The House That Laughed in Colors

The House That Laughed in Colors

 
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I first met my friend Edie online.

I didn’t have a blog yet.

It was just a far away dream.

I’d spend hours reading blogs and looking and sighing and hoping and wishing that one day I’d start a blog of my own.

And then right around Christmas several years ago, I read the most terrible news on Edie’s blog.  Her house had burned to the ground.

I couldn’t believe it.

My heart almost broke in two when I saw this.

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Her beautiful, wonderful, amazing incredible colorful house stood in ashes.

Burned and charred and an empty shell of its former self.

Later that week she wrote about the fire on her blog:

“at 4:30 in the morning, I awake to a terrifying amount of smoke. My husband miraculously crawls through the house to try to get to the kids. I am unable to follow him and jump out the nearest  window and meet him at the front door. We stand screaming and sobbing and helpless,unable to get up the stairs to our kids. Caiti, my guardian angel daughter, who only by a miracle was even sleeping upstairs, was already awake and ushering the little girls out of harms’ way. She even has the forethought to have them cover their faces with their pillow. The image of my oldest daughter ushering her sisters through mortal danger to safety will forever be imprinted on my heart.

She’s the angel on the bridge.
My forever hero.”

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Her story was so real.

So honest.

So heart-wrenching.

Day after day I watched as she rebuilt her life from the ashes.  I watched the new foundation and the new walls go up and the installation of the ceilings and the floors and the counter tops and the light fixtures.

Slowly and surely, a new chapter began.

Layer by layer by layer she bravely rebuilt her home.

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And the best part?

In the face of all that adversity, she added color back to her life.

It shines through every nook and cranny of her home.

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I was so happy for her.

From my tiny computer screen I laughed and applauded and embraced her faith journey and cheered her on every step of the way.

With her own struggles, with her own journey, she inspired me and encouraged me and made me feel like I was important and special and gave me courage during some challenging times in my own life.

The impact she made on me was immeasurable.

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And then one day, I met her.

Like in-real-life-at-a-conference met her.  We were both speaking and I went to her break-out room and looked around the corner.  She was surrounded by people and there was a crowd circling around the room.  I opened the door and waited.  After a few minutes the crowds cleared and slowly, timidly, with my heart in my hands I approached her.

I told her everything.  I told her how sorry I was about her house and how she had inspired me and how I had cried along with her and the difference that she had made in my life with her story and her faith.

And then something happened that I will never forget.

Something that made me cry.

Something that I will tell my children’s children about one day from the the rocking chair on my front porch.

She took my hands, with her feather earrings swinging over her shoulder and looked into my eyes….

….and told me we had to be friends.

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She was right.

We did become friends.

We might seem like an unlikely pair, Edie with her feather earrings and me with my red lipstick.  But the friendship has been priceless.  We’ve laughed together and cried together and I’m forever grateful for the joy she has brought to my life with her example.

And her heart.

And her beautiful, wonderful, amazing home that laughs in colors. 🙂

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PS  Edie wrote about her journey in her new book All the Pretty Things.

You can read more about the book here and purchase it here.

I cannot recommend it enough.  I couldn’t put it down.  It’s about struggle and faith and a story that will make you believe in the impossible.

I’ll leave the book description to Edie.

She puts it so much better than I ever could:

“This is the story I never wanted to tell. It’s the story I’ve been trying to run from for forty years and the story I’ve been skirting around for nearly three. The words in these pages are all raw and fresh and hard-fought. What I don’t want to write about is the thing that scares me to death. What I don’t want you to know is that fatherlessness is my deepest ache, and being untethered and unspoken for my suffocating fear.”

I love you sweet friend. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Trying to see thru tearful eyes, I am ordering this book.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. What an amazing story and the courage it must have taken. The paragraph talking about her daughter leading the others through the smoke with pillows on their faces gave me goosebumps.
    That pink chair makes me want to sing.

  3. What a wonderful story — you’ve made me cry. Again! But these are bittersweet tears. I’m sad for the house but so very happy for your friendship and Edie’s strength and faith. Thank you for sharing an inspiring story — but you always inspire me, my friend. Big hugs to you and Edie.

  4. Wow, I will have to look into that book. What a journey and so happy you are friends and she has so much color back into her life! Nice post, Karianne♥

  5. I’m so tearful at the moment I can barely see the screen! What an amazing woman she sounds to be. Thank you for sharing her, and her story, Miz karianne. I will check out her book.
    Sharon

  6. What a beautiful tribute to a dear, cherished friend. You are surely a treasure and I know that Edie is a treasure to you. Thanks so much for sharing, you help me in so many ways. Sp glad you began blogging and that I found you.

  7. What a happy home! Who would have imagined what she was struggling with inside?! Thanks for recommending – I look forward to reading!

  8. I’m with you, KariAnne! I discovered Edie’s blog and yours soon after. The impact the two of you have made on me is immeasurable and I cannot thank you enough. Meeting both of you at conferences has been better than I imagined and I hope you both keep writing on and showing love to people. I couldn’t put Edie’s book down and I know I’ll be the same with yours. Write on, sisters!
    Much love,
    Beth

  9. What a beautiful tribute to a most amazing woman! You both are treasures!! Over the top special women who I love to pieces!
    Miss you! Xoxox

  10. Shelley MacMillan :

    I really love this story, and no, I don’t think y’all are unlikely friends. You each share your heart and the difference in feather earrings and red lipstick is just the fun surface. I find my friends are more important to me the older I get, and sharing your heart with a friend on this twisting journey we call life is priceless!
    On another note- I love the color in Edie’s beautiful home. I love the “whitewashed” cottage and French looks I so often see these days, but a vivid palette is refreshing! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Such a moving post, feeling the sorrow of what your friend and her family had experienced, but at the same time, the glorious photos of vibrant colors splashed throughout their new home. What they has created from the ashes, room by room makes you smile with the joyous hues that surround them. All is possible with, love, determination, faith and a good mix of family, friends that can be found, yes even hard to imagine 10 years ago, by typing words on a computer and sending it out to the world to touch many hearts as they read those very words, that inspire us daily with their morning coffee. With gratitude, thanks for sharing.

  12. What an incredible story. I will definitely purchase the book. I often wonder, when I read about someone who has lost everything in a fire, how they must struggle to overcome. How heart-wrenching it must have been, not only to utterly start from scratch, but to have lost items that can never be replaced. And I can only imagine the fear and pain that must have been present in those moments when they thought they had lost their most precious of possessions, their babies. The daughter who had the courage and fortitude to lead her siblings out of the fire is truly a hero in my book. As I was reading this, I thought about the many times in my life I’ve had to ‘start over’ and my own children, especially after I spent a lovely weekend with my daughter who took time out of her busy life to fly up and see me. I can’t imagine life without them and hope I never have to know. Thank you so much for sharing, Karianne. I count myself blessed to call you ‘friend’ and I know Edie does too.

  13. Teresa Gonzales :

    Friendships are such a gift. My heart swells for both of you.

  14. Wonderful uplifting story we can all learn from. We can all use more friends-far and close to home . Sherry

  15. How awesome that you are friends with Edie! I first discovered her blog when she was featured as the Cottage of the Month on the Old Painted Cottage (miss patiently waiting each month for the featured cottages). Her story is amazing and I love her style. I cried when I read about the fire too. Thank god they all got out safely.

  16. What a neat story she sounds like a really neat person. I know of another blogger who met her at a blog conference and they became good friends too. Let me also say that I simply LOVE color – not sure why everything in the home has gone so white on white. Any thoughts??

  17. Oh yes, her book is wonderful and inspirational! Get it now! You won’t believe her hard story but it will fill you with promise! Both of your blogs are wonderful and I can see how you have become dear friends.

  18. What a wonderful post about your precious friend… I follow her blog … I opened up the post on that day….and could not believe my eyes … I saw the smoke rising from ashes that once was her home ….. 🙁 ….thank you for sharing… checking out the book now !!!!

  19. I raced through her book ~ just couldn’t put it down! Edie is such an incredible person and has overcome too much adversity for one person. Her faith inspires me and I wish I could live in her house! 🙂 Her use of color and the “unexpected” always makes me smile!

    Thank you for featuring her today ~
    xo
    Pat

  20. I was all ready for eye candy from the title of “the house that laughed in colors,” so I really gasped when I got to Edie’s story. She and her family have really shown resilience. Amazing.
    It’s also a reminder to get smoke detectors and to make sure they work. My brother is a fireman and a stickler about that, for good reason. Some smoke detectors even have pretty design.

  21. Dear dear friend,
    While you were reading Edie’s journey during the aftermath of the fire, I was reading with you.
    Had we known each other, we would have agreed on the immeasurable strength Edie has. We would have told each other that Edie’s friends were so wonderful and generous! Edie’s faith and bravery are such an inspiration. I’m so glad you were brave enough to start a blog and meet these wonderful people I only read about. I feel a connection to Edie because she shares my mother’s name. I can’t wait to read books from both of you lovely friends in my head!

  22. God in His mercy & love can redeem any situation and make beauty from death & suffering. He did it on the cross & He does it again, & again in our lives. What a precious, precious example of who He is. . . . thank you both for showing us His heart anew.
    I read on Amazon as much as I could & hope to finish the story ASAP. Bless you both!

  23. I have been enriched by you and Edie and your words and beauty. I found your blogs around the same time and have laughed and cried with you both. Blessings to you both!!

  24. Love Edie’s blog and the book! Her home makes me smile too! SO happy to have found your website through Edie’s. Can’t wait to explore! 🙂

  25. I loved Edie’s blog and was shocked to learn back then that her lovely home had burned to the ground. I will definitely buy her book!

  26. Oh my, how beautiful.

  27. This book is on my fall reading list. I just need to carve out a little time to sit and savor it.

  28. What an amazing story! That book is definitely in my list!

  29. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. You both are blessed!

  30. Dear Lord – I’m so relieved to know her kids were okay – I don’t know what caused her fire but
    I unplug my coffee pot and toaster everyday – you never know, once again it shows how
    life changes on a dime. Edie is the Phoenix that rose from the ashes – bittersweet with a great end/beginning
    Cheers to you all!

  31. She is a Blessing and wonderful friend to you and many. Her story is heartwarming and heart-wrenching all at the same time.

  32. Thank you for sharing about Edie and her book. It’s one I look forward to reading. While sad to read her house burned and her fear that her children might not make it out it was when she wrote of fatherlessness that I really broke down. Although I grew up with a father – he wasn’t really there emotionally – I’m not sure he loved my mother, my siblings, or me – or if he even knew how. My mother died a little over 6 months ago and my dad 15 months prior. I admire those who accomplish so much through so much adversity. I pray that the Lord will use me and that I will be open to whatever or wherever He leads. Thank you, KariAnne, once again. I look forward to reading your book, too.

  33. You’re my Edie!! : )

  34. Wow Karianne…I am ordering her book now. Thank you for sharing ?

  35. Wow… i’m ordering her book now. ?

  36. To resettle after a fire is unbelievably had. My sisters house burned to the ground on New Years Eve several years ago. Thankfully, like your friend Edie, everyone got out only items were lost. But the nightmare goes on forever.

  37. What a beautiful story. God was Rich in His mercy. It’s sure a blessing from the Lord to have a special friend. I have one in my life as well !

  38. Edie’s blog gave me the boldness to start a blog when I was in China with my 3 adult children on 2 continents and one switching from Germany to Iraq. I wanted an on line scrapbook and venue to right about family and God’s whispers to my heart.

  39. I smiled big through all of the happy parts because YOU are MY Edie! ?

  40. I have been following Edie for such a long time and I can only imagine that she would be a great friend. Her beautiful spirit and honesty shine through, always. I am almost finished with her book and it has brought me to a place of quiet introspection about my own life. Karianne, you are indeed blessed to be a friend of Edie and she is blessed to be a friend of yours. May your friendship continue to bring you both many more years of joy.

  41. Simply put, I had tears in my eyes after reading this post. Karianne, you are so articulate and ” colorful” as well!! How I wish I could be your neighbor! I live on the Eastern Shore of MD., near the Chesapeake Bay. While we have our own beautiful sights, I love the pics of the grounds where you live.
    Continue the great work!!!!!!

    Denise Cox

  42. Awe inspiring story. Truly. The new home is incredible, too. Soooo cheerful. I’m not one to give my heart too quickly. But I think I love her. Nope, I’m sure I do. Thanks for sharing her story and introducing us.

  43. I was just looking at this book on Amazon the other day and passed it up not realizing it was the same woman, Edie, whose story of the fire burning down her home that first brought me to her blog! In fact it was one for the first blogs I read as well. Now I know the connection…..THANK YOU…..I just ordered the book because now I HAVE TO READ IT! Bless you!

  44. What an awful story. Thank God everyone was safe. Her daughter is a true hero and Angel.
    Marilyn

  45. Thank you so much for introducing me to this amazing woman. How many things we can learn from one another’s journeys. Indeed, “Beauty from ashes…”
    Blessings Sweet Friend,

  46. Thank you.
    Both you and Edie made my day.
    Jane

  47. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) :

    KariAnne, what a lovely post! You and Edie are really “special” gals. May God continue to bless you both — and make you a blessing to those around you.

    KariAnne, you are such a blessing to all of us who are so privileged to read your posts. Our hearts are always lifted after reading them.

    I am anxious to order a copy of Edie’s book.

  48. Lovely post, Karianne…and her book is now on my kindle…can’t wait to read it!

  49. Michele Riggsbee :

    I love Edie’s book! I have been reading it every night. I was so blessed to have met you both at the Becoming conference! It was great seeing you again in Raleigh too! Thanks for all your encouragement! Edie’s too!

  50. What a touching story! You’e blessed with this friend and sh is a blessed woman as well.
    It takes a lot of strength and courage to overcome these problems (I know because we had our house on fire several years ago just before Christmas).
    Thanks for sharing this with us!
    With love from Belgium.

  51. What a heartwarming touching story in so many senses, this shows courage, determination, faith and true friendship. If this is not inspirational t hen I don’t know what is, thank you so much for sharing.

  52. A sad yet beautiful story of the triumph of the human spirit over tragedy. I am in awe of her brave daughter! I will definitely order Edie’s book and visit her blog. I think Edie and you were destined to be friends, how fortunate for both of you! Never under estimate your worth, anyone is blessed to call you friend. Thank-you for this heartfelt post.

  53. Thank you Karianne, for sharing this with us. I am definitely going to find Edie’s book. What a heart-wrenching but beautiful story you have told us. Nothing in the world like a heart-felt friendship. Much love!

  54. Such a lovely tribute. Such a beautifully told story. Thank you. With love.

  55. I love this post. I must read her book!

  56. Oh gosh, I’m going to have to order this book…her story kinda mirrors my own…our house burned down about three years ago now…we are still rebuilding our lives…I still mourn over the loss of personal items…but luckily, we all made it out alive and that is the most important thing.

    You and Edie are blessed to have one another as friends…Edie sounds like a really sweet, heartfelt, and brave person and I know you are, too! Birds of a feather, to suit Edie’s earrings, yes? 🙂 Thank you for telling us more about Edie, her story, her gorgeous home, and her book!

  57. What a lovely story, Kari Anne! You and Edie are lucky to have each other. I can tell from just how you spoke about admiring her, meeting her, and keeping in touch with her that your relationship is strong and will last a long lifetime. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us on #shinebloghopt this week!

  58. What an awesome story!! Thank you for sharing.

  59. What a beautiful story and colorful house. I will like that you share this or any other post at our Sunday to Wednesday Pty http://www.fabifabu.com/2016/09/25/inspiration-galore-project-party-5/
    Thanks for sharing.

  60. What a great story! And the pictures are so full of inspiration. I too love color.
    🙂 gwingal

  61. I love Edie’s style! I ordered the book and read it in one long day! I could not put it down! It was so compelling! Many people will be blessed by her story!

  62. I held my breath, and felt sick to my stomach as I read about her babies in a fire filled home. I smiled through tears and a catch in my throat when I read that they had been saved through the grace of God by their older sister. What a terrifying and life changing moment. Thank you for sharing it with us! P.S. If I could have any chair in the world…it would be that hot pink chair! It’s my absolute favorite color!

  63. Oh my goodness, I’m in tears now too. “sniff”

  64. Thank you so much for this story and book recommendation!! I ordered it right away, and saved it to read during my recovery from hip-replacement surgery. A great book and very inspiring story???