Category Archives: Wanda

Today, February 1st

It begins.  Not that it ever ended–but today is a day like Frederick Buechner described:

  “Joy is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes….” ― Frederick Buechner

For the last eight years, I’ve found joy amidst sadness.  “The sad” tries to horn in on the joy in our daily giving of gratitude to God for His faithful love and ever Present Self.  Don’t mistake this post or this month of beautiful February as a month to mourn.  It’s not.  It IS a month to celebrate life, love, faith and sisters!

After my sister Wanda left for her eternal home, several realities hit.  I needed to live, as never before, to make a difference.  To impact another life for God, and  help someone lost find “Home”…. “heaven”…. to introduce them to Jesus Christ–my Savior… with every mission trip–and trip to Walmart–I  hope I do.  It’s my goal.  But there are days–just like some recent ones–where the goal wasn’t on my mind.  Instead the focus was — “get in–get out–get home”.  I bet you have days like that too.  It’s okay–as long as you know at the end of that day, God is still real whether you felt His breath on your face or you felt alone.  And He still loves you and has a plan for your life.

Several weeks ago another friend left for her eternal Home.  She left behind a precious sister and dear brother and my heart wept for them and I prayed for them because I knew what the days might look like ahead for them.  For the sister, I knew there would be countless times she would pick up the phone to call her sister and tell her a funny, or to vent, or rant…. and to check on her.  And that every time she sees socks, she will think of her–Christmas or not.

We do that with purple.  Anything purple makes us remember Wanda.

Our sister Wanda loved the color.  It was the final dress she wore.  A beautiful shade of purple that was unlike any I had seen.  It was my favorite suit on her–that’s why Aimee and I chose it.  Wanda looked regal in it.  Well, to us, she looked regal in everything!

After Wanda passed away, Aimee and I began celebrating purple–(and I can’t remember exactly how it all came about) –but it started with a beautiful cake a friend made to celebrate Wanda’s birthday and I had ordered about 2 dozen dark purple t-shirts.  “Sisters of Faith” with her favorite verse, Psalms 27:14.

We absolutely celebrate every day.  We wear something purple–even if it’s just earrings!  And we enjoy the life God has blessed us with and we celebrate with joy–the fact that He gave us a precious sister like none other and we will have a blessed reunion one day in heaven.  It’s a fact.

So, if you are blessed with a sister, or a dear friend that you feel is a sister–CELEBRATE her!

Celebrate your faith in God and the hope we have–and the love and life He’s given!

Celebrate life!  Celebrate with purple!  🙂

We will.

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved. Photographs unless otherwise noted are property of Angie Knight. All rights reserved.


HOPE is a CHOICE

2016 is not yet here—but it is coming!  A year for HOPE.  I don’t have my Christmas tree up yet….I will show you when I do, but my heart is already looking at 2016.  I know.  Stay in the present…but I find it hard sometimes.  I keep straining to peek into 2016.  
Before the New Year gets here, I wanted to share a little encouragement to those who may already have your blanket ready to pull over your head and hide for the next few weeks of seasonal festivities.  I have one too…although, I pull it out much less often.

In 2013, I spoke at a Covenant Hospice event these words:
           “Hope remembers the past, is aware of the present, but presses on toward the future.”

I was there to share an encouraging word to those who had suffered loss that year.  It was the Christmas season—a time when we who have lost someone, remembers the heartaches of losing.  More than losing a battle—or losing a game.  This loss bears heavy on each person for months and years.  Every anniversary we are reminded of the pain of loss.  But today, I want to remind us of the HOPE we have.  Let 2016 become a brand new start for each one. 

Hope remembers.  Hope can hear the past; the funny stories, the sweet songs, and Hope chooses that which is good.  Hope realizes the present and has a determined focus to help someone else each day and believes firmly that tomorrow holds new life….as we are in Christ Jesus.

Hope rejoices.  Psalms 146:5 “But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper-whose hope is in the LORD their God.”

As odd as this may sound, when my sister, Wanda was leaving this life, my younger sister, Aimee began telling funny family stories.  We began to laugh.  It was just the immediate family—and we felt at ease in the Presence of God.  I even felt in my spirit that Wanda lingered a bit longer because she loved to laugh and loved a good “Aimee story”.

It’s okay to laugh—just as it’s okay to weep.  We need both.  It is a washing of the eyes and soul.  And we all need that bath.

Hope is resilient.  Hope resolves to continue on.  Hope anchored in Christ recovers readily from the winds and waves of life.  Hope pushes us forward, knowing “forward” is where healing and growth takes place, not with our heels and heart digging into the past dry dirt of yesterday.  There’s no nourishment in the past.

As we navigated through our first Christmas without Wanda, I felt like I walked around wearing my clothes wrong-side-out.  I felt turned around and upside down.  This was new.  I was not sure how I was supposed to transition through this season of life. 

The joy of the LORD truly became my strength.  I discovered that laughter is possible again—and love continues on.  Even after they’re gone.  And even with fresh tears, I can smile and rejoice at a new day coming!  

Yes, our futures do look different when they are gone—but Hope can take that seat at the table and we can feast on the joy of the LORD.  It takes time to see this—as that first year I didn’t feel that “Hope”, rather I felt the reminder of Loss.  Navigation is painful—and often difficult.  But when we allow the God of hope to guide our hearts and minds—it is possible.

We are approaching our 8thyear of her home-going.  Memories still flood the heart—but Hope stands strong beside each one.  We remember all the blessings and we rejoice in God’s gift of life—and we become resilient as we keep our faith, trust and HOPE in Jesus Christ. 

After all, Hope is a choice.

© 2015 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.


Wanda and Pinterest and Some Things She Loved

Sisters Retreat 2006

I saw today that my little sister, Aimee, had pinned one of my “organizational” pins.  I thought as I saw it, Wanda would have loved Pinterest.  She would have very organized boards…and she would have more recipes and organizational tools than you could shake a stick at.  That was Wanda.  Loved to cook and wanted to be organized.

Numerous times, she would call me and we would talk “organizing”.  She would call Aimee and they would talk “cooking”.  Gosh, I miss those calls.

New Mommy Wanda

Wanda never ever-ever gossiped.  Wanda never complained.  Or whined.  I think that’s why when I hear myself complain, or hear it pouring from the mouth of someone, I want to loudly proclaim– YOU (and I) have NOTHING to complain about. (I just backspaced a bunch of something else I would have said, but you probably don’t want to hear that…)

Mother and I spent a couple of days at my house recently–and I discovered something about mother–that I do.  Mother always, always wants to make things better for me.  Just like I want to make things better for Tiffany and April.  Mother does the same thing for Aimee….and did the same thing with Wanda.  That’s mothers.  Well, maybe not all mothers, but mine for real.

I remember when I turned mother on to Pinterest.  I convinced her it was like holding her very own personalized magazine in her hand (with her Kindle).  She could manage her pages, boards, likes, dislikes, etc.  And indeed, the woman loves Pinterest.  Wanda would have too.

Happy Birthday Wanda 2007

Wanda loved a new cook book.  She liked the Taste of Home cook books–and Southern Living.  Oh my, she had a bunch (or several–depending on if you are in the northern states reading this, or the southern).  I have a couple still, but I passed on most to Valaree and Tiffany and April.  I rely on Pinterest recipes a lot.  Wanda would have LOVED that option.

Wanda loved a new Bible.  I remember I had bought one small enough for my purse, it was two-toned brown leather.  It fit nicely in my hand.  The first time I showed it to her, she actually spied it in my hand as Beth Moore (on the screen) asked us to take our Bibles and turn to something…I don’t remember what…but Wanda’s eyes got big when she saw my little Bible.  I handed it to her.  She caressed it like a baby’s arm.  She knew full well the Life it contained.

Wanda loved our ladies Bible Studies class.  Even that last month she lived, we planned together that since she couldn’t get out much, I would come to her house on Wednesday nights–and we would watch the one from the previous week.  It was  Stepping Up by @Beth Moore +Living Proof Ministries .

We talked.  Cried.  Prayed.  It was a life changing time for me…as well as Wanda.  It was the last Beth Moore study she participated in.  We never made it week three.  But she indeed “stepped UP”.

It was a full year before I was able to truly put pen to paper and write out my pain and joy.

The pain makes the joy sweeter.  The joy makes the pain bearable.

That’s the way God works…and I love Him all the more.  For all that He showed me (us) during that time….I would never ever ask her back.  Pinterest has NOTHING to compare to what she’s seen.  Those who have lost someone, I’m truly sorry for your loss.  But don’t ask them back…don’t think thoughts of that.  I don’t think there’s anything I would say that I didn’t say to her.  We talked for years.  We loved and shared and prayed and cried for years.  We bore one another’s sorrows.  Truly.

Wanda’s favorite color was purple.  I’ve talked about it so many times, and a few times, I’ve been given a gift (that is so special to my heart!) after someone read a “purple post”.  And a few times I had someone come up to me and say, “I thought of you when I saw this purple -whatever it was-“.  That always made me smile.

When my husband returned from a mission planning trip, he brought me back a gift of purple.  A teardrop shaped purple stone (for a necklace) from Bolivia. (I love my darling precious husband and all that he is to me.)

Then, the big surprise–quite unexpected, a purple pashmina and purple towel from our friends Joel and Maritza.  I love Jeff’s surprise, but I have to confess, the Pashmina was extra special…because of this:  they didn’t know about my “purple”.  They didn’t know about Wanda’s love of purple–or the fact that February is a special month for us–she was born on Feb. 28, and passed from this life to the next on the 12th.  Tomorrow.  Seven Years.

It was like a gift from God.  I know it came from humans….but still.  God knew.  As He does all things.

Wanda loved her family, her daughter, Victoria, was the biggest miracle and most precious gift in Wanda’s life.  Wanda collected bunnies.  Ceramic. They came in all shapes and sizes.  Tea pots, figurines, etc.  Wanda had a plethora of bunnies.  But Wanda wanted a baby.  A daughter.  And she prayed and believed (despite all nay-sayers), that one day God would indeed grant her prayer.  For more than 20 years.  And He did.  (That’s another blog story for another day)


There are many many things Wanda really enjoyed.  But her love–true and deep, was Jesus Christ.   She loved her husband, Mark, but he had limitations.  Christ Jesus has none.  Wanda would want me to remind you of that.

Listen, I know this was long.  And a rambly sort of post.  And I have much to do today, but I wanted to just share a few things…lest you think I was going to let the day–or this time of year pass by without reminders…I remember.

If you’ve lost someone dear– I know without doubt it’s the most painful thing you’ve ever ever endured.  But remember if you can, there is hope.  It’s found only in Jesus Christ.  He is HOPE.  He is everything to me…and He wants to be everything to YOU.

Happy Home Going Day Wanda.  We love and miss you–but hang on sista!  We are a comin’!

© 2015 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.


Key Words

There are times in my day-2-day that my ears and mind is arrested by something someone says, or something I see…

An example (just to let you peek in the box of words), at our annual “Wanda Weekend” last year, mother’s words one morning over coffee and devotions- with the sound of the waves colliding with the shore and the aroma of coffee and salt air mingling in our minds– “It’s time to take flight!” stirred more than my ears to full alert…it stirred my heart.  A secret longing.  More than the “Be all you can be” quote by a dedicated military force, it woke me from a contemplative state that morning into wide awake.

It happens often.  I take note, write it down, and talk to God about it.

Saturday it happened again.  I saw a sign in a field on my way to spending more than I needed to for things we will consume and forget…I saw a sign.  A sign that reminded me of the brevity of this existence—and the surety of His words to believers.

I stopped on the side of the road and snapped it with my phone.

COMING SOON
When you make up your mind, call:

HIM.  Of course there was a phone number listed which I marked out–but to call Jesus…no phone is necessary.

Your call will not get dropped.

He is never out of range.

Call on HIM today….He’s COMING SOON.

© 2014 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.


Face Your Facts With Faith

The last Sunday of June, Doug Clay, General Treasurer of the AG, brought a message that struck and stuck.

If you would like to listen, go to the church website and click on “Hanging Out In God’s Waiting Room”.

The audio/video quality is not the best–but the message was spot on.  My interest was highly piqued when he started asking the question, “how many of you feel like you’ve been in or are in God’s waiting room?”

I don’t know if you remember, but that was the only blog post my sister, Wanda, and I wrote together.  It was originally on our site, Sisters of Faith, with the title “God’s Waiting Room“, and it was also featured on her funeral service guide.

I had created that blog site so in hopes that it would revive her weary heart with something fun and inspirational to do before her last hospital visit–but God had other plans.  Although our lives were dramatically altered, we know His plans are always best…His timing and order always flows in the right direction.  And we carry with us, the faith that bore her on.

Sorry to side track–it happens at my age, more often than not….But back to the message by Bro. Doug.  It was one of those that resonated in my spirit.  I heard– as much as felt the vibrating of the strings as my heart was plucked along with the words, as God began to remind me of the journey we began.  I had almost forgotten.  No, not really, but as I told a friend  — there are days that the memory of what He called me out for is faint–covered with a mist- or fog–like your bathroom mirror after a hot shower–wipe it off.
Now.  Can you see…and remember.

I can’t re-preach his message–but I do want to share what God has been reminding me of since that day:

  • His promises are true.  What He said He will do–He will do.  
  • If He has called you to a place–He expects you to follow Him.  No dawdling on the road side.  
  • Time is short.  Get busy with the gifts He has given you and be contentious with His resources.
  • Faith is believing without the basis of proof.  A missionary cannot prove to you that God spoke to their heart and called them to serve Him in a foreign land (foreign to them, may not be foreign to you)…but they believe and therefore they put their belief into action.

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance.  He went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 12:8)  By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful.  therefore from one man–in fact, from one as good as dead–came offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as innumerable as the grains of sand by the seashore. (Hebrews 11:11-12) (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

You and I can have power to conceive…that dream…that promise…
Maybe the facts are not in your favor…but Faith is. 
Face your facts with faith*.  Watch God in action.
*Statement from Doug Clay’s message, “Hanging Out In God’s Waiting Room”.
Photo:  2012 Retreat-Panama City Beach. © Angie Knight.  Used by permission.

© 2014 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.


Reflection of a Heart Like His

For Wanda’s birthday I want to share with you something written by a dear friend, who has to remain nameless due to the fact she lives in another country–and they do not take kindly to Christians–to say the least.



Dear Angie,

You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers through this difficult time. Although Wanda and I were not intimate friends, I did feel as though I had come to know her over the years. I had the greatest
respect and admiration for her consistent demonstration of abiding faith and trust in the face of what many of us would consider to be overwhelming adversity. 


Despite years of pain and trial, she managed to retain a special sweetness I shall never forget.

After I received the news, I spent much of the evening pondering the indescribable profundity of Wanda’s absolute simplicity and straightforward sincerity. 
She did not strive to be a flashy dresser, a vivacious social butterfly, or a dazzlingly erudite conversationalist. She did not seek the spotlight; she did not pursue praise or adulation. In a world where the surface is so often valued over the core, where the cover is prized more than the content, Wanda always seemed to me to be a ray of almost translucent purity and faith.
 

She leaves behind no record of artistic or intellectual genius; instead, she leaves for an adoring family and loving friends the memories they will never forget: memories of faith, hope, patience, sacrifice, determination, and a never-ending quest to know and fulfill God’s will on this earth. Perhaps,
after all, that is an even greater and more valuable legacy for us all. 

Love,

Unnamed 

 Then days later she wrote again:

Dear Angie, “Over the last few days, I have really been meditatingon the miracle of Wanda’s life. She lived … truly,truly LIVED … the example that many of us talkabout. She did a lot of walking and not much talking.Or should I say that she let her walking do thetalking. I feel blessed and humbled to have known herat all….”


As I re-read these words from 2008, I reflected on my own life–I’ve heard preachers say often, “our lives are our testimony  -and it’s from that we preach our own funeral”…. I stop and think…what am I saying?  What are my actions revealing?

What about yours?  Do you ever ponder what your life is revealing about you? 

I know I have seen facebook posts that hurt my heart.  I’m not talking about the ones that are blatantly “sin”…I don’t have or subscribe to that–I’m talking about those “life revealing” posts and pictures.  The ones that reveal what is in our inner most thoughts– whether the picture reveals smiles or steely eyes.  

The heart reflects our walk.  Our walk talks for us.  Whether you tip-toe in high heels or stomp around in cowboy boots–or flip in flip-flops. The walk is talking.

What is the reflection He sees when He sees us?…. Just something to ask ourselves in the coming days…

I know Wanda’s life has blessed all who truly knew her–and I know that we will be joined again in our eternal home…every time we gather as family and talk about this–we get more ready to be there…

But until then, there’s much to do here!

Carry on!


© Angie Knight- The Knightly News


Purple Passion

Me and Aimee and 2010 on “Sisters of Faith Day”.

I planned to wear purple today–before I knew anything about “purple for cancer day”.  I support every single person struggling with that nasty disease…that disease that steals thoughts, moments, and even seconds from lives of those I know and those I don’t know.  Millions.

My reason for purple became clear a few weeks after my sister, Wanda Jakelsky, passed from here–to There in 2008.  Heaven, in case you wondered.

She dared to live her faith.  She dared to color her life with her favorite color, “purple”.

She dared to BELIEVE God’s Word…for exactly what It says.

We dared to take that up…and color our days with faith and purple and sweetness and look head-on into the fullness of each blessing…and try as hard as we could to see the joy in everything.  Although, I confess, that is sometimes hard.

I wrote a lot back then.  Much more than I do now….and writing helps me see.  Writing helps me feel His presence more than anything I can think of right now… because I stop long enough to sit at His feet in my writing….and I guess you can tell, I have very little time for writing these past many, many months.  BUT, I still write in long hand (who does that anymore?) in  my prayer journal on a weekly basis….it just hasn’t made it to the pages of  this blog [yet].

We celebrate each day of the month of February with something purple.  I’ve said it countless times–but every time I see purple, I think of Wanda.  I know today–I will be thinking of her A LOT…because when I first turned on facebook, I saw it EVERYWHERE!  I thought, WOW! So many blessings today!  Then I found the “why” all the purple–and I began counting all those lives–both living and passed, that have been affected by cancer.

I applaud them all today.  I stand in an applauding ovation at your courage…and the bravery for which you LIVE…choosing EACH day to feel, breathe, take in the blessing of one more day with your darling loved ones….and if you happen to be alone, sitting in that chair, receiving the painful medication that is to make you well–know this:  You.  Are.  Not.  Alone.

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.  Psalms 18:1-3  In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.  Psalms 18:6

Wear your color so royal today with passion...and remember, The LORD GOD is your strong tower, fortress, deliverer….and strength.  You can trust HIM.  Nothing will happen that has not passed through His Hands first–and if it passes, then HE will bring strength to those who BELIEVE and call on the Name of the LORD.  His NAME is STRONG.

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News