crazy, weird, UNIQUE!

LANARA

Have you ever met someone that you instantly loved?  I’m not talking about couple love at first sight stuff.  I’m talking about the beginning of a friendship that you know will withstand the test of time.

Have you ever felt comfortable in the presence of another person within the first few minutes of your arrival?  Then, the longer you stay, the more comfort and peace you experience.  It’s a crazy awesome feeling.

I was so blessed to be able to meet Lanara Southard in Pensacola, Florida this past Thursday.  Not only did I get to meet her, but I also had the pleasure of experiencing her hospitality.  She is a lovely example of true southern hospitality.

Lanara is not JUST hospitable, but also very caring, loving, complimentary and full of JESUS’ love.  The latter, of course, is what leads to all the former.  With Jesus in her heart and the ruler of her life, she is able to show those around her such abounding love, it’s quite breathtaking.

She is one of the cutest ladies I’ve ever met.  I love to hear her tell jokes.  Her laugh is contagious.  Her energy is exhausting!  Seriously, she ran circles around all the others who were most graciously accepted into her home.  I loved to see her bounce from one task to another!  Such vigor and vitality!  Her husband Howard just smiles as she buzzes around.  He’s just as cute as she is!

She says charming little things like, “Heavens to Pete.” and “Hot as blue blazes.”

Lanara is such a GODLY example.  She has such wisdom and advice.  That makes her sound like she might be “old.”  But as our mutual friend Tammy says, “Not old, just older than you used to be.”  Lanara is far from old!   She has such wit, an enormous zest for life and a sweet spirit that makes you love her instantly.

She wants to be like Nehemiah (from the Bible), because he was an encourager and never gave up.  I’m a witness, she is ALREADY there!  She told me she was proud of me, that I was a thinker and she loved me while I was there.  Those were all such encouraging compliments and made me feel absolutely wonderful.  Words of affirmation are way up there in my love language hierarchy.  (www.5lovelanguages.com)

She shared many stories about the power of prayer.  She had many more, I’m certain she could have shared.  She said it’s important to have a lot of prayer and common sense.  What a statement!

She teaches a Sunday School class of a hundred plus women.  I was so honored to be able to be in her class. She said so many things about our victory when Jesus comes.  One thing I thought was the cutest and that which I will never forget: “When the horn toots, WE SCOOT.”  That gives me such joy and puts a huge smile on my face!

She fed us like queens, took care of our every need and allowed us to feel like we were in our own home.  I ate way too much and snacked on cashews so much that my body is going through withdrawals right now from not having a few today!

I know that everyone that enters Lanara’s life feels the same way I feel about her.  If they are able to be a guest in her home, I truly know they are blessed beyond measure!

Thank you Tammy (my friend who took me on this trip) for leading me to Lanara!

Thank you Lanara for being YOU!  You are a true inspiration!

  

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Comments on: "LANARA" (6)

  1. tammywhitehurst said:

    I wholeheartedly agree with EVERYTHING you said about Lanara. She is a gift from God!

  2. lovelimess said:

    Cute story. I love Insta-friends.

  3. Shirley bentley said:

    WoW Rita your blog is great…lanara will get the BIG head now!,,, LOL

  4. Felicia Fortune Northcutt said:

    It is nice to know that other people love Lanara and hold her in such high regard. I do, too, but I am a little biased. She is my aunt. She is a great example of a person full of God’s love, who shares that love wholeheartedly. Love you, Lanara!

  5. Cindy Morris said:

    Ah, I see you met our Aunt Lanara! She is all you describe. Isn’t our God good?!!! I first experienced Lanara’s hospitality when I married her nephew John and moved all the way from Washington state to Pensacola. John was going to Naval Flight School. It was my first time being so far from home and being away from my parents at Christmas time. I was so homesick … it was overwhelming. We lived with Lanara and Howard for several weeks until we were able to find an apartment. I so quickly felt loved and cared for by Lanara and Howard. She poured hours into listening to me and encouraging me. I would have never survived that Christmas without her and the rest of the Stewart clan. She and her sisters are all amazing women. Every time I see her, it’s always the same — lots of love and encouragment. I praise God for Lanara and for the body of Christ. 🙂

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