Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Time to Mourn

Hello Friends,

What a strange week this has been -- the death of a courageous American, President Gerald Ford, and the execution of a dictator, Sadaam who hated everything President Ford stood for -- integrity, the welfare of his country above self, a devoted husband and father, and one of the heroes of my life. This is also the week that American dead has gone over 3,000 souls. A generation has been wounded and maimed in an unending war that should never have begun. How hasty we humans are, making decisions without considering the consequences of our actions. How will they effect others? Who will truly pay the cost of my decisions? Everything seems so simple now, and instantaneous; but let me share a story that my grandmother told me, when she was not much older than I am now.

My grandmother was born in 1884. I was 12 when she came to live with us. One day she told me all of the things that she had been a witness to in her life: the first automobile; the first airplane; and at the time that we spoke, our country had already entered space. She would have loved the internet for the wonders that can be experienced online: the Hubble telescope pictures of the universe; photos of the earth from space; weather pictures in real time. All this and more would have given my grandmother much pleasure.

She would have, however, avoided much on the internet news today, just as I am. She would not have enjoyed seeing the execution of Sadaam. It would have repulsed her, just as it repulses me. It has been an agonizing time for me, as I carefully search for every bit of news about a President who cared more for his country than his career, while simultaneously avoiding the horrors of a hanging. You see, along with the joys that my grandmother shared about her generation, she shared something else. "In my day," she said, "people would go to public hangings. It was so popular that they would pack up the kids and a picnic lunch, so that everyone could enjoy the show. We are more civilized, now," she finished.

That conversation was in 1960. Now, nearly fifty years later, here we are. Click on the right link, and you can watch a man jerking at the end of a noose. You can replay it and share it with the kiddies. You can even bring your lunch. Gee, I guess we're not as civilized as my grandmother thought.

I hope and pray that every family who has lost a loved one in Iraq, and those who are waiting for one to come home, will have a safer and gentler 2007. And I pray that my grandmother's dream will become reality, that we will truly become more civilized.

With much love for the New Year.
Jaye Lewis

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Time to Gather

Hello Friends,

This time of year everyone is thinking about 'gatherings,' getting together, celebrating with family and friends. It is easy to get carried away; and spend too much money on things that no one needs. This can cause terrible stress.

It caused so much stress for me, so that right after the new year, in 1988, I had a nervous breakdown. This happens more than the U.S. government likes to admit to Military Wives, and I was a military wife. My list of necessary accomplishments was to help deliver someone else's baby; work full time for next to nothing; attend college on a shoestring; and deal with a nearly 20 year old daughter who wanted me to "stay out of [her] life!" until she needed something. Basically my job was to read everyone's mind and save the world.

I imagine military wives of today face an even greater burden, and my heart and prayers go out to them. Just the thought of the pain of this generation of military families wrenches my heart and sears my soul.

So, my advice, if you will permit me, is to slow down, spend less money, read a book, and look around you. If you have children, parents, friends; a spouse; or no one but yourself. You are still blessed.

Do something for people who have nothing. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or a food pantry; bring flowers to a nursing home. Reach out and touch the heart of someone who is less fortunate than you. I can guarantee that you will be rewarded with a warmth that presents and money cannot give you.

And if you fail, that's okay too. You are human. You can try again. One time I had tried and tried, and my health got in my way. I felt like a failure, and I just cried out to God, "How could you place in front of me a need that I would not be able to be faithful to finish??!!" In just a minute, I heard His voice in my heart, as clear as day, "Oh, I didn't ask you to be faithful; I just asked you to show up!"

I think that what God was telling me, is that He expects me to "show up" in my life; in my circumstance; to be willing to do what is necessary, even if "what is necessary" is simply getting out of bed and onto my treadmill. Simply to honor Him. That's all. To 'show-up' before Him and mean it when I say, "Lord, I surrender."

So, while you're gathering, or not; while you're celebrating, or not, take some time -- a few quiet moments -- and show-up in God's presence. Talk to Him, as though He is your friend, because I can promise you, He is.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Time for Change

Hello Friends,

I had hoped to have more than one post to my blog; however I've had a rough week. I'm 60, and I'm telling you, I don't look a day over 59! This past week, however, I've felt pretty old. I have a lot of health issues, but this week topped the charts for me. I'm doing much better, and I'm thinking about how I should spend the last weeks of this year.

At 60, is there really room for change? I mean aren't I "set in my ways?" Haven't I given enough? Haven't I earned the right to remain exactly as I am? These are all questions that many of us have, mainly because change is hard. Change takes me out of my comfort zone. It makes me feel weird. Is there anything I need to change? You bet there is.

I've yelled at God too much, like He doesn't have to put up with me already. Due to a recent bout with pain, I haven't gotten as much out of my Bible studies. No, I don't belong to a group. I like to study on my own. It is said that the best tool for studying the Bible, IS the Bible itself. A good reference Bible with all the relating Scriptures can give the student a wonderful perspective. I find one thing so remarkable about the Bible. No matter how many years I find myself immersed in the Word of God, it's always new. It changes me every single time.

I need to be more faithful in my walk with God on my treadmill. I've been doing this for nearly 3 years, but I've not been as faithful, lately. That time with God every day has changed my life. What a blessing it has been for me. It's kept me walking. It's kept me talking to God. And I believe that is what will give me a longer life. However, even if God takes me today, I will not have lost anything, by spending that time with Him.

In the last weeks of this year, I also want to focus on my family and my dogs. Oh yes, we have dogs, four of them. But the dog of my life is the dog in my pictures. That's my Happy Dog. He will soon be 9 years old. He has been my faithful companion for almost a decade. He's my little boy. I think that I have yelled too much lately. I want to put a stop to that.

It is not necessary to plan a large change at the end of the year, and it is not necessary to be eclectic and whimsical. It's okay, and more effective, to just be real. Okay, so I've lost my grip. That doesn't make me a failure. That just makes me human. I can begin again; and I can step forward in renewal, with a song in my heart. I can admit that I've missed the mark, and I can take a straighter aim.

Whatever change you want to make, think of the end of the year as a new beginning, a time for reflection, and a time to focus on the important things in life. Don't make yourself crazy at Christmas. It doesn't have to be perfect. Take a breather. Take a walk. Place your hand in the hand of God, and He will get you through.

Much love from,
Jaye Lewis

Friday, December 01, 2006

Time of Hope

December 1, 2006

Hello Friends,

This is my first entry to my blog. I've been dragging my feet, because new technology leaves me clueless. I'm sure there are those who can identify with me.

I've been thinking a lot about the end of this year. The new year has always been a time of hope for me. I've never been into parties, but on December 31st, it would be safe to say, I will be reflecting on this past year. How could I have done things better? How have my blessings outnumbered my anxieties.

As the hours and days go by, it is often difficult for me to grasp that I have more blessings than problems, but at the end of the year, I can see how truly blessed I am.

In January, 1981, I fled with my children, from my home and an abusive marriage. We wound up in a woman's shelter. This turned out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. You may read the story, "From Victim to Victory" on my webite at

It also appeared in "Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul," in 2004.

What could possibly be a blessing in winding up at a woman's shelter? Well, I found out who my friends were, and weren't. I found out that I had more strength than I ever could have imagined, and I found out that I could change my course. All of this was achieved by the grace of God, but I also chose, and I learned what making a choice really is. Making a choice is setting aside the old reality for the truth. It is also being your own best friend.

Well, I will make this short. Think about it. This is our last month of 2006. It's a wonderful time to look at ourselves and change what needs changing. 2007 is a bold new world. Let's make the most of it.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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