Sunday, January 20, 2013

French Dreams.......

On a recent trip to one of my favorite antique shops I ran across an old sofa just waiting to be loved! The problem was it was extremely dated and worn out! However since I am always dreaming in French, I saw the loveliness of its form and all the grace of its hidden treasure. I looked lovingly at it, got down on my knees and looked under it, looked at the back and thought "okay I will think about it". I asked the shop owner to hold it and called back the following day and said I would be there on Friday to buy it. I remembered in my purse (somewhere) there was the name of a wonderful upholsterer nearby that I could call. As luck would have it, he was Irish and perfect for the job. He even went and picked up the sofa for me! I selected my fabric and delivered it to him and a week later it is sitting in my house! Looking at it, it is a beginning to my dream, my shop, Bevilaqua Interiors. I hope to have a shop one day to display my wares and my talents "For Sale". In the meantime, it will sit quietly and dream with me! I paid $150.00 for this investment. I did invest in the upholstery but I think my return will be greatly increased. He recommended French tacts and he had the fittings and materials necessary for a professional job. It has a French aesthetic that now inspires me even more to follow the dreams yet to be! The last photo is of our guest room that we've painted and furnished with new bedcoverings. you can see, we've had a busy January alreadly and today we are just twenty days into the new year! Do not be afraid to cultivate your dreams! You have talents, God given talents and that is where you should always begin. Ask yourself..... What are my strengths? What are my talents? What do I truly enjoy? I confess I have a spirit of dreamer in my blood and my true calling is to combine my love of sewing with making others happy with beautiful touches! My new French sofa will be a good place for my clients to be inspired! I am confident each one can say....."dreams really do come true!" I dreamed of this sofa and there is was, right before my eyes! Have a beautiful Sunday!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Door and A Cleft.......

France (where I snapped this pic) is very much a country filled with milk and honey for those who have sought and found treasures there! Its people, the language, the villages, and oh yes, Paris! I am happy and thankful to be an American but I enjoy this beautiful country and its treasures! The lovely door above reminds me that behind a closed door there are treasures. I enjoy thinking what could be there. A courtyard? An entryway? A fragrant garden filled with fragrant flowers? It is so fun to imagine what could be found behind those closed doors, certainly something secret and meant to be hidden behind such massive doors. Lately, I have been on a study of a passage in the Scriptures that is filled with blessing. There are certain times when God hides us in the "cleft of the rock" to protect us and cover us from things we do not fully understand or are prepared to see just yet. Have you ever been in a spot like that, where you wanted the next door to open so you could see what is behind it but He has placed you in "the cleft" because He is not quiet ready for you to see. The passage is so beautiful......."And The Lord said, Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be while my glory passes by that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand, while I pass by." Exodus 31:21-22. It's beautiful that the Lord placed Moses in the cleft in a place so very, very close to where His glory was passing by. In times of uncertainty and change, God is very present and always protecting until we are safe to proceed out of "the cleft" or through an open door. You see, He Divinely protects those He loves, He covers us and He is always a refuge for us. His truth shall be a shield and a buckler for those who put their trust in Him. When we are placed by Him in this "cleft" it is up to us to make Him our refuge and habitation by trusting Him~taking our cares, fears and needs to Him by seeking His counsel, spending times of refreshment with Him, and by loving Him and walking closely with Him through every day. When we do this, we enter into a sheltered place of promise. It doesn't mean that we will be free of all our problems but behind this closed door while in "the cleft" we are able to find renewed fellowship with God and discover more of His glory as He passes by with His all encompassing love and mercy. Allow Him to close and open doors in your life. He so graciously is offering to be by you in "the cleft." Have a blessed and special weekend my friend! xoxo

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Sanctuary

The Church at Piddlehinton
When I last visited Kara and Phil in England, they were gracious host and took me many places, Phil was driving while I soaked in every ounce of beauty of this glorious country!  Many of my favorite photographs that I took were of churches in villages and great Cathedrals in the cities. 

Phil's parents are both English "bell ringers" and while I was in England, we went to one of his Dad's bell ringing competitions and we heard the bells ringing.  There were a group of six to eight ringers in each group. They use ropes attached to the bells and the harmony is skillfully learned and the music is glorious!  We stood outside and listened, it was beautiful!  The bells ringing, ringing, ringing!

I learned that the bells are used as a call to worship.....a call to the Sanctuary on Sunday mornings in the villages and other times of worship.  It would be amazing if our country still did this, perhaps more people would be reminded that in order to know God, we must seek Him.  When we seek Him, He will find matter where we are.  Tomorrow is Sunday.  I hope you will be reminded through these lovely photos of His blessings in your life and that He is calling you to know Him and to worship Him in the sanctuary of your soul.  He is offering to fill your heart with His love, His goodness, and His glory!

Psalm 63:1~3

O God, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory.  Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.  So will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name!

This beautiful Abbey is in Somerset County, England, within walking distance of Phil's grandparents home. 


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vision and visionaries.....

Each one of us have had people in our lives who made a difference.  Some for good, some not so good and it is up to us as individuals to decide what we hold on to and what we must let go of.  Someone told me years ago to hold on to people and things with an open hand.  I treasured this advice and through the years, I have often had to let go of people, places, and "stuff" that were not meant to be in my immediate presence.  Difficult?  Yes, but in trusting God, I have found the surety of the words of Romans 8:28 that "all things do work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes." These words suggest a deliberate plan, a proposition so to speak, an advance plan, an intention, or a design. 

 For me, personally, growing up without loving parents, made me want even more than life itself, to have and enjoy a family, and one that was well loved and cared for.  Boundless energy would go into my plan.  That was my intention.  I had a vision for goodness and decided early on, to go into the mothering full time once children began to arrive.  I had a university degree to help me with this in early childhood education.  This degree served me well because I understood the value of my presence in my children's lives.  God in His providence, because He is a God of comfort and patience granted me to be like minded toward other mothers who were on the same path.  There were a few times I worked outside of my home as the children were older but because I had been given such a large family, being available to get them to their activities,  meeting their emotional and their spiritual needs and  etc., was best accomplished by being able to share in these needs each day and was best for us as a family.  God has a beautiful vision for the family.  His desire is for us to receive the gifts of children and then He will take hold of us and release the grace to set in motion the powers to help us fulfill His vision.  When His power is allowed to work in a family, it will transform the lives of each family member into beautiful lives.  Receive the blessing and the vision God has for your family.......I promise you will not be disappointed. 

 In my early life, I was blessed with a loving Grandmother who stepped in to love me and care for me as a mother would.  She was rarely ever too busy for us, even though she worked full time as a teacher.  She gave tirelessly of her time, her finances, and her worldly goods to give me and my siblings a better life.  She was a visionary and she had a vision.  She took us to church.  God's grace met with her willingness to give.......yes, the vision took hold.   Do you have a vision in this new year?  One for your own life and one for your family?  Perhaps today would be a good day to bow and ask God for help.  He will be faithful to guide you and your family.  His vision can be trusted!  May our hearts be filled with goodness and grace!