12 January 2017


We have a poster-sized frame near our front door.  Its right above the very first piece of furniture Brad and I bought - an oak phone stand.  On the phone stand sits a typewriter that belonged to my Grandpa Lewis, he was a collector.  I scribbled "write your story" on a piece of paper and put it on that typewriter.  I had received a poster in a Causebox awhile back and that frame fit will in the space so it worked.  Last Christmas I wanted to letter something Christmas-y for the it so I did.

 I feel like its a bit amateur-ish but I love that song and I believe those words, so it came back out this Christmas too.  Last week, I decided I wanted to put something else in the frame as we started the new year.  I wanted a message for the boys as they went out the door.  {And maybe a message for me as well.}  I did what I always do when I am on the hunt for a new idea.  I went to Pinterest.  I searched "entry way signs."  I couldn't find anything with the right words though.

That night I couldn't sleep.  I found out the hard way that frozen coke has almost the same amount of caffeine as unfrozen coke.  Sleep is often elusive for me, and it takes very little to nudge me toward the wide-awake side of the spectrum.  I thought through my Facebook feed and wondered if I had forgotten to pray for anyone, so I prayed again for all the things I could remember that I said I would pray for.  Then I started thinking about that entryway sign.  I knew I didn't want it to be cutesy, but didn't necessarily want it to be dramatic either.  Sometime in the wide-awake-middle-of-the-night God reminded me that I could just write my own words for our boys.

So Wednesday morning, the last day of our glorious Christmas break, I started writing some words out after Brad left for work.  I prayed for guidance, but it wasn't a long or elaborate prayer.  I settled on something I thought might be just right + began sketching out how I might space it on the paper.

As the boys voices grew louder outside my bedroom, I knew my lettering time was ending for now. I left my papers and pencils and pens on my table and wandered into the house to see what the boys were doing.  I don't remember many details, normal stuff, I guess. When Brad came home around lunch time, he didn't feel well.  He had chest pain, and didn't feel right.  He mentioned that the flu was going around in Georgia + Alabama. He had chest pain the day before too, so it was a bit concerning.  I thought he had a respiratory infection or something.  He couldn't get an appointment at our clinic so they told him to go to the ER.

Sometime later, after the text that said he was done with triage came a text that said his EKG was fine. I was relieved, and also grateful that perhaps the chest pain complaint would get him in and out of the ER quicker.  Eventually the texts told me about the labs they were running and what not.  In a round about way he mentioned that he had an IV and that they had given him nitro and aspirin as a precaution as soon as he arrived.  The next text said, "they are admitting me".  And then there is a whole string of back and forth texts. Brad confessed that he thought it was going to be heartburn and I replied that I surely would have gone with him if I had known.  I wondered what to do.

Its now late afternoon on the day before the boys return to school after 20 days off.  I decide nobody would go to bed on time if I left right then. I sent some messages out to framily.  I called my parents, each phone call a new opportunity for me to burst into tears, while my mom + dad had to endure awkward silence until I could get a word out. I told Wilson, as chill as possible, and asked him not to tell his brothers just yet.  I tried to take deep breaths and prayed for Brad.  And then I saw my papers and pencils and pens all laying out on my table.

I read the words I had written that morning.

"Today, you'll walk out that door and it might be amazing, or it might be horrible, quite possibly something inbetween, we can't know for sure.  But we know the Maker of every day.  He is Good, He is Kind. He is True. And He has prepared YOU for this very day.  He goes before you.  He is with you.  Seek Him. Love well. Give grace. Spread hope.  He will lead you home."

I would have never guessed that Brad would be in the hospital later that day.

But God knew what this day would hold.  He knew it when I looked on Pinterest for an entryway sign.  He knew it when I was wide awake the night before.  He knew it when I sat down to write some words that morning.  I saw those words.  And peace rushed over.  Of course, by this time, we had a lot of people praying for us too.  I knew I didn't need to panic.  I knew He was with me. I texted this picture to Brad.

By the time I was able to get to the hospital to see Brad that night, we were pretty sure that all was well.  They continued labs overnight and every test indicated that his heart was fine.  He was released the next day. This week he followed up with his primary care manager and he is starting some meds to help lower both cholesterol and blood pressure.

We've all eased back into our daytime schedules and I was able to finish up this print.  I had to wait longer than I wanted to have it printed, but I think it was worth it. I was so excited to get it up on the wall.  I was hoping it would match with the colors in our living room -- bonus points because it looks pretty good with my Grandpa's typewriter.

And while I liked the words that morning when I wrote them, they are even more special to me now.  I am grateful for the way God revealed His faithfulness through this hard day, and the reminder that He will carry us through each day.  Amazing or horrible or something inbetween.

P.S. I will likely add this to my etsy shop in the next week.  I am finishing up a custom order before I do any other etsy work.