Focus….and be still….

My hopes for Spring are not dashed by today’s ice storm. God knows what He’s doing. And yet I feel very much like I imagine this bud of a flower must feel, if a bud had feelings. I’ve been anxious to push ahead to what must surely be “next” in my life, without the slightest clue what that may be, yet certain it will involve something of a bloom rather than the prick of thorns I’ve felt of late. Surely….. hopefully…

If you know me at all, you know I write things down so I won’t forget them. Or to put it another way, I write things down so that I will remember them!

This scripture verse has been over my desk for months….and I would do well to memorize it! For I know that the Lord is a light for me, and the “darkness” I have felt in this season of my life will surely pass. The things that were meant for my harm, God has used for good. And I praise Him. So instead of pushing ahead to “make things happen”, I choose to wait. I choose to be still and allow God, in His time, to reveal His plans for me. Ah, but waiting is hard, because waiting involves patience, and for me, patience is one fruit of the Spirit that I seem to have trouble allowing to grow and mature in my life. You see, patience often means I wait ….. expectantly…without arguing (“But God!”), and without whining. In stillness. Hushed silence. Much like that accompanying a new-fallen snow. Peacefulness. Calm. Quietness.

I buy candles and light them to evoke smells of spring forests. I add faux plants to give “life” to the dreariness of winter indoors. And I laugh at myself, because though these things make me feel like I’m doing something, the something I am actually doing is waiting. Waiting on God. To move, or move me.

And I would be wise to consider that waiting does not mean inactivity. No, while in the waiting room of life, we keep doing what we know to do. We continue the work already given to us to carry out. Eagerly. Expectantly. And for me, in this season of my life, it is….

…being the best HomeBody God has created me to be, all the while being the best wife, best mom, best Nana, best friend and best whatever else I’ve been called to be!

And so I keep hunting for the treasures that make our home a place we love to be….despite my HubE’s efforts to keep his shed “his” space!

And I paint and repurpose….to offer home furnishings to you so that you can make your home a cozy and inviting space.

I walk down memory lane with my mom as she recounts story upon story of the days of her youth….

I eat at favorite restaurants with friends and share stories of heartache and triumph…

I watch the chickadees as they make their home with us again this year in a home more shabby and chippy than I ever imagined they would enjoy!

I keep collecting the things I love and the stories they inspire…

And I realize that even when Spring finally does arrive, there will be “home work” yet to be done, and more lives to touch and be touched by, and I will know that the wait was worth it. For God is faithful. And no matter the season, He will still call me into times of silence, that I might know Him and be known by Him.

So may I focus….and be still….

And may you do the same….especially while we are in the waiting room of this life. Shhhh….I’m expecting something wonderful to be born out of this time of waiting. And I can’t wait to share it with you! So come ….. be still with me.

~Blessings,

Connie

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The hushed, unhurried life

It’s no secret that if you live in Brevard, NC, the local grocery store (Ingles) is more accurately referred to among the locals as “Mingles”. There is no such thing as “running in for a few groceries”, because you are sure to meet more than one person you’ve not seen in a while, and you will stop to chat on an isle for a moment or twenty minutes before continuing on with your shopping. And just so you know, I am guilty as well. Nothing better than catching up with your neighbors between the milk and the eggs!

Last week as I was literally running in for just a few things before I had to hurry home to prepare dinner for our guests who were due in less than an hour (yes, I admit I crowd way too much into most days), I patted a neighbor on the back and tossed a hello over my shoulder as I marathoned out with my cart. Her words lingered at the back of my neck….”….always in a hurry. Never takes time to stop and chat…” Albeit true, the words stung me. Yet I didn’t turn around and stop to see how she was doing, because after all, I had dinner to cook and deadlines to meet!

Sadly, this was the second time in less than a week someone had said something similar of me. And I have begun to ponder the truth in the accusations.

I do tend to be about the moment I’m in. If that’s shopping, it’s shopping. If it’s merchandising my booth spaces, that’s my focus. And while that doesn’t mean I won’t stop to chat with you should you catch me in the middle of my frenzy, it just means that I may not linger, or my words may be edged with distraction, as my mind was in full gear somewhere else before the interruption, no matter how pleasant that interruption may be!

Even as I am squeezing in this moment from the fleeting minutes of my own self-imposed hurry of painting furniture, I am anxious to get back out and complete my task before the winds rise and the temperature drops. It is, afterall, February, and winter is still upon us.

For days the lyrics from an old Simon & Garfunkle song have tumbled through my head. Maybe you know it too

….Slow down, you move too fast.  You’ve got to make the morning last…

So this post is about just that….slowing down and looking at each moment as God gives it. To be cherished, embraced, bewildered by or simply caught in the gasp of delight as you linger in the breath you’ve just inhaled. Please allow me to share a few of this week’s joys with you from the booths of Burlap & Lace, located at The Garage on 25 in Arden and at The Marketplace on Locust in Hendersonville, and even a few from home.

The Marketplace on Locust: Salvaged barnwood bookcase complete with lots of home decor!

The Garage on 25: finds for your home, garden, office and loved ones – all in one space!
The Garage on 25: Vintage enamel table with pull out sides….check out all the vintage kitchen ware while there!

Marketplace on Locust: The perfect table for two!

Marketplace on Locust: The perfect side table for a bedroom, den or office. Paint done by Stephanie’s Creations (check out her spaces at both locations as well!)
Marketplace on Locust: Distressed antique ironing board stool is perched beneath an antique drawer, wooden scoop and crocheted table runner. What a pairing!
Garage on 25: Fennial decor tops a mantle decorated with seasonal candle-lamps. Love those old oil drip pans with seasonal florals on the wall behind!

And choose your own wall art saying from a basket beneath the mantle….easy to install, and won’t hurt your walls!
The Garage on 25: Love these hanging wooden bowls! Great in a kitchen for vegies, or in a bathroom for washclothes, soaps, etc. Also great in the garden for bird seed! Bird nest paintings done by local Brevard artist, Lynn Driver. Make great gifts!
I will lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

May you find your peace in the hush of a new day….

~Blessings,

Connie