When we moved into our fixer upper this room was the designated “formal” living room for a house built in an era for fancy sofas that were too look at but not sit on. Because the furniture that we brought with us never felt right, I started to get the itch to want everything new, which wasn’t an option. But more that that, the living room was a part of our home that was seldom used.
At the same time, the dining room was tiny and was never big enough to fit the army of people that I feed and wasn’t really comfortable for our guests. Well, I thought, this will not do! Because our most treasured time is the time that we spend around the table. So….. a switcharoo was in order and I couldn’t be happier about it! We can pull up benches and squeeze double the army at my new/secondhand table.
I painted it in a dark gray/blue that is the color of the sky in my painting above the fireplace. My buddy Lara and I hashed the color choice out many times over, should it be black like the buffet, or blue, and what shade of blue? I’m such a neutral girl at heart but she insisted on blue and ultimately we wanted a dramatic look with a little more layering instead of making everything match.
The painting is from my neighbor’s estate sale. Lara (who owns my local frame shop) re-framed it in my most favorite gray burl wood modern frame and made all that it was meant to be. This painting reminds me of a time in our life when the storm was all around us, and God left us alone for a while to find peace, at time when every relationship as we knew it was severed. I don’t mean we didn’t have community. Because we did. Some would say a deeper and more meaningful community. And not because we didn’t have wonderful people in our lives before, perhaps because we were incapable of living in community before. We were proud and didn’t know it. It was a painful part of life that we needed in order to heal and gather vision for our future. Sometimes I feel like we’re still there…by the the waves, a place many folks want to be…but the skies are not clear. There’s a longing that isn’t fulfilled yet.
This year is also the first year I’ve ever in our family history put up two main trees. One in the family room with our sentimental ornaments, and one in the dining room, newly styled. I wanted to show folks that came to my open house that things shouldn’t need to be elaborate to be beautiful. That entire tree was decorated using two spools of ribbon that I tied in knots around the branches, great big clear lights, and jingle bell ornaments that I carry in my shop.
The table is set with my old Fiesta and my mamaw’s brass candlesticks paired with some fun stripe tapers. And an olive wood nativity front and center. When Dan and I went to Israel the first time, we used all of our money just to get there. And couldn’t really afford to buy a large set. I’ve said many times that a mini can make a bigger statement than an average piece. And I still believe that. I didn’t have a table runner so I folded up a linen curtain panel and tied the ends up. The mantle was kept so simple with a vintage metallic tree, a few bottle brush trees and a ceramic house. Chairs and Rug from my shop. Rug is leather and jute. A bit more sophisticated than solid jute, but with the wearability and neutral pallet of traditional jute.
The David bust on the mantle, you ask?? Well, I will always have him. He is a reminder of the covenant of God in spite of our failure. And that God will find us in the “field”…doing the little things we do best. Also, the vision He gave us in the solitude, after the fall, will gather a motley crew that just may be made up of mighty men and women of valor who will fight for you.
The upside down ways of God. I will never stop being amazed.
Perhaps life is a bit like this? Maybe you’ve set up camp in a room that you cannot figure out why oh why there’s never any satisfaction? A career? A city? A relationship? Maybe you’re not being used the way you could be?
Are you in the wrong room?
Our old dining room is now the coziest living room EVER. It’s where we are the most. It fits our fifty year old down sofa, my favorite pillows, our comfy throws and my books and our piano. We work here. We talk here. We snuggle here. We minister here. We listen to music here. The kids play here. We rest here.
I didn’t need new stuff.
My stuff needed a new place.