It’s all just stuff?

by Edie Wadsworth on January 14, 2011

How many times have I rehearsed the words over in my head these last few weeks?
“It’s just stuff. It can all be replaced. Thank God we’re all okay. Forget about the stuff.”
I’ve said it a thousand times if I’ve said it once.
And I know it’s true. I know it is.
And really, in the big scheme of things, none of it is permanent. It’s all temporary.
So why am I lonesome for the stuff? For the house? For its’ comforts?
Why is it so hard to let it go? Why do I wish I could walk in there one more time and look around and maybe just take a few precious things?

Why can’t I just be happy and thankful that we have insurance and someday we’ll have a house again?
We’ll rebuild. We’ll buy new furniture.
Family members will reproduce pictures. It’ll all be back to normal soon.  If there is such a thing.
Some days and moments that explanation works and some days it just doesn’t.
It’s okay–and healthy even—to grieve it all. To miss it. To remember all the little things that are now gone.
On the hard days, here’s what I think of:

1. Caiti’s sweater. I started knitting on it 2 maybe 3 years ago.  When Caiti left home, it was my therapy.  I prayed for her as I worked on it.   I cried, I prayed, and poured myself into it so that when she finally wore it, she would know that a mother’s love is tenacious and deep; a shelter from life’s cold.   I was about 2 inches on one sleeve from finishing it and hoped to wrap it up for her this Christmas.  Often, I took it with me wherever I went so it was frequently sitting in the front seat of my car.  I’m sure people were tired of seeing me tote it around.   I brought it inside a few days before the fire  to finish it.  And now it’s gone.

strawberrybuttercreamcake

2. My recipes.  I love to cook and had 20 years worth of handwritten recipes in a stuffed-to-overflowing binder.  That binder is so much a part of my daily life as a wife and mom.  I miss it alot.


3. Our homeschool stuff. So much of our homeschool materials were an eclectic mix of things I’ve gathered over 3 years.   We had binders of all the memory work we’ve done over the past 3 years along with binders full of our *best* projects.   I’m so thankful some of it is preserved here online but I will never be able to recreate it.  So much of it is not ‘purchase-able’.   But we’ll do our best to carry on.

4. Our books. I know—we can buy more books.   But you know how your favorite books are dog-eared and marked in and coffee-stained and worn?  I miss my books.  I miss my Bible.  (Thanks to Denise and Lynn and Amy, I know have a new one!)  I spent this last year reading the Bible through and made copious notes in the margin.   I’ll start over.  I’ll mark it up again.  Mercies will be new.   The scriptures will sound different this time.   Perhaps for a short time, I won’t take it for granted to have a Bible that I can read at my leisure.  As for the other books, I have the most amazing friends.  THank you so much to everyone who has so wonderfully began replacing my books.  I’m in awe of you, Darcy and Lana and Jessica and Jennifer and all of my bookclub friends.  To see my old familiar books is like seeing old friends.   So much comfort.   So many thanks.

and so many other things I miss…

~my grandmother’s ring (I could hardly believe when Richella sent me some of her precious things from her grandmother.  My mom even cried when we opened it and said ‘how do you get through these letters and gifts’.  So incredibly thoughtful, thank you sweet friend. )
~my many scrapbooks
~the afghan Steve made when he had a ruptured appendix at age 12  and his mom and grandmother insisted that he learn to use his hands productively during his 6 week recovery.
~the many hand-knit things from grandma
~ my mother’s cookbook
~all my children’s special boxes
~10,000 pictures (Jessica, you are amazing. I am so grateful for the album.  Such great memories.  Love you)
~my sewing machine
~a houseful of handmade things
~all my antique store finds
~my latte bowl collection (you have been so unbelievably kind to me Ms. Amy.)
~my vintage aprons
~Jadeite cake stand
~all my boots (oh and there were many)
~Taylor’s senior picture
~ the queen chair
~ the bust of David (you are some kind of wonderful Nester girl, thank you for replacing him)
~ Mr. Orange Owl (I can hardly believe you girls replaced my owl!!!!—many hugs and thanks to Amy and Valerie–love you girls–I’m giving one to Caiti, who has always wanted to steel mine–it’s the perfect gift for the angel on the bridge!)
~my yarn collection and all my finished and unfinished projects

So as I sit here in our temporary home, I can’t help but grieve the losses.
Someday soon , there’ll be something to knit, something to cook, something to read, a house to decorate, children to teach.
But for now, we sit quiet and thankful for the stuff of memories, those things we *ponder in our hearts*–like Mary—that nothing can destroy, for they are imprinted forever, wonderful gifts from God that will comfort us in our waiting and strengthen us in our doubting.

**here’s what else I need you to know:  I have been completely swept off my feet by your kindness and outpouring of love and compassion.  The cards, the emails, the messages, the stories, the love, the gifts, the prayers, the blog posts, the food—-I don’t even know how to tell you how much it has all ministered to me.  I don’t know how I could have gotten through all this without you.  I really don’t.  I’m still working my way through my birthday wishes but I get so emotional when I read them that I can only read a few a time.  I’ve read and enjoyed every  word you’ve written, whether it’s been online or by mail.  I wish I could hug you all and tell you how much it all means to me.   Please know that I cherish you and thank you for every last precious word.   I will never forget.   Thank you.

**While my mother and my sister remind me not to buy chickens to roast until I own a roasting pan, my sainted brother-in-law spent the evening at IKEA in Atlanta for me last night buying desks/tables/chairs so we can start school this week.   He will surely receive special heavenly rewards for this.  My sister and I waited for his phone calls last night, half expecting at any minute for him to just dump it all in a pile on the floor of IKEA and leave the store muttering curse words in Swedish.  He was such a trooper.  I will NEVER be able to repay him for this.   And he will likely NEVER darken the doors of IKEA again.  Thank you Mark.  Love you.  You’re the best.  You took one for the home team.  Stevie is now in awe of you. (I always have been.)

**Oh and btw, just for a little comic relief, here’s a list of everything  I owned until a few days ago

a computer, a camera, a smattering of MAC makeup, a dutch oven and 3 pairs of boots.    psychoanalyze at your leisure.

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{ 161 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Love Being A Nonny January 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I don’t even know HOW to respond to this. There are not many words. I grieve your losses with you. And though they ARE temporary and just things, they were so much a part of your memories and every day life. Wish there was MORE we could all do. How are your children?

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2 mary beth January 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Thanks for being so transparent. I am trying to feel what you are feeling, and there is no way. We are nesters and every little twig, scrap and piece of fluff that we spin into our nests means something .And we love looking at those bits and rearranging them, snuggling down into them, taking refuge and comfort at seeing them. I know that’s how I feel about my home and the stuff that I have accumulated over the years. I looked at an old recipe book just the other day and it made me think of my mom and dad .I have furniture from their home. I have handmade things that I cherish too. Oh the aching hole in your heart right now! I do understand! Put one foot in front of the other and keep yourself busy …teaching! loving! gathering bits for your new nest! You can do this.

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3 Trina January 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Earthly treasures, yes. We know in our heads that our storehouse is heavenly, but it’s more than okay that it’s incredibly hard to move on.

I’ve been thinking so much about the girls. My kids have too – we’ve followed your homeschooling for so long, they were just as saddened to hear of your news. Together as a family, we’ve been praying for your family. May you all keep finding the bits of comfort in all this craziness.

You are loved! xo

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4 Jessica @ These Are The Days January 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Love you Edie. God knows your sorrows, anguish and heartache. He gets that though it’s all just “stuff” it brings us comfort and happiness too. I’m sorry you lost the sweater and the recipe’s I know that must hurt a lot. Keep chuggin’ along, if anyone can do it…you can! The silver lining is sure to sparkle at any minute. We’re still praying for you and hoping the little things will bring you bits of daily joy. Hugs.

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5 Pam January 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm

GLORY…I just found your blog. I’ve heard stories of others emotions after a fire where they lose everything. I can not even imagine. But reading just this short list of “things”….WOW. Truly praying that God is the God of all comfort as you walk through this….Where He allows us to go He is ahead of us…He knows. Earthly things…but all so often are centered around relationships and those are ordained by Him. I’m going to start loading pictures right now onto one of the online services to store all your docs and pictures.

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6 paige January 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

good morning sweet friend!!! girl,let me tell you, i hear and i sense the lord working in you. knitting your heart back together. i love to hear the stories of tangible ways he is using others to knit things back together around you.

i remember after gregg died, the surreal amount of love i felt from him. i knew that i was walking through the darkest loneliest time in my life, but i knew that i knew that i knew he was with me & it would be ok. again. one day.

you are loved by many my friend

ps…some of your recipes have intentionally lived on in my world. i have made something from your list everyday over the last week. i also wrote IOU on the board above my oven. several times i’ve had to explain to whomever asks what the letters stand for & what they represent….PRAYING FOR YOU…is their primary purpose.

xo

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7 FunkySteph January 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I am glad to read one more post of you… There is not a lot to say, but I would like to tell how much you learned me those past weeks… Take care, stay well all of you.

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8 Southern Gal January 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Love you. Still praying for you all, Edie.

That last line? I giggled.

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9 Trish @TheOldPostRoad January 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm

So sorry, Edie. Cannot even imagine. Hope I was not one of those who said “it is just stuff.” (thank God no one died.) And thank you for reminding me of the comfort that familiarity brings.

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10 Jjones523 January 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I have prayed for you and your family daily and will continue to. You have done so much to encourage me over the years,without ever knowing I am alive.
So now I do the only thing I can, the only thing that matters for you.. I pray.
Thank you for all you have blessed me with over the years

Cha Cha
Charity Jones

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11 Lanakwaustin January 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I know that in heaven we’re not supposed to need things…but I also know that God very much so intends heaven to be a place of joy and also a place where we’re going to know our loved ones…

So….obviously our loved ones will be our precious Believer family, all with newly resurrected eternal bodies of perfection, light bursting forth from each, but….

Maybe, just maybe, some of those loved ones for you will be:

Caiti’s sweater
Your recipes
Your homeschool stuff
Your books
Your grandmother’s ring
Your scrapbooks
Steve’s afghan
~the many hand-knit things from grandma
~ your mother’s cookbook
~all your children’s special boxes
~10,000 pictures
~your sewing machine
~a houseful of handmade things
~your antique store finds
~your latte bowl collection
~your vintage aprons
~Jadeite cake stand
~all your boots (oh and there were many)
~Taylor’s senior picture
~ the queen chair
~ the bust of David
~ Mr. Orange Owl
~Your yarn collection and all finished and unfinished projects

I really think God is gonna be super awesomely cool like that for you, Edie!

Love you!

More books on the way!

Ever praying for you,
Lana

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12 Elizabeth Highsmith January 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm

IKEA?? Have you any idea dear precious women that’s a hop skip and a jump from me and perhaps a fair portion of the rest of your readers, forgive me if this is border line creepy or stalkerish, but next time YOU come, I’ll push you in the buggy and we’ll eat sweedish meatballs and hotdogs and ice cream cones till we are in a carb induced giggle fit. bring your friends, yo family and we’ll just throw an all out IKEA par-tay. oh my goodness i am creepy. seriously, if you have to send in the troops again i will gladly go and help pile up the cash register.

every good 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, perhaps it’s not all just stuff, it’s all just gifts, some just aren’t the lasting, unchanging kind. grieving the loss of your tangible, fleshly gifts with you, rejoicing our God and His mercy is unchangeable

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13 Rhonda January 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Oh doll, when I learned of your fire, it was precisely that “stuff” that I grieved for- for you! It’s not just “stuff”, when it has your love and memories entertwined into it…still praying for you….

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14 Rachel January 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I am really sorry. I was referred to your blog today by a friend. Again. I am sorry.
Your perspective and outlook is truly beautiful — how you keep bringing it back to the Lord — and yet, you are real and raw and write about the struggle. I thank you for your transparency.

I’ll be praying for you.

Rachel

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15 Kwhitlock January 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Praying for you sweet lady… How wonderful of your bro-in-law to go to IKEA. I had to laugh at that. Lord knows, it takes a special person and a lot of patience :) Stay strong…

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16 Ruth January 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm

My heart breaks for you. It is just stuff, but you wouldn’t be human if you hadn’t made attachments to your special items, and as I read through your list, I couldn’t help but cry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

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17 Kendal January 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm

oh, edie. i’ve been praying for you. and i would be grieving just the same.

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18 Shayne January 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Yes, it is stuff. But it was your stuff, and that makes all the difference. Small bits of stuff are where our memories lie.

Thinking of you, praying for you and your family daily.

So glad you have a start on things for school. Love IKEA!

Hope this isn’t too weird to tell you here, but your experience in the flames caused me to realize how woefully unprepared we are here at our home for a fire. (We just finished our home last year, so we’re still in the stages of “Where’s the crank for that casement window?” I know, God forbid we should need it in an emergency.) We’re busy putting the permanent cranks on each window, ordering emergency escape ladders, & relocating fire extinguishers—because of your experience. Sorry for how weird that must sound.

May the God of all comfort wrap you in His peace today.

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19 Joy January 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Edie, you are so often in my thoughts and prayers. Remember that you are grieving and grief has it’s stages and everyone does it differently. I’m going to continue to ask the Lord to comfort you. He will make everything NEW. I am asking that you will be reminded of special memories but inspired to create new ones with new things. In Christ’s precious and abiding love, Joy

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20 Leanne January 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm

i am a newbie here…i just wanted to tell you that i don’t know much about you from before the fire, but from what i’m witnessing here…you are going to come out of this better than before. the human spirit is awesome to begin with…but on top of that you are an amazing woman. love to you and your beautiful family. i will follow you xoxo

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21 Onecrazychicken January 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I recently started reading your blog. You’re words are such a blessing. This post is good, it’s honest. Sometimes our earthly possessions are more than just stuff and I think that’s OK. It’s all still so raw and new and fresh. I know that God will blow you with away (as He already has) with how He will bless you and heal the aches from your loss. Praying for you!

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22 Perfecting Pru January 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Only three pairs of boots – I thought there would be loads more! ; )

Stuff will be replaced and the memoies will continue. I’m so pleased you opened the comments up again.

Enjoy putting up the IKEA desks – the relief when they full stand up and don’t fall down is worth saving.

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23 Richella January 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

God bless you as you grieve. . . and heal. You will heal; indeed you will. And we will be cheering you on, praying for you, doing whatever we can to lighten your load of grief. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. If all you shared were the victorious times, we would be inspired but not really able to relate. When you share both the difficulties and the victories, we are able to relate. We weep with you and we rejoice with you. And so our hearts are knit more closely together.

So maybe your latest knitting project is hearts, dear Edie. You are creating a masterpiece.

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24 Elizabteh January 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Edie I have been following your blog for quite sometime now and you have always inspired me in so many ways. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers, it’s okay to miss those “things” because they are a part of you and your family and who you are. In time I pray that you are able to heal inside out; you have the most positive and amazing outlook on life. Have a fabulous Friday.

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25 debbie January 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Hi, Edie,, it broke my heart when i heard of your tragic news the week of Christmas. We lost our home and everything in it to a fire when I was in 6th grade..its something you never forget for sure. But I, like so many others, can see God working through you and I am very grateful for your heartfelt words that I read every time I visit your blog. I’m glad to see you’re grieving and getting through this. You’ve been in my prayers.. God Bless You and Yours.

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26 Carolynperkins January 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm

My heart hurts for you… You are in inspiration to me (and many others, I’m sure). I will surely remember you in my prayers (as I have been already).

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27 Bev January 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Edie, you are positively amazing. I love your writing, it makes me feel like I’m cozy in a room with you and your bestest friends, and we’re chatting and I’m in the “inner circle”. You make me feel loved like a cherished friend somehow by your precious thoughts & words, and I am so proud of how you are handling the loss of your “things”. I can’t wait to see your new adventures in your new home with all of your lovely new “things”. God has Blessed you indeed, and in turn, you have been a Blessing to me! Love in Christ Jesus – our rescuerer! Bev

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28 Julie January 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I’ve thought a lot about my “things” since the fire. It takes such a conscious effort not to let ourselves love them too much. And then there’s the guilt when we do it anyway. But while we are laying up treasures in heaven, our humanity forces us to gather a few things down here, too. It’s all we know to do. And I think God understands that even more than we do. He will be with you as you grieve your things. And it will help us all to watch you heal. Praying.

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29 randi January 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm

all of the “stuff” is a part your memories. yes, none of it is really worth much, but in our hearts our goods are tied to our goods through daily living with it. after time your heart will let go of it, but for now it remains a way to connect to the past–the recent past.

thanks for sharing part of this journey with us. your strength is inspiring.

http://ihavetosay.typepad.com/

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30 lauren@somethingreal January 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm

and to think… if our heart connects with the beauty and feeling of special earthly things… just imagine the song it will sing for our heavenly crown. these are just a taste of things to come….praise GOD! :) thanks for sharing a part of your journey and heart with us….

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31 Karen January 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Dear Edie and Family……… My heart aches for you. I don’t think anyone could be prepared for such a loss. Of course, you’re all alive and whole, but the home which you so loved, which is where your “heart is” will forever be gone. Yes, “things” can be replaced and you’ll have new memories….but I can understand how hurt you must be.

Please know that I’ve been sending up prayers on your behalf and thinking about you often, even though we have never met. I can tell that you’re a very strong person and know you WILL get through this. But, it takes time to grieve for such losses. Your posting about your thoughts is a big part of the healing process and I’m very glad to “see” you here.

As a knitter and a quilter, I know how calming handwork is. Maybe you could begin knitting something small and simple just to keep your hands and mind busy.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers….
Karen

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32 Laryssa January 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Sweet Edie, you are in my thought and prayers. I’m so thankful for your family and friends being able to reach out and be the loving hand of our Savior to you.

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33 Suzanne January 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

How amazing that you can still make me smile – You continue to gift us as you work through your own grief. Stuff – yes, but I cannot fathom losing my stuff – call me anything you want. My stuff is so precious to me, the memories that are held with that stuff are priceless. Grieve openly and know it is ok. Laugh when you can and know that’s ok too. Praying that God will continue to hold you closely in His arms…….

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34 Hillcrestcottage January 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm

What a time to start following your blog….wow.

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35 Nester January 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm

your list of items you owned up until 3 days ago made my entire day.

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36 Flower Patch Farmgirl January 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

It is so good, watching you be loved so deeply by so many.

I was thrilled to see comments opened up today! And I want to unzip my computer screen and crawl atop that pillowy LYLAS cake and take a nap. Don’t even think I’m joking.

xo

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37 Flower Patch Farmgirl January 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

It is so good, watching you be loved so deeply by so many.

I was thrilled to see comments opened up today! And I want to unzip my computer screen and crawl atop that pillowy LYLAS cake and take a nap. Don’t even think I’m joking.

xo

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38 Shilo January 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

We grieve not the things because they are our things, but because of the memories and meaning tied to them. I’m glad you are giving yourself permission to do that grieving and that you are finding your comfort in the arms of our Savior. You are beautiful and He delights in you.

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39 Shaunna January 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Even though we’ve never “met” until now, just wanted to say I’m so thankful for your Spirit…you are such a blessing. Your honesty is real and humble and He will lift you on those days and in those moments. Still praying for you guys down here in Alabama. :-) shaunna

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40 Megan January 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Sending hugs your way. My husband and I have been praying for you and your family. I check your blog everyday for updates. I’m always curious to know how you are. Thanks for sharing.

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41 Jen -BeautyandBedlam January 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Oh Edie – you have been and continue to be an inspiration through this to SO many. I was bummed I missed out on the birthday surprise. I was being a good girl and being offline more and by the time I got back on, over a 100 people had shown how much they love you and that doesn’t even include all of us who didn’t get around to a post. Thanks for making us think deeply. Another homeschool blogging friend lost their home two days ago. Did you hear about it? I just know your posts will be able to minister her as well through this.

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42 Meg January 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I just started following your blog ever since I saw the stuff about the fire. Let me say it’s a treat.

To read this post I am thinking two things:

1. I dry heaved thinking about losing all my stuff. (life isn’t about the stuff, but gosh the stuff does a little somethin’ somethin’ for me.)
2. I almost jealous of this huge life shift that you have because that’s when you get to know God in a way that you didn’t before.

Thanks for being honest about what is going on with you right now!

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43 Meg January 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I just started following your blog ever since I saw the stuff about the fire. Let me say it’s a treat.

To read this post I am thinking two things:

1. I dry heaved thinking about losing all my stuff. (life isn’t about the stuff, but gosh the stuff does a little somethin’ somethin’ for me.)
2. I almost jealous of this huge life shift that you have because that’s when you get to know God in a way that you didn’t before.

Thanks for being honest about what is going on with you right now!

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44 Teresa January 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I so want to send you something….I am still thinking…..You have been a burst of joy and incredible insight in a very sad time in your life….One day a box will arrive from me….right now I just want to bless you wih cards….
Teresa

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45 Sarah January 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Oh Edie how are YOU making ME laugh today??
With all you have been through your humor and
Your grace are as shiny as ever. I pray for you daily

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46 Anonymous January 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I have so much I want to give you (vintage everything, books,etc.) but first of all I want to give you thanks for reawakening my ” Lutheranism.” I have printed out everything you have written on faith, grace, baptism….I have ordered the Lutheran Prayer book and several others you have rec. You are an inspiration to me and so many others.

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47 Beth January 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

As you continue to rebuild, literally and emotionally, you know our prayers and hearts are with you. Thank for your honest heart as you experience this part of life and for the way you are teaching and growing us even as you learn and grow. Praying.

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48 Rhoda@ Southern Hospitality January 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Oh, Edie, as always your precious spirit shines through even in your heartache. Of course, it’s only stuff, but it was your stuff and that is so hard to deal with. We would all be feeling the same way in your shoes. So glad you have had such an outpouring of love from friends and community,that is what it is all about. You are loved and give so much of yourself. Love & prayers! xoxo Rhoda

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49 Amy Avery January 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

You continue to amaze me with how allow God’s grace and beauty to shine through you! I could not say any better to you than what Lana said in her comment to you today. Beautifully said, Lana. Praying daily for you Edie. Much love and many thanks for your gracious heart!

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50 Amy Avery January 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

You continue to amaze me with how allow God’s grace and beauty to shine through you! I could not say any better to you than what Lana said in her comment to you today. Beautifully said, Lana. Praying daily for you Edie. Much love and many thanks for your gracious heart!

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51 Juliannafarmer January 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I love you through your blog although I don’t know the person. I have yet to write anything because words escape me. I have prayed and lamented for you and yours. I’m so glad to hear a different tone in your writing–clearly, healing is taking place. God is good as he gives you your humor back : )

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52 Juliannafarmer January 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I love you through your blog although I don’t know the person. I have yet to write anything because words escape me. I have prayed and lamented for you and yours. I’m so glad to hear a different tone in your writing–clearly, healing is taking place. God is good as he gives you your humor back : )

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53 Ann Hathaway January 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Hello my darling sister in Christ. I just started following since the fire, when The Nester asked us to pray for you. And I am. Your list of losses (and I know it’s only a tiny sliver of the enormity of your actual losses) is a very positive thing. Bound to be cathartic for you, if not now, later. Keep holding tight to Jesus’ hand. Better days really are ahead. I am confident that our Father will give so much of what’s lost back to you…like Job. They will come in bits and pieces and at unexpected times and ways, but be watching. Remember, all our “stuff” is a “good and perfect gift that comes down from the Father of Lights”….God blessed you with all that stuff; it is good to derive joy and pleasure from the blessing gifts of our Lord, and to cultivate a grateful heart. Inversely, it is natural to grieve the loss of the “stuff”, and God knows your heart and has stored all your tears in His bottle, Ps 56:8. Sending you love and comfort from Kansas.

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54 bambi January 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I’m keeping you in my thoughts! I lost everything I owned in Katrina, so did my family, so I was not able to obtain pictures of my family, because they also lost any and all of their pictures. I just wanted to tell you that It’s been 5 years and I’m moving along. You will too. Sounds like you have a great family and wonderful friends – that makes moving on much easier! xoxo bambi

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55 Maria January 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

It is amazing how we cling to the stuff, isn’t it? I am a new reader of your blog thanks to Meg @ whatever, and I wish it wasn’t due to that post that I found your blog and story.

I am reminded of the stuff we lost during Katrina, and although it wasn’t as much as some people, it was quite a bit. Just wanted to let you know that another fan is thinking of you and praying for you and your family as you rebuild your home.

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56 Child of God January 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Hi Edie,
I am new here. I came over from Barbie’s blog, ‘My Freshly Brewed Life’. I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you. I feel so sad about your loss but I am so thankful that God protected your family and even the animals!

God Bless,
<

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57 Jamie Knoxville January 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

As long as you’ve got your MAC (makeup that is), you’re good to go!

Love You Sister
Can’t wait to see you!

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58 Tasha January 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Edie,

I am a faithful blog reader who has prayed for you and your family everyday since I found out about your loss.
I want to thank you for your transparency during this time. Being real is what drew me to your blog in the first place.
I have no words to make things better, but I do know that the Lord will carry you through and it is more than okay
to be real about how your are feeling as you walk this road.

My daughters have fretted that your daughters have lost their
American girls….they have prayed for your girls. I love how God can bind the hearts of those who have never met in person
through the internet.

I think about you often through out the day as I do my normal home school things and pray that the
Lord will give you peace as you try to establish a rhythm to your day. I also pray for myself that the Lord will help me to
better appreciate the “mundane, everyday things”…. because those are the things that are missed most when one’s world
is tossed upside down.

May God bless you with hope and peace as you continue to follow Him.
Tasha

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59 Sue January 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I can’t imagine going through what you have been through. I am encouraged that if it were me that the comforter would be there guiding and expressing God’s love. It is so evident that you love God (Father and Son) and that you are filled with the Spirit. Your praise and thanks could only from from that type of love and closeness to God. Since you are the one going through this thanks for being such an example of Gods love to the rest of us. An example of being honest and letting God prop you up on your leaning side. Also what a blessing all your friends and family have been to you. Since all good things are from above they too are an example of His great love.

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60 Amanda January 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Bless you sweet sister in Christ! praying for peace that surpasses understanding

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61 Kirstencallowaysmith January 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Edie~ I hadn’t ever run across your blog until the day after your house fire. What a warm, sweet, welcoming place. Even though you don’t have a threshold to step through right now, this landing pad is a beautiful “home” filled with memories. I am absolutely praying for your precious family. One of these days, I’ll sit down for hours and dive back through your blog to get to “know” you a little better. ((hugs))

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62 Donna January 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Oh Edie…it is just stuff BUT I can so understand the missing…home is home! My heart hurts for you and I continue to pray for you and your family!

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63 Guest January 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I am crying at the loss of the sweater. xoxo

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64 Guest January 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I am crying at the loss of the sweater. xoxo

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65 Sue January 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Edie,

My word for the year is ‘Restoration’. As I am restoring my soul, my home, my life, my thoughts often wander to a lovely picture I have of you in my minds eye. Sometimes in that picture, I see tears streaming down your cheek and I gently brush it away and you smile again.
Edie, you have gone through something quite tragic and yet have passed your grace onto all of us with your kind and open heart….sharing your healing…your honesty. Please know that you are being hugged by every one of us.

You are ALWAYS on my mind and in my PRAYERS.

Hugs,

Sue

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66 Darcy January 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Love you, girl. Wish I could bring it all back, but I imagine something is meant to come of all this. He knows, even if we don’t.

xo.

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67 Hailey January 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I totally agree with the first commenter (commentor? I might need you to homeschool me…). I used to get sad that certain cherished items wouldn’t follow me to heaven (pictures, treasured blankets, etc). Then I realized that although we’re not supposed to need anything in heaven, God just might allow us to fill our mansions with these types of treasures. Maybe this is a materialistic view and totally off base, but it’s certainly a nice thought. :)
You’ve totally inspired me. Just wanted you to know. Since finding you, I’ve spent too much time reading your archives. You’ve inspired me to be a better mom and wife. Make our house a “home”. And you’re right. You’ll get back to that again. Take your time to grieve. Love you, girl!

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68 Amanda @ Serenity Now January 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Edie, I’ve never been a regular commenter, but I’ve really been blown away by your grace and faith throughout this ordeal. You are an inspiration to me. :)

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69 Gmg1212 January 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I came across your blog, and you are an inspiration. You need to grieve, it is a loss. My sister passed away four years ago, and someone said things will get back to normal, and I said no–it will be a new normal. New Normal is okay, it just takes time. Allow yourself to have your feelings, each one of them is okay. Your faith will keep you strong and grounded. I wish you much grace and peace.

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70 Jody January 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” _ Romans 8:28

Even though something completely terrible has happened to you, I know that God is taking this tragedy and making something good out of it. Not just in you and your family, but in people who do not even know you. Can you imagine all of the people who do not have a relationship with Jesus who have viewed your site and the blogs of others who have written on your tragedy? Through your own personal tragedy their hearts are being witnessed to.

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71 Ruth Emond January 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Dear Edie~you are on my mind and in my heart constantly. I can’t imagine what you are feeling, the displacement, the yearning for something that is your own. Not having your home and favorite things makes you feel like a wanderer with no where to rest. Just know that you and your family are in my prayers.

Hugs to you sweet friend,
Ruth

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72 Playingsublimely January 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I dont know why, but this is one of my favorite posts you have ever written. Its so you, its so real, so lovely…

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73 Carrie January 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Dearest Edie,
In your loss, you are still ministering to others…blessing with your words…grateful through your tears. You are a great blessing to all those who read your blog. You point to Christ and show the world…you are different because of Him. I wish I had the right words to say, but I don’t have any…God gave me this sentence in an extreme loss we are going through…nothing like your loss…but “He leads us into loss so He can enrich us with eternal gain.” What struck me, is that He is leading me through it…going before, helping me walk through the difficult way. He didn’t force me here to walk alone…He leads me through it…for my greater good. This might not apply to you, but it blessed me by showing the tender Good Shepherd, Abba Father side of our God while going through our loss. While we may never meet on this side of Heaven, you are my precious sister in Christ. I hope you know how dear you are….
Love,
Carrie

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74 Farmer Gal January 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Sorry, but I have to laugh a little at the list of things you currently own… I think my list would be very similar!

You are right that it is okay to grieve the loss of your things. The thing about grief is, it goes far beyond what we ‘think’ we should feel. Just as a cut needs time to heal, so does an injury of something on the inside when it has been torn apart. I am just praying for you, that when the time comes, you will find much joy and much healing in building your new home.

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75 Anonymous January 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

So good to have your words again. :-) I think we’d all gladly get it all back for you if we could and it pains so many of us to know we can’t fully save you from what you are feeling and will feel for a while…but let me just say that this tragedy you are enduring is causing so many of us to look at “stuff” as just that and “moments” as something to treasure and give all of ourselves to. It’s really all we can be certain of. The moment we are given. The moment right now. And surely He is in every single one of them. Even this one. Praying for you. :-)

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76 Patrice January 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

You have such a beautiful heart and spirit! Your faith far outshines them though. I am very new to your blog, but when I see that you’ve posted something, I’m eager to pay a visit. I found myself reading your list and wanting so to be able to say “Wow! I have one of those to send her.” I don’t, but I can give you my prayers.

I have often thought that I’m way too attached to things. Yet when I read this post I see that the attachment to things is because of the people that had something to do with the things. My list would be like that too. Thank God for the people in our lives!

Blessings!

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77 Carrie January 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I wonder if the “things” mean so much to some of us because we take time and collect them from all corners and there are wonderful stories of discovery with each of them. We don’t go to 1 store see a living room or any room and say, I will take it from top to bottom. The “things” are a story of our life and our adventures. We don’t put our things above our family’s safety or above our faith or anything else, but for some of us our things are part of our story. Blessings and prayers.

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78 Kara January 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Edie, your grace throughout this difficult time is such an inspiration. You, and your beautiful family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your home, pictures, books, scrapbooks, cookbooks, family heirlooms…..

I hope that someday soon you will find peace in your new home that will be filled with pictures, books, scrapbooks, cookbooks……faith and love.

With Love~ Kara

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79 Carla January 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I am so grateful for your blog and have mourned your losses with you.

I know that this is nothing compared to a complete house fire, but I can identify with your wrestlings a great deal. Almost two years ago we sold or gave away most everything that we owned in order to go on the mission field (we are missionaries in Quito, Ecuador). I have been up and down the road with “it is just stuff” verses “it was important to me/there were memories in that”. It is a dilemma that I don’t think we will ever completely be able to come to terms with while on earth.

So far, in the journey God has taken me with this struggle, is that it is okay to be sad, to feel the lose – and not to feel bad to feel that way… as long as we aren’t dwelling or taking it to bitterness. And I certainly don’t believe you are headed that way! Christ is good, faithful – more than we can imagine.

You are in my prayers.
Carla
at breathingdeepwheretheairisthin.blogspot.com

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80 Carla January 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I am so grateful for your blog and have mourned your losses with you.

I know that this is nothing compared to a complete house fire, but I can identify with your wrestlings a great deal. Almost two years ago we sold or gave away most everything that we owned in order to go on the mission field (we are missionaries in Quito, Ecuador). I have been up and down the road with “it is just stuff” verses “it was important to me/there were memories in that”. It is a dilemma that I don’t think we will ever completely be able to come to terms with while on earth.

So far, in the journey God has taken me with this struggle, is that it is okay to be sad, to feel the lose – and not to feel bad to feel that way… as long as we aren’t dwelling or taking it to bitterness. And I certainly don’t believe you are headed that way! Christ is good, faithful – more than we can imagine.

You are in my prayers.
Carla
at breathingdeepwheretheairisthin.blogspot.com

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81 Kristi-The Slipcover Girl January 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm

love you girl. you’ve stayed on my heart. and i have to say…i came {}this close to getting you that cute orange owl cookie jar. they were back ordered when i looked. glad you got one though…it’s totally you! xo

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82 Kristi-The Slipcover Girl January 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm

love you girl. you’ve stayed on my heart. and i have to say…i came {}this close to getting you that cute orange owl cookie jar. they were back ordered when i looked. glad you got one though…it’s totally you! xo

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83 Natalia January 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I took my time to read each word from this post. You are going through such a terrible time. May the Lord continues giving you strengh, joy, and peace.
It may be very difficut to be on your shoes.
The only thing my Spirit brought to my heart when I was reading was this:

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Eddie, I got to know something of you since this happenning, and I remember you in my prayers since that day.
God will give you back everything!
Many hugs and kisses!
Natalia
http://www.natalia-manago.blogspot.com
Sorry for my English, I speak Spanish better than I do in English since I am from Argentina. I live in Buenos Aires

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84 Asiyah Kurtz January 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

On October 30, 1998 I lost everything I owned in an apartment fire.

It happened while I was at work and only realized that I had nothing to return to when I arrived home to a building burned down to the ground. I didn’t have renter’s insurance or any family I could stay with. I slept in my car for a month at a local police precinct’s parking lot until I could get back on my feet. The Red Cross gave me a toothbrush and a pillow to tide me over.

What’s worse, my two dogs Chelsea and Daley (a pup) died in the fire. I still haven’t forgotten the loss but have since moved beyond it.

You’re right…it is all just stuff.

But what I learned about the grace and love of God more than made up for my loss. My little Red Geo Storm was the “secret place” for me to have it out with Him. He was big enough to take everything I said. In my anger, sadness and eventual surrender, I came to realize that His grace was truly sufficient for me.

When I look back over the years, I see that God has blessed me not only quantitatively but qualitatively as well. He never lies.

Thank you for posting this. I makes me very grateful for everything I have.

Hugs…

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85 Northdixie January 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Dear Edie –

I found you because of a turquoise kitchen when I searched for “painted kitchen cabinets”. I know you know this, but God allows us to live in a physical world. He told us to have “dominion” over it. He gave us the gifts of sight and touch and hearing so that we could enjoy our physical world. It’s not just stuff. BUT, the STUFF doesn’t define us. God still hears those prayers that were knitted into that sweater.

Dixie

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86 Amy Little January 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Edie,
I, too, just came to read your blog just a few weeks before your house fire, and have checked back daily to “see” how you are. Of course, I’ve prayed. And yes, it is stuff. But one of the things I’ve thought of is how intentional you were (are) about your stuff. What was just a chair for me was an experience, and emotion, a memory for you. I am your exact age, and just recently have begun to look around my own space, literally and figuratively, to begin to define it more as a reflection of who I am, what my family is, what our lives individually and collectively “say”. I’m a Bible study writer and teacher, so, of course, it is stuff. But at the same time, when you are intentional as you are, it isn’t JUST stuff. It’s the story behind the stuff. And so I both grieve with you for your loss, and I thank you for all the STUFF that is you, because it has already changed the STUFF about me.
May the LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace!
Amy from Norman

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87 Brookelee13 January 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I have thought about you and your family everyday since I read about your loss. Know that prayers are going up still!

Brooke
thriftysouthernlivingwithbrooke.blogspot.com

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88 Angelos82718 January 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Oh Eddie, I have been praying for you and your family. I know the Lord led me to your blog and I have been on a prayer war path for you during this time.

Yes, it is just stuff, but it is so good to know that God cares about our hurts and loss no matter the insignificance of it. He delights in you and He will soon delight in your joy. Prayers and blessings over you Eddie.

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89 Lauren January 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Although I came to know you and your family through the fire, I have also come to admire you as well. Your strength, courage, and unending faith are truly an inspiration. While I know the material things are just that, material, I can totally relate to missing them, they are a part of what made you a family and your house a home. I would miss those things too. May God continue to bless you, and may you rely upon HIS strength and love to get you through this difficult time of transition.

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90 Sandy January 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm

My mom always said, “It’s just stuff”! but when she died all that stuff of hers stayed in her room for over a year and I could not let go of any of it… Your feelings must be somewhat the same.. except your stuff did not allow you to pick and choose what to toss or give away. I’m sure each day you remember something, that brings you to a standstill, for a moment…
It will all fall into place in time and you can start new memories with all the new stuff…
Since your story, I’ve been putting all my photos on CD’s and scanning as much as I can, then sending all to my daughters house…
Odd the things we think of.
Bless you and your family
Sandy

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91 Sandy January 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm

My mom always said, “It’s just stuff”! but when she died all that stuff of hers stayed in her room for over a year and I could not let go of any of it… Your feelings must be somewhat the same.. except your stuff did not allow you to pick and choose what to toss or give away. I’m sure each day you remember something, that brings you to a standstill, for a moment…
It will all fall into place in time and you can start new memories with all the new stuff…
Since your story, I’ve been putting all my photos on CD’s and scanning as much as I can, then sending all to my daughters house…
Odd the things we think of.
Bless you and your family
Sandy

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92 Cupofdelight January 15, 2011 at 12:04 am

Oh sweetheart, this made me cry so hard. I am mourning your losses with you, though I’ve never met you. It’s heart breaking and reminds me that this place is not our home. Of course, that may not be so comforting at a time like this, but I appreciatte you sharing your story and your faith.

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93 Cupofdelight January 15, 2011 at 12:04 am

Oh sweetheart, this made me cry so hard. I am mourning your losses with you, though I’ve never met you. It’s heart breaking and reminds me that this place is not our home. Of course, that may not be so comforting at a time like this, but I appreciatte you sharing your story and your faith.

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94 seablinkie January 15, 2011 at 12:04 am

I know how hard it is to loose these things and I wish I could replace them all for you. I am continuing to pray for you and your family.

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95 seablinkie January 15, 2011 at 12:04 am

I know how hard it is to loose these things and I wish I could replace them all for you. I am continuing to pray for you and your family.

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96 Valarie- Texas January 15, 2011 at 1:15 am

Hi Edie, you are more than welcome for the cookie jar orange owl. The first I spotted HIM was when you did your remodel! Everytime I came to your blog HE made me SMILE as well as you! When I learned of the loss. I searched owl’s, orange owl’s and found HIM. I always imagined you and your girl’s dipping into the cookie jar in the afternoon while home studying!! I knew HE had to be a close part of the family! :) You are wonderful & talented and have been such an inspiration to me. Keep your heart warm and know we are all here for you! Much love, Valarie
(email as you requested valariekerby@mac.com)

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97 Anonymous January 15, 2011 at 1:19 am

Oh Edie, this made me cry. I have no words, still to comfort you. I cannot imagine these types of losses. These things that truly had meaning and purpose. Yet, it is all just stuff. Praying for your continual comfort.

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98 Tarahlowry January 15, 2011 at 1:32 am

lots and lots of tears for you and even more prayers for you
goodness. i know how hard it is to remember all of the things that made up your home.
i wasn’t surprised at all to see that people have replaced some of the things that you loved the most…those are answers to some of my prayers for you….
i have a few things up my sleeve to send you once things settle down….

thinking of you tonight…

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99 Renee January 15, 2011 at 1:43 am

Those things that you miss are beautiful treasures. I think you are so wise to allow yourself to lament and mourn and not feel guilty b/c they are “things”. It sounds like its not the things that you loved, but the meaning behind them. I know this to be true, b/c I have canisters that belonged to my Grandmom and a table and chairs that belonged to my Nana. And when I look at them their is something beautiful attached. Praying right now that the loss will be given to you again tenfold. I know we have never met, but you have been in my prayers so often. Praying for grace and beauty for you!!

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100 Kristin S January 15, 2011 at 2:31 am

This blog world has shrunk the real world. We’ve never met and I had never seen your blog until December 30th-ish when my friend Kitty texted, “Do you read Edie’s blog?” The journey began.
Oh, how I’ve prayed for you. Your raw honesty in this post shows your faith and hope.

Still praying…
Still praying…

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101 Saragraydesign January 15, 2011 at 2:48 am

I have been waiting. Waiting my whole life to find what I “should” be doing. I am a child of God, a wife and a mama. I love to sew and craft and make crazy do-hickies with my children. I want to own my own business… but how? What? When?

Recently, I started following a blog… The Pleated Poppy. Man, that girl is all me! She is ME! She loves the Lord, her husband, her children, and she is doing what I want to do!

So, I decided to start a blog… Oh, but I’ll just follow her for a while, and see what her style is… and then, there was EDIE. On January 4th, there was EDIE.

I have been waiting. Waiting for someone to point me in the right direction. There was EDIE. What an inspiring woman she is. What a miraculous child of the Lord. What an amazingly strong mother. What a beautiful wife. What a STRONG woman.

I have been waiting. Waiting for something, ANYTHING I could do for this sweet woman. This woman who wants for nothing, but lost all her “stuff.” Her pictures, her furniture, her beautiful turquoise kitchen, her mama’s cookbook. Her mama’s cookbook.

So, today I found that cookbook. I bought that cookbook. And when that cookbook arrives here, I will ship it to Edie’s wonderful sister. The sister that fought her for that fantastically tacky calendar. The sister that drove her around while she wept. Wept for her “stuff.” Her stuff that painted the picture that her family danced in.

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102 Kristi January 15, 2011 at 2:56 am

I only recently discovered your blog and have been praying for you daily since the first read. I do know what you are going through. My parents lost their home last year, just a week before Christmas. They had lived in the home for over 30 years and lost absolutely everything. We have often said the same words, “It’s all just stuff”. However, that “stuff” was a part of who you are. There are still days when I cry over my lost wedding dress. There are still days when my mother cries over the lost gifts her father had given her before his passing. My mother and father miss their wedding rings. It is okay to grieve for the “stuff”. Losing a home is like losing a family member. It was your comfort, but I promise God will show you His comfort and He will provide for you. I will continue to pray for you.

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103 Kellie January 15, 2011 at 3:05 am

I think it’s very natural to miss those things that made home so special. It is so wonderful to see how God is already providing through your family and friends to make your future home special too.

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104 Amy Lynne January 15, 2011 at 3:35 am

My home was lost to a fire when I was five years old and I still think about the things we lost almost 30 years later. I still smell the smoke on a little dress that survived somehow. It will be part of you forever, but you will continue to be strong and trust that everything happens for a reason.

I wish I could hug you and hold your hand as you wander through shops looking for new treasures for your new life. You are an amazing lady and I hope you continue to feel all the love and encouragement we all have for you!

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105 Linda January 15, 2011 at 3:59 am

I can clearly remember when my sister lost all her worldly possessions in a fire several years ago….she said that she knew it was just “stuff”, but when you don’t own a single thing…that “stuff” means so much more than it did before. I have been praying for you and your family…and feeling the grief of losing “stuff”.

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106 SUMMER January 15, 2011 at 5:44 am

EDIE I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I AM HOLDING TRUE TO 1ST THESSELONIANS 5:17 AS WELL AS ASKING THE LORD TO KEEP HOLDINING YOU AND YOURS IN ARMS ……AND AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NEVER MET AND I HAVE ONLY BEEN READING YOUR BLOG FOR A SHORT BITTERSWEET FEW WEEKS I SUPPORT YOU AS A SISTER IN CHRIST ……. PRAYERFULLY YOU WILL HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND.

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107 kimberly January 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

love you, edie! and while it is stuff, it is the stuff of memories and love and hopes and dreams! what you really said in that post is that it’s not the physical stuff, but all that went along with it…and everyone of us grieves with you that those things that brought those sweet memories are now gone.
my continual prayer for you is that you are completely swept away in our Father’s love and all the riches that He is pouring out on you in new and different ways during this season. and i do believe that your memories, hopes and dreams from this “stuffless” time will be sweet and fulfilling and beautiful to you in the future.

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108 Keturamc January 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I am praying for you and your family as you walk through this time. I have only been reading your blog since right before the fire but I have been tremendously blessed by you and your family and the faith in which you live your lives. I can’t imagine the heartache right now but I know that the Lord will work this for your good. Praying for you!

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109 Mary Beth January 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm

It is all stuff….but I understand…as I am sure everyone does….my mother was killed in an accident when I as a young mother… I treasure the “stuff” she gave me when she was alive….when my father passed a few years later, all of their ‘stuff’ went up for grabs…me being a so not aggressive person…I watched as much of what I associated with them was spoken for…it still to this day brings tears to my eyes, ‘stuff’ that was theirs being gone…but I hang on to the memories of hugs, words, and a love that will never be forgotten. Praying for you…for God’s comfort to wrap you, hold you and bless you~there is nothing like a parent’s love…and God is an amazing Father.

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110 Stacy January 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I read last night that we have to feel the sharp sting of pain & loss in order to truly experience joy and happiness in our lives. I like to think all of this awfulness has happened to you to prepare you for all the goodness that is to come. You certainly deserve nothing less. Thank YOU for being my inspiration today.

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111 meg duerksen January 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

love you Edie.
it sounds like you have all the things a girl needs….for few days at least. :)
what kind of sewing machine did you have?

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112 edie wadsworth January 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm

oh it was dreamy.
i bought it on ebay way cheap. it was a viking designer se, i think.
i’ll never be able to find one that awesome and that cheap.
but i’ll certainly try.
we moved into a great rental house this week. it has a room perfect for homeschooling and the most dreamy craft room ever, lots of windows, gets lovely morning sun.
i have a feeling sewing machine will climb near the top of the list here soon.
what do you use?
are you sewing yet? can’t wait to see this years’ pillows.
i’m making soup and panini’s tonight. yay. go me.
xo,
edie
*your emails are always a highlight!!

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113 Lisa~ January 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm

This is my first visit to your blog home. So many of my blog friends are talking about you and praying for you. You are surely loved! How wonderful that God can use your loss to show you the love of your friends. I am so glad to meet you. I am dreadfully sorry for your loss and I am looking forward to watching you grow! Lisa~

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114 Nancy January 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

God bless you and your family.

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115 Kelly January 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Love you Mrs. Edie.

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116 a pocket full of posies January 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm

still covering you and your precious family in prayer…
and praising Him that ya’ll are safe…
and love your “list” of things- the boots and make-up- a true sign of a Southern Girl!
Many, Many prayers and Blessings!
Jill

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117 Adraine January 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm

I’d so hoped that you had Caiti’s sweater in your car. It’s funny, but that was one of the first things I thought of. My heart breaks all over for your loss of it and so much more. We’re still thinking and praying for all of you.

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118 Thegarrisondays January 16, 2011 at 2:02 am

Eddie,
My heart hurts for you and I don’t even know you personally. I have always loved reading your blog. I found your blog about a year ago and fell in love with it. I admit…I am a lurker and usually do not leave comments. I have been praying for you and your sweet family. I know it is just stuff… but we like to build our nest and make it special for our families. It’s the memories behind the stuff that is a treasure. Those memories will be in your heart forever. You stay strong and lean on the Lord. Your transparency and love for the Lord has already been such a witness of faith. Thank you for allowing us into your life.
Blessings.
Suzanne

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119 julia January 16, 2011 at 2:11 am

I can’t imagine. It’s funny about missing things. I don’t think I’d miss the things I spent time saving money for – the dining room table, the sofas….I’d miss things that help me remember.

It was such a relief to read your story and find out that your whole family is safe. I had a Big Scare once and it changed my perspective forever. I remember thinking, I don’t care about the house, all I want is my family.

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120 Glenda Childers January 16, 2011 at 2:50 am

I like the balance you are expressing . . . listing the things you miss while expressing gratitude for all that you are receiving.

Continuing to pray.
glenda

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121 Melanie January 16, 2011 at 4:34 am

I was a lurker that would stop by from time to time. I knew exactly who Darby was talking about when I read her blog post and I started praying for you and your family right away. I do hope that you have felt comfort from all of us out in blog land that has been sending up prayers and sending you love.

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122 Melanie January 16, 2011 at 4:34 am

I was a lurker that would stop by from time to time. I knew exactly who Darby was talking about when I read her blog post and I started praying for you and your family right away. I do hope that you have felt comfort from all of us out in blog land that has been sending up prayers and sending you love.

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123 Holly January 16, 2011 at 5:00 am

oh Edie, you continue to be in my prayers. I can’t even imagine what you and your family are going through. Please remember no matter what and above all else that God is good, All the time!

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124 Nicole January 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Edie..you have changed my life forever. Reading your blog..all that you were before (the fire)…and still are…is AMAZING. You are truly an inspiration of grace. I wish you much happiness and peace. xo

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125 Sherri January 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Edie I am a luker who has followed you for a year or so. Your liturgical stance blesses me. I have prayed continually for you/yours during this crisis. In Dec. while feeding the homeless in Atlanta I helped this elderly black lady 3 times, EACH time she said outloud “HE’s right on time”. That is my new saying for this year. Praying that you see Him “right on time” all year long.

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126 Taylor January 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Dear Edi: A few year ago a tornado swept away our barn full of my husbands tools, most of which were hand me downs from his father. This cannot compare to the loss of a home, but I so understand what you are going through. People mean well, but until you have experienced this kind of loss, you can’t really understand it. Be kind to yourself and let yourself have these feelings of loss. Bless you and your family.

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127 melissa January 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

there have been so many times that phrase “it’s all just stuff” has made me stop and think…yes, it’s stuff, but it’s treasure. everything that makes up my home, and i know your home have stories attached to them…people attached to them. that’s why it’s so hard to lose it…because it’s not just stuff…it’s life.

i have a black afghan that my great grandmother made, and it’s been sitting in my linen closet, without a place. when i was looking at your old pics, i saw that you had the same one, with all the colorful squares. i know it doesn’t ease the pain, but wanted to let you know, i took it out, put it on a bench, and pray for you and your family every time i walk by it. it reminds me to thank Him for the work he is and will do in you and your family. love and blessings to you, sweet edie!

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128 Veronica Moloney January 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Edie, you know at this point the blogging will be somewhat cathartic for you, so I cheer you for these deeply honest posts. I cannot imagine waking up and everything that made my world my very own, gone, just gone. I say when it is almost too much to bear, you look down at your feet and put one in front of the other, just keep moving forward girl!
Veronica Moloney

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129 Anonymous January 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Your perspective is a blessing. My heart breaks for you and the loss of your “stuff,” but I LOVE the return of your sense of humor peeking out again.

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130 Anna January 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I found your blog through Tidy Mom… And I sincerely pray to God that everything you’ve lost will be replaced more than 7,777 times! Thank you for sharing your story..I’ve been blessed by it!

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131 Sistergirl January 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I think its natural to miss the things because they are connected to different memories in your life.
But our God is faithful and you will have another opportunity to make many new memories. Sometimes you have to just cry as you part with the past.

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132 Paula January 17, 2011 at 12:34 am

I am sorry to read of your loss. I can’t imagine… I think the hard part of losing your home has nothing to do with the “stuff” at all. It is more that it is the place that welcomes you every day, is a respite from the world and it’s troubles, a place where the walls and halls echo all the amazing, loving memories that have occurred there. So it is expected it would be hard. I admire your faith and perseverance. I have read your blog many times and I appreciate your raw honesty and unwavering faith. I am happy for you that the love of Jesus has poured in around you through family, friends, and I am sure total strangers as well. I pray with you for peace and patience in this time of grieving and thank God already for all of the new memories and things you will surely create. :)

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133 Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 1:21 am

no. not all just stuff. the stuff that life is made of and intertwined with. I trust that he will bless you beyond your imagination for sharing in His suffering and loss.
we are praying for you every day. My 5 year old spontaneously prayed for you in the car after he told me he was sad for your family. It was beyond precious, Edie.
Love to you.

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134 Mandy January 17, 2011 at 2:25 am

Dear Edie – we lost our house many years ago to floods and for months and even years after we remembered little things that had gone with the house …. all part of the process of healing, painful as it may be.

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135 Molly January 17, 2011 at 4:08 am

I look forward to seeing you blossom and grow throughout this time. You are an inspiration and I speak for many when I say please continue to share, we want to know everything your heart wants to pour out on us. You are loved.

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136 Megan S. January 17, 2011 at 5:47 am

I know I don’t know you personally, but I have admired you so much as I have read how you’ve dealt with this tragedy in your family’s life. Your faith and trust that God is going to take care of you is incredible and it has inspired me. Thank you for your blog and I look forward to meeting you in heaven someday! May God bless you tremendously as you pick up the pieces and get back to a new kind of normal.

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137 tafewill January 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Ditto. We, too, had a terrible house fire in December. We lost mostly everything, but we all got out safely (husband and three children). I keep saying, “It was just stuff. At least we are all safe.” What we also really lost is our sense of security. How many times have you comforted your girls at bedtime and told them that they are safe? Told them that we will protect them? Told them that everything is fine? It will take a lot to rebuild that security. Now, in our temporary home my previously worry-free 5 year old asks about tornados with each blow of the wind.
We will rebuild. At times I think we should use concrete.

I too miss my cookbooks, my favorite knitted blanket, my wedding shower quilt, my irreplaceble sweaters and socks. (i love good socks), my childrens’ art projects, my journals from 30 years of writings…
i am thankful that the only things in my fire safe were my baby books for the 3 children and that most of my photos since 2002 are digitally backed up.

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138 Erica Cooper January 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

It’s not just about the “stuff”, it’s about the life lived around that stuff. The memories, the moments, the love. We do gather things here on earth, which we won’t take with us when we go Home, but the reason that those things tug at our heartstrings aren’t just because they are “things”, it’s because they come with a story. And it’s our story.
The story of knitting for someone you want to keep safe, the story of making a meal for those that you love, the photos that made your heart smile and break at the same time, the books that took you back to moments in time that made you who you are, even the “frivolous” things- such as boots and aprons… it’s not just them, but it was who you are while you enjoyed them. It’s moments you can’t replace. So go ahead and grieve my dear. Yes, they are temporal things, but you still can grieve and miss them, because you do know the REAL important things really can’t be replaced and won’t have to be…. love, forgiveness, memories, wishes, dreams and eternal life.
Praying for you and your family as you go through this time of loss and grieving. One day you will have all new pieces to make up your story, but for now, lean on those that care and love you and keep reading the only TRUTH that always survives and never fails. (John 3:16)
Blessings my dear Edie.

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139 Gina January 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Edie… I have been where you are… Reading your words brings back so many memories of sentimental possessions lost forever. In our town over 500 homes burned, so I had a vast support group of people to lean on for comfort and strength. I hope you find that same comfort from your blogging community of friends. BTW… one of the things I had to replace right away was a cookbook. I’m glad you have some of your recipes in your blog archives.
Take Care…

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140 jess January 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm

i cannot visit here without weeping…thinking of you today dear friend. Praying the Lord sends comforting angels to you and your sweeties. big love as always.

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141 Monica January 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your house, but so grateful to the Lord that everyone made it out safely! My prayers are with you and your family!
Hugs,Monica

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142 Dolfanman1344 January 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

You are an ANGEL on earth. Truly an example of faith, family, friends and grace!! Many prayers…. your spirit is such an inspiration. God bless

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143 rachael January 19, 2011 at 8:16 am

Edie–I just found your blog. Oh my–I cannot begin to imagine. I’ve never lost a home but have lost several significant people in a short time and this I’ve learned… You have the right to grieve ALL that you have lost, in any way you need to, and for as long as needed. It looks like you put your heart and soul into choosing every item to create a place of beauty and sanctuary for your family. God is in Beauty. It’s no wonder you miss it so. I’ve heard it said that “what hangs on our walls hangs in our hearts”.
While things may not ever be the same, life can most certainly be as good and even better one day. Thank you for making me laugh through your blog and giving inspiration and a touch of grace even in your enormous loss. He truly is at the helm, isn’t He? I keep hearing, “Peace, be still”. Give yourself time.

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144 Farmer's Wyfe January 20, 2011 at 5:41 am

Reading of your tragedy and seeing how hard it must be, in a very small way has made me realize how callous I was to a dear older lady friend at church. She told me of her story once, how when she was married a few years, her husband and she built their house. Their in-laws wanted them to take over their farm and move into the farm house, but they wanted a place of their own, the way they wanted it. The built it, with all their own things. Then, like yours, it caught fire, and they lost everything, but they didn’t even have insurance, so they were back to the very beginning. She said she only has a few wedding photos that relatives gave her, and all her baby photos of her kids were gone. She ended up moving into her in-laws farm-house. They had no choice, and they are still there now, and have made it the most amazing beautiful house I have ever seen. There is hope for your future; just hard to part with the past, and I don’t think, after looking into my friend’s eyes, that that loss will ever go away. But there will be new days of adventure ahead, and I’m sure you know that. But I feel like I have grasped more tenderly her pain seeing your pictures and realizing the depth of it. I hope I can be more understanding of a listener and a better friend to her now.

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145 misha leigh January 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Oh things… as any gift giver knows… are really pieces of our heart. And what I hear you mourning are pieces of your heart externalized. So many are crying with you, but I am, too.

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146 Katie Hutsell January 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Gosh, Edie, I never know what to say when something like this happens. That’s why i’m not good at takling to someone right after they have lost a loved one because I just stand there and look at them with a sadden face and just hug them!! That’s what I want to do to you, just hug you!!! ***HUG***!! I was so shocked and so saddened by your loss, and racked my brain at everything you must miss and cherished so much!! All of your pictures and memories…..and all of your beautiful creations. Because that’s what you are, you are a creator of beautiful crafts and you put so much love into your home and into your family with every single TOUCH!! You will do it again in your new home wherever it may be!! Whenever I go through rough times, i just picture the LORD walking me through it with his arm wrapped gently around me holding me up because he is truly our strength. I can just picture him doing the same for you and your family. I pray for you and all of yours, and I’m very thankful you are ALL safe. Take care…

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147 edie wadsworth January 21, 2011 at 12:57 am

thank you sweet katie. and yes, i love the image of Him holding us. we are blessed indeed.
love you,
edie

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148 Mark1623 January 20, 2011 at 11:47 pm

My husband and I had a house fire 4 years ago I was home with our 2 girls when it started. I know how you feel and yes it is just stuff, but your home and that Stuff is your safe haven. You Can and Will recover from this it just takes time. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sarah Sherman

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149 edie wadsworth January 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm

bless you sarah,
thank you so much for encouraging.
much love,
edie

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150 Karol January 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm

This post brought tears to my eyes. It made me stop and think about all of the special things in my home that I would miss if I lost them. You don’t know me. I am a fan of your blog and have kept you in my heart and thoughts these past few weeks. I hope that you find love and comfort in your family, your friends, and your new beginning. God bless.

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151 MyBeautifulLife January 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Edie, I discovered your blog after the house fire that changed everything. I thought of this song for you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps
Oh how He Loves us, by Kim Walker.

You are right it is just stuff, but our identities are so wrapped up in our stuff. He refines, and he prunes. And it is so painful. But the fruit. Oh Edie the fruit. The fruit coming from your life is blessing and impacting the lives of so many. Sending you much love, and hugs.

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152 Kathy January 21, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Edie,

I had a house fire 6 months ago – 10 days before we were to pack up and move across the country. The fire didn’t destroy the entire house or all of our stuff like yours did, but I know what you’re feeling about the stuff. You have to process the loss of those things. Those things that were special because they were associated with a loved one and good memories are the hardest to let go. Those things that were functional and practical are just part of a long process of replacing which keeps reminding you of the disaster in the first place. Keep doing what you’re doing, voicing how you feel and what you know to be true from God! I stumbled upon your blog today and will keep reading and praying for you and your family.

God’s blessings,
Kathy

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153 Oksana Kipko January 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Edie, you are such an inspiration to me. I cannot imagine what I would do if I were in your place. Just know that God will never leave your side, he will help you through this time.

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154 Maryjean January 23, 2011 at 4:05 am

I’ve thought about you so much in the last few weeks, prayed for you too! I can’t even begin to understand all you are going through. Stuff is important to us. It represents who we are, places we have been, and gives us comfort. One of the first things I thought about was your Bible and your books! I pray for your grieving. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you….sending you a big hug from NC!

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155 AliLilly January 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I completely understand. I’m not sure if you read the post I did for you. I didn’t say too much but I HAVE been there. It’s hard and somethings are IRREPLACEABLE! I actually got to a point when I wanted to scream or cry at the next person that told me “it’s just stuff” Some of it yes, but some of it felt like pieces of my heart. I have been saying a prayer for you and your family every morning since then.

http://alililly.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-birthday-edie.html

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156 Janelle January 28, 2011 at 1:55 am

Edie, I’m a pretty new reader. But I can relate to some of the things you say…. When you go through terrible times, you change. You wish the terrible times would go away, but at the same time you don’t want to change your new perspective – and thankfulness – of life. My brother died last summer, donating his liver to my other brother. Through it all, we see, we know God’s goodness. But it’s just so hard. And I don’t want to go back to the person I was before. (www.cometoofar.com – where my brother blogs about life, after his brother died for him) Praying for you and your family.

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157 Janelle January 28, 2011 at 1:55 am

Edie, I’m a pretty new reader. But I can relate to some of the things you say…. When you go through terrible times, you change. You wish the terrible times would go away, but at the same time you don’t want to change your new perspective – and thankfulness – of life. My brother died last summer, donating his liver to my other brother. Through it all, we see, we know God’s goodness. But it’s just so hard. And I don’t want to go back to the person I was before. (www.cometoofar.com – where my brother blogs about life, after his brother died for him) Praying for you and your family.

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158 Debbie February 2, 2011 at 4:52 am

I have thought about and prayed for you so many times over the last few weeks. I completely understand how you feel! When I was 14 years old , I came home from school to find my house burned to the ground. We lost everything, it was like a death. That was 31 years ago and there were really no pictures of me to share or copy, I have just a few that my family was able to find but Still that part was hard. I remember my mother crying because she didn’t have her recipe to make something that she had made for years, I remember crying because I had to wear my friends clothes to school. You will move on, but it will be day to day. I will be praying that you find joy everyday in the sweet new things that will come and that the Lord will bless you with. You are so lucky to have this sweet blog and all the memories recorded to laugh about and remember. I am praying for you. Blessings!

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159 Blmclain June 10, 2011 at 4:28 am

I was recommended to your blog by someone who reads mine. Let me tell you, it is SSSSOOOO nice to hear your words. We were spared by God’s grace from a middle of the night house fire that came inches from claiming the life of myself and my husband and two very young daughters. I am crying while reading your blog because there have been SO many times in these past two weeks where I have wondered if this rollercoaster of emotions I am riding on is normal. The overwhelming happiness of God’s grace to spare us and His amazing provisions that He has provided for us since the fire, but then at the same time the overwhelming grieving of my home, belongings and pets. I have only been able to cook in the “new temporary” kitchen once since the fire and I made breakfast for dinner. Cooking and baking were “my thing” and I have an overwhelming sadness for the loss of my handwritten recipes and a crazy feeling of having literally no idea what to make.  I have never met you before, but know that you are now in my prayers…

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160 Elaine July 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I am 20 years away from our fire. Our loss was not quite as total as yours; the house was still standing and was rebuilt and restored. However, there was something surreal about being able to pick up something and have it come apart in your hands or stink so badly that no cleaning could salvage it.
I will always be grateful for the friend who called from another state and listened to me sob for what seemed like hours. I knew it was stuff and I could not understand my grief as I watched the dumpsters fill, alone.
When I could finally speak my confusion, she responded with such love and compassion – this was home and employment and ministry – this was were life happened for me, where 20 years of life and grace flowed to me in so many ways and she affirmed to me that grieving was not only ok, but necessary for me to move on. And so it was.
I’m glad you’ve written your story for others.
I’m glad to find me way here today from the Nester and her link to your lovely bedroom.

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161 ginger February 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I also had my house burn to the ground….right in front of my eyes, as stood in some boxer shorts and a t-shirt (thanking God I don’t sleep in the buff!) at 5:00 am in the morning on a cold October morning.

I was able to get out safely, with my dogs and my pot bellied pig, Betty (had no children at the time, of which I am so grateful.) My camera and my arms full of the entire top drawer of our file cabinet. I had time to look back, and think about running back in for my photo albums, and if I had I may not be here today writing you this.

I returned several times and sifted through the ashes…literally sifting with a make shift assortment of sifters. I found two items….One was a little time gold pig charm, and a marble heart charm that were my grandmother’s. I could not believe that I found them, in light of the fact that I was specifically looking for them.

It was about 15 years ago now, and it was one of the best experiences of my life so far…the single most life changing experience though was becoming a parent, for it is through that calling that God continue to refine me daily.

Happy Valentines Day

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