sometimes the slowest days reap the most bounty in life lessons.
immersed in the repetitious work of scrubbing the porch, all saturated who knows how many years of memories and morning mugs of folgers and nightime firefly light shows, myself and sweet friend/mentor/sister Ladonna, armed with bleach laden paint rollers, chatted throughout the day, accomplishing what could easily feel like the most menial task.
despite the sting of clorox and oppressive humidity, the joy of learning from another woman with a few more years and exponentially more life experience than me allowed the hours to pass quickly.
the determination of a lady like ladonna on a mission is not to be underestimated and I re-learned lessons of thoroughness as we carefully wiped down every board, scrubbed even the unseen ceiling eaves, and weeded the all but forgotten flower bed.
ladonna shared with me stories from the scrapbook of her life, how she was raised with the tenacity of a farmer father which manifested into the grit of a high school teacher yet attention to detail of a professional interior designer and tenderness of the mother she would eventually become.
incredible what you can hear when you aren’t filling the air with your own hot air.
as the morning turned to afternoon, she continued to encourage me with her brave testimony. she shared with me that even though the years wore on, wore her out, and wore the scars of adversity, she persevered through fiercely loving her family and faithfully loving Christ.
sometimes the hardest one to love is the one with whom you share the same blood.
it has been said that you are only as holy as you are in your home and ladonna’s testimony of her unwavering commitment to loving “her people” provided me a true picture of this sentiment.
the evil one wants to trick us into thinking our behavior within our homes or how we treat our relatives does not matter as much as we love ‘the other’, ‘the oppressed’, or ‘the poor.’ oh what a delicious lie he would like to feed us, but this could not be further from the truth.
after all, our families are called our “loved ones” for a reason?
while living out the gospel in our homes and to our families may not appear ‘as glamourous’ as shoving our lives into the newest osprey, priming our passports, and moving to some far flung place to serve-within our homes may be the most important place to ever put our belief into action.
to look our mothers, brothers, sisters, and fathers in the eye and tell them we love them and follow up those words through kindness and faithfulness in our actions towards them
to resist the urge to snap back, prove wrong, always be right, or have the last word
to relish initiative, ask hard questions, truly I believe the gospel would/could/will spread like wildfire through this truth hungry nation
to realize our days are but a breath and we ought to be loving those around us with the love of Christ, not guilt, as our daily motivation
to rest in God’s grace when we fail, because we will, if you are anything like me, every day, maybe more than three times an hour
this is the venture that Christ beckons us upon- of daily sanctification and daring to love from our smallest sphere of influence outwards
this is the upside down gospel of Christ. as we are transformed from glory to glory it’s rarely in momentous leaps or showy productions or lavish accolades
instead, maybe the boldest thing you can do today is to love that person sitting across from you at the breakfast table and continue to love them over and over again
maybe you’ve forgotten what this looks like and need to start again. maybe you need to ask forgiveness or extend forgiveness to the one who has wronged you.
maybe all you need is to simply step outside, wipe down the old rocking chair, and see what you can learn, from listening to life shared on the front porch