Shabby Chic

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When I see the word “shabby”, I am immediately discouraged.  Shabby means in poor condition especially because of age or use (Merriam-Webster).  Yuck!  I would hate to be described in poor condition.

Now, chic, on the other hand, sounds fancy.  I can picture the Eiffel Tower in  the backdrop and ladies dressed just “so”.  The dictionary defines “chic” as smart elegance and sophistication.  That’s more like it!

Put the two together, and the result is a vintage-style accompanied with bright airiness, weathered accents, and muted colors.  How serene!  I feel comfortable, approachable, and appreciated for the scuffs I’ve incurred along the way.

Life touches us.  We will not go through unscaved, but our battle scars serve as  reminders of God’s faithfulness along the way.  I might show my age witha wrinkle around my eye, but thank God I can see.  Perhaps I can direct your path so you don’t fall into the same ditch that just bloodied my knee!

Fixer Upper


Aside from being a popular HGTV show starring Chip & Joanna Gaines from Waco, TX, the term “fixer upper” represents something in need of repair. My husband has dabbled a few times with fixer uppers either for resale or rental property.  He takes the forgotten, run-down, and mistreated properties and gives them a much needed facelift. 

Oftentimes our lives resemble a fixer upper. We get down, discouraged, and lonely. It is easy to get caught up in the problems of life. With property, fixer uppers are often neglected by the previous owner, overlooked by some buyers, and not representative of their full potential. I believe in the mundane walk of everyday life, people find themselves in the category “fixer upper”. 

It is quite easy to feel down on yourself and neglect the things that in reality would help you feel better. For example, when discouraged, it is much easier to sleep in rather than go to the gym; or, grab a bite at the drive thru instead of taking the time to prepare a home cooked meal; or, just sit on the sofa watching episodes of “Fixer Upper” instead of straightening & cleaning your own surroundings. Sound familiar? Have you neglected yourself? 

Don’t lose hope. There is a buyer looking to take up residence with you. He sees your full potential. He is willing to move in just as you are and work together with you on the repairs. It may take some time, but He won’t leave you, even after the work is done, He continuously improves His investment. He loves to restore broken things: things like hearts, emotions, fears, & even bodies. He is the perfect tenant. He holds all the power, yet He allows you to make the decisions. Isn’t that a reflection of love and trust?!? 

Open your life today, and invite Jesus inside. John 14:23 says,

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Galatians 3:13 tells us,

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.”

How encouraging! Jesus desires to abide in you! And, He has done all the work! He took the curse upon Himself when He died on the cross. Accept Him, His love, His forgivenesses, His redemption, and recognize you are not alone. The superficial, overwhelming day-to-day discouragement pales in the light of the loving Savior. See yourself through Jesus’ eyes. One day at a time, one project at a time, with Jesus abiding in you, you too will meet your full potential. 

Traditional 


Traditional design can be described as simple, classic, symmetrical, calm, and orderly. Have you ever thought about why we have different denominations within the body of Christ? I tend to think of it as I do music. Each individual has a particular favorite genre. Or perhaps similar to taste buds, I, for one, cannot handle spicy foods, but others need the kick offered by a spicy jalapeño. “Different strokes for different folks.” This stands true in many aspects of life: design, churches, music, foods, and naturally, personalities. 

The serene order one finds in a “traditional” church service may be deemed boring by others. I am thankful the Lord moves in different ways. He can be found in the clang of a cymbal and in the quiet of a whispered prayer. God is everywhere. 

Personalities fall into differing categories, too. Thank goodness! Don’t we all need the calm voice of a faithful friend when situations bring panic into our lives?! I love order, too. When my house is in disarray, I find my mind follows suit. 

My daughter tends to have a traditional personality. She selects classic clothing with simple, elegant details. She blesses me as a mom when I come home and open the cabinet to find the Tupperware organized, snack foods arranged, or the refrigerator cleaned out. She has an eye for order, and she brings peace to my life. 

So many different personalities effect your everyday life, but today take a deep breath and appreciate the traditional folks who bring order and peace in the midst of your chaos. Perhaps you might offer peace to a friend experiencing a storm today, as well.  

James 3:18 (NLT)

“And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”

Contemporary 


Contemporary design contains graphic elements, clean, slick lines, and bold punches of color. 1 John 4:17 says, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.” I want to focus on boldness

We’ve heard the phrase: “Keeping up with the Joneses.” These days the pressure is stronger than ever! Social media shows a snapshot of each person’s life? And so often we are left discouraged and envious of how the “other half” lives. 

Everyone has good days and bad days. That’s reality. However if we embrace the love of the Father, then our bad days won’t seem so bad. 

Be bold today! Make a statement on your job, in your household, or even walking down the isle of the supermarket. Know who you are in Christ Jesus: an heir with Him! You are a child of the Most High God! Knowledge of your acceptance and place in the Kingdom of God should have you walking a little taller, your head held a little higher, and joy radiating from your mere presence that grabs the attention of bystanders everywhere you go. 

Let your boldness and graphic representation of God draw others into the family of God. 

Transitional 


This is an interesting style because it’s composed of two individual styles integrated together. Transitional consists of traditional and contemporary. The roots of this style are historical yet updated. 

Honestly, I had never even heard of this decorating style until recently. I suppose many of my own pieces could be categorized as “transitional”. I tend to mix styles together in my home. Certain pieces have special historical influence upon my life, yet I pair them with an updated, colorful, or trendy item. Perhaps to the decrement of the original piece, but luckily that’s what’s so great about style: everyone’s is unique. 

Much like our lives we live everyday, don’t we each have a unique history? Situations and experiences from our past become a foundation and frame for our future. Oftentimes this history provides instability and cracks upon which we waver and sometimes fall. 

“Do not be discouraged…” (Joshua 1:9). With the help of the Lord, our broken pieces can be meshed together to form a beautiful mosaic with an updated flair! As we consider the trials from our past and examine where we stand today, can we find growth? Have we learned anything? Have we committed it all to the Lord? 

Jesus is the ultimate expert interior designer. Allow Him to “transition” the old to new. It’s an ongoing process, just call upon Jesus daily. Let Him redecorate your life. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 

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.