Wednesday, February 14, 2007

To you, dear friends, on Valentine's Day...

Sarah, thank you for sharing your stories from the farm. You warm my heart with your genuine love of God and all of His creation. All of your stories show this great love and really force me to think about my lack of love. You make me want to love everyone and everything more deeply. You learn through everything you do and challenge me in new and unexpected ways every week. Keep it up, girl. You're doing well.

Thank you, DSJ, for writing only when the Spirit compels you. It may not be the best way to gain readership or popularity but your genuine lack of concern with your status in the blogsphere is something I admire. It is way too easy to get caught up in stats out here. I never have to worry about going to your blog and finding nonsense. I know that, when I go, what I will find will be personal, meaningful things - things that help me to know more about you, dear friend. I learn so much from your writing - the wisdom is truly abounding. I hope you always keep it up...

A big thanks to you, Barb, for all of your heart-warming homemaking tales. You are the super mom it seems and you do it all with a smile. Your family brings me smiles and laughs on a daily basis and I know you are a great blessing to all who know you. You have come and captured a piece of my heart and I pray for you daily. Thank you for dedicating your life so fully to the Lord and your family. You are a model for women of our time. Way to go.

Thank you, Mikala, for your reflections, even few and far between. I may not be a wife or mother but I can learn a lot about being a woman from you. You let Jesus live and reign in your heart and it is obvious. I pray the Lord rewards your faithfulness.

Margaret, thank you for your love of everyone and everything. Like Sarah, you make me want to love more deeply. I see Christ in you and in your writing. Your genuine concern for everyone and the way that you love is the way Jesus taught us to love. It is the way I strive to love but often do not. You have been a great blessing to me in such a short time and I will forever thank God for you.

Thank you, reader, for coming here today and taking a look around. I may not be the best at this whole blogging thing but I put all of my love into it.

These last two are my biggest 'thank you's. These two women are the ones that stand out in my mind whenever I think of Catholic bloggers and of women who have touched my heart. They are similar in some ways and quite different in others. Still, each of them holds a special place in my heart and deserves to be thanked.

The first is Penni. Thank you for being so down to earth and not afraid to share your struggles. You always say it like it is without regret. You strive earnestly to seek God and your courage is amazing. I absolutely love your stories from the hospital about the people you meet and the struggles you witness. You always seem to handle them with grace - something I could use more of from time to time. You hardly care to be politically correct and I admire that. You truly have a winning personality. There is something about your blog that just draws me in. I visit you all the time, though I do not always comment. Even when you are having a hard time I feel peaceful there with you. Perhaps it is because you are one of the few places out there that never sugar-coats struggles and hardships. You don't dance around problems you're facing or pretend that you're perfect. No, dear penni, you are real. And that is why I love you.

The second is Julie. I'm sure it's no surprise that she is the second one here. But what some may not know is that I don't just like her because she's famous. I like her because she's funny and kind and caring and generous and down to earth. She's fun to be with and easy to talk to. I've known of her for a while (I went to school with her kids) but I'm only just now getting to know her for the beautiful Catholic woman she is. I am quite blessed to know her in person and not just through the blogsphere, though I wouldn't be upset if I only had her writing. She has a way of sharing that makes you feel a part of the family, even 20,000 miles away. From inspirational stories to tv recaps to our daily basics, Julie gets most of my daily blog-reading time. It's great material and it has become a staple in my day. There's always something new to be read but even so, it always feels familiar and comfortable there. I'm sure it has to do with the winning personality traits I mentioned earlier. Indeed, Julie, you have been a great blessing to me in this past year. I never would have guessed that I'd stand in your kitchen and rant about books or lounge in your arm chairs discussing the lives of the saints... but I love it. I love that I always have a friend here in the sphere as well as out there in the big bad world. You never fail to lift my spirits when I'm feeling blue and encourage me when I feel like giving up (on this thing). I could go on for days about what a blessing you are to me (and to the Church) but I'll stop there. I'm sure you know. Thank you, Julie, for everything. I love ya!

And with that... I bid you farewell... at least until tomorrow. Happy Valentine's Day, dear friends. I hope it's been blessed.


Blogger Barb, sfo said...

Awwww...thank you so much!!!

And shall I add: for you, Laura H, for your honesty as you discern God's call for you. For your willingness to let us peek into your journey. I am heartened by the fact that there are young Catholics in the world like you--you are the promise of a wonderful future for our Church. Whatever your vocation may be--whether it be as a Sister either active or cloistered, whether it be the single life or whether it be the life of a wife and mother, I'm sure you will bring the special blessing of your faith to it.

2/14/2007 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger ~m2~ said...

Laura, dear one, you are a gem among ladies. You are so sweet to mention me and to think my struggles actually touch someone is really mind-boggling (I almost typed "mind-blogging!") I cannot thank you enough for your sweetness, your kind words, your encouragement.

You are a lovely and I am blessed to know you, as well. The feeling is quite mutual, I can assure you :)

2/14/2007 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Margaret in Minnesota said...

Dearest Laura, thank you for this beautiful post and for these kind words. I can say all of the same things about you!

I have been infinitely blessed in the on-line acquaintances I have formed since I began keeping a blog 6 months ago. Yes, I can use a strong word like "infinitely," because I KNOW that these friendships will be eternal.

With love & blessings,

Your friend-of-the-heart and fellow pilgrim,


2/15/2007 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger Julie D. said...

Holy Moly girl! You made me cry my own tears! (For which you'd have to know The Simpsons' bully Nelson saying, "You made me bleed my own blood!")

I am touched and actually do have some tears in my eyes. What a lovely thing to read. I can only echo what everyone else has said ... and also say that I am blessed to know you and get to hear your thoughts (yes, even the rants!) as we move through the weeks and months together. Thank you. (this comes with a big hug ... please collect the next time i see you.) :-)

2/15/2007 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Ways to make my day:
1. Put me at the top of the list.
2. Put me in GREAT company I never dreamed I would keep.
3. Say things that bring tears to my eyes and leave them streaking onto my desk.
4. Say those things publicly on your blog for all the world to see.
5. Read what I write and enjoy it.

Oh, there are other ways too, Laura, but today, when I opened my email and saw this waiting for me, I felt like I had been hugged straight from heaven. I can't say anything original, because the others have all said it - you are a gem, and a blessing, and a joy. Thank you for your kind words and for inspiring, back in the day, to keep on going with my blogging. I never could have expected the showers of blessings that I have received. I never could have foreseen that lil ole me, the Buckeye farmgal, could make any kind of difference, but it appears we make differences TOGETHER.

God bless you and hug you the way you just hugged me. THANK YOU.


2/15/2007 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Daughter of St. John said...

Well it appears that I am the last to comment! Please don't take that as a lack of appreciation for your kindness and your Valentine gift.

I am honored to be mentioned among a group of amazing women, yourself included.

Though we are separated by miles and by years and have never met you and I have a connection founded in the depths of the love of Christ that a simply worldly friendship could never match.

Thank you dear Laura for sharing your heart here in the blogosphere. I am blessed that you read my words which as you keenly note are infrequent, but guided always by the spirit. My humble prayer is that I will be a blessing to you as you have been to me. Your tenacity and perseverance through these difficult months while keeping your eyes fixed on His is a lesson to me.

I pray that one day soon we too will be able to sit down over a REAL and warm cup of tea to share some prayers, giggles, and even tears.
In Mary, DSJ

2/15/2007 03:49:00 PM  

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