"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them." ~~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Hi all,

Happy Thanksgiving to those who will be celebrating this coming Thursday!  I hope you all have wonderful celebrations and that, whether you're celebrating the holiday or not, you find yourself with lots and lots to be grateful for!

As for this newsletter, I thought it'd be nice to get a glimpse into what some of the Dyelanders and their friends are grateful for.  And who better for them to share that praise with than God?  But first a bit of fun.

God bless,


Signs You Might Be a Dyelander

1.  You've ever ran directly at a brick wall and ended up under a willow tree and this didn't strike you as at all odd.

2.  You've grown used to sitting down to a big holiday family meal along with angels of death, assorted other angels, vampires, and the humans who love them.

3.  Your friend is also potentially your in-law or...

4.  Your cousin is your future children's grandfather or...

5.  Your mother-figure is only seven years older than you and your father-figure is undoubtedly older than Stonehenge. 

6.  And all of the above passes as normal in your group.

7.  The words "like substance" appear on several menus for your group's shindigs and people still eat it anyway.

8.  You know that caffeine is quite properly considered its own food group.

9.  Some of your friends have stared down approaching bullets, swinging bats, and speeding cars without so much as batting an eye but they tense up over Tess simply making a Look.

10.  You've engaged in flannel shirt thievery... multiple times.

11.  You can give a chronological history of Andrew's hair styles starting from 2000 detailing length, shade, and whether there was any on his face. 

12.  You get sappy over paper clips, shark teeth, triskeles, daffodils, and so much more.

13.  You've found yourself wondering why Andrew seems to be in such a good mood at random times and keeps humming the Overture to Jesus Christ Superstar...

14.  You know no fewer than 5 recipes for red velvet products.

15.  You know that no matter how bleak or scary or stressful times are, Someone's got your back... and a lot of other someones do, too.


Thanksgiving Prayers

So I was tempted to write a story but I seriously need to start being more realistic about my time!  Cause I'm already working on 3 different stories and adding a 4th?  Maybe not the best idea.  So here's what I'm thinking... as Thanksgiving nears, our beloved AOD, Andrew, is pretty close to manic.  In a good way.  A really, really good way.  For over thirteen years, Dyeland has been close to his heart and he's taken every opportunity to share his Father's love with the people there and beyond.  But things have changed in a way that is awesome and amazing and incredible for Andrew.  Joshua is coming to meet them.  Imagine that excitement!  For thirteen years you've been limited in what you could tell your friends about your Father, about the Person you love best, about the Person who made you... and now He's coming.  Soon.  So I could imagine Andrew scribbling away in his journal as he sits in Serendipity, writing to God about how blessed he feels.  And then LJA coming in and seeing him looking so happy and so beatific and asking what he's up to.  I'm sure Andrew would tell her that he was writing a Thanksgiving letter to God.  I know she would never dream of asking to read it... but then she'd want to write her own and probably tell the others and so they would.  I'm not sure what they'd do with them.  Maybe hide them away to reflect on later, maybe burn them and send their ashes to the heavens.  But I know they'd feel the words deeply and pray them reverently to their Creator.  I don't think they'd share them with each other but I think it's okay if *we* read them.  :-)  ~~Jenni


Dear Father,

ow...  I have so much to be grateful for.  A little over a year ago, I was wondering how and when I'd ever get Home (and home).  Now I'm looking forward to another of Dyeland's wonderful, hectic, love-filled Thanksgiving dinners.  But it's not the same as other years... it's better.  You've brought so many wonderful friends to us this past year.  Max will be here, smiling so lovingly at Rose and hugging his "Maja" so tightly and her beaming at him with such love and pride that a person who didn't know better might really think she'd ushered him into the world.  Kemara will be here, having found home and friends and using her gifts to make the world a better place.  Arthur will be here, still looking as if he can't quite believe Monica is there but infinitely glad she is.  And Chava will be here, laughing and managing to bring a smile to the face of everyone she speaks to.  I know there will be a moment when she'll wish that the table was a little more full and a few more chairs gathered around.  But she knows now... knows without any doubt... that those she loves sit at Your table and that one day she'll be there with them.  And then we have that phone call with Ivy planned... thank You for the miracles You've worked in her life.  And for the confidence You've bolstered in Violeta.  I continue to feel so blessed to know that You've entrusted me with her.  And You'll be here... waiting.  Waiting just as you did all those years ago for the moment when You'd come visibly and physically into the lives of Your children.  It's the hope, the excitement over that visit that I'm most grateful for, Joshua. 

Thank You for letting me bring Your love to my assignments and allowing me the privilege of taking some of them Home, seeing their absolute ecstasy as they first see You.  Thank You for the blessings of new friends and old friends and the promise of more joyful days to come.



Dear Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

Where to start?  This has been a truly awesome year.  I mean You know we had some really difficult moments but even during those... I've never felt so bound up to my wonderful family and friends and that's a really good feeling!  You brought my "Harry" back to me!  I still get choked up when I think about Max on Andrew's porch all disheveled and sopping wet and that lil tree tucked under his coat...  But he's so happy now!  Thank You for his smiles and his laughter and for the happy life that I just know he and Rose will build together.  And thank You for Andrew.  You know how much I love him, how much I need him.  And You gave us so many opportunities this year to grow closer and so many chances for me to figure out not simply how to love him but how to love him as You told us to love each other.  Please continue to help me on that road.  And thank You for Chava and the peace she's found.  Thank You for bringing her and Beth together after so many years.  Thank You for Arthur and Monica.  I know it's only the beginning but You've already wrought such beauty from that bond and I know You'll bring more great things from it yet.  Thank You for my parents, my cousins, for Shel, for Owen, for Kemara, for Ivy, for Kevin and Carrie, and all my friends here and in the Sibling Cities.

Finally, thank You for the autumn winds and the falling leaves.  They make me remember that You're never far away.



Dear Father,

I can remember how, as soon as I could write, my parents taught me to write these letters to You every Thanksgiving.  We both know that some years I struggled more than in others to express my gratitude to You.  This is not one of those ye
ars when I struggle.  I know I have so much to be grateful for.

JenniAnn has this quote pasted onto the bottom of all her emails: “As you grow older you will discover that the most important things that will happen to you will often come as a result of silly things, as you call them --"ordinary things" is a better expression. That is the way the world is.” ~~Chaim Potok

It's never seemed more true.  Almost two months ago, I stepped into a Panera because I was hungry and couldn't take another night of nuked pizza.   I came out of that restaurant with someone I love deeply even though I can't explain, fully, why I do.  And there was more: the promise of friends, the knowledge that I wouldn't have to settle into New York City life on my own, and a peace I haven't felt in a long time.  When I left my new home to visit another scene of destruction and to see more grief and more pain, even then I was grateful because Monica was with me and, because of that, I felt You nearer, too.  I remain grateful for the opportunity to help rebuild lives and homes and families and communities.  Please grant me the strength to continue to do that and the wisdom to always recognize the many blessings You have given to us all.

Infinite thanks,


Dear Yeshua,

When I look back on this year, I'm astounded and amused and moved and all sorts of feelings I can't even put a word to!  But I know I'm definitely grateful.

Earlier today, Grandma and I set up the Nativity.  For a few moments, I held the little figurine of You in Your cradle.  I thought about that dream that I know was more than a dream.  Grandma hugged me and for a little bit we were both really quiet.  Then we talked about the dream, about the angels.  She still believes me.  Although I think she can't quite believe that one of those angels still texts and emails me almost daily!  (I think it's good You waited to bring Violeta to Earth until recently... I think the pace of snail mail might have driven her crazy!)  I'm so grateful for Violeta and Andrew and JenniAnn and her parents and Kemara and the Hunters and Mr. Spelman and Miss O'Kane and so many others who have helped me during these past few months.  I'm so glad to be going to school at Our Lady of Hope now and being able to see my mom's Pieta whenever I want.  Most of all, though, I'm grateful to have a happy home with Grandma and Leo.  And I'm grateful for the wooden lion who reminds me that You're always there and always loving us.

I love You,


Dear God,

Thank You for
Asher and Psyche and Andrew and Father and Vincent and Catherine and everyone who watches over me and takes care of me.  Thank You for candy and dolls and books and dress-up.  Thank You for my pocket watch from Andrew with the shepherd on it.  I like thinking that You're like a shepherd.  That's really cool. 

Thanks for all my friends and my teachers and everyone here in the Tunnels.  Please help me make them really, really proud when I'm grown up.  You too.



Dear Father, Dear "Jack,"

How can I even begin to list the things I'm thankful for? 

The glory of Your creation with its newly fallen snows and starry midnight skies, the scent of lilacs in the Spring and pine in the Winter.

The sounds of loved ones saying hello, of a friend singing a much-loved song, of a dove cooing softly.

The triumphant human spirit that rises even amid ashes and decay and sorrow.

The love that never gives up, never stops searching, never stops willing the best for others.

The mocha, the chance to forgive, the chance to be forgiven, and the chance to reunite with a kindred spirit.

Thank You.


Happy Thanksgiving!!!


This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for helping me to better recognize the ways God has blessed me in my own life.  It's a funny thing about pretending to be someone you're not whether that means acting or writing.  As I wrote the above, thinking of reasons these characters would feel grateful, it was impossible not to think of all the things I feel grateful for.  And that's pretty awesome and all because of my own "silly thing/ordinary thing."  I formed a crush on an actor... and this happened.  :-)


JABB 399

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)