#SpeakLife

#SpeakLifeI 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…..

 

Author: Tracy Cook

Widowed one week before our 27th wedding anniversary, Heavenly Dad continues to carry me, now blessing me with a second chance for love.

2 thoughts on “#SpeakLife”

  1. Don’t beat yourself up by confusing the necessity of living life now with your “new norm” with Archie fading. You are a strong woman but you are also cursed with being a servant to others as your main character trait. You will have to learn to enjoy things that you like without having to worry about making sure that its what everyone else wants to do also. That is probably going to be your toughest task. I know that its early but I know that he would want you to be happy and like I told you before, its okay to be selfish sometimes and do what you want to do and what makes you happy. As soon as you figure that out. 🙂 Love you

  2. I will forever remember that California trip. Those two mornings changed my life forever! I’m beyond blessed to have had those mornings with you both. My heart will always have love for both you guys as well for Taylor! Archie will NEVER fade from my life he made way to big of an impact! Thank you for everything you have done to help me to better my life! I love you so much Tracy!! #SpeakLife always and forever!!

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