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Spring Break

Tennessee Sunset

I took Sullivan and Bridgette to Tennessee for Spring Break for a long overdue visit with my oldest sister. (You can see a picture of us on Instagram.) She will have major surgery on March 27, and I’m not too proud or shy to ask anyone reading this post to please say a prayer for her. The surgery is not without risk, and truly, I cannot bear to lose my sister. She lost her husband of 37 years, five months ago today. We lost our precious mother three months ago tomorrow. She is a dear person, and my children love her very much. (They had so much fun spending the night with Auntie Linda!)

And, I love her. Here is a beautiful prayer I personalized for her:

O Jesus Christ, Messiah and Lord, grant my sister joyful acceptance of the surgery which awaits her, and let this be the relief and cure which she seeks. Make skilled the work of the surgeon and that of his team for it is unto their knowledge and skill that she gives herself for healing. I pray You, O Lord, that this procedure will be without complication, and that my sister’s recovery will be speedy and complete.”

Tennessee was a little slice of heaven. We took the back roads off I-40 to get her to place on Yellow Creek Road. Her little farm cottage is so sweet, and surrounded by grazing goats. I took great comfort driving along a road called Donegan Crossing. All around us were farms and fields. Red barns and country houses with dormers and white picket fences. America.

Grazing Goats Tennessee

It was hard to come back to Oklahoma. I wanted to stay in Tennessee forever. I wanted to buy a farm on Yellow Creek Road. I wanted to hold my sister in my arms forever and never, ever let her go.

Donegan Crossing reminded me of my Irish ancestors from Killybegs, a town in County Donegal in Ulster, Ireland. Our Great-Great-Great Grandfather John Elliott is buried there. My sister said she wants to go to Ireland after her surgery, and she asked me if I’d go with her. I wish all four of us could go. Since our mother died in December, we have reconnected through shared memories, grief and forgiveness. We went through a lot together growing up in the 60s and 70s. Stuff only the four of us will ever know or understand. When we aren’t crying about it, we’re having a rollicking good laugh.

Here we all were in 1970 at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles. I’m the short one in the blue coat that looks to be a tad too small for me.

When we get together, we can’t talk about our lives growing up without talking about church. Church was our childhood and music was a huge part of that. We all grew up singing, and many of the songs from that era still bring us comfort today. My sister Becky recently reminded me of Bright New World by Flo Price. As a teenager, she sang that song in church while accompanying herself on the guitar. She was prettier than Linda Ronstadt and had a voice like Karen Carpenter. Beck was truly phenomenal, as were Billy and Linda. They were all three American Idol material, just a couple of generations too soon.

Here is a 2009 recording of Bright New World, which was written in 1969. The singer is Adele Morgan, a Christian artist from Alaska. Becky will sing this at the graveside service for my parents when we bury their ashes later this year.

Someday a bright new wave will break upon the shore
And there will be no sickness
No more crying, no more war
And little children never will grow hungry anymore
And there will be a bright new morning over there
There’ll be a bright new world for us to share

Someday there’ll be an end to unkind words and cruel
And the man who said there is no God will know he is a fool
And peace will be the way of life with love the only rule
And there will be a bright new morning over there
There’ll be a bright new world for us to share

Someday we know not when the time on earth is done
And those redeemed from every land will all become as one
Voices of all ages prasing god the three in one
And there will be a bright new morning over there
There’ll be a bright new world for us to share…

Earlier today, my sister Faith sent me the lyrics to another favorite song from the 1970s. It’s called Something Beautiful. She wrote the most precious thing — that the Lord had done this for her in her young life and now does this for her in her old life. Makes something beautiful! Here are the words by Bill Gaither:

If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble
They were my dreams at the start
And hope for life’s best were the hopes
That I harbor down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes
And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
And laid it at the cross.

Something beautiful, something good
All my confusion He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
But he made something beautiful of my life.

red barn farm tennessee

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Brett

    Just said a prayer for your sister.

    • Jennifer

      Thank you so much. I’m very worried about her, but trying to trust the Lord to take care of her. I wish I could be there for her surgery.


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