Louis and I are SOOOO grateful for your love and support! The candy drops and the financial support has been nothing short of AHHHHHmazing. Thank you. (In case you have missed what we are doing, check out these 2 links… Easter Fun! and Choosing Love)
Louis made it out on his first Drive-by Joy with me over the weekend. I think he was a little hesitant at first. But, now, he has a new BFF.
You see generosity and giving come more naturally to me. I love to give! But, it didn’t take Louis long to join in on the Joy Bombing of North Ave, Brookland Park Boulevard, Chamberlayne, Meadowbridge – on our way to visit one friend who just got out of the hospital and new friend who in Regional Memorial Hospital for the last few weeks. We were able to Joy Bomb some folks in the hospital parking lot, which was AWWWWESOME!
Yes, I was relegated to the back seat of the car, as the Easter Bunny had to sit up front! But, the best yet…was going through the Mechanicsville ChicFilA drive thru, where we Joy Bombed the employees! But, pulling out of the drive-thru we spotted the Dugai’s in the parking lot!!! As we drove by, the kids were saying to their parents… “Hey….there’s the Easter Bunny!!!”. Carrie asked “What color car is it?” “Red”, they responded. They quickly stopped to greet us with huge hugs! What a treat! Guess who wanted to be the Bunny???
Due to the recent rain and chilly weather, I’ve missed a couple of days. Can’t wait to get back out there. Who wants to go with me???
What a terrific day for an Easter Egg Hunt!
WHY, you ask?
Sun Shining! Birds chirping! Kids laughing! Candy! Cupcakes! Friends! Games! Bunny!
We started the morning by playing a game similar to an old school Cake Walk, while we waited for everyone to arrive. Old friends and new streamed in throughout the morning. It’s always so good to see old friends and make new ones on days like this. LOVE IT!
Shortly after the Easter Bunny arrived, we had a photo shoot on the front porch. People typically keep the photos digitally these days, right? I still like my old school prints, and I have learned that the kids LOVE to have their own photos. So, we will now print out pictures for the kids to have their own photos.
After sitting still for so long, the kids were ready to go on an Egg Hunt!
Once all the eggs were found or at least we think so anyway (Bella will probably find one in the next week.), we paused to hear the Good News story of Easter, as told through Resurrection Eggs. Cherie and Ashley did an OUTSTANDING job!
And a party just wouldn’t be the same without the sweet treats…cupcakes, donuts, lemonade!
Louis and I so appreciate the donations that allow us to be able to do this. For the pictures, the candy, the prizes, cupcakes, donuts and more! For the folks that pitched in to help…we thank you…IMMENSELY. We are grateful for the quiet time of chillin’ with sweet friends afterwards. Although we don’t see them often, we thank God for the gift of our spiritual family and friends. And time to relax and catch up…picking up where we left off last…although the baby is now a toddler who walks, talks, climbs and giggles.
If you wonder why we celebrate Easter…Resurrection Day, it’s not because of the yummy chocolate candy, the good food or even the good fellowship.
We love to celebrate Easter with old friends and new.
Why, you ask?
We were created by a loving God to be in relationship with Him.
But we sinned and cut ourselves off from Him.
In His great love,
God became man in Jesus,
who lived a perfect life,
and died on the cross.
He rose again from the dead.
He calls us to trust in Him alone. If we trust in Christ,
we live a new life
and have renewed our relationship with God again.
This is why we celebrate Easter…
because Jesus lives.
Last week we came up with the idea that we would do some drive-by joy instead of the drive-by shootings that have happened in our community quite a bit lately. You can read about that adventure and more here >> Easter Fun! Thanks for responding!!! You totally answered our plea! Exceeded our expectations! And WOW…are we sooo grateful! Thank you for your generous investment in our ministry and lives!!! You are the BEST friends EVER!
The Easter Bunny and a few neighborhood kids, and I toured the Northside yesterday afternoon…Southern Barton Heights, the Southern Tip of Highland Park, Brookland Park Boulevard, and parts of Battery Park. We greeted people with “Happy Easter!” while giving out candy and smiles to all we saw along the way. We even caused a small traffic jam a couple of times too. OOPS! What a blast!!!
We were greeted with joy, laughter, and smiles. Photos were taken. Fun was had. Candy given out and eaten. We stopped to treat a guy who was walking down Dove Street. He was filled with joy unspeakable. I wish I had gotten his name…knew who he was. But, we gave him joy in the form of candy, and he said “One good turn deserves another. Let me see what I might have to give you.” He presented us with a selection of rings to choose from. These are the ones we chose. His parting words were… “God bless you. Pay it forward!” And…we are. God bless you, too….new friend. God bless you, too.
Ya know, as I pause to look at the picture… to really reflect on my life. As I reflect on this picture…of one White/Caucasian hand among 3 Black/AfricanAmerican hands. I think about all the hate that’s out there. A lot of fear. But, as we approach Easter in another week, I am really reflecting on the cross. Jesus chose to LOVE when he chose to relocate from heaven to earth. He chose love when He died on that cross for our sins.
When I reflected on that picture, I realize that I chose my ring well yesterday..because I chose LOVE on my ring, and I want to choose to LOVE in my life. I really want to choose LOVE every minute of every day. Sometimes, it’s so much easier to hate….with my words, my thoughts and my actions. But, one that I know is that LOVE is a choice. And I want to choose LOVE at all times.
John 3:16-17 (NLT)
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Side note: Let us know if you want to join us on one of our drive-bys! Happy to have the company!
Come Walk and Pray with us in Gilpin Court on Tuesday, 4/8 – be there at 2:45pm!
‘Be the Church’ and ‘Do the Bible’ with us every Tuesday @ 6:30pm ~ Life Transformation Church
Have some fun! Hunt some eggs! See the Easter Bunny! Saturday, 4/12 at 10am (4/19 - rain date)
Living on mission for Louis and I means we look for reasons to gather people together. We look for ANY reason to party, celebrate, honor, connect, and especially eat! I think we should party a lot more. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive or difficult. I’m not talking about the getting drunk kind of party. What I mean by partying is living a full and abundant life, a memorable life…meaning a life full of good people, good food, good memories.
Today, we had that kind of time as we gathered to party…to celebrate the life of one special dog ~ Wesley, a dog who was well-loved and loved well.
So…How do you throw a memorial service for your beloved dog??? Here’s what we did…
Yesterday, we threw a sign in the front yard, so our neighbors would know about our loss…
Earlier today, I texted some the neighborhood kids as a reminder. Today at 2pm, for about an hour and a half, we gathered…
colored pictures of dogs and children with dogs (found by googling ‘dog coloring pages’)…
ate cupcakes with flowers, because a memorial service isn’t the same without flowers (and milk bones for the 4-legged guests!) (Sam’s Club totally comes through!)…
we talked about some of our favorite memories of Wesley…
and everyone left with a picture of Wesley. If possible, it was a picture of themselves with Wesley. (I uploaded pictures to Walgreens.com this morning, used a coupon code; and we were picking them up an hour or so later!)
Louis read a comforting scripture from Isaiah 11:
6 In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
and a little child will lead them all.
7 The cow will graze near the bear.
The cub and the calf will lie down together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
8 The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm.
9 Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for as the waters fill the sea,
so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.
We decided that if there are wolves, lambs, cubs, calves, cows, and more in heaven – there must be dogs, too! And we prayed together.
We ended our time together watching the video, which brought back lots of great memories of parties, halloween, dogs washes, back yard dog parks, and more! If you missed the video, you can catch it here…this woMan’s Best Friend. Some of us got teary again. And, that’s ok. Grieving is a process, no doubt.
Huge thanks to all who came; and a VERY special thanks to Otis and Banks who came to keep Bella company. Here’s Banks!
Louis and I hosted a Memorial Service for Wesley today. If you want to read that, click here >>> How to Throw a Memorial Service for your Dog. Thanks again for the overwhelming support, love, encouragement we have received in the form of comments, emails, texts, calls, Sugar Shack Donuts, hugs, and more! We have the best group of friends ever! Thanks for loving us.
_________ ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS ______________
RIP Sweet Wesley “Lover Boy” Williams
September 9, 1998 – March 14, 2014
Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post. And also grab your tissues.
When I married Louis, I knew that Calvin and Wesley (2 black labs…the liturgical hounds named for John Wesley and John Calvin) were part of the ‘package’. Love Louis…love his dogs. Calvin – he was nicknamed Houdini. Wesley – well…his nickname was Lover Boy, because he loved everyone very well. He never met a stranger. In our early time together, Calvin could get out of nearly any situation. His first night sleeping at my home, he combat crawled under the shed and wandered the neighborhood for quite a while before I realized it. Calvin loved to run…and Wesley, a loyal pal, would follow him anywhere and everywhere. When Calvin passed away on Veterans Day 2008, Wesley attached himself to me. He became my shadow. Wherever I went, Wesley went. Louis remained alpha of our pack, but I became Wesley’s companion, his buddy, his pal. And…he became mine.
Wesley passed on Friday afternoon after 15 1/2 years of a full life filled with love. Although I only knew him for the last 6 years, I felt like he was mine since forever. He truly was the best dog ever. If you ever met Wesley, you know exactly what I am talking about. A wonderful friend to all. He especially loved the neighborhood kids. Loved them deeply.
Wesley was an integral part of our family and our ministry in Southern Barton Heights, because he taught us all how to love deep and to love well, expecting virtually nothing in return.
I am a better person for having known and loved Wesley and to be known and loved by him. Now, I’m thankful he’s able to romp around with Calvin…and it’s comforting to know that they are both back together, pain-free in healthy bodies!
Memorial Service for Wesley
Sunday, March 16th at 2pm
2101 Barton Ave, RVA 23222
Come on by. Bring your dogs. Bella is a super great hostess…and she’s gonna be kinda lonely, too. The kids can make cards, write letters, etc. while we all tell stories and share memories of one super great dog.
John WESLEY Williams
Well done, good and faithful dog.
You loved well.
You were well-loved.
Here’s a video of my beloved friend. My way of dealing with my grief. Enjoy.
Wish I had included this picture in the video. It’s one of my faves… My 2 favorite boys, more found here… My 2 Favorite Boys in the World!!!