Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A high privilege?

Being a mother is a high privilege, but it doesn't always feel that way. And in the midst of my current parenting struggle, I am reminded of Jesus' mother Mary. When the angel Gabriel promised the birth of Jesus to Mary, he proclaimed that she was highly favored (Luke 1:28). But then there came the time when Simeon prophesied about Jesus' life, and told Mary that one day a sword would pierce through her very own soul (Luke 2:35). I wonder which truth Mary was pondering as she watched her son die on a cross? That of a high privilege? Or that of a her heart that was feeling the agony of a sharp pierce?

Though the example is indeed an extreme one, the illustration is still clear. A high calling, or a high privilege, doesn't always translate into joy and happiness. Please do not misunderstand. God is always working for the good of those that love Him, and God is always in favor of those that fear Him, and God does indeed promise eternal joy and peace...but He has never promised an "easy calling" here on this earth. In fact, I dare say He never has. For He doesn't call us to that which we can accomplish on our own. We are called to that which must be done by and through Him. We are called to that which will reveal His glory, and His power, and His strength, and His ability...not our own. So why is it that we as parents sometimes forget this in our parenting? For the high privilege of raising a child, must first begin in the low posture of praying for grace and strength and mercy and wisdom.

Are you struggling in this privileged walk through parenthood? This last month has been an ongoing struggle for me, and just this week I finally dead-ended on a street that has brought me face to face with my own limitations. As it turns out, I am not the perfect parent that my kids are in need of. A shocking revelation...I know. But thankfully, He never intended for me to play that part in His script of my life. And instead of me desperately trying to play a false role, He would rather I just sit at the foot of the cross and ask for His strength to do it right.

Have you rested from all your parental laboring at the foot of the cross lately? You would have lots of company there, if you chose to come and stay awhile. I dare say that mothers make up the majority of the population sitting in the dirt at the cross. And in this instance, it's a good thing to be a needy, desperate, broken woman. As long as what you are needy, and desperate, and broken for is the One who can fulfill your every need. Come join us beneath the cross.


Monday, September 27, 2010

We retreated

I have told you before that I have a small group of high school girls that meet weekly at my house. I really do not know what you call this group of ours. When people ask what I do with them, I am always at loss for words a bit. Do I "mentor" them? Maybe. Do I "teach" them? Not sure. Do I "listen" to all their stuff? Usually. Do they drink all my milk? Always. So perhaps the most accurate description of what I do is provide milk. Kind of like a cow. Yes, that's what I am to them: their cow. And this weekend we retreated together. They are seniors now, which means only one more year with these girls of mine. This weekend was the kick off to their senior year.

This last picture is my favorite. They were crushin on the worship band all weekend (because that is just what high school girls do) so we took a "groupie" picture with the guys right before we left. I love these girls. I really do. Despite their high-maintenance selves, and my selfish self, God has bonded us. He works through all our sin and selfishness, and accomplishes His will despite it all. He is faithful like that. And though I often view myself as little more than the provider of milk, perhaps that was my purpose all along. And in a spiritual sense, providing milk is where it all begins. For even Paul said to the Corinthians "I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it". There will be time later for steak and potatoes, but for now we are pacing ourselves, one gallon of milk at a time.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chalk Paint: My new BFF

I told you Chalk Paint was going to be my new BFF. I'm using Annie Sloan's paint, and it is the easiest paint that I have ever worked with. This piece of furniture was a simple little TJ Max find that I have had forever. Though the daiquiris are cute, they aren't exactly my look, but a lovely coat of "Paris Grey" was all it needed. Paris Grey? Are you kidding me!?!? I would paint my entire house in this color, if my cute carpenter would let me, just because of it's name.

I am going to take this lovely to "The Lemonade Stand", aka: our antique booth. Have I told you my husband has named it "The Lemonade Stand"? He says it is pretty much just a lemonade stand for big girls. I can't say I necessarily disagree with him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wall Candy

One of my favorite places on this planet of ours is the design studio where I have done my decorative finish training. It is simply gorgeous! Every time I walk through the doors, my hands immediately go to the walls and my brain starts working on overload. It is almost too much to take in. So many wall finishes, so many cabinet little time! If I could choose any profession to pour myself into, it would be a decorative artisan. It is the reason I subscribe to far too many magazines like Veranda, I seek out the walls in every magazine I open. Have you seen the cover of the newest Ballard Designs catalog? All of Suzanne Kasler's designs fall on the backdrop of gorgeous wall finishes. I love the big scale concept of art that comes with creating decorative finishes. Details are too tedious for me, and though I love a smaller scale art project here and there, by far my favorite art form is creating art on walls.

Last week I was able to return to Faux Works for more training. It always kind of feels like I am returning home after being away for a long time. I love spending time here, and I thought you might enjoy a few pictures of Barb Skivington's studio:

Decorative finish sample boards are notorious for photographing poorly. You loose all detail in a photograph, and you cannot appreciate one of the best parts of a decorative finish: the texture. But nonetheless, here are few samples.

I love this quote, and any artist of any kind knows exactly what he means:
Chalk paint, have you heard of it? I think it going to be my new best friend for furniture.
And here is my new favorite lovely. This is probably the most beautiful finish I have ever seen. It is formal and elegant, yet weathered and aged, all at the same time. The photograph does not do it justice. It is a stop you in your tracks kind of lovely, and my foyer is about to get a makeover.

Thanks for touring around with me.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Black french doors and Linen chairs on a Friday

Are you visiting here from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia? If you are, it is an honor to have you here! Come have a seat in one of my newly recovered linen chairs so we can chat...It's my new favorite corner of my house. I call it my coffee corner and it is dreamy to sit in first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee. I knew I would love these chairs in my bedroom as soon as I saw them. And I knew when we painted those french doors white that we had made a mistake as well. They just didn't pop, and I think they are more grown up painted black in a master bedroom. Though I feel a little like a girl playing house most days of my life, this room makes me feel more like a big girl for some reason...and I think it is the black doors.
Remember my green consignment store chairs? They are now white linen. I did love the green, but the fabric was too damaged to attempt to restore, and the green did not match my room.
The white is crisp in my bedroom, and looks nice with the black doors as a backdrop.
So what are your thoughts? Have you ever painted french doors black?


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The dog: an update

This is how we spend much of our time these days. Digging in the dog's mouth. He eats everything. He thinks it his purpose in life to destroy all hair accessories that my girls own, and every ball that belongs to my son. Caroline told him yesterday "stop eating stuff or you are gonna meet your brother in heaven". The "brother" she is referring to is our previous dog Matty, that we sadly had to put to sleep several months ago. Yes it's a weird and disturbing thought, and yes she heard it from me. But through all the annoying that comes along with a dog, we forgive him because of this...
And this...
And even this...
He fits into our family so well because he is weird. He loves the swing and we are not sure why. He gets stuck in it every single time the girls forget to put the swing up high where he cannot get to it; and as soon as you free him from his entanglement, he jumps right back in. Why?