Mad for…Denise

We become what we love. Who we love shapes what we become. –St. Clare of Assisi

Observers of people such as myself often find ourselves “spying” on the same subjects. Over time, certain people intrigue us by their personal habits, charming dispositions and winning smiles. Today, I have chosen one of those folks to affirm. While we have crossed paths a little, Denise Lunsford and I are not friends. Nevertheless, her loveliness has drawn me in for a number of years, and this week as she celebrates her birthday, I wanted to share with the world what I’ve observed about Denise.

By way of a confession, (in a rather Kevin Bacon degrees of separation) kind of fashion, I do know a little more about Denise than a stranger might. We share a mutual friend from whom I have soaked in a touch more knowledge through my queries over the years. That said, the faithfulness and compassionate heart I first noticed in Denise are observations all my own.

Denise is a loving, loyal wife, as well as a devoted mother and grandmother. Her husband, Paul, is a Deacon for the Catholic Church and he serves at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel where both he and Denise are active members. This commitment on his part is also a very large sacrifice for the Lord that has been undertaken joyfully by Denise. That, folks, is an impressive and lovely gift she has given to Jesus. I quite often spot her at 8am daily masses. She exudes a certain gentleness and peace. I’m sure its that same part of her temperament which suits her well as she serves others by her involvement at the Children’s TherAplay Foundation. A woman who spends her energy for other people’s children is always going to grab my heartstrings.

When Denise was fighting health issues some time back, many of us were praying for her. Since I strongly believe in the power of prayer, I’m certain they provided her exactly what she needed as she fought her personal health challenges. However, what was so impressive to me as an outsider was how she prayerfully and confidently leaned on the Lord during that time. Perhaps interiorly, she didn’t feel as peaceful as she looked, but the witness that made it to my heart was this one. As I watched and prayed from a distance, I thought to myself…that is a woman who has chosen to take a deep breath and trust in God. Whatever is worrying her right now, she’s choosing to let the Lord have it. Though she must have on some level been stressed out, it’s not what she projected at all. HOW BEAUTIFUL!

Denise, I am a big believer in the “birthday festival” so I’ve decided to stretch the event out a few days. I hope that your family celebrated you in a BIG way, because your life is absolutely a lovely witness to others in so many ways you can never know. Just by doing you, others are touched by the Holy Spirit. Thanks for breathing a little Jesus in my direction over time! I think you are both inspiring and a phenomenal woman of God!

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