I wanted to let you know that I added a new blog to my blogroll today.
That’s usually not postable news, because most of the blogs I follow are general interest for women like us. They are from a Christian perspective on varying topics that you or I might find useful and intetesting.
But this new blog ~ it’s special. Let me tell you why:
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” 1 Peter 4:10
I first met Emily’s extended family at the small church we attended where my husband and I met. We had been involved with some of the youth events and had the opportunity to get to know her uncles who were still in high school, twin boys who were deeply committed believers, and were like everyone’s big brothers. They had a genuine care for all around them and my daughters in particular adored them.
Not long after they graduated and moved away, I had the opportunity to meet their parents. It was obvious that their faith had been instilled in their sons along with a deep family bond. I understood that they also had an older daughter who was married, but who lived in another town and had young children. After several years, I finally met the daughter and her daughter by chance at the little fruit stand where I worked.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11
Let me just say that I loved Kristen and Emily immediately! Partly because they were an extension of the people I already knew and loved, and partly because they themselves are inspiring people. I was doing the baking and cooking for this little fruit stand, and for a short time I was able to have Emily as an apprentice of sorts in the kitchen with me. For reasons beyond my control, it was as I recall a VERY short time. But in that time, I think I learned a lot more from Emily than she ever learned from me. Did I mention she was only about 12 at the time?
Emily’s passion for cooking amazed me. She loved to be in the kitchen and had been making trips across the state for cooking classes. She loved to share recipes ~ I still have the recipe for her grandma’s golden syrup cookies. Yum!! But the thing I remember most about our time together is just how grateful she was for any opportunity to participate and how sweet and kind and insightful she was. What a joy she was to me!
“A joyful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22
So it was with a heavy heart that I had to tell her mom that the owner of the fruit stand wasn’t going to let her come anymore. It wasn’t anything that had happened, I think just the owner’s own fears about building a growing business. But it was heart-wrenching for me. I eventually left that job over similar arbitrary decisions made by the owner, but that’s a different story.
My next opportunity to work with Emily came a short time later as Kristen asked me to help put on her husband’s birthday party. What a fun day that was! Emily was clearly the master mind in the kitchen and it was a privilege to be a part of the festivities and create a wonderful atmosphere for a great party. I don’t remember all the particulars (but Emily says she has a great memory so I’m sure she’ll remind me ~ maybe in a guest post here someday?) but I remember how I felt at the end of the day.
We had worked long and hard together, preparing the food and the atmosphere. Of course, I had been hired to do a job, and I remember I was paid well, but I remember thinking it was too much for what I had actually done. And the gratitude of both Emily and her mother was so heartfelt and…well, profuse. I remember thinking I’d never met such grateful people.
“Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Ephesians 5:18-20
By the end of that summer and through a whirlwind series of events my husband and I had moved across state for his job opportunity and I haven’t seen Emily for a few years. But through the wonder of social media I came back into contact with her grandmother and mother, and more recently with her to wish her happy birthday. What a sweet thing to realize what an amazing godly young woman she’s become. Smart, beautiful, a talented chef and writer, and so in love with Jesus.
I also realized, she is on a journey. She could use our prayers as she faces a painful battle that takes strength that only Jesus can give her. Again I am finding that Emily is teaching me so much ~ about joy, and gratitude, and faith ~ and I would love for you to learn along with me. Once you read just a bit of her online journal you will see why I just had to announce this special addition to my blogroll! So without further ado, let me introduce my friend Emily and her blog …
Rejoicing with you,