Restoration

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

With Finley in my arms I walked to the neighbor’s house. Seeing their Class C motorhome excited me when I first moved in. Having explorers as neighbors is right up my alley! A cute dog (whom I’ve seen checking out my yard many times) was looking out the bay window. A beautiful tall lady comes to the door. Her name is Sara.

“My name is Karla; I’m your neighbor. This is my dog Finley.”

“I’m sorry we haven’t been over to meet you. We both had Covid as soon as you moved in.”

“I completely understand! Are you both better?”

And so we sat together. Finley, being curious as a cat ;-), walked around to investigate. Their sweet dog was in the kennel (I’m certain she and Finley’s friendship will bud with our trees in the spring).

Vern, Sara’s husband, shared interesting facts about them. The light and joy in both of them bubbled me up a bit more. Having spent 3 years on the road they chose to settle in our little town after health issues crept in a bit. We shared exciting stories of travel and of course, family.

Vern shared all about the little house I bought. “Would you like to come and see it?” We sat in my living room to visit more and concluded with shared sentiments. My home restoration turned out beautifully and we’re all happy to be neighbors and new friends.

My little house in my little town is home. And as I sit today with new writing goals (and a wonderful new coaching author/ publisher, Lisa) I have an overwhelming spirit of hope. I’m reminded of how restoration didn’t solely occur for my house; it happened in my soul.

My foundation is good. My walls have crumbled, floors caved in, and windows broken. Using the wrong tools, I’d try to rebuild. The material was all wrong. Each time I relied on the wrong general contractor. “This time it will be perfect! I’ll withstand any wind and storm and provide a place of comfort where I can be what God designed me to be!” Confidence was shattered and I felt I couldn’t do things alone. And the minute the house was empty, so was hope for true restoration. It felt like rejection each time. And so, like dressing a pig as they say in these parts, I’d find a way to build confidence and feel accepted. Slap some new paint and throw in some pictures-it would be perfect. And I’d use the wrong materials; I’d damage my own dwelling and disintegrate the diggings. For I only felt needed to provide for others. My abode felt abandoned.

Standing alone is never easy. If there are two, side by side, people seem to think you’re stronger or better. And so, tiny was my perfect life, and solo became my greatest strength. In it, I found the epitome of my existence. Quietly I’ve sought truth. In my small life I’ve never stopped dreaming. The days of my own childhood and motherhood no longer exist; but linger as the beautiful aroma that daily diffuses my dwelling and I’m gripped as a grandma. My own faith is deepened from the miracles I’ve experienced. My values, which have been my core, co-exist with my movements. There’s no need to make a home in a place undesigned for me.

Perhaps 2020 guided my grit to gridlock my goals. I’ve always had hope in a humanity without hate; and a fair shake for restoration for all. My life is quiet with music and words. And loud with love of God, family, friends, and of course, nature. There’s a knocking on my heart and front door. “Come in,” I say to my true General Contractor.

I’ve been restored.

Have faith💚

Adieu 2020

A year ago, I felt a stir,  
Unlike any I had felt before. 
To go along with what seemed normal,  
Fit with society, in terms of formal.
One might take a path that seems so right, 
Yet wonder why you can’t see the light.  
2020 was certainly a year of change,  
Everyone must have thought it strange.   
A darkness swept across the world,  
A pandemic was hurled; it swept and swirled.   
The lines were drawn with red and blue, 
Each side spoke out to chew and stew. 
In the middle I stood and loved those all around,  
And hoped that each one was heaven bound.  
Doors were shut, emissions went down,  
All the stores and restaurants closed around town.  
The spikes would occur and then down they’d go,  
In hopes of normalcy things started to flow. 
Some might say it’s been a record year,  
And the loss of so many still seems surreal.   
A new year is waiting to open its door,  
Will things be the same as they were before? 
Should you think there's a side that you must take,  
Let’s all be humane, for heaven’s sake.  
No matter what the new year brings, 
With faith, please cling and continue to sing.  
If music's not heard and hope starts to fade,  
Please think of good memories that you’ve already made. 
Someone loves you even more than I do,  
Without him, you would not be you.  
You may not believe- I love you anyway,  
May hope be your anchor is what I will pray.  
“Adieu to this year,” I whispered just now. 
“Happy New Year World!”-2020, PLEASE take a bow.    
K.L. Hale   

Last Christmas I made the decision to begin blogging. I was nervous; but the time seemed right.  And by January I was excited about the winds of change I could feel (did any of us forecast such hurricane force gusts?). 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
This is an excerpt from my journal-January 1st, 2020.  

“Really? It’s 2020.  I was quite sure we would all be flying around like the Jetson’s at this point.  Or at least I thought that as a little girl.  I knew life would be way different.  So many two’s-and the best-two sons, two daughters-in-law’s, and soon, two grandbabies.  And a new 2-digit decade for me.  Overseeing my own destiny sounds intriguing.  But this year I MUST heed to HIS calling.  I’m seeking wisdom with the year of my middle life. Lord, you know my strengths and weaknesses, you know my struggles.  You know my needs, wants, and desires.   You know the path I must take.  It’s to the place where I am authentically yours and yours alone.  And what resides there is my existence that reflects you.  Thank you, God, for your love, guidance, protection, and blessings.  “Listen,” you say.  “I hear you,” I reply.  I’ve heard you most in the quiet. And I’ll return to my small place to grow my grit and nurture my soul.  Lord, I seek you in everything I do. I don’t know what this year will bring.  But I do know this. Because of you I have the courage to begin writing.  I came up with a name for my site, “Flannel with Faith”.  You are telling me I can do this.  It is time.  It might be messy.  And I’m to stand amid the mystery and become more comfortable embracing it.  I can face it and embrace it.  But suppressing it is not good.  I no longer fear it.  Growth is slow and meandering.  And we grow through our trials.  And at times, pruning is necessary.  And endings can be necessary too.  Help me to remind others of their value, strengths, and abilities.  Guide my writing.  I pray protection over my family, loved ones, and friends.   You’ve given me the strength to step out.  For with you, I am never alone.   This is going to be a year of change.  The dreams I had as a young girl, that were wrapped in neat little boxes, have been taken down from the shelf and handed to me once again, just as you’ve done before.  They’re dusted off. “Open them,” you said.  2020, I don’t know what you’ll bring.  But I am ready.”

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

I dedicate this post to our fellow blogger, Bill Sweeney, (“Unshakeable Hope”) who finished his race and fought a great fight of faith since his diagnosis of ALS at the age of 36.  He lived 24 years longer than the doctors had given him.  He lived to encourage and give hope to others.  May that be an example to us all. Peace and blessings my friends.

Have faith 💚

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Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com