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Jesus is Lord over my spirit, my soul, and my body. Philippians 2:9-11

Jesus has set Aunt Grace apart.

She is an intercessor, a woman of prayer.  Her prayers and lifted hands brought peace to my husband’s Mom as she was on her way to Jesus. Uncle Tom and Todd had stayed bedside all night. When Grace arrived she brought comfort to Marilyn as she spoke to her unconscious soul with God’s Word, speaking words of praise and power and praying for healing.  And she gently touched her cheek and brushed her hair with her fingers.  Her presence, her touch and her words brought almost immediate comfort as could be seen on the heart rate monitor.  Immediately her elevated heart rate dropped and normalized at a much less labored rate.  My husband had wondered whether or not her soul was still with her unresponsive body.  Grace’s presence and the resulting physical response by his mother gave comfort that she was.  As the family prayed together in the remaining time, Marilyn began her walk into eternal life.

Whenever I visit Grace my faith is strengthed.  Her own faith, and her genuine interest reflected in the questions she asks and the attention she devotes to the conversation reveal someone who listens intently.  Time stops in these moments and I feel valued.

Whenever I enter Uncle Tom and Aunt Grace’s home I am wrapped in love. Her tiny fairy-like frame and gentle hands, and her lilting South Carolina accent always greet me with the most tender hug of welcome.  I have learned that a visit to her lovely home brings rest to this weary traveler, and her special brand of southern hospitality creates a peaceful environment. The beautiful setting of her home is a natural by-product of her career as an interior decorator, and I’ve always thought this home could easily be featured in an issue of Architectural Digest.  Breathtaking!

The level of her hospitality is a rarity in todays busy world, yet for her it is simply a way of life.  Fresh flowers in the bedroom, chocolates on the pillows, a crystal water decanter filled with ice cold water, and a bathroom with an assortment of luxurious necessities all say “Welcome to my home, you are special.”  No southern hospitality is complete without iced tea, and the whole process of sitting down to tea is a delight.  She prepares the most delicious meals, staging them in advance so that she has time to visit with me once I arrive.  All of this demonstrates her love, and I am filled to overflowing, and I feel like royalty.  Better than royalty I am family, and despite my being a Yankee, I feel as though I am an honorary member of the Southern Club.

In these visits the stress of a long distance road trip just melts away and I feel at home.

In the Gospel of John Jesus says “in My Father’s house there are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.”   Uncle Tom and Aunt Grace give you a chance to imagine what that might be like as I always feel as though I am welcomed into the presence of God through their love and blessing.

Here is a breakfast casserole I enjoyed from Aunt Grace.  May you be blessed by it!

6 eggs beaten
1 c cheddar cheese grated
2 c milk
1 ts salt
1 ts dry mustard
1 -1 1/2 lbs. sausage cooked and crumbled
6 slices of bread cubed

Place cubed bread into buttered 9 x 13 pan
Sprinkle sausage over bread.
Combine all other ingredients and pour over bread and sausage mixture.
Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
Serves 6

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