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Western


Cowboys and Indians, oh my!  When I say “Western”, my favorite Sunday afternoon TV shows come to mind: The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Bonanza, Rawhide, and Alias Smith and Jones. I would watch episode week after week and love every one!  I suppose my appreciation for Western design might stem from scenes I replay in my mind. Oh! And, who could forget the glamour of The Big Valley and those Barkley boys…well, I digress. 

Western design has core elements of being raw, worn, large, and inviting. When I examine a rugged piece of Western furniture, I’m confident in its strength. I see something that has withstood the test of time. I’m not afraid to sit on the arm of the chair or prop my feet up on the table. These pieces are sturdy, rugged, used, and yet, valuable. 

These qualities remind me of a father: stable, experienced, strong, and loving. I’m blessed with a strong father who has led me throughout my lifetime. I can remember times of discipline at the hand of my father, but most of all, I remember the loving touch of my father. Many times, I would sit at my father’s side simply to have him rub my back or play with my hair. This was a place of safety, comfort, and experience. I sat here to be comforted when in despair. I sat here for advice when perplexed. I am grateful for my earthly father. 

Perhaps you, too, have a loving father, but many do not. Do not be discouraged. There is a place of comfort where all are welcome. We have a Heavenly Father who is bigger than all of our problems. He wants each of us to sit at His feet today. Let Him be the protector, confidant, and place of strength.  

Psalm 46:1 (HCSB) 

God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.

Matthew 6:31-33(KJV)

…take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?…for your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. But, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take time to read all of Psalm 46 & Matthew 6. Be encouraged today! Just like a Western room, the Lord is inviting you in. Bask in His warm, worn but not weary arms. His reach is large, all-encompassing, and there is a safe place for you. 

Modern

Now I must admit, there’s very little decor in my home that would be classified as modern. Modern is something I can appreciate when visiting a fancy hotel or attending a business meeting. It’s minimal, neutral, strong, and absent of decoration.

Aren’t there characteristics others possess that perhaps you wish you had? We must consider others. We can glean from the good and learn from the not-so-good. Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT) tells us, “Don’t be selfish, don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an  interest in others, too.”

Just as there are times I’ve come home from a weekend away and purged some of my clutter, there are times I adjust my attitude after spending time with others. I want to appreciate the strengths others have. I might not alter my entire style because then I wouldn’t be “me” anymore, but picking up personality quirks can broaden my own emotional qualities. 

Embrace different styles. Not only in decorating our homes but choosing different personality types as friends can decorate our lives. “…Take an interest in others….”

Cobwebs 


Cobwebs:  not your typical decorating style, but they can be found in homes all over the world, from the ritziest mansion in Hollywood to the smallest cabin in the woods. What exactly are cobwebs? Merriam-Webster gives 3 definitions for consideration:

1. The network spread by a spider

2. Tangles of the silken threads of a spiderweb usually covered with accumulated dirt and dust

3. Something that entangles, obscures, or confuses <a cobweb of law and politics >

Hmm…perhaps today being Halloween, you might expect I’d talk of scary spiders,  🕷 and the traps they’ve set; or perhaps, with next Tuesday’s election, a political web of lies might be on your mind (of which I simply ask you to pray, ignore media hype, and vote where your values lead you).  But, I would rather focus on definition # 3 and how it might relate to our eternal future & everyday battles. 

You’ve heard it said that people have cobwebs in their minds. They are ploys the devil wants to use against you. Your mind is the enemy’s playground. 2 Corinthians 10:5 encourages you to take control of your own thoughts:

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 

When you are bombarded with confusing thoughts, take a breather, reflect upon where this “stinkin thinkin” originated. Oftentimes, you easily allow thoughts to creep into your belief system. Dwelling on negative aspects of your life: a lost job, the hurtful words of a loved one, the size on your clothing, even the loss of someone close, creates a skewed view of who you really are as a child of God. 

The devil wants you to believe you are worthless. The devil says you are to blame. The devil defines you by your mistakes. It’s an obscure view: a view through a web of lies. 

But God…

God wants you to know your worth, so He gave His only Son as a ransom for you. God takes the blame away. When you accept Jesus as your Lord, God only sees the reflection of His Son. God defines you by your future. Your past is remembered no more. The cobwebs have been swept away. 

I encourage you today to renew your thinking. 

Romans 12:2

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind….

Philippians 4:8

…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Turn the light on, sweep out the corners, knock down every cobweb, and walk tall in the knowledge that you are lovable and you are loved❣️ 

Election: the right, power, or privilege of making a choice (Merriam-Webster)


It’s truly incredible how many different decorating options are out there from which to choose! Many styles of decor are defined by a country of influence. For example, Asian style originating from Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, etc. serenely canvases a home with natural fibers and colors from nature. Moroccan style consists of patterns, which I personally love, and it’s intricate, layered, and textured. Morocco is actually a country on the African continent with that desert, Middle Eastern feel. A more rich style showcasing heirloom antiquities with ornate and fanciful decor falls into the French category from France, of course. And finally, English country, from England, boasts of lush ornamental pieces generally overstuffed and carved with small details. 

A multitude of choices, some overlapping characteristics, but something specific draws you to select a style that “speaks to you”, and therefore, results in representing who you are when others visit your space. When furniture shopping, you make choices to fit your needs and perhaps to coordinate with your existing style. You have the “privilege of making a choice”. 

How grateful I feel to have been born in America! The US Constitution guarantees my “right, power, and privilege of making a choice”. I have the right to choose how to decorate my home, and unbelievably, I have the right to choose who rules over me. Psalms 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Tomorrow is Election Day. The day to exercise your “right, power, [and] privilege of making a choice”. Pray. Choose the candidate who “speaks to you” and represents who you are. Decorate your world! 

Inspired by the Ocean


In this final entry of the “Eclectic by Design” series, there are three very similar designs: Merditerranean, Coastal, and Tropical. The one thing these styles have in common is their inspiration. They are all inspired by the ocean. 

There is a serenity you can find when sitting on the beach, listening to the crashing waves, and enjoying the gentle breeze always found on the seashore. It refreshes your inside space to include elements to remind you of the beach oasis. Colors and sounds to relax you are often found in spas as well as popular vacation spots.

You must have a source of inspiration to propel you forward in your daily walk. People often find themselves bored and stuck in jobs with which they feel trapped and unmotivated. What can be the source of your inspiration? 

For some, a change in scenery, updating the current wardrobe, or spending quality time with a friend can inspire. But, outward things and other people are too changeable. As much as a dear friend wants to be available, there are times when you will be left to your own devices. That is why it is so important to find your inspiration within yourself. Think about it: wherever you go, you are there.

Job 32:8 (KJV) says,

“…there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty [gives] them understanding.” 

You hold the power. Invite Jesus into your life. Spend time reading and meditating upon the Bible every day. Talk to God. You will find you see life differently when your trust is in the Lord, and He is your inspiration. 

Eclectic by Design Series

#DIY  #Nah!  #Wearenotallthesame

 

Genesis 1:1-4,27 (KJV)

“So God created man in his own image, in the mage of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

God created me?!?  In His image! This revelation is empowering and perhaps overwhelming.  God is the creator.  His designs are incomparable.  When I gaze upon the beauty of the sunset and how the colors so gracefully blend into the horizon, I witness the indescribable beauty God created.  If that isn’t amazing enough, I can witness another majestic sunset tonight starring a new hue!

Just as each sunset is unique, beautiful, and inspiring, so is each individual.  My personality might be powerful much like the sky with storm clouds on the horizon, and yours may be as calming as the sky after the storm.  Both of us are designed by the same creator and in His image.  We can learn to use our designs to attract the eyes of others and point them to the Creator who looks upon us and exclaims, “It is good.”

People travel the world to gaze upon the beauty and design provided in nature.  As a child, my family and I spent many summers visiting my aunt and uncle in Colorado.  We hiked through the hot, desert-like terrain of “The Garden of the Gods” amazed by the rock formations; we gazed over the edge of “The Royal Gorge” suspension bridge to view the raging river and horrifying depths below; and, we journeyed to the top of the snow-capped mountain, Pikes Peak, where in our summer shorts and light jackets we shivered as we peered over the majestic view.  Each vacation spot seated in my memory, each spectacular and amazing as the next, but each completely different in design.

I want to experience it all! Certainly there are talents I do not possess.  I will never be an Olympic swimmer.  I have never even successfully pulled off a dive into the swimming pool, but I will cheer on the US Olympic swim team and perhaps some day attend the Olympics in a foreign land as a part of my travels. My talents are different from yours.  However, we can work in unison to decorate the world with our unique designs.  There is even a word for this type of design:  eclectic.

If the whole world were an ocean, I would miss the shade of the trees.  If the whole world were a garden, I would long for the mountainous ski slopes.  Diversity of design is a part of the Creator’s master plan.  You are a part of His creation for a purpose.  Spoiler alert:  the end result is spectacular.

Do the letters “DIY” excite or terrify you?  Do not be alarmed. On this “do it  yourself” journey you are never really alone.  “…For He hath said, I will never leave [you], or forsake [you].” (Hebrews 13:5b) On the other hand, defining your design style is a self-awareness journey.  You alone know your talents, desires, hopes, and dreams.  It requires action on your part to display these design qualities for others to admire.

“Different strokes for different folks.”

“One man’s trash, another man’s treasure.”

“…Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine  hand….”(Jeremiah 18:6b)

“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

Each of us is unique, hand made, one-of-a-kind.  God has made us in His glorious image.  Through our individual designs, others may see His handiwork, marvel, and appreciate His kindness towards us.  What design are you? What attributes of the Lord manifest in you?

 

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