Setting the table of grace

img_4462It’s Fall y’all!

Well maybe not officially, but it’s coming!  And for those of us living in these NC mountains, our 60 degree mornings definitely whisper hints of delightfully cooler weather.  So I wanted to give you some things to think about with the approaching  Thanksgiving season because I’m convinced that if the next 2 months fly by as fast as the summer has, I might not get another opportunity to do so!

Before I take you to the table of Burlap & Lace, I want to take you to a different table – one full of grace, and forgiveness.

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The air is thick with conversation, though none of it worth much in value.  There is talk of church and people who won’t serve.  There is mingled in gossip about the affairs of the town’s people, none of it bathed with concern but only spoken to make little of them and much of the one talking.

Suddenly the conversation is hushed as she enters.  They all know who she is.  She enters quietly, and even somewhat gracefully, though none would ever have attached grace to a description of her.  She carries a bottle of fragrant oil, and tears wet her cheeks as they flow without hindrance down a face aged and now wrinkled by regret.

Today her expression is different…unbridled kindness fills her eyes, and love moves her entire being toward him.  Nothing will be held back today, for she loves him much.

Her body stoops to the ground, carefully cradling the flask of oil so as not to drop it.  Her tears wash over his feet, and as she kneels, she takes her hair and gently rubs away the stains caused as they splash upon feet streaked with the city’s dirt – feet now being lavished with tears from a thankful heart.  She begins to kiss those dirty feet, cradling them in one hand while with the other she pours out the oil and rubs them clean.  Her tears never cease.  But it is her heart that is most noticeable.  Well, if you are really seeing the heart of the matter.

The sneers and whispers begin…Don’t you know who she IS?

And Jesus simply turns his gaze toward her, but speaks to the accuser.  Do you see this woman?  I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.  You gave me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss my feet since the time I came in.  You did not anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with fragrant oil.  Therefore I say to you, her sins which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.  But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.

 I believe the room was silenced after that.

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It’s quite a story, isn’t it?  Honestly, I can claim this story as my story.   Is it yours too? What of your life has made you so thankful that you would lavish your giver with tears of love?

With that thought in mind, slide into the table set at Burlap & Lace this month. My prayer is that you will find grace and forgiveness to offer those who gather with you at your own table this season.  Mistakes may have been  made along the way.  Wounds have healed over into scars that remind you there was once a battle being fought.  Maybe it was with a family member.  Perhaps it was with a friend.  Have you forgiven?  Have you loved the One who forgave you of so much that you would lavish the same love of your heavenly Father all over the one who has hurt you so much?  Can you share your table, as Jesus did, as one laid with grace, and forgiveness?  I pray so.  That would truly give meaning to the celebration of Thanksgiving, now wouldn’t it?

Why not add some quote cards to your table this year?  They make great conversation starters, and afterward your guests can take them home to frame or to use as a postcard to send to someone that could use a kind word along their way.

While yellows, oranges and browns certainly give you a feeling of Fall, consider dressing up your table in colors that are favorites of yours!  I am offering blues mixed with greens after finding these gorgeous flower napkin rings.  Paired with the blue plates, they make a fun and festive setting for any day of the year!img_4475So take a quick journey with me into my past…as a young girl, cloth napkins were only used at our house during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And napkin rings made using the cloth napkins so much more fun!

So now, a glimpse at my present finds me working at a Bed & Breakfast where cloth napkins are an everyday occurrence, and napkin rings too!  I simply love to find new and creative ways to fold the napkins and show off the napkin rings.

img_4473Ah, and when the crowd overflows to the kitchen bar, how about some vintage bar stools to add charm ?  Don’t let the white color scare you….I brought these home, took them to my driveway and sprayed them with a hose and a solution of Clorox and water.  They glisten!  So no need to worry about the color…embrace it!

Check out the assortment of tablecloths (vintage, of course) and table scarves (crocheted)!  And then let your eyes drift to what’s holding those table scarves and mugs.  What a great piece with so many uses….for mugs, dishtowels and pot holders in the kitchen…..for damp towels in the bathroom…..for caps by the front door….for garden tools and gloves at the garden shed or on the side of your garage…. for scarves or jewelry in a closet…..the ideas are pushing through my head faster than I can type!

And what about that distressed white cabinet?  In it’s former days, it held record albums, but today, I see it just as displayed….for dishes, cookbooks, kitchen serving bowls and pans….OR, with rolled up towels in a bathroom….OR as a shoe caddy in a closet….OR as a bookshelf in a bedroom or office.  Again, so many great uses for this piece!

img_4478This side table was also a record holder in another lifetime, but it’s the perfect piece today to go next to a chair, creating the just-right space for books, newspapers or a basket to hold the TV remotes….OR in a dining area to hold dishes….OR in a bathroom for towels.  Why not add a couple baskets underneath to hold hair dryer, curling iron, and all the essentials of a busy morning routine?  Oh, and while letting your eyes feast on the table, ease your eyes on down to see the collection of jars, now reduced to $3 each, regardless of make or color or size.  These are the perfect item for holding fresh flowers, cotton balls or Q-tips in a bath, drier sheets in a laundry room or coins on a bedroom dresser. And if you happen to be a collector, you should definitely take a look!

img_4469This piece caught my eye as the perfect thing for holding toilet paper in a guest bath.  Hammered aluminum is a favorite of mine, and this tray could also hold a collection of bottles filled with fresh flowers on an entry hall table, or in the middle of your kitchen table!  Wide enough to hold glasses two deep, you could also use this as a tray to serve those holiday beverages from!

img_4467Meet “Patch”….a cute little fellow just longing to perch on your front porch atop a crate.  The apple basket he’s propped against would be great for pumpkins or apples.

img_4476This metal sign is the perfect addition for your kitchen this Fall…and so reasonably priced!

img_4453Although these are not at all in keeping with my cottage style, I simply had to offer these plastic, insulated wine glasses to you!  Perfect for the crisp evenings to come and the still-warm days that are currently upon us, they make great gifts as well!

Furniture pieces galore have come to Burlap & Lace this week, with more still on the way!  From the desk at top left to the bookcase holding glassware to the shabby shutters….there is much to choose from and much to imagine (like where a certain piece might fit into your home!).

img_4470Getting back to the table, let me leave you with this thought.  Relationships, I have found, take work.  Hard work.  Intentional work.

It’s easy to sit and think about all those who should be reaching out to you, but what if those same people are sitting and wondering why you haven’t reached out to them?  Maybe it’s time to make the move toward mending some broken fences.  Oh, I know….why do I always have to make the first move?!? I have thought that thought more times than I can count.  And the answer always comes to me….

Because –  God Himself moved out of heaven and into earth, giving Himself freely to us all so that we could spread a taste of His grace around our own table.  You just might find that the person whose life you thought you would change has actually been the one to change you.  And when that happens, don’t forget to lavish your Redeemer, Jesus Christ, with praise.  It will be a great  Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Fall Y’all!

~Connie

 

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