I'm pretty bad when it comes to going to a doctor. It's not because I'm scared to hear bad news, but more because I'm scared I'm being a big baby and nothing is really wrong with me. Recently I dislocated my rib. At first I thought it was muscular. As the day wore on, the pain went from my back all the way around to my chest and arm. I have to admit, with my family's history of heart problems, I wondered if I might be having a heart attack. I was relieved to find out it was only a dislocated rib, but that didn't make the pain any easier. It was such a comfort to me to have women who went through the same ordeal have compassion on me. To tell me they felt the same way when they went through it. They remembered and they understood. Their kind words brought a sense of relief, that maybe I wasn't being as big a baby as I thought. There have been seasons in my life where my health was in question and as I tried not to worry, as I prayed and sometimes cried, compassion wasn't easily found. There have also been seasons of heartache~ deep hurt by a loved one, the death of my best friend and then my mom. Days where I didn't want to get out of bed, days I wished it was all just a bad dream. Sometimes I think when we are in situations like this, people don't know how to respond because they have never been through it themselves or perhaps they have been through it but never received any compassion from others. I have heard remarks like "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" or "I've been through all that before" and sadly even~"we all lose loved ones, it's a fact of life". Something God has shown me in each season of sickness and heart ache was how very important compassion for others is. The Bible teaches us~of some having compassion, making a difference. When we are going through a sickness or health scare, perhaps waiting for results of a biopsy ~or even a silly dislocated rib, let's ask our Savior to give us opportunities to show someone compassion that might be going through the same ordeal. Perhaps it might not be physical pain that we are going through, but emotional. A broken marriage or the death of a loved one. A season of heartache that almost seems unbearable. Remember the pain that you felt, the tears that you shed, the resolve you thought you lost and then remember the kind words of an encourager, the eyes of understanding and the heart of compassion someone had for you. Don't allow yourself to forget, because one day God will send someone your way who needs the same from you. Look for opportunities to show compassion to others, even in the midst of heartache. That person sitting next to you in the waiting room, that heartbroken wife who feels like the weight of the world is on her shoulders now. The mother who can't find the words to say to her children. God can use you to give hope to others who think they have lost all hope and compassion when it feels like it is nowhere to be found.
Many of you may not be looking forward to tomorrow, maybe even dreading it. With every little reminder comes a stab of pain. Commercials on TV along with cards and gifts in every store. Fathers Day. I know there will be some that will wake up tomorrow with a very heavy heart. God has certainly blessed me in allowing me some very precious time with my dad this past year. Time that not everyone was allowed. Some of you have lost your father in the last year. Perhaps some of you have never really had a father figure in your life. Some of you have lost your children's daddy. Death may not have been the cause. Heartache in losing someone comes in many forms, not only death but perhaps divorce or addiction, maybe even unfaithfulness. So yes, tomorrow may not be a day of celebrating an earthly father like you might wish, but it can become a day you teach your children to celebrate their Heavenly Father. To allow your heart to open up to a love you might not have thought possible. An unconditional love with no boundaries and with no expectations except one~give Him your heart and allow Him to love you and take care of you. Don't allow a day with a title to dictate your joy. Choose the love of a Father that gives joy and peace you didn't think possible. A love that will never leave. A love that is a constant. Show your children your Heavenly Daddy and teach them how His true, sacrificial love can change their world. Turn your sorrow into celebrating tomorrow. And if your daddy or your children's daddy is celebrating with you, hug them tight~not just today, but every single chance you get. We may not know what the future holds but we can know the love of a Father who holds that future. 💗
Yes, this is my home. Yes, some of you may look at these pictures and think...hmmm 🤔, but there's a small handful of people out there that are just like me. You get it. When visitors walk through your front door, a few things might run through their minds..."whoa!", "what in the world?", "do they really live like this?...I could never live like this". How about~"where's the couch and TV?" 😂Very few understand the passion of decorating early and most people think it's nuts. My parents have always loved antiques and they instilled that love in me. They started with a few pieces here and there and ended up with a saltbox home that looked like you stepped back in time to the 1700's. My love started in college, with a little bit of country primitive. Slowly through the years, because of my love of history, my decor changed over to the Pilgrim era. I couldn't help but fall in love with it because of its reminder to me of our country's humble beginnings. I can remember pouring over magazines and cutting out pages of homes I loved, dreaming of how amazing it would be to one day have my own home decorated just like the ones in the magazines. The few of you who do understand the passion know it's hard to put that passion into words. To have the sun stream through the early morning windows and hit a piece just right can capture a beauty that stirs your soul. The rest of the world probably just thinks~ crazy. That's okay, I know God gave me this passion for a reason and I want to be sure I use it for His intended purpose. My decorating style may not be "Fixer Upper" worthy and that's okay too. If you think about it, we are all "fixer uppers"~ homes with a soul. Homes where Christ wants to live. Homes that need a lot of work. That need cleaning and renovations and love. Homes that can be changed into something immensely beautiful through Christ, and where His love can shine from every window. Each of my children decorate differently, all in their own beautiful way. None of them have caught the pilgrim bug like I have, and that's okay too. You see, we are all different and yet Christ loves us all the same. He's wants to live in our heart's home and one day He wants you to live with Him in the best home ever~ heaven. It won't be a "fixer upper". It will be a home that far surpasses any dream house you could ever own. Today, as I reflect over the last 20 years and look at the things God has blessed me with, my heart can't help but be so grateful and realize just how very much my Heavenly Father loves me. He saw fit to bless me with things I only dreamed of and if He can love Charisse so much that owning a Turners chair would delight her, how much more love does He want to bestow on us? The love that would send His only Son to a cross for us. That much love. For that, I am forever thankful.
One of my daughters exudes energy from the moment she gets out of bed. She takes after her dad in that area. Unfortunately, my other three children take after their mother 😂 It doesn't matter what time I go to sleep at night, I can get 10 hours of sound sleep, but first thing out of bed? Don't talk to me until I've had at least 2+cups of coffee~i.e. noon. 😂 Just kidding (but a little serious) So I stumble out of bed and downstairs to pour my first cup. My husband (bless his heart) gets up at 5:30am every day to drive a bus and always makes himself a few pieces of toast before leaving. Inevitably, every morning, even in my grumpy state of grogginess, I notice that there are crumbs EVERYWHERE (I'm a little OCD about cleaning. That's another devotional in itself) and as I'm wiping down the counter and floor (before any coffee, mind you) I am muttering to myself~'I could make a whole loaf of bread out of the crumbs he leaves behind'. Why do we as humans, and especially women, tend to look at the bad in situations instead of the good, especially with those we supposedly love the most? God had to really nudge me over this. In fact, He nudged my heart so hard that I almost fell over. I was cleaning (again) and as I washed our telephone down He brought to my mind all the times my mom would come to stay with us and how somehow she always managed to get makeup caked on my phone during her visit. It would drive me crazy. I would wonder how in the world that was even possible and yet, today I miss it terribly. I would give anything for her to be here getting makeup on my phone. The next morning I looked at those bread crumbs a little differently. I thanked God they were there. I thanked Him for a husband who gets up so early to provide for his family. I thanked Him for a husband who loves me so much that he tiptoes downstairs so I can get an extra hour of sleep. I thanked Him for all the thoughtful things my husband does on a daily basis and purposed in my heart not to let the little things that irritate me outshine all the amazing reasons I love him. When your heart tends to focus on the bad (which is way too easy to do after 30+ years of marriage) ask God to change your heart, not your husband. Take the time every day to thank him for at least one thing you love about him, even if you feel like you can't think of anything at the moment 😂. God will show you the man you fell in love with and before long you will be thanking Him for those bread crumbs too.