From the Front Porch

This week, I gathered with friends, family members, and loved ones to celebrate the life of my 4-year-old cousin who passed away last week.

As you can imagine, it was an incredibly difficult experience.

But one of the pastors who spoke at the funeral gave us a gift almost immediately.

You could tell from the way he walked to the pulpit and slowly spread out his Bible, that he needed extra time.

We sat in silence for nearly two minutes as his tears flowed freely and he gathered his thoughts.

When he finally spoke, he said, “I hate this.”

Then he grabbed the sides of the pulpit voice still trembling and said, “I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. It should not be this way. No parent should ever have to bury a child and I am deeply, deeply, sorry your family is experiencing this pain.”

It was a sentiment we had heard repeatedly since the accident.

There was something about the way the pastor, a seasoned man of faith, said those words though that caused a wave of relief to fall over the entire congregation.

Truthfully, it felt like a permission slip to have all sorts of emotions from anger to frustration to profound grief and sorrow.

While the rest of his sermon was filled with a comforting mix of faith and funny stories, I’ll always be thankful for the way he began the service in such a tender way.

There was no fixing, no trying to explain the unexplainable, no false promises, unrealistic expectations, or cliches about God needing another angel.

Simply the gift of empathy.

Suwannee River-The Crowned Goat

As the service ended, the pastors invited the congregation to share a meal together.

Bleary-eyed and drained, we opened the doors to the fellowship hall and found a “dinner on the grounds” style banquet complete with sweet ladies and kindhearted men donning white aprons adding spoons to tables of casseroles, and carving a variety of meats. Like a well-oiled machine, they were placing ice in to-go cups, setting out plates and napkins, and slicing up homemade cakes so big they could have easily rivaled any large bakery.  

Completely overcome with excitement, a little boy in front of us not much bigger than my cousin tugged at his mom’s hand and said, “Mom, they made all this food for us? They don’t even know us and there’s cake!”

Sensing she was in the middle of a teachable moment, his mom looked down and gently said, “It’s ok they don’t know us; they know our pain. This is how they’re showing their love for us. And one day, we’ll be able to show our love for someone else in the same way.”

While I’ll never pretend to understand the purpose of grief, loss, or difficult situations, I know that love, empathy, and kindness have the power to sustain us in hard times.

So spread it generously wherever you go.

For you truly never know the impact it can have on someone’s life.

Or when it will come back around and greet you on your darkest day.

Thank you again for all your kind words and encouragement these past few weeks. I’m still responding to emails and trying to catch up but I want you to know your prayers and sweet support helped so much!

Wooden Chapel by the Suwannee River-The Crowned Goat

A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web This Week…

This home feels so warm and inviting I could move in tomorrow!

The beautiful portfolio of photographer Rikki Snyder.

All the spaces designer Meredith Ellis creates are positively dreamy!

This coastal home looks like a perfect way to celebrate the beach.

After a massive renovation, the first-ever hotel on the island of Capri will relaunch in July and it’s just as amazing as you’d expect.

I took one look at the Heritage Collection from the Banana Republic and this dress from Ralph Lauren and these bow loafers from Cole Haan and fell in love.

Speaking of falling in love, I got lost down a rabbit hole looking at all the goodies for the Platinum Jubilee.  

This post, Scandinavian Spring Homes When Less is More, from my friend Ann at Dabble and Decorating is filled with beautiful ideas you can use well into the Summer season.

We need a cozy cottage like this one at the pecan grove ASAP!

How to Create a Bouquet with Grocery Store Flowers (the finished product is gorgeous)

I just put these breathtaking gardens on my bucket list (Don’t miss this one Mom!)

How beautiful would these Garden Rose Melamine Plates be to use in a backyard garden picnic?

10 High Fiber Fruits for Healthy Summer Snacking

25 Grazing Table Ideas Perfect for Any Budget or Occasion

I Tried This for Better Sleep and The Results Were Even Better Than I Expected

This post, Sometimes Barely Is Enough, lifted my spirits when I felt like I was at my breaking point this week.

Words to Live By…

Second Quarter Books of the Month and Devotional…

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On the Menu this Week…

Week of May 22nd – May 29th

Preparing for Memorial Day 05/30:

Sweet Treat to Try This Week…

Better Gooey Butter Cake

Platinum Jubilee Party Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon This Week…

(Amazon affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)

Jubilee Party Ideas & Supplies from Amazon-The Crowned Goat

Union Jack Banner * Book * Tea * Dress

Treat Boxes * Photo Booth Props * Fascinator * Mug

Poster * Heels * Garland * Puzzle

Pin * Plate * Egg Cups * Cupcake Picks

If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…

Wheelbarrow Container Garden Ideas

Tips and Tricks for Creating a Container Garden in a Metal Wheelbarrow-The Crowned Goat

17 Home Decor and DIY Projects to Complete This Summer

17 Home Decor and DIY Projects to Complete This Summer-The Crowned Goat

DIY Flower Market Sign

How to Make a Flower Market Sign-The Crowned Goat

How to Spray Paint Wicker Furniture

How to Spray Paint Wicker Furniture-The Crowned Goat

Simple Ways to Ease Into Summer

May Bucket List…

  • Celebrate May Day, Cinco de May, Debry Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and AM’s 1-Year Cancer Anniversary
  • Buy a New Sundress (for the love, get over your arms, CoCo)
  • Make Ice Cream
  • Sunset Picnic at the Beach
  • Look for Fireflies
  • Buy Piper a Swimming Pool
  • Continue Quarter Challenge in Q2
  • Establish Exercise Plan to Strengthen Core
  • Begin the Miracle Month with Carrie Green Challenge
  • Organize and Finish the Laundry Room Makeover
  • Continue Morning Pages
  • Read the Book of the Month
  • Continue Q2 Devotion
  • Keep Sundays Sacred

May Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…

Focus of the Month: Shared and Common Areas

  • 05/07 – Organize Household Books & Magazines
  • 05/14 – Home Office or Guest Room
  • 05/21 – Home Office or Guest Room Closet & Drawers
  • 05/28 – Create Summer Bucket List

TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts…

  • 05/20 – National Rescue Dog Day
  • 05/30 – Memorial Day, National Creativity Day  

As always, we appreciate you more than you could ever know, and we hope your weekend is peace-filled and relaxing.  We can’t wait to share even more with you next week!

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. Glad the service was better than expected, sounds to me like your church is very special. That alone can be a blessing.
    The post was so interesting, thankyou Coco, I love every minute.xx

  2. CoCo,
    Wow, what a difficult time for you and your family. You have been in my prayers friend!! I’ll continue to lift you up sweetie.

  3. Giant hugs to you and your family.

    I am so glad the pastor cried. Showing emotion is such a gift at such a moment.

    I read a Twitter thread this week from a doctor who had been trained to never cry in front of her patients. Her team lost a child patient this week, and she was shocked to see the team crying in front of the family. For the first time ever, she realized she could show emotion, too–that it could even be a gift for the family to know that the team cared.

    Two examples from my own life:
    1. When I was miscarrying (and dangerously hemorrhaging), one of the EMT’s held my hand and cried with me. He told me that his wife had miscarried too. I will never forget him.
    2. My boss (the Executive Director at the nonprofit where I work) says that when you’re a boss, showing your own weaknesses and/or ill health allows the staff under you to feel safe to do the same. It’s so true!

    Again, giant hugs to you. You guys are in my thoughts.

    1. You always say the things I need to hear most, Corrie. A million times over thank you so much for this comment. I think a lot of bloggers don’t want to come off as whining or share their struggles because people read blogs as an escape from real life sometimes. But it would not be authentic to act like our lives are perfect. We have struggles just like everyone else and it’s always good to know we’re not alone. Thank you for your incredibly kind reminder today. I needed it! Big hugs and thank yous, CoCo

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