I’ve felt especially reflective lately. Yes, even more than the usual, which is actually a fair amount. Last week I read an amazing memoir written by Anneliese Jeske. I knew Anneliese when we attended Bakerview MB church many, many years ago. She was that woman at church that always smiled at me warmly, would grasp my hand and tell me that she was praying for me. Honestly, I didn’t really know her at all. However, she knew David and since we had just been married she welcomed me into the church warmly. She probably doesn’t remember me, but she was the kind of person that you don’t forget, the kind of person that leaves a fingerprint on your heart. That was some 12 years ago or so.
When we came to stay at my aunt and uncle’s I saw her memoir sitting on their pile of books and instantly recognized her name and photo. With not a lot to do and a big need to take a break, I picked up her book and honestly didn’t really put it down until I was finished reading it the following evening. I had never read a memoir before, but if all memoirs are like this I’m sure I’ll read many more. Anneliese has an incredible story that starts out in war time Europe. Her memory and the way that she recounts details from the past are amazing! I wanted to write a little something about her story since it has since left such a big impression on me and changed my heart. I have felt challenged to live with a greater sense of thankfulness and to continue to embrace life as a beautiful adventure, even amidst the difficult challenges that we all face. Life isn’t easy for anyone, at least no one that I’ve ever met. In fact, people that seem to experience amazing things and have an incredible story have also seem to have experienced plenty of challenges along the way. However, it really is about what we do in those challenging times that sets us apart. God has given us each a story, I really want to live mine out with a thankful and joyful heart. How beautiful it is to be able to look back at one’s life and see God’s abundant grace and love, even through so much suffering and obstacles.
Anneliese shared a quote that a missionary woman had passed on to her when they were living in Zambia. The woman said, “tomorrow tell us what you still need, and we will teach you how to get along without it.” Right now I am keeping those words close to my heart. God is teaching me to just keep relying on him. The reality is that we don’t need much. We’re doing just fine and are just as happy in our two rooms here as we were in our home. Yes, getting three kids to go to bed at the same time in the same room is a little tricky, but we’re making it work just fine. I keep thinking that we are such a spoiled generation/ society. Learning to simplify life and truly trust in God has been wonderful and challenging all at the same time.
Anneliese, thank you for sharing your story! Your book was a window into your heart and the life that you have lived. God’s grace is woven throughout the chapters of your life. What a gift to be able to share your heart with others! Your memoir has been my greatest source of encouragement this past week since we’ve moved, thank you for that.
*Annelise lives in Abbotsford, if you would like a copy of her book you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
*I took the above photo at the beginning of July. I was hoping to document a day in my life but didn’t get past the first couple of hours. Boo, oh well, just going to have to try again. Anyways, it was 7am and Calvin had just snuggled into our bed (as per usual). Funny, how this moment of the day that drives me crazy half the time is also such a sweet moment. Sorry for the poor photo quality, it was still really dark in the room, I didn’t have a good light source and it was on timer. Oh well, it’s still a keeper!