Sunday Journal Pages

Journal Pages by Jennifer Frith
Journal Pages by Jennifer Frith
Journal Pages by Jennifer Frith

Have you ever met, ran into, overheard, or worked with a jerk?  I know I have.  I know I've BEEN one of these people.  Miserable human beings, right?  It's enough to make you slip into self-righteous indignation.  (Or want to flip them them the bird.)

But today I read about Jesus telling his disciples what it means to love others.... The strong, humble, vulnerable, serving-others kind of love.  The kind he freely gave, and the kind he actually commands.

Let me tell you, I suck at loving people the way He did.  I especially stink at it when I'm worn out or feeling insecure inside.  "A dry well can offer no water."

Perhaps the jerks are jerks because their well is all "dried up" ... Maybe it's been "dried up" their entire lives.  Maybe they have no concept of what it means to be loved, accepted, honored, seen, cherished, or respected.  Honestly, what a very sad state of life that would be.

I'm not excusing their behavior, but it puts things into perspective for me.

When I focus on everything I *don't* have, I'm a pretty sucky human being.  But when I focus on how many riches I have, how much value I hold, and how vastly Jesus loved His friends, His enemies, the stubborn, bullheaded, broken, rejected, the sick, and ME..... Man, it fills me up. (I've still got a long way to go, but it helps!)

So my message to you & myself:

Don't let the jerks get you down.  *Perhaps* these difficult, jerky people need love and prayers more than anything else.

~* ~

Journal pages in watercolor and gouache.

Angus McDuff... and the Gift of a Grumpy Grandmother

sketchbook journal pages by Jennifer Frith
. . .
sketchbook journal pages by Jennifer Frith
sketchbook journal pages by Jennifer Frith
sketchbook journal pages by Jennifer Frith
sketchbook journal pages by Jennifer Frith

I drew these journal pages with my grandmother in mind.
She has been in my thoughts a lot lately. 

My grandmother lived with our family when I was a kid.  She passed away several years ago.

I sadly do not remember many positive things about her. 

What I do remember from a limited 13 year old memory is this:

She was Gloomy.  Took the role of a victim.  She was critical of others.  Never left the house.
It bothered me so much that I remember telling myself as a kid,
"Ugh, As far as I can help it, I will not be a downer like my Grandmom."

But she loved dogs, 
especially her Cairn Terrier named Duffy (short for Angus McDuff).

She loved her grandkids.

She loved history.  And poetry.  And 7pm Jeopardy.  

And books.  Books upon books.

She loved buying her grandchildren educational gifts instead of "fun gifts".
Dictionaries...  Globes...  Puzzles....  More books...  

I begrudgingly accepted them when I was little.
I begrudgingly accepted her gifts.
I begrudgingly accepted her.

Looking back,
My self-centeredness makes me a little sad.
I wish I would have gotten to know my grandmother better.
But at 13 you don't know better.
Your perspective is so much narrower.

Intentionally, she taught me the value of education.
Unintentionally, she taught me to shoo away the rain clouds & brighten the world.

Both incredible gifts.  For both I am thankful.

So, she was on my mind. 
And I drew Duffy in honor of her.

. . .

What gifts has your grandmother given to you?