I Hope You Dance

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Good Monday everyone! I hope today’s porch chat finds you enjoying the last weeks of summer. Wasn’t it spring just yesterday? Suddenly we’re inundated with back-to-school ads, and there’s the sense of dread that comes with returning to the normal routine.

Around our house, it’s almost time to say a sad goodbye to the man-child and ship him off for another year at college. Huckleberry and I are already sad about it. Who will kidnap the i-Phone charger over, and over, and over? Who will raid the hidden candy stashes in the kitchen? Who will wrestle, and roll on the floor, play midnight games of throw-the-ball? Who will provide a constant supply of used man-child socks and constantly leave them on the floor, available for puppy stealth attacks and endless chewing pleasure?

Huckleberry

The man-child is wrapping up some projects before he heads back to school. This week, he’s been hauling trailer loads of metal to the recycling plant. This metal is special, though you wouldn’t know it by looking.

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You see, earlier this summer, something tragic happened down the road a piece. A house literally exploded. One minute, my friend, Lorraine, was sitting in her recliner, a pillow propped behind her head. The next, she was on the floor, the house burning around her. There was no warning. No split second to think in slow motion. No time to prepare. It just… happened. Life was normal one minute. Everything was in its place and then… the world was upside down.

Fortunately, the family came through with only some minor cuts and bruises. They’ve been sorting through the rubble since then, saving what they could, like these bits of family china which miraculously survived the fire.

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My son found Marcelli’s band instrument among the metal in the rubble. It lies in pieces, twisted and charred, but still recognizable as what it once was. I stood looking at it after we pulled it out, and something hit me. As sad as it is that a beautiful instrument is gone, that the trumpet will never again make music, the trumpet is a thing. An object. Trumpets can be bought. New music can be made. Marcelli is still here. The music comes from him, not from the trumpet.

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His adopted sister, Paulina is a dancer. Trophies and awards and videos and photos were lost in that house. Things that had been worked for and earned. A little girl’s treasures. Those can’t be replaced. But there will be new awards, new ribbons, more photos and videos, because Paulina is still here to dance.

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In our consumer culture, surrounded by pursuit of things, it’s easy to lose sight what matters most. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we are what we own. That what matters isn’t the life we live, but the material things we have to show for it.

Passing by the remains of Marceli’s trumpet as it sits by our door, I remind myself to be grateful for people, for time, for conversations, and laughter, and joy. I remind myself not to rate my life by what can be bought, but to run hard in pursuit of the treasures of the heart.

I’m thankful that our friends are still here. I’m thankful we’ll still chat in the post office, and share goodie baskets at Christmas, and exchange hugs as we come and go. I’m thankful that Marceli is still here to make music and Paulina is still here to dance. I’m thankful that Paulina will continue to share her gift, to inspire those who watch her and amaze the world with the fact that she can do those things at all. I’m thankful that Marceli will astound those who watch him play his trumpet. You see, there’s something I haven’t told you about Marceli and Paulina. Marceli plays the trumpet with one hand, because that’s all he has. He was born in Poland with only one limb. Paulina was adopted from a Russian orphanage. She dances on prosthetic legs.

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There’s something I haven’t told you about their mom, Lorraine, too. Every day, unfailingly, she shares her gratitudes on her Facebook page. One of them, the day after the fire, was the pillow that had been propped behind her head the moment before the blast. The pillow was found the following morning on the front lawn, undamaged, apparently blown out the window as Lorraine landed on the floor.

You can see it here with the rubble of the house still burning behind it. Can you read the words?

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It says, You are not alone.

And that, in the end, is the greatest blessing of all.

Lisa

Everyday Angels Giveaway!

This week, I’m celebrating friends, big miracles, and the everyday angels with a special kind of giveaway package. If you’re the winner, you’ll receive an autographed advance copy of The Story Keeper (which doesn’t hit shelves until September), BUT you’ll also have the chance to name a special encourager or someone who needs a little encouragement right now, and I’ll send that person a signed copy of The Prayer Box along with one of my handmade, signed prayer boxes.

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Question of the day: Who are the everyday angels in your life? Tell us about them!

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The Prayer Box — Selected as One of Booklist’s Top Ten of 2013!

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Click for peek at The Tidewater Sisters

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Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 of 2012 and Top 10 of 2013, Lisa Wingate weaves Southern settings with elements of women's fiction, history, and mystery to create stories that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "Lyrical and beautiful." She is a seven-time Carol Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. She once dreamed of making the Olympics and winning the National Finals Rodeo, but was thwarted by an inability to do a back flip on the balance beam and parents who wouldn't finance a rodeo career, so she took her first-grade teacher's advice and became a writer instead ;)

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Comments

  1. says

    I saw that explosion story in the news and was shocked. Then I saw the woman on your Facebook wall . . . at the time I couldn’t help but stop and pray for her family. Now, you share the extraordinary stories of her children. Thank you for highlighting their story, Lisa. Puts my Monday morning blahs in perspective and creates in me a thankful heart as well.

  2. Melanie Backus says

    Good Morning Lisa, I found myself holding my breath at times while reading your post. That those precious souls were spared through such a horrendous occurrence was just amazing and such a great blessing.

    I have a dear elderly friend that I go to church with. She inspires me every time I see her. You see, her poor little body is now terribly curved and crooked but bent from the middle and walking with a cane, she wears a smile and gives her love freely. We always meet each other with a lasting hug and words of encouragement and of course an I Love You, because we honestly mean what we say. We really do love each other, our words come from the heart and we know that our moment together may be our last.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Oh, Melanie, I love the story of your Everyday Angel. A person with a bright attitude is beautiful no matter the age, the infirmities, or the challenges. Joy shines.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Thank you, Amy. I think we all need to have angels and be angels… happiness lies in both, perhaps?

      • says

        You are so right. Lets all try to be angel for someone today, or everyday. One small thing a day. It can make a big difference to someone’s life. <3

  3. says

    Oh, my! So glad they were okay. Something like that happened up the road from us as well. The people were all right, but their home was also destroyed. Thankful for the reminder that we have to keep dancing regardless of what fires are burning around us. Hope you have a great week, Lisa! :)

  4. Rachel Hauck says

    Oh Lisa, What a lovely, touching post. Do they know why the house exploded? They are so blessed to have survived!

    Oh, how great is God!

    Rachel

  5. says

    My everyday angel comes in the form of a “2nd mother”. She raised a child with special needs day in and day out. Rachel was like a sister to me and I loved her as such. She depending 100% on Janet to care for all her needs and did so until the day she went to Dance with Jesus! Amazing story, thank you for sharing with us! <3

  6. Wendy says

    What a wonderful giveaway! Thank you for the chance.
    The Angels in my life are my children and grandchildren. I cherish every moment I can have with them. They live a distance away. We always have fun together, planting their own trees and flowers in the yard, do crafts, picnics, learning to cook, make and give gifts to family, friends and neighbors. My other Angels are my fur babies. They give me great joy. I currently received a blue merle rough collie pup to train as my service dog. He has helped me in more ways than you can imagine. My friends are my angels too..
    Many blessings to you and yours.
    Wendy

  7. says

    Good question of the day today. I need to reflect on something positive at this moment. My angel in my daily life is my husband. He always knows not only what to say, but how to say it. Whether it’s advice, encouragement, or constructive criticism. I am very blessed to have a husband as supportive as he is.

  8. says

    I’m so happy the Lorraine and her family were not hurt in the explosion of their house. God does watch over us. And may God keep blessing us all.

    My angel is my husband Jerry. He has always been a wonderful husband and father., But since I am having health problems he has helped me even more than before. There isn’t one thing he will not do for me. He truly has been my angel. I love him so much.

    Thank you for listening to me.

  9. Linda Gerrald says

    I have a dear, sweet friend who has been struggling for her life over the past week and a half. She lost her husband of 60+ years a few months ago. She fell and broke her hip last winter. Then week before last she developed an intestinal blockage and had to undergo major surgery and have 4″ of her intestines removed. I only met Mary 9 years ago, when she was 75 years old. We were renting a cabin on the Brazos River while we looked for a house to buy. Mary grew up on the Brazos and told us her lifelong dream was to canoe along it, so she could see all of its bends and twists. Unfortunately we were never able to make that happen, but it shows you how spunky this woman was!
    There were some rough times in our life after we moved her, and Mary and her husband, Jim, were always here to encourage us and show us how much they cared. When my daughter bought her first house, they gave her the money needed to buy a refrigerator for it. My husband likes to hunt, so they always invited him to hunt on their property. Such gentle and generous souls!
    Mary is now facing having to live in some type of nursing facility…probably for the remainder of her life. She has always been so independent, and this change will be so very challenging! She is my everyday angel…and my very much loved friend.

  10. Joan Arning says

    I have a young friend has lived through some traumatic times in her life and had some times of depression. Her mother (my dear friend) went to heaven last August. Melissa is a wonderful mother to four children but she and her husband have recently become foster parents to two teenagers. She is a devoted Christian lady who encourages others.

  11. NANCY WINN says

    The Angels in my life have been two women who have allowed me the opportunity to walk with them through their fight with cancer. Terri was my friend from Missouri who was a 34 year old mother of 2 who fought breast cancer then leukemia. We shared EVERYTHING! She even shared her scar. I loved her so much. She went to be with Jesus. I can’t wait to see her again.
    My second friend is Michal, pronounced Michel. Michal came into my life quietly, both of us hiding our hurts. Slowly we found so much in common. She is the mother of 3 sons. Michal was 45 when she was diagnosed with liver cancer. I thought “here I go again!”, and I did. I walked through Michal’s cancer with her too. We shared so much. I still visit her grave when I need someone to talk to. Michal went to Jesus almost 4 years ago. No one has filled her place in my heart. GOD CHOSE to heal both my dearest friends by taking them both home to be with HIM.
    Terri’s friendship started in 1995 and she went to Jesus in 2003. Michal’s friendship started in 2005 and she went to Jesus in 2010.

  12. maryb says

    This is not a life and death story or anything like that but this weekend our only child Bethany lynn branham lykins is my angel. Her day Lenny Branham and my husband is 67 and his dream and bucket list item #1 since the 80′s when he ran 10k races has been to run a triathalon. Well starting in jan he went to the rec center and started swimming laps. He could not swim over the deep end so he would turn at the deep end and come back . Finally in april he got a lifeguard to start training him. He got past the deep end and could swim laps in the pool. She took him to the lake and got him used to open water as he would need to swim in the res as part of the mini triathalon he wanted to run on aug 2nd.
    He can bike the 16 miles and run the 3.1 miles but the 800 yds in the res would be a major challenge.
    Well The day came on sat. It was raining buckets, thunder and hail. He finished the swim . It took over and hour and firemen and lifeguards stayed with him.
    I wanted him to quit but he rode his bike the 16 miles Of course all this time he is last . He finished the bike race and then it was time to run. He starts off , no one to follow or help encourage him. Our 43 year old daughter runs in front of him to encourage him and give him someone to be able to see.. Well at 67 , afraid of deep water and in terrible weather My angel helped her day to finish his first mini triathalon at 67and made it one of the happiest days of his life.
    His own sister does not curse but she said He is a hell of a man and when beth started to run in front of him his sister and I started to cry. What a day.
    Maybe not news worthy but for him and for his family and friends it was a miracle.

  13. says

    I have a good friend who is an Angel to us. She is there when we need her and the most Angel in my life is my Mother who is 88 years now and living in Assisted living. I would love to give her the prayer box and thank you for the giveaway. To my friend I would give her your novel. Blessings to you!

  14. says

    I read “The Prayer Box” on my kindle and loved it. Wrote a review on Amazon. I would love to have a printed copy to share with friends at church. I suppose I am the “book angel” in that I love to loan out books that I think will bring joy to friends. What a great idea of creating a prayer box to share. I loved our visit to the Outer banks of N.C. and found myself imagining the stories behind some of the older houses. So that brought an added element of pleasure to that book. Write on Lisa!

  15. Cheryl says

    My daughter, Caitlyn is my angel. She has child like faith and always reminds me that Jesus is in control. While getting her ready to depart to Mexico last month for her first mission trip she kept reminding me that this is what we all should be doing, going to the ends of the earth to share the gospel. Looking forward to her coming home next week and to hear about the work she did.

  16. says

    I recently suffered a miscarriage and my angels came through big time. My husband and my mother were first and foremost but also friends and other family members are helping me survive.

  17. Stacy A says

    What an amazing story, an amazing family, an amazing God. I remember seeing some of this on your facebook page and thinking, wow, this stuff happens to REAL people, not just random strangers in the news! What a wonderful example they are. Thank you for sharing their story.

    I’m blessed with a number of encouragers in my life — but I don’t think my husband or son would appreciate the prize, lol. My mom is a wonderful encourager, too, but for this purpose, my nominee would be my writing “sisterchick,” Theresa. I met her online almost four years ago, through a Christian writer’s forum. I was interested in converting a novel I was writing to blogfiction, and she had a fairly successful fictional blog. I asked her a few questions via messaging, she got right back to me, and a wonderful friendship was born. I’m the kind of person who gets easily discouraged, and this writing journey hasn’t been an easy one (especially since deciding after two years to switch the blogfiction back to a novel, converting to 1st person Deep Point of View), but she has been a super encourager all the way, even while working on her own novel. More than that, though, she has been a dear friend, encouraging me through all my health issues, my struggles with depression, spiritual battles, on and on. I can’t adequately describe how much she means to me in a “short” comment on a blog post, but she is just a precious jewel in my life. I actually got to meet her in person for the first time just a little over a week ago — what a cool blessing! (Our first in-person meet-up got thwarted by me having a heart attack a year ago.) So Theresa would be my choice for the prize, if I’m “lucky” enough to be chosen!

  18. Connie Brown says

    I’m glad she got out okay and they are alive. I had a similar occurrence, my house caught fire and burned about 10 years ago. I got out of the house and 1 of my cats got out. God knew which one I needed. She was my angel for 20 years and I had to have her put to sleep this past Saturday. My other angel who is a close friend but is the sister I never had is a vet and she hated to do it but she did. Also my librarian at my church is an angel for me too.She helps me get the books I want to read and I help her by volunteering. I am the coverer of books. I do other things too but that is my official job. I read The Prayer Box and enjoyed it. I just downloaded your prequel on Amazon and look forward to reading it.

  19. Michelle Ault says

    My mom would be the one that I would nominate for encouragement. My parents are in their late 70s and Dad is not doing too well. My Mother is doing everything for him, including getting him out of chairs, tying his shoes…. He has a paralyzed lung from his open heart surgery 12 years ago and his stomach is being pushed up into the lung, which is causing an incredible amount of pain and shortness of breath. He is depressed. Mom is driving him everywhere and is afraid to leave him alone for more than 20 minutes at a time (he sometimes just falls). She has cancelled her hair appointment three times because she is afraid to leave him alone. The past 3 Sundays, they have gotten ready to go to church, but after breakfast, Dad is have no more energy and they end up staying home. She is my hero.

  20. Susan Wilson says

    Thank you so very much for sharing your friend’s story. It really does help to be able to put our own lives into perspective.

    My angel would be my Aunt Judy. She is not only my aunt, but also my friend, surrogate mother, big sister, and inspiration. She is so selfless when it comes to taking care of people, especially sick family members. She is a caregiver, through and through. I often worry that she’s not taking care of herself like she should. I can only hope that if the day ever comes when she needs care giving, that I will be able to care for her as she has for so many fortunate people.

  21. Velma Hunsucker says

    Oh my! What a beautiful story of God’s hand in the midst of tragedy!
    Someone who is an everyday angel for me is my husband. In our almost 12 years together, we have faced many challenges, and he has been the steady force that has encouraged me when I felt like giving up, and I hope I have been that for him. He has been with me when I literally didn’t know of I would live. He even spent weeks of training to learn to dialyze me at home, and even though he is exhausted from work, he dialyzes me five days a week. Every day he makes me feel loved and cherished. He is my Prince Charming. ☺

  22. says

    I too, like an earlier commenter, held my breath as I read the story of your neighbors who lost their home. Thank God, they are alright. — Now, let me tell you about the special angel in my life, my mom. My mother has been through so much in her life but has always come out stronger and stronger in her faith as well. My mother not only raised three kids, nearly single-handed, she has survived nearly dying in childbirth, only to nearly lose her life again a few years later to cancer, and then again sixteen years ago survived breast cancer. (Yes, she beat cancer not once, but twice.) She’s been through a lot, but that has never tested her faith, nor prevented her from being there when anyone needs her. — You know, I think I’ll go down the road and visit her now.

  23. Kelly B says

    I loved this story Lisa. It has a wonderful message to share with everyone. No matter how many times the things in life try to knock us down, we have the strength to stand back up and move forward. Your friend and her family are truly blessed and you are as well in being their friend. Thank you for sharing this story as it reminds me that my troubles are not as bad as I picture them.

    My angels are my dear friend in my Sunday book/Retha group. This group was started by a friend named Retha who wanted to help support, encourage and uplift others by having this group. Retha was only with us for 4 months and crossed over. We have continued this group for over a year now and I love my group. They cheer me up and give me the strength to carry through my next week. Most of them are old enough to me my mom or grandma, but when we are together, we are all the same. I feel so blessed to be a part of this group.

  24. Virginia Rush says

    great story from tragedy….love how Lorraine taught them they could do anything with what they have. Pretty sure I would love Lorraine. as for everyday angels, my grandgirls are always around and make me laugh and we talk about everything, this morning it was about movies trying to depict the Bible and failing. we love the ones that get it right. My daughter has always been my best friend and she is their mom. My son is my away angel and grabs my heart too. Interestingly facebook gives me everyday friends every single day…we pray, we laugh, we cry and sometimes just mad together. for the friend I would want these gifts for, her name is Linda, a grandmother who is raising two grandsons that both face challenges and she gets no help, no support money, no help from the state, nothing. She can’t work …bad back. her husband has discovered he has Parkinson’s this last year. they just found out he can have 3 surgeries to try to get better. It will be hours in the waiting room and she things one daughter not the boys mom will fly down and keep the boys. I just think during this time a book to read and a prayer box would get her through a lot of hard hours. she lives far far south Texas, so I can’t even get to her. whether she wins or not, please pray for her, her husband and the boys. and Lorraine I think a movie needs to be made about your family….

  25. Edie Mc says

    What a miracle! Thank you for sharing the real-life story, Lisa. And what a blessing to know that God intervenes in our lives for His glory! My special angel is my sister who has some prayers for loved ones and many others tucked in her heart. I’d love for her to have the special “prayer box” as a reminder that God never forgets and the answers will come.

  26. says

    I am replying to they questions about the angels in our lives. I have had several you see. First when I was three when my father was killed in auto accident. An what i thought at the time “older” lady who was probably just in her 40′s.she was our angel. My mom was young my brotehr had developemtal diabilities and I was three and missed my daddy so much. The lady next door stepped in, mind you it was 1970. She taught my mom to drive, helped us find a car we could afford, helped my mom get a job and held us all together until my mom could get on her feet. Later in life struggling with infertility I had invitro fertilization. I got the phone call that it had failed, i was beside myself. I went to my bosses house by a chain of events i ended up picking up her little daughter from daycare. I had been aroudn this child since birth she has her own miracle story she was born at 1 lb doctors said she would die. I knew she was a fighter she survived and is healthy and happy today. But that day her grandmother was going to pick her up but forgot her purse and i had to go take it to her somehow i got to the daycare first and the little girl ran and jumped into my arms to console me even though I was not crying at this time it was like she knew, she asked me to go out with her and her grandmother for dinner and she held me all night. My boss commented to someone else on how it was so strange that she had not left my side all night. In the months ahead i spent alot of time with her and she helped me heal. I am convinced that she saved my life and my sanity. She is definitely my little guardian angel. I belive there are angles all around us that are sent to help all we have to do is open our mind and our heart to them

  27. says

    I love all of these stories. I am not sure if they are angels, or God’s messengers in our lives. Showing us all of the strength and goodness that surrounds us every day. The people who come into our lives and make such a difference in how we see the world are gifts from God (or maybe his Angels.) What you call them doesn’t matter. That you open your heart and see them is the most important thing.

  28. Miriam Lozano says

    What an encouraging and uplifting story…..God always has a way of reminding us how blessed we are.

    I have had many angels in my life so I won’t name them here. However, I want to mention a dear friend who needs to know that she is loved and respected and that angels have been with her even today. You see Judy has been dealing with quite a lot since May of this year. First her elderly mother had some medical problems and ended up in ICU. She has been going up and down since then and finally passed away this morning. Just when Judy thought she would settle in for a nice summer with her husband who had just retired after 35 years as a school principal, he falls 15 feet while trying to cut some limbs off a tree that fell on top of their house. He fell on his head, broke some vertebra’s, broke all his ribs, broke both wrists, punctured his lungs and has been in ICU since July 7th. Judy has been in the hospital since then, staying by his side and at times rushing to the other hospital to visit with her Mom. In all this time, she has been posting updates to her Facebook that have told us all the progress of her loved ones, but at the same time has encouraged us to pray because she has seen the hand of God in both instances. Angels have been with her to engulf her in peace and joy. She has had the presence of God embrace her and kept her smiling. Even though she has cried many tears, she has known that her husband has been covered with prayers and angels kept him alive and God has reassured her that He would not leave her. She is my angel today because her posts have encouraged me to look on the positive side and also, to understand that no matter how bad things get, God is there to get us through. Today she is suffering the loss of her mother, but rejoicing because she is home with Jesus and her dear husband is getting better every day and she is at peace knowing that angels are watching over her.

  29. Nancy says

    It is so hard to write an answer to your question of the day through TEARS! What a beautiful story of encouragement and faith. We are NEVER alone.

    My special angel is my wonderful little sister who was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic cancer last October. She lives 2 hours away and we started the practice of praying together each day at noon by text message. With God’s help we have both been able to deal with her living with cancer. We pray it will be for a long, long time. She has continued working a full time job and raising her granddaughters, who are 14 and 7. We have taken them to Hawaii and now at age 63 she is finally going to Disneyland with them.

    God blessed you, Lisa, with the ability to help people think, cry and laugh each day. My ANGEL does that for me too. We will enjoy your books and writing and photos for years together.

    Special blessing for Lorraine and family and your special man-child.

    Nancy

  30. Jan Faught says

    God is so amazing. My angel is my husband who is always wakes up in a good mood and stays that way all day long.

  31. Dalene Wilkinson says

    Lisa, Thank you for sharing the story of Lorraine and her family. Today my thoughts and prayers go to a member of The Page Turners Book Club whose husband was diagnosed yesterday with pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver. Her name is Glenna and I have known her all my life. So often we take every day for granted and then when we see what happened to Lorraine and her family and now Glenna and her family, we slow down and think about how precious each day is and what a gift from God each day is. Today, my angel is Glenna and I pray that the Angels are watching over her and her family. Dalene

  32. Andrew Bennett says

    My wife is my everyday angel. One month after we were married , 5 years ago, I received a phone call from the police and my daughter was in trouble once again. My 2 young grand sons (at the time (4 & 1) would go into foster care unless we took them. She never hesitated, she said yes! We never thought we would have them this long but here we are 5 years later and they are still with us.

    We also learned shorty after getting them, the oldest has severe medical problems from fetal alcohol syndrome . I am a long haul truck driver, so with out my wife stepping up to plate , I’m sure my oldest grandson would probably be hospitalized by now,

    I say a prayer every day to thank God for sending her into my life.

  33. Jessica says

    I have an angel in my life. She is my former boss and now my best friend. I have several health issues which lead to my being fired from a job I dearly loved. Despite being the person to end my employment Ms. Linda has turned out to be the one person I can always count on for support or help. She alwasys has a positive outlook and an enouraging word for me. She and I go to a couplea bible study group as our significant others are unable to attend. She treats me as an equal and like a daughter at the same time. I know there is nothing legal that I could ask her to do that she would not at least try to accomplish. I would do the same for her. I know she was put into my life to be a support system and I am so very grateful for her.

  34. Linda C says

    Amazing! My every day “angels” are those folk in the residential home where my daughter lives (she’s now 40 & has been at the home for 23 years). You see our daughter had spinal meningitis at the young age of 7 wks which left her mentally handicapped. Fortunately the Lord spared her life but she has very explosive behavior episodes. Unable to keep her in our home after 17 yrs, she was admitted under the care of these fine ladies & other workers at the home. Each day they leave their own personal families to care for my daughter & others. They are loving, caring, and provide training, structure, care & security. I could never thank them enough for all that they do. They are certainly angels in my life & that of our daughter’s.

  35. Janet Picano says

    My everyday angel (and many other peoples as well) is my sister-in-law Jackie. She is always there for me, and has helped me through some rough patches more than once. She is the kind of person that will reach out to people and help when they need it. She has helped people more than she knows, and we are truly blessed to have her in our lives.

  36. Julie Horner says

    My Aunt Bonnie is my Angel. She has gone through 2 years of chemo and surgeries for Breast Cancer. Aunt Bonnie has surrounded herself with Angels in her house and has faith in God so fierce. When a day is “icky” I think of her and what her trials have been.

  37. Georgine Dorman says

    My angel is my youngest grandson. He is a very loving and giving child, considering the life he has had. He is always happy when he sees me and runs to give me hugs. It makes that day so much better

  38. Denise says

    My friend Jen. She inspires me and is a wonderful person. She lives with chronic arthritis, but it has never stopped her from accomplishing anything.

  39. Jackie Tessnair says

    What an inspirational post….An amazing family.My every day angel would be my son.He has went through so much heartache,but still does every thing he can to help me and his dad.He met the love of his life,planned the most beautiful proposal and wedding.Paid for it all himself.Got married and thought his life was great.Three months after wedding,his wife walked out,decided marriage wasn’t for her.For over a week he could not sleep or eat.He was devastated.All the stress caused many health problems for him.It has been a year and he hasn’t fully recovered over this heartache.But he is getting there one day at a time.My daughter has been sick for over three years and it has took a toll on us financially and my son has helped us so much.When things get very bad,he always encourages me to keep pushing on and not to give up.He is my forever and everyday angel.

  40. Rikki Andrews says

    Thank you for sharing your amazing story, it is one I will never forget; I was holding back tears as I read.

    My Angel Friend:

    I met a woman named Shelly about twenty five years ago, at the time I did not know how valuable she would become to me. I’m so amazed that we have become so close over the years, our lives are so divergent. She’s a true “Angel” and I know God placed in my life, not just to be there, but to be a true mentor. She is someone whom no matter what will love with His unconditional love. I can be totally honest about what I’m going through or thinking, she will love and pray for me until I get it figured out, then laugh with me over the simplicity of God in it all. I often wonder why I make things so complicated when I know He can simplify it in the blink of an eye; I’m sure Shelly wonders that too.

    A little over two years ago when my husband decided to end our marriage of 15 years, he basically kicked me out in the street with nothing, within the hour Shelly was calling wanting to know what was up. God had placed me heavy on her heart and knew she had to call me. I didn’t want to tell her, but eventually did. She asked me what my plans were, I told her I didn’t have any, but I knew God did. I was just waiting for Him to let me know what they were. She chuckled and said that maybe His plans were for me to move in with her and her husband. Just a few days before her daughter and son-in-law got transferred to Colorado with his job. For the first time since I had known her she had a spare bedroom; I moved in that day. My life has been forever changed from that phone call. God has done great things in my life, and where man kicked me to the curb, He has picked me up, dusted me off and given me more than I’ve ever had before: love, joy, peace, and much more, filled with His abundance that surpasses all understanding.

    Shelly is my Angel Friend, a true one to have in life. She hears from God, is obedient to make the calls in life, and follows through. I don’t know where I would be right now if she hadn’t. I am blessed and highly favored of the Lord, I know, having a friend like Shelly is my proof.

    Thanks for letting me share. :)

  41. Lisa Cowell says

    I currently have no angel. My mother was my on earth angel, but she has been a heavenly angel for over five years now. My daughter could use some encouragement right now, but I am not at liberty to tell about her troubles.

  42. Bonnie Roof says

    What an amazing and inspirational story, Lisa – thank you!! Such a wonderful family – I’m saying a prayer for them right now!!

    Thanks for the reminder of the importance of people in one’s life – as you mentioned “things” can be replaced, people can’t. God knows our needs and sends these “everyday angels” to love, inspire, and encourage us.

    You are among the many online angels whose prayers and writing have encouraged, comforted, and inspired me these last few months in my struggle with cancer (for the second time), mastectomy, and even more recent newly developed health issues. There are many other friends and family members who pray for me and help in so many ways – one of these is my best friend who is an avid reader, has numerous serious health issues/diseases herself, is always in pain, and yet has gone “above and beyond” to encourage me.

    She was in the hospital three times within six weeks last Fall, each time she wasn’t expected to live. Yet, in addition to praying for me, she has attended all except a couple of the many doctor, testing, and surgery appointments I’ve had since this past March and will be going with me to another appointment with my oncologist today. Because of three seizures she had last Fall (and an unknown cause) – she no longer drives but has her son’s fiancee’ drive her to my appointments. My friend walks with a cane and when her pain is at it’s worse, her son’s fiancee’ pushes her in a wheelchair. It would bring my friend such joy, encouragement, and inspiration if I could thank her for her faithfulness and love to me by presenting her with your beautiful prayer box and wonderfully inspiring novel “The Prayer Box”!!

    Thank you for this beautiful giveaway opportunity, Lisa, your kindness and love for others, and the blessings of inspiration received from your writing!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Post shared on Facebook!!

  43. Teresa Liles says

    We just got through reading this book for bookclub. We all enjoyed it.
    My everyday angel is my son Bobby. In November of 2012 he and my daughter Tracie who lives in Ohio decided tp take their vacation together. It was also Thanksgiving week and we were really looking forward to it. That night my son met his girlfriend at a restaurant to talk about their relationship. My daughter was driving home from Ohio at the same time. I was worried about my son because his girlfriend was breaking up with him. We texted back and forth with me begging him to come home. He was just so upset. Well I couldn’t do anything soI prayed for his safety and went to bed. At 2:00 in the morning we woke up to a phone call that our son was in a bad car wreck and probably wasn’t going to make. He was dead at the scen and went into arrest many times. He was thrown from his car and broke his neck. My healthy vibrant son was now fighting from his life. At one point we were told he would always live in a nursing home on a ventilator with no use of his hands or arms. We went to say Goodbye before signing papers to let him go. I took his hand and said I loved him. He opened his eyes and squeezed my hand with the hand that they said he would never use. I forgot to mention the most important thing is everyone was praying. This child was given less than 1% chance of living. Well we went through 52 days at the trauma center and 3 months at a rehab center in Georgia. He is home and doing great. He is paralyzed from the chest down but he has not let it stop him from living life. He is now driving with hand controls. He still has his sense of humor and keeps me laughing. Sometimes in the hospital he would tell me I am not going to ever leave the hospital and I would remind him that we had already had to say bye to his brother. I told him you just have to fight and he would say okay. When his older brother took his own life he is the one who pulled me back together. He taught me how to bowl so I could join a league with him. My 19 year old wanted his mom to bowl with him. It helped get me through the years after my son’s death. I don’t want to leave God out of this. We were told lots of negative stuff and lots of Bobby will never. God proved all the doctors wrong. He may be paralyzed but he can do anything he wants to do. He also worried about his dog because of being gone so long. He fought to get well to come home. He is home and driving and doing well. The prayer box meant a lot to me. With God’s help you can overcome adversity. Thank you

  44. Teresa LiNinoles says

    Just wanted to make sure you have my correct email address. My story was the one about my son bobby.

  45. Sonnetta Jones says

    I have been priviledged to have so many angels in my life. I got to see most of them in action the past year while dealing with a serious health disease. I admire the angels that encouraged me and others even though they are facing their own struggles. They inspire to do as Jesus say to encourage each other daily. The smiles, hugs, cards, phone call, visits and the prayers were so amzaing. I beleive that because of them God healed me in ways that I can not count.

    You do not realize how the simple things make us feel better. We do not always want the big gestures but the ones that speaks from the heart moves us like nothing else.

    Thank you Angels for allowing God to show his love through you. I am forever grateful.

  46. Tammy Jo Allison says

    I have not read all of the others, only because if I do, I won’t write about my everyday angel. It is my daughter who just turned 27. Our lives for the last few years have been difficult, with my husband overseas for almost 10 years now working, because he hasn’t been able to find a job here in the US. I could write a book of all that has happened, but my daughter came back to live with me because she was worried about me being alone. I have diabetes, and before we moved, I feel down a flight of stairs twice in one year, breaking a foot each time. Of course, I had no phone with me, and I thought about if she wasn’t living with me, I could have laid there for days before anyone noticed. But she has sort of put her young life on hold, for me. I know it is now way past time for her to move on and live her life. I know God is working in her life, even though she feels like everything we try to do just seems to turn into mush right now. It seems like nothing is working. I so appreciate her being here for me, but it’s time. I just recently read the prayer box, and I have so many pages bookmarked, because I know God does have a plan. I just want to say here how grateful I am for her. I don’t know when things will start looking up for us, but it’s ok. God is big enough to take care of both of us.

  47. says

    Lisa, I’m already behind on this week, so I had to back up to read, but I’m so glad I did! This was a wonderfully inspiring post about some awesome people and a very present God! THANKS! I enjoyed it!

  48. Patricia T says

    There are so many angels in our lives…some we recognize, some we don’t. There are family “angels”, who support and uplift…always constant, always there. Then, there are strangers, who with an act of kindness, or spoken word, change a bad day into something better. Every single day is an opportunity, to practice random acts of kindness.

    Beautiful post, Lisa!

  49. Janice Burzlaff says

    Of course my husband and children are my everyday angels, but someone outside of my family who has blessed me time and again is my Zumba instructor/personal trainer, Jessi. When I started working with her I was 100 pounds overweight, had just started working our regularly that year but still was pretty unfit (one of my goals was to be able to get down on the floor with my grandson), was on several medications for blood pressure. Since working with her I have lost 50 pounds, gained strength, energy, and good health; I’m no longer on blood pressure medications and, yes, I can now get down on the floor with my grandson.
    Jessi has a dynamic, energetic, bubbly personality and is also caring, compassionate, encouraging – and she is in the business of helping people. In her daytime job she is a special needs teacher in a middle school and in her fitness life she is encouraging and helpful to so many. I am blessed to be at the receiving end of her love and compassion and encouragement. She and her mom who works with her as her bookkeeper so often have commented to me how great I look (I know I still have a long way to go!) and how I have “transformed my body.” Then last fall a couple of days after one of the boot camp sessions I received this message from her:
    “Janice, I am soooo proud of you. Saturday at one point during our workout I honestly had to look away from you because I was almost in tears at your accomplishments and strength since you started zumba and boot camp. Although you have had many obstacles in your way that hasn’t ever stopped you. Most people would have given up 10 times over, but not Janice. So proud to have seen you literally change in front of my very eyes over the past couple years. Keep the faith and keep doing what you’re doing, because it is working my dear!!!! ”
    I have this on my refrigerator for those days when I need encouragement as I continue my journey for health.

  50. Connie Price says

    My angel has gone to be with the Lord-but I was fortunate to have him in our lives for several years. He was a good friend from church,that we adopted-as my Father and Grandfather to my daughters. He just fit into our family so well and it has been 5+ years since he went Home-I still miss him very much!! We would talk several times a day-he spent special days with us-he even ‘chose’ me to be with him,when he left his earthly body-I consider that a privilege!!

  51. beth says

    i’m not sure who to write about being my ‘everyday angel’.
    because not only do hi have a great hubs who helps me when i’m down or just being there w/ me whenever.
    but i have 5 kids, 1 son (oldest) & 4 daughters, they keep me grounded & in line. lol.
    i also must mention my 4 cats, if it weren’t for them some days i believe i would go crazy.
    all in my home are wonderful & help whenever needs arise. they are not only my life but also my inspiration. the kids are growing up quickly & dealing with things i never had to myself while growing up. they teach me daily & i love them more than words can describe.

    thank you for everything!

  52. Paula Crews says

    I know this probably doesn’t sound profound or outstanding, but my children and grandchildren are the first of my everyday angels. They are so good to me. They are always right here to do whatever needs to be done to get the job done. I can’t imagine my life without them!
    My other everyday angel is a dear friend I’ve had since childhood. She spends her days helping people. She seems to just know what we need without anyone ever having to ask. Just knowing her makes me want to be a better person.

  53. Linda Merillat Komondy says

    What a moving blog post, Lisa! And a great reminder that we need to focus on the people in our lives and not the things. I have had several everyday angels in my lifetime; some of them have gone on to be with the Lord, but I still thank God everyday for influence in my life. These days, my sister Ruth and my sister-in-law Mary are my everyday angels. They are both godly women who are always there when I need encouragement and lifting up in prayer. I pray that I am an everyday angel for them as well.

  54. Deanna S says

    My everyday angels are the Christian writers whose blogs I follow. They are so encouraging and share beautiful Bible verses that usually hit home and are just what I need at that time. Thank you for the beautiful story of your friend.. So glad they are all ok….

  55. MJ says

    I teach kindergarten in a public school. My everyday angels are all of the parents of current and past students who lift me up in prayer daily.

  56. Trella Hughes says

    When we moved to Quitman almost two years ago, I didn’t know anyone here, so was a little worried about making new friends again for the umpteenth time. Since I married Phil 16 years ago, we have moved 11 times, and each time a little harder to leave the most recently made friends. But I was determined to not sit around feeling sorry for my self and get acquainted as best as I could. We went to church shortly after moving, and for our first church visit went to the First Methodist Church since we are Methodist, but with an open mind that we would join whichever church we felt like God was calling us to join. Anyway, that first Sunday, we were greeted by Janet and Roy, and they were so friendly and caring. Sweet is such an understatement. Before I knew it, Janet invited me to several other events, and New best friend was truly an angel. She saved me from being lonely and quickly involved me in two other groups, so that i had new friends that felt like old friends before the week had ended. Janet is an angel to the church and to the entire community. She never meets a stranger and quickly makes everyone feel welcome and wanted. God truly blessed her with a gift of sharing hospitality wherever she goes. Thank you Janet and Roy. I thank God for you dear friends.

  57. Bob says

    Angels? Good grief, they’ve been everywhere since that night. For several days, they would sneak into restaurants ahead of us and pay our checks. They would send us gift cards, or wall crosses to rebuild Lorraine’s collection. They glimmered from the eyes of friends whose “How are you doing?” greetings warm my heart so much more now, because I know they really mean it.
    I have long suspected the real identities of some of these “Angels Unawares.” I even captured one over twenty years ago, imprisoning her in the garish fun house of my life. A treasure hidden in a field, a steal of a deal, all for a promise easily kept…and chocolate.
    But it’s those secret angels, hiding in plain sight. They send unsigned cards with words of encouragement, leave contributions at the church office with “No Name Given,” or write heartwarming blogs and comments that make you feel like you did something more than just run out of a burning house while you still could.
    From the consort to the Queen of Gratitudes…
    Thanks

  58. Julie Cantrell says

    Lisa, this is an amazing family, and I’m so glad they’re all unharmed by the explosion. The pillow says it all. Sometimes, life is normal and calm and then, without warning, it all explodes. If we survive the impact, we are left to pick up the pieces, struggling through unanswerable questions and filing away all that remains. It is easy to set focus on what is lost. But people like your friends are inspirations…reminding us to always remember we are not alone, and that there is beauty in the letting go. Thanks for sharing and for teaching us to always look for those angels among us. Hugs, j

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