This spring I planted basil, mint, parsley and thyme in planters in my back yard. Sadly, I did not put rocks in the bottom of the planters, and it rained, and rained and rained this spring. So...all that remains is the basil. Thankfully that had a bumper crop! It is now at the end of it's prime however, so I pulled it all today and left it to dry in the house. It smells wonderful, Tabby was curious about what it is all about, and I think I discovered that I really like the way the big bunch of bright greenery looks in the house, especially against most of my white. Maybe I need some indoor plants for the kitchen?? :)
"Beauty is powerful...Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth. Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty nourishes. Beauty comforts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent. Beauty draws us to God. As Simone Weil wrote, 'The beauty of the world is almost the only way by which we can allow God to penetrate us...Beauty captivates the senses in order to obtain permission to pass straight through to the soul...The soul's inclination to love beauty is the trap God most frequently uses in order to win it."
"Captivating, pg 131-132"
This quote, along with this post put into words much better than I ever could why "decorating" my home is so important to me. While I wouldn't say it's a "spiritual" effort, it does do my soul a lot of good to come home to a clean, nice looking home on a daily basis. It allows my heart to sigh and recharge for the next encounter with the less obliging world! Some pictures that will hopefully help you rest...
Since Aaron and I have been married, he has been driving my "hand-me-down" car, a 1994 Nissan Sentra. This was my first car, the one my dad bought for me when I turned 15 to learn to drive on. It still runs well, but a few weeks ago when Aaron took the Altima to Atlanta on a Friday and I drove the sentra to work I couldn't help but think, "Man, we need to get him a new car." We've known a new car would be in the near future for awhile now, but were reluctant to give it up because we have two cars that are paid for. Needless to say, I'd been praying about what we would/could do. We have been saving, but even with that, all we would be able to purchase with our savings after buying a house last year, was another, probably less reliable used vehicle. And taking out a loan was not something we really wanted to do either. We also kind of wanted a truck or SUV because we need to "haul" things from time to time and had nothing to do it with. Neither of these options are cheap. Well, at least if you want a reliable one.
A few months back, there was a picture on the cover of a JCrew magazine of the back end of a car that I looked at Aaron and said "That is a really nice looking car. One day, I'd like to own a car like that." I didn't think anything else about it. Well, last Monday driving back from my parents for labor day, Aaron said "What if we got one of those Wagoneers?" To which I responded "What's a Wagoneer?" "That car you showed me on the magazine a while back, that's a Wagoneer." (I told you I hadn't thought any more about it!) We talked about it a little, looked online and found out they are something of a classic. Aaron did all kinds of research on them, and looked online for them at used car sights. These cars have such a following that you can actually buy them, completely rebuilt/restored from this guy out in California for like $30,000. Well, if we had that much we would be able to buy a new car! We found a few in pretty good condition in our price range, but most of them were several states away. I finally suggested we look on Craigslist, and wouldn't you know it, we found one, color and interior we wanted, in GREAT shape, in our price range, and in Dallas, GA...only an hour and a half away. Is it just me, or is that kind of a God thing? We went up and looked at it, Aaron fell in love, (I'm pretty smitten myself) and we drove it home that night.
His name is James, and who wouldn't be smitten with someone that good lookin'? Aaron really enjoys driving it, and to me that's totally worth it. He came home this past wednesday night and honked the horn in the driveway and "asked me out" for ice cream. I must say, he also looks good driving it. It was owned by a mechanic previously, who took amazing care of the car. All it needs is a tune up and an AC repair. We are SO thankful! God answered my prayers far and away above all I could have expected.
Wow. I cannot believe it has been so long since my last post. I promise it's not because I've jumped ship on the blogging world. It's more like I've been in the middle of the hurricane on the ship and unable to write much for doing much! If I were actually on a real ship my captains log would have said, "another day of winds, rain, and high waves...we're just staying afloat. Will write more later". (Did captain's logs every say "will write more later"? Probably not...) Lets see, since I last wrote, well, the majority of time has been taken up working on getting our guest room ready for visitors this weekend. Let me just tell you, owning an older home is not for the faint of heart! From the time Aaron and I started dating we'd walk around our college town, which was chock full of beautiful old homes, and say that one day we wanted to buy one for ourselves and fix it up. Well, after we got married we moved to Texas, and there isn't much old in Texas to begin with. Well, at least not in Fort Worth and not preserved the way it was or taken care of. The "older" neighborhoods were very run down and you didn't want to live there. Everyone lived in what I fondly refer to as "house farms". Old fields, sold to developers with approximately five house plans/building fronts, who built as many on that one piece of property as possible. This resulted in houses with very small yards, very close together, and very similar. A far cry from the "older house with character" that Aaron and I had dreamed of. We didn't buy while out in Fort Worth, God never gave us a peace about it, and for good reason looking back now. We left just before the housing market collapsed. And while we were out there we lived in seminary housing, then another small apartment, and finally a rental house in a nice house farm neighborhood. But when I tell you that houses were all similar, I mean there were probably at least 20 different versions of the house we rented in the 10 miles around us. Just in case you think I'm exaggerating, we looked at renting one just like it (I mean exact same floor plan) that was a few years newer and about $100.00 more expensive every month. And, (this is the kicker) we hosted a teenage girls bible study at the house every wednesday night for about a year. One of the girls brought over a guest and she was looking around my house, basically all night, and then finally at the end of the night after someone else commented on the house she said "I don't mean to be rude or anything, but this is my grandfather's house." Now, the lady who owned our house is obviously NOT a grandfather, so obviously her grandfather lived in another house just like it. Lovely. But, it was a good house, and aside from painting and other cosmetic things, we really had very little to do with it. Now, we have the "charming" older house to fix up..."just like we always wanted". Famous last words!! Don't get me wrong, we LOVE our home. And we enjoy making it ours, but man alive is it a lot of work some days! For instance this guest room. We just wanted to paint it. But we have plaster walls, with peeling paint. (I have since learned plaster walls tend to have this problem). So, Aaron gets in there with the scraper and goes to town. This leaves us with large areas of the wall that now need to be filled in with patching plaster, and then sanded, and then primed, and THEN we can paint. Three weeks later, we were pushing it to get the painting finished before Aaron's grandfather comes to stay in it. This was not the first time we looked at each other and asked ourselves, "what were we thinking?" Especially Aaron since he ended up doing a lot of this himself because last weekend I was at a Beth Moore simulcast with two good friends of mine. I was so glad I made the time to go. I hemmed and hawed forever over whether or not to go. My friend April just LOVES Beth Moore, and had asked me about going a month or so ago. I knew we had a lot going on and it would take the one free weekend I had in between several busy ones. We've been doing this "Chase the Goose" study on Wednesday nights at the church, and it parallels our life with Christ as a "wild goose chase" and discusses several "cages" we live in as believers sometimes. One was the cage of routine. And boy, let me tell you, do I reside there fairly often. It's one cage I really like sometimes. God had kept nudging me to go, I felt I should, and then I read one day in that study, "change of place plus change of pace equals a change in perspective." God kinda jarred me in the head that I needed that as a change of place and pace to realign my perspective. So, I bought tickets and went. To even begin to discuss all that went on is beyond my skills...I'm sure you'll hear me refer back to it in many posts to come as I continue to process all that went on. Suffice to say, the topic was "the desires of our hearts" and she spoke out of Psalm 37. I truly believe that God knows, listens to and labors over the desires of my heart. What caring parent doesn't? And there have been too many instances in my life when God has met the desires of my heart I knew about and even the ones I didn't know I had. His hand is all over my life, protecting me, guiding me, teaching me and loving me. That is what has made it so hard recently when there has been a particular desire of my heart that I've had for so long that God has yet to bring to fruition. I wonder at this point exactly what He's continuing to wait on. To my human perspective, there really doesn't seem to be much. But, I have faith that He sees what I do not, that there is more going on here than I'm aware of, and that God has ultimately my best interests at heart. More than my best interests, His glory. And that, friends, is definitely worth waiting for!
I am a wife and a nurse. My walk with God started when I was seven, and has been one grand adventure since then. I have loved running hard after Him. If you ever want to watch a good movie, talk about a great book, bake just about anything, take a long hike on a pretty trail or rummage through antique stores, give me a call!