something about our house for a change.

When we moved into this little house of ours four years ago (Gasp! Longest we’ve ever stayed anywhere!), I was running a little handmade business. Just off the foyer was a sweet little room with built in bookshelves, a closet and a full bath. We live in a real-life, former, actual parsonage and I’m pretty sure my little room was a pastor’s study. It made for a great office.

Two years ago, I gave up that business and I have struggled with my little room ever since. It’s had several different incarnations as an office but mostly it just looks like a storage room.

On a sunny afternoon this spring I began to wonder how we could use the space better. It’s just off the foyer and houses the only bathroom downstairs.  Honestly, it’s been rubbing at me that we don’t use the space that well since it was a major draw for moving here (after four previous moves).

So. After some really hard thinky-thinking and a few talks with my husband and finding five people to agree that it was a good idea (because Tom was not in a hurry to move my six foot tall headboard down the stairs for me to quick decide it wasn’t such a good idea after all) we are in the process of moving our bedroom downstairs.

office

I took this picture of our office yesterday afternoon. As you can see, I’m making lots of progress. Smiley face.

The biggest concern was that we would be losing space. Half a room, to be exact. This little room is cozy and it will be a challenge to make it work but I’m so excited. I’ve lived in a few small houses and there is something about being really intentional about every single thing. We also had to think about our own bathroom being the main one. I decided that I would be more motivated to maintain some peace and order and make(ish) the bed if I knew that others would be passing through that space on a regular basis. Plus! We gain a guest bedroom with lots of storage upstairs and out of sight.

oldroom

That’s one half of our current master. I’ve switched to all white bedding and stolen some of the burlap for our den.

In the end, it’s been a gift of creativity and a goal to work toward. Sometimes? You just need that. I’m absolutely willing to be wrong if it means that I’ll fall in love with what I already have. I love problem solving and there have been lots of little issues to think through, especially keeping some kind of work/writing space for me. I don’t have all the solutions yet but I’m ok with not knowing. It’s ok to start without knowing all of the details.

What do y’all think? Am I crazy? Naive? Too pie in the sky?

PS-If I’m wrong I’ll just have to live with it because Tom is not carrying that headboard back up our 75 year old staircase with two turns and two landings.

PPS-Look how much difference a little wallpaper removal made in our bathroom. I’m far from done but it’s such a nice change.

bathroom

for when you wish.

wishes2It’s a bright and beautiful King Day afternoon. I’m in the kitchen trying to find the right water temperature for dishes. The hot water runs over my hands bringing up pink skin.  The tinkling of a full sink begins.

I look out the wavy glass of the window on our backyard. The boys are playing baseball. The dog is stealing the ball.

“GroooverrrrrRRR!” Big smile.

And then huge, hard, cold punch to the chest. I wish. For so many things but mostly that some of the hard things would be taken away. And now my tears are plinking on the edge of the cold counter top. One. Two. Three.

Tumbling, tumbling and my thoughts follow all full of Haven’t-I-been-good-enoughs and Isn’t-it-time-to-move-ons and This-is-not-so-beautifuls. All of the sudden my kitchen is filled with the stale air of why. In my experience, why almost never brings fresh wind.

But then something rustles through the clapboard shambles of my mind: this is just buffing. It must be from Him. Nothing so fresh could come from me right now.

This? Is just buffing. All of these things that rub my skin so raw and pinky tender are revealing something so beautiful: Christ in me. And words can’t begin to scratch out how much I need to see Him in all the bits and pieces of my life. To encounter Him and His grace and His enough over and over again: the thrum, thrum, thrum of this buffing.

When I was eighteen and beginning a faith walk unlike anything before, I was looking for a Lord to spit-shine me up real good. Make me acceptable, liked. Show me how to have a good life. It was how I needed to come to Him and I’m so glad for His grace.

Just now-almost eighteen years later-I am beginning to see that it is less about being shiny and good and more about being closer and closer to a Savior. It is the only way through.

This buffing hurts but it is beautiful.

a beauty revolution.

New Film Premiere – I Like Adoption. from ILikeGiving.com on Vimeo.

Yesterday a dear friend linked to this video on facebook. I hope you’ll take the six minutes to watch this.

Because this story? It’s a story of beauty rabble rousers. My heart ripped when the mama of this beautiful family calls us victims of our culture because we believe that beauty means being perfect and being the same. Because it is true.

All my life I’ve disbelieved beauty in my frame and I’ve struggled to find beauty in my home and my disappointments. But what if all the things I thought disqualified me are the very building blocks of beauty in my life?

What if, like this family’s son, we could put quotation marks around the things that we believe have made life mis-formed so that we can believe we-our lives-are well-formed? And what if our lives spoke that beautiful truth over others, not just words but really lived out?

Let’s call a lie a lie. Beauty is not defined by this world, this culture. Let’s be beauty rabble rousers.