Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Old Homestead

My husband has always loved history and visiting the battlefields, history museums, and reading every plaque and card about each display. I, on the other hand, love to be set free from the past. Not that the past was bad, I just like doing something new and making new memories. 

The travel to the locations has always been the adventure for me, not always the destination. But the older I get, I am beginning to see the truth, not only in the future or the present, but in the past. The clear, cold fact is 'time stands still for no one.' 

We took a trip not long ago to my 'old' home place. Yes, it was old then, being built in the 1800s by Gen. John Coffey. But it was a place of grandeur in it's day, a big, white, southern home sitting upon a big hill, overlooking the Tennessee River. The bricks were painted white to match the columns and the tall ceilings were to keep it cool in the hot Alabama summers. The long, tall windows could be opened to let the night's breeze from the river come through the house. 

While we drove to Jackson County, AL, fond memories of working on the farm and in the garden with my mama and daddy flooded my mind. I grew more anxious to see the home and to walk around the big yard, where Denny and I had played croquet when we first met. 

The closer we got, the more anxious I was to see who might be living there and to meet them and share stories of the home. I was hoping to walk to the old cemetery, where the Coffey family was buried down from the house. 

When we pulled up into the driveway going up the hill, we could only go so far because of the grass and weeds literally came up over the bumper of the car. We got out and started walking the path I did as a teenager after school, up the hill. Step by step, my eyes searched the skyline for the roof of the house, gleaning for some sign of life. 

When we walked into the yard, my heart almost fell out of my chest. There in front of us was nothing but ruins of a broken down house, with windows out, bricks falling off, doors hanging on by a single hinge. We walked slowly up the crumbled path of concrete that used to be the sidewalk. 

Entering the home, it was if I had stepped back into time in my mind, but my heart and eyes told me different. Time had passed and this home was no more. 

As we looked closer, there were few remnants that showed us that everything here was man made. The bricks had been made by slaves in a pit near the river. The walls were built four brick wide, but still did not endure time. The once beautiful hardwood floors, made by hand, were now rotten and falling through, the cabinets my daddy had built were falling off the walls. 

As we walked around to the back, the garden that mama and I worked so hard in, was now filled with thistles and thorn bushes so high they were above our heads. The barn was falling in and too dangerous for us to try to enter. 

Time on earth stand still for no one. Look closely in the mirror and you will see for yourself. Look around, this earth has time and that time is passing quickly. Everything we own is made by man, nothing is going to last forever. 

There is a place called heaven where there is no time! The scripture says 'I go to prepare a place for you' which makes me think about time there. There is not going to be a big grandfather clock inside, there will be no alarm clocks going off, no daylight savings time, no time zones, but it will be a place where there will be no night, which means no time.

"Night will no longer exist, and people will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever." Rev 22:5 (HCS)

I look forward to going to heaven for several reasons. One of them is not having to be somewhere 'on time' because of appointments or meetings. 

We live here on earth, because we have been given life by the creator. We each have an allotted time here on earth. "From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.' Acts 17:26 (HCS)

Let's use the time given to us to the fullest, serving and honoring Him. Let's not become like the house we found, grown up with weeds and collapsing within ourselves. Lean on Him everyday for strength, courage and inspiration. Lift up your hearts, past time, to the One Who gives us hope, knowing when we pass through time we will see HIM. 


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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Practical Friends

I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it. A daddy who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. They worked hard to make a living and, at the same time, enjoyed life. Even in the tough times, my dad had a joke to create laughter. 

I can see them now, Dad in work pants, shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, broom in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress, things we kept instead of replacing. 

It was a way of life, and  sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating leftovers, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more. 

Now don't get me wrong, I never knew we had needs, always felt we had plenty. But just once, I wanted to feel it was ok to get rid of something.

But then my mother died, and on that night,  I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. Sometimes in the darkest hour, the truth slowly reveals itself. 

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return.. So... while we have it..... it's best we love it.... and care for it... and fix it when it's broken......... and heal it when it's sick. 

This is true. for marriage....... and old cars..... and children with bad report cards.....and aging parents..... and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep forever, like a
 best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special........ and so, we keep them close! Good friends are like stars.... You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.  

You are probably thinking of those friends now, let them know you care by telling them. Don't let time pass you by and then have regrets. 

Enjoy life now, do it while you are able and ready to see what else is out there! It is ok to be wasteful, but only if it can be replaced. True friends cannot be replaced! 

Love to you....all my friends!