaped me.
God has blessed me with these people.

Nehemiah asked the Israelites to remember God's faithfulness and I can easily remember His faithfulness by looking back on the blessings God has given me. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Frivolous Friday...Happy Anniversary

Hello lovely readers,

Today for my "Frivolous Friday" post I am giving a special shout out to my younger sister and her husband on their four year anniversary.

Photo Credit: Kristina Gaines
I love their story: They were friends for years and she even had quite a crush on him for a bit. I remember that she liked him more when she found out he wanted to missions in Africa, which was something she wants to do. Eventually they started dating and I felt he was instantly welcomed into as a part of our family and every time I see them together he always appears to be supporting her. I think they are an awesome couple.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Story time Saturday... Letter #4, #5

For letter #3

Dearest Aunt, 
I fear this letter will cause you quite amount of pain. 

Uncle was here, which is why I called away at end of my last letter, and he begged me to come with him. Oh I would be at your side in a moment if my will was my own, but it is not. My mama says I will be able to come to you the Monday of next week and has given me leave for an extended visit. 

I am sorry I cannot be with you now.  

Dearest Aunt, 

I do not if I will have the courage to send you this letter but I feel I must write my thoughts down, for I fear if I don't get them out I will explode and mama will shame me with my feelings. 

I completely do not understand my new mama, she knows how important you are to me, how you have been a second mother to me in these years since my own mother past away, and yet she forbids me to come to you. At least for a time. She seems to think an engagement of a dinner party is far more important. Oh how I wanted to scream and throw a tantrum at that moment when she refused to let Uncle to take me. I feel she must have known I wanted to throw a tantrum for she gave me a look to say "you poor child." I despise that look. It makes me feel so small and as if my feelings and wants don't matter. Perhaps to her they don't matter. She has never cared for me--not really.

I am frequently reminded of the day, I went to The Towers, when I just six or seven, and how she let me sleep in her bed when I was over tired. I am reminded that she was willing to let me share her bed when all the towns people left me behind, and they thought father would not come for me until the following morning. She states that this was a mark of her kindness. I have never seen it as kindness. I feel she put me in her bed and forgot all about me, not remembering to collect me before the towns people left, and I have a vague memory of she sneaking the food Miss Helene brought up for me. No matter what I remember, my mama infuriates me when she tries to pass herself of as generous towards me. I know I should not write those words, oh Aunt if you read his letter, please burn it, for I know I am quite wicked in saying what I just said. I should not even think it. 

Dearest Aunt, it is you I worry most for. My mama is saying I have not been good company at these engagements we have had, I do not know how to be good company when my thoughts are plagued by you and your illness. The one comfort I have is reading Cassandra's letter, I cannot wait to truly call her my sister, but mama thinks she will not come till Easter. Till then I am on my own with my new mama. I will copy her words for you to read them (if I send this letter) for I feel they will give you as much as pleasure to you as they have to me:

My dearest Molly,

I am sorry if my wording is a little too bold for I have never had a sister, and I do not know how to write a sister I have yet met. Perhaps I should write, "Dear Miss Gibson" but that sounds too formal after all we are related now.

I wish I had been able to attend our parent wedding, mostly to meet you. My mother writes that you are a kind girl, full of knowledge on various topics, and not afraid to express your opinions. She writes the last part as a fault, but I rather enjoy a girl who expresses her thoughts. I would not be able to call you a true sister of mine if you were not opinionated. And a true sister you will be. I feel bound to you already.

Please have a snap shot taken of yourself so I may have a photograph to picture you, while I wait and dream of meeting you. 

Oh my, I feel my words are a little true strong to be good. I would not have you thinking I am too overly sentimental, I might be a bit, but as I said I have never had a sister and you being my sister now makes me spill over with emotions. I have been on my own too long I fear and I have been left only to imagine sentiments. I promise when we meet I will be quite good with my feelings and the words I use to express them. 


See my dearest aunt she is so kind, she is truly kind and warm, an apparent opposite from her own mama. I believe we will be true sisters and friends. Besides you, I long to see her most frevently. 

I feel I will improve my vocabulary as she has been educated in some of the best schools for young ladies. 

All my love, 

PS- I heard talk Ozzie is to be home soon, I hope that relieves your heart, I know your son was too good not to come home. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Too many stories in my head

Dear lovely readers,

I am writing mainly to the other bloggers out there who are writers... well I guess all bloggers are writers. But I feel like this is more a writing problem. I am in the middle of writing a story I love and it has been going through my mind for years, so writing it finally feels like I am accomplishing a goal. However, I am re-reading Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (I know I have talked about the book and mini-series a few times on this blog...if you have not read it or watched it by now, you are missing out) anyway I love this story so much and I have thought about how to update it.
Roger Hamley and Molly
Or re-tell it in some way. I have watched a lot of vloggers updating stories on YouTube and while I feel this would be a great and easy vlog to do... I do not have any film experience. So if a vlogger is out there reading this blog can you please please make a adaptation of this story I would be eternally grateful.

For myself, I feel more comfortable with writing about the early twentieth century than I do in modern times. The last story I wrote was a re-telling of Sense and Sensibility but set in 1906 in western Massachusetts. It was lots of fun bringing the characters of Elinor and Marianne, who I love so much to life as Laurel and Emmy and trying to figure out what women in 1906 do when they are completely dependent on the generosity of family members. 

Molly, Cynthia, Mrs. Gibson
So now I my mind wrapped up in how to bring Molly Gibson up-to-date. The basic premise of Molly Gibson is she is very selfless, and always trying to please people, especially her papa. Unfortunately she is too selfless and in that has a hard time speaking up for herself and when she does some people think she is being selfish, especially her new step-mom. Her new step-mom frequently pretends that she is better than the station she lives in and acts in ways that are quite silly because she wants to be considered high-class. With her step-mom come a new step-sister, Cynthia, who is beautiful... I mean it is said about a hundred times how enrapturing Cynthia is. I personally think this is because she is actually not that good of person on the inside. But good Molly loves her anyway and goes to great lengths to protect Cynthia... even at the cost of ruining her reputation. Eventually her reputation is restored, thanks to Lady Harriet and she does find love (sorry spoiler). However, Elizabeth Gaskell dies before the actual book is finished so we just have to assume all ends happily for Molly.

Going back to my writing- as I said I feel more comfortable with the early twentieth century. So I am trying to configure a way to bring Molly into that time period. However, as much as I am enjoying those musings I must stayed focused on my story at hand. Ugh to be a writer with too many stories on my mind. I guess it is better than not having any stories.
If I do write this story I must use this line.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A sister is a wonderful thing

Our first pic together... already being the protective sister

I have posted shout outs to my friends and various family members on their birthday's or special occasions... So today I am giving a shout out to my sister on her birthday. She probably doesn't know what an inspiration she is for me. She inspires me in her faith, her marriage and what kind of mom she is... if there was one person I would change life with it would be her. We didn't always get along but I know she will always have my back and protect me.

There are not many "sister" songs out there but here is a song from our past
"Sisters" from White Christmas. 

We had dance skills

Oh the back rubs

Over the years we had such style...

and poise.
I remember loved being tossed up and down.
and our snuggle times

Time with the grandparents was awesome

but nothing as awesome as sister time..
Visiting Harvard

Celebrating her little one to be..

Visiting D.C. with future niece in tow.

My first ski trip... she was so patient with me

My first trip to Denver at the Molly Brown house

Sister love is the best
Celebrating her big day

We let some others into our sister time... but they have only been great additions
At the zoo with niece

In Florida

With her then husband-to-be

Mom (Nana) and the lovely kids

These pictures are not all in order... 
it was great going through them and going through all the memories.
Love you, H.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

my sister holding me when I was 1 hour old
So I love my birthday, not because of the gifts, but because it means my friends (from all the different parts of my life) get together and it is lots of fun. I have had some friends that have been in my life for a long time so we have lots of birthday memories together (LOVE!). This year has been no different very memorable...

niece, sister, nephew and I 
First lets go back to last Friday when I flew to my mom's house in the desert of California. We have had a very long winter here in Boston so it was nice to pull out my summer clothes and feel the very warm sun on my skin. Though it was mother's day my mom treated me to mother daughter pedicures and the woman giving me a pedicure asked "you're so pale where are you from?" "Boston," I said though being of Irish and English descent I will never be dark. My mom basically spoiled me for the week treating me to good dinners out and one of my favorite meals (Stuffed green peppers). She bought me some new cute shoes and a relaxing week (a massage, a few strawberry margaritas, and other treats). While the treats were good it was  great to spend the week with my sister, niece and nephew. Also my Grandma made me dinner at her house and bought me my favorite cake (German Chocolate). So thanks mom and step-dad for the awesome treat of that week...
Awesome auntie time
with step-dad
Then when I got back to Boston I had a great dinner with some of my good girl friends where I got a some
bookish things and a Starbucks gift card. Then today I received a one year subscription to Netflix. Books, coffee and movies... my friends know me so well. Okay, I know I started out this post saying I don't care about the gifts and I really don't...a co-worker asked me "what I wanted?" and I couldn't think of anything. I feel so blessed that I can't think of anything I want. It is not about the gifts it is about having friends and family that I know that will love and support me.

However, I don't want anything materialistically my friend asked me at dinner "What is one thing I want to do this year?" And my answer is to finish my thesis and FINALLY graduate grad-school. I can't imagine my life not being a student but I sure would like to.

Here are some memorable birthdays since moving to Boston...

From top left down:

  • 21st birthday dinner with friends and Dad, then getting baptized the next day... great to have dad for both occasions
  • Going to my first Red Sox game and it being Lester's no hitter
  • Graduating college a few days before my 23rd birthday.
  • It wasn't really for my birthday but my bible study went to Rochester, NY for the Lilac festival and it was around my birthday time so I remember it as my 24th birthday
  • Doing Karaoke for my 25th birthday
  • Birthday party to help me raise support to go to Honduras
  • Last year going to Newport with my mom and seeing the beautiful mansions. 
my first birthday

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thankful for

If you have been reading my "Dear Anne" letters you will know I have been in a kind of negative place. Well at the advice of my dear friend who I call my "Boston Mom" she reminds me of the things I am thankful for... So to share them with you I wanted to make a collage. I couldn't post all the pictures I wanted but this is a good reminder....

1. My family: They have always been supportive of me and it wasn't until I moved to Boston that I realized how much I need them. 

2. My friends: The random dance parties, our trips together, going to the movies, and being a shoulder to cry on.

3. My older sister: Who has always been looking out for me. 

4. My relationship with my dad: We weren't that close during my teen years but now I feel I can turn to him for everything.

5. My relationship with my mom: We have our ups and downs but I know she loves me and is always supporting my dreams wherever they can take me.

6. Being an aunt: I love being an aunt to my sister's kids and my best friend's baby. I have been told I will love my kids more than my niece and nephew but I love them so much and they have brighten up my life. 

7. Hope: No matter how dark things might get there is always hope. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A little bit of my past

Hello lovely readers,

In my last post I talked about how I was going to talk more about my faith on this blog. I know I have already talked about my faith a little but I wanted to go back a bit in my story. I have not always  followed the Lord in my life but have had Christians always in my life and I have catch myself thinking about them "you must have it all together to be a Christian." I would say my dad and both my sisters are these super Christians in my life and I looked up to them as if they were perfect... well they aren't and neither am I.

I wanted to lay out a bit of my life story so no reader can accuse me of being "perfect" and "having it all together" when I don't. In this blog I am simply sharing my life and my faith is a HUGE part of that. So before you think I am standing on a soap box or hitting you over the head with a Bible, I wanted to share a pice of my story so hopefully you won't think I am doing those actions.

From my Baptism... May 20th 2007

When I was 5ish my parents got divorced. I know it is common for kids to think that "it is their fault", I never thought that. Looking back on it, I don't really remember a time they were together so it seems like a "natural" thing. Though I didn't think it was my fault through the divorce I got it into my head that I had to please everyone. I somehow thought that there was this bar of "perfection" that I could never measure up to. When I thought I was close to that bar, I would  discover that there was something else I had to do to make people happy. And if people weren't happy with me they wouldn't love me. This an aspect of my life I have lived with for nearly 21 years, while it is waining in strength, sometimes when I am low I still feel this bar above me. So for me it was very "natural" to think there were always conditions or hoops to jump through to earn love.
Skip ahead to my Junior year of High School. It was not a good time for me. I know I was stressed about my grades (I wasn't a stellar student) and I knew my grades that year were not good enough to get into a good college. I just remembering feeling as if I had failed. I know college wasn't the only thing that brought stress on me, I just like I had failed (I can't fully put it into words). For so long I had felt as if I was treading water keeping my head above float and all of the sudden I got tired of treading so I stopped and it felt as if I had drowned. Drowned to the bottom of the ocean and for awhile I walked around feeling no need to get up. I also felt no one around me could see how much pain I was in and I couldn't express because if I did they would know I had failed and then no one would love me.
Over this time I was taking over the counter sleeping medicine because I could never sleep at night. One night, I remember, I was emptying the dish washer and I thought about taking 5 or 6 pills that night and not waking up the next day. In reality I wanted my mom to come in try to wake me and when she realized I couldn't, she would rush me to the hospital, have my stomach pumped and then be fine. Also people would realize how much pain I was carrying around. Yeah not super logical but it is hard to be logical when you are sad. It is also hard to be logical when you are living inside your own head and not grasping on to reality.
I started going to therapy my senior year. I talked a lot about my emotions and how sick I felt but I still carried around shame and guilt over what I had thought and what I had almost done. I still sometimes think back at that time and think, if people knew that about me they wouldn't love me. I mean how can some one love somebody who thought about ending their life. Yeah also not super logical. That is probably the biggest bruise I carry around me and I still ask God to heal my heart from that.  
Boston in the fall..
the first time I came to Boston was in the fall
During my Junior year I would stare out my classroom window and look out over the San Fransisco Bay and dream of running away. I thought I would just leave school take BART to Oakland get on a Amtrak train and see where life would lead. Well I found a nice legitimate way to run away, college. I had a large book that listed every college in the US and I looked into all of them on the East Coast from Boston to Virginia. But on my first trip to Boston I felt at home and I never wanted to leave. 

Over the summer, between Senior year and college, I went back to visit my dad and per usual went to High School church camp. I always went to camp mostly because all my friends went and this year was no different. But something happened to me at camp. I had 2 wonderful camp leaders who showed me how they weren't perfect and still were Christians. I began to ponder that thought. Then over the week I realized I had tried to do everything on my own and I had failed. I realized I couldn't do it on my own anymore. So after camp I asked my dad to help me find a church in Boston, I remember he was driving on the high way but I am not sure why. I am sure if he had not been driving he would have had a heart attack over this question.

I found Park Street Church and through that found one of my best friends. She didn't let me hide behind my wall of shame, she got right to the heart of my life. She also didn't allow me to be a wall flower and she "dragged" to different bible studies where I got to meet a lot of people. While I had this great friends sometimes I felt completely alone as a Christian so I clung to my Bible and read all of Psalm that first semester. Through my friend I found Reunion Christian Church, my home church, and have found a great community there.
People might ask me "how do I know God exist?" I will answer "because He saved me." I know that is a classic Sunday school answer but I know it to be true. I was in the pit and I wanted to end it all because everything I had done had made me fail. With God I have never felt like a failure, though I continue to stumble. I make mistakes, I will make mistakes. I continue to walk around with scars on my heart for all the things that have happened in my life but God knows those scars, He know the dark spots inside me, and yet he created me and He loves me with no condition and no hoops to jump through. That is what I cling to because sometimes it is the only thing that makes sense.
As I have finished this up I realize the title is a little miss-leading as it is actually a long post. So as a treat... here is one song I have really loved for a long time and still gives me goose bumps.
"How he loves" by David Crowder.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Garden Spells... A good beach read

On Sunday I finished reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. As you know after finishing Mockingjay I was having a hard time moving on, I tried to read Henry James but I could not get into it. Sorry Henry James, I tried but didn't succeed. Any way, searching for a new book I went to my "books to read list" it was made awhile ago but feels good to cross books off my list. Then I went to the library to see if I could get my hands on some of them. This book has intrigued me over and over again yet I couldn't get myself to read it, mostly because it is not historical fiction and for a long time that was all I was reading. This year I am reading new novels and that means expanding my choice in books so I thought I would give it a try. I picked up it on a Tuesday night and finished it on Sunday. It was an easy read, not too much depth or intriguing plot lines to follow and you finish the book feeling a bit hopeful in love and a sisterly bond so if you are looking for a book to take to the beach this summer I recommend it.  

When I was flipping through the book to see if I should check it out, I liked the idea that it was about sisters and right now as I am writing about sisters I was intrigued to read a book on sisters. Plus being from the library, I felt comfortable checking it out and if I didn't like it I could easily return it but I did like it. It is about two sisters who mother abandoned them and then died when they were young. The oldest, Claire, is now afraid to let any one into her life because she is afraid to lose them and the youngest, Sydney, left home fresh out of high school to see the world but ends up in an abusive relationship so to escape she moves back home. These sisters must bond together and must open their hearts to let new love in. And there is a little bit of magic thrown into the plot. Not like wizards or anything like that but the Waverlys are known for their garden and the food that they make is not like any other food it reveals emotions, secrets and desires. Also they have a tree, that is magical by throwing its apples at them, and when one eats the apples it shows them their biggest moment rather it be good or bad. I don't want to give away too much off the plot. I found this other review of the book that I will warn does give some spoilers away at Reading and Reviewing.

I can't say it is the greatest book I have ever read, but am intrigued to read other books by Sarah Addison Allen. This may not be a work of great literature but I would throw it in my beach bag and escape into the little world of Bascom, North Carolina.