Ready, set and we’re off! The holiday season is in full swing. Expressions of gratitude, tidings of comfort & joy and shopping deals abound. But for some of us there is only stress and trepidation. The goodness and beauty of the season are eclipsed by neverending to-do lists and unrealistic expectations.
So what if we changed our perspective? Minimized perfection and magnified grace. What if we decided to simply opt out? Opt out of traditions and expectations that weigh us with dread and mask us with insincerity. What if we dared to do something different? Let our “yes” be genuine and purposeful. Let our “no” be firm and free of guilt. What if in the midst of it all we took time to just be…Grateful.
Unable to contain in just one day,
A lifetime of profession.
A daily exercise of appreciation,
For this life uniquely my own,
For the glorious triumphs,
For the disheartening defeats,
For the gift of grace,
For mercies renewed,
For everyday blessings,
For the difficult journeys,
For the smallest joys,
For the sting of self-reflection,
For the hope in growth,
For love unfettered and unconditional,
For the joy of family,
For the solace of friends.
Thanks to a God so Magnificent, so Wonderful, and so Good.
Humbled by His presence and in awe of His care. -LAS
“Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.”
On July 10, 2020 my grandmother passed away. Gran Gran graced the world with her presence for 96 years and, though her body was worn with age; her mind, her memories and her wit were sharp.
To me, Gran Gran, was a Renaissance woman. She could and did do it all. She challenged stereotypes and set her own narrative, leaving a rich and vast legacy. Of the many things she taught me, today I’m reminded of the importance of telling my story. Gran Gran was a treasure trove of stories, and she left nothing to chance in making sure that she told her own, leaving us the summary of a long, beautiful life.
And so I’m also reminding you, friends. Tell your story. It is important. It is needed. Someone is waiting to be encouraged, inspired, and to simply know they are not the only one.
Grief defies logic. It’s complicated and unpredictable. I’m riding its waves and sitting with its ripples. Remembering a life well lived. Refocusing the life I’m living.
“And I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13
Mrs. Nora “ Katie “ Rodgers Jones the daughter of the late Plent Walter and Addie Sumpter Rodgers, was born December 2, 1923 in Georgetown County, passed into eternal life and rest from her labours on July 10, 2020.
She accepted Christ as her personal savior at an early age. Her first place of worship was Jerusalem AME Church of Hemingway, SC. She attended Deep Creek Elementary School, finishing the 5th grade, then moved to Georgetown SC. There she joined Big Bethel AME Church where she worked as a junior usher and was a member of the junior choir. After graduating from Howard High School, she moved to Colombia, SC.
Affectionately known as “Katie”, her life was one of a servant. She worked diligently to prepare herself to serve and bless others by joining the US Cadet School of Nursing at Good Samaritan Waverly Hospital for four years. She was also affiliated with the Norfolk General Hospital while living in Norfolk Va. Mrs. Jones later moved to Wilmington, NC and worked at the Community Hospital where she met and married Marine Sergeant Alfonzo Jones. She then moved to Birmingham, Ala where she continued her work of mercy at the Jefferson – Hillman Hospital. She joined Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, re-dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized. There she worked as the Assistant Matron of the local Boy Scout Chapter.
Mrs. Jones then moved to Charleston, SC and continued her labor of love at Roper Hospital for several years. Upon moving back home she worked at the Benevolence Society Hospital in Kingstree, SC for six years.
After the closing of Benevolence Society Hospital, she was employed by Waccamau EOC Headstart for seven years, she then retired from public work.
Within the Deep Creek Community, Mrs. Jones joined Walkers Chapel Freewill Baptist Church where she worked faithfully as a member of the Senior Choir, Senior Sunday School Teacher, president of the YPCL, annual president of the YPCL, vice president of the Missionary Ministry, member of the Freewill Baptist Association, union and school convention.
Mrs. Jones was also the financial secretary and Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday School of her church. She worked as the secretary of the Deep Creek Community Center Association for years.
To her family and all others she came in contact with, she was serving, honorable, loyal, understanding, dependable and “fun loving”. Her love for life and living it to the fullest was contagious.
Left to cherish her precious memories, her husband of 67 years Alfonzo Jones, of the home, three sons; Alfonzo D. Jones (Daphine) of Goldsboro, NC; Norman Jones (Myrna) of San Tan Valley, AZ; Rayford G. Jones (Dell) of Columbia, SC; Six grandchildren, LaShona Sellers (Ronaldo) of Baltimore Md; Alfonzo D. Jones II (Gwendolyn) of Greenville NC; Donte Weaver of Johnsonville, SC; Latoya Stewart Chandler (Wali) of Hemingway SC; Kyuan Jones (Thuy) of Columbia SC; Matthew Jones (Faith) of Phoenix AZ; nine great-grandchildren, Dontravia Weaver of Johnsonville, SC; Alyssa Jones of Greenville NC; Ronaldo Sellers of Baltimore Md; Ja’Toria Bellamy of Hemingway SC; Joshua Jones of Greenville NC; Sydney Sellers of Baltimore Md; Kelsie Jones of Columbia SC; Hakeem Chandler and Zy’Keem Chandler of Hemingway SC; five sisters-in-law: Ernestine Garner of Louisville, KY; Hattie Stansbury (Walter) , Betty Marbury (Morris), Brenda Jones and Carolyn Rowser all of Birmingham AL; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and devoted friends.
Folks are definitely not getting the social distancing memo and cabin fever is real to a lot of people right now. My family took a Sunday drive and circled some regional parks. We thought we might get out to walk some trails but there were way too many people, way too close. *Danger flashers* And back to the homestead we went.
My kids are having takeout withdrawals (even though I’ve bought many of their takeout favorites to cook at home) which tells me 1) we were probably eating out too much and 2) they are way too comfortable spending our money. Here’s to saving a dollar.
Virtual dance classes are being offered everywhere right now including from The Ailey School. Here’s to keeping it moving!
My daughter’s newest pastime is color by numbers. She says, “Coloring soothes me.” I say “Color to your heart’s content, my child.”
K.C. Undercover is one show on which the whole family agrees. We’re currently on Season 2. Getting every bit of our money’s worth from Disney+.
My kids have probably been sleep deprived. Between this article and the way they’ve been sleeping and waking with sunnier dispositions, I’m more convinced than ever that adequate sleep is the cure to some of what ails us.
As an introvert, I must admit that the idea of being confined to my home is a little dreamy. It’s exciting to think of all the books I could read. Of course as a mom, who has to telework, the dream does a subtle face-plant into reality but a girl can still try! So with our local library closing for two weeks, my family and I hit the stacks one last time (at proper social distancing of course) and filled a huge tote to our hearts’ delight. Can’t wait to crack these open! What’s on your list?
P.S. For anyone feeling the anxiety of the times here are a couple of reminders that bolster my faith:
Jeremiah 17:7 But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Inspired by a moment my family silently sat together, in a room, each of us doing our own thing…
We sit in silence. Not in the silence of tension. But in the silence of contentment. Content in our own little worlds, in the imaginings of our minds and the creativity of our hands. Our worlds in orbit basking in the warmth of connected hearts. We sit in silence.
I’ve always been intrigued by family sagas. And this novel delivered on so many levels. It’s a Palestinian family’s story spanning generations and the globe. From the Six-Day War to the invasion of Kuwait, the story is narrated through the lens of multiple family members. This novel was a reminder that no matter our differences we all share the human experiences of love, joy, loss, grief, and the search for a sense of belonging. A family and story that resonates long after the last page.