Posted on Nov 23, 2016 | 3 comments

Yes, the last of the beautiful tapestry of bronze and gold leaves have succumbed to the wintery blast after being treated to summertime temperatures just a week ago.  Winter is on the cusp of being here and I’m making plans to nest inside. Not much of a snow bunny here, I must admit.

That being said, this time of the year always brings long-lost memories alive as they sneak out of their closets with every spicy smell and tattered photograph.  Each sensory prick stops me in my tracks as I relive a childhood past.  Good times, bad times and times in between. Reveling in each – is a must.

There are so many things I am able to give thanks for this year. First and foremost it is a blessing to be able to spend time with most of my family. The majority of my extensive family will not only be in for dinner, but for the following few days as well. Work? Lots of it!! But well worth the precious memories that will be forged by so many various generations coming together in one place for one purpose.

FAMILY…. Yes, FAMILY is what matters, FAMILY is the glue that holds you together and FAMILY is what brings you back together when things get broken.

This past year has had its myriad of ups and downs, roller coaster rides that made you scream and then made you laugh, beautiful sunrises and dazzling sunsets (sometimes it felt like we were on the beach and other times not so much). So much has happened that it can be a maze to sort through it all.

Memories….memories are the three-cord thread that binds a family together. The good ones…the bad ones…and the ugly ones. They all enable us to become who we are to be and impart character, persistence and deepen our love for each other. Time is precious and each thread wraps us together ever tighter enabling us to persevere through the difficult times and rejoice in the happy times.ronny

This year, our family has lost a precious and priceless member, my dear sister-in-law Ginnie – mother of 4, grandmother of one and dear wife of my brother, Ron. She was an amazing young woman who lived life to its fullest. She fought gallantly but lost to that robber of life called cancer. She was truly gifted in so many areas, from homeschooling her children all the way through college to instilling integrity and mercy and godliness in all 4 children, not to mention putting up with my younger brother’s crazy antics and love of travel. Many thanks to those who helped on the gofundme page that ws set up to help with medical bills, we can never thank you enough! It was such a blessing to them and it showed the love of the body.  But that’s what happens in a family.

Some family members have moved to distant states and jobs have come and gone, with some still sending in resumes in hopes of that perfect position. It has been a difficult year in the professional fields, much due to the political mess of our country. The country that once was built with the strictest of beliefs and united under one flag and one God. The national turmoil that has erupted like a million volcanoes across the country as a result of  the breakdown of these once tightly held beliefs has seen a demise in many relationships. But that’s what happens in a family.

We also had our precious German Shepherd, Moriah, cross over the Rainbow Bridge.  She wasscreen-shot-2016-11-21-at-6-06-07-pm the best dog we’ve ever had in our 46 years of marriage and in my 19 years before that. Truly. Always obedient, always the best babysitter and closer and truer than most friends.  She knew when my heart was whole, and she knew when it was broke and always had a love look in her eyes for me no matter which way the weather blew. Her heavy head on my lap, her cold nose and wet tongue on my cheek, yes, even the tufts of hair left all over will be missed. But that’s what happens in a family.

And then there was our oldest son, Jim and the heart-wrenching travesty of what our family endured. He has completed his first year at camp – and it’s not the kind of camp we would have ever anticipated.  jim-prayMany of you have asked (or wondered) about him and how he is doing. Well, despite the many meltdowns (as can be expected), more tears than he will probably admit to, his faith and love for his savior has, well, been his saving grace. His love and passion for teaching has not wilted one bit, and while the Father prunes his feathers a bit and smooths the wrinkles, He is also imparting to him a level of compassion and understanding that is simply amazing. Barring a miracle of early release, it will be a long road ahead for all of us, especially for his wife and daughters.  Each of them are simply amazing and will get through whatever the Holy One sets before them with grace and composure.  We thank you for your prayers in this situation and for lifting our family up with your encouragement, it means so much to each of us. That truly is what the Body is supposed to do…love, forgive and love some more. But that’s what happens in a family.

Sukkot was spent with many friends and was such a wonderful and 20161016_184355lovely time. Our biggest blessing was being able to spend it with my parents! It was a full week of just enjoying them, listening to old stories, loving on each other and having a wonderful time with friends! Nightly bonfires with s’mores, toasted marshmallows, good wine and lots of laughter was such a blessing and the food…oh my the FOOD! New relationships were formed and old ones etched even deeper. It was a time of joy and happiness that had been a long time coming!

So no matter what happens in your life, no matter what tugs at your heart, no matter what one goes through, a family of faith will make it through anything and come through it stronger and closer. But that’s what happens in a family.

So here we are, all soon to be arriving at one place for such a time as this – FAMILY THANKSGIVING. And we will be doing just that – giving thanks for all our blessings and holding each other close. May your time of family and friends also be filled with remembering the blessings. Cause that’s what happens in a family.

Blessings and peace to all of you from our family to yours!

~ the Staley Family ~



  1. 11-23-2016

    As usual you hit the nail on the head, FAMILY

  2. 12-4-2016

    You make our family—a family. We love you more than you will ever know. And love Jim and the husband and father he has been all these years. And love the way He has increased our family through you and Jim.
    What more can we want than a family that Yahweh has so generously blessed us with? May Yahweh bless us and keep all of us in His will in all we think, say and do and in everywhere we go.
    Praise His Holy Name!!

    • 12-5-2016

      awww….thanks mom 🙂

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