Today I learned that I lost a dear online friend. She went home to the Lord yesterday, surrounded by her husband and dear friends. I write today in her honor and memory.
MaryJane or MJ, to me was a special lady. She was a Godly wife to Norm and a Godly mother to her two children. She was an example to me and many others. MJ was one of my closest and longest friends from way back when I began my homeschooling journey and found online support at Vegsource’s homeschooling message boards. Eventually we moved to a new forum for moms, TeachingMom and continued our friendship. We played each day our favorite online game of Literati, threw trout in a chatroom, gave gifts through Farmville or exchanged recipes.
MJ is the one who turned me on to blogging in the very beginning. She began a blog as her personal cookbook and journal for meal planning and recipes while I began one to have an outlet for my inner struggles. I was going through a very emotional time in 2005 and with her encouragement, I dove into blogging. It was during this time I surrendered my sons to public school while I got myself in order and MJ was there the whole time. She daily encouraged me, while we played Literati, giving me lots of hugs, prayers and gentle talks about making it through the difficult transition.
MJ was one of the first friends I told when we decided to homeschool the guys once again. She was a prayer warrior and prayed again for us as we transitioned. She also encouraged me again to keep going on the rough days.
MJ was a fierce player in our online games. We had a gang of moms who all loved to play word games. Often we would have a group of 5 ladies playing at one Literati table and the game would be moving slow. MJ would send me a private message and we’d start a 2 man game on the side, just me and her. Her word knowledge was amazing. She was such a good player and my goal was to beat her as often as possible. That didn’t happen much. Like I said, she was smart! Good times.
MJ was ahead of the curve when it came to the internet. She always seemed to know what was the latest and greatest fad coming along. She not only told me about blogging, but it was MJ who showed me Swagbucks, Twitter, YouTube, PaperbackSwap,Facebook, WordPress, MenuPlanMondays at organizingjunkie.com and so much more. Her own blog, What a Crock, is full of crock pot recipes and ideas. She was faithful to plan her meals and post her plan weekly.
The one thing that MJ did best for me was encourage me and always point me to the Lord in any and all trials. She let me know about the Generous Wife emails that I get daily and now will always think of her when they show up in my inbox. One of the best pieces of advice that she passed along to me was this; “Your husband is not your enemy”. It seems like lately it’s something I have to remind myself of because of my own private battles. And during those times it’s especially easy to place blame on someone else instead of myself.
MJ loved to cook meals and bless others with those meals. She was a very smart, intelligent and beautiful woman inside and out.
I will miss my dear friend in so many ways. She was part of my life every day in one form or another. I am so shocked that she is gone. I am so sad I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I look forward to the day I finally meet her in heaven. I am thankful she is no longer in pain and she is able to dance before her Lord freely.
In honor of MJ, I have put chicken in the crock pot tonight with BBQ sauce. I’ll make some rice and veggies to go along with the chicken. MJ would be proud.