Friday, September 23, 2022

Holy Ground

Gary's kitchen chairs

The sale of our furniture continues although I am glad to be able to declare my task of merchandising is nearing an end. So much has sold that it makes my head spin. The largest, most valuable pieces remain. Unless somebody with $$ burning in their wallet calls, those special items will be picked up by a large consignment furniture dealer here in town. Arrangements for that have been made. 

antique bedroom mirror from my in-laws

The majority of my marketing has been to residents in this 55+ community, where people tend to have their basic furniture needs already met. Smaller necessities such as lamp and bedside tables, stools, chairs, and such are what these people often need to finish out their floorpans. And garage organizational furniture. 

This is my fourth move in the past 9 years. Although I have downsized in both square footage and possessions with each of these relocations, it has surprised me to realize how much I was still holding onto from the days when my household was made up of 5 people, two dogs, and a three-story house. 

Now while Gary and I are combining our households, it is very apparent as to how wealthy we are.  Now don't take me wrong, I'm not boasting about money at all. Not at all. I am instead overwhelmed at how many dishes, can openers, water glasses, towels and linens, lamps, and so forth -- how much we each have, let alone when we put his and mine together. 

My house is fast nearing empty and until it is sold, my biggest responsibility will be the yard work, primarily pulling the pesky weeds in the rock beds. I am grateful. It could be so much worse.

This week as I walked the perimeter of the foundation outside, pulling sprue, Bahia grass, and all manner of invasive, followed by liberal squirts of Round Up (yes, I use it religiously in self-defense!), I was reminded of a day when Beloved was in the hospital. It was a day when his doctor (a complete stranger to us who spoke with a heavy foreign accent and with whom my communications were limited to phone calls only) began to imply that the illness was terminal. 

I say "imply" because at the outset I was absolutely unprepared nor willing to accept anything definitive in the way of a bad outcome. 

Anyway, we had just got off the phone from the daily update when I decided to go outside to pull weeds. There was nobody else to do it, now that I was in the house by myself. If I didn't do it, the task would not get done and the home place would quickly look neglected.

I stood on the side of the garage, looking at the stucco and siding with the upstairs window above. It seemed huge. The realization was hitting me that I was probably going to be the sole person responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of this place. 

Hot tears of anger, real anger, welled up in my eyes, spilling out and rolling down, plopping onto my shirt. How could this happen, and more than that, WHY?!!!

I've walked with Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour since the age of 6. I have known it makes no sense to be angry with the Creator of everything and my Redeemer, but here I was -- genuinely angry. It was like a betrayal, and why? What good purpose could it possibly be to make me a widow burdened with a large house, a yard, more furniture, tools, and electronic STUFF than I had any idea what to do with?

Yes, I had family, but none any closer than 90 miles, all the others 5 hours to a three-day drive away and friends, yes, but I had not known any of them for very long in this new community. I felt desperately alone and abandoned by God Himself. It's a horrible feeling.

I knew God's abandonment of me couldn't be really true, but it's how I felt. Lost, like no other time in my entire life.

Holy Ground

That was November 2020. It is now a little over 22 months later. Today I stood in that same place where my anger had overtaken me but marveled this time at all God has done for me since then. I say "all" He has done for me -- I really don't know how much that is, but it's more than I imagined back then. 

Worship welled up inside of me. The God I don't understand and yet Who has been so good to me has preserved me, even profited me, and I am in a very good place.

Today the weeds continue to be a necessary evil requiring my attention, but now they are almost a comforting, practical occupation when I need to sort my thoughts. 

The Lord has brought people into my life to help me with the "impossibles" of those first days, weeks, and months. These people have done some things FOR me and other things WITH me, teaching me new ways of approaching challenges. 

My kids, for whom this whole grief thing has also been a shock and hardship, have done their best to do what they thought was the right thing. We have had bumpy times but the love remains because we are family and we accept we are all doing our best to cope. 

The people other than family who have come to my aid as friends, confidants, helpers, and even a new husband -- how the Lord has used them to get me through this is more than my words can express. 
They have been wonderful.

But most of all, God has been here for me. Why He took Beloved from me is unclear and really no longer worth wondering about. It's where I am today that needs my attention. I stand on the "holy ground" beside my garage, looking down the length of my house,  up at the window in the loft, and back down to the grass that requires upkeep ..... it's amazing what God has done for me.

The words from II Corinthians 12:9 were used to create a hymn; perhaps you are familiar with it. I listened to it on my phone yesterday while getting ready to face the day.

He gives more grace
when the burdens grow greater
He send more strength
when the labors increase
To added afflictions 
He adds His mercy
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

It was hard to apply makeup when tears were streaming down my face. The understanding that God has ministered to me exactly as these words describe is humbling and wonderful. 

Yes, I've made mistakes along the way, had to make some course corrections, and swallow some pride. But also I am stronger, more confident, a little smarter, and even a bit more skilled. I am braver, too. 

When the Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6 to not worry about anything but to pray about everything, let me tell you, that works! 

Until next time, grace and peace.


  1. Barb, your blog is always uplifting. This was a timely one💕. Sometime they’re cute or humorous, but so enjoyable.

  2. Barb, this is a wonderful testimony. Tears came as I read this and remembered those days with Beloved in the hospital.
    We don't always understand, but God is good.

  3. Prayers…when we sold my huge house…my son paid it off for me when I was teaching…we left the furniture…it sold at a great price in five days…we split the money…mine is gone living on it…I donated or gave away my gorgeous furniture..I do not miss one piece…the few special memorable pieces sit in the homes of the kids…I remember when Your husband died…prayers dear girl…

  4. Dear friend, yes to every word you shared here. We don't understand but one day we will. Trusting the Lord and giving it all to Him has been my strength and I know yours, as well. I went from talking to Joe about getting him home in a couple of days to being told to come in and sign a DNR because his life was crashing. Angry, yes. Afraid, yes. But also blessed by so many people in my life who lifted me up and keep lifting me up. You remain in my prayers! xo

  5. What a beautiful testimony you have given about the Lord's faithfulness even when you don't know the why behind it or when you felt angry, alone or scared. Thinking of you as you continue to navigate this journey, Barb.

  6. Such a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Wow, wow wow! You should write a book! Just beautiful.

    I started a new woman’s Bible study where all the women - there are 10 of us are widows except me and another gal. It really got me to thinking. My husband is healthy and still going strong at almost 66 but you just never know.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Hi Barbara, just a quick comment checking in. I have not been notified of your new blogs and bloglovin is totally absentee in sending me most of my blog subscriptions (disconcerting and I've taken it off of my blog) so I'm having to return to the old fashioned way of following blogs. I'll have to figure yours out in that way. I look forward to reading what you've been up to! : )

  9. Ok. Got your blog into my Readers List. : ) Now I can stay in touch.

  10. I planned to go to School n tomorrow…now my area evacuated…I am within walking distance but I am in an area with tons of condos and trailers…been through this but feel a little uneasy this time…hope your area is Safe…thankful son has a house that is safe.
    .this little condo.

  11. That comment was Brenda about evacuating…

  12. I'm thinking about you this morning and want you to know I hope and pray this storm passes us by with just some rain and wind. We are cooking some this morning and doing as much as we can to be prepared. Take care and be safe! Sweet hugs, Diane