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Sunday, June 29, 2014

If We Say No To Goodness

Late one night, while I was in the south of France, I was speaking to Mr. Décor via Skype. He was telling me that soon after I was to return home he would be leaving to work as a contractor on the island of Oahu for a month. “Oh that’s a tough gig.” I teased him. He replied, “I want you and Sweet Guy to come out while I’m there.” My first reaction was to look down at the chocolate croissant I had been munching on, which had been one of many, and think “How on earth will I fit into a swimsuit?” Other negative thoughts quickly followed. So my first words were “No.” There was a moment of silence on his end. I tried to validate my words with “We don’t have the money.” He then mentioned a free hotel room, meals, rental car, and airline miles.  I countered with “I am in France right now. Don’t you think that’s enough of a vacation this year for me?” He was quiet, we then said our goodbyes and hung up.

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Yes, you read that right. My dear, sweet husband asked me to go on a basically free vacation to Hawaii and I said, “No.” 

Because I thought I had been given enough goodness for the year.

I didn’t sleep at all that night. Tossing and turning I replayed the disappointment in my husbands voice over and over in my mind. I prayed and could almost feel God shaking a finger at me. Around 4 am I came to my senses, got up and sent Eric an email that began with “Aloha!”.

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So, a few weeks later I was packing my bags once again. We arrived fairly late in the day, had dinner and went to bed. I woke up early the next morning, looked out my hotel room and the first thing I saw was this:

(For those keeping score, God was winning.) 

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You know that moment when you are given a gift that you initially try to deny, but finally accept and then realize just how badly you needed it?

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I couldn’t help but ponder, “How many times was I saying “No” to God when He tried to bless me?” Shame spilled over in my heart like hot lava.

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During the trip there were, of course, sunny beaches, hula skirts and lei’s…

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…and all the pineapple we could eat.

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But I focused on deeper experiences. I had almost said “No” to seeing my dear, sweet foster sister and best friend, Cynthia, and her precious family. They have lived on the island for over 20 years. We hadn’t seen one another in 12.

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Our time together was so special as she shared her favorite spots with us. We saw birds so bright and so close it was almost as if we were in a Disney movie.

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I was able to teach my son about honor.

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We learned about sacrifice.

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And met true heroes who are worth looking up to.

(Staff Sgt. Herb Weatherwax, a 97 year old Pearl Harbor veteran.)

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I almost missed this beautiful and meaningful opportunity. But am so thankful for Mr. Décor and to God that I said “YES!”

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Are you saying “Yes!” to goodness?


“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ~ Psalm 23:6


Kelley said...

Oh, the power of "No." NO goodness is as good as God's goodness. I'm SOOO glad you said "YES!"

Mahalo for this lovely post, Laura. I'm elated for you! Islands are paradise in my book! And when they're in the Pacific, that's as close as you can get to Heaven with breath still in your lungs!

I can't wait to hear MUCH more about your wonderful "YES!"


Kelley said...

And please don't tell me you were there the last week of May...........

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

I'm so glad you listened when God spoke to your negative thoughts -- and blessed your husband with your presence. Why is it we so often think ourselves unworthy when God's view is so different?

Bonnie said...

Oh, Laura, I am so glad you went to Hawaii.You have blessed me with your happiness and sweet testimony.

I lost my blog roll and I am lost without it. Bloglovin went away too. I am not as smart as you to figure out all the tech stuff. I am afraid I am going to spend hours retyping blogs in the layout list. I am sure I will not know all the names and blog addresses.

Can't wait to see more of Hawaii and France.

Lana L. said...

What lovely pictures. I love Hawaii - one of my favorite places - so glad you decided to go. Saying "No" is one of my worst traits - it tends to be the first word out of my mouth, and then once I think about it, I usually change my mind. But saying "yes" first would be more positive. Thank you for sharing!

Lorrie said...

Beautiful photos but an even more beautiful story here. When good things overflow in my life I'm often looking for the negative, wondering when it will begin. How shameful of me. God delights in giving and in my gratitude. A wonderful post, Laura. Thank you for your transparency.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Glad you went and had a great time. Wow - from Paris to Hawaii in a short time - you are a traveling lady. LOL

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I am so glad you rethought your "No" and went, Laura. It sounds like it was a wonderful time and you got to reconnect with family and connect with some new people, too. Love that last picture of you and Eric! : )

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Great post Laura! Say yes to goodness - I love it!

ellen b. said...

What a wonderful lesson to learn and re-learn. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."

Maggie M said...

What a beautiful post and what a wonderful trip and all those blessings. I am glad I visited you tonight, what better way to end my blog visits for the day. I have been blessed just reading about your blessings. Hugs

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

I trust that you had a wonderful time. I can only imagine how confused your body clock must be now!!! Can't wait to read more about your travels!

Auntie Em said...

I am sitting here shaking my finger at you too. Well, mentally at least! lol
IF you ever let an opportunity go by to go to anyplace with your husband and family to make memories again...well, I will be very disappointed. You only get so many chances to create those special days and grab every one of them while you can.
So glad you went! Great photos. :) You are forgiven! lol

Rita C. said...

Oh my dear, Laura! This one brought tears - that last photo! So much love! Blessings beyond to you and yours - enjoy this silver lining to any perceived clouds in your lives while you are there!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I am so happy you went on this trip. I love that pic of you two kissing. How special is that.

Vel Criste said...

Wow Laura, I wouldn't have thought twice about such an offer. But I sorta understand why you initially said " no". Sometimes we get to a point we may feel 'unworthy' or 'taking advantage' of our GOD, but you know what? As great as HE IS, HE will never count or keep tabs on the blessings he shells out on all of us HIS children, so just say YES to everything and GOD WILL ALWAYS PROVIDE! :-)

Karena Albert said...

DEar Laura,

I have been reading some amazing books on being open to the goodness that God has for us and our lives.
This post came at the perfect time. As you know there were not great funds available for me to take Isabella to Southern California, and then amazingly generosity starting pouring in the door! I am so very grateful!

The Arts by Karena

Mary Steinbrink said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing. I'm usually looking for excuses to not do things also. What a great reminder to never overlook a gift! I can't wait to hear more about France too! Such beautiful and interesting posts!

Maureen Wyatt said...

I believe I suffer from believing that there is a limit to how much goodness you should take in life. I will remember your words and open myself up to all the goodness that comes my way, now!

Tammy's in Love said...

Oh my! If you ever say no again to that trip just let him take me! My son has been stationed at Hickam AFB for 3 years and I miss him so much!

Lory Owens said...

Powerful post Laura, I am going to start examining myself more closely. I don't want to miss out on any of GOD'S goodness! YES LORD YES!

nonie everythingsewing said...

Laura, thank you so much for sharing your story, it was written just for me! I do need to say yes to God goodness. I have such a hard time, for some reason there is a little voice telling me I don't deserve goodness.

Cindy said...

Catching up with your blog -- so happy you said "yes" and what a good lesson I am reminded of! You are worthy of all His goodness!!