Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Lesson Learned

I had the most interesting day today. I'm not sure you'll think it so, but I did. I learned a lesson today that I don't want to forget. Be patient, I'll get to it.

It's been really hot here for a couple of weeks. Really hot. Did I say it's been hot here lately? As much as possible I've stayed in because even though I hate the cold this heat has been rough. Earlier in the week I visited by phone with an old friend - I haven't seen her in over a year but we talk once or twice a month. She always asks if I'm coming her way any time soon; it's about an hours drive for me and I do go occasionally to run errands there that I can't do here. I told her that I'd try to come up today and would stop to see her. Yesterday I tried hard to back out of it. It's hot for heaven's sake. I kept telling myself I didn't need to go, my errands could wait, gas is so expensive, it might be cooler next week. But when I got up this morning it was just on my heart that I wanted/needed to see her. So off I went.

Now I don't want to be all pious or self grandizing or anything. Before I went to visit with her I went to the quilt shop. :) I found a perfect color fabric for the backing to this quilt. And a couple of fat quarters. Or five. It could have been five.

And I also stopped by a store that was advertising they were buying gold. Do you think this might have been a pawn shop? It didn't look like one and I've never been in one but it could have been. They only had jewelry though. No guitars or bicycles or televisions or stuff like that. Do you know the price of gold now? Good grief! I had some broken necklaces, a couple of single earrings (I think earrings are like socks - something must eat just one!), an anklet and ring I bought in the Bahamas years ago and never wore (I just can't see an almost 62 year old woman in an anklet, can you?), you know, odds & ends. They paid me $275 for that stuff that was broken or that I hated or hadn't worn in 10 years! I am rollin' in dough! I digress.

Then I went to see my friend. We talked and talked and talked for an hour and a half without breathing I think. I always go to see this friend and she never comes to me because there is an Interstate Highway connecting us. She has a terrible fear of driving or even being in a car on an Interstate. You see, her precious 29 year old daughter died on a highway just like that one about 10 years ago. Today we/she talked and talked about her daughter; things she said, the kind of person she was, what her friends said about her, things she had said to her mother before she died. That kind of stuff. I think maybe there are a lot of people who won't mention her daughter by name in their conversations, who don't give this precious mother the chance to talk about her child. It's really easy to be apprehensive about mentioning someone who died; we don't want to bring up painful memories. But the thing is, those memories are always there whether or not we bring them up. When someone mentions my mother or my dad to me I might or might not want to talk about them, but I'm always grateful that they are mentioned because I haven't forgotten. No, I haven't forgotten. Apparently, today my friend was ready to talk. I've never lost a child and, please God, I pray I never will. But I know that I would never want my child to be forgotten. I would want to know that people remember and have loving thoughts about my child. The lesson I learned today is that sometimes God nudges us to do things and we don't realize it's Him nudging us. I didn't know that she needed a visit today but God knew. And He loved her so much that He prodded me to get up and go. I stalled but He persevered. Isn't He just amazing?
P.S. If you think about someone today and think, "I ought to call her." then do it. Just do it. If you think about someone today and think, "I wonder how she is; I haven't talked to her in a while." Call her. God might be nudging you too.


Eve said...

That was wonderful that you listened to your heart. So many times we get that feeling but just pass it off.

I think the next time, my sister in law comes over, I will talk to her about her wondreful husband who died a few years ago. None of us really talked about him because we were afraid of hurting her or stirring up memories.

Mourning them is one way we honor them. Remembering them is another. We should talk about them.

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Hi Marlene, you are such a good friend, she needed someone to talk to and you were there.
I had heard about the gold, I told my husband we should cash in our high school rings and some things that are broken. I don't think I could get my high school ring on my little finger....
Your apron exchange partner, Sarah, did so good. It's a cutie.
I'm fixing to post my purse.
Glad you found your backing, that one will be pretty.

molly said...

I think you're right. Sometimes when we feel unwilling or unable to do something generous or kind, a little push comes from above. And we're usually very glad we made the effort.

Lori said...

What a great day for you! There are so many times that I grumble and groan about "having" to go do something or see someone because I don't "fee like it" but in the end I'm so blessed by it. It sounds like you were too and think of the lift it gave your friend.

Finn said...

Hi Stitchin', I just linked over and believe it or not, have forgotten where I came from...LOL
No matter. You have a lovely blog, and the post is a touching one.
So happy you took the 'nudge' and good things came to you as well as your friend. If you'd stayed home you wouldn't have those new FQs or the handy-dandy cash!! And you probably brought more happiness than you'll ever know to that dear woman. Thank you for being such a good friend to her and a thoughful person. We need a lot more of that in this world today. Hugs, Finn

Grammy Staffy said...

Dear Marlene,
We just got back from our trip. I haven't even unpacked yet... but I had to stop by and say hi to you.

I'm glad I did.... what a sweet post... and I agree with you... I know that God uses us to comfort and bless others. I don't always act on it when I get nudged....but when I do I am always glad... I try to be in tune with His spirit and listen when he prompts me. Thanks for your example.

Lindah said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and lessons. I think you are so right that avoiding the subject of a lost family member does not make the loss go away. Sometimes the grieving one does not say anything because she/he does not want to make us uncomfortable. We need to communicate... And as you so wisely pointed out, we need to hear and respond to that still, small voice brings things to our attention...a person to pray for, a person to visit/call/drop a line to. Through experience and age, I'm learning to pay attention to those nudgings/promptings. Don't want to miss an opportunity to be a blessing to someone. Thank you for blessing us with your post today.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! And soooo true!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we need someone who is willing to listen to our stories, problem, griefs over and over and still understand -like the first time they heard them. I'm glad you were there for her!

Teresa said...

Your blog today brought tears to my eyes. I can't begin to imagine the grief and loss of losing a child, but then to also not be able to share memories of that child would just be so sad. You are a good friend and thank you for reminding us to listen and respond when God speaks in that quiet voice.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You almost lost me when you started talking about "fat quarters" (not sure what they are, but it made me squirm a little), but then I read about your friend and the loss of her child. I do believe it's important to allow people their voice as it pertains to memories of loved ones. I always try to ask. More often than not, they jump on the opportunity to talk about the loss.

5 years ago, one of our neighbors lost a son that was the same age as mine (13). Every year, about this time, I send her a card to let her know I'm thinking about her. We don't live in the same town anymore and weren't close as friends, but somehow, I think it's important to her, so I will continue for as long as the Lord prompts. He's used you today to bring it, once again, to my attention.

Many thanks, Marlene, for tending to the Spirit's promptings and for visiting your friend. You've been his hands and feet by doing so. May we all have the sensitivity to do the same.


sister sheri said...

Thanks for the encouragement... it was worth sharing your day with us!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Your post is beautiful! Yes, we all have our moments and hope to have someone who truly understands to be there for us. I also wanted to visit, as I never have, and to congratulate you for being July's winner! Have a wonderful weekend! Petra

Raquel said...

Wow! Beautiful quilt! I am sure that you made enough off of the gold to more than pay for your trip, shopping and all! God is soooo good to us! Much love - Raquel XO

Alexandra MacVean said...

Marlene, thank you for such a good post today and reminding us to not ignore the little tugs in our heart for others.


Mary L. Briggs said...

A wonderful post, Marlene! Thanks so much for reminding me that God does 'nudge' me to talk with or go see people sometimes.

I agree that it is just totally too hot~and it's getting hotter the next two days!

Stay cool,


Unknown said...

Fabulous encouragement~ as always, my friend!

Is it hot where you are??? :)

Anonymous said...

What a great post - Marlene. I am so proud of you for listening to God --- something I need to do more often in my own life.

Gayle said...

Hi-I came across your blog while reading Pat's today (birds nest on the ground). I appreciated this post so much. I am also a volunteer hospital chaplain on leave now. I worked with dementia patients for 3 1/2 years and decided to take some time off but will return at a later date. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your posts.

Alexandra MacVean said...

Good morning. Wishing you a super Saturday! :)

Aunt Julie said...

What a sweet, sweet story! Your post today tugged at my heartstrings...and I LOVE the quilt!

Lelia Chealey said...

This is so good Marlene! 18 years ago my friend Jennifer was killed by a drunk driver. On her mom's b-day. 2 miles from her childhood home. Was horrible. Still is, but thank God she was a believer. For all these years I always call her parents on Dec. 16th, the date of her death and on April 6th, her b-day. Just wanted you to know I just left them a voice mail after reading this post. So, thank you. You encouraged me to call them on other dates beside just those 2. They do love to talk of her though.

Love you Marlene!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marlene,

Thanks for the kind words on my roses. It is actually my first ever rose bush. I hadn't dared to venture actually trying to plant one had it not been my husband's encouragement. :)

I hope you are staying cool... we are hitting 98 degrees today!

em's scrapbag said...

Way to be a friend! There is a quote I like and I can't remember who said it off the top of my head but it goes like this "God hears our prayers but it is usually the hands of another that he answers them." You were probably an answer to prayer.

Christine said...

I love everything about this post.

Southern Lady said...

Marlene, what an inspiring post and what a dear genuine friend you are.

I ran into a friend in the grocery store a while back and asked about her infant grandchild who was born with all kinds of problems, and she said, "Thank you for asking. Most people don't."

I guess it's natural for us to feel uncomfortable about talking to someone about a loved one who has died, but your beautiful story helped us see "the other side of the coin."

Thank you for sharing it.