Monday, February 25, 2013

It is no secret...

"It is no secret what God can do,
what He's done for others, He'll do for you"...

It's funny how hearing a song can take you back many years, to the time when it was written and you sang along with it.

Stuart Hamblen.

Stuart and Suzy Hamblen were friends of my parents as we were growing up. Stuart had been a country singer and spent some wild years before becoming a christian. Some of his best songs were written after he was saved.  "It is no Secret what God can do"," This old house", and "Just a closer walk with Thee'...

When I think of those old songs, it always reminds me that his daughters clothes were given to us when they had grown out of them. We were the preacher's kids, (not the affluent preacher's kids.) Suzy knew that, and she loved my mother. They spoke together at women's conferences and formed a real bond as friends.

The thing is... those clothes were ultra stylish (ok, awful!)...

They lived in Hollywood, in the middle of fashion and glitz and labels. We lived in Pasadena, an hour away in miles, but 1000 miles from the styles of those clothes! Even though we didn't have a lot of money, we felt like what we wore was pretty cool... 

I remember seeing that big box and thinking 'oh boy, this is going to be good!' I pulled one thing after another out, and got to the bottom of the box and couldn't imagine wearing any of it. The heart of the gift was real, but the gifts themselves didn't fit us at all, not size-wise and not the style either.

Even though the heart of a giver may be exactly right, as it was with them, sometimes the recipient of the gift isn't on the same page. 

So, to this day. I still love to sing along with Stuart's music, as I think of 'the box'...


Sharon said...

I remember those old songs. I miss singing them in church, to tell the truth...

I had to chuckle at the *stylish* clothes. Reminded me of when my dad's mom and aunt would get us clothes as Christmas presents. Oh dear. My dad thought they were wonderful because they were very expensive (probably bought at Buffum's in Pasadena!!) - but they were hideous and old-fashioned. I remember having to wear them when we saw them. Painful.

This was fun today, Sonja.


myletterstoemily said...

i used to get my cousin's hand me downs
. . . until i outgrew her. that box of wonder
NEVER let me down, but we came from the
same background. hers was just much
more indulged than mine. :)

Farm Girl said...

I love this story Sonja, what nice songs too. You knew such amazing people. One thing about me being so little nothing that was ever given to me ever fit.
My Mom made all of my clothes and I thought I was so special because of it. My Mom could really sew.
I still have her clothes she made I should do a post and show them.
I just love your stories I bet those clothes were something to see.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

What a great story! I grew up on Stuart Hamblin's songs and love them all. Happy week!

manthano said...

Those songs still stir my heart just thinking
of them.

I just wish some of this new music did half
as much for me.

Thanks for the trip to the "good old days."

Vee said...

Reading about the hand-me-down Hollywood clothes was great fun. What a good story. I always enjoyed Mr. Hamblen's salvation story. Just read it again recently somewhere.

joy said...

When I was a child, sometimes, someone gives me used clothes too. For me then, itwas heaven. I didnt have many. But now thanks be to God. I can buy new clothes.
Thanks for sharing.

Debbie Petras said...

I am always amazed to read about your rich childhood memories! I love to read about all the wonderful people you got to meet. I started singing that song the moment I began reading this post. We used to sing many of these songs when I was a kid but of course, I still remember them well. And hand me down boxes; yes we had a few of them too. My mom sewed most of my clothes when I was younger as we couldn't afford store bought ones at that time.


myletterstoemily said...

in case you didn't know, i have never had a
martini in my life! couldn't bear you wondering.

Sandy said...

I remember all those songs and I still like them. I didn't know who the artist was but those were just the kind of wonderful songs that everyone knew and sang all the time.
As for hand me downs, I had cousins by the dozens so I definitely know about that.
Fun post, Sonja!

Felisol said...

How great though, the gifts were handed by a loving heart. Like Debbie's mother my mother too made beautiful dresses from the fabric in the "America dresses" my lovely American aunt sent us. I still have a red taft purse on display which my mother made me from the "not usable dresses".
Good memories from a time way back.I remember the song too. I used to sing "It's an open secret". My English wasn't that good. I am still learning, step by step, day by day.
What great fun, being 63 and still allowed to learn and develop in so many ways via my highly treasured blog friends.

Debbie said...

Yet again, you share a connection to someone "famous". God really did put your family in the path of some remarkable people, didn't He?

I love that song ("It Is No Secret") and I also love "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." It's one of the few songs I can play on a piano.

I feel like you are my claim to fame, now.

And I smiled about the clothes.

Just a little something from Judy said...

You, dear friend, have some of the most fascinating stories, and happenings in your past, and I love visiting here and reading about them. The "box" story is so much fun. The thought behind the box is most special. And now, I will never sing "Just A Closer Walk With You" again, without thinking of you. It is a wonder that you visit my "cheeseburger pie" posts, yes, it is:) What a joy it is to know you!

Shirley said...

I love reading about your life!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Sonja, promise one thing: that you will never stop blogging, even if you do take occasional breaks!

Your insight in your memories is fascinating, and poignant. GOD is faithful, isn't He? Those moments at every stage of our lives are embraced in the loving care of our God. I TOO used to receive boxes of hand-me-downs from rich cousins in Canoga Park! But in my case, their clothes did fit me in both size and STYLE. I lived in the poor section of South Central L.A., but my heart was always PARIS BOUND, so my little velvet frocks with rhinestone collars were good for me!

Thank you dear heart, for coming to visit me! I will be on a little break, originally flying out to L.A.tosee family, but now, I will be away from the computer for just a wee bit. BACK SOON! Anita

Kathleen said...

Hey, I love me some cowgirl boots and a wee bit of twang. Well ... ok ... so maybe a LOT of twang. I shuffle my radio dial between Christian, Classical & Country (schizophrenic ear that I have :)

That said, I value your insight. My sisters (who, thankfully, won't read this) still love their snappy polyester-wear, which I avoid like the plague. I'm soooooo glad I have not been recipient of their hand-me-downs since cotton became vogue.

Hugs & blessings,

Marsha Young said...

Sonja - I, too, loved those old songs and and remembering singing them with my mother in church.

As for the "box" - style and what fits for each of us - well, only God knows - and thankfully, He isn't telling. :)

Terry said...

dear sonja...thanks so much for this post which you gave me the url fantastic that you met stuart and suzy hamblem!...i have posted a song for you over at my blog which suzy is in ..what a cameo of a lady she certainly is!...i think it is so nice that she gave you clothes!.....with there being so many kids in our family, someone was forever giving us nice clothing..i remember one time though when i was about 15 one of the elderly ladys gave me a in those days which is sad in a way, the elderly ladies wore dark purples and blacks!...well the dress she gave me was a real old ladys' dress and i remember that even though it was just horrible, i wore it out to sunday meeting..i did not want to hurt that dear woman's feeling..after all what did it cost me to make an elderly soul happy!

sonja, somewhere in my packed away books, i have a book of stuart hamblem's biography..sonja did you ever read that book?...i remember i laughed and laughed at the part in the book where her first saw suzy...he fell for her right away like a ton of bricks..she was walking down the street with a tall fellow and stuart went up to them and told the fellow, "get lost!" and the fellow did! you think that the biographer was telling tales?...anyway it sure made me laugh!

well i had better get to bed is 330am....i just had gotten up get a drink of water when i saw your comment and then i opened up your stu hamblem post...thanks so much sonja!
i hope that i will be talking to felisol this evening when i am at dad goldens.. dad golden will be 87 terry.