Impact

We never know the full impact we have…

Hello there, beautiful readers! Thank you for praying for our friends’ wedding. For those new to this blog, I asked for prayer last week for a family, whose only son was getting married just months after his father died suddenly of a heart attack.

The wedding was beautiful! True, there were moments that were hard, but the love that filled the place, not only from the couple, but all of the family and friends who were there to support, did it’s best to try to compensate.

Thank you all for your prayers!

At the reception, the groom’s oldest sister shared that as she was coming down the aisle, thinking, “I can’t do this”, she reminded herself that I was up there in front of her playing the piano, and if she could keep taking steps towards me, she’d make it. Awww. And make it she did!

I remember my own wedding, and the heartache I felt that my dad wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle. Instead, my mom did, and what an honor to me!

In addition to the flowers, one of my favorite parts about this wedding was their guest book. They had a Bible and some highlighters and asked guests to sign their name and highlight their favorite scripture.

Sorrow can be trampled by love!

Blessings!

SB

Please follow my journey! It promises to never be dull!

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Retrouvaille – a rediscovery

In my book, Masquerade, I recount, through fictional characters, the suicide of my neighbor, who left behind two precious children, just eight and ten years old.  The youngest, a beautiful girl named Lindsay, stole my heart.  When I still lived at home, I gave her piano lessons.  We invited her to make Christmas candy with us.  After my husband and I were married, we have her over to our house to do special things like make cookies, carve pumpkins, etc.

At some point, her father decided to move to Florida, and took the kids with him.  I tried so desperately to keep in touch with her – this was before cell phones and social media were really a thing, so I used to buy calling cards for her and send them to her so that she could call me “long distance” any time she wanted.  She never did.  I was never sure if the cards I sent even made it to her.  My heart was broken not knowing how life turned out for her.

As social media grew in popularity, I would search and search for her – she has a very common name, and I could find many of them, but never her. I even sent messages to a few, hoping they could confirm the identify to no avail.

On Tuesday evening, after my mom read my book, we talked about Lindsay. Ironically, just last week, my mom was going through some old pictures and came across pictures of Lindsay with her mother, and mentioned how she would love to be able to give Lindsay a copy of it – perhaps she didn’t have any pictures of her mother.

In the quietness of the evening, I thought I would try to google her again – after all, it had been several years since I had tried.  Low and behold, a Facebook profile picture popped up on my screen and took my breath away!  She’s beautiful!  I sent her a message to connect, and she responded right away, confirming that it was her!  My heart was overwhelmed with joy and I began to cry.  I was so thrilled to learn she’s doing well.

God is so faithful to the prayers that we have, even when we don’t realize it.   I have prayed for Lindsay and her brother for years and years and years, praying for a time we could be reconnected so that I would know how her life has turned out.  I am so grateful for a loving God who gives us the desires of our hearts.  Despite the difficult things we face in life, He is always there to help guide us.

We may face oppression in our lives, and there may be times when we feel like giving up, but I am here to encourage you today…. NEVER GIVE UP!  This is the reason that Masquerade was published – to share that message with hope to those who may not feel it today.

If you’ve already ordered a copy of Masquerade, I thank you with all of my heart, and pray that you will be blessed by its message.  If you haven’t ordered yet, you can order your copy here:

Order Masquerade Here!

Thank you, Jesus, for the wonderful answers to prayers – the ones you’ve already answered as well as the ones you will answer in the future.

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life – All rights reserved.

 

 

Restoration through Craigslist

I’ve mentioned before that one of my hobbies is buying things on Craigslist – I can’t really remember when it started, but probably a few years ago.  I think it started in the Goodwill  in our town– when my kids and I discovered that you can find a variety of awesomely vintage things there, really cheap – and it became a hotbed of project ideas for me.   My daughter tells me that it’s like I was holding my creativity in for so long that it’s all just kind of exploding now, like a kid with ADD. And I can’t finish a project without jumping in on something else – at least buying the raw materials, etc.

About a year ago, my mom told me that she wanted to get a new entertainment center for her tv… well, you know, people aren’t really using those much anymore, so they are plentiful on Craigslist – I said, “ooohh!  Give me a chance to find one for you on Craigslist”.   She said ok, but I think she thought I was crazy.   I got started right away, and it didn’t take me long to find an amazing oak entertainment center with these AWESOME claw feet on it.  It was located in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, which is kind of like a mini-vacation from where I live. Lol.   I contacted the owner and we made arrangements – it was the Thursday before Easter, and I had music rehearsal at church that evening, so I had to make the hour trip after work and get back in time for rehearsal (a tight squeeze, especially considering rush hour).   I asked for the dimensions of the furniture and measured my van, and thought it would be tight but would work.   I took a couple of screwdrivers with me, and a blanket, and set out on my trip.    I met the owner at her front door – a sweetheart of a girl, and together, we carried the entertainment center from her living room, out the front door, down the steps, and to the driveway where my van was parked.   I had all of the seats down, so we picked up the furniture and tried to put it in, and very quickly realized… it ain’t going.   We tried it several different ways, and I was thinking to myself, “oh my.. what will we do now? Do I have to carry it BACK into the house?  Make arrangements at a later time to come back with a truck??  What a bummer.   Just then, a guy in a truck stopped at the stop sign in front of her house and put his window down.  He asked if we needed help.   Normally, when someone asks me if I need help, my canned response is, “nah, I got it”.  Cuz I don’t really like to need help.   But I actually realized in this case, that I really DID need help.  ha.   So I just said, “yes, actually, I think we do”.    So he pulled over and got out – he was dressed in a fireman’s uniform – not the one they wear while fighting the fire – but their dressy one – he looked sharp.   He informed us he was just coming home from work, and was headed to his parent’s house for dinner.   (He looked to be mid-twenty’s, around the same age as the furniture owner).   After fiddling for a bit, he said, “you know, I think the feet have to come off”    (Ahhh, not the feet!   They were the whole reason I bought it).   “let’s look at how they come off”.   So we turned it upside down in her driveway, and, as it turned out, they were torq screws.  I had brought standard screwdrivers, but don’t’ even own a torq bit – neither did the owner.   So the firefighter says to us, “Are you going to be here for a while?”   (and really, where was I going to go?) “my house is just right over the hill, I can go home and get some tools”.    (Really?? He would do that??  how nice).  So, off he went, and the owner and I were standing there looking like damsels in distress.   We were laughing about the whole situation, and I said to her, “well, are you single?”   She said, “yes, actually I am, hahah”  and we laughed some more.   She said, “well, he IS nice guy, and we already know he likes to help people….. ”    I felt like saying, “I know someone who could play the piano for weddings”, but I thought that was pushing it.  Hahah.    So, in a few minutes, sure enough, he came back, with tools in hand, and took the feet off of the furniture – and it went right into the van.   I thanked him profusely, and off I went – I often wondered whether or not anything happened after that – I’d like to think it was the start of a beautiful relationship.  So, I brought it home, and started working on it that weekend – I made my own chalk paint (have you ever priced the real Annie Sloan chalk paint? Sheesh)   In just over a week, it was finished – and I was in love with chalk paint.  Mom was thrilled.     

ent center     ent center 2

I’ve made many CL purchases since then – most of the time, I take someone with me “just in case”.  One time, I didn’t have anyone to go with me to the town next to ours.  When I got to the address, I found it was an apartment building, and I was not super comfortable going inside by myself.   The owner of the object had just had surgery and couldn’t do the stairs, but was sending her boyfriend out with the object.   I texted my friend, Jim, who is a  cop in that town, and asked if he was in the area (he was on duty at the time).  I texted the address to him in case I went missing.  He texted back, “I’ll be there in 5 minutes”.    I said, “please no lights or sirens”.  😂 

Honestly, though, I’ve met all kinds of really nice people through my Craigslist purchases.  Last week, I bought these two awesome chest of drawers.  I don’t need them.  In fact, I have many of them.   But none are as cool or have as much character as these.  

 (I’ve been practicing some negotiation, too – especially since I don’t need them, I can offer really low price and if they don’t accept it, I don’t really care – and sometimes, to my surprise, they DO.)

On my way to pick up a CL purchase one time, I punched the address in my GPS (Google Maps on my phone) and it told me what time I’d arrive.  I had communicated to the owner via email, so I sent him an email to tell him what time I’d arrive.    I typed the email, “I should be there by 6:19, according to GPS”…   my phone auto-corrected the word GPS, so the email came out, “I should be there by 6:19 according to GOD. ”   hahaha     The guy responded, “you can’t miss the house – it looks haunted”.     Awesome.   And, indeed, it did.   Didn’t get a picture of it, but trust me.

As I look back on the projects I’ve completed, I realize one thing they have in common.  They started as junk and, through restoration, they got a new lease on life.   This similar to what Jesus does in our lives.   He takes the heap in junk that we are and restores us to an image of beauty for His glory. Indeed, no matter how broken, we can have restoration through Christ.

Revelation 21:5 Jesus says, “Behold I make all things new”.    

Copyright Journey-For-Life. 2017. All rights reserved.