So I have been sitting on these stories and waiting for the right time to share. This is a long post… but worth reading to the end if you want "the real story" :) Funny tidbit of info that is important in how I got some of this inspiration. I joined a buy/sell group or two or three… LOL... on Facebook…. I went hog wild selling all kinds of STUFF I didn't need anymore. It was going so well that I decided to sell furniture and redo a little here and there. After 14 years you get a little tired of same color schemes throughout… I am so proud to say I have redone a lot all with the earnings I have made from this site and it's truly made redecorating on a budget a reality. It has been SO fun! I know you think how in the world could it be fun… well… lots of these things are porch pickups and you don't meet these folks. But some are larger or more $$ items that cause you to need to let them in your home. So here is a brief recap….
I have met so many people! They were strangers. Many shared their stories with me. I can't list them all but can say almost all had a neat story and left an imprint on me and I hoped I left one on them too. I was so inspired that I begin to pray about these people I was meeting and wondered who God would send to me next…to buy my junk? I had a lady that was a 2 time breast cancer survivor, tattoo on her neck for celebration of this and also a double mastectomy. She bought pictures from me that said Faith, Hope & Love and said this was her new motto in life. Told me so much about her life. You would never have known to look at her. We had a beautiful visit and I quickly realized…this was going to be interesting. People want to talk and people need to someone to listen. Who would be next? Had several people with things that they shared but the one that took me by surprise was the one I wasn't expecting.
I also could see what other people on this group were selling and found a beautiful antique table and chairs for my dining room to become a project for me. I quickly jumped on this amazing deal and went to pick it up the next day. You have to be willing to pick up promptly cause there are lots of other people under you who want things you want too. This was the case for the table. So I left the littles home with my hubby who works from home and quickly drove just under 30 minutes to get there. I had to get on the person's Facebook page to send her a message and noticed her cover photo was an elderly woman looking out a window…. beautiful photo with the perfect lighting. Little did I know I would be at a beautiful 5 acre lot with a gorgeous southern style home with giant trees…(just what this mama would love) Extremely nice retired couple talked to me and told me all about this table. It was a project for her daughter and she didn't have time and need it anymore. It had been in their family for 70 years. All the talking was fun… but after loading up I noticed the time and felt like I truly needed to hurry home. Then I stood in the driveway under the giant trees with the breeze while God said… Don't be in such a rush…. just calm down and listen to this lady. This lady was amazing. She told me all about her 91 year old mother that lived with her and had dementia and needed 24/7 care. …. all which she does by herself. She tells me of how things are getting harder and she can't make it to the restroom anymore… how her and her husband can't go anywhere or do anything. The desperation in this woman's face was heartbreaking because she clearly had so much love in her heart for her mother and family, but was exhausted and it was wearing on her. So much so, that she would tell a stranger her story. I did have a few things to say to her and tried my best to encourage her.. but I knew driving away from this beautiful place… there was a lady inside that had a story she needed someone to Just Listen to her that day. It brought the reality of what life is all about …. Serving others.
We grow up and our parents serve us… they raise us. We have children and serve and raise them and then we get old and our children serve and take care of us until we are no longer on this earth. It's the cycle of life on this earth. God meant for us to serve and take care of other people. Not just ourselves. People need People. Listening to that lady that day made me realize we need to slow down and let the wind blow on us and not rush to the next thing. Take time to talk to someone. I had the opportunity that day…no kiddos to chase… no where to truly HAVE to be and God just said… just stay and listen for bit. I am so glad I did. This brings me to my somewhat of a closing in that… we never know what tomorrow holds…. stop and listen today… take time to serve someone today… make someone else your priority today…. I know this first hand because 8 years ago I didn't get the tomorrow.
I will never forget the Sunday I got a phone call right as I arrived at a friend's house to hang out… My Daddy was checking on me making sure I hadn't gone into labor with my #2 Emmie Lou. I am soooo glad I sat in the car and talked to him sitting in the driveway… because it was the last time I got to. The next day was Memorial Day and that night he would be in a motorcycle wreck. I didn't know until the next day May 29th. Only 53 years old when he died, but my Daddy had a story! I will carry him and his story in my heart always. It has forever changed my outlook on life and what matters. How to get through the hard and savor the happy. He set an amazing example with a story of his own imperfect childhood, persevering on in this life with a beautiful marriage and two daughters. He made mistakes, he conquered much, set his mind on something and did it to the utmost perfection, he supported me, loved deeply, worked hard, would give the shirt off his back for others…. But MOST of all… after all of life's failures/successes he came FULL CIRCLE and KNEW what MATTERED! That's what is so bittersweet about his life ending so soon…. Sometimes when you are living the life and doing what matters, you don't realize how much it matters until it's gone. Getting to have had conversations about this life with him in the end is what gives me peace 8 years later. Even though my heart was cut wide open…. my daddy's death is part of what has made me who I am. It's building me. Although I wish he could physically be here to help build me on this journey of life…. the loss of him is doing something of its own. I know he would want me to use it for my "story" in this life so that I can carry it with me…until I see him again.
Everyone has a story…. what's yours? I have one. But it's still in the rough draft…. I feel like I still have the chance to "edit" it….because I want it to be the "best story". I want my kids to know my story. I want God to help me proofread it. I want him to help me tell it. I want him to be my publisher. We all have a story, but I think for us to have a story to be told, we need "other people" in our lives to be the characters. No one wants to read a story about one person. God intends on our stories to be about us with lots of other people… listening to other people, serving other people, giving to other people, crying and laughing and celebrating with other people, sharing His Love with other people.
Until next time…you can think and decide what section of the library would you want your story to be in?
Here are a few pics of my Daddy…. pictures are such a story of our lives aren't they? I take a lot of pictures and love to look back. They tell the story of us and who we were during different times of our lives. But behind every picture is a "real person" that has a story…. If we all knew one another's stories… life would be a little more real at times huh?
a young one….. I can see me in his face.
So young and handsome!
Only my daddy would have an owl…..
I will see you again…. This is not where it ends…. I will carry you with me!
It's so hard to look at photos… because I feel like I could just touch him. I see behind those eyes and know how much more there was to this man.