Farm Wedding…

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires, will come to you….

We attended the beautiful wedding of a long-time family friend this weekend. It was a joy filled, international event at a lovely TN farm location. Guests were from USA, Germany and Brazil! Somehow I missed taking pictures in the garden…sorry about that.

Congratulations to Patrick & Denis!

Luke 2:19 “but Mary kept all these things in her heart…”

Luke2_19b

image from 4catholiceducators.com

In my Bible study this morning, as I was reading through the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke, chapter 2, I was struck by verse 19:

“…but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” ~Luke 2:19b NLT

And then again by verse 51:

“And his mother stored all these things in her heart.” ~Luke 2:51b NLT

My role as a mother has changed as my children have grown into adulthood; however, my concerns and love for them has only deepened through the years…if that’s even possible.

I’ve always prayed for and over my children; for their health, well-being and happiness, for them to grow up strong and confident, for them to be righteous, honest, people of integrity, contributing members of society, for them to realize God’s purpose for their lives, for them to lean on their faith in times of difficulty or trouble and to be grateful in the good times, for them to know that I love them unconditionally and so much more.

So much I have stored and pondered in my heart. So much I will continue to store and ponder in my heart.

So much like Mary.

God has instructed us to pray; I believe this “storing and pondering” is prayer. I love that prayer is my touchstone and conversation with God. And one of the most important jobs I have as a mother.

I’m thankful that while my children are grown and discovering all that life has in store for them, I can continue to pray over them…even though it’s no longer at their bedside each night. It’s my gift as their mother.

YOLO!

Jan

Virtual Coffee Date…

One of my favorite things is to have a good cup of coffee and visit with friends & family. It’s wonderful to take the time to slow down (you can’t drink hot coffee quickly) and be present, in the moment, sharing all the good in our lives.

I’d love to have a virtual cup of coffee with you! Venti pumpkin spice latte’s (with an extra shot) are my favorite fall splurge. The cost of one pumpkin spice latte (approx $4.86) will provide 18 MEALS for AT-RISK CHILDREN! Just 27 cents will provide a nutritious meal for a hungry child.

Our church – Highland Park Church is sponsoring a Feed the Hunger Pack-a-Thon on October 17th and 18th. Our goal is to pack 60,000 meals; half of the meals packed are being designated for FREM orphanage in Haiti…8 members of our church visited them last spring and discovered that they currently receive ZERO outside support and they were praying for food. HPC Haiti Relief was born.

Here’s where you come in…we NEED donations to meet our goal of 60,000 meals!

We need donations IMMEDIATELY! 

Will you please meet me for a virtual coffee date and buy me my favorite fall splurge – or two – or even three?! My life, and  most importantly, the lives of the children at FREM, will be enriched and blessed by YOUR generosity!

Donations are easy peasy: go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/fthdonate and donate with credit card or pay pal. Scroll down and select “Nashville Pack-a-Thon” as the special purpose to designate the funds.

I’ve already bought YOUR cup of coffee…will you please buy me one?

Haiti Relief Bucket Cover

Blessings to you!

Yolo!

Jan

May 20th = International Clinical Trials’ Day…who knew?

ilindja001p1I’m a nurse…I work in clinical research and I had no idea today was such an important day in this industry. A little bit of reading and I have learned quite a bit.

While the recorded history of clinical research goes all the way back to Biblical times (Book of Daniel); James Lind, MD, is credited as the first physician to have documented a controlled clinical trial of the modern era. While working as a surgeon on a ship, he was appalled by the high mortality of scurvy amongst the sailors. His description of the trial covers all the essential elements of a controlled clinical trial.

Lind describes“”On the 20th of May 1747, I selected twelve patients in the scurvy, on board the Salisbury at sea. Their cases were as similar as I could have them. They all in general had putrid gums, the spots and lassitude, with weakness of the knees. They lay together in one place, being a proper apartment for the sick in the fore-hold; and had one diet common to all, viz. water gruel sweetened with sugar in the morning; fresh mutton-broth often times for dinner; at other times light puddings, boiled biscuit with sugar, etc., and for supper, barley and raisins, rice and currants, sago and wine or the like. Two were ordered each a quart of cyder a day. Two others took twenty-five drops of elixir vitriol three times a day … Two others took two spoonfuls of vinegar three times a day … Two of the worst patients were put on a course of sea-water … Two others had each two oranges and one lemon given them every day … The two remaining patients, took … an electary recommended by a hospital surgeon … The consequence was, that the most sudden and visible good effects were perceived from the use of oranges and lemons; one of those who had taken them, being at the end of six days fit for duty … The other was the best recovered of any in his condition; and … was appointed to attend the rest of the sick. Next to the oranges, I thought the cyder had the best effects …” (Dr James Lind’s “Treatise on Scurvy” published in Edinburgh in 1753)

Fascinating!

Have you ever thought about how new medicines are developed? New medical devices? New treatments?

You guessed it…clinical trials! While this video has a European approval focus…the concept in the USA is the same (in fact often we are working on a trial that has already received approval in Europe but is still in the trial process in the US)…with the final USA approval being with the FDA, the US Food and Drug Administration.

Have you participated in a clinical trial? I’d love to hear your story!

~Jan

Resources:

http://www.acrpnet.org/MainMenuCategory/Membership/International-Clinical-Trials-Day.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3149409/

http://www.fda.gov/default.htm

 

Mother’s Day…

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Mom & I with our buddy Jack!

It’s Mother’s Day afternoon and I’ve enjoyed a beautiful day already: mother/daughter night at the ballet last week, church today, brunch at our favorite after-church-breakfast spot (free box of candy for all Mom’s – too bad I’m not eating sugar…my office will benefit tomorrow!), sweet texts from family & friends near and far, phone call with MIL, a tear-jerking, heart tugging, loving email from my son who is traveling and plans for dinner cooked by hubby, daughter & SIL! My life is full of love indeed.

I’m so very grateful for my mother, who among many other things, raised me to love God; to be kind towards others & treat others as I would want them to treat me; to be a woman of integrity; to serve others; and she instilled in me her love of travel, big cities and sandy beaches! I hope that when I grow up I can be a small measure of the woman my mother is! I love you Mom!!

As this year marks the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson proclaiming Mother’s Day a national celebration in the United States, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Mother’s Day quotes.

  • “Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” ~Robert Browning
  • “If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.” ~Robert Brault
  • “Children are a great comfort in your old age – and they help you reach it faster too.” ~Lionel Kauffman
  • “A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.” ~Irish Proverb
  • “Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children.” ~Marilyn Penland
  • “There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.” ~Chinese Proverb
  • “A Mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.” ~Author Unknown
  • “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” ~Meryl Streep
  • “Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease.” ~Lisa Alther
  • “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” ~Rudyard Kipling

I am a mother only because God chose to give me the blessing of raising two beautiful children. I truly believe that is my main purpose in this dance called life. I am learning as I enter this next phase of motherhood…as my children are grown and living out their life’s purpose…that while the role of being their mother changes…the love I have for them only deepens. I can only imagine the love my mother feels for me and my siblings. Wow!

Blessings to all the Mom’s out there! Happy Mother’s Day!

YOLO,

Jan

 

 

Godspeed, Mr. Mike…

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Our dear friend, Mike McConnell, affectionately “Mr. Mike” to our family, lost his battle with cancer last night. He fought a valiant fight over 4 1/2 years. He and his family handled the diagnosis and ensuing treatments with a grace like I’ve not seen before.

In his last moments he was surrounded by his family whom he loved and adored. He was a believer and we are confident he’s in a better place right now…greeted by those who have passed on before him.

Now we deal with the grief his earthly loss leaves behind. His empty chair.

We love you Mr. Mike and we miss you already. Your spirit will live inside us forever. We will love, pray for, and with, your family to assist them through this transition.

Godspeed.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.            ~Psalm 23:6

YOLO (never has this been more true),

~Jan

If you want something…

“If you want something, go get it. Period.”

I absolutely love this video clip. Don’t let anyone steal your dreams.

In honor of Father’s Day – I’m sharing this clip of this wonderful advice given by a father to his young son.

We had an amazing Father’s Day here! First church, then lunch with our son, a wonderful phone call to my Dad, followed by dinner with our son, daughter and her fiancee. Our children claim they did NOT collaborate on gifts for their Dad; yet the gifts were perfect compliments to each other. An amazing coincidence? Or children who actually KNOW their dad? I choose to believe the latter. No matter what, the house was filled with smiles, laughter and love.

Richard has always been a dreamer and has followed his dreams without regret. I hope our children have learned the ability to do the same. Life is to short to do anything less. Enjoy.

YOLO!

Jan

 

Motherhood

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.  ~Linda Wooten

On this Mother’s Day I am thankful for my mother. She is my rock, my mentor, my guide in this journey called motherhood. I am forever grateful for the life she gave me and the principles she instilled into me. I hope I am doing her proud as I parent my own children.

Mom/Mimi

I became a mother with the birth of my first child, Meghan. Then just when I thought I had it all figured out…along came Alex and I realized there was much yet to learn about being a mother! Motherhood is filled with every emotion imaginable; highs and lows like a roller-coaster. The depth of love we are capable of is unbelievable. It is something you have to experience, trying to explain it doesn’t do it justice.

Motherhood is my highest calling. I’m forever grateful that God entrusted Richard and I with these two precious souls to raise. They are both beautiful, inside and out. I like to think I had a tiny bit of influence on that. I am so very proud of them.

Meg & Alex

I am richly blessed!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

YOLO!

Jan

I’m not old…I’m living in the moment!

Watching birds at our backyard bird feeder and bird bath has become a daily ritual for my husband and I…when we slip into “bird” conversation, ie. mention a species of bird we think we saw, attempt to identify a newcomer or describe the activities of birds in the bird bath…I often immediately judge us as “old”.

Geez – we sound like your father! Papaw used to love feeding the birds. He fed the birds every day at the store (we owned). It’s one of the many fond memories I have of the time he lived and worked with us.

And please don’t let our adult children hear our conversation…they will laugh and DECLARE us as OLD!!

As I’m sitting in one of my favorite chairs, feet propped up, with a clear view of the bird feeder and bird bath, sipping a cup of hot tea while I “wake up”…I notice a robin taking a rather aggressive bath in the bird bath. I think to myself, “only a couple of days ago, that bath was frozen solid”. It’s amazing how the birds NOTICE when things have changed, the water has thawed and not only can they now drink the water…they can bathe in it too. I wonder how good that must feel to the bird. He really seems to be enjoying it! (I know how dreadful I feel when I haven’t had a shower in just a day!) How incredible that they are so in tune with their surroundings…I mean…how do they find our measly little bath in this big ‘ol world?

Anyway…all this is going on in my head. I again smile and internally tease myself about being…getting…”old”…

Suddenly I realize…I’m not OLD!

I’m living in the moment!

Isn’t this what I’ve been striving to do? Savor each moment of NOW. Notice what is going on around me. Live in THIS moment.

Perhaps “old” people have simply learned to notice THIS moment. Perhaps the stage of life they are in contributes to that ability. When I was in my 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s I was so busy with LIFE pulling me in all different directions that I’m confident I didn’t savor each moment…or even notice the GIFTS of each moment. Looking back, I wish I could change that.

I can however change my perspective from this moment on. I will allow myself, heck…I’ll ENCOURAGE myself to live in THIS moment.

Observe. Listen. Live. Be fully present.

So children…laugh if you will…go ahead and call me old; I know that I am living and loving THIS moment…and enjoying the sound of YOUR laughter…it’s one of the sweetest sounds there is.

My backyard friends are calling…

(image from fungopher.com)

YOLO!

Jan

Out with the old…in with the new.

Out with the old. In with the new.

We are in Virginia visiting with family for the New Year’s holiday. We have much to be thankful for and to look forward to in the new year…

  • family
  • love and laughter
  • relationships
  • health
  • new beginnings
  • radiation treatment “graduation”
  • 1st year anniversary of sobriety
  • our daughter’s engagement (yay!)
  • new babies (yes, plural) on the way
  • friends
  • did I mention family?

My heart is full and overflowing! May we all be blessed in this new year and embrace the opportunities that lie before us.

Happy New Year!!

Yolo!

Jan

(photo taken from facebook – unknown originator for credit)