The Unexpected

The Unexpected

Over the years, when my man has come to me with “an idea” it usually has caused me to cringe just a tad. I’m not sure why, because he has proven to be worthy of a few good ones.

A while back, he stumbled upon ten acres of land under foreclosure. It had been a dream of ours to move from the subdivision to a place in the country where we could hear ourselves think. We journeyed up a gravel road to check out the piece of property. The thrill waned at the sight of an abandoned doublewide trailer.

The shock on my face caused my man to speak quickly. “Rhonda, I could gut this place and we could live here while our home is being built. Then my mother could live here after we move in our home.”

His heart was definitely in the right place and I knew he was gifted enough to achieve his goals. So within six months, we left our 5,000 square foot home in the suburb to move our family of six into 1,200 square feet of coziness.

Then the unexpected came.

A phone call announced that my thirty-two year career in pharmaceutical sales had ended. The entire sales force was laid off. Troy and I sat in silence, unsure of what to say. Fear riddled our minds with questions…

What do we do now?
Can we afford to build our home?

It’s been six years since that night. Today, I sit writing in the quaint little office of our doublewide, now fondly called our Taj Mahal. The neighbors surrounding us live in million dollar homes and my mother continues to ask the question, “Do you wish you had never moved?”

Christmas mornings are difficult to bear when our children are home from college. I try hard to make everything perfect around the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Yet, all I can think about is the proud, nine-foot Douglas fir stored with all of our beautiful, glistening ornaments.

I wish we had a roaring fire…
I need more counter space…

I made the decision to retire from pharmaceuticals that night. I partnered with my man in his window coverings business to sell window treatments. Interestingly enough, I walk daily into gorgeous homes with bathrooms that have a tub perched on claw feet and bath salts prepared to offer a place of serenity.

Oh if only I could have a bubble bath…
Lord, I want a bathroom like this…

Literally, I have found myself standing alone in front of a stranger’s tub having a moment of silence as though mourning a loss. Really? What was wrong with me? Finally, I came to my senses. I was the problem. In thinking about what I didn’t have, I could not see what I had in abundance. My thoughts had driven me into despair and it was affecting my overall perspective.

The Bible says this: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8

The Lord gently reminded me of how I loved the little home I grew up in, which was only 800 square feet. Memories of mission trips flooded my mind of the one room homes filled with love. My man built our humble abode with his hands and the entire property is paid in full. “Dwell on these things,” my Father in heaven whispered.

“Make sure your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have…” Hebrews 13:5

Here is the tough question. What about you? Do you need to find contentment with what you have?

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  1. Karen Jones on January 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    This is beautifully said, Rhonda. Living in a county that is plentiful one must continuously stop and assess what is truly important in life. You are blessed and have blessed others over and over. Love you!

    • RhondaMadge on January 16, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Karen, I appreciate you so. It seems the grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence, but once we get to that meadow, another green field appears in the distance. Contentment is a beautiful thing. I remember your stories of wanting a house that you didn’t have to deal with squirrels and snakes getting in! God not only took care of that problem, but provided a beautiful home for you to care for Daniel. That causes my heart to smile. Love never fails.


  2. Deloris Jackson on January 11, 2018 at 3:44 am

    I remember so well the same thoughts ..
    I was reminded of patience’s and that all things working for my good says the lord.
    I’m so blessed to have God teaching me and showing me the importance of my journey.
    I have running water I have food to eat .
    I might not have a big house and expensive things but traveling through out Africa and seeing orphans that have very little food and no clean water and dying of AIDS that have taken over their tiny body’s and no aspirin to easy their pain.
    This keeps me in check and knowing that the love I have and have been given keeps me grounded and reminds me that God put us on this earth to show others his compassion and share his love to all.
    My simple life keeps me in the palm of his hands.
    Keeps me content .
    Thanks for sharing your story.

    With God all things are possible.

    • RhondaMadge on January 16, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Deloris, You are such an encouragement to me. The missions field definitely keeps one grounded. We haven’t been out of the country in five years, which added to my pity party. However, I just signed up to go to the Dominican Republic in March! I’ve never been there and we are staying in an orphanage. Woohoo! I would love to sit and talk sometime!


      • Deloris Jackson on January 16, 2018 at 5:29 pm

        Let’s set a time and have coffee on a Thursday I can meet you in Nashville.
        Love to see you and just talk about God and all the things he has brought us through.

        • RhondaMadge on January 17, 2018 at 9:04 am

          Yes! I would love that so much! My days are flexible since we have this window covering business. I just need to get it on the calendar. Message me a couple of dates and time that work for you!

  3. Debbie on January 11, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Well said Rhonda. Happiness is wanting what you have. Simple abundance. ❤️

    • RhondaMadge on January 16, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Thank you Debbie! Simple abundance is exactly what I have and as I reflect, it is those simple times in my life that have always brought the most joy. Love you!

  4. Patti White on January 12, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Holy Spirit, you are welcome here. His presence is what I love most about being in your home.

    • RhondaMadge on January 16, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Oh Patti, I don’t know if you remember how I prolonged an invitation to our small group to come to our Taj Mahal. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could feel comfortable with the lack of space. With hesitation, we ask and yall came. We all sat outside around a fire eating burgers till midnight gazing at the stars. Only God…

  5. David Schuster on January 12, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Been there, but true happiness and contentment comes only from God and the best place for you is where God has provided. It is easier to see that looking back.

    • RhondaMadge on January 16, 2018 at 11:17 am

      Thank you David! It is so easy to lose perspective when the desires of the flesh become so strong. You are so right though–only true peace comes from Him not a claw footed tub! I appreciate your time!

      In Him,


  6. Nicole on January 25, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Wonderfully and humbly written filled with honesty and sincerity!!!! I love you sweet friend! Thank you for sharing your heart ❤️️

    • RhondaMadge on January 26, 2018 at 6:52 am

      Nicole, You and your family mean the world to me. Thank you for your love and support!

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