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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Celebrating a life well lived

Just had a much needed talk with my sister from another mother. Our conversation ended reminincing about one of the dearest people I've known her mother, Mrs. Joann Williams. We weren't able to be there in Philidelphia to celebrate her life but I wrote this tribute ... I don't think Cynthia will mind me sharing if she does oh well (she shouldn't have rushed me off of the phone to get in bed!). On a serious note I know there are all kinds of pain, on many different levels in this world today. Most of what I wrote 5 years ago is more applicable now than when I wrote it then. I realized after reading this to Cynthia that this was dedicated to Granny but could only be used by those of us who are alive. I'm taking a couple of doses of this myself and I hope you will too if you need to...

The Hart, Callihan, and Minniefield families’ tribute to our beloved
Jo-Ann Williams affectionately to us “Granny”

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not
self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Learning of Granny’s passing a few days ago was one of the hardest days for all of us.  As difficult as it was in a weird kind of way the day also caused us to rejoice. Yes, she is now free from the bondage of the dreaded disease Cancer.  The thought of no more pain, or suffering somehow provided a calm sense of unexplainable peace for us.
The Lord allowed our pathways to cross thirteen years or so ago through our children and we’ve been family from then until now. Cynthia, Jeffery and Girls we commend you all for a job well done taking care of Granny during her transition.  We wish we could be there with you now in person during what we know is a very difficult time.  Prayerfully you all feel our presence, especially now, as you are celebrating Granny’s life well lived. Family for all of us is significant, and Granny adopted us and loved us as her family almost immediately.  She was there with my mother, when Diana was born, but we really grew very close after an auto-pedestrian accident, in 2001.  Granny took care of Diana who was only six months old at the time, me, all while taking care of Alex and Ashly. She allowed me to be angry, cry, and a couple of times Granny allowed me to have a meltdown fit, but then she said like only she could “now that is enough of that you need to get yourself together and get on to something else.” It wasn’t long after that I recovered and was able to go back to work.
She invested so much into me, Joshua, and our girls lives.  We are better because of the time and energy she spent pouring wisdom, and the wealth of life long knowledge into us. Granny exhibited the grace of God, His unmerited favor, and had the ultimate respect for every human being. She was such a gracious, and proper woman who went out of her way to be kind. Granny meant so much to us. The above scripture about love describes the love Granny shared with so many people. She was like a second mother, a grandmother to my girls, a teacher, mentor, and Granny was my friend. Our world would be so much sweeter if there were more people like Mrs. Jo-Ann Williams (Granny).
The bulk of our conversations was either about God, or our family.  She was a woman of great faith, and she lived a life that so pleased God. We shared favorite foods such as taco salad, soup, beans, all things italian, and seafood. We had some beautiful meals together making life long memories. Granny was an incredible gardener too. Now make no mistake about it she was also strict on the girls (and me too) when she needed to be, “keep the main thing the main thing” she would often say, and we knew to get right back on track, she knew her job, and did it well.                                    Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderes or addicted to much wine, but teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.      
Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)
We celebrate you Mrs. JoAnn Williams, and know for sure we will see you again.                                                      A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death is better than the day of birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1 (NIV)
I’m so thankful for the opportunities we had to demonstrate how much Granny meant to us, we loved on her every time she was around.  We feel sadness, but we maximized our time when she was alive, we have no regrets.  We are positive she knew our great love for her.  Family, life is short let’s hold each other accountable to live every day to the fullest …and challenge each other to deliberately love hard with out excuse, not contigent on if it is recieved …                                                          
“Finally, my brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Philippians 4:8.” (NIV)

Important learned lesson from Granny, as a final take away, be intentional about living your life, you only have one.  Don’t waste valuable time, and energy, instead diligently work to leave a positive impact on this world.            Live well until you die!!  Go on sweet Granny take your rest.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Our Witness: I'm back

Our Witness: I'm back: It's  been way too long since blogging, maybe I can get and stay in the groove.  Lots of things have happened, I'm still working har...
Saturday, July 14, 2018

I'm back

It's  been way too long since blogging, maybe I can get and stay in the groove.  Lots of things have happened, I'm still working hard at what I believe God has purposed my life to accomplish.  This has been the hardest job ever second to being a mother. I continue to push through the dissapoitments, discouragement, and defeat giving God the glory as I run this race. 
If I had been told after going through all I have that I would be in the situation I am in today I wouldn't believe it. 
Today feels alot like waking up in Little Rock after the doctors at Mercy couldn't figure out what was going on.  It was cold, I was hurting, and all alone.  There was chaos and seem like everything was going in slow motion. I was so scared of what was happening, but more so that I didn't have control over anything.  I could see my legs, hips, feet, arms and hands but they were heavy and uncontrollable no matter what I did I couldn't get my body function. What made this worse was how concerned the doctor was. His face had question marks everytime he entered my room.
After wrestling with every thought that came to mind with no avail I remember saying, "God Almighty do You see this?  Really this is happening after everything that has happened in my life? Why?" I wish I could say He answered me, and everything is great but that is not the case. There have been many times since then I felt like I was close to the answer, and then there are days like today, I feel like I will never know the answer and how none of it make sense. 
Scripture helps me one in particular is Job.  Some things I'm reminding myself of today is He has never left me alone  Heb. 13:5 He will instruct you and teach you the way you should go  Psalm 32:8. In my case I have to have exhausted everything I know to do that's when I'm ready to obey Him. I've learned God's character in the dark, cold nights, I'm burdened, full of fear there He draws me to Himself. As I ponder my own personal future, I see some things clearly while other things are a mystery to me. Then I remember what Job said. “He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10). He knows the way that I take even when I don’t. He knows the way that I take even when I can’t see clearly.
Looking back, we find it easy to count our blessings and to see the hand of the Lord moving on our behalf.  So much has happened that we did not expect, we have to keep on going "it's all good"