Dishes! Jenna did more dishes during her 10 day stay than I've done in a month...she was always looking for what to wash next, and now she knows my kitchen as well or better than I do...
entertaining children! Jenna held my little girls, chatted and played and did hair for my big girls, played video games with my boys and board games with my husband. She was willing and ready at any moment to step in so I could breath easy...
Quiet observer. Jenna is of a nature to watch. She doesn't demand a great deal of attention when she is with us. She observes and steps in to help where she sees she can be needed. This quality in her makes her seem shy to others. But to me, I see her as one who isn't looking for the spotlight but instead wants to bring light to others through her service. Being one who seems to sickly crave the spotlight, I really admire this quality in my Jennagirl.
Family member. Jenna was willing to be a Graham for the time she was here. She knelt with us for family prayer, joined us for our family night and generally was a wonderful example of an obedient daughter. Always asking "is there something I can do for you?", she showed my children through her example that being a family member means pitching in and helping the family. Thanks for that lesson Jenna!
Present Wrapper! Jenna single handedly wrapped nearly every present under our tree this year. The kids and I helped a tiny bit; but Jenna made the packages beautiful and artistically enjoyable to look at. Various ribbons and papers. Lovely tags. She was our gift decorating and beautify-ing expert. Without her John and I would have been up into the wee hours of Christmas morning slapping paper on the children's gifts. With her, the week prior to Christmas was joyful and calm-with her carefully packaging and setting each gift under the Christmas tree. She even kept me on task at times, reminding me of little gifts I had not yet purchased or created for my children.
These are only a few of the duties Jenna quietly took on at our house this holiday season. Remember, we are moving...Jenna thinned closets, organized our pantry, cleaned little children's bedrooms, and presented beautifully staged bookshelves throughout the house. She helped me chose paint colors, furniture and bedding. She was the voice of reason (don't buy the cheap one unless you love it. But if you love it you should get the cheap one...) and a voice of calm ("I can't believe I'm moving again! I can't stand moving!" says I. "Just calm down. You've done it before and it always turns out o.k., and just think; you are coming closer to me, you'll be fine so just keep going forward." says she).
Do you see why I cried for an hour after she left yesterday? I cannot give a reason why this beautiful and gifted teenager would want to spend her holidays in our crazy and chaotic house, but I feel it such a blessing to have had our Jenna with us. We are coming closer to you Jenna. You are always welcome in our home-you've seen more than any other person who is not my blood what a crazy, imperfect bunch of Grahams we are; and you love us anyway. You are a welcome member of this family any time my friend.
Any time at all.