A True Picture of Community

by Dawn Oaks on December 4, 2016 · 3 comments


Earlier this afternoon, a farmer from a mile down the road came up our way to share that one of his calves had gotten out.  Unless you are a farm family, you may not understand or appreciate what that may mean.  It might be a cherished pet, but more than likely it might be the money to pay an outstanding medical bill or be the very meat that will feed your family.  When a farmer hears of a cow out or some other issue on a neighboring farm, there is no need to think about what to do.  You just go help!

The boys pulled on their boots and were gone before being asked.  They spread wide knowing how to corral a calf that was enjoying it’s new found freedom.  They knew they had to act smart since this calf outweighed them and could out run them.  One can not underestimate the craftiness and danger of working with animals.

Our property was the closest so the calf was herded into a lot outside our milk parlor for holding while the owner got a trailer down to our place to load it and take it back home.

So what is the big deal?  Are we heros? NO. but that is just it.

Community is being able to understand the struggles of another and just doing what is needed to treat that neighbor as you would want to be treated yourself.

I felt compelled to sit down and write as there is so much that is being done and seen in our own nation in the name of “Community”.

There is so much that may be called Community, but is so far from it.

Community is not beating someone because they have a different skin color (and no, I don’t care what color the skin is of the attacker or the victim).

Community is not setting fire to personal property because you disagree with how someone voted.

Community is not waging war on the police officers that are just trying to enforce the laws that the American people put into place through their personal votes or those that they put into office.

Community is not forcing your own personal values on others to the point of destroying their business, places of worship, or homes.

Community is not about self worship, but putting others before yourself!

There is no greater example of this type of love than what Christ did for us in coming in flesh as we commemorate His birth at Christmas and His ultimate sacrifice and gift at Easter.

So let us not lose hope, but return to the greatest commandments given to mankind.


Let us love God first and each other more than ourselves!

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Blessings and Meanings in Names

by Dawn Oaks on November 7, 2016 · 0 comments

With each pregnancy, my husband and I chose our children’s names with purpose; for us, carrying meaning was critically important.  This should be an indication of the intrigue and excitement with which I approached the opportunity to review the Name Meaning products from CrossTimber.  Our family received a free Personalized Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse. The challenge with this review was in deciding what name to have included on our personalized plaque.

Finding Meaning in a Name

As our children have grown, we have shared with them what we knew of the meaning of their names and why we chose each.  Our boys have Biblical first names and we could therefore do searches in the Hebrew for their meaning.  Our second oldest, Michaela, was given the female version of Michael, which means One Who is Like the Lord.  Our oldest daughter, however, is named after my mother.  Her given name is Rucia.  We had no idea what the true roots of this name were when we named her.

My mother passed away when I was a young teen.  Her legacy has lived on decade after decade because of her beautiful character and the way she touched lives in a special way.  It was this essence of who my mother was that drove us to select it as our first-born’s birth name as well. And selfishly for me, it was a way of keeping my mother alive into future generations hoping that the stories that we share of who she was would continue on to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.



Pure and Compassionate: Beautiful Friend; Bringer of Light and Truth


WOW, WOW, and WOW…. I honestly have no other word.  To see these words associated with the very meaning of my mom’s name was like closing my eyes and soaking in an embodiment of who she was.  It is literally bringing tears to my eyes to even read those words as I type this post.

We strove to find meaningful names for our children with a hope of who they would become.  I never considered the meaning of my mom’s name, but my hope for our oldest was that she would encompass the character I saw in my mother.  To find in hindsight that who my mother grew to be was in actuality the very meaning of her name was an incredible blessing!

This review that started out as a nice, sentimental gift became so much more.  It came to signify a confirmation of a life lived well and a name so rightly chosen for a woman who was filled with the best of intentions and integrity; compassionate; an incredible friend to many, and a true bearer of Light and Truth as she shared her passion for her Savior and Lord. It was like having a piece of her back.  So much so that I am seriously considering hanging this plaque above my desk as a reminder of who my mom was and providing inspiration to me on days when it is hard to be compassionate, one of integrity, a loyal friend, and someone ready to point others to the True Light and Truth that makes the rest of life worth living.

The Rest of the Story

Parenting can be one of the biggest blessings in life, but it can also be hard.  When our children were small, I used to joke that as soon as I figured our children out they had the nerve to change.  Little did I know how the challenges in parenting would change as our children grew into young adults.  Young adults who would need to wrestle with life and test their own beliefs and convictions before settling into who they were.  You see, I would guess that my mom was not always the person that this plaque exemplifies.  I know that I am not who I was years ago as a teen and young adult.  Life has a way of changing and defining us over the years.

What does that have to do with a plaque.  As a parent, I have come to realize that the value that I see in a name is more like a prayer uttered in hope of who my children will someday work out their convictions and beliefs to be and not a guarantee of who they will become.  Who they will become is between them and God, but in bestowing a name upon my children with meaning I convey to them a heritage of hope of character of what holds significance to me as their mother.  A legacy from my heart to the words that they will scribe each time they place their signature on a document of importance.  Each time it pops up on their college paperwork, their driver’s license, their marriage certificates, and maybe someday their children.

So, I share with you the meanings of each of their names asking that you join me in praying that as they grow they will learn a little bit more about their mother’s heart as they see the meaning and significance in their names that were so specially selected for each of them at the time that their dad and I met them for the first time face to face.

Rucia – Pure and Compassionate: Beautiful Friend; Bringer of Light and Truth

Michaela – One Who is Like God: One of Exaltation and Praise

Zechariah – Yahweh has Remembered You: One Aware of God’s Presence

Joshua – Yahweh, Our Salvation: One with Messages of Truth


There are not enough positive words to give meaning to that name as well.  What a company!  When considering how to use the credit we were given for a Personalized Name Plaque, I had the opportunity to chat with John, the owner of CrossTimber.  His passion for finding the meaning in names and the heritage and significance of them is evident throughout each dialogue and conversation with him.  He shared with me not just the meaning of the my mother’s name, but shared the meaning behind each of our children’s names as well as my own.  I think I forgot to even share with him my husband’s name or I am sure he would have joyfully researched it as well.

Once I determined which name(s) to focus on, it was fun going through the website in picking out the background for the plaque and considering other options, such as an upgrade in the frame or other types of products that would have the same name meaning on them. The ordering process was easy and seamless.  You really can’t find customer service better than what I experienced in working with John at CrossTimber.

By the end of the process, I felt like the actual plaque will be cherished, but the blessings I received went much further beyond this.  It touches on the legacy I bestowed on my children through their names in the things that I hold dear to my heart and hope that they will always remember me by as well.

Thank you, John, for a fantastic experience that will carry meaning in our family for what I hope are generations to come.

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

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