Small Town Life-Crumbling Places

I’ve written about how opening a shop brought back my sense of community.

Walking around our little square, lots of the same people in and out of our shop, eating at the same local spots over and over…it really has a certain Mayberry charm.  One of my most peace-filled times is when I’m able to drive around downtown.

Small Town Life | perfectly imperfect

crumbling, beautiful glory all around

This building moves me–I can’t explain it, put a finger on it.  There is nothing normal about my love or connection to the old place.  I didn’t grow up walking through the doors, or my parents having their car serviced there…there is no seeming connection.


That crumbling of bricks reminds me of the crumbling of my soul and how very little I have it all together, figured, glued haphazardly.  Broken streets are like broken lives, and it’s quite easy to only see the torn bits and decaying pieces.

Your feet pass on the pavement, digging into cracks and crevices, and your only thought is of how much it hurts and cracks deeper.  The life you wanted, the confidence you crave, the marriage you sought, the perfectly behaved children, the ugly spirit inside, it continues to crack as you walk through your mind, your life.

Sometimes, though…

I remember.  That while I am broken, used, less, angry, worn, snappy, selfish, and ungrateful…He is in the business of healing the broken.  Maybe all God needs is for me to rest, revel even, in the brokenness.

Maybe all He needs, friends, is for us to stop holding the crumbling bits together and let them fall to the ground unhindered and bound, so he can plant them firmly with Mercy and Grace.  Maybe He will work ever so diligently to make sure we don’t wind up there anytime soon, and when we do, we are not alone.

I fold the laundry today and wash dishes from last night’s dinner, and clean up messes on the school table, and my eyes see the crumbling.  The failed attempts at a whole life, where I seek and search and try.  I see the yearning, the stretching, the longing, the falling short.

My eyes find it easy to feel broken.

My heart, though, knows better.  The undone dishes were stolen away for a relaxing business meeting on the back porch with my creative team, the day-late laundry saved so I could steal fleeting cuddles on the couch, and the mess on the school table was left for another day so we could nurture a heart, not just a mind.

My eyes see the crumbling and shy away.

My heart finds the secret and holds it tightly…it slowly welcomes it and Him along with it.

In the crumbling, there is Glory untold.

May your days be filled with crumbling brokenness and healing moments…let go, today, friends.

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21 Responses to Small Town Life-Crumbling Places

  1. Ashley August 28, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Are they still in business?? When I went to school at Troy, I’m almost 100% positive that is where I went to have my car serviced. Is it behind the Methodist Church with a little gated parking lot across the street? The man that owns it is so great, he was always there to save the un-knowledgeable little girl that I was with her ten year old car, usually as quickly as I could shop and have lunch on the square. Ahhh memories.

  2. Mary August 28, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Thank you for your words this morning. Unfortunately, when I look back on my childhood years, although I “knew” my Mom loved me, all I can remember is the clean house and clothes. People won’t remember your messes but instead will always carry the love you gave so freely.

  3. Jennifer@DearLillie August 28, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    This is beautiful, Shaunna! Thank you so much for writing this!

  4. Heidi Still August 28, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Wow! I am blessed by your words this morning. Something I needed to hear because I’ve been feeling much like you. My children are older than yours, but as a mother, I’m always left with the thought of “did I do enough”, “did I do it right”, “what did I do wrong”. But in the end, through all the struggles and tears, I know God holds the keys to the future and can take the crumbles and make things whole. Have a blessed day. Thank you again for touching my heart.

  5. Cheryl August 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Wow, it’s like you were reading my mind today. As I sit here at work wondering how I can put it all back together and fix the things that need fixing. This helped so much. Thanks you for being so real.

  6. Wanda August 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Wow…what a gift you have…and you are using it for His Glory, from whence it came!! Blessings to you and yours!!

  7. Kelly August 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Thank you! My heart so needed this.

  8. Jenifer August 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    BEAUTIFULLY SAID! Amen. :) Have a blessed day!!!

  9. Maggie August 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm #


  10. Ann V. August 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    I know the feeling! Beautifully captured!

  11. Marian@Gathering Branches August 28, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Thank you again! I have been looking at my very messy house for the last couple of days and feeling like a total failure. And then my daughter reminded me that God does not send us despair. I looked again with God helping me and saw a summer spent helping children sorting their belongings and making things, hence the piles in the living room and on the kitchen table. The mess in the studio was abandoned to facilitate play dates and go to the pool and read together. God asked me not to do any projects this summer, and instead to help my children with theirs. If I look at it that way, it was a very successful summer. Thanks for the wonderful perspective.
    The Other Marian

  12. Susan J. August 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Reminds me of this part of a Leonard Cohen lyric:
    “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

  13. Gram August 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    So very beautiful….thank you

  14. JenO August 29, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Beautifully put, Shaunna. Gosh, sometimes we women are too hard on ourselves. I feel that God is showing me that I need to extend grace to myself just as must as I do to others. This is right on point with that. Looking back, I know that I will forget the sink full of dishes, but will remember cuddling with Shep and his stuffed fox as we watch The Fox and the Hound together.

    Btw, a couple of my co-workers popped into your store yesterday on their way to do a presenation at Troy University. They fell in love with your store and you! I’m so glad that you were there for them to meet!

  15. Roy Lindfield August 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Wow, there is a lot to think about what you have said here. For now though I’m going to let go and relax as you said I should.

  16. Caroline August 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Perfect timing, thank you Shaunna :-)

  17. Brian Frericks August 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    I like old buildings like that because they have history and charm.

  18. Jennifer September 2, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    I have followed pins of yours for quite sometime. Today, I finally sat down to read your blog, this being my first entry. Wow. So touching and a clear indication of what it’s like to be a mom!! Thank you for sharing. <3 Can't wait to read more.

  19. Theresa September 4, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    well said….very well said!

  20. Brenna@DomesticCharm September 8, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    You have brought me to tears! Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel and for giving us permission to let go.

  21. Marchell Arnold September 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Thanks for putting life in perspective!!!

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