Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our Peaceful Place

Welcome to our home!  I am so glad you came!  :)  We are blessed to be renting this house from another missionary family who will not need it for the next five plus years.  It’s incomprehensible, in the most wonderful way, to think about not having to move for that long!  

When you walk through the front door (which is to the right of my purse), you enter the dining room.  The table remains my favorite piece of furniture!   

Still to do: The curtains are going to get a little lengthening treatment so I can get away from the high water look (and also hopefully raise the curtain rods a bit so that the ring clips are not competing with the window trim).  Stay tuned!

Dining Room 1 Compressed

The dining room and living room are actually one long, skinny room.  This is the furniture I had to work with for this small living space but I was not happy with the lack of color, pattern, varied wood tones or scale (the sofa is much too bulky)!  Alas, that is life when you buy furniture for one rental and have to find a way for it to work in the next.  :)

Original Living Compressed 

So first, my super talented friend (and now sewing teacher) Brenda made the chair slipcovers and I used a painters drop cloth to cover the coffee table. 

Second Living Compressed 

Even though it didn’t feel right, it stayed this way until the weather got cold and we moved the couch right in front of the fireplace for staying warm! 

Living Room 1 Compressed

Then it dawned on me: putting the arrangement on the diagonal took away the improper balance of weight in the room!  It felt so much better!  Eventually, I hope to get 2 side chairs (with my Christmas money??) so that we aren’t sitting on hard dining room chairs for visiting with our friends!  :)  But for now, it works and all it cost was less than $15 for the chair slips. 

Still to do: Sew some little pillows to put on the chairs for color and verve .  It’s all a bit predictable right now!  :)  Also, hang some family pictures!  It’s driving me crazy that we only have one picture of family hanging on the walls! 

Across from living room on the left is the entrance to the TV room.  We’ll skip the toy mess and move on.  :)

Before curtain croppedCurtain cropped

Next you come to the main bathroom on the right.  The brown shower curtain was one I had on hand.  It was ok, but it just felt like it went a little too well with the 70’s tile, so I used some of my birthday money (thanks Dad and Mom) to buy this fabric.  After a couple of sewing lessons, I completed my first big project!  I’m happy with it. 

Because the ceiling is low, I wanted the shower curtain to go to the ceiling to make the room look bigger, as well as hide the shower head, etc.  Unfortunately, it needs to be a few inches off the floor because of the water drainage. 

I’m hoping to find a pretty burnt orange rug to warm up the space a bit and eventually I think it would look much better to have burnt orange/rust/umber walls too.  The current paint color works well in the rest of the house, but for some reason (lighting?) it doesn’t look that great in here. 

Towel Shelf Compressed

I’d also like to replace the tan towels with burnt orange (if I don’t end up painting) because that would really help the paint color to look less “off” as well (I always have so many plans for my Christmas money!!).  For now, it’s fine!

If you continue straight down the hall, you get to my kids’ room but I didn’t take photos of that either.  Hardly anything is done in there.  I still have beds to paint, hang their names, etc.  The do have their Pottery Barn Inspired Transportation Art hanging though.  :)

Bedroom Compressed

Then to the left at the end of the hallway is the master bedroom.  You can see I did a little rearranging since this and this.  I wasn’t happy with the headboard so this is what I came up with for now. Often in the past, I have used a window for the “headboard” but I could not get that to work for me this time because of where the windows are located!  Oh well!  Eventually, we’ll figure out a headboard, maybe even by filling in the other one with some bead board or something. 

The desk was formerly my hall table but it was a lot prettier than my other desk and fit the space better too so it got a coat of white.  I absolutely love it! 

Bedroom Right Compressed     

The location of the bed is totally impractical for opening the windows, but I’m more “form” than a “function” so for now it stays! 

Still to do: Some sort of art or pictures! 

I’m sure you are wondering about the kitchen…I’ve got a project brewing there (hint: it has to do with the Sermon on the Mount) and I want to finish it first!  But I do have plenty of cabinet and counter space which is such a blessing! 

So, now that we have the house tour out of the way, we can sit down for a good latte and visit a bit!  You KNOW you are always welcome here!   

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Remind Me to Praise You

Dear Father,

Thank you for all You are and all You have graciously given me.  I long to have a thankful heart that is easily given to Your praise, to lifting up Your name. 

Yet, so often, Lord, I confess that I fail to stop and know You.  I merely rush through my day not acknowledging the blessings I am already experiencing. 

I pray that Your Spirit would minister to my heart in those moments with a reminder, with a word of caution, that I might slow down, stop and bless Your name! 

Desert Bloom Compressed

For You are the mighty God of the universe, the Creator of the ends of the earth, the One who has existed from eternity and who rules with power, justice and love.  You are an awesome God.   Nothing compares to You.  Your deeds are unmatched and recounted all the world over!  You rule and reign in majesty!  You reveal the thoughts and intents of hearts and cleanse by the power of your own Son’s blood!  You deserve to be praised! 

You saved me, redeemed me, made me one of Your own!  Thank you for Your unmerited favor and for Your mercy towards me, oh God!  I don’t deserve what You have given me, what You have done for me, but I am so grateful to You, the Giver of all good gifts! 

*Originally written in December 2009, before God healed me completely from the vision loss in my left eye.  It was followed by 4 pages of things I was thankful for.  I found it again today and thought it was fitting for a 1000 Gifts post.  

797.  The privilege of homeschooling! 

803.  A loving family to miss

813.  Sewing Lessons

814. An imperfect, but finished shower curtain

818.  Dessert blooms

825.  A gentle breeze

836.  The pain that drives us to Him

837.  My 5 year old reading to me!  Wonder!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Million Miles

Shilo's photos087

When your mama turns 50, you can’t be there to embrace her.  A million continent miles stand between you.   

Your heart clenches tight, your eyes leak your pain, and you’re sure a million miles just might kill you. 

You’ve counted the cost.  And you do it again.  A million miles offered up on the altar.    

But as you watch them burn up (sweet aroma to Him, you pray), you think of another million miles.  The chasm between God and man. 

Though it’s long been bridged by God Man blood,  (and by grace, through faith you’ve crossed it), still so few know that Eternal Balm came to mend the million mile tear in their hearts.  You have to stay and tell them. 

A million miles.  How strange that the thing that rends your heart is the very thing that compels you to stay.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I’m Looking Out the Window

Twenty years later, I find her words ringing in my ears.  I miss that voice enough to squeeze my eyes shut hard, stop the tears springing up and listen.  How I cherish this hands on hips proclamation returned to me.  Would that she could too.     

We were rolling down some Montana highway when she’d marched to the back of the motor home and stood over us.   My cousin and I were each perched on skinny twin couches next to a window.   

“You may not read one more page of those books until you look out the window for at least 30 minutes!”

Even though I knew Grandma was given to passionate proclamations from time to time, this one surprised me.  After all, she was an avid reader.  That same summer, I’d caught her up “way too late” because she couldn’t stop the turning of the page.  

Still, there was another narrative she found more powerful than any type engraved in paper.  The one that has no words, yet speaks with a powerful voice, declaring the glory of God.  That was the one she was compelled to help us discover. 

And she did.  A thousand times before and after, so subtly that I’m not sure a one of us were cognizant of it at the time: slipping into a chair on the front deck at sunrise, coffee cup in hand; going barefoot through the ice cold stream; stopping on the trail to photograph a tiny pink flower; laughing at the fish jumping in the hatchery brook for five cent handfuls of food.  Peaks out the window, all.   

Grandma, today I want you to know I’m listening.  I’m pulling my nose out of the book of daily living for a look out the window, for a listen to the glory song.  I need to hear it.  I need to remember that the very thing that lifts me to a place of holy wonder is also the thing that grounds me - the worship of my Creator.

Looking out the window, the incomplete count continues:

491. Snail mail

506. 95 Manjui Baptized, wish I could have seen it with my own eyes! 

536. Family visiting from Colombia and the USA

All 3 Edited

570.  Sanapana Scripture portions ready for printing

587.  Pain that pushes us hard into Jesus

606. Cries of inadequacy

607.  His sufficiency

669.  Rain! 

710.  Explosions of yellow, tiny but beautifulThe speck compressed

726.  Grandma Bert

756.  Dreams – wild, crazy, with God all things are possible dreams

776.  Salmon Sky

   Sunset Bottle Tree

781.  Wild love, undeserved

788. My wonderful, merciful Savior



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