Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Never put a period where God has put a comma."

"Never put a period where God has put a comma. God is still speaking."
- Gracie Allen

Today marks three years…three years ago that Sara took her final breath here on earth and began her journey to eternal life in heaven.

During that last week as we were soaking in every last bit of our sweet Sara, one of the last things she said was, "I want people to continue learning, believing and trusting in God as I have tried to be God's disciple. BUT,” she said, “it's not about me. It's about Him. That is the message I want people to hear."

Sara wanted us to not put a period on this ministry just because she was no longer physically with us. She wanted us to use a comma.

May I have a drum roll, please…

So, my sweet sister Sara, on this very special and blessed day, I want all your friends – your brothers and sisters in Christ – to know that your special wish, the continued ministry after the comma, is going to come true! 

Your spirit lead discipleship and beautiful words of faith, joy and strength, are going to be published in the Fall of 2015, with the assistance of Faith Words publishing and your dear friend, Mary Carver.

Your words, your guidance to be intentional in all things…

This publishing journey that we have been on since 2011 has been intentional and, it's been all about Him – trusting, being faithful and patient, and saying yes – and it has brought nothing but JOY. We love you, Sara, and look forward to this continued journey, continuing to only use the comma and making it all about HIM. My prayer is that God will continue to give us an open mind, a humble heart, and faithful feet as we are intentional in walking this journey.

Stay tuned…more to come,

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Woman Making a Difference...

I would like to introduce you to a wonderful woman with an amazing mission and vision. Her name is Cookie Hopper.  Cookie lives with the same disease that our sweet Sara did, Ankylosing Spondylitis. Through the Ankylsoing Spondylities Association of America, Cookie became friends with people who understood her, and inspired her to do her part in helping people who are struggling with disease. She wanted to make her life with Ankylosing Spondylitis have a purpose.
One vision that she had, was to create a page called "The Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Our Sara, Gitz, face#038, was one of the people who inspired Cookie to create this page on October 8, 2011.  In Cookie's words, adapted and taken from the Wego health blog...
"The reason I decided to make my vision a reality is because of two people. A young man by the name of Stuart who was on our support forum. A bright young man who had his whole life ahead of him and lost his battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis ... Then, I came across a young girl by the name of Sara who was dying. She had ankylosing spondylitis and was under hospice care. I read her blogs, watched her change the world from inside her home, bedridden and knew that I wanted to make an impact as strong as she had...
I knew the only way that people were ever going to take Ankylosing Spondylitis seriously was to understand the impact that this cruel invisible disease does to people. We suffer from the stigma of "you don’t look sick." I want people to know who is behind this invisible disease, who are living in pain, depression, and isolation. I want people to understand what it is like to live with a chronic disease and be invisible, even to the doctors treating you. I wanted to make sure that my lessons, hardships and understanding while living with this disease make a difference in someone’s life. I want to know that my life with this disease was not wasted. My goal is, when the day comes to meet my maker, I will know in my heart that I did the best I could to my ability to make a difference."
Cookie has a personal birthday wish this year and has asked me to share her wish with anyone that I thought would have an interest. So, the first people I thought of was all of you wonderful friends of our Gitz!  If you are interested in reading more about Cookie's birthday wish, please click on the link below:
Thank you in advance for your continued love and prayers...and for Choosing JOY!
Much love and blessings to each of you from Sara's family!

P.S...Keep praying...we are working hard on publishing Sara's book! :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Choose Joy

Hi, everyone --

First of all, thank you so much for your interest in the Gitzen Doodles Postcards! It has been so fun hearing from all of you and how you are continuing her ministry by sharing her story and talents with others! From the bottom of my heart Thank You...and I know Sara thanks you as well. :)

I have been working a lot on the Choose Joy Women's ministry that I mentioned in an earlier post. It is coming to reality with a date set for kick off on January 10th. What a blessing. Thank you all so much for your prayers.

As I have been working on this ministry, I re-watched the sermon that Pastor Christian Watts did on "Choosing Joy when Life gives you Lemons." He did such a great job using Sara as an inspiration on how to Choose joy in spite of the "lemons" in our life. I am re-posting it for anyone who would like the reminder.

May God bless you today and as we continue to wait for Jesus' coming during this season of advent.

Choose Joy!


Monday, November 11, 2013

A Living Prayer

As I sit here tonight reading through some of Sara's posts for a potential book, I came across one titled "A Living Prayer," and I felt a need to share it again with each of you. Sara wrote that her wish was to be remembered as a Living Prayer.

Sara's joy was contagious, people felt her compassion in both words and deeds, and she was determined to make a difference. Sara was a voice of encouragement and a source of comfort. Sara truly was a living many...and still is!

Another goal met...

Love you sis!

A Living Prayer

Ive never really given much thought to the type of things I want people to say at my funeral. I tend to focus more on how Im living right now and hope that how Im remembered falls in line because of it. That changed a bit this August when Eunice Kennedy Shriver passed away.

In a statement by the family, they described her as "a living prayer, a living advocate, a living center of power. She set out to change the world and to change us, and she did that and more."

I have to tell you, that phrase has stuck with me… to be described as a living prayer. Growing up Catholic, where tradition and posture are a part of worship, my mind went to imagining the actual appearance of a living prayer. I tried to imagine what that might look like in a tangible application, but I couldnt. Ive decided that kind of a life cant be seen in a look or a stature.

What Ive decided instead is that it would be found more in the reflection of others when they are touched by you. It would be seen in the joy that others would find contagious, in the compassion that others would feel in your words and deeds. It would be found in the empathetic nature of a stranger and in the fortitude seen in those who are determined to make a difference. The kind word for no reason, the intentional way of listening, the hand outstretched to give and to receive… the voice of encouragement, the touch of comfort, the openness to share in word and deed… all of these things must be what a living prayer looks like to others.

All we can really do in life is be open to what God needs from us, to be aware and present in our circumstances so we are available to step up when called. Its a daily choice to make this a way of life… but I have to say that now, choosing how I want to be remembered is helping me choose my daily actions.

I want to be a living prayer.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gitzen doodles -- Postcards

Hi, everyone...Laura here...

I have heard from many of you that there is a continued interest in Sara's canvases...

Well, before you get your hopes too high, I don't have canvases to offer you, but I do have an alternative. I have taken Sara's canvases and developed postcards.

My daughter Becca attends Siouxland Community Christian school, and is fundraising for her senior trip. I thought it would be fun to combine the two interests. Continuing to provide each of you with a piece of our sweet Sara, and support our schools fundraising.

I have created packets of the above 5 postcards into a variety pack of 10 (2 of each card). The packets also include envelopes. Each pack of 10 cards are $21.75 ($20 for the cards and $1.75 for shipping).

If you are interested in ordering postcards, please email me at and let me know how many you are interested in, along with your shipping address. At this point I am only able to accept checks, but if these become a hot item, I'll look into setting up a paypal account. :)

Thanks in advance for your interest and support!

Blessings to you all.


Friday, October 4, 2013

To Alex

I have been reflecting a lot this week. Our family is going through another first. An awesome and exciting first...

The oldest grandson/nephew, Alex, is getting married! Remember that little nephew that Sara has told stories about...
alex tada bw
Yes, he is getting married today, Friday, 10/4.

My thoughts have been focused on what would dad and Sara be doing and thinking...what would they say to Alex on this big and important day?

Dad, a very fun, loving, wise and kind - hearted grandpa, would be doing his share of joking and teasing, only to then get serious with the advise he would give to both Alex and Danielle.  He would talk with them about love, respect, communication and most important of all having God at the center of their relationship, at the center of their marriage. And then, he would probably throw in another joke that would turn them both red, put a smile on their face and love in their heart.

Sara, a very proud Aunt, would be their biggest fan. She would be full of excitement and pride, as if Alex was her own child. Sara posted some words of advice as Alex, Anna and Thomas started college a few years ago. In her post she stated that life is, "... a series of relationships that shape us and others in profound ways."

One of those relationships for Alex has been profound and has shaped him...Alex met Danielle... I think Sara's advice on the lessons we learn are still relevant as Alex prepares for his new life with Danielle...

"Be who you are and don't compromise yourself for anyone. But don't shut anyone out just because they are different. Love them. Listen to them. Meet them where they are at and be who God meant you to be ... an extension of Him in the lives of those around you. And have a lot fun while you do it.

In marriage, you fall in love with someone because of who they are, so continue to be who you are, love each other, listen to each other and meet your spouse where they are at. Be who God means for you to be to each other and as a couple. If you are an extension of Him in this new journey of life with your spouse, your marriage will be blessed!

And, don't forget your Grandpa and Aunt Sara are still there if you need them...just talk to them. Any time.

They love you and so do I... All the way around the world, into the heavens and back.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

In memory of our Sweet Sara "Gitz" Frankl...

I thought you might enjoy this video we played at Sara's wake.

So many beautiful memories.

So many reasons to be grateful.

So many reasons to miss her so!


Thanks to each and every one of you for all your prayers, love and support!