It felt good just to hear myself say the words and to hear her listening. She went on to tell me about a difficult situation she and her husband have been navigating with a third party. Immediately the magic happened again. We were entering into each others’ lives and caring and responding. It helped me to get my mind off of myself; pray again for her and also feel relieved of my sad feelings.
Helping Women Move From Fear into Faith
I realized today when I tossed those pillows on the swing that the way I’m wired hasn’t curled up and died. My gifts for gathering people and warming up our home so people will feel loved and welcomed. This is who I am. I just haven’t known how to be that person in a different place.
“Better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.”
It’s been nearly a year now since Shari invited all the neighbor ladies over for a party at her home. A party to say goodbye to me. I wasn’t the only one in tears that night. Honestly I was crying a lot last year. I didn’t want to move from our home or our neighborhood. But we knew God was pointing us in the direction of South Carolina, after a job offer had been made.
A few months ago, while waiting in a long line, I found myself listening to a conversation in a public place. There was mild irritation between a husband and wife who were disagreeing over a minor issue concerning a child. A mom, who wasn’t acquainted with the couple, commented to the wife that she was so glad she no longer had to endure arguing.
Today I took out an instrument of torture on the lovely path— the instrument I formerly referred to as my bike.
A funny thing happened recently. I looked in the mirror two days after my eye surgery and saw an unfamiliar face looking back at me. I studied my skin with all its splotchiness and thought, “The sedation meds must’ve had some weird effect!” I couldn’t imagine why my skin had taken on a different color and older look.
“Our house was not unsentient matter — it had a heart and a soul, and eyes to see with…. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out its eloquent welcome — and we could not enter it unmoved.” Mark Twain
Apparently God likes change. He seems to plunk us down in strange uncomfortable circumstances where life doesn’t flow naturally and easily. And maybe we can’t even find the toothpaste.
Recalling my childhood I don’t remember ever talking about feelings. The unspoken message was to be quiet and good. We knew our parents loved us unconditionally, but it wasn’t exactly in vogue to share feelings.
I like ruts. Sameness, ritual, routine. I don’t tire of the same coffee, the same neighbors, same food. I like living in the same house where our babies learned to walk. The house Tom built.
First prize for the Most Unwelcoming House (my conscience prevents me from calling it a home!) goes to one I saw last week. Of modest size, and plopped down in a pleasant little community, this place had no less than four large NO TRESPASSING signs.
I really do believe in setting goals. With hands wide open. What I mean is this: “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)