Sunday, June 01, 2008

Spotlight Sunday: Janelle

Spotlight Sunday is a weekly blog post dedicated to one person that has inspired me to be a better person. This will include people I have known all my life, met recently, and/or know only through blogging. If you want to be a part of Spotlight Sunday, then just be patient! I'll get to you, I promise. :)

Who is Janelle?
She is a daughter, sister, wife, mother, listener, restorer, truth-seeker, party-planner, and friend.

How do I know Janelle?
About a year or so ago, Brandon and I found out we were going to be moving to Northern California. We weren't exactly sure where we should go, so I did a post at Tales, hoping to find people who lived in the area that might give us some good advice. Julie P., who had moved from there recently, got some of her friends to comment on my post. Janelle was one of them and we emailed back and forth a bit.
When Brandon went out to CA to start working and looking for a rental, lo and behold, the area we liked the best was in Janelle's ward. Not only that, she is a real estate agent. Not only that! but she and her hubby invited Brandon over for dinner one night, which I think solidified Brandon's resolve to move into that ward.
The day after we moved into our home, Janelle brought two other friends and helped me unpack. She also invited me over to her home soon thereafter. That created over a year of friendship that I will never forget. I was included into so many aspects of her life: book club, scripture study, park days, date nights, parties, etc. And the day we moved back to Provo? Janelle was there helping me clean the rental house. She's just that wonderful, dear reader!

What is it about Janelle that inspires me?
  1. Friendship: It's kind of a joke that Janelle is the CVI's (the ward's) welcoming committee. I guess it's not that funny, because she is! She welcomes everybody with open arms. The first time I went to her house, I came away thinking "Janelle is seriously the greatest friend ever!" and I tired to figure out why. It didn't take me long to realize it's because Janelle listens. Intently. And sincerely. Janelle cares deeply about people and wants to learn about them, their past, their plans, their dreams, their funny anecdotes and their testimonies. Janelle listens better than anybody I've ever met. Her sincerity and honesty blow me away, and I believe this is one of her many gifts from God.
  2. Spirituality: Janelle's testimony is amazing. Every week at scripture study, it was obvious she knew what she was studying and reading, and her questions created amazing discussions about the Gospel. The best part? Her humility and never-ending search for the truth. Her desire to be righteous; her actual hungering and thirsting after righteousness. She has such a desire for good! Many times she would say things, or point out things that would be exactly what I was needing to hear; I honestly feel that some of my prayers were answered through Janelle. Her testimony is one that I wish to have one day.
  3. Hosting: This girl knows how to par-tay! Okay, so not only is she sweet, thoughtful, spiritual, and a great listener, but she is fun. So fun! Her laughter is crazy-contagious and her parties and get-togethers are always filled with laughter. She makes everyone feel welcomed and accepted, and her house was so inviting. If Janelle and hubby were in charge of a party of any kind (with kids or not), you knew it was gonna be awesome.
  4. Taste: This woman has amazing taste in clothing (yes, Janelle, you do!), art, and furniture. A lot of the furniture in her home was salvaged from junk yards. I'm amazed at how well they've been restored. I love the art in her home, too. Honestly, Janelle, you have fabulous taste!
  5. Adventure: Her family loves adventure! You can find them in Mexico, camping in Santa Cruz, or heck! They just got back from Yosemite. I love, love, love that she loves to travel (especially here. So jealous!) and have some fun adventures. This is partly because I know how hard it is for her physically sometimes. She doesn't talk about it much, but Janelle has RA, which is a difficult, difficult struggle. However, even though it causes her pain and creates some very hard days, it has never stopped her desire for fun and adventure.
  6. Maturity: I had to add one more thing because I think this speaks volumes about Janelle's character. Maturity isn't defined by age (as some would think), but by an overall attitude of humility, kindness, optimism, and wisdom. Janelle is all of these things personified. Oh, sure, she's not perfect (did you see her closet? Haha...), but Janelle is still pretty awesome, I would say!

I miss you, Janelle!


Janelle said...

Thank you Cheryl, I imagine I will not be needing to wear rouge for the next few days because of all the blushing I did while reading this spotlight.
I miss you too. - Janelle

Phoebe said...

You summed her up perfectly!

HILLARY said...

Here, here! I ditto your insight of Janelle!

Never A True Aggie said...

I miss Janelle too. Yes, she is just that amazing, but humble too and I am sure totally blushing. I miss you too Cheryl. Thank heaven for the Blogosphere.

Julie said...

Yay Janelle! I loved seeing your home on the 10 photos meme -- you seems like such a lovely person! I'm glad Cheryl introduced us to you a little more!

I have a question about your scripture study group -- is it just in the blogosphere or is it in your Relief Society group?
How did you get it started?

Janelle said...

We started scripture study in response to President Hinckley's challenge to read the Book of Mormon a couple of years ago. It is just my friends sitting on my couch with their kids running around the yard. Originally there were too many people (read children) to extend it to the entire RS, but attendance has waned and we've just finished the D&C so I'll be doing some promoting to get people excited about studying Preach My Gospel.

So, I just asked some people to come and fed them cookies. Nothing special or organized. My favorite was Jesus the Christ followed by the New Testament with the orange manual.

Sometimes I get tired of having it at my house, so we'll go to the park or church depending on weather. My grandma has had a scripture study group for over 25 years and those women are closer than sisters.

Amanda said...

Cheryl, another great post. She sounds like such a wonderful friend. I can totally see why you miss her!

The scripture study group sounds great. I really ought to do something like that.

Denae (a.k.a. D-dawg) said...

Cheryl, this was so sweet and so true. Janelle is the best at all of these things!