paper over windows

When we were in the process of  opening up our store Rose In The Woods This nice man with kind eyes started stopping in pretty regularly just to chat. He began showing up even when there was still paper on the windows and we were still setting up. I remember him peeking in one day, he seemed so interested so I invited him in.

peeking through windows

Even though it was pretty much more of a female type store, he said he was sure his wife would love it. I remember him being one of our first customers, buying his wife some little mice figurines.


When he was getting his wallet out he mentioned his hands. I don’t think that at that point, that I would have ever noticed them, if he hadn’t pointed them out but he shared that he had been diagnosed with Lou Gherig’s Disease a few years earlier. He also shared how his wife Michele, was  helping to counteract it’s onset by being pro-active with her own research in nutrition and vitamins along with their strong faith in God. We began talking about where he attended church and I remember thinking that I wouldn’t mind going where he went.

micheld and chris

He told me that his name was Chris Pickens and I couldn’t explain it then, but as I look back now, I know he was planting seeds. There was just something different about him. It was as if I’d gone to church and been refreshed each time he visited. He would share a little something more about his life and his walk with God everytime we met and I was hooked without even realizing it.  Once my husband had been behind the counter at his desk working while I’d been talking. I knew he was trying to get a print order out but I was annoyed that he had not gotten up to meet Chris.

frustrated man behind desk

knew he’d like him.  And later told him that next time I wanted him to get up to meet him when he came in if he happened to be sitting at his desk. I also mentioned that if we ever went to church again, I wouldn’t mind going to his. Which I think perked up my husband’s interest because at that point in my life,  he was definitely more interested in finding a church than I was, because I was so busy getting the gift side of the store set up. But Chris told me that they had a great youth group at his church and since we both benefited from youth groups growing up, we wanted our daughter to experience it.

I’d met my husband at his church when a friend of mine invited me and my kids to hers when I was going through a divorce. But when we’d moved to our town where we currently lived, we just never got around to finding one. But we’d recently talked about wanting to find a good youth group for our daughter who’d just gone into Junior High. So the next time he came in, I encouraged my husband to get up and  meet Chris. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to meet him, it just had never been a good time. They hit it off right away. Just as I thought that they would! And that next Sunday, we all showed up for church and it turned out to be the one that my parents had sent my daughter and her cousin to snow camp from the year before, so she knew some people and felt right at home.

A few weeks later, we were invited to a friend’s 40th  surprise birthday party who we’d met at that church and we sat at Chris and Michele’s table and never looked back! We became fast friends. And Chris and my husband became the best of friends and so did Michele and I. They are those kind of friends that you feel you have known forever  and through them we met Art and Pam! Two more best of the best! The guys went to Promise Keepers weekends together several times over the years and served together  as leaders of the church. Until Michele and Chris moved to Southern California to be closer to family and medical facilities for Chris’s condition and Pam and Art later followed to help care for Chris, I was spoiled by being able to just pick up the phone and know that we could get together on a whim. I have a joke about the friends that I especially let into my heart… they eventually always move away! But I understand. And I am in awe of the friendship that the four of them have and that is why they are all my friends too.

art and pam

And  as I look back at our friendship and how it evolved, it amazes me… that we still question and prod God… begging Him to do this and that… not realizng that HE really DOES have it all planned out… all of these Divine appointments… if like Chris… we just listen and look through those paper windows when HE tells us to!!!!



Now I know that his life is just naturally Chris’s own mission field. He is like a lighthouse in this world. Regardless of his own storms he has always faithfully served His Lord!  Some of us may choose to go to third world countries, some may do it from the pulpit and some may do it one seed at a time…touching lives as we go! That goes for all four of my friends that I mentioned here! They have all been on their own mission fields! I love you guys and MISS YOU!

jim art and chris

Good Friends!!!!! (Because one listening heart kept peeking through those papered windows!)

 wizard of oz heart quote


Please pray for my friends… for Chris and his healing for Michele and her strength and for Pam and Art as they support Chris and Michele and now for Pam as she has recently learned that cancer has returned yet again. We know God is a God of miracles and that He has answered our prayers before! Please join us as we pray for this wonderful couple. I am a firm believer in this verse:

“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:18-20 RSV)

Thank you!


36 thoughts on “Through The Papered Windows

  1. Thank you coastalmom for sharing, from your heart, it was wonderful to see the seeds that were planted in your heart and how they grew to a fruitful harvest.

    Although there is truth in what the wizard of Oz said, we remember God Loves all Mankind and yet Jesus was hated, ignored and killed and we will be too as we follow Him, regardless how much we Love, even our enemies, it is not in being Loved but in Loving that we grow in The Fruit of The Spirit.

    Yes God is a God of miracles as my life clearly shows, when we ask we receive according to God’s will. May you be greatly blessed coastalmom, as you reach out in Love and your husband and family too.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    1. Dear Anne,
      I loved your comment! I have been slow in reading my comments but I am getting so blessed today. God’s timing is perfect and I must thank you for being such a sweet vessel with HIS message that I needed to read today!
      I hope you will be back!

    1. Oh Lorrie,
      Thank you so much!
      I just had an early dinner with my friend Pam who came to town for a visit a few days ago and it was great to catch up! They all are my inspire-ers!
      Thank you for your prayers! And your time here!

    1. Sue,
      I am sooo glad you did too! Thank you for your viisit! I love seeing new faces! Thank you also for taking the time to comment! I am glad you were lifted! Hope to see you more!

  2. Such a great post, Di! Chris and Michele are such an inspiration. I would love to write more but my computer crashed and I am now using a computer I borrowed from MDA that’s really challenging to use (it’s making me crazy 🙂 Praying for C &M.

    1. ((((Bill))))
      YOU also know you are my hero along with Chris. I know you guys would be good friends! I was a little worried about you. Even though I haven’t really been on too much either… But been praying for you!!! Glad to hear that it is just computer stuff. Though I know that is huge for you because so much of your own mission field is done on here!!!! So now I will add your computer to my prayers!!!!

    1. I just popped on over to your blog and oh my loved it! I will have to send my daughter on over there too! She has two bunnies hopping around in her Hollywood Hills Apartment and is going to love your blog! Thank you for finding me! I hope we keep bumping into each other!

      1. thank you for peeking at my site…I just realized you might like my post ‘the prophet and the gift’ as it reminds me a bit of the man who ‘peeked’ through those paper windows…will keep peeking at your blog!

    2. Oh, Diane, you are the sweetest!! Yes, I did create another blog. It was time for something new! Thank you for your visit there, I just published an explanation for it!

      I am never disappointed when I visit your blog and that is what keeps me coming back. I hope you don’t leave this one behind but if you do, I hope that you will share the new one so that we can follow you there! 😉



  3. Such a wonderful post! Just what I needed to read! Thanks for Sharing and yes, I do agree; God “really DOES have it all planned out”! I firmly believe that!!

    Hugs and prayers going your way!

    1. (((((Mari)))))
      SOOOO Good to see you!!!
      Did you start a new blog? I love your message!
      So glad you liked this post!
      I believe God does have it all planned out! I am glad you read this today! I am sure it was not by chance! 😉
      Missed you!
      Been kind of missing in action working on my other blog but so glad I came back to find all my special friends! Thanks for commenting
      Don’t be a stranger
      Prayer for all your possibilities!

  4. What a beautiful story of what true friendship is and how the light of Christ shines through Chris…. and draws others to Him… I will remember Chris and Michelle and Pam in prayer…. I’m writing their names down as a reminder to do on a regular basis. Today I was prayer leader at our church service… and one of the last things I did pray … was to thank God that he hears and answers prayer and to give us the grace to accept His ways and His timing…. Diane

    1. Tess,
      I was just thinking that your title Dust to Dust was pretty clever! How funny we are… I have been wandering around all my friends blogs today and it seems as if we are in total sync today. Thanks for reading! I know this one was more personal so it might not have been as interesting to everyone but this guy is amazing! Chris was actually diagnosed with ALS almost two decades ago and he is still here! I am praying for a break through for this horrible disease and cancer!!!! In our lifetime!
      I know that they didn’t give up on polio and my mom will be 80 next month and survived that!

  5. Diane, this is such a beautiful tribute to your friends. I will include them in my prayers. Your post is so timely in that my husband and I have hit a spot with our church and we just feel like it is time to move on. Perhaps I need to open my heart to seeds that are being planted?

    1. Becky,
      How ironic~
      I was just reading your post about your daughter and you in NY!!!! I just wrote on your blog!!! I loved it! I think that we are soooo connected!
      Maybe you should be listening to your heart behind the papered windows! 😉
      I have always kind of felt that it is good to stay at a church and help fix it rather than move on… but sometimes that might be too simple minded… I guess when a church becomes political and the decision makers aren’t listening to their hearts (behing those metaphorically papered windows) for God’s leading…. maybe God’s voice is getting louder…
      I’m kind of in the same place right now in my walk… not feeling I fit in… anywhere right now…

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