When’s the last time you showed someone your back(side) story?

Life Lesson #17: There’s more to every person than meets the eye; slow down and look!


We all have them: backstories. Behind-the-scenes parts of our life story. Things we’d rather keep to ourselves due to embarrassment, shame, fear, mistrust…



Vintage linens have them, too–and, like people’s stories, some are prettier than others.





Some are downright messy.



Don’t judge a book by its cover.

You never really know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.


I’ve been looking at people differently ever since God did some creative caring and helped me open my stubborn, judgmental eyes. I keep being reminded–over and over.  We all have them: backstories. There’s always a “rest of the story” if I’ll slow down and take the focus off of myself long enough to discover it in someone else.


Why should I? Because that’s what God does for me. He looks beyond my messy self and sees beauty.

Figural linen

When I ask Him to, He forgives my bad choices–over and over again–and encourages me to forgive myself.

Fall colors

His love for me is totally undeserved, yet He lavishes it upon me–treating me like the love of His life…because that’s exactly who I am.  So are you.

Tiny stitches

Surely the least I can do is extend some of that love to those around me, isn’t it? The very least…?

vintage embroidery

When’s the last time you loved someone enough to be trusted with their backstory?

Madeira linen

When’s the last time you trusted someone with yours?

ironing linens


We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:19-21 ESV)


31 Days 2013-001This is part of a 31 Life Lessons from Linens series. You can find the entire series listed HERE.


  1. Oh how wonderful this is, and your words are so very true. I’ll tell you a secret: I have found that most of my friends in Christ who are the most passionate about their love for Jesus and all that He is are the ones with the messiest back stories.

    I am horrible at embroidery. The backside of anything I’ve ever tried to do looks like ink blots on a psychology test. My life is exactly the same way.

    • Your secret? I’ve noticed the same thing … and, from what I’ve seen, it’s true worldwide. I often think it has to do with uncovering the false faces we so often hide behind and letting God meet us in our brokenness. In that meeting place, there’s healing and unconditional love and power to put the past behind … and it’s impossible not to want to share that with others.

  2. Wonderful, thought-provoking post, Susan, and illustrated with such gorgeous examples of embroidered linens! I must admit, most of my needlework has a backside I wouldn’t want to display! I did a lot of smocking and shadow work and counted cross stitch when my kids were little, but haven’t really done much needlework since moving on to knitting. My favorite way to start public prayers is, “Gracious and loving God, you know everything about us and love us anyway, and for that we are so, so thankful.”

  3. Amen!!! I spoke this week…for my first time, before a group of women and that is exactly what I did…showed my backside, only in the desire that God holds the finished piece.
    Great post..and each piece of work is wonderful…just like His finished work in us.

  4. What a thoughtful post and your presentation was impreccable!