Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Love Story

 If there were to be a theme to my post today it would be,
"This is What Love Looks Like!"
  Dana Loper Moseley

Love at First Sight
 I shall never forget the Sunday morning Dana and Lane walked into the Young Adult Sunday School class my husband and I were teaching.  I thought they were the most attractive - no - beautiful couple I had seen.  I guess you could say it was love at first sight for me.

Not too long afterward, Dana and I officially adopted each other.  I became her "Mama Libby" and she was my adopted daughter.  We even claimed that we might even look alike.  Of course, that would be wishful thinking on my part.

But, let me tell you about the real love story.

Real Lasting Love at First Sight 
Once upon a time there was a beautiful, petite princess who was gifted with all things sweet, simple, sentimental, and musical.  She left her close family of six and went out into the world called Mississippi College to find her way in the field of music.

While there, she expanded her horizon and used her many talents as a cheerleader and a member of The Naturals Ensemble.

  Unknown to our sweet, innocent, dedicated to the Lord, Dana, was that also on that same campus was a young man of great strength waiting to rescue her from all things common.  His name was Lane and little did he know but his life was about to change as well.

Lane was not just handsome, outgoing and also a Christian, but he was an outstanding Mississippi College Cheerleader, having been a member of the National High School Cheerleading Champions the year before.

On one pre-ordained morning, Dana entered the school cafeteria to be greeted by the only male member of the cheer leading squad.  Lane leaned down, placed a lei around her neck and simply said, "Aloha!"

That was all it took.  From that day forward, they shared breakfast together every morning and a wonderful friendship and love story began to develop.
 With her BA degree in music in hand, the campus darlings, Lane and Dana were married in 1993.

And the Love Story Continues

It wasn't long before the blissful couple had completed their family of five with the births of Brittany, Brandon and Kalynn.
 This is a family that loves deeply and appreciatively.  One thing that has bonded this family is their strong family ties on each side
Loper Family
Moseley Family
 Perhaps the most important thing that ties this family so closely in love is their faith.  They are very devout in their Christian beliefs and dedication to serve together.  Dana and Lane have both worked very closely with the youth in their church and have lived a life of love and service before their children.

Another bond has been Homeschooling!
 While on a college choir tour, Dana was exposed to this new concept of homeschooling.  From that time on it became her goal.  Even before she married or had children, she knew this was what she would do.  She went into this with no training but was willing to learn.  And learn she has!  Right along with her children.

Dana explained that the most meaningful part of teaching her own children is that she has been able to provide a strong Christian foundation for her children.  With a glisten in her beautiful eyes, she explained what a joy it was to teach them to love reading and to be able to open to them the world through books and provide many personal learning experiences.

Yes, our heroin has been successful!  Both Brittany, 18 and Brandon 17 will graduate in 2014.  Kalynn, 14 has mixed feelings about being her mom's only student.

 Who is this person of great beauty?
What does she love to do?
Dana describes herself as being just a simple, old-fashioned girl who was probably born in the wrong era.  She loves Victorian, country, western, and that long ago time when life was more simple and people really cared about each other.

She is a nurturer! She is a caregiver by nature and loves to spoil people, especially her family.

Dana loves to sew and do crafts and is learning to quilt.

She enjoys reading, singing, cooking when there's time, painting and repainting the inside of her home, but what is her very favorite activity of all?
Snuggling with Lane on the sofa while watching a Saturday night movie or a football game, or just about any time, for that matter.
 Dana loves spending time with her friends.  They all enjoy camping together which they do on a regular basis.

Dana loves sharing God's love however she can.  A few years ago she and several of her friends led the young girls in their church to take on the project of making pillowcase dresses for little girls in another country.  Yes, Dana loves.

Favorite Scripture:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Yes, this is truly a beautiful love story.
A story of love between a woman and her husband.
A story of love between a mother and her children.
A story of love between a woman and her friends.
A story of love between God and His children.

Thank you Dana for your example of what
Beauty Without Within
is all about.
And they lived happily ever after!

Links to previous and remaining posts in this series:
#1 Jean Anne Williams
Sally Cox
Dana Mosely
Margaret Williams Jones
Sharon Mabus

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Favorite Cancer Survivor

On November 26, 1946, into the home of Porter and Laura Lazenby, came a round, happy, blue-eyed bundle of joy - my little sister.
Virginia Kay Lazenby Whittington

I read the following and it is a perfect description of my sister, Gingie:
"A blue-eyed person is kind-hearted, looks for the best in others, loves with all their heart, and are the type of people who are hard to forget.  They are the best at pretending to be happy during hard times and will tend to please others before themselves."
  Yes, that's my sis!

In 1952 we added another sister, Sarah, which put Gin into the "middle child" birth order.

Gin was the pleaser and the appeaser of the three of us.  She was the happy, outgoing, and most congenial of us as well.  It was a seven-year old Gingie who sat with me in our dad's Studebaker one Saturday afternoon and told me that I needed to ask Jesus into my heart.  She was right, and I did.

We weren't always best friends.  However, there came a time when, in our teens, Gin outgrew me in size and character and decided she had had enough of her sassy and sometimes abusive older sister, and let me know she wasn't taking it anymore.  Again, she was right.
From that time on, there was a healthy respect between us.  And today, we three sisters could not be closer and enjoy spending time together any more than we do.
Gin was always very popular in school.  She was very athletic and played basketball and tennis in high school. One of her best friends was Lynn.  Their senior year they were selected Homecoming King and Queen and "Most Likely to Succeed."  And succeed they both did in their own way.

Let me tell you how my sister, Gingie, has succeeded.
 She is a survivor!

Late in her senior year of high school, we learned that she had a goiter on her thyroid which necessitated having to have a complete thyroidectomy.  It took many months and years to get her meds regulated, but
She survived!
 Gin met and married Thomas in 1969 and in a few short years they had added two robust sons to their household, Eric and Doug.
 And now, they have three grandsons and two granddaughters.

In 1999, Gin learned that she had two different types of cancer in one of her breasts.  After a lumpectomy, she had radiation treatment.
She survived! 

In 2003, after having a routine checkup, it was discovered she had a malignant tumor on one of her kidneys.  A third type of cancer.  They removed her kidney and no other treatment was required.
She survived!

 In 2004, she was told that although she had never had a blood transfusion, she had Hepatitis B and would have to undergo almost a year of the most horrible treatment.  The suicide rate for persons enduring this type treatment is very high because of the side effects of the drugs.
She survived! 

Then, in 2010 after having a routine mammogram, she was given the dreaded news that again she had another type breast cancer.  This time she had a mastectomy and months of chemo treatment.
She survived!

She has not only survived but THRIVED!

I have never seen anyone face so much and yet not lose her beautiful attitude and faith and determination to fight.  Yes, there were down times, but she didn't stay there long.
Gin can explain this to you so much better than I can.
"Having survived three bouts of cancer and several other things in my adult life gives new meaning to the words thankful and grateful.  I am alive today strictly by the Grace of God! 

"These difficult times have only made me stronger.  It has given purpose to my life; made me appreciate my life, and my family more.  It has given me the need and desire to reach out to others.
"It has given me stronger faith in my Lord, knowing that He loves me so much.  He has continued to heal me and strengthen my body in order that I might be and do the things for which He has called me.

"He obviously isn't ready for me to go to be with Him yet, but that day will come and I will be ready when He calls." 

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
In Opelousas, the small South Louisiana town where Gin works, they celebrate as only Cajun folks can.  BIG!
Gin was chosen by her employer, Evangeline Downs, to represent them for the week-long, town-wide festivities.
One of the things the town does is to have a BRA Decorating Contest.
 These are some of the creative entries.

But, the 1st place winner was done in Gin's honor by Eric, Artistic Coordinator at Evangeline Downs.
"Survivor's Natural Habitat"
I had the honor of naming it and writing a short description.
"Just like Louisiana's natural habitat must fight to survive, the Breast Cancer Survivor has also fought a battle.  And, she has become strong, determined, resilient, and beautiful because of it."

As the Evangeline Down's representative, my beautiful sis participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness Style Show.
Thomas was proud of his special beautiful Survivor.

What makes one a Survivor?
 Gin shared that the following scripture found in Psalms 139:23-24, has always meant a lot to her:
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts.  Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."
 And, this anonymous quote that Gin wrote in the front of he Bible many years ago sums up her life and why she is a survivor:
"Joy is a Christian word and emotion.  It flows from deep springs within your life, regardless of what may be happening to you on the outside."
 I love you, my precious and beautiful sister and truly you are strong, determined, resilient, and beautiful.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Miscellany Monday - Family, Friends, Fun & Football

This past weekend was spent in Dallas, Texas.  Let me share some highlights with you.

Grandparent's Day
Friday morning, we enjoyed Grandparent's Day with our littlest grandchild, Ava Grace.  She is in the First Grade at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano.  We are so grateful for the wonderful Christian education they provide.

Again this year, we were impressed, after visiting her classroom, with the quality of education Ava Grace is receiving.  The classes are small and lasting friendships are built between students and teachers.
Thank you Mrs. Mitchell for instilling spiritual principles and laying a strong educational foundation for these precious children.

Northwest Dallas Skyline
Friday afternoon, we went to Downtown Dallas to see our friend's new office.  The view from this vantage point was amazing.  We were so surprised to see so much green space in this overly populated area.

Then, we took the DART down to the Texas State Fair, which is definitely the way to go.
Welcome to the Texas State Fair
 Last year on the last night of the fair, the 52 ft. fair icon, Big Tex, was consumed by fire.  The crowd was glad to welcome the new and improved replacement.
 There are some beautiful buildings built for various exhibits and housing the history of this renowned state fair.  This is perhaps the largest state fair in the country covering a 277 acre city park in downtown Dallas.
 Security was definitely there.
 The Blue Grass stage with bagpipes was one of the favorite performance stages.

 Randy and Cele outside the Chinese Lantern Festival Display.  There are 24 different lighted scenes.
 The path wanders through a garden of giant tulips.
A stately hall of enormous lanterns
 One of my favorite displays was the walkway of huge Chinese vases and Geisha dolls. 
 A massive fanciful castle
 This Porcelain Pagoda's nine towering spires is 53 ft. high and was inspired by a Buddhist Temple in China.  But, this structure is made from 68,000 pieces of porcelain dishware - plates, bowls, spoons and cups - all hand-tied using a traditional technique.  Absolutely unbelievable!
In the center of the lagoon was the Imperial Dragon Boat - 120 ft long.
As reflected in the water and the country's highest Ferris Wheel in the background.

From the opposite side of the lagoon.
This amazing display was certainly worth waiting until dark and the press of humanity.

Our Indiana Family
Grandson started for Western Michigan University against Ball State this weekend and played the whole game.  The family was there to cheer him on and Dad said he did very well.  Mom and sisters are excited to see him play.

Mary- Elizabeth honored the memory of her Grandmother Mary this week by making these whirly-gigs to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Week.  Her Mamaw Mary died, after fighting valiantly for two years, shortly after M-E was born.  We celebrate all Breast Cancer survivors and victims.