30 June 2016
“Life happens in the oddest of moments.” Currently, I am working on a book where, in one scene, a mother recalls the mistakes she’s made and how, as an adult, she wished she hadn’t thought them as mistakes back then. God gives us blessings in life when we least expect it. I strongly believe that. Now, it’s still a daily struggle to count my blessings and truly be thankful for them. It’s hard for me to be thankful when I recognize how much I struggle in my own faults and flaws, and most of all, I worry what other people think about them as much as I do.
I grew up in the country in eastern Minnesota, the oldest of five girls. I was blessed in growing up with parents who raised us to love God first and foremost, who took us to church every Sunday, and who taught us right from wrong. My mother always said to find a career that makes you happy, and I have. But in life I learned something that I heard once on “Little House on the Prairie” (love that TV series) – that is, to count every moment and also, you can have many careers in your life. Which is true. In my life, I am an author and also a wife. I am a daughter, granddaughter, and one day, I will be a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Not only that, but living in the country really made me appreciate life as it came. We were snowbound in winter a lot of times, not being in school with everyone else, simply because the school bus couldn’t make it down the not-yet-plowed gravel roads. In the summer, if you wanted real work, you helped in the barn by shoveling sheep manure out of the pens, and may I add that the barn was NOT air-conditioned and had very little air circulation? Most barns are anyway. We were faithfully involved in 4-H. We took livestock to the county fair every summer in mid-July. We daily practiced with our sheep, including with walking our lambs down to the end of the long driveway and back, or even down the road farther, halter-breaking them and then walking them to make sure they got enough exercise. Sheep were judged according to how meaty their thighs, back ends, and sides looked. It was a serious deal getting money from the 4-H auction, getting blue ribbons, and have the warm feeling in the center of your chest that your hard work truly had paid off. We weren’t afraid to get sweaty, down and dirty, and although we complained at times, I regret all of those regrets now, and would gladly do it all again.
As an adult, you really appreciate the home where you’ve grown up, and the people you grew up with. I remember the afternoons and evenings I spent at home in my bedroom writing stories in my notebooks, and I wish I’d been spending them in the living room with my family instead. I remember listening to the trains’ horns as I drifted off to sleep most nights, the crickets chirping, and the fresh smell of nature on your nose through an open bedroom window. I remember practicing my piano pieces while my mother made supper and my dad watched the evening news. It’s the simple things you never forget.
Most of you out there are young like me, around the age of 28, younger or older. Here’s a piece of advice: appreciate every day you have. Some days, I am just content on sitting in the quiet solitude of our living room with my husband, watching our cats play together or snooze. Sometimes I look at him and have a sentimental feeling – that one day, seventy years from now, I may very well be looking at him for the very last time. I’m not trying to be morbid or anything, but my point is this – you only have one life. If you read the Bible and obey what it says in there, you will find true peace in your life that doesn’t come anywhere except through God above. The stresses we deal with now in life is nothing compared to the glory that we will one day see. There is always victory in the Lord. Nobody is perfect, and I certainly don’t claim to be. But how much sweeter our life will be if we appreciate our loved ones, constantly show them, and love them even more than the day before that. May all of you be always blessed in your lives. Be faithful to God, choose the right mate, and enjoy the rest of your life as much as you possibly kind. As in Tim McGraw’s song, “Humble and Kind,” (a song I love), follow suit. Live a wonderful life.
Don’t forget to look for Jenna’s new book, “The Magic Suitcase: Martha” in online stores through Amazon and Smashwords! Buy it today and then buy it again when it arrives in paperback – which is coming soon! Focus your reading energy on a book that will remind you about the wonderful blessings of life, and the surprises that come upon life’s way!
Have a wonderful week!