Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Clean Lines and other thoughts......

In a trend toward clean lines and modern spaces, many decorators are embracing all things slip covered or lighter fabrics in upholstery. The idea can be easily embraced if you have antiques you do not want to paint or white wash by adding a slip cover (a less expensive way for change) This was just what I did in my dining room! I created a beautiful, comfortable, and functional decor with fabric I purchased for five dollars a yard!

For several years I have enjoyed the look of a beautiful oriental rug, in my dining room, that I purchased while living in Jackson, Mississippi. It is a beautiful rug and one I am sure my children will inherit ( by drawing straws) when I am gone! :-). But the mood just came over me to finally take it out of the dining room and relocate it to the bedroom! I know we will enjoy it there for its beautiful colors and weaves! Sometimes beauty emerges from restraint and the urge to seek comfort rather than style. Rugs are great for that grace and ease, especially in a bedroom.

I love working with silks, and this lovely home I have featured before for the homeowners desire to give some of her darker wood pieces a pop with lighter paint on the walls and the cool colors of the curtains. She purposefully purchased lighter drapery fabrics for all her window treatments. I enjoyed sewing her window treatments and look forward to assisting her again in her new home. She moved with the drapes in hand! (so glad)

These silk ball gown draperies gave the same affect. The result is a livable, grace and ease in the more formal dining room. A beautiful space! Simple and elegant!

My next bold move is..... by December, I hope to have a pair of wing chairs covered in a beautiful creamy white! I know white is not a practical aspect for mothers of young children but it is an aesthetic that I am thinking might be good for the soul! No matter where you are in life, individual beauty in your home comes from a soul flooded with light and a pure spirit! I always find direction from God's words on how to clothe my spirit each day. His words sometimes are a challenge but if we come humbly before Him, our spirits are lightened and lifted so that we can set about our duties of the day more in keeping with a life well lived. His supply is endless!!!

A while back I found this inspiring home on a blog and cannot get it off my mind! I love how it has aged both gracefully and beautifully! I hope as you embrace your day and the weeks and years ahead that you too will brighten the dark places in your home ( and perhaps your life) with light and love! Enjoy your day! It is a gift from God to use for His magnificent glory and grace! Isn't all of creation grand? As the door opens into your home, may the first impression be that your guest are welcomed and that you have been waiting for them!!! May they feel your thoughts, "welcome to my home"!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Treasures of the SEA.....

"Fear not, for I HAVE redeemed you; I have called you by name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you." Isaiah 43:1~2

There is a magnificence about the sea that is both breathtaking and beautiful! Water in any form seems to possess healing qualities and is both refreshing and cleansing. Living near the sea, I am often drawn to the tiny creatures I see digging their way helplessly into the sand for refuge after they've been swept to shore by a strong wave. It's funny how quickly they scurry back to where they are safe. As I think about this, I begin to wonder.....aren't we like the sea creatures in some ways? We seek and run to safety when we are washed ashore by a disappointment or painful experience. Some creatures of the sea are so battered that they become broken and all that is left is the shell. There is purpose even in the shell. These shells are reminders of beauty to me and each one is unique and individually created. You are unique too and created by God and when anything troubles you, remember, you can run to God and seek trust and refuge in Him. It's so easy if we begin with PRAISE! Praise brings us into the mighty presence of God! His Spirit is available for our comfort. Isaiah 61:3 says HE is there "To console those who mourn in Zion. To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.". Praise repels and replaces the heavy spirit, sort of like a protection, God calls it a garment, like a coat or covering. What a beautiful picture!!! The little sea creatures have a lovely and beautiful covering over them when they hide back to their refuge of sand. Perhaps the next time you are at the seashore you will be blessed to find a few as a reminder of God's goodness and protection in your own life.

God gives us these little reminders daily in all of creation as we look at HIS handiwork for answers, direction, and wisdom! Oh PRAISE HIM for the lessons of the sea and of all nature. May your Monday be filled with promise....give HIM your ashes and HE will make something beautiful out of your life.....may your life be as beautiful as the seashells!!!

P.S. I found all these seashells yesterday at the seashore!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Sweet Celebration of Love.....

I love a celebration! I love a party! It takes very little for me to get motivated in planning the entire event, especially when it's someone as special as my husband. He's still my dreamboat! He's still just as cute and fun as the first day I met him. He tells me that he had seen me for months before he got the courage up to flirt! Yeah, right! Anyway, we met by accident. A group of girlfriends were going to meet some football players at our university and so I just tagged along. As destiny unfolded, Steve began to throw popcorn at me, a piece at a time until I took notice. The rest is history! When we got back to the dorm, all my friends told me he had a girlfriend. He called me the next day and acted like he did not know what to say, sort of like a little boy would be! A couple of days later we passed in the hall of a building on campus, again he was a total flirt. Within a couple of days, he asked me out on our first date (I met his entire family on the first date) and within two weeks he had counted up all the minutes, hours, and days he had known me. That was Valentines Day! I was so impressed and touched. We were exclusive after that. He lives with his heart. I love that about him! A heart that is dedicated entirely and solely to God and to his family. He would do anything for me or another person so in preparing his dinner for his birthday, I had so much fun! My flowers in the garden were perfect for the table. We have a garden so the desire to keep the meal healthy was easy! He did grill the salmon, his favorite!

To draw a simple comparison, I believe Our Heavenly Father gets excited in preparing daily celebrations for us! Have you ever seen a brilliant sunrise and exclaimed with great joy of it's beauty? God gives us so much beauty in this world in which we live! Daily, we are given so many gifts from above all because God loves us. God, Himself, is so much greater though than these gifts. We learn though about Him through the daily gifts that He gives to us. As we are living and learning, we can share our heart's blessings by placing HIS love into everything we do. Tasks become a joy rather than a burden. The load is lightened! Have you known someone who it seems allows everything to be a burden for them? Even daily chores, such as taking care of their family or their husband or wife's needs is difficult? It seems to me when we center our thoughts first on Christ and The Cross then our attitudes toward our mates are governed by our attitudes toward God. As a husband honors his wife, cares for her, and prays for her, he is modeling his behavior after the Father! The same can be said of a wife who takes the time to care and pray for her husband. God stands ready to move in mighty ways in a marriage like that! Once we fall in love and decide on the wedding date then it's a celebration of what is to come....the marriage. Marriage vows are both meaningful and purposeful! It is a joy to celebrate ones mate and to love them and lift them to The Highest and ask for blessing. Just as the Lord looks for ways to bless us, even a birthday celebration can be filled with blessings! I hope you have times to celebrate! May the celebrations in your life continue to bring you happiness! This one certainly did for me! Have a blessed and safe weekend!! xxoo

The Birthday Cake.....a chocolate pudding cake with fresh cream and freshly sliced strawberries! I also added some fresh chocolate to the top! YUM!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Strong Roots

"He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth it's fruit in it's season, whose leaf shall also not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper". Psalm 1:3. It is incredible to believe and trust this analogy that we can be sustained by God, just like a tree by water. No matter where you are or what happens in your life, God is filling you with the power as you trust Him to do so and to stay close to Him. That is right, He will use His power to help you live a miraculous life! Everything you go through happens for a reason and trusting Him through prayer helps you to be steadfast and that tree! Yes, keep your roots by His stream and He will produce lasting fruit in your life! It's a promise!!!

Fruits from the roots are always beautiful when watered from the vine!

Location:Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Monday, July 9, 2012

In The Home......

In the home, we have three basic ministries. If we are married, the first ministry is to our mate. We are to love them, appreciate them, and encourage them. Our second ministry is to our children if we are blessed to have children. To me, this begins with prayer "on bended knee" with a sincere dependence on the Scriptures. Our third ministry is to our church and our community. Over a lifetime these unfold. It seems these days everyone has a plan, a calendar, a goal. These are good but we are encouraged in scripture to live day by day. May I encourage you to live one day at a time with a daily filling of the Holy Spirit. You see, it's not a onetime event this filling of our spirits, it is a daily surrendering to the Lord and seeking His wisdom and guidance. When we take the time to live in His presence and draw near to HIM our lives and our ministries just happen. Our lives are peaceful and our days are fruitful as He lives through us guiding our ways and our days. So many times we try to live out our lives with a reliance upon the truths from the Bible that we already know or have learned but it just doesn't work well that way. The Lord wants us to come as often as possible and be encouraged and taught through the words He has for us building fresh insights for each day and each season. His desire is to dearly love us and clothe us with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. [Col. 3:12] These are virtues needed in our relationships in the home and the community. When we combine these virtues with love, they are bound together in perfect unity. It is then, that we can lay these efforts of our lives before the Lord and know that He will make something beautiful out of it! I do enjoy making my home beautiful BUT without preparing my heart first, it would be just a cold place when family and friends come in.

My daughter Kristen and I drove for eleven hours on Friday with her four children back to her home in Texas. When we arrived, her sweet husband had created a dinner party for her and his children. He did it with love and with kindness. He ministered to his mate, his children, and his mother in law. :-) You doesn't take much to make a house a home and fulfill a ministry of love! He had clothed himself in LOVE! Each of us were touched and loved!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summertime and cool outdoors spaces.....

This is the time of the year.....summertime.....when we are all looking for a refuge from the heat! It seems for many areas in our country, America, and around then world, heat waves are at an all time high! I am sharing above a few pretty photos of spaces decorators have created on porches and places to escape the heat and enjoy refuge and revival! The last one is another photo of our outdoor party last weekend under the stars and twinkle lights. Thankfully, we planned the party near dusk so it was cooler. We all need a place to retreat when we feel the need to revive and restore. Heat is real and can alter our mood quickly but there is another kind of heat that can cause us to need a refuge. The world today is not much different from the times of ancient Israel when Moses lived in the world with his own family. Many of the great men of God whose positive blessings and strong confidence in God came as they sought refuge and retreat before a mighty God who rode the heavens to help when they called to Him in prayer. Today He continues to ride the Heavens to help us in our needs when we turn to Him in prayer. He is an eternal God whose everlasting arms are never exhausted and who is our refuge and safety. Deuteronomy 33:26-27 declare just those words! "There is no one like the God of Jushurun, Who rides the heavens to help you, and in His excellency on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms". I just love that verse so full of promise!!! In times past, churches held revivals and these services were meant to revive Believers and bring the hurting in and show them the refuge of peace and renewal that God is able to be. He is MORE than able to make all grace abound and revive the weakened spirit. You see, God in His wisdom knew the world had the ability to hold us in bondage and heated situations but...... when we turn to Him, we are shown His grace and He opens our eyes and gives us a measure of revival. Where do you go for refuge and revival from the heat of this day, of this hour, of this minute? Dear friend, as beautiful as these rooms and spaces above are there is a Throne Room with ONE whose beauty is unsurpassed and His Name is JESUS! Psalm 90:1 joyfully announces to us that "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations". May you seek refuge and peace sweet friend and find it today! Blessings of love on your day!!!