Oh yes, It’s time for a History Lesson. [Part One]

Got your paper?
Got your pencils?

Alright sweet followers. It is time to get your cup of coffee or tea, whichever you prefer. I like both personally. Curl up and get cozy, get something to munch on and prepare yourself. This so called history lesson is actually about myself. HA! & You thought you were having a secondary school flash back! Just kidding! I promise I won’t do that to you.

So there is thing called my story. My story is very unique and fits me well. I have always enjoyed the beauty in the not so normal things. Every time they catch my eye and make my day a little bit brighter. I don’t want you to know my name, I want you to know my story. Alright so here goes.

My story actually started more than TWO decades ago, and yet I still don’t feel that old. What a blessing! My story even started before I was born. It’s interesting and might even provoke your curiosity and imagination. Nevertheless, it’s a roller coaster my friends. Crazy, I know! But it is the honest truth. Grab your beverage, some munchies; the reel to this real life film is rolling. Here is your front seat & VIP pass….for free!! lol

Well my parents were actually married when they had JUST graduated high school. High school sweethearts! Yes, I know! Let’s just stop and say, “Awww!”  They were precious and so in love. My dad was the ultimate rebel, riding all over town in his Camero and my sweet mother was a straight laced beauty. What a match. I feel like everyone goes through their “bad girl’ or “bad boy” phase. It really is inevitable.

So they made it past the newlywed stage and here comes my older sister. Just living in a quaint & cozy little house next to the river; the perfect life. My mother was diagnosed with Epilepsy sometime within all of the joy of having a family. Epilepsy is just a fancy word for someone who has seizures. The seizures can be at any level and different strengths. It was recommended that my mom NOT have any more children because of her own health and the potential baby’s health, especially with her on neurological drugs to tame the seizures.

& time goes by. Then some more. Eight years to be exact.
Then out of the blue my mom starts having flu like symptoms and goes to her family physician. Low and behold, she did not have the flu, she was pregnant. What a shock! I mean she had lived so long with a family and was settled into that family scene. But the Lord knew that the family was not complete! But wait…she was still on these powerful drugs. She was still epileptic. That’s not something that is going to disappear during a pregnancy.

But my mother was set on giving this little human… life.

My mom took the doctor’s advice and went off of the medicine, but by this time she was a month or two into her pregnancy. Oh the hype of a new baby overwhelmed my mom. A woman from a family of seven was very excited to grow her family a little more.

The pregnancy was going well until this one particular doctor’s visit. My mom was about 4-5 months in. The tech found something abnormal on the ultrasound. So a few other ultrasound tech’s and the doctor came in and re-did the ultrasound. Every woman’s worst fear- an unhealthy baby. The conclusion from the professionals was that my mom was pregnant with a baby who had had hydrocephalus.

Hydrocephalus is a neurological disease/ physical defect. Hydro= water, Cephalus=brain. This baby had water on the brain in the cerebral cortex, which is located about the nape of your neck. One of the ventricles was blocked. This disease causes very graphic physical shapes. The obvious physical trait is the swelling of the brain, which makes the head about 3-5 times larger than what is considered normal. The mental capabilities would just be nonexistent. Six in ten patients with Hydrocephalus die. The doctor’s prognosis was that this baby was not going to live beyond two years old.

My mom was devastated. She wondered if it was because of the medicine that she had been taking. She contemplated if there was something wrong she had done in the pregnancy. But mostly she was wondering why me, “Why would God chose me to carry this baby?”

So she went home told my dad, they cried together. They went round and round with questions and thoughts about money, insurance, & who was going to take care of this child who would be physically and mentally retarded. Then she told my family then friends, who were also just shocked. All of them gave advice about what to do now. Some of them were very supportive in progressing with the pregnancy, some were already thinking about infant mortality, and others suggested the hush hush word of abortion. No one knew what to do and nobody had any answers.

This was just a journey my mom had to walk down by herself and her body. Ultimately any decision was solely in her hands.

{Sorry…but this story WILL be continued at a later date.  BUT while I leave you in suspense, I really hope that you have enjoyed it this far.}

In love & inspiration,

KSL

Always Wanting More or Is It Less?

My heart is in such a soft place tonight after a weekend of things to think about. I have kept coming back to the same theme.  Over and over again. I keep thinking about the type of people the couple from the Estate Sale (previous post) were.  Were they tall or short? Did they read before the went to bed? Were they hairy or bald?

But thinking of those things just led me to a heart wrenching question. Does that really matter? Hum. Does it really matter what their physical attributes were? Well, does it matter what their bedtime habits were? No, it doesn’t. None of it matters especially after hearing about these two sweet people who had been married longer than my lifetime. They really just outlived their bodies, because their stories are still here. Stories that their granddaughters have about coming over and having tea parties on the good china, then learning how to pray, and reciting the 23rd Psalm for the one hundred and twenty third time. Stories about the people that they had met, the people they showered their love upon, and of course the people they had impacted.

Thinking about this couple brings tears to my eyes. And for a girl who does not like to cry, tears are a big deal. All I could think of was what my life looked like standing beside theirs. Here we are believing the same things, but living them so differently. They would save money for month long mission trips and I save money for needless Goodwill trips & furniture. They saved money to support international missionaries. I save money to support my fast food and Olive Garden addiction. They saved money to give it away and I have saved ALL of my money… for myself. What a selfish. Selfish girl I am.

I had spent two solid days with this sweet couples family and seeing how much of a minimalist life that they had and how enjoyable it was. They were so against materialism. Yes they had nice things, but never once did they not use it for the fear of it being broken or ruined.  I mean I spent TWO days with them and STILL walked away from that sale with a flatscreen TV, 3 books, and a vintage leather glove (yes just one). None of which I need.

So all weekend, but mostly late last night I have just really searched myself, my desires, & my reasons for living the life that I have up until now. Basically put I am a financial slob. And yes…I have heard of Dave Ramsey lol. I am also a “treasure” horder. Oh yeah, I know I just said the dreaded “H” word. No this version is the tame one especially compared to the way TLC likes to portray them. I have collected RANDOM things since I was in elementary school!! I seriously used to collect pencils. (Yes I know, SUCH a nerd!!) Then I collected beanie babies, then back to barbies, then legos, and the list goes on. I have not gone through ANY of that stuff in like 5 years until last night. Last night was just a night of a broken woman seeing her sin for what it was and the weight of it. The Lord just wanted to show and confirm my heart that he really is working in it, but anytime God does anything with our hearts it is just overwhelming. Last night was such a blessing though. The Lord was opening up my eyes to what he sees and healing my heart’s brokenness. Last night the Lord broke me and my “wanting the world & everything it has” in more ways than one. I think I am on the road to becoming a minimalist, which my bank account will be happy to hear as well as my cluttered room….and yes my car as well.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~Matthew 6

The Lord is ALL that I need. He is my portion today, tomorrow, and every day after. This may seem like an easy lesson for some of you, but for this one meaning myself it goes straight to the core of myself. I have always blamed my collection, treasures, and shopping sprees on my prospective future/career: Design! I mean you need a little bit of everything to appeal to ALL of your clients. You know, it’s all for the DIY pictures and the portfolio! But Lord remind me always that YOU are enough, you are more than enough.

Now it is time to surrender all that I have collected and MINImize everything that I have. So back to sorting and giving away. The more I get of and out of this house, the more my heart radiates. The more I give, the more I receive. The Lord is loving me through all of this. His love is much more than me having comfort.

John 3:30- He must increase, but I must decrease.…..Less is More. Lets not seek His hands, but seek His FACE.

I want my life to be much more than the things that I have and more about the people I POURED every ounce of my life into. I want to be remembered for not what I have, but for what I gave. I want to live a life like Jesus. After all he was a homeless man who still gave it ALL away, including the very breath in His lungs.

So my prayer is that we will consider their own lives and own hearts. What treasures are you storing & Why? What are you saving money for & it is worth it? What value will these items have in 5,10,15+ years. Think about it. What do you want out of this life? A life full of self and wordly treasures or a life full of others and a Kingdom that awaits you. Eternal glory far outweighs them all.

In love and inspiration,

KSL

Kenya and Afghan and Japan, Oh My!!

Today was an interesting day. I was asked to work an Estate Sale across town. So this morning I wake up bright and early, grab a cup off coffee and hit the road. The commute was 45min. so I was already behind. I should know by now that I need to prioritize time, but all who know me know that I am horrid at time management. I come from a long line of procrastinators, delayed, and stubborn women. What can I say? I’m proud of my roots.

So the whole ride there I could not stop thinking and imagining the vintage jewelry and the antique furniture and the old bound books and the sets of china and this and that, until I was overwhelmed by the possibilities. Yard Sales, Estate Sales, Garage Sales, Goodwill Sales…basically anything that says SALE! is what I break for and honk at. I’m a sensible chick who loves a bargain, but I have 5th Avenue taste on a Goodwill budget. What person wouldn’t like getting something for a discounted price? I mean think about it would you rather pay full price or get the same item for less?? Yes, my thoughts exactly. I mean we are all trying to save the green or as you would say the “cheddar”.

Finally I arrive at the sale & walk into the place. It was definitely not what I was expecting. Where were the massive pieces of furniture? Where were the jewels? And my goodness where were the vintage clothes?? I kept a smile acted surprised…well I kinda was, said hello and then went on an expedition. Most people travel all across the world to foreign lands with different dialects. I wouldn’t ever not want to travel and explore there, but I have to say my most rewarding expeditions were done in a Goodwill store. I have never walked away empty handed, without treasures, or been disappointed. I am not for one second ashamed of my centsible shopping. I am more than willing to teach you how to bargain and think everyone should shop at thrift or consignment stores. As they say small businesses boost the economy. “Buy local, stay local” is a good motto.

Anyways let me tell you about this Estate Sale. I got to hunting and saw that the rooms were themed!! Yes I said it. These people were WORLD travelers!! I walked right INTO the Africa room. Oh my my, was I ever in awe. There were gazelle skins, a cheetah tail, wooden masks, masks out of reed, ivory knives, tusks, wooden artifacts/novelties, wooden hand painted tables, Kenyan fabric, spears, shields for hunting, items from the Masai tribe, and an Elephant’s FOOT. The bottom of it’s foot had been taken, treated, and dried. Oh my it was huge but gorgeous in its design. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but it just looked like dry desert ground. All of these things came from their travels. & As the daughter told me, all of these items were NOT from Pier One or Home Goods. All of these items were purchased in Africa. They came from all over it; east, west, north and south.


          
       

There was also an Asian room…but my heart did not jump at most of those items. My heart belongs in Africa. I will say though her collection of vintage purses, clothes, textiles, & shoes were remarkable. Such an eclectic woman. We would have been friends.

The sweet couple who had passed (which is why they were having a sale) had actually lived in ALL of the places the items had come from. The husband was a doctor and his job enabled him to take a month off of work EACH & EVERY summer after they were married and settled into their jobs. They were missionaries wherever they went. They had traveled to Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Lebanon, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Japan. Those are just the ones I can remember. Needless to say they outlived their lives.

But the question I propose is, what do you buy/use your “treasures” for? To put on the shelf to collect dust (like I am known for) or To share your treasures and gift of hospitality with others (like I want to do)? I am more convinced now that I need to bring out my favorite china for my girlfriends on a Friday night with cheesy pizza. I need to share my antique 1920 books with anyone who likes to read. Dear friends, I apologize for my selfish heart. I have been collecting things for myself for YEARS. I have box after box of my treasures that I would honestly cry if I had to separate with, but what good are they if I never use them? Things are not meant to be on shelves, things are meant to be used an worn out; anything else just takes up space and turns into clutter. I can never take them with me when I die. I don’t want any dust over here so feel free to enjoy my treasures as much as I do, sweet friends.

This also applies to your knowledge; whether that is specific or broad, use it. Share your gifts of knowledge and wisdom with others. I don’t know about you, but I love to learn. So there has to be others like myself. Share what you know, because you never know how much it will mean to someone else. Plus, that is how we have history, artifacts, and family stories as well as bible stories. Expand your own wisdom by asking questions. Be generous in your knowledge & wisdom.
In love & inspiration,

KSL