Monday, February 23, 2009

A Birthday Tribute to Someone Special

Someone is turning 50 today !
Someone I have know all my life, but only got to know well since someone invented blogging!

Lovella is my cousin… our mothers were sisters. But since she is 12 years younger than me we never played together at family gatherings.
I, of course, was in the loop of all the important events in her life hearing through the family grape vine what Lovella was up to ! And I could tell some stories, but I think I’ll refrain here… smile !
Although we shared some special times as adults, such as our favorite aunt taking her nieces out for a special get-away weekend , it was only recently that I really got to know Lovella as a ‘friend’ rather than just my cousin.

About 2 ½ years ago, I got a phone call from Lovella. Her purpose ? To inform me that she had started a ‘blog’ (little did I know at the time exactly what a ‘blog’ even was!!) and she invited me to visit her site.
But that was not the main purpose of her call. She had got it into her head that I should start a blog too. I found out in that phone call that Lovella is rather tenacious… very kindly so - but tenacious none the less. I was terrified of ‘opening’ my front door and just letting the whole world walk in , but finally to appease Lovella I promised to think about it and start one later . That wasn’t good enough for her either, and she insisted on me putting a time frame around my ‘thinking’. I thought quickly and said “ the end of the year”, rationalizing that by then she would have forgotten all about it .
That’s the second thing I learned about Lovella … she has a good memory and follows through what she has started. I got a call at the end of the year… “Well ? it’s the end of the year. Have you started your blog? “

I HAD been thinking about it and decided that if I started a blog, a devotional one would be something I would enjoy writing. At that point I learned a great deal more about Lovella.
She was immediately so encouraging and offered her help in anything I needed ! I don’t know if I tried her patience at the beginning --- what I knew about blogs I learned from her . If she at any point became impatient with me, she never showed it ! She was always most gracious and so willing to give helpful advice. Her ‘computer savvy’ was always passed on in a way I could understand !!

She was the first to comment on my first post and has commented, on almost all of my hundreds of posts since !!

Lovella has many giftings! She is a wonderful hostess, a chef in her kitchen, the queen in her home and a hands on crafter, a photographer !

But what I most appreciate about her…. is her heart. She loves the Lord and has a deep desire to please Him. Her love for Him is lived out in her relationships with others. She is a loving wife and mother, and a delighted Grammie and a loyal friend to many !
She is a great encourager that comes so natural to her. She has warmed my heart many times when I was discouraged or nervous to step into the unknown! She is also an administrator , able to discern others giftings and strengths and pull them together into a team.

A wonderful part of her that may never have been discovered had she not discovered blogging, is her unique way of expressing herself though the written word.
She can take an ordinary day and put her finger on a simple moment and make it something special – and always compliment that moment via her camera !
But she can also take the deeper things of her heart and life and pour them into words that touch and speak to many.
She has touched multitudes through her personal blog and also through her MGCC blog that has exploded in popularity – beyond what even she could have imagined !
She has become quite the 'expert' in computer knowledge and has done such an amazing job of setting up the MGCC blog and managing it - putting her 'vision' into practical reality ! The fact that it has found such a large happy audience is because of her diligence and her work... the credit belongs to her !

Since she ‘talked me into blogging’ I have gotten to know who she is as a person - someone that I value in my life! I have watched her grow in her faith, in her character, in her striving to be more like Christ ! She is real ! What you see is who she is ! and I count it a privilege to have her not only as a cousin, but to also know her as a friend!

“Lovella, I wish you the most blessed birthday you have EVER had, and may this side of 50 be daily a gift that you open to enjoy and to share! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! “


Vicki said...

Julie, this is such a loving, wonderful tribute to someone I consider a friend, even though we've never met. You are correct in your description of her as someone who loves the Lord, her family, her friends, her personal calling to reflect the love of God to all and to bring others near to Him - and she manages to do all this and more so lovingly and eloquently. I see all of this in you, too. Thank you for beginning your blog at Lovella's urging - and thank you both for continuing to be faithful in what has come to be not "just a blog," but a ministry.

Happy Birthday, Lovella! Julie, much love to you, too! Thank you for your faithfulness.

Lovella said...

Oh Julie. . .I don't deserve this. . .I feel so humbled. . .and so honoured. .
As I've already realzied . . .Mennonite Girls Can also plan sweet and wonderful things. . .whilst the administrator is doing administrative things. . .you sweet girls.. to plan a birthday post all of you for me.
As your cousin, I feel particularly humbled by your words. . but so tickled pink. . .since I know you speak the truth in what you see. . and you are my cousin.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Here I sit at six in the morning. .couldn't sleep. . .and now I know why.
Hugs. . .many hugs. . .

Tammie @ Are You For Real? said...

How thankful I am that Lovella uses her gifts wisely and follows through with encouragement and tenacity!

She has blessed me so sweetly, not only through HER writings, but through yours as well ... AND through the gift of our special friendship, which we might never have experienced had Lovella not been obedient to the Father's leadership to urge you to do this blog. Thank you BOTH!

May Father God continue to teach you both how to communicate His love and accomplish His purposes through your giftings.

ellen b. said...

How fun for cousins to get re-connected. This is a wonderful post Julie!

betty r said... what a beautiful tribute to Lovella! We all cherish her.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

And aren't we all glad that Lovella isn't gently twisting our arms to do something like buy waterfront property in Arizona or wear bare mid drift dresses? Dear Lord...keep that girl on the good side of things...who knows what would be happening otherwise!

Marg said...

What a wonderful tribute. I can seem there's a long history filled with stories. It's been a real blessing in this stage of life to have "coffee with each other daily and share the good and bad."
I loved you picture.
Thanks for attending the party and hope you'll get your goodie bag.

Trish said...

Julie...what a beautiful post for your cousin. You both have a wonderful way with words, encouragment and gentle strength...Lovella's persistence in her Godly way...and your patience and constancy....both blessings. What fun I have had this lunch hour reading all the posts about Lovella....

Sara said...

Such a beautifully written portrait of beautiful Lovella, Julie. Who could wish for a finer gift on their 50th birthday? You've honored her life and accomplishments so wonderfully.

James Janzen said...

What a wonderful tribute. Goes to show that age really isn't a dividing factor. By the way, Wish Vic a happy birthday for me as well!!