I found this pin Pinterest and just had to share it! Too funny!
I found this pin Pinterest and just had to share it! Too funny!
Cousins, young and old, gathered around Aunt Abby. Jules pulled Finley into her lap, singing softly in her ear. Constance joined her with Shannon. They started a quiet game of pat-a-cake with the two littles. Bruce dumped out a set of crayons and started to draw a tree, complete with owls and a blue jay. Ellie and Imogene hurried to draw trees too, with owls and blue jays. Joshua, Jude, and Remi emptied the car box. The boys lined the cars up by size and color, while Remi arranged the racetrack.
“Everyone ready?” Aunt Abby eyed all the busy fingers.
“Ready!” All ten cousins chorused.
“Ready,” Grandpa said, plopping between everyone and scooping Remi up in a loud, whiskery hug.
“Grandpa!” Remi yelled and giggled. Then everyone had to be hugged except Bruce, who didn’t like hugs, which only meant Grandpa hugged him harder. Once everyone had been hugged, and tickled, and gotten a drink, and gone potty, the ten cousins settled back down.
“Story time?” Aunt Abby asked.
“Yes, please,” Jules said.
“Will this have Zelda in it?” Ellie asked.
Aunt Abby through for a moment. “No, but how about the Ellie in the story is wearing a dress like Zelda?”
“Yes!” Ellie crowed.
“Who am I dressed like?” Imogene asked.
Realizing what she’d done, Aunt Abby quickly said, “Imogene is dressed like Moana. Jules like Princess Peach, Constance like Princess Leia, Shannon like Rey from Star Wars, Finley like Ginny from Harry Potter, and Remi like Hermione.”
“And us?” Joshua looked at the boys.
“Well, obviously Joshua, you’re dressed like Kylo Ren. Bruce is Garmadon, and Jude is Lightning McQueen. Good?”
Nods all around.
“Now are we ready for the story?”
After the sun went to bed, and the tiny warm lights shone bright in the dark, ten cousins—dressed in various bright, and some scary costumes—gathered around Grammie and Grandpa’s Christmas tree. Uncle Price read the Christmas story. His voice rose and fell with the rhyme. Anticipation and delight gleamed in every eye.
Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve. It was Christmas Eve. Time for presents, food, and sweets. Big boxes, odd shapes, tiny little things wrapped in red and green paper called to the children.
As Uncle Price said, “A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” a cheer filled the room.
Jude scooped up the Santa hat. “I can pass out the presents!”
“Silly boy,” said Jude’s Momma, “you can’t read yet. Let Uncle Jason be Santa.”
Disappointed, Jude gave up the red and white hat of power.
With many shouts over excited heads, the parents got each child sorted into a spot. Ready, Uncle Jason passed out the gifts.
A flat one went to Bruce, a big one to Jules, a soft one to Finley. More flat ones went to Constance, Remi, Shannon, and Ellie. A medium box brought a smile to Jude, while Joshua handled an awkwardly long box, and Uncle Jason gave Imogene a round box with reindeer wrapping paper. Books, pencils, stuffed animals, kits, crafts, clothes, pop-up-books, coloring books and more piled around the ten cousins.
Finally, to end the night, Imogene ripped off the last bit of paper on a box, opened the lid, and pulled out a yellow and black tactical bracelet, three sizes too big, complete with a tiny compass, and saw.
Delighted, Imogene held it high over the evening celebration, and exclaimed, “I’ve always wanted one of these.”
All the grownups paused.
Aunts, uncles, mommies, daddies, Grammie, and Grandpa all glanced at each other, then burst into laughter. They laughed and laughed. And each laugh expressed their satisfaction with the day, the cousins, the gifts, and each other.
“The end, already?” Imogene frowned.
“Just with that story. There will be more.”
“Why are there going to be more?” Imogene asked.
“Because there are so many of you and you keep doing silly things.”
“Hey!” Bruce said.
“Yeah, hey!” Jules echoed him.
Aunt Abby shrugged. “It’s not my fault y’all are silly. I’m just the storyteller.”
P.S. Usually I will only have one blog post a month, but if I write a short story that I don’t intend to publish professionally, I’ll post it on my blog spontaneously. I like to live on the edge. 😉
P.S.S. Did you know, I do posts specific to different social media? If you follow me on Twitter, you get the #oddwriter posts once a month. My Facebook posts are almost daily, with updates on what I’m working on. On Instagram, you’ll get to see the world through my eyes with images from around my home, including my trees, plants, decorations, and probably my computer. 🙂 My Pinterest is going to be mostly story related, but if you love faerie stories, you’ll enjoy seeing the magical things I find. My Patreon account will have mostly Patron only posts, but there will be some things you can still read and enjoy. On Spotify you can listen to the music that inspires me. (FaerieStories) Follow me where and when you please. (Links to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to your right.)
Hi! Thanks for stopping by to check out my new blog and other social media links. Many of you know me, and even know me really well, but I wanted to do some introductory posts for the next few months to kick off my new blog. Since I’m only posting once a month, this may take most of this first year. (This should make you happy, because that means I’m actually spending most of my time writing stories.)
You can get a good overview of me and my writing from my About Page, but there are two things I want to highlight today: Church and Home.
If you ask me what is most important in my life, I will tell you it’s my local church. I’m a member of Heritage Baptist Church, a confessional, associational church in Texas. I’ve been a member of HBC since Feb 1995. Even though I grew up in this church, I didn’t really understand the importance of church, and my church membership, until I was much older. God, in His kind providence, had to take me down a few notches. Before then I was a member, but found our church pretty uncool, boring, and filled with annoying people. I loved some people, but spent too much of my Sundays seeking to be shocking. (I’m so appalled at my behavior as a young person. Thank you HBC for loving me anyway.) For a time, my husband and I even left HBC. We were going through a very sinful stagr, but thankfully God is good and brought us back.
After we came back—humbled, repentant, needy—I began to see my church as it really was. I saw the importance of meekly listening to the preaching of the Word. I saw the love of the saints. I saw men and women fighting every day to beat back sin. I saw faithful attendance as the beautiful thing it was. I saw the joy of the confession and the association we were part of. It took leaving my church to help me see what I almost lost.
I’m so thankful for my church.
I believe that serving our church is our greatest and highest calling as believers. This is the real work that we do. These fellow saints are the ones we work for. Why? Because we love Christ. We love the one who died for us. And what does He love? He loves the Church. He serves the Church. So that’s what we do. We love and serve the church.
So, what does that look like for me? Well, the closest church member that I have the privilege of serving every day is my husband. He lives with me. He’s a fellow saint I can serve all the time. And, by serving him, I can serve my whole church. It is good for my church, and for me, to be submissive to him. It serves my church to take care of things for him. And, doubly so, because my husband is a gifted brother in our church with a hope for the pastorate. Every meal I cook, every cup of tea I take to him, each receipt I record, each bathroom I clean, is serving a fellow saint and serving my church.
All of that bleeds into seeing my home as my career. Writing is something I love with all my heart. It is something that makes me feel unbelievable happy. It is something that feels ‘really me’. It is something I’ll do the rest of my life even if I never get published. I love to tell stories, even if I’m only telling them to myself and a small group of fans. But, for all that love and passion, my home is my career. When I got married, I took on this career. I became a homemaker when I said “I Do”. For years, I thought of homemaking as an innate ability, much like having gray or green eyes. I’ve since come to realize that I need to view it as much as a career as a doctor does: study, practice, learn, and grow.
This is what is on my mind, in my thoughts, in my prayers. This is my labor.
Balancing between my love of writing and my career is a work in progress for me right now. I don’t think writing, seeking to get published, or any of that is wrong. I just have to work to keep it in the right spot. It isn’t my heart’s focus. My home and keeping it is my heart’s focus. This is harder than you’d think. There are so many more glamourous things I could be doing. I could start my own Style Consulting business. I could use my energy to serve my church where that service could be seen by others. I could push and push and push for a writing career. All of that would earn me the praise of those around me. (Except for my husband who would be living and dealing with a dirty house and a proud, praised wife.) All that would be glorious. But, what I’ve been called to as a married woman is to keep my home and help my husband. And my husband needs me to manage all the things so he can work and study. Be content, oh heart, be content.
Whenever I’m struggling with this career, when I see fellow sisters getting to do things I want to do, or be involved with things I want to be involved with, I have to have a little talk with myself. My life isn’t their life. What I see isn’t always what is. This is where God has put me, right now. This is the husband he has given me to help. This is the saint I’m called to serve day in and day out. He’s the one I want to love, not myself.
I believe God gave me a love of writing. I want to use that writing to serve my church. I want to write things that encourage those in the trenches. I also want to serve my home with my writing abilities. Yes, that means working towards bringing in a small income with my writing. But, it also means keeping my writing within certain boundaries. It means writing Children’s and YA stories. And it means not taking too much time out of my day to work on my writing.
So, when you read articles here on my blog, or see FB posts, Tweets, or Instagram pictures, know that it comes from the heart of a woman who loves her church first, then loves her home, loves being a HearthKeeper, and then loves to tell a good story of light overcoming darkness.
If you’re interested in supporting my writing, and getting to be a character or characters in my stories, fly on over to my Patreon Page and check out the different options. 🙂
A huge shout out and big hug to my Patrons:
Thank you so muc for paying me to write!
A blog all about Abby Jones’ stories, updates on publishing opportunities, flash fiction, and children’s stories, plus a bit about herself is coming soon.
Check back with the first of the year for new content and more!