When Philly and I married part of the pain of both of our stories was our train wreck of finances. Our first few years of marriage I squeezed our budget so tight Spanx would have felt loose. I couponed. I shopped specials. And we bought nothing but necessities. A year after we married, he had a client meeting in San Francisco and he felt we could add a few days onto the trip for some pleasure though we both knew we still had to be wise with our resources.
One afternoon while he was occupied, I took the rental car and drove over to a nearby small town to stroll its streets. Every time I passed an art store, an antique store anything that held items for the home my heart felt the wooing heart of my Father. This still held such an odd feeling for me. I avoided home stores like toddler avoid naps. I broke out in hives at the mention of strolling through an antique store. So, the mere fact that they now beckoned me was unsettling at best. The chimes announced my obedience. I strolled. Here. Me. Strolling through a small antique and gift shop. Yet, every nook and cranny held deliciousness. Chintz and Florals and accessories. Lamps and needlepoint rugs. Even the air smelled of gardenias and happiness.
Then I saw it. This small needlepoint pillow of a shih-tzu, backed with green velvet backing. I loved it! I loved everything about it! First, it reminded me of our Shih-Tzu Sophie. It could have been her on that pillow. Second, the colors were rich and would fit anywhere. And third, well, it impacted my heart! Which I have learned in this journey really matters. Seeing beauty and appreciating it, whether in nature or artwork or jewelry or photographs or furniture or in the evening sky or morning sunrise can only come from one place, it can only come from the heart of our heavenly Father. He created beauty. He created good. Everything was good. So, being impacted by things reveal something. Something holy. Because all of these things reflect God’s glory in us and to us.
I stared at the pillow. I smiled at the pillow. I held the pillow. I rubbed the pillow on my face. (Pre-Corona- and I’m not talking about the beers though I did consider taking up drinking them during that time). I put down the pillow. I picked the pillow back up. I talked to the pillow and told it how beautiful it was. I put the pillow back down again. Then I got still.
Buy the pillow my heavenly Father whispered to my heart. I shook my head at the pillow. I want you to have the pillow.
Father, I can’t afford the pillow right now. I reminded him.
I can. He reminded me.
I picked the pillow up and this purchase felt different then the bed and the towels and the bedding. Those felt like “have tos.” I felt as if I was having to replace items because of what they represented from my past. But this purchase was me saying, “I want you. Of everything in this store, I want you because you make my heart come to life.