Monday, December 15, 2014


Our family may remember the old several-times-reupholstered-old-maroon-colored ottoman that moved with us from house to house across the country. My Daddy bought it and a matching chair (which was reupholstered several times and still in use in my great room) with money saved from his first job at a furniture store after he and my Mom married. That was several years before I was born. The original old cushioned footstool had a tan background with bouquets of maroon and blue roses. It had become a keepsake. It was about a hundred years old now and held many memories of my growing up years in the Iowa heartland. As a toddler I learned to walk by holding on to it.

The ottoman was coming apart with straw stuffing hanging out underneath and a sunken sitting area...really useless and quite a sorry sight. Bill, my good neighbor next door, has a cottage business in upholstering so I took it over to him about 3 years ago to give me a price on repairing. The price was far more than I could afford because he would have to strip and rip it down to the wooden frame and start all over. I made a quick (and unwise!) decision that it was not worth it. Bill said he would dispose of it for me and I sadly agreed.

However, for the past several years I really,
really regretted my decision! I should have held on to it for memory's sake. I kept obsessing about that and finally just told myself to suck it up and forget about it. The ottoman was long gone, probably disposed of immediately in a dumpster--so I should stop thinking about it! Nevertheless, I thought about it again just this week during a moment of Christmas and family nostalgia....

It was my sad privilege to be a good friend to Bill's beloved wife Judy who passed away a year ago from a recurrence of cancer. Judy and I became quite bonded as I tried to encourage her in her Christian faith as she walked her last mile Home to Heaven. She was very precious to me.

Anyway, I invited Bill to our home for a party with about a dozen neighbors last Friday when carolers from a nearby little white "Christmas card country church" arranged in advance to stop at my house to sing. My son Rick and I planned a neighborhood Christmas party around it and it was a warm and fuzzy and jolly event. 

Our good neighbor Doug who looks like an original St Nick with a genuine white beard and in full Santa regalia plays the part in churches and soup kitchens, schools, and other public events during this season. 

Dressed up for our occasion, he handed out hearty ho-ho's and hugs and cookies to about 20 carolers after they sang lined up on my staircase to the second floor.

Bill could not come to our party since he volunteered to attend to his brother who is terminally ill with cancer and allow his wife to take a break. So Saturday I brought packages of goodies from our party to a recent widowed neighbor and several others who couldn't make it to our party, including Bill. We had a long chat.
Then he said he had something for me....

He went off into his workshop and brought out my RESURRECTED OTTOMAN beautifully and totally recreated from scratch and crafted in the best grade upholstery--in colors which not only exactly match my current rose and maroon decor but are so close to the original upholstery when it was new in the early 1920's! When Bill presented it to me, I was overwhelmed to tears at his loving, generous thoughtfulness. What a SURPRISE after I had long given up hope of ever seeing my discarded precious memory ottoman!

What a wonderful Christmas present beyond my imagination! You'll admire it when you come to visit.

always answers prayer. Sometimes it is YES, sometimes it is NO, for our best interests. Sometimes it is WAIT. There are times when you've given up on something and finally surrendered even the desire for it, and then God surprises you and gives it back to you in a much better way than before!  Yes, God always answers prayer in His own perfect way!
It's just a good idea to TRUST GOD!

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