Monday, January 10, 2011

a memory

My dear Aunt Nora went to be with Jesus last night, after a long battle with cancer. I don't think I've ever posted a picture of her before, but her grandkids and daughters make frequent appearances on this little blog.

There are people writing beautiful, true things about her, at this very moment, all over the world. she trusted God completely. she cared about other people so much, even when she was in pain. she prayed faithfully for specific things, and then praised God when He answered her. she sang with our worship team in front of church, faithfully, every Sunday. she loved Jesus.
...and how she inspired so many people to love Jesus more {myself included}. she loved loved loved her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren, and her son-in-laws.

She was an amazing woman, and I don't say that lightly. Where other people would have despaired, where someone else would have faltered, and when dark news came... she trusted. She thanked God. She was obedient.

When I think of my Aunt Nora, here's the memory that comes to mind:

I'm a little girl, sleeping over at my cousin Katie's house. We stayed up late the night before, eating candy and watching movies, and now it's early morning, and I stumble down the stairs, looking for breakfast. To my left is the kitchen, but to my right is the dining room, and past that, the living room. And there's Aunt Nora. She's sitting on the corner of the couch, Bible open on her lap, cup of coffee on the mug warmer on top of the radiator.

That image is forever imprinted in my mind. Aunt Nora, studying her Bible early in the morning, every morning that I slept over at my cousin's house. She had no idea what she was impressing on her little niece: the importance of faithful, regular time spent with Jesus every morning.

My Aunt Nora left an incredible legacy. Her daughters, her grandchildren, the lives she impacted, and the clear memory of her faith are precious, living gifts.

Thank you God, for Nora Speziale.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

resolutions: on hospitality

The {blurry} picture below was taken on January 19, 2010. We had just moved into our new/old house, and we had my two grandmas, my great-uncle, and my aunt over to celebrate my mom's birthday. If you look closely, you'll note that my scarf is hiding a ginormous belly bump. {Charlie was born 13 days later.}

For the record, I am not a well-seasoned hostess. I'm never sure which knife to use to cut the cake, or how many cups will be enough, or whether that roast is big enough for the guests we just spontaneously invited over for dinner. I forget to put out salt and pepper, my ice cube trays are usually empty, and there are crumbs under my dining room table.

But January 19, 2010, was the first time I officially hosted guests in our home. I waddled around, pulling out the wrong dishes and making too much coffee, and we celebrated my beautiful, happy mom. I'm pretty sure no one remembers that I forgot to put sugar in the sugar bowl, or that we ran out of creamer. When January 19, 2011, rolls around, we'll say, "Hey, remember last year, when we went to Sherah and Marty's house and had a birthday party for Mom?" Imperfection is blissfully erased by time... most of the time.

My point?

Theoretically speaking: Few {if any} things in this life are perfect. But perfection doesn't matter. People do.

Practically speaking: Come on over for dinner. And don't mind the crumbs... I'll try not to, either.