Dolly Parton wrote a song many years ago called “The Coat of Many Colours”. The song tells of how Parton’s mother stitched together a coat for her daughter out of rags given to the family. As she sewed, she told her child the Biblical story of Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors.. The excited child, “with patches on my britches and holes in both my shoes”, rushed to school, “just to find the others laughing and making fun of me” for wearing a coat made of rags.

The song goes on to say:

And oh I couldn’t understand it, for I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love my momma sewed in every stitch
And I told ’em all the story momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors was worth more than all their clothes

The song concluded like this:

One is only poor, only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money, but I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors my momma made for me

 This week while on vacation, I had the chance to snap a few special pictures. Below you will see two pictures. The first is of my oldest, daughter, Cailee when she was 5 (she is now 11) and the second of my youngest daughter, Sara who is 5 now. They are wearing a very special coat. This “coat of many colors” was made by my grandma, for my mom, Dianne who this year turned 69.


Cailee Fender, 5 years old


Sara Fender, 5 years old

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that taught me that riches do not come from “material” things, but through other blessings all around you.

One of my friends exclaimed to my dad once “Wow! You must be rich” –  upon seeing his house for the first time. “Yes”, replied my dad, “but not with things.” “I am rich with the love of a Savior, my family, and my friends. I am rich with all the memories I have of laughter, smiles, and tears. I am rich, indeed”

And my mom was “rich” too. She grew up poor, working on the farm alongside her family, and lying by the edge of the field when she was an infant while grandma worked the hard dirt. Mama has many a story about playing in the barns and getting dirty.  Grandma made all of her clothing – even prom dresses. This coat was no different. My grandma took scraps and very gently sewed them together to make this beautiful coat – which my girls have both worn.

Mama always told me about her friend, Willie Mae, who was her “rich” friend – she ate chocolate more than just at Christmas, did not have to do manual labor, and got to wear “store-bought” clothing. But I could tell by the stories that her friend was not loved the way my mama was loved..even though they had money.

Tonight, as I enjoy these pictures, I am thankful for the riches of Christ’s love for us. As I look back on this week of vacation, I am thankful for the love of a family, that makes me rich. And as I look toward what is to come, I am thankful for Faithfully Following and Faithfully Fit, ministries that allow me to share God’s riches with others.

 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7


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