Tuesday, August 11, 2009

jumpin' jehosophat! part 1

it's "J" day! I've been waiting for this day. It turns out, you see, that there are a lot of "J" people in my life, and I'm not talkin' Meyers-Briggs (although there are those kind of Js, too!). What fun, today, to pay tribute to them! I wish I could write at length about each of them and do justice to the places they hold in my heart, but for purposes of this blog I will try, at the least, to tip my hat in some meaningful way. It turns out that it takes a fair amount of time to do this, so I have broken up my "J" list into two parts.

Let's start with the J gratitude list:

Jesus * Jobs * Justice * Jam * Jokes * Joy * Journeys * Journals * Jewelry * Jigsaw puzzles

and move on to (in alphabetical order) the first part of the Js:

Jamie, my brother: he's a bit of an enigma, a private person who holds more talent in his little finger than one might imagine is possible in a person. He's incredibly creative in a number of arenas: art, music, design, cooking, writing. He's a remodeling contractor whose work is distinctive and original. LOVE his stuff! He is quietly passionate about his work, his family, his world. He reads and studies and integrates what he learns and experiences. Sort of a renaissance man. I admire him a lot, and wish we were closer.

Janet, or Scrapping Janet, as she is known to Ken: Janet is a W: a wise, witty, welcoming woman who doubles as my personal assistant when I'm on a road trip. Before we had a GPS in the car Janet was our GPS by phone. Just one example: on our way to the Outer Banks for a wedding I realized that I needed an item to complete a gift. I got Janet on the phone, she went online and found the nearest Michael's to us as we were traveling through North Carolina, and gave us directions. Mission Accomplished (and I didn't have to wear a jump suit to proclaim it so!). One of the things I love about Janet is that she is there when I need her. Not just for directions to places, but to offer a hug, a listening ear, a funny thing to say to lift my spirits, or simply to hear her voice on the other end of the phone when I'm feeling alone. She is constant, hesed, to use a biblical word. My rock of a friend. And she sends me flowers when I'm really in a funk!

Janet, my spiritual director: wise, compassionate, understanding, affirming, encouraging. (She says "hi," Danielle, and congrats!). She is a really good fit for me, for my reverently irreverent, seeking spirit, and a gentle soul.

Jayne, yenta and so much more!: You'.ve heard about Jayne before on this blog. Dear, dear friend who introduced me to my husband, but that is just one thing that I love about her. Many of my friends are thoughtful. One of the ways that Jayne is thoughtful is that she sends me books! When I was stumbling through putting up a web site she sent me HTML for Dummies. Bingo! She has sent novels that she thinks I will enjoy, or other aids to some aspect of life where I am feeling the need of some literary support. She's insightful, caring, tells the truth, makes me laugh, and shares with me a slightly twisted theology. No, that's not right, but I'm not sure quite how to describe it. Let's just say we push the boundaries a lot, but we are firmly grounded in the heart of God. (Feel free to correct me, Jayne!). I really wish she lived closer, though she is always available in a crisis by phone or email.

Jesse, my nephew: I feel blessed to have what I consider a special relationship with Jesse. Before moving away from where my family lives I saw him pretty regularly, but even with less frequent visits subsequently I think it's safe to say we are close. When he was almost four (he is now a rising college sophomore), I was dealing with a very difficult time in my life. I was on the phone with his mother, and Jesse heard only her side of the conversation as she and I talked. After a while she said to me, "Want to talk to Jesse?" He came to the phone, and the first words out of his mouth were, "tell me your problem." Hear those words in a four-year old's voice! He is long on compassion.

Jenny, like a daughter: Silly, irreverent (hmm, there's a theme here), loveable and loving. Jenny is the younger daughter of friends from my home parish in Connecticut, and sister of my goddaughter Johanna. For several years when the girls were young I had the privilege of sharing lots of fun times with them. We shared church activities, but what was most special is that I got to borrow them to exercise my Mom gene. We went to craft fairs, pizza parlors, Christmas exhibits, movies. They came to my house for sleepovers, to bake cookies, play with the dogs, and in general just be kids. Jenny liked to push the buttons on the microwave as though she were imparting a secret message. She didn't then, nor does she now, suffer fools. She is a free spirit who values authenticity, too often has learned the hard way, and like one of those blow-up punching bags for kids that have sand in the bottom, she rights herself and carries on. She is now gaining on 30 and we aren't in touch often, but our love for each other runs deep and has staying power.

Part two tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some of today's Js. Left to right: Janet, Jesse, Jamie, (sister-in-law Barbara), Jayne and Jenny.

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Jayne said...

Tee hee hee... twisted theology... I think that description is perfect! :c) LOVE your "J" list and love you!

Janet M said...

Anne, Love this list to and thanks for the wonderful and beautiful little part you worte on me, I really feel honored. Thanks,
Looking foreward to part two.

Jules said...

Just Perfect!


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