Love Lessons from an Artist–Part Three

I hoped my friend Yvette might teach me a little something about art. I never expected her to teach me how to love people. Or anything about marriage. I’ve been married almost 37 years. I thought I had it all figured out. 

(Parts one and two are here and here.)

This sentence over Yvette’s bedroom door stumped me.

How can my ordinary life become a fairytale? 

Parts of it are messy and broken.  

Yvette showed me the rest of her bedroom, but I kept thinking about the fairytale sentence.

“On my wedding day, my sister’s mother-in-love gave me a hankie.” 

“She’d embroidered our names and the date on it. My mother started doing the same thing for brides. She made one for my daughter and my daughter-in-love. She even made one for me on their wedding days.”

“Gifts from the heart.”

Yvette’s wedding dress is on display right beside her bed.

“What a wonderful idea!” 

Especially since I threw mine away a few years after we married. 🙁

There was an old Bingo card lying on a chipped Formica table.

“This is one of my favorite things. I found pictures of us when we were five and pieced them together.”

“It’s precious. Have y’all been together since kindergarten?”

She smiled.

“No, but we’ve loved each other for a long, long time.”

In their bathroom, a small shelf held a cross, a white card, and some Scrabble letters.

“We leave love notes for each other here. I used Scrabble letters. He wrote, ‘I love you’ on the card.” 

Something stirred in my heart.

Once again, I couldn’t talk.

Before we left the bathroom, I noticed pictures near the mirrors.

Below them, I spotted a small sign.

Tiny letters.

This is how Yvette loves others–especially her husband.

Maybe it’s how–

 “Love gives us a fairytale right in the middle of our ordinary lives.” 

What do you think? Is it possible to experience a fairytale even though our lives are ordinary and messy and broken?

You can find Yvette here:

The Charm House  on Facebook.

The Charm House on Pinterest.

The Charm House in Instagram.

The Charm House website.

The Charm House on Twitter.









  1. Anna Haney says:

    Mercy, yes, it’s possible. Finding the love of your life at age 47, especially when he had been in jyour life for 20 years already. Having that youth group fervor with church in your 30s. Learning that He loves you and you are indeed beautifully made. These are not fairy tale moments but moments from my life

  2. Love how you started your comment, Anna. MERCY YES!

    Talk about fairytale–I love your story. Love, love, love it.

    Beautiful ending too, that it’s for real! Love you, my friend. So glad God brought us together–in real life.

  3. “Is it possible to experience a fairytale even though our lives are ordinary and messy and broken?” I think it might just be. And this sweet post has certainly given me reason to hope. Because when things are broken and tough, I want my girls to experience a family that stays together … their children to experience grandparents that stayed together. Oh, Lord, help us reach the fairytale. It’s waiting for us.

    • Love, love, love your thoughts, Shelli. That’s exactly what hit me when I came to the end of my tour–that it just might be possible.

      Love you, my friend.

  4. Patricia Martin says:

    Sending blessings your way, Julie! Please pray for me as I am giving a big speech in class next Tuseday and Maddy’s surgery is scheduled for the first or second week of December. I am still nervous driving, but I am learning to keep it simple!((:
    Sending hugs to you and your family,
    Patricia xoxox
    Ps. Does Yvette ever sell her beautiful artwork online? If so, I would love to order some. (;

    • Okay, Patricia. I’m walking behind me to the calendar in my office right now…

      I just wrote ‘Pray for Patrica/speech’ on Tuesday of next week. And I WILL pray. Believe me, God’s gotten me through every speaking engagement I’ve ever had. He showed up! He helped me!! And I wrote ‘Maddy’s surgery’ on Dec–week 1 or 2.

      Look at the bottom of my blog where I posted Yvette’s links. Yes, I believe she does!


  5. Julie Gilleand says:

    I have always wanted a fairy tale life. Maybe most girls do? And it hasn’t turned out that way. At least not the way I envisioned it or hoped. You know a bit of my story — how I am married a second time to the same man after we were divorced 10 years. This is our fairy tale. You know from things I’ve shared, that this too has not turned out to be the fairy tale I thought it would be. But — even so, it IS my fairytale. No matter what struggles and challenges we’ve had — beyond your everyday run-of-the-mill marital challenges that are tough for anybody — it is still a beautiful thing that we have gotten our second chance at a life together. I know that if we ever lost each other again, I would never regret our time together and would always treasure so many nice things God gave us during those years. This is something God has given me to help me look at the big picture when things get tough, instead of plunging so deeply, fixating on all that is causing anguish just then. It is not how I envisioned things, that’s for sure, but I am thankful to be learning how there is something much deeper and more important than the kind of romance and fairy tale stories that appear so lovely on the outside. There is a beauty inside that you may have to dig down deep to find, but when you do, it is a strong and powerful force in your life that withstands the storms that beat on your life. I could begin to list the things that represent to me that fairy tale of a different kind, but I might not be able to stop, so I won’t even try!

    Thank you again for sharing more of Yvette’s treasures with us. I could never create the things she does, but I do love seeing them!

    Blessings to you Julie,

    Leafy Julie G. 🙂

    • Leafy, what wisdom in your words.

      “This IS my fairytale.”

      Your words are exquisite. Truth. Real.

      Maybe the fairytale can only happen inside our hearts–never on the outside of us.


  6. What a beautiful quote! So many of her pieces of art have such a fresh idea of how to live intentionally. I adore the notes she and her husband make for each other. The embroidered handkerchief- precious beyond words! My mother-in-law was so good at creating these traditions that we could pass on to others- and I miss her and those ideas and how they were so integral to our family. You’ve sure given me some things to consider when I think about how I live my legacy everyday. Love and blessings to you!

    • Vicky, it says so much that you miss your MIL. So much about her kindness and her character.

      Ohh, you DO live every day this way. You’re so much like Yvette. Every time I read your blog that’s what I see in your–your legacy

      All my love.

  7. A fairytale in the midst of an ordinary life? Golly gee, yes. I have a fairytale life. One I never ever thought I would have growing up as a middle child with an add-on brother, or as a young married wife with a troubled husband. But life truly is a fairytale now and getting better and better every day. ; o )

  8. marci says:

    I am so enjoying these Lessons you are sharing from your visit with Yvette, Such food for thought! And sometimes seeing things in her home that are familiar and make me think. I am still amazed, the idea if surrounding ourselves with the things that give us joy and memories, and all the love. I still hear the message, “Empty those boxes and trunks – instead of hiding away the things that are happy memories. Put them out where we can see them.” Such a simple idea it makes me think, why didn’t I know this? Why haven’t I been doing this all along? The cross, I do like that cross. My husband, one year for Christmas or my birthday (they are so close together), gave me a lamp that had a cross just like that.. which I treasure, and it is my Devotional Corner lamp. When I saw her cross with the words, “I Love You”,, .. It made me remember that sometimes the gift is the “I love you”, when words don’t come easy for some husbands. “Love Languages”.
    I have been married 48 yrs, and there are still things to learn.

    Oh, my, dear Julie– all the lessons I am getting here, that are going through my head.. Even with my long posts, I still cannot cover them all. Thank you. Thank Yvette, Thanks for all the shares, and for this place where we meet each Wednesday.

    Note: I have been inspired by Yvette and your shares,… I have taken a crochet patterm- revised it into a fall pattern. Taking a leaf out of Yvette’s book (so to speak).. I have had a lot of fun turning the Petals, into orange leaves, (place mats). Joy!

    God Bless, and much Love,

    • marci says:

      P.S. I have copied some of Yvettes quotes/ sayings, in my note book. I hope that is OK with her. Such an inspiration.

    • I know, Marci’a–about the trunks! And I THREW my wedding dress away!!! But, I guess another lesson, is no regrets, right? And not to get stuck looking back to the past, but to rejoice in this day.

      Oh, how beautiful. Your Devotional Corner Lamp. I bet so many powerful things happen in that corner–and because of that corner. On earth and in heaven.

      What can I say? My heart is so full–what you’re crocheting. Oh, me, oh, my. Only God….

      xo–and No, I don’t think she’ll mind a bit that you have her sayings written down. Marci’a, I’m so glad I listened to His Spirit and wrote about Yvette.

  9. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Absolutely love the idea of the Scrabble-tile-love-notes!! I don’t know about the fairytale-in-real-life, but I’ve had some fun with the love-notes for my husband and our daughters. Sometimes when I pack their lunches, I cut their napkin in shapes, especially hearts. Years ago, I hid notes all over the house for a Valentines surprise: the first set led them to the living room for hor d’oeuvres; the second set to the dining table for dinner by candlelight; the third to dessert, of course; and the fourth, after the girls went to bed, to a special surprise for my hubby! (no details on that one! 😉 )

    About a year ago, I spent a few weeks at my mom’s while she recovered from foot surgery. I left 30 notes all over the house for my husband! Some said, “I love you,” others, “Guess who?” I hid them in his pillow, his socks, the container with the tea, in DVD cases, etc. If I remember right, he missed a couple of them, which we found at later times. Just keep ’em guessing, girls!

    • Cathy, I’m reading your comment and smiling, and reading and smiling.

      I never considered my life a fairytale either, and I’m still chewing on the idea….but to look back at how God has been with me (even when I couldn’t sense His presence) and even in the broken messy places….I can say this is a new idea for me. And I’m liking it.

      Oh, how precious–the way you love your family!!!

      30 notes for your husband! Ohhhhhh, I love this idea!!! Just so precious. And you’re absolutely right–“Keep ’em guessing.”

      Love your heart, my friend.

  10. Every day we learn something new. Thanks for sharing your learning. 🙂

  11. Patricia Martin says:

    Thank you for your prayers, Julie! I know they work miracles.((: How is Gene?

    • You’re so welcome, Patricia! Gene is doing just fine.

      Okay, Tuesday, I’ll be praying. I know it’ll be wonderful~~~

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