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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Frnka

An Unexpected Gift

“The joy of the Lord is [my]strength” Nehemiah 10:8.

Finding more peace in this beautiful season of life and I cannot think of a better way to do it then with the beautiful smile of my Mom!

On December 21, the night of the Christmas Star we drove out to my parents farm with the hope of getting a wonderful view of the star. Instead, we got clouds and not even a glimmer of the star. 🤣🤣🤣

The gift we received that night though, was so much greater than we could ever imagine. It was the incredibly bright light of my mother’s smile as she realized the swing that hung on the porch was for her. Her expression was one of pure joy. I cannot help, but wonder if Mary’s expression looked much the same as the wisemen approached.

Just a few weeks before my husband had determined that since my grandmother passed away a few months earlier that he wanted to do something special for my Mom, something that would bring her joy. After a few weeks he determined that he wanted to refinish the swing on the front porch of my parents’ farmhouse. My sister-in-law had already started to sand down the A-frame and part of the old swing. It seemed all he would need to do is finish up the sanding and repaint.

He invited my brother to help him, which made the project that much more enjoyable. The goal was to finish the project in one day or at least before my Dad made it out to the farm.

Well, as with many of the projects we start and the goals we set it took a few days longer. Dad made his way to the farm, and assisted with a few things with regard to the project. And, then had to hold onto the secret of it for over two weeks, which brought us all great joy as we heard him stumble over words and questions so as not to let on. 🤣

The original plan was to sand down and repair the old bench swing, but that was tossed aside due to the pipe that it sat on being rusted through. They ended up building a completely new bench swing. Greg built it from plans he saw online and with the help of my younger brother, they made a few tweaks to make it more suitable for my Mom.

The frame they painted in Colonial Red. Unknowingly we had chosen a similar color to the color of the swing Santa brought my mom and her siblings when she was small.

For a moment, she was transported back to her youth, a young girl, getting the swing on Christmas. For a moment, she could feel herself swinging to touch the sky. For a moment all her pain was gone and a smile of pure joy rested on her face. For a moment she was completely free.

And, for a moment, I am fairly certain my husband was too. And, there on a cloudy night at the farm we were expecting to see a phenomenon, but the unexpected gift we received is one that I am certain we will treasure forever.

For just a moment today, take a time to recall a joyful moment in your life. Then take a few minutes to write down the details. Where were you? What were you doing? How old were you? Who was with you? How did you feel? What thoughts did you have?

Y’all have a beautiful day!

All My Love,


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