Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meet My "Aunt Gracie"

Because of my special Aunt Gracie, I have been inspired to be a better aunt for all of my nieces and nephews.

Grace started working with Southern Bell as a switchboard operator fresh out of high school. She worked with this company until she retired as Marketing Operations Manager 42 years later and the company bought out by A T & T.

She and her wonderful husband, Johnny Rodriguez are very hard workers. I remember their small apartment in New Orleans where my cousin, Janice and I would go to spend some time with our Aunt Gracie.

During this time of my life I was exposed to some new things that my immediate family did not do on a regular basis. I love the memories of her taking us swimming, after purchasing us new swimming caps and I learned how to float. I was so proud of myself. Another time, I remember going to the beauty shop with her and out to breakfast. One special memory was when Janice and I both bought musical instruments from a toy store. One day she took us to get a professional picture taken. Aunt Gracie made you always feel like you were beautiful, talented and all of your inspiring ideas you ever shared with her were brilliant. She called me Donna Rooster. From that small apartment, and a lot of hard work, she and Uncle Johnny moved to a beautiful split level home they designed and still live in to the present.

Her purses were always filled with lots of change. We knew we could always find a hefty amount of shopping money or to buy a special treat.

Aunt Gracie is a real giver. She has blessed us so many times.

Aunt Gracie has always been a great example of taking care of yourself. I remember seeing her and her sister, Aunt Patsy, exercise. Her clothes are always those of a leader.
"I buy the clothes that I really like" she said, "not just because they are on sale."
Her hair and make up always tastefully done.

Grace and Johnny have a real love for God and their fellow man. They have shown their love for their family and friends by always traveling if necessary to be with them on their special "red letter" days.

I could go on and on, but the one thing that really draws people to Grace and Johnny is their really really fun personalities. When they are around, you can always expect to laugh and have a great time. Grace is the person you would want to go with you on a cruise or to a party. I will always remember how she made us laugh when visiting us at the hospital when my Dad was very sick with cancer. She and Aunt Patsy made a very difficult time filled with some really pleasant memories.

Thank you Aunt Gracie for believing in me, encouraging me, and showing love to my Mother and family. Thank you for being a great example of how an aunt can make such a difference in the lives of your nieces and nephews. I pray that I will be able to impact my nieces the way you have done for me.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Power of Hope

I believe "hope" is the glue that adds faith to our lives. In order to get our prayers answered, I really think that feeling that feeling of already receiving the answer plays a huge part in getting our prayers answered.

God seems to sprinkle rays of hope along our paths. How many times did you have something come in your day that never did pan out, but it was exciting for a time? Many times when we are seeking God for answers, He will seemingly tease us with what we "think" is going to be an open door, but that situation or thing never comes through.

These gifts of hope is the fuel that, I believe, gets us from point "A" to point "B". He is just encouraging us as we travel though our lives with rays of hope. How discouraging life would be if He never shined the light of hope in our path that is leading us in the right direction.

True faith requires feeling the feeling of the prayer already answered. It is the power that reigns the answer in many times. Mature faith has the ability to just "wait" when we know that His word declares we CAN receive the answer.

I know we have all experienced in our prayer life the ability to visualize the prayer we are praying as answered. This can spark so much faith, that we can leave that season of prayer knowing that the answer is on it's way.

I have had several people talk to me lately about "why does God not heal when we know He paid a huge price for our healing?". As many of my readers know, we of all people could ask this question. Gary suffers with MS and even I with some heart difficulties.

Here is my answer... I just think we must trust God no matter what. We have to believe that He is working all things for our good. Somehow, God is doing some great thing through us or for us. Just because He has not seemingly answered our prayer, does not mean He is not going to.

When our children ask for something and we know we are going to give it to them, maybe for Christmas or a birthday, we do not fret that they are going without, because we know it will be done.

The end is not here yet. So, we just keeping believing. And, if the answer is no, we still must trust Him.