Some days God sends us a gentle reminder, even to strong overcomers like Ann Blakely

Some days God sends us an unexpected sign, even to strong overcomers like Ann Blakely

By Patty Hullett
For the Mirror

Exodus 14:14 – The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Psalm 46:10 – He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Ann Blakely and her husband Don live in the Midlothian outskirts in a more rural setting, where their lovely home sits on two acres of land. Ann, 70, seems to always be on the move. She loves to hike and enjoy nature. She volunteers at All Star Equestrian in

Burleson, where she helps special needs children learn to ride horses.

After going through a number of personal hardships, a couple weeks ago, Ann was reminded of God's faithfulness in a unique way — on an old tree stump. 

A photo of Ann Blakely's "treasured find" - a cross In the wood of a rotting tree stump she found among the debris on their land while cleaning.

Bible Leader for the “Cracked Pots” ladies’ group

Ann faithfully attends her local church every week, Creekside Church of Midlothian. There she often serves as a welcoming “greeter” and heads up a popular Bible Study for over 30 ladies who come from all parts of the Ellis Country and Dallas County areas.

Several of their Tuesday morning group (“Cracked Pots” as they lovingly call themselves – the name serves as a reminder of being God’s broken vessels in need of repairs) are not even members of Creekside. They come from all over, but find themselves involved in a Bible Study with women who love, support, pray for, and enjoy each other’s company.

And that’s where the teacher and mentor of the group, Ann Blakely, comes into play.

As an intelligent and gifted speaker and instructor, she leads her ladies as a Christian role model for all to see. Rather than getting up in front of the group and looking down upon her audience, Ann may be the chief example of “brokenness” herself. She shares her abilities in overcoming hardships in such genuine, heartfelt, and graceful ways that the women are awe-inspired by her words and actions at every week's session.

Ann, like Job, keeps on trusting God

On Jan. 4, 2018, Ann’s 4-month old granddaughter passed away in her crib in a rather unexplained and mysterious way. 

About a year later, Ann’s daughter Amy — who had lost the first baby girl — and her husband successfully conceived another baby to love and make their lives complete. However, after some strange complications at almost full-term into pregnancy and being rushed to the local hospital, both Amy and her unborn daughter passed away on Sept. 29, 2019.

Ann had experienced such an unbelievable amount of grief within a two-year span, that her Cracked Pots members were astounded by her continuing her job as their instructor and showing the ladies how relying upon God’s strength and power, that He can help carry you through the most terrible of circumstances.

From left, Linda Thompson, Ann Blakely and Elaine Culp as they present Ann with a homemade quilt.
Elaine Culp, upper left, and Ann Blakely, right, admire the gift of the quilt.

A couple of months ago, her Bible students decided to show their love and appreciation for all she does for them. Two of the Cracked Pots – Ms. Linda Thompson and Ms. Elaine Culp – presented Ann with a memorial quilt, which featured unique, creative “squares” as prepared by each one of her Bible ladies from her class roster. She was so overwhelmed and touched at the group’s Baby Shower event for Waxahachie’s FirstLook program, that she broke down and cried.

God sends a reminder of His faithfulness

Then, something very interesting and thought-provoking happened to Ann a couple of weeks ago.

She admits, “I had been having a particularly bad day, and this reminder was just what I needed that day. I had the tedious job of clearing out some debris on our land, and I came upon a very treasured ‘find’. It was an old, mildewed and withered round tree stump – in the middle of some of the bushes and tree debris that I was cleaning out that morning.”

Ann immediately shared what she had found by getting on her computer and sending a photo of the old tree stump out via social media. She relays, “I found this old tree stump rotting away with the most wonderful reminder that Christ is in EVERYTHING…....the renewal of the soil, as well as the renewal of our lives. Very pronounced, in almost the middle of the tree trunk, is a vivid white cross.”

After she shared the photo, she received many comments about her new-found treasure:

Pat Smith: “That’s God talking to you.”

Lois Stone: Pardon the pun: “When stumped, look to Jesus.”

“When we feel cut down, stay rooted in the Lord.”

Jane Wilemon: “If that isn't straight talk from the Lord Himself, I sure don't know

what would be!”

Robin Montalbo: “That's definitely a message from God.”

Friend: “What a wonderful Find! God can leave a message anywhere or just a

reminder that He's alive!

“I check on that tree stump every day," Ann says. "I am watching for the changes as it continues to rot and become part of the nourishing earth again.”

And one of her favorite quotes that she lives by daily is: “You can’t wait till life isn’t hard anymore to decide to be happy.” This sentiment is Ann Blakely in a nutshell.