Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson
This Christmas, I unwrapped my first ever FashionABLE bag. I had been wanting a bag from this place for like… ever. In fact, when my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas, I was quick to tell him a FashionABLE handbag. His predictable response was, “What? Another handbag? Seriously?!?” Oh, but this one is so different than the rest. I mean, yes, it is still a handbag. But when I am carrying this bag, I know I am making a difference in someone else’s life. This bag gives a woman a second chance when she so desperately needs one. This bag gives a woman a job when no one else can. So, you see, it is so much more than just a bag. It’s an impact.
This past weekend, my husband’s family celebrated the life of Ms. Peggy. For years, Adam thought Ms. Peggy was his great aunt. I even thought this was the case because whenever we got together as a family, Peggy was always there. I think she is related to us in some way, but not as Adam’s great aunt (bless him). Regardless, Ms. Peggy made everyone feel like they were part of her family, and that rang true on a frigid Saturday afternoon in Kingston Springs, Tennessee, when every seat at her church was full to celebrate her.
Most of the time, funerals are sad and confusing, but this one left me feeling hopeful and inspired, which is exactly what I think Ms. Peggy would have wanted. Ms. Peggy didn’t believe in going to just one church to learn about Jesus. As a result, she had several pastors speak at her funeral. As each pastor told various stories about Ms. Peggy, they all had one thing in common: Ms. Peggy carried the light… His light… no matter where she went. She yearned to know Jesus and understand Him. She wanted to give like He did – even with the little means that she had. Whether it was knitting scarves to give as gifts or baking goodies to make someone smile, she lived to love like Jesus. And she did it well.
While the stories were being told, laughs and tears of joy were seen throughout the congregation. During that time, I started to pray, “Lord please let me leave an impact on the world like Ms. Peggy.” Of course, I will so miss her contagious happiness that she always brought to each event; but, I am so thankful for the reminder of her life that I can carry with me forever. A life for Him.
I hope that when you think about the year ahead, you think about how to live like Him. It doesn’t have to be some big thing. The littlest of acts can sometimes leave the biggest impact on a person’s life. And hopefully through those little acts, that person will come to know Jesus. I pray you find your way to love, and I pray you have someone as strong and giving as Ms. Peggy to be an example of how to leave an impact everywhere you go.
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" - Jeremiah 29:13