Relaxing Sunday

Praying at the cross


I am sitting at home this afternoon, finishing up the laundry that I started yesterday evening when I got home.  I had a busy day yesterday, leaving the house about 8:00 and not getting home till 4:00 or so.

Every other Saturday, I make a 90-minute drive over to Topeka and visit a relatively new friend.  Her name is Jessica, and she is incarcerated.  About a year ago, there was a new person attending our church who had recently been released from prison.  His name was Justin and one day in our Sunday school class, he made a request on behalf of a couple of friends of his who were locked up in Kansas.  He asked if any of the ladies in our group would send cards of encouragement to these two gals.  I got with him after Sunday school and got their names and the address and after church I stopped by the store and picked up a couple of cards and I wrote to them.

One of them wrote back.  It was Jessica.  She wanted to know if I would be interested in being pen pals.  She was trying to turn her life around and go down a different path than what had landed her being arrested and put in jail.  She had turned to God and accepted Jesus as her savior.  She was attending church services, reading the Bible, and participating in Bible study groups.  I started exchanging letters with her and trying to be a support person in her life.

As we grew to know each other a little better through our letters, I found myself wanting to actually meet her.  So I asked if she was allowed to receive visitors.  She was in a temporary location until her trial, and the visiting rules only allowed for 20-minute visits, through plexiglass.  So I made arrangements to go over and meet her.  We had a nice visit that first time, even though we had to talk on phone handsets and could only see each other through the plexiglass.  I visited her a couple more times at that location before her trial.

She was offered a plea deal of five years.  She decided to take her chances at trial.  It didn’t go well for her – she was found guilty of dealing drugs and got nine years.  She does have an appeal in motion.

She was transferred to a facility in Topeka.  I started making plans to go over and visit.  The first time I visited, her sister and her mom were there as well. It was nice to finally meet them.  And it was nice to be able to give Jess a hug.  For the first few months, I went over about once a month.  At the first of this year, I started going over twice a month, every other Saturday.  Her sister and mom go on the opposite Saturdays, so she has a visitor every weekend.

I try to be a positive influence in her life.  We each do a Bible reading in between visits and then discuss what we read and what we learned when we see each other.  And she always fills me in on how things have been going for her and I share what’s been going on in my life during the past two weeks since our last visit.  I really enjoy our visits and I try to do all I can to support her.  I send her books to read, and I buy her credits to put music on her MP3 player.

One of the things that our relationship has done for me is help me realize how blessed I am.  I made some bad choices when I was young, but I was fortunate enough to realize I needed to change my ways and get on the right path long before it may have turned into an issue.

I continually hold Jessica up in my prayers and really hope that she will be successful in turning her life around.

I got most of my chores done after my visit yesterday – did the grocery shopping and most of laundry when I got home.  There was one load left to do, so after church this morning, I came home and cleaned the kitchen and started that last load.  Then I thought I’d get online and work a little bit on my website.  I really enjoy working online.  I love writing and sharing my thoughts on my blog.  I’m hoping that I can continue to learn how to manage it and draw traffic to it so that maybe someday, it will become a source of income for me.  I’m not looking to get rich overnight, but it would be nice to be able to generate some additional income.  This is something that I can continue to do for years to come – even after I retire.  I can’t imagine retirement with nothing to do.  I plan on staying busy!

I hope you have a blessed Sunday and a wonderful week!


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Julie Harris


  1. I have a friend, we met at GRCC taking early childhood education but she has some learning disabilities so I was always helping/tutor on my own. We lost connecting after I left to care for sister in law dying of cancer 2012. After losing my daughter 2015, I looked for her January 2016, we both have birthdays! Sent mail to two addresses, one was her mom and the other a few streets away. Well she got the second one and called me in days, the first one got forwarded from her moms house which was sold, becaues her mom died two weeks before my daughter! We hang out once a week, still help her with bills and for her sister too, who has ALS. She also has poor housekeeping skills, teaching her somewhat and she scrambles when she knows a visitor is coming, Me! It’s a charitable feeling, but we also share mutual grief after weekly counselling sessions and a friendship.

    • It always makes me feel so good to help others who need assistance. I think it’s important for all of us to support one another. Good for you, for helping this person. It’s nice that you reconnected and found each other again.


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