I received the biggest blessing today! Let me start from the beginning…..
October: We had JUST started back at marriage counseling. Life at home had been anything but a fairy tale and the words spoken in our house reeked of….death. Archie had been stressed for months at work, spending loooong hours. He just didn’t have much left to give when he got home. Our marriage dude turned to Arch and told him flat out: “No matter how you feel, you are still accountable for your words.” He got really quiet…..and that’s when our,”Once upon a time…” began again.
Arch and I were blessed with the opportunity to attend our first Dani Johnson meeting in CA. She taught people skills, recognizing the “gem” in each of us. We practiced how to communicate with the jewels that were different from ourselves. Archie loved it and instantly recognized the value in building relationships. She also spoke of the importance of building other people up with the words we speak (sound familiar?).
Enter Cassie :). Cassie is a cute little spit-fire that is the assistant to the supervisor of our Card Kit Area at Heartfelt. She is a reserved Sapphire, if ever I saw one. Her attire for work is usually crazy leggings, a bulky jacket and an eye catching scarf. Don’t worry. If you enter a room, you will notice Cassie because Cassie wants to be noticed–in a very good way. She’s almost always smiling and she will want you to smile too.
Dani Johnson also stresses money management, taking the “fat” out of your budget. Archie was extremely serious about that aspect, as well. When we arrived in the Golden State, we had half our luggage packed with food so we wouldn’t have to eat out. Our only splurge was morning coffee…. . Taylor and I had given Archie a sizable Starbucks Coffee card for his birthday and he wasn’t afraid to use it ;). We loved the walk, the music, coffee, and devotions together.
When we got back to the convention center we joined the Heartfelt Crew in line for about a 1.5 hr wait. We were standing chatting when Cassie arrived. Her eyes lit up when she saw our Starbucks and asked if one of us could show her where it was located. Cassie and I had the opportunity to spend some time together and chat. On our excursion I got to know Cassie and shared about what we do when we go out for breakfast. Cassie asked if we would like some company and we had a date for the next two mornings!
Archie and I loved our mornings with Cassie, teasing her about the Starbucks boy that was constantly trying to pick her up. We would laugh that Arch needed to interview him for the opportunity to date Cassie: what were his future plans for his life, what was his background with dating, was he planning on staying in CA, you know, the fun dad stuff. One morning we were blessed beyond measure to be with Cassie when she decided she wanted to rededicate her life to the Lord. Wow…tears. It was such an honor.
After we got back home Archie was on fire! We cut the fat, joined a “War on Debt” group and he was on a mission to recognize everyone’s gem. His main focus was on what Pastor Greg told him at counseling, reiterated by Dani Johnson: we are accountable for the words we speak and build others up when you speak to or about them. Unfortunately, his back was also starting to more than just ache. He started seeing a doctor. We wanted to get together with Cassie but with Archie’s back, he didn’t do anything but work and go home to rest. That was October… .
As you know, Archie’s back never did get better. We never got our Cassie date…. .
This weekend was difficult. It feels like Archie is fading…..and it hurts. Today Cassie grabbed Taylor and came to find me. She wanted us to follow her outside as she had something to show us. She walked us out to her vehicle and there on her back window was this: #SpeakLife (“Life” in Carolina blue). She designed it in honor of Archie. She had one for each Taylor and I. Tears…and hugs. She still remembered. He made a difference. He mattered…to us and Cassie, too.
Proverbs 18:21a “The tongue can bring death or life;”
We love you Cassie. Thanks for remembering…..