Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Good Name

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,
and loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Proverbs 22:1

David and Jolene and their young sons
Christmas Banquet 2004
(David and the boys are wearing the vests and hats worn by the local Indians here)

Many of you know my sister-in
-law, Jolene, who is my brother, David’s wife. Many of you know that she was raised by her grandmother because of her abusive parents. I cannot read her testimony without weeping, and thanking the Lord for lifting her up out of that lifestyle and placing her in the place she is today…my brother’s wife (SMILE!) and a missionary in Ukraine! What a blessing she is to all, is she not?!

What some of you may not know is that Jolene’s mother named her after a country song called “Jolene.” When she was a very young child, her father would take her to bars and make her stand on a table and sing that song to the drunk men in those bars. How heartbreaking!

My husband met Jolene when she and David came to our wedding in 2002;
then he got to know her a little better when she returned for a visit with their family in December, 2004.

Jolene, Davey and Nate at our church's Christmas Banquet in 2004

The following year, in September, 2005, I gave birth to our daughter. Andrew said, “We are going to name her Deborah Jolene. I think Jolene is one of the most joyful women I know, and I want our daughter to be named after her.”

One month before Deborah was born

Deborah Jolene, one month old

Deborah Jolene, 3 years old

--Since then Jolene has told us of 2 other little girls who have been named after her.--

And on May 2, 2011, a little girl was born to a precious couple in our church. When I asked what her name would be, her father said, “She will be named Jolene, after your brother’s wife. And I have their prayer card in our house, and we are going to spell it just like she spells it.”

Sixto and Rosario
and Baby Jolene

Dedicating Baby Jolene to the Lord on Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thank you, Jolene, for taking a name that was only sung in bars and was used to fill fleshly thoughts, and changing it by your godly lifestyle and using it to uplift the name of our Holy Saviour. May these little girls who are your namesakes live up to the spiritual standard you have set. May they always look up to you as their example of godliness.

David and Jolene, Davey and Nate in December, 2004

And may we all seek to have “a good name,” for it is rather to be chosen than great riches.


emma said...

wow! thank you so much for sharing this with us! Jolene is such a blessing & a great representation of our Christ! Thank you Jolene for letting him do in you what he wants to do in all of us!

The Woodfords said...

That is very sweet! What a blessing to see what God can do with lives who are willing to yield to Him - no matter what background they come from!
What an encouragement to see!

Love in Christ,

Garry said...

Such a sweet tribute, Anna! Jolene is certainly a precious young woman and she and David are doing such a tremendous work for the Lord.

Tammie said...

Dear Anna and Jolene,

I am writing so that both of you will read what I am saying as if we were sitting around Aunt Billie´s kitchen table talking, because I know deep down that is exactly where we would all like to be right this very minute!

I am so imressed with your blog entry, Anna. You know, Jolene, you are a tribute of God´s grace and I know how proud that Anna and all of your sisters are of having you in the Sloan-Ashcraft family.

We have our own "good name" sister: Jenny. I do not know a better Christian than Jenny, my sister. God's presence has been so evident in her life. The way that God set her aside for Jonathan so many years ago, and prepared her perfectly for our family just blows me away!

Jolene, not only are you perfect for David, you are perfect for US! It is like you were reared, protected and guided into being our sister.

God bless you today, so far away from us, serving God through being David´s wife. You are a sweet blessing to all of us. I am looking at your prayer card on my desk right now. I took it out of my prayer book to copy and put on our missions bulltin board tomorrow. We are starting our missions month tomorrow morning and we will be introducing you to our church family during Sunday School.

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet tribute! How beautiful it is when there is such unity surrounded by such love within a family. Beauty from ashes for sure! God is ALWAYS good, and may He always rule and reign in your lives as you seek to lift Him up by lifting one another up in prayer and encouragement such as in this blog post. What a blessing!!! You are each in our thoughts and prayers as you serve Him! All is grace, ~Felicia Doss Searcy, AR