#2,006 Mama, Michael, Lisa, Sara, and Chase.
by Erin Napier
Today was one of those days where God made sure I was aware that He loves me, and puts certain people in my life on a daily basis to meet some need, express the urgings He’s put in my heart that I can’t quite understand by myself, and He lets me know I’m on the right path, that I am following Him even when it’s hard to know for sure.
She spent the entire day with me, helping me get through this monster to-do list that’s attached to this particular season of life (more to the point—this particular week of my life). She knows all the things I do not know, she makes chores feel like fun because we got to do them together. She also knows how to make a gorgeous hanging basket of flowers, when to change the AC filter, how to sew curtains out of hardware store dropcloths, and how to make the world’s best pecan pie among a million other things a girl needs a mama to teach her.
Michael is a brand new friend, brought here by our very crazy and exciting circumstances who has been a comfort to me in the middle of so much other newness—he’s a kind of anchor, so softspoken and kind, and his job, regretfully thankless oftentimes, makes mine so much easier. He sewed me the most beautiful tote from an antique cotton seed bag because he knows how much I love red, type and blue!
3. Lisa & Sara
I can’t begin to explain the alchemy that happens between these two women who do not know each other and have never met, not once, not even via social media. Both their eyes will read these words as they’re both regular visitors here, and that’s kind of like the analogy that we’re all looking up at the same moon, though we never know that at the time, do we? Their existence in my life feels sort of like cheating to me—like when God needs to tell me something, to soothe my worried heart or mind, these two women ALWAYS reach out to me, out of the blue, without prompting, with the same question: “Are you okay today? You’re on my heart, big time.” And they’ve never been wrong. They’ve never asked me that question when life is easy street, without a care in the world. They ALWAYS are there with words that tell my heart the thing it needs to hear in times of fear or distress, the words that teach me how to proceed with the plan that God has laid out for me, with the verses in the Bible I need to study. It scares me how it happens every time, and I hope (and wonder!) if you each have at least one of those people in your life whose gift for discernment and knowing are so eerily on point, you never have to feel adrift for long. The right advice always comes. Lisa, Sara, here you are—the only photos I have on this computer of us together. Now it’s like we’re all together, right?
Me and Lisa, when she visited me in October (L), me and Sara at our senior prom (R)
Chase is a regular visitor here, too. He worked in the student media center at Ole Miss alongside Ben and I in college, and though we never really knew each other then, now we communicate via email and I feel very sad we weren’t friends then. He and his wife have suffered a tremendous tragedy in recent months with the loss of their newborn son, and my heart broke for them when I heard the news. Tonight, he sent me an email that made me feel distinctly grateful for the internet and how it connects us genuinely, even if we can’t be there for someone in the flesh. And I’m thankful for Hope, who gave me Streams in the Desert all those years ago. It’s my all-time favorite book that I’ve given to every person in my life in times of need since it’s filled with so much love from our Father, with so much light for people going through dark moments. If you don’t have it, you should get it. You will need it someday, and someone in your life will need it too. And when you give it to them, it could be the very thing their heart needs in that moment.
Life is really a strange and wonderful flurry of accidents that are not accidents, of people who will be part of your story briefly but meaningfully, and people who may be there the entire way. Isn’t that hard to grasp?
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I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!