This Ole House

The past few weeks and months have held a good bit of travel for me. Vacation to South Carolina, quick girl’s trip to the beach with a friend, and of course the weekend bike rides with my guy. I’ve ridden the interstates, the backroads and what feels like every road in between.

We took a bike ride a few weekends ago and I was soaking in the scenery on an old country road. You know the kind…full of pot holes and faded lines. Barbed wire fencing lined the pastures, and moss hung off the trees so low I felt like I could reach up and grab it. The old country road was full of miles traveled by many people. I thought about how many mommas had driven up and down that road rushing their kid to and from school and all the daddies who had traveled that road late at night after a long shift at work.

As I changed my view from the road to the houses I started noticing the older homes. While some still had families, I was drawn to the ones that were empty. I started thinking about the life that had been shared inside those old walls. I’m sure laughter had riddled the hallways a few times. Sunday lunches were cooked in the kitchens and babies were brought home through those front doors. I’m sure some heartbreak landed on those front porches too. Right there on those steps some mommas were told their babies weren’t coming home from a war. And, some kids left for college on the same ones to never return.

The empty houses looked lonely. Most of them had holes in the roof. The grass was tall and the doors were a little uneven. Even though they were in rough shape I couldn’t help but think about how quickly they could be restored. Roofs can be replaced and grass can be mowed. The siding can be painted and doors can be rehung. Patience, love and hard work can do a lot to an old house.

As the old country road ended and we turned onto a highway, I couldn’t help but look back. I started thinking about my life and my heart and how so many times throughout the years I’ve had the same thing happen to me. I took a few shots and found myself pretty empty and lonely and my grass grew pretty high. I remember that one heartbreak where my roof fell in. And, I’ll never forget that storm that almost blew the door off my heart. The further we drove down the highway I found myself finding a new thankfulness for the Cross. I was thankful that Jesus had fixed my brokenness. He had restored my walls and brought me back to life. He cut down the grass where pruning needed to happen, and he rehung the doors to my heart in the perfect way only he can.

Life often tatters us. We get beaten down by the winds and rains. Sometimes we give up on ourselves and let it all go to shambles. But, never, not once is it gone too far. Every breath is a chance to take a step forward. Every moment is an opportunity to take a different path. Life…it ain’t easy. Walking with Jesus doesn’t make it simpler…it just makes the walk have more hope. ❤️

To The Rescue

“We gotta go get them.”

The higher up in the hospital chain of command was telling me, in brief, that there had been an accident and the helicopter had been deployed to go and get the one in need of hospital help. 

It was a benign yet factual statement but it made me think.

There are times when we need help and we go to the help; we make our way to the place of healing or any number of situations. While there is healing to be found in those circumstances, sometimes one is in such need of help he or she can not get it themselves. Times when a car accident occurs or any number of life-altering situations.

That hot summer evening as we sat in traffic with dusk setting in and our destination still far away, we heard a helicopter circling above us. That earlier conversation and the circumstances that called for such a remark came back to me.

Someone needed rescuing and they were unable to do it themselves. That person, in that moment, was incapable of helping themselves. The line of cars evidence of the road-blocking, individual-injuring car accident ahead. The stillness gave me time to think. The Spanish moss hanging from the gnarly old live oaks, the sun lowering on the horizon, gave way to the realization and conclusion that we as humans are like that, we need intervention when it comes to being rescued.

We are incapable of saving ourselves. We had to be rescued. So like the helicopter going to get the helpless, Jesus came to rescue us. He didn’t meet us halfway or expect us to make our way to Him by way of works or any number of things. He simply came to earth, sacrificed Himself and saved us once and for all. 

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A song to encourage your heart: I Need You Jesus to Come to My Rescue

Kitchen Table – A Memorable Lesson

by: Trisha Forsythe

            It is one of my favorite places in the world, and the place that holds the most memories for me. It is a simple place. It can be found in every house, although it is often used for a variety of purposes other than what it was intended. My favorite place is—or was—my grandparents’ kitchen table. I miss that table almost as much as I miss them. That simple brown stained table became a safe place, a place for learning, a place for laughter, a place for encouragement, and for love. 

            Growing up, my brother and I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house. We practically lived there. My grandparents held mealtimes as special time for family to gather and eat. We didn’t just eat though. We laughed, we talked about our days, we learned lessons, we gained wisdom, and we were shown love. 

          

  As kids in school, we did homework at that table. Grammy would sit us down in our spots and watch over us as she cooked. She was there to help us when we needed it. We couldn’t stop to do anything until we finished our work. Our goal was to do it right as well as to get to finished before dinner. We knew that after dinner we could watch tv and go outside to play (which was my favorite part). Yet, we didn’t just get the knowledge from the books; when PeePa came home and we were eating, we heard great stories of love and how to treat people. I carry the wisdom they passed on—things like “if a job is worth doing right, it is worth doing right the first time,” “treat people with respect,” and “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” (my dad still uses this one on me). They also taught us the love of God at that table. We discussed the Sunday sermons and Sunday school lessons and memorized Bible verses. 

            It was also the gathering place for birthday parties and holidays. We as a family would sit around the table and talk about the day and what we had accomplished and hoped to accomplish. We got advice—godly advice and life experience. It was in these moments we saw how God was working in each of our lives and how God had protected us or taught us or changed us in ways we couldn’t see at the time. It is these memories that I hold dear.

I am reminded of the times Jesus “reclined at the table” when he was at Peter’s house and “sat at the Passover table” with His disciples. Each time He was sharing the purpose of His mission and the purpose and cost of being a disciple. He was teaching lessons in these moments. He was teaching lessons of love, discipleship, and how to live a godly life when He fed the 5000. He spent time with people. In those “kitchen table” moments he passed on his wisdom that has changed the lives of so many people—you and I included.

We have a purpose—a calling—to “go and make disciples” and to train the next generation. So, my challenge to you as I close this blog is—take every opportunity to create “kitchen table” moments with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, moms and dads, whole families. If you have those kitchen table moments already—be encouraged, they are not forgotten, and neither are the lessons. They are engraved on the hearts of all those who shared in those “kitchen table” moments. If you need to start—do it now. Find the time. Make the time. It is well worth the extra time and preparation. 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, … and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt. 28:19-20

On Display

I recently found myself walking the paths of a local flea market. I was in search of a table or bar or something for the kitchen. While I could envision it in my mind, I could not find the words to describe it well enough to do an internet search, explain to my husband or search online groups. So, to the local flea market we went.

Up and down the paths I strolled. Each booth was as unique as the one before. Many were crammed so full of content that I could not make out one sale from another. In one booth clocks would be stacked on top of toys and home decor from the ’80s was tucked in the corners with a few VHS tapes sticking out from underneath tattered books. But, the very next booth would be well laid out and a delight to browse. Everything considered wall decor was neatly placed on the lattice walls and the furniture was displayed in a way that I could almost envision it in my house.

I found myself taking a right into a room with glass cases. Some were filled with knives and manly type things and others were filled with Batman cars or Star Wars memorabilia. The thing that struck me was that no two booths were the same. Even the cluttered booths had a uniqueness about them. My husband looked at me and said “Man, you sure can tell a lot about a person by what they display.” Literally, I stopped dead in my tracks. His words begin to ring in my ears louder and louder. And, naturally, it’s got me to thinking. What do people see when they walk past the display that is my life?

Y’all, my display is sort of an ever-changing collage. One day it is neatly organized and full of love, patience, kindness, joy, faith, determination, sacrifice and humility. Other days it is scattered with anger, hatred, frustration, humiliation, pride, self-centeredness, cattiness, negativity and any other self-loathing, world-hating description you can insert.

In the past I used to fuss at my inner self to get it together, do better, stand up, straighten up, bite that lip, put on the pretty display that I think others want to see. But recently I’m finding myself searching for a little more grace and patience with myself. That anger…it’s there because I’ve been hurt and the more I keep it open to the perfect air that God creates the more he can heal it. That insecurity that you see in the corner…it’s on full display because I am learning that I am never alone and the only one that I yearn for their approval is my Jesus who accepted me so much that he died for me. And, let’s not forget that regret that is thrown around on the floor. It’s a reminder to me of what Jesus has carried me through.

As a woman we have a lot riding on our displays. But, can we just give each other the grace and safe space to be a mess? When motorcyclists pass each other they throw their arms down towards the ground and hold out two fingers. It’s their way of saying “stay safe” or “praying for you” or “I see you, man.” So, here I am… a display that is a beautiful cluttered mess throwing my arm out, pointing my two fingers to my fellow sisters shouting “I see you and I accept your chaotic mess!” ❤️

God is so good. He reminds me of His promises in the coolest ways possible, and I share them all on my personal blog Twenty-Nine Thirteen. I would love for you to join the journey! You can find me at http://www.twentyninethirteen.com and on Facebook @twentynine13.


For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Phone Call to Heaven

Every once in a while I pick up the phone to call my Mother. She has been in Heaven since 2006. Why is it that I still feel the urge to give her a call? Recently, it has been because of my grandchildren. She loved having grandchildren and would absolutely love her great-grandchildren. There are times when I think that I need to tell her about something one of them has done and I reach for the phone. She would love it. I remember how she wanted to live long enough so that her grandchildren would remember her.

What a joy it would be if she could know these precious children that I have in my life. Christian is amazing. He can sit and talk to you about the Titanic and give you all kinds of details about this amazing ship. He loves history and has all kinds of information ready to share with anyone who will listen. She would have sat for hours listening to him talk and loved every minute of it. Mother made dolls and would have loved to share them with the girls. She would have loved having tea parties with them and playing dolls.

There are so many things that I would love to tell her if I had just one more phone call. When my daughter was getting married, I had even dialed the number to ask her opinion on something. How does that continue to happen? This past week, I picked up my phone to tell her about how cute the girls were at their dance recitals. She would have loved to see them all dressed up with their hair “just so” and a little bit of make-up.

I think of my mother as my cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. She was faithful on this earth to love the Lord. She was an encourager to so many people. Even when she could no longer get out of her home, she had her phone. The Lord would put someone on her heart and she would call them. 

She loved to sing about Jesus. I miss hearing her sing. I know many songs because of hearing her sing them over and over while she was cooking or washing dishes. 

There are a lot of things I miss about her, but I think I really just miss sharing life with her. I think the love that lasted for so many years has continued to remain in my heart so that I want to continue to share life with her even in her death. I think love never really dies when we carry people with us in our heart and in our memories. We will have a lot of catching up to do when I meet up with her in heaven. What a day that will be!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2