Category Archives: treasure

Sisters on Vacation

tues

Since I seem to be in the mode of sharing some of my published work with you lately, today’s Treasure Tuesday offering is a story I wrote years ago about one of the times my sisters and I got together. “Sisters on Vacation” was published in a collection of family memory stories titled The Rocking Chair Reader: Family Gatherings, published in 2005.

As I read through this again after so many years, I was struck by how much things have changed … and not changed.

I wrote in this story that none of us would miss these get-togethers, but the reality is that for the past several years, my health has kept me from traveling by air. This means I haven’t been able to get together with my sisters for quite a while. That’s a big change.

What has not changed is the constant love, affection and support my sisters and I will always have for each other no matter how much time and distance separates us. In spite of difficulties we have shared in our lives, we’ve always got each other’s backs and are “there” for each other in spirit and prayer, if we cannot be there in person.

To my seesters reading this right now: I love and cherish each and every one of you!

 Sisters on Vacation

Pretty in pink(2)

[Here we are together pretty in pink. Left to right: Me, Nancy, Palma, Julie, Maria.]

I was exhausted after being on an airplane all day, but my fatigue was tempered by excitement at seeing my sisters again. I disembarked and lugged my suitcase toward the main terminal for what seemed like miles. As I rounded a curve in the walkway, someone shouted my name. I looked up and saw my sisters standing a few feet away. I broke into a huge smile when I saw the sign they held above their heads: my name imprinted in huge letters, just like a chauffeur would have.

In the next instant, I was enveloped in hugs, all of us trying to talk at once.

My four sisters and I live in various parts of the country. Two live in the Northeast, another two are in Florida, and I live in northern Arizona, all the way across the country. This scattering of family makes it difficult for all of us to get together in one place, but our annual Sisters’ Vacation is something we cherish, and none of us would miss it.

I’m the oldest, and though fifteen years separates my youngest sister and me, the age difference is barely noticeable now that we’re all adults. In spite of the age spread and the various places we live, the similarities among us are striking. We all have some degree of the curly dark hair that denotes our Italian heritage, and we each have two children. No matter where we go, people do a double-take because we all look so much alike.

A couple of years ago, we decided to meet in Orlando, Florida, to do some shopping and tour Universal Studios, and then travel to Largo to reunite with our parents. We hadn’t seen each other in more than a year and were really excited to have this special time together. We got very little sleep that first night as we shared snacks and caught up with the events in each other’s lives. We’re fairly good about keeping in touch by email, but some things just can’t be conveyed through cyberspace.

We couldn’t wait to get to Universal Studios that first day. Even threatening rain clouds didn’t dampen our enthusiasm. We were happy just to be together. The nasty weather held off for the first hour, but then the clouds opened up and we were caught in a downpour. We were immediately drenched and didn’t waste any time joining the long line to purchase rain ponchos.

What a sight we were in our powder-blue ponchos stamped with the Universal Studies insignia. It took some time for our clothes to dry under the ponchos, but we kept touring the park anyway. A little rain wouldn’t ruin our day, and the photos we now share prove it: five women with dark, damp, frizzy hair lined up in light-blue ponchos and huge smiles.

5 seesters [We always seem to line up according to age, most times not even realizing it until later. Here we are again, left to right: Me, Nancy, Palma, Julie, Maria]

When my sisters and I get together, we have the time of our lives. People give us amused glances as they pass by because we’re usually laughing about something one of us has said or seen. That’s when we turn to them in unabashed chorus and proclaim loudly, “We’re sisters, and we’re on vacation!”

Even though we’re a close-knit family, life sometimes gets in the way, making it difficult for us to always agree or be completely comfortable with one another. Differences of opinion, distance, and unresolved disputes have conspired to place a wedge in the constancy of our affection for each other. But when all is said and done, we are five women with a common, very tight-knit bond: we are sisters.

Mar2005-Seesters

[On another sisters’ vacation, we all decided to have our hair professionally straightened. In order of age (again), this time right to left: Me, Nancy, Palma, Julie, Maria.]

We’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how unique or disparate our opinions are. It makes no difference that we don’t all think alike. In fact, our differences are what make us a strong family unit.

On our last vacation, I was the first one to leave. At the airport, my sisters waited with me as I checked in. We shared one last hug, and then I joined the long line to the security checkpoint. About ten minutes later, as I was inching forward in this seemingly endless line, I once again heard my name being shouted. I looked to the left, and there were all four of my sisters—waving, laughing, and shouting my name. I waved back and threw them a kiss. Several people behind me smiled at our unbridled enthusiasm.

“We’re sisters,” I informed them, nodding at the four women who were still waving at me. “And we were on vacation!”

My family

[Our entire family many years ago while Mom was still with us. As usual, we sisters somehow managed to line up around Mom and Dad in order of age. Left to right: Me, Nancy, Palma, Mom, Dad, Julie, and a very pregnant Maria]

Rocking-Chair-Reader

[From The Rocking Chair Reader: Family Gatherings. Copyright © 2005 Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company]

AnnaSmile

My Treasures, Part 6

On May 8th I posted about the treasures in my life and decided to expand on each of those treasures for the next few Treasure Tuesdays. This week I want to share the next of the treasures on my list:

My four wacky and wonderful sisters

Left to right (youngest to oldest): Maria, Julie, Palma, Nancy and me!

In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips. –Author Unknown

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other’s hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time. –Clara Ortega

Can I just say right now that I have the greatest sisters? There we are, all five of us together. Can you see the family resemblance? There were only us girls growing up—no boys. I think that’s why Dad’s hair turned gray at such a young age. I mean, can you imagine being the only male in the household? Six women, including Mom… yikes!

Growing up together was mostly fun although we did have our crabby times once in a while. Of course we shared bedrooms because there were so many of us. There are 10 years between Julie and Maria, so for a long time it was just four of us. Nancy and I shared a bedroom; Palma and Julie shared another.

We shared a lot more than just our bedrooms but mostly I remember sharing clothes when we hit the teen years. It was like having a never-ending wardrobe!

In our first house, our bedrooms were right off the kitchen. My aunt and uncle and their family lived in the flat above ours, and many’s the time I can recall falling asleep to the sound of my parents talking with my aunt and uncle late into the night.

My parents were both born outside of Naples, Italy, and came to the United States in the late 40’s. They knew each other in Italy but married here in the U.S. They learned to speak English right along with us as we grew up. I remember us girls in bed for the night calling back and forth between the two bedrooms different Italian words and the corresponding English word. Sounds silly, I know, but it was fun for us!

We are now living in different areas of the country: Julie still lives in Schenectady, NY where we grew up; Palma lives outside of Boston, MA; Nancy and Maria live in suburbs of Tampa, FL (Dad lives down there too); and I’m waaay on the other side of the country in northern AZ.

As of this writing, I haven’t seen my sisters in almost three years. I have chronic migraines that only get worse when traveling by air because of the pressurized cabin. But when we do all get together, we have a blast. Since we are Italian, we not only talk with our hands but our voices can get quite loud. I think anyone who sees us together can tell we are sisters (and how many times have they asked, “Are you all sisters?”) who love each other and have tons of fun together.

Here are some photos of special times spent together:

We’re pretty in pink here!

Our family back in 1995

Some of us seesters in one of our hotel rooms

Dad’s 80th birthday celebration at Disney World

Dad and a few of us having coffee

Staying dry at Universal Studios in FL

One of the photo captions uses the word “seesters.” This is just part of our sister lingo, a special way we refer to our special bond.

These days we seesters keep in touch via email, texts sometimes, and one of my seesters is even on Facebook. Our relationship over the years has had its high and low points, but one thing always keeps us together:

We absolutely love and cherish each other!

So, to Nancy, Palma, Julie and Maria: you are all true treasures to me and I am always thankful for each and every one of you in my life.

Love you all!

My Treasures, Part 4

On May 8th I posted about the treasures in my life and decided to expand on each of those treasures for the next few Treasure Tuesdays. This week I want to share the third of the treasures on my list:

My precious children: Kathy, Alan and Denise (my daughter-in-love)

I don’t normally write very much about my children so as to respect their privacy but I’m making an exception today because each of them is a true treasure to me.

Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me. –Mark 9:37

A daughter is a miracle that never ceases to be miraculous…full of beauty and forever beautiful…loving and caring and truly amazing. Deanna Beisser

Kathy is my first-born and what a treasure she is in my life! I became aware of her existence while I was still engaged to be married to my first husband (Rick is my second husband). Like many women who find out they’re pregnant before marriage, my first thought was to have an abortion. Yes, as difficult as it is for me to share this with you, I gave very serious consideration to having an abortion. I even made the appointment but God had other ideas. After making the actual appointment, which was a couple of weeks away, I became so despondent that I slept almost every minute I was not working, and boy, did I have nightmares about babies dying!

Since I’ve shared a tiny bit about Kathy here before, obviously I did not go through with the abortion. And the blessings I have received since deciding against the abortion have been HUGE! Kathy is precious to me in ways I can’t even express. I am so thankful and blessed that she is not “only” my daughter but one of my closest friends. In fact, she knows me better than anyone else, even my Rick. After all, she and I grew up together and we’re both pink girls!

So, my Kathy, I know I’ve told you before how much you mean to me, and how thankful I am that you came into my life, but I don’t think I tell you often enough how precious our relationship is to me. Because, as you well know, my eyes would leak too much … as they are right now! Thank you for being such a wonderful and caring daughter to me. I am so proud of the woman you have grown to be, one who loves the Lord and seeks to always do His will. I you soooooooo much!

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. –Proverbs 22:6

It is truly a gift to have a son like you who grows more precious with the years! Author Unknown

Another treasure is Alan, my second-born. As I’ve shared before, I am one of 5 daughters (no sons), and Alan was the first boy born into our family in over 20 years. To say I was a bit unprepared to raise a boy is a huge understatement. Oh, in my babysitting years I had of course watched boys as well as girls. But raising up a boy of my own?

As a child, Alan loved anything to do with trucks and construction equipment. He went through a phase when he was around 3 years old when he wanted to be a fireman. He had a child-size fire helmet (red) and a plastic riding fire truck and loved both of them. Fast forward to about 15 years ago [please forgive me, Alan, if my math is slightly off] when he became a true firefighter. And these days, as a captain, he’s wearing a red fire helmet again!

Alan’s faith walk is a story that bears sharing because it shows how God honors the prayers of a faithful heart.

Alan asked Jesus into his heart as a youngster, but as a teen and some years beyond, he became very disillusioned with organized religion and did not want to hear or talk about spiritual matters. That terribly hurt this mother’s heart but didn’t stop me from praying constantly for him to come back to the Lord. For many years I prayed for the Lord to bring a godly friend into his life, and not only that, but for a godly wife for him too. How was I to know that the Lord would honor each of my prayers by bringing Alan both things in one person?

When Alan told me he was going to propose to Denise, he said, “She’s the one God used to bring me back to the light.” Oh, how happy and thankful I was to hear that!

But wait… there’s more.

Alan thought he knew the Lord intimately then (that was about 3 years ago), but last year while he and his crew were helping to fight one of Arizona’s inevitable summer wild fires, God showed Himself to Alan in such an incredibly personal way that Alan was immeasurably changed. He not only became baptized—and I got to witness that special event!—but he is now involved with a mission team that serves in Albania to teach medical and life-saving procedures and protocol to medical personnel there. In fact, he has been on two missions so far and will be leaving on another one this September.

Can you say gratified … joyful … thankful … and a bunch of other praise adjectives I can’t even think of right now?

Alan, I always have and always will appreciate your love for me and  how much you care for and want to protect me. I am so proud of the man you have grown into, and will never cease to thank God for you in my life. And I’m guessing He still has some mighty big plans for you, Son! I love you more than you can imagine!

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. –Proverbs 31:10-12

Daughters are angels sent from above to fill our heart with unending love. J. Lee

Denise is my next treasure. I know it’s a cliche, but I call Denise my daughter-in-love because she is! And besides, daughter-in-law sounds so technical… and legal [which it is, but that's not the point here].

Denise was first Alan’s friend and that friendship blossomed into something more. I have often said that a solid marriage needs to have the base of friendship and Denise and Alan’s marriage has that.

To say that Denise is a gift from God to Alan is to state the obvious. That she is a gift to our family is undeniable. She and Alan complement each other very well, and support each other spiritually and personally.

When Rick and I were doing our premarital counseling, the example of an orange was used as a way to describe marriage. If you tear (not cut) an orange into two halves, each half has ragged edges and you can only fit the orange back together in one way. In the same manner, husbands and wives have strengths and weaknesses that complement one another so that they “fit well” together. Where one may be lacking something, the other can fill in.

This is how I see Alan and Denise’s marriage. Denise just completes Alan and vice versa.

I love Denise immensely because of who she is, because of her strong faith, because God chose her to bring Alan back to Him, because Alan loves her so. And last but not least: because she loves Alan—my son—so much.

So it’s no wonder I consider Denise as one of my children even though I did not give birth to her. She is the daughter of my heart if not my body. Denise, I thank God for you every day and love you so much!

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. –3 John 1:4

So there you have it: the treasure of my children. They are truly astounding and precious gifts from God to me!

My Treasures, Part 3

On May 8th I posted about the treasures in my life. Last week I talked about My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This week I want to share the second of the treasures on my list:

My sweet husband Rick

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. —Ephesians 5:31-33

Grab a cup or glass of your favorite beverage and sit back to enjoy the treasure story of Rick’s and my courtship.

Rick and I have been married for 13-1/2 years. We met online, which is not very unique these days but was back then. Rick lived in central California; I lived in Arizona. On the site where we met, one of the search criteria was a mileage radius. That means you decide on a circle of how many miles from your location to set your search. Rick set his mileage limit at 500 miles. I lived about 800 miles from him. Impossible meeting? As you will see, nothing is impossible with God in the picture.

One day my search pulled up Rick’s profile and I zeroed in on the fact that our birthdays are one day apart. I thought that was a nice coincidence so I decided to read more. When I saw that we had both selected Proverbs 3:5-6 for our favorite Scripture passage, I decided to contact him.


For the next 6 weeks or so, we wrote to each other, first through the website where we met and then we exchanged email addresses. We continued our written correspondence for about 3 months, learning more about each other every day. During that 3-month period of time, we decided to talk by phone. Both of us were understandably nervous but Rick more so because he was sure once I heard his voice I’d never want to talk or write to him again.

[Break time to explain...]

Many years before I knew Rick, he was involved in a very bad accident while driving his truck. Since this was during his partying days, let’s just say that his driving was extremely compromised. As he puts it, “A tree just jumped out in front of me.”

Rick was in a coma for 2 months and awoke to no feeling on his left side. He also could not speak. He found out that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of the wreck, and spent the next year learning how to walk and talk again.

Even after all the physical and occupational therapy, he still “walks like a Weeble and has a sexy voice” (his words). If any of you remember Weebles, they are cute egg-shaped toys that cannot be pushed over. Their catchphrase was “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.” That describes Rick to a T. I have seen him look as if he is falling but he quickly regains his balance. I would have just finished falling down!

As for his “sexy” voice, because of prolonged use of a Tracheostomy (or Trach for short), his vocal cords were damaged so he speaks in a very low, sometimes harsh, gutterral voice.

[Back to the story!]

So Rick was understandably nervous about our first telephone conversation, but since we’re still together after almost 14 years of marriage, I’d say his concerns were unfounded! That first conversation led to many others, and finally we made the decision to meet. I recall telling him that I was praying a lot about our meeting, specifically that God would show me if we were to continue our relationship. I asked Him to give me an immediate love for Rick, or an intense dislike.

Remember, this gal needs to be hit on the side of the head with a figurative 2 x 4 from God to “get it”.

When we came face to face, I asked Rick to take off his sunglasses so I could see his eyes, and the moment I gazed into those baby blues, I knew he was the one God had set aside just for me. I can’t adequately describe the love I immediately had for this man! I believe that God honored my prayer because I truly wanted His will for me.

[Side note: We had decided from the very beginning to try to conduct our courtship in a God-honoring manner, so Rick stayed in a local hotel during his first visit and then with one of my close friends on subsequent visits. When I traveled to see Rick, I stayed with one of the elders and his family from Rick's church.]

Because I had been asking my Sunday school class to pray about my relationship with Rick, they of course wanted to meet him when he first drove to see me. He accompanied me to church and Sunday school class, where he met everyone. My class was now satisfied that Rick wasn’t some scam artist out to ruin me! And on Rick’s end, his friends and family wanted to meet me to make sure I was good for him. Accountability is such a good thing!

Fast forward two months. We continued our courtship with tons of emails and phone conversations, learning more and more about each other every day. Then it was my turn to travel to where Rick lived, and during that visit he proposed to me. We were engaged!

We set a wedding date in December, which almost exactly coincided with the end of my apartment lease. We spent our engagement period going through premarital counseling with Rick’s pastor, which meant I did a lot of traveling. We did our homework separately and then compared notes via email before each counseling visit. I will always be thankful for this counseling because it laid the necessary foundation for our covenant marriage.

Wedding day!

So that’s our story. We’ve had our ups and downs over the past 13+ years, but we’ve discovered that when we keep our focus on God during an argument instead of each other, we are able to see past our own viewpoint and concentrate on what the other is saying. We always learn something new in the process.

I am more thankful and more in love every day with Rick—my treasure, the man God set aside for me before I ever knew him.

Here’s the complete section in Ephesians 5 about marriage (verses 22-33):

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.


My Treasures Part 2

About a month ago—on May 8th to be exact—I posted about the treasures in my life. I thought it would be a good idea to expand on each of these treasures for the next few Treasure Tuesdays. So here’s the first treasure on my list.

My Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ

I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.—Isaiah 43:11

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. —Micah 7:7

What a wonderful example the prophet Micah is to us! As one of the minor prophets, the first few chapters of his short Old Testament book are basically messages of God’s judgment on Samaria and Jerusalem. But toward the end of this book, we see clear evidence of Micah’s faith and confidence that God would send a Savior.

As humans, we think we’ve got all the answers. And even when we don’t, we have the technology to find those answers in an instant by searching the internet for whatever may be baffling or confusing to us.

But because of the huge advancements in technology over the past few years, many people today believe that the Old Testament is not relevant to us in this modern world. However, the Old Testament is filled with verses which talk about a Savior or foretell His coming. Here are only a few:

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. —Psalm 65:5

It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. —Isaiah 19:20

Yet have I been the LORD your God since the land of Egypt; and you were not to know any god except Me, for this is no savior besides Me. —Hosea 13:4

Read the longing in these and many other verses. They yearned for the Savior of the universe to come soon and exhibited great faith that it would happen. They obviously loved God without restraint and absolutely believed that God would send a Savior, someone who would rescue them from themselves and their sins and provide a way for them to live with and worship God forever.

So many people say they believe in God but when it comes to eternal issues, they are floundering in a huge sea of doubt and frustration. It is understandably difficult to believe in a being we cannot see. On top of that uncertainty, we are asked to trust that believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior is the only way to heaven.

Wow. That. Is. Huge.

I love what J. Vernon McGee has to say about this: “You may think you have your way of salvation, but God is the only Savior, and He is the only one who can offer you a plan of salvation.”

Absolutely!

God’s plan for our salvation has been in the works since Adam and Eve sinned, and was continued with the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was born as a human man and lived an earthly life so that He could relate to and experience every single thing we humans go through.

The birth of Jesus Christ paved the way for His death on the cross, where He took our sins upon Himself and died on our behalf. And that death paved the way for Him to be resurrected from the dead on the third day, proving that death and sin have no more hold on us.

All this to show how much God loves us and longs for us to live in heaven with Him. Forever.

But this is where faith and trust come into the picture. We must believe that our only chance for eternal salvation comes from Jesus Christ and has nothing to do with ourselves or what we do or don’t do.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” —John 14:6

Sadly too many of us seem unable to take that giant leap of faith and trust:

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. —John 1:10-13

Beloved, this is definitely a cause to celebrate! And we do that at Christmas time. I know…it is far from Christmas right now, but please bear with me while I talk about that a bit.

If you take away all the glitter, packages, decorations, baked goodies and music of the Christmas season, we still have the greatest thing for which to be thankful. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the One God sent to free us from the bondage of sin.

What a huge blessing for us!

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we say His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. —John 1:14-16

…for today in the city of David there has been born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:11

And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” —Mark 16:5-7

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. —Acts 5:30-31

You can read more about how to be saved here. But if you have any questions about any of what I’ve written here including what to do to be saved please write to me at annap at annapopescu dot com.

Where’s Your Treasure?

TREASURE TUESDAY

The Treasure of the Cross

TREASURE TUESDAY

I saw this on Facebook recently and shared it as my status for awhile. Its message is definitely a treasure to me so I thought I’d share it with all of you too.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” —Luke 9:23-24

Your Heart’s Treasure

I often work up my posts ahead of time because so many of my days are pain filled and I never know if I’ll be able to work through the pain or not. I knew before I left to spend Mother’s Day weekend in Phoenix with my children that I would need recuperation time, so I made up a batch of posts before my trip and scheduled them to publish on specific days. So, with that in mind, here’s what I found to share with you on today’s Treasure Tuesday:

Prayers and blessings sent your way from:

My Treasures

TREASURE TUESDAY

On this Treasure Tuesday, I’d like to share the treasures in my life. This is a slightly long post but I felt the need to acknowledge all the treasures in my life, so here they are!

My Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ

I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.—Isaiah 43:11

.

My sweet husband: Rick

Lake Tahoe: Rick & me on a dinner cruise

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
–Ephesians 5:31-33

.

My precious children: Kathy, Alan, and my daughter-in-love Denise

Left to right: Dad, Kathy, Denise, Alan, me, Rick

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. –Proverbs 22:6

Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me. –Mark 9:37

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. –3 John 1:4

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My loving parents:  Dad and Mom

Dad and Mom sitting around the dinner table

Dad and Mom sitting around the dinner table

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. –Exodus 20:12

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My four wacky and wonderful sisters

Left to right (youngest to oldest): Maria, Julie, Palma, Nancy and me!

In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips.
–Author Unknown

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other’s hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.
–Clara Ortega

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All my close and special friends

[Too many to display photos or mention by name but you know who you are!]

A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.
–Bernard Meltzer

 A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.
–Donna Roberts

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’
–C. S. Lewis

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A caring and supportive church family

This is the actual stained glass cross in our church sanctuary. Isn’t it beautiful?

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.” –Acts 9:31

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A snug and cozy home in a beautiful part of the country

Our home

The San Francisco Peaks about 100 miles to the Northeast of us

Beautiful sunrises (and the sunsets are gorgeous too!)

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. –Isaiah 32:18

 For you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. —Isaiah 55:12

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Enough food, clothing and everything else I need to be comfortable

He enjoys much who is thankful for little; a grateful mind is both a great and happy mind. –Unknown

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My precious Bible

[with tons of hand-written margin notes, highlighted passages and sticky notes marking certain pages]

AnnaBible2

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart. –Psalm 119:2

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
–2 Peter 3:18

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I hope you enjoyed this special glimpse into the treasures of my life. I certainly had fun putting it together to share with you!

 

Our Home Rules Treasure

TREASURE TUESDAY

This treasure was given to us as a special gift when we moved into our present home. It hangs on the wall next to our front door.

 

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