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!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Following Christ. Finding Joy. Fulfilling Dreams.

My dear sister Sara...

On September 24th, it will be two years.

Two years since I have been able to call and talk to you.

Two years since I have been able to see you and give you a hug.

Two years...

I have been trying to figure out why I have been feeling more emotional lately...Why do I feel like something is just not right?

Then it hit me. I felt the same way last year at this time. We are coming up on the anniversary of your death. Your journey to meet our Heavenly Father. It is amazing how those events can affect us, automatically, without us even realizing it.

In James1:2-3, Jesus says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

Even though you are no longer with us on earth, I continue to learn so much from your amazing life. What is means to truly choose joy... My prayers have always focused on living a life that is reflective of Him and the path He wants me to walk. And then, faced with the trial of losing you and dad...
Little did I know, I was barely touching the surface of my walk with Christ. Little did  I know what "pure joy" and "trials" truly meant.

One of the last things you said to me was that you want people to continue learning, you want people to continue reading the messages you have written...but, you said, they must know, "It's not about me, it's about Him." That's the message you wanted people to hear.

Hope... Romans 12:12 says, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

In your post from April 29, 2011, you wrote 5 minutes on "If I knew I could, I would..." In that post, you wrote, "If I knew I could, I would write the book everyone says they want." 

I have been joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer... I am working on getting that book published. I am working on getting your words... your words that have touched so many people, your words that came to you through Jesus...published. 

I am also trusting and finding joy in fulfilling a dream of continuing your discipleship through the development of a choose joy women's ministry. I am a bit nervous and overwhelmed... I am walking into unknown territory for me. But, I want to be intentional, I want to be patient, I want to be faithful in following the calling.

Being intentional...those words continue to run through my mind. If we are intentional about talking to Him, listening to Him and walking the path he has laid out for us, we will find joy and dreams will be fulfilled.

Thanks, Sara...for choosing to be intentional, for choosing joy, for choosing to witness to us. As you and dad are now so close to Jesus, please continue to guide me as I walk this journey...into unknown territory. :-)

All my love...your sis,