Monday, November 21, 2011

The Healer, the Honey, and the Willow

What do you call a person who procrastinates a post about procrastination?
Apparently, you call her Debbie.

A few weeks ago, I read a wonderful post on My Place to Yours challenging us to create a Sally List, a list of things that we want to do but have been procrastinating.  The inspiration was this cute little quote.

The day I read Susan's challenge, about 400 Sallies jumped to my mind, one of which was to invite our youth pastor and his wife for a thank you dinner.

You see, a few years ago, the youth program at our church was so very ill that it looked as if it was terminal. For reasons best left unyakked, we had a group of young people, Miss Whimsy included, starving for leadership and even more, for love.  

Then God sent Jason, a young man just starting out on the path to the pulpit and engaged to be married to a quiet young woman named Honey. 

Yeah, that's really her given name. Her parents must have chosen the name as they did in the Old Testament, with an eye to what the child would become. Honey is one of the sweetest women I've ever known, and it's a natural sweetness, too. She genuinely loves my daughter, and my daughter loves her right back.

By the way, the name Jason means healer. 
I report; you decide.

Well, something happened the very Sunday after The Sally List Challenge was posted. Jason and Honey approached the pulpit at the end of the service to announce that God has called them to another mission. My thank you dinner would have to happen now or not happen at all.

Looks like Providence to me...

Friday night, they came for supper. The aforementioned daughter came home too, even though she's going to be back here on Tuesday for Thanksgiving break.

It was a very casual supper of chili and sides, mainly because I wanted all the work done in advance.

(And OK, I also wanted to use my soup tureen, which has been posing as a decorative item for 25 years and never actually used for soup.  Using it  is  was an item on The Infamous List.)

These  pictures are lousy because 
the sun was already setting, and I was too busy to worry about it. 

I used some dishes that match my tureen.

The centerpiece was simple.  
Yes, it would have looked nicer with candles, 
but Honey and Jason didn't come alone, you see. 

In the years since God sent them,
he also sent them a precious baby girl named Willow. 

I personally think tables ought to be flameless when a baby is around, especially when the baby is named after a tree.  

Rather than dig out our old high chair,  
we just played a game I called
  Pass the Willow.

According to the rest of my family, I won.  

So anyway, I completed a Sally List item with no time to spare. Honey's family arrived Saturday morning to begin the process of packing them for the move.  We had a wonderful evening, even though we kept them here so late that we had a Weeping Willow on our hands by the end.

I'll miss them.

I won't pretend I didn't cry before they left. I tried to explain to them just what it meant to me to have someone love a child the way that they love mine, but in truth, God will just show them in His own way and in His own time. Some day, their little one will need to be loved, and God will send the healer and the honey.

And then, they will know.

In the meantime, I think baby Willow will be in good hands. After all, she's named for a tree... planted by the water.


Sarah (Nikki) said...

beautiful post...beautiful heart...yours....reaching out...making a difference. Once again. your table rocks....and just looks so warm..inviting. Doing the things we need to that make a difference for others and is the time. I seem to be hearing that everywhere

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Well I am speechless...the meaning behind the post just touches my heart...the table setting is wonderful (I have those dishes) and completing such a wonderful "to do" item on your list...priceless.

I too have been thinking after reading her blog inspiration...we also found out we both were raised in the same city, graduated the same year there...and our parents attended the same church and mothers worked for awhile at the same organization...all of that because I meet her through you...thanks for the connection.

Happy Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!

Debbie said...

Again, I can't tell you how happy I am to have found your blog. I love it here! What a wonderful thing to do, and I am sure it just blessed their hearts soo much. I love both of those names...Honey and Willow...Your table is beautiful. It's soo funny you should mention your soup tureen. I saw one a year or so ago that I began to long for, and I kept telling myself, WHEN would you use it? You don't really even make soup...but I DO make Chili...haha. Now maybe I should get it! Have a wonderful week and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my heart - tugged on here for sure. How wonderful you had them for dinner and told them how you appreciated them. I bet they loved that. I know your church will miss them too! Sometimes good things hurt too. sandie

Barbara F. said...

I haven't fully explored the Sally List, although I think I should, but feeling just a little overwhelmed right now. This is a charming story, and my mother's nickname in the family was "Honey", as part of her name in Italian translated to that. Anyhoo, I need to get to the store and buckle down. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I am thankful that I found your blog this year! xo

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

I'm calling you on this one Sally, you aren't a procrastinator at all. You are one of my favorite priorit-izers. Thanks for sharing your sweet experience with such choice people who have loved and served you. Thanks too for waiting till Thanksgiving week to share this perfect post that touched my grateful heart...(the bird lady??? ;D)

PS. Crazy for this table too and the soup tureen. xoxo

Shanee said...

What a beautiful, honey of a person you are:) Your post was touching. I love visiting your blog, I always leave feeling better than when I came. Thank you.

Denise said...

What a wonderful tribute to such a special family. Big hearts and lots of love that they willingly share. They will truly be missed.

LOVE your table. Could this possibly be a dining room reveal in a disguise post? Just sayin'...

Sonja said...

I think I am going to award you the "Writer who tells a story and makes you either laugh or cry, as she weaves her words, every single time" (no pressure for the future!)... there is nothing sweeter than the input of lives that impact our kids for Him. What a precious couple, and I know they will be missed. They will carry the memory of your beautiful table and dinner, and the heart behind it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

no spring chicken said...

This is beautiful. At first I was shaken when you informed me that procrastinators are called Debbie. By the end I realized that sometimes people are Debbie because the perfect time has not yet arrived. When it does, you sit in the presence of sweetness with the added blessing of progeny to cuddle... and you send them off encouraged at just the right moment. And who knows but that if you had used the tureen prior to this date it might have been broken and sitting in the dump. No, this was the day for the tureens debut!

So, am I living up to my name? My middle name is justification. ;)

Blessings, Debbie

Gaby said...

What a wonderful story, Debbie! We are without a youth pastor currently and starving for one as well. I pray the Lord sends us a family like you describe to love our children as they need to be loved. There is so much pain when pastoral families move on, on both sides. I'm so glad you were able to break bread with them before they moved on. And the table...oh, your eye for a simple table, I covet :)

Kelley said...

As one in leadership for thirty years, I will casually drop this in: Very few honor a leader's sacrifice(s) with even so much as a "thanks." Of course, ingratitude is a sign of the last days.

THANK YOU for FINDING the words, FINDING a way to say THANK YOU. You reap what you sow.

And now we know how Jesus feels. He thinks it's quite nice to be thanked, but usually only 1/10 do it. Good on you, Sally 10%.

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Debbie!

This is the sweetest post. I just love reading your posts -- really look forward to them. This is touching and laced throughout with your special brand of humor. :) How nice that you could all appreciate each other in such a nice setting before Jason, Honey and Willow leave for their next home. Miss Whimsy will appreciate that you took time to have this dinner, as well. Your table looks lovely; I really LOVE your "new" dining room. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!


FrouFrouBritches said...

I had a similar love for a youth pastor and his fiancee. My youth pastor is now a regular pastor in our town and we have yet to visit his church. Maybe that should be on my Sally list.

Love your soup tureen! The table looks beautiful, as always. That game of Pass the Willow sounds like a great one! I bet I could've given you a little stiff competition in that game.

Dianne said...

Great post but I really wanteed to let you know how much I enjoyed yesterday's post. Thank you.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Sounds like you all had a great night and I'm glad you did get to spend the time together. Happy Thanksgiving Week Debbie-enjoy:@)

Alycia Nichols said...

Do you feel that? That's me hugging you!

Sharon said...

Oh Debbie - too, too precious!

What a lovely family, and I loved the story behind their names. I just know that God is going to continue to use that family in the future - touching everyone they meet with their sweet and healing ways.

I have never heard about The Sally List - though I am WELL acquainted with Polly Procrastination. Oh, that is one of the biggest personal pet peeves about myself that I have. I really need to work on it...maybe tomorrow.

And, I see the beautiful results of your hard work in that newly refurbished dining room. Boy, it turned out great! I know this dinner was for real people...but could this Invisible Person sneak in there, just this once?!


The Decorative Dreamer said...

Aw! So sweet! So glad you got to complete a few things on your Sally list. I know they must have totally enjoyed their evening with you all as well!

xinex said...

You are so sweet to invite them, Debbie. Your table was beautiful. Lovely names!..Christine

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Beautiful post, Debbie. Oh, what a blessing they have been to you and yours... and vice versa. My heart has a big, full feeling of love. That is God's plan... love one another...

Your table was lovely... your heart, even more so. blessings ~ tanna

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said... that a bad thing?? :) I'll have to think about it ...tomorrow ...or the next day. :)

Good post. ...Marsha

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Well, you can't call yourself a procrastinator anymore! You did your thing, something the tree and her folks will long remember. Yep, sometimes people come into our lives and touch it! I think you have touched mine!

Carol...Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Debbie, (your dining room looks great!) I'm so glad I didn't read this post yesterday when I was rushed and first saw it pop up in my RSS feeds. Today was the perfect time to read ... and reflect ... and remember a God-given youth pastor who ministered to my own daughters. What gifts our children were given!

I'm glad you were able to love on that young family over dinner. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to say goodbye, but it's wonderful that you made the time to "make it happen." So glad you've joined the Sally List challenge! I can just imagine what it would look like if we let lil ol' Sally help us rock our world! Bless you, Friend, and a very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Crickit said...

In this case, your procrastination turned out great. Your table is lovely, you shared your heart and a couple and their baby left with a sweet memory. :)

Kathleen said...

Lovely post. I love the name Honey, so sweet! Also, please use your soup tureen more often, it's a beauty. And I love it when things are beautiful and useful too don't you?

Christine said...

First of all your dining room turned out WONDERFUL!
Secondly, you blew me away with your "story".

Marlis said...

Oh Debbie, this is a wonderful story especially this time of year when we are filled with thanksgivings for all the things given to us. How nice that you were able to give them the memory of a wonderful last evening.

Your table is wonderful. I agree with a passing willow, candles might have been an issue. Your tureen deserves to be used often, it's gorgeous.. absolutely.. Have a blessed and happy Thanksgivings. xo Marlis

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

What a sweet post! So wonderful to have special people like that in our lives, especially in our children's lives!

You have been busy posting, I had to catch up. I've been super busy....well, you'll see on my post!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I enjoyed every bit of it. Almost turned into a weeping willow myself. ;)
Wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed Thanksgiving.

Lynn Richards said...

Ohhh, such a sweet, sweet story. It inspires me to not be such a procrastinator...
I have been known to walk the house in circles not getting anything done.

Kelli said...

Terrifically touching story to end my day!! Love every bit of it!

Carol said...

What a wonderful story, beautifully told. Inspirational.
Have a wonderful week!

Jennie said...

I was so sorry to hear they were leaving, but I know they'll be a blessing no matter where they are. FBC was certainly blessed by their time there. I'm praying someone equally as wonderful or even better comes along! And I'm so relieved you had a chance to thank them/send them off. I know I would have felt the same way if I'd missed my chance.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Now why can't we yak on your Sunday postings? Just get some acrylic craft paint and paint baby Jesus' hair brown, or he could be a groovy blue.....OK, you guessed it, only a blonde would make that suggestion!


Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

You know I can't help myself when you turn the comments off on your Sunday posts...

This post reminds me of so many comments one of our old friends and I used to have... about how we all search for a church to 'fit' our 'scene.' We shop for a way to make our religion fit our lives instead of the other way around... always good fodder for contemplation... that's why I love visiting. Plus, your new header is beautiful to see... and, maybe... just maybe... this was an example of how Christ is King of all and does fit into every singe life that is willing to accept Him... each of us, exactly where we are... blonde and all. Oh, I do love a good discussion. ;) blessings ~ tanna

Kathryn Ross said...

I love you, Debbie!!! Such a nasty day at work - have to re-do all my report cards (300 drama students total on two campuses) because I was told, as I was about to hand my grades to the classroom teachers, that a new computer program was needing a change in all the grading subcategories for drama to make it shorter. So, I had to reduce 8 items to 6, and now I have to create a new master worksheet and re-do all that I had done! Anyway - that was my day. And, now - I get to come home to - DEBBIE! And her WONDERFUL WORDS ON WHEELS!! Love the way you write. I ALWAYS LOL. Whether it's our "Weeping Willow" here or - the Dollar Tree Santa - WHAT A GEM that parable is!!! Thank you for being the highlight of my day!!

Glad you enjoyed my Miss Kathy-Land, too! Looking forward to some festive posts here in "Yak-Land"!


laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh Debbie, I never leave your blog without a smile on my face. You had me smiling with the most recent post (blonde Jesus), and then I just kept smiling as I read about procrasting Debbie and pass the Willow and Weeping Willow! Once again, I have to say, I love your attitude and your writing. Your table is so pretty, and I am drooling over that tureen. I have a "thing" for tureens, and that one is exceptionally pretty.
Now, I have to comment on the baby Jesus. I am ashamed to tell you that Baby Jesus AND Mary have sort of straw colored hair in my Fontanini set! When I discovered the unopened box at an estate sale, I thought it was faux Fontanini, because I didn't think they would have such light hair if it were real. However, I looked on line at some on the Fontanini site, and some did have that color hair. Even though I only paid $25 for my set, if it wasn't Fontanini, I was going to take a brown sharpie to their hair!! After finding they were the real thing, I decided I'd better not! At least your blonde Jesus only cost $1! laurie

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I'm back! After writing you a book, I still forgot something. Your holiday header looks so festive and pretty. laurie

Jo's This and That said...

Love your post! Thanks for sharing Joann

Canadagirl said...

I loved reading this post. What a blessing of love you all gave each other. God is love and love is for sure a fruit of the spirit. And your table was bea u ti ful as always. [o=

Blessings and ((HUGS)) my friend


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