Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Memories for Sale

My husband and I have need of a new lawn mower so, having read in the paper that there was a town-wide tag sale today, we decided to drive down a few streets and see if anybody happened to be selling one. Most places we drove by seemed to have nothing we were interested in. We decided to try one last stop, a house that was having an estate sale. I had never really walked into another person's house before for such a purpose but I have to say it was an odd feeling.

The woman's mother had passed away and I couldn't help but think of how it must feel to see people tritely handling articles of clothing and furniture that were once touched by the loving hands that you could no longer hold again. Mirrors that once reflected a face that smiled down at you since childhood  being examined critically by passersby.  Wallpaper that had been adored by the woman who spent time admiring their designs, scrutinized. The fabric on clothing and furniture, bearing imperfect scars, the wood on shelves and tables with their deep grooves, all telling of a time when life pulsated through this house with its own energy, creating memories in the hearts of those who trod barefoot down its halls. 

I walked along the hallway passing rooms on either side and was drawn deeper into the heart of the house ending up in the bedroom. I could sense that this was a place the woman's mother spent most of her time towards the end. Scattered on the bed were old Catholic daily devotional publications and papers. One paper, small and folded, laying in a heap of many others, had happened to catch my eye. I picked it up and was only able to read a few lines before my husband came in and reminded me we were short on time. It was said that anything in the room was free so I hastily tucked the single piece of paper in my pocket and left.

I just opened it a moment ago and finally had the opportunity to read it in its entirety. It is a poem which some of you might recognize, though I was unfamiliar with until just a few minutes ago. I wonder how often this woman had read it, for the edges are tattered and there have been many folds impressed in its yellowing paper, as if she had folded it different ways on different occasions.

Here it is:

The Difference

I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish, I didn't have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me and grew heavier with each task;
Why doesn't God help me, I wondered; He answered, "You didn't ask."

I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak;
I wondered why God didn't show me - He said, "But you didn't seek."

I tried to come into God's presence; I used all my keys at the lock;
God gently and lovingly chided, "My child, you didn't knock."

I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.

by Grace L. Naessens

This woman whose name I will never know blessed me with a poem that declares a message of tremendous significance. To start the new day with prayer and to continue my waking hours conversing with God. To ask, to seek and to knock at the door of His throne room. That's the formula to gain entrance into the heart of God and to open up to greater depths of His love and reality- to maintain an active and experiential relationship with our holy and compassionate God, who loves us and gives us His all.

I'd love to know your thoughts. Please share them in the comments section! Thank you!


  1. What a beautiful poem. And I love that this woman you never met left you a truly precious legacy. Some things are just meant to be, I think.

    I do try to greet God every morning with love and gratitude in my heart, and ask for His help with whatever the day might bring. At night, if I am awake long enough, I climb into His arms and rest there, giving and receiving love. These two activities give my day and night an overlay of joy and contentment and a sense of connection to the Divine that I find very satisfying. Hopefully it also helps me serve better.


  2. A really touching post - and it seems wrong to ask - but did you get your lawnmower?

  3. Thank you Orea for stopping by and sharing your experiences of how you draw ever nearer and experience God. I love resting in His arms as well..how mighty, safe and comforting they are! Beautiful thoughts...thank you!

  4. Thanks for stopping by Notting, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. No question is ever wrong here ;)....nope, didn't get the mower, my grass is growing higher and higher lol..alas someday soon I'm sure! ~blessings to you and yours :)

  5. Was it fate or a mere accident that you came upon that poem?? I believe it was divine intervention as higher powers knew you would spread the written words via your blog unlike others who would probably throw that piece of paper away. So glad you picked it up and shared that bit of inspiration!!

    P.S. Purchase a billy goat, cheaper than a lawn mower and the kids will love it lol

  6. A goat! That might solve our dilemma..thanks David! :) Finding that poem certainly did bring with it a sense of fate, that it was meant to be found and shared. I know it inspired me to walk more fervently with God, starting with the morning hours onward. Hopefully it will inspire others as well. Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Nourishing the Mind, Body and Soul as if it was a plant. To bring in the day as a new beginning. Great blog, Jessica

  8. It's a good thing you found the piece of paper which actually is a source of inspiration...it's more nice that you shared it with all of us...Thanks :)

    And I also agree with the Goat thing...go for it :D

    Best Regards'

  9. Beautiful...You gave me a beautiful start to my day.

  10. It's amazing how God would lead us to people and places and get answers to deep seated questions we never get to ask...

    My spiritual director told me that he starts the day by kneeling in front of the Crucifix as a gesture of humility and adoration for the Lord.

    The Lord is always at the door waiting for us...eager to talk to us...I believe that...

    I love this... memories for sale indeed ;)

  11. Hi Jessica, can you imagine that the search for a lawn mover could lead you to this house and the poem. What a beautiful poem and so very true. It must have been so difficult for these people to let go of the things they once held dear.

    Great post Jessica!

  12. WOW I have goosebumps all over reading this, I think I would of asked the same questions if it had been me walking through the house. I get etchy when people manhandled my things when I'm car booting them.

    I think it was fate, you were supposed to see that poem, it was supposed to go to someone who would appreciate the words and verse for what they are, it was meant to go to you to share with us x

  13. Lovely post. It goes to show the real value of what we leave behind as our legacy.

  14. You may have thought you were there for a lawnmower, but apparently God had other plans. I’d written earlier a long comment which I somehow managed to lose, so here I am again, trying to recall my initial thoughts. My first impression is that you should publish this somewhere. It has all the elements of a good story: vivid descriptions of the house, a hint of mystery, emotional engagement, a perfect finale, and it shows rather than tells. One thing that impresses me most is your level of empathy and compassion for the bereaved woman who is watching as strangers tritely handle her mother’s possessions. Then you tie it all together at the end with such a stirring message. Beautifully done.

  15. Great post! You captured the mood perfectly. It was very surreal to watch the grieving woman basically give away someone's memories.

  16. What an awesome, inspiring poem. I don't fncy ll the neighbours trampling through my home when i'm gone, but if it were to happen I hope somebody like you passes through, and makes my last mark on this world so positive and motivational. You have provided this lady a fantastic legacy

  17. Jessica, I just discovered your blog by accident as I was working on mine, and I love it! Just last month, I began a daily devotional piece for each day and would love you to check it out and follow if you are interested. I think we could be very inspirational to one another! Love and blessings!

  18. That was a very thoughtful post. A friend of mine once had a vision where she saw Jesus sitting under a tree by Himself each morning. The woman approached Jesus, at the end of the day, and asked Jesus what He was doing all by Himself; Jesus replied that He had been their all day waiting to talk with her and waiting to enjoy her company...but she never showed up and she just continued to begin and end her day without Him.
    Forgive this self-promotion, but I wrote a blog in 2009 entitled, "Are we prepared to meet with God on a continual basis?" that deals with the subject matter somewhat. I prepare myself to meet with you. Just as a mother prepares her daughter to get ready to go to church (hair, dress, makeup, etc...) I prepare myself to meet with you. Are you prepared to meet with Me? The table is set, my agenda is cleared for you, every day, every day! Make the time, ready and prepare yourself to meet with Me. Tell others, the time is drawing near, meet and fellowship with Me while there is still time.
    As I was in church this morning, I saw a mother and daughter come into church together and I felt God communicated the following message to me. How is your prep time prior to meeting with God? Are you in a hurry, unprepared? How would you feel if you had a set meeting time with an important government official or a hero of yours? We have the awesome opportunity to meet with our Almighty, Awesome Father and we squander the opportunity by failing to meet with Him or we hurry through our day together without Him."
    "We are all terminal."
    Please forgive me for this long post!

  19. Jessica, a very touching post - we forget this most important beginning to our day! Thank you for the reminder!

  20. Aside from the wonderful writing, I adore the title of this post.. I so wish sometimes I could translate the feeling to reality - I feel a story building.

  21. How touching and tender. Oh, how God plays the Symphony of our lives with touching and tender moments and little treasures dropped along our path to encourage us on our way. God is good, all the time, every-day and in every way. I love my Lord and it is so wonderful to read something from someone else that shares that special bond as well. Lovely and so dear. Thank-You.

  22. Hey Jessica,
    I probably would pay for the memories of all of the times I forgot my camera!


  23. Today I"m thinking that the Universe has gifts for us at every turn, but probably most of the time we are too preoccupied to notice them. I'm going to start paying better attention and see what's there, in my path. :-)


  24. I love looking for and noticing all those little signposts and reminders that God leaves for us...they are all around us, every day, but sometimes we don't take time to notice them. I believe we always come in contact with exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

    I so enjoyed reading your post, Jessica...thank you for sharing this lovely message with us. :)