Category Archives: Family

A Cinderella kind of day

My favorite fairy tale as a grownup is Beauty and the Beast.  But my favorite as a girl? Without question it is Cinderella. It’s a story that delivers on every level.

From Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 adaptation of Cinderella

As you know, I live with a bunch of men. Even though they pick up after themselves, I end up doing many “Cinderella” chores!

This morning,  in the middle of my work I abandoned a shirt on the ironing board, plunked down at the laptop, and … cruised Facebook, ha.

You know what happened next. Yeah, I was sucked in by one of those quizzes.

Why do we take those things? It’s not like they’re even accurate. Anyway, today’s was especially tempting: What Grimm Fairy Tale Character Are You? 

Am I a beautiful princess or a sneaky villain? Inquiring minds want to know the answer to that one!

According to the quiz, I am the most like … Cinderella.

You believe in two things: hard work and true love. You don’t complain, even when you know that you are taking on more than your fair share of the work. You don’t ask for anything, and yet, every once in a while, someone comes along and takes care of you. You know it is okay to stand up for yourself sometimes. You can say no when asked to do too much work. People will still respect you, and they might even be impressed to see you stand up for yourself!

This description makes me smile. Sure, I can *say* no to too much work — but that just means it will wait for me to do later!

Kind of like that shirt I left on the ironing board. What else was I to do? It was time to get my hair cut. This “Cinderella mom” went rogue!

My stylist does not have a magic wand, but my hair now looks cute instead of scruffy. And after my appointment, this movie found its way into my shopping cart. Something beautiful and good, a Mother’s Day gift to myself. It’s an adaptation I’ve long wanted to see.

You know, for the busy mom Mother’s Day is a Cinderella kind of day. We’re given gifts and appreciation from those we love and serve. Glass slippers and a ball, who needs those? Heck, it’s enough that for one day someone else does the cooking!

Fellow moms, I hope tomorrow is a lovely day for you. What Cinderella’s mother taught applies to each of us, I think. “Have courage and be kind.”

After dinner, our family is set to play games (we all like 7 Wonders). But you know what? I might make my men watch Cinderella with me instead.

Laura Hile (1)

Giving Thanks

thanksgivingIn 1621, the Pilgrims, Puritans, and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the American colonies. After that initial celebration, for more than two hundred years, thanksgiving days were celebrated separately by individual colonies and states. Thanksgiving was first celebrated on the same date by all states in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln’s presidential proclamation.

Lincoln’s aim appears to have been to reunify the Northern and Southern states in the wake of the Civil War. I feel that our country has been through another civil war of sorts in the past couple of decades.

Perhaps we need to reflect on all the ways in which we have been blessed.

I have been virtually absent for many weeks on this blog, Beyond Austen, and social media. My sister, Gayle, was diagnosed with cancer in early summer. She has had three months of treatments, sickness, and pain. Last week, she underwent a scan to see whether or not the treatment was working. Frankly, her doctors didn’t give her much hope. Had the scan revealed the cancer had spread, or had not been significantly reduced in her lymph system and colon, they were ready to advise her to discontinue treatment and enjoy the time she had left on this earth. She is strong. I am not. I was not in any way ready to face a world which my sister had left. Selfish, I know.

However, God is good, and He answers prayer. Thousands of prayers were offered on her behalf. Her students and fellow teachers supported her. Our church loved her through the process. Our family prayed continuously.

three-sisters

I’m in the middle. To the left is my sister Layne, a breast cancer survivor, and to the right is Gayle. I’m holding my younger granddaughter, and Gayle is cuddling the elder. This picture was made while my daughter was home from overseas a couple of weeks ago.

A few days ago, she received good news for a change. The results of the scan showed not the cancer had spread, but that it was all gone. All of it. None in her colon, lymph system, or liver. She is the first survivor of this type of cancer in stage 4. Only ten cases of it have been reported since the 1920’s. There was no treatment protocol, so her team of doctors established one.

Gayle will likely have another chemo treatment and radiation to be on the safe side, but she will bear it with grace, beauty, and dignity, just as she has borne everything else in her sixty-six years.

Gayle is a person who makes the world a better place by living in it. We are very blessed to have her with us for however many more years the Lord sees fit to leave her here.

We all have much for which to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Jane Started It.

 

 

 

Prayers for Gayle

Our own Gayle Mills

Our own Gayle Mills

This past week, our dear friend Gayle Mills was diagnosed with colon cancer. She will undergo surgery soon. Needless to say, this has been a shock. How we rejoice that she is in good health otherwise.

“Otherwise Healthy” is the place to be when battling cancer. Our Gayle is a scrappy fighter. She’s going in swinging.

But being the patient won’t be easy. Gayle is one who always carries burdens for others. She’s the brains, the workhorse, the problem-solver, the one people rely on. And now that’s all turned around.

Will you join with us in praying for our Gayle? Her daughter Bethany, son Ben, and best-friend sisters Robin and Layne are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with her in this fight. They covet your prayers as well.

From Gayle: “We are praying for God’s grace and mercy as we walk through the path He’s set before us. We don’t expect this to be easy, but we know His grace is sufficient for all things.”

Thanks for the Memories

My family has been celebrating Thanksgiving for over two hundred years. My mother’s family emigrated in the early 1700’s from England, Scotland, and Ireland, and my father’s ancestors came in the 1800’s from England.

Mother and Daddy 1

My parents, Archie Melvin Mills and Norma Lynne Griffin Mills, married in May of 1943. This photo was taken on their wedding day. Snazzy, huh?

Our Thanksgiving table grew as the family did. By the time we had all married and had children (and grandchildren), there were fifty or so family members and friends dropping by on Thanksgiving day to visit, laugh, and sample Mother’s famous cooking. Her turkey stuffing was legendary.

Mills family

My parents with their six children in September, 1955, on Layne’s birthday. From the right: Layne, me (The Naked One), Gayle, Brian, Marlin, and Lyndon. Lyndon took the original picture, so mother had him photoshopped into this one a few years before she died.

Now that my parents have passed away, my extended family no longer meets more than once a year. My children are in California and Japan, and they cannot come home. Our elder daughter is expecting our second grandchild any minute, and our younger daughter’s husband plays for the 49ers. It may be another year before we see the elder one, and it will certainly be the NFL offseason until we can expect a visit from the younger.

We cannot go to them at this time either, but I’m thankful for all the good memories I have of previous times together.

I’m thankful to have been born into a family who valued family relationships and honored those ties. I’m thankful to have had Godly parents who reared me in their faith.

family

Larry and I are pictured with our two daughters, granddaughter, and son-in-law at the younger daughter’s wedding in June, 2015.

Our celebration may be small this year, but I’m thankful that my daughters are happy and married to men who appreciate and adore them.

Most of all, I’m thankful that however many miles may separate us, we all love each other.