Welcome to Words of Encouragement!
Happy October 1st to all! I must apologize for my absence since my last post on the first day of fall…other obligations of higher priorities kept me away from blogging, so now as I “fall” back into blogging 🙂 I thought I would re-introduce the back story and purpose of this blog (can also be found on my About page).
I decided to revise this blog, which was originally my very first blog several years ago, and dedicate it to my beloved Dad, Ben Willis, who lost his battle with lymphoma on Sept. 2, 2002. He was a giant of a man, loved by all who knew him, and one of his greatest strengths was his ability to encourage people. At his packed memorial service–standing room only–his gift of encouragement was the most often repeated tribute to his life.
That, therefore, is the goal of this blog – to encourage others through stories, verses, thoughts, and other bits of inspiration.
The header, created by my wonderful friend Becky Willis (no relation to my Dad’s side of the family) of Willis Media Promos, is symbolic of several things. First, the brick background represents the fireplace that stood at what used to be the family homestead and the site of many family occasions as we gathered in front of that fireplace in the livingroom.
Second, the photos in the header all represent special moments in his life and our lives with him:
*The blue chair – identical to “his” chair in the livingroom at that childhood home in New Hampshire; the chair from which he shared many of his words of wisdom and encouragement.
*Dad’s photo – on the left, this was from happier, healthier times, during one of the many camping trips he and Mom enjoyed (taken from the photo below).
*Our photo – in the center, this is my Dad and me; I edited this photo from a much larger family photo from about 20+ years ago, to create a new one specifically for this blog.
*The rowboat silhouette – on the right, this picture was from another camping trip; this one has my Dad and my oldest daughter Shara in it, fishing at dusk.
This blog is my attempt, in some small way, to honor my Dad’s memory and carry on his legacy of encouragement and inspiration, to help others as he helped all of us in his family, extended family, church family, and so many others during his lifetime. This is for you, Dad – I love you and miss you.
*NOTE* I also wrote my first book in his honor in 2012 for Father’s Day, entitled Fatherly Reflections. It is available as an ebook and printed book at Amazon.
My daughter Shara’s own reflections on the moment captured in this image of the rowboat with her and her Grampy, the same one as in the header, brings me to tears every time I read it:
“Grampy and I sat there for a good two hours, with our lines cast, anticipating the first nibble of some unsuspecting fish.
We didn’t talk; we didn’t have to.
The thoughts in our minds were too great, yet too simple for words.
This was our special place, a place where we didn’t have to talk to communicate, where people weren’t bothering us, where we could just sit and bask in the simplicity of it all.”
And that is the overall tone I am striving for in this blog, created in my Dad’s honor–for it to be a special place, where you dear readers can “just sit and bask in the simplicity of it all” and be encouraged and blessed.
So what are YOUR thoughts?
Had you read my About page before?
If you have a blog, did you write it for a special person or a specific purpose?