A Sack Half Full

March 8, 2012 | My Jottings

Early this week it snowed again for almost two days straight, and our area was blanketed in over a foot of new snow. The flakes were huge and there was no wind to speak of, so at times it looked like a huge goose feather pillow had been torn open in heaven and the contents just gently dropped over our region.

We have had a run of illness in our household, and I’m praying today is better. Three people had regular lower intestinal, er, displays, and one had several upper intestinal presentations. Thankfully, I have not been sick. I try to be diligent about disinfecting doorknobs and light switches and banisters, and I wash my hands a lot at times like this.

Last night we went to Chris and Sharon’s to celebrate Lil’ Gleegirl’s fifth birthday. It’s hard to believe she’ll be in Kindergarten this fall. She is one of the most cheerful, smiling children I’ve ever known. What a delight she is to her Grandma!

Today will be my sister-in-law Christy’s last full day with us, so she and I will go out to lunch for our last quiet visit together before she flies back to Tennessee. I tell her that our rare times together are “my mental health visits,” and that’s only half in jest. I think it was in God’s plan when He thought up the idea of friendship that friends could make life “half as hard and twice as good,” as the Sara Groves song says so well.

I plan to make a big batch of Panzanella for dinner tonight. If you haven’t made this recipe before, may I suggest you try it? I have served it to guests countless times and no one has ever not requested the recipe.

And as promised, I’d like to give away a book on the blog early next week. My friend Denel’s husband wrote a book, and it has already gone into its second printing because the first run sold out. The book is called A Sack Half Full by Jerry Duprez, and is a heart-wrenching and funny account of Jerry’s difficult journey through testicular cancer. I can’t recommend it enough. You might think that you don’t need to read a book about testicular cancer, but may I respectfully suggest that you do? There’s so much more to this story than the medical stuff — this book is about how God made Himself known to their family through tragedy, and showed Himself faithful to each one of them.

I laughed out loud while reading the book, and of course I cried, since I love this family so much. I want you to have a copy, so to enter for a chance to receive one, just leave a comment below answering this question: “What is the last book you can remember reading?”

You never know why you might need this book. Not everyone will experience testicular cancer or even be acquainted with someone who has it, but almost everyone will go through a difficult time in their life when they wonder why God seems to have forgotten or abandoned them. This book is funny, hopeful, humble and honest.

Comments will be taken until Monday morning, March 12th, and the winner will be drawn randomly at that time.

Thank you for stopping by, and may God bless you today…


  1. Helen in Switzerland says:

    Have a wonderful time with Christy Julie! Hope your household are soon all healthy again and that you don’t get it!

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Helen…I keep praying that I don’t get sick too. :O

  3. Patty says:

    Hi Julie,
    I am currently reading “Defending Jacob” with my book club. I will be suggesting your recommendation of the book above to them as well when I see them later this month. I understand I won’t be seeing you with the Yarnista over St. Patrick’s Day, I hope that we will get to meet another time. Hope that you have a peace-filled day!

  4. Just Julie says:

    Hi Patty, I will look that one up – are you enjoying the book? I wanted most of all to come to NY to meet you – I hope we will be able to meet sooner rather than later…. God bless your day too Patty….

  5. Kay in UK says:

    Hello Julie,
    You really have been having a rough time, haven’t you? But you made me chuckle with your phrase – ‘lower intestinal display’! I’ve had a few of those in the past and I just hope I never have one again. Those dratted migraines have been plaguing me again, although cutting out caffeine has helped diminish the nocturnal drenchings.
    The last book I read was ‘Mrs. Fytton’s Country Life’ by Mavis Cheek. It’s an aga-saga and very enjoyable it was too. Prior to that I read ‘Lying Awake’ (as recommended on your blog) and I found it a very peaceful and calming read. It didn’t make me feel depressed, as you feared.
    Love to you and yours ..

  6. Just Julie says:

    So nice to hear from you Kay…you’ve been on my mind. Thank you for telling me about the book you read – I’ll check that out. Also, I’m so relieved to know that “Lying Awake” didn’t make you feel depressed. Looking forward to chatting soon!

  7. sue raimo says:

    I just finished Still Alice, a novel about a professor’s descent into early Alzheimer’s disease. It had well drawn characters, raw and honest emotion about a difficult subject.

  8. Just Julie says:

    I read Still Alice too, Sue. I thought it was well written and so very sad, too. Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Christy says:

    As you know,(since I “borrowed” it out of your guest room) I am reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillebrand. Compelling and inspiring…..and horrible. Everyone should read it.

  10. Just Julie says:

    I completely agree with your words about Unbroken, Christy. And I think everyone should read it too. Missing you….

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