A few minutes ago I was cooing at Mary Aplin, and wishing I had a magic genie to bring me a fresh cup of steaming tea and a buttery scone. The joy that came over me at the thought of curling up, unencumbered with a book and those two items, started me to thinking about other things that bring me joy. I hope that most of you know my heart, and things like Jesus and family are my two biggest joy givers, but I started thinking about the “worldly” things that bring happiness to my heart. I am just going to list the first 10 that come to my mind. I can’t bear to say they are the TOP ten, because that would mean I’d have to list them all out and try to rank them–too much work. SO, here are the FIRST 10:
1) A cup of tea, a scone, and some book discussion. I love any type of eating and book discussion, but there is something distinctly British and lovely about the tea and scone combination. I am fortunate enough to have a dear friend and neighbor who makes an excellent scone and also happens to enjoy the same type of books that I do. Yesterday morning she invited Ashley (Johnson) and I over to rekindle our tea and scone meetings after my prolonged absence. There was nothing really relaxing about our time with the 4 little girls trying to juggle their Mommy’s nice china, the crumbly scones, the enticing fun of adding more and more and more cream to their tea, and the blustering winds of yesterday. However, I looked across the table at Lauren and we both smiled. I said,”We may not be discussing a beautiful novel, but I bet one day soon we’re going to miss these crazy tea parties with little girls.”
2) The Beach. I could write all day long about the joys of the beach. From the sand, to the breeze, to the sun, to the fun restaurants, to the calm tired that comes after a day in the sun…but you all know those things well enough yourself.
3) Getting all dressed up for dinner. Whenever Jeremiah and I get a “money present”, this is usually what we choose to spend it on. I love the anticipation that comes after making a reservation at a nice restaurant. I love to labor over what I’m going to wear (which usually means raiding Ashley’s closet for something new and exciting :)) and what kind of eye makeup to add to change my every-day look. I love giving our name to the maitre de, and having Jeremiah put his hand on the small of my back as we are lead to our table. I love to read every item on the menu and think about the chef in the back who has been trained to know that spices and foods I’ve never even heard of can be combined to bring out new flavors. I love the low lighting and the quiet conversation and knowing that there WILL be dessert, because it’s our night and we’re splurging. I just love it.
4) Feeling connected to a writer. When I am reading a book and suddenly come across a thought or feeling, typed in bold print, that I thought was something isolated within myself, I get giddy.
5) Going to the movie. If Jeremiah and I get a “money present” that isn’t enough to send us out to dinner, we invariably will use it to go to a movie. Holding hands in line, feeling like we are out on a real date, the smell (and TASTE) of buttered popcorn, the dark theatre, the surround sound, the excitement of the plot… We cherish the whole movie experience. Now that we have wee-uns, our movie-going has dwindled substantially. We have had to substitute renting for the real deal, and we miss it.
6) A cold night and a good book in front of a fire. Last Christmas, we received a fuzzy green throw blanket that I keep waiting for me on the back of our couch. Fortunately, I have a husband who builds a fire every night he is home and the temperature drops below 70. So, once Pace and Mary Aplin are nestled quietly in bed, I usually can savor at least a few moments in this joy-bringing activity.
7) A smiling, cooing baby. If that doesn’t make you smile, then you may want to ask Pace what the grinch did with your heart!
8) A Jesus moment. I said this was going to be a worldly list, but I can’t bear to leave this one out. Nothing brings more joy than getting in the word, or hearing a sermon, or having a friend share something that you know was a gift sent to you straight from Jesus. I had one of these moments a few nights ago, and that is what I was planning to blog today. Hopefully I’ll get the time to share it with you soon.
9) An antique book store. To look around and feel blissfully overwhelmed by the vast amount of books that are still waiting to be read. To think of all the previous owners who’ve poured over their pages. To smell leather and staleness, waiting to be made new again. It makes my heart beat fast.
10) Writing. And writing with the anticipation of it being read. I’ve never been a performer. The thought of a stage and crowds of people makes me sick to my stomach, but I will admit to you that there is something invigorating about writing and wondering if any of you will feel a connection with me like I have felt with so many others. I enjoy writing period, and I would write even if my eyes were the only ones to ever read the words. However, I thank you for adding something extra to the joy of writing, and that is the joy of being read.
And how eloquently you write!! It is a joy for all of us to read and I feel that a book is in your future (and I’m not the only person to have made that comment). I just spoke to your Dad a couple of hours ago. I’ll let him fill you in on more of what God is doing in healing others as a DIRECT result of all of you and Becky. You continue to be in my prayers.
I hope life is returning to what is somewhat normal for you. My heart and prayers are with you, your family and your little girls.
I hope God has blessed you with a friend as special as your mom was to me. She was constant JOY in my life. When I think of her, I get a smile on my face even though my heart aches for her physical being. Love you and want to keep in touch . Mrs. Robin
I love reading your blog so much that I hope it is okay to put a link to yours on mine! Hope to see you soon!
You don’t know me, dear. I knew your mom while I lived in Dothan. What a blessing you must have been to her and your entire family. You so remind me of her! Abby, You have know idea what your writing has done for me. Your blog came by way of another wonderful, loving friend in Dothan. I received it on Christmas Day. I cried reading your details of that day the Lord took Becky home. What a gift you have. You asked…”Does anyone connect with other people and their writing as they do me” I have to say….YES!!! I feel that you are talking directly to my heart. I look so forward to seeing new thoughts coming from you! What a wise OLE’ Soul you have. You have taught this very OLE” 64 yr. old woman a lot about life, joy, peace, hope, faith and LOVE. Keep up the great work, and I must say…I see a book in the making! I can’t wait to read it! Your entire family remain in my daily thoughts and prayers. What a blessing to have known the love you came by way of. God Bless and I pray you keep adding to this blog. In his love…A Fan….
Another beautiful blog! You have such a way of describing perfect days! I continue to be impressed! Oh, and that’s a darling picture of Pace. Callen keeps talking about wanting to babysit! She is there for Jan term. Abby, I would love to e-mail you privately but don’t have your address. So…I am going to give you mine! so when you get a chance would you please e-mail me? Thanks so much. Prayers for you all continue constantly.
Love to you all ~
Abby, I know it may sound weird, but I feel like I have come to know you through your blog. I want you to know that you and your family are always in my prayers since the loss of your mother. I love hearing stories about your little girls, and how much joy they bring to your life. I think God knows exactly what we need, don’t you? I know my children have definitely done that for me! Can’t wait to read your next blog!
Valerie Corrie Rice
So many times, you put into words what I have felt before, but never even realized it till I read it in your words. Thank God for your talent that touches me.
I have been keeping up with your blog and have enjoyed reading all about your family. I feel really connected and sure do wish y’all lived in Dothan! Hopefully, some day we can all get together and catch up! Give my love to Jeremiah, Pace & Mary Aplin and I hope to talk to you soon!
I met you very briefly at Tegan’s dad’s funeral. I am Tegan’s sister-in-law(one of David’s sisters). I have been reading your blog for some time now and I find myself checking everyday to see if you have posted! The other night(at 3am!) I couldn’t sleep and so I got onto your blog and was rereading your older posts and was having to cover my mouth to keep from laughing out loud. I love how you can have me doubled over laughing one moment and then tears welling up in my eyes the next. You have been given such a tremendous gift of communication. Thanks so much for sharing it with others. I don’t really know you, yet I feel like I “know you”.
You and your family are in our prayers as you move on to the next phase of your life.
Please keep blogging, your perspective and insight on life has been very inspirational and a bit convicting! You are so precious.
Thank you for being a “joy bringer” in my life!
Abby, I want to bring my girls over, sip tea and eat scones (and listen to y’all discuss British lit)… that sounds like so very much fun… and then can we leave directly for the beach and cook ourselves in the sun (and leave the girls with the dads?)!! Miss you and as aways love reading what you’re up too!! Kiss those babies for me!
Abby, I went to DHS with your Mum and Dad. I live in England now and would like to make contact with your Dad. Has he told you he was our Senior Class President? What a great guy…your Mum? A great pal….if you would send me an e-mail to let me know its ok to contact your Dad…email@example.com. Ask your Dad first, he’ll remember me as Lisa Green’s cousin..
Thanks very much…MMJ
I always feel like grabbing a cozy blanket when I open up your blog and there is something new to read! I wish we were there to have a tea party with you: ). I love the picture of Pace on the tire swing, she’s getting so big!! Tell Jeremiah that Wayne tried to call him the other night. We miss y’all!
I tried to call you the other day, but your mailbox was full. Just wanted you to know I was thinking about you and praying for you. I really love reading your blog. I envy your ability to put into words your feelings and thoughts!!
We miss ya’ll!
please visit pinelakemotel.blogspot.com
I have found myself mesmorized by your words. I miss you. Your family is beautiful, and I have been praying for you all daily.
Jenny Marcilliat Brannan