…as for me and my house…
From time to time, I think we all get in a funk. Depression creeps in on us and we can’t quite put our finger on the reason. Be honest with yourself. You know you get those little melancholy moments. It may be a result of an overly taxing work environment. It may be from being the primary care giver of an aging parent or newborn child, with little or no break from the constant demands. For some folks it truly is a disease. The reasons are as numerous as there are people.
Mankind was wired for stress. It’s where the “flight or fight” instinct kicked in for the Neanderthal. Because of stress, he either fought for his food or became food. Stress in and of itself is natural. It is how we deal with it (Or how we let it deal with us?) that often brings us down.
Me? I rearrange furniture. Last Sunday night I was rearranging my bedroom at 11:30pm. Couldn’t sleep. Got up and started moving furniture. Yesterday morning before I left for the office, I was again moving furniture … at 6:30am. Last night I had some friends over for dinner and Bible study. They arrived and caught me rearranging the living room. One commented, “You rearranged the furniture in here last month when we came. Are you okay?” My reply was, “I rearrange furniture when I get depressed. I hate this furniture.” I whined, “It’s not mine. It’s a collection of leftovers from my husband’s family.” To which her comment was, “But it has stories. I’d love to hear them.”
So, for the next few minutes we went from room to room. “This is the guest room. See that four post bed and highboy? That was my in-laws. They purchased it in the early 30’s when they got married. Oh, this is a picture of my mom and dad when they were in their teens.” My friend commented that my mom was very pretty and favored me. I rubbed my hand over the picture and commented how my son has a lot of my father’s features.
We moved to my husband’s man cave. “That dresser and chest of drawers was the first furniture we purchased when we were married. See that iron bed? Remember the story I once told you about Ms. Trudy Bean insisting I accept her $40 gift when I was out of work? That’s what I purchased with it. We had a waterbed at that time that had ruptured and was not repairable. I was able to buy that bed and a mattress set from an auction house for the $40. I had plans to refinish it one day. As you can tell, that day never came. See that little dressing table? I’ve had that all my life.” I looked around the room and remembered other stories, but didn’t share that the patchwork quilt was hand stitched by my mom; or the metal desk came from a junk shop and we had to bring it up stairs in pieces. I remembered laying on my back underneath it to place the screws in the back of it because my husband was too large to fit in the openings where the drawers were to go.
Back in the living room my friends start asking about each piece of furniture. “Oh, that was my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine. My son broke the fly rod on it when he was 13 or 14. That other cabinet was my mother’s sewing machine.” “Do you sew?” my friend asks. “I used to.” “See that drop-leaf table? My husband refinished it when he was in the eighth grade. His mom gave it to us when we were married.”
We moved to the master bedroom. “See that corner unit? My husband made that for me for our previous house about 25 years ago.” ~sigh~
House tour over, we moved back to the kitchen to finish getting dinner on the table. We sat around the table talking and sharing things on our minds and prayer requests on our hearts. My spirits were lifted.
I came home for lunch today. I went and sat on the couch that I said I didn’t like. Somehow though, today, it took on a different feeling. I sat there just looking around the room, remembering the conversations from the previous evening. As I did so, I began praying for each person or situation that was connected to the memories. I thanked God for the stories that are woven into the tapestry of my life. I lifted the prayer requests that were on the hearts of my friends. I lifted many of Whisperings Of Grace readers … the gentleman who is celebrating a birthday this week, the parish nurse, the EMT, the pastors, the bee keeper, the Bali blogger, many others…all whom are also adding to the tapestry whether they know it or not.
As I pondered the memories, Grace whispered, “And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.” Deuteronomy 8:2
And you know what really got my attention? It was forty years ago that I gave my heart to God, that I totally surrendered my life to Him. So, now when I feel a depressed mood coming on, I can walk through my eclectic house of memories and praise God for each one, counting them a blessing.
How about you? Have you given thought recently about the memories that are woven into your tapestry of life? Who are the friends who help lift you when your spirits are low? Take a moment to reflect and thank God for them and the memories.
…we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for friends who stick closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Thank you for our brothers and sisters in Christ who help lift us when we get discouraged. Thank you for those who pray for us. Father, thank you for the memories of those who have gone on before us, and those who are with us making memories that weave the tapestry of who we are. Thank you mostly for Jesus who calls us friend. He said in John 14:2 KJV – “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Father, God, we look forward to the day when we may walk through those rooms with you and share the many memories they will hold. In Christ name we pray. Amen