The Spiritual Side of Redecorating a House

The Spiritual Side of Redecorating a House

A few weeks ago I wrote about our unfortunate leak upstairs and how it ended up raining in our bedroom.

As a result, we’ve had a house full of contractors for a month and all of our stuff has been moved to random locations while painters and carpet guys work their magic.

Case in point: I finally found my youngest son’s dress shoes just in time for the piano recital. They were in a box in the dining room. Go figure.

Chaos in the dining room

This is my dining room AFTER I moved half the stuff back where it belongs!

 

All of it’s been hard for me because I thrive on order and routine.

Still, chaos has its upside.

I got my house painted!  And we got new carpet upstairs which we desperately needed but were putting off until the kids were older (and we had the money).

Plus I had to get a new mattress and all new bedding, so that’s been fun. I’ve had the same bedding for 12 years and I loved it but it was time for something new.

At this point I’m so inspired that I want to redecorate my whole house. I’ve been spending my free time painting anything that doesn’t move and perusing Pinterest for ideas. It’s exciting but I have to be careful not to overextend myself — both physically and financially — which is hard for me whenever I get obsessed about something. (Insert husband eagerly nodding head here.)

I’m not ready yet to give a big reveal, but we’ll start with something small.

This is my entryway. This is what you first see when you walk in the front door.

foyer2

These walls go up to the top of the second floor. I have no idea how many feet that is, but it’s too high for me to paint myself. The color I chose (after much debate and about $60 of samples) is Wool Skein by Sherwin Williams and I’m in love with it.

The old paint was kind of a Tuscan gold. It was here when we moved in and because I knew I was going to have to hire painters, we’ve just lived with it for the past seven years. But boy, was I glad to see it go.

Old paint in the hallway

Old paint in the hallway

While I wanted to lighten things up considerably, I wasn’t keen on going completely white, but didn’t want the standard builder beige either. So this was a nice in-between. I ended up using it in this area, the bedroom, and I’ll be painting the kitchen myself in the same color.

Notice my wall(s) of Ds.

 

Wall of Ds

The idea comes from Emily of Jones Design Company. It was so fun to put together and inexpensive to boot. I had several of the Ds already, and most of them are just printed off my computer and put in thrift store frames that I painted myself. (Of course, notice the cute green frame on the table with the random picture in it. One day I’ll actually put a photo of someone I know in there. Maybe.)

The Spiritual Side of Redecorating a House

I realize this whole house and decorating post isn’t my typical blog fare. Usually I write deep, more spiritual stuff. So let’s see if I can translate this to a life lesson. . .

When life gives you lemons, right?

It was devastating to have a huge leak in our house, to have carpet ripped up right in front of my eyes and molding pried off the walls.

bedroom destruction

My bedroom during the demolition process. We played musical beds for about a week.

 

But now it’s going to be even more beautiful than before.

It seems trite but it’s true. Life’s that way.

A leak is a small thing. Material. Not like the really hard stuff. Stuff you’re probably dealing with right this minute.

Remember this, though. Whatever you’re going through, I know it’s hard. Circumstances can be painful or downright devastating. Life’s not fair.

But God is in the business of making beauty from ashes. Believe it or not, he can create something out of the rubble that turns out even better than it was before.

It doesn’t seem that way when you’re in the throes of it.

But I promise it’s true. I’ve lived it and I give you my testimony.

The resurrected God always makes things beautiful in His time.

As a side note, since I’ve totally caught the redecorating bug, I purchased The Nester’s online course. It’s called Cozy Minimalist. All the sessions were recorded live a while back during the original run, but it’s all available as a self-paced course now for just $39. Even better, if you sign up and use me as a referral, you’ll get $10 off. Just type in Sheri Dacon when it asks who referred you.

So what about you? Anything you can share about how something you thought was destroyed was eventually redeemed? Want to tell about how God made something beautiful from the ashes of your life? Or maybe you’re just in the middle of a home improvement project and you’d be willing to share it in the comments below?

Let’s go make some lemonade, shall we?

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Is Your Church Preaching the Gospel or Science Fiction?

Is it the gospel or science fiction

Ever had Star Trek quoted to you as gospel?

I realize there are people who are serious, religious even, about Star Trek, but surely we can tell the difference between the gospel and science fiction, can’t we?

Well. . . you might be surprised.

A few years ago, Eric and I were leading a support group or special needs families on Sunday evenings at church. We were certain of God’s call in this area and were excited about what God was doing through the ministry.

But we were suddenly stopped dead in our tracks.

You see, we took our kids with us on Sunday nights. My son with Asperger’s was attending the same Bible class as his twin sister. It was the only option available other than the specific special needs classroom we set up to accommodate the needs of our support group.

Because my son is so high functioning, we chose to place him in the regular Bible classroom with the help of a “buddy.”

Things were going well, at least as far as we knew. We’d gotten only positive feedback.

Then out of the blue one day I got a call. That kind of call that parents of special needs kids know all too well.

I was told my child would no longer be allowed to attend Sunday night Bible class.

The decision was made and I was simply informed.

I still don’t know specifics. Years later I’m unsure about what happened that caused such drastic measures. I asked if my child had been aggressive and was told he had not.

When I tried to investigate further, I was ignored. Calls and email went unanswered. After multiple efforts to speak to the teachers about the matter, I couldn’t get through, and therefore couldn’t even try to help find a better solution.

So we went to the next level and met with ministerial staff. We told of the events, about how the decision was made with no prior communication. That if we had known there was a problem, we would have gladly helped solve it before our son was (for lack of a better term) “kicked out.”

The staff responded with kindness and sympathy. Everyone was nice and polite. They said they understood our concern. And then they told us they fully supported the decision that had been made.

In other words, the official position of the church staff was that they were okay with a child being excluded.

One minister reasoned that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

I questioned him, referring to the scripture in which Jesus says to leave the 99 on the hill and go look for the one who’s lost.  The minister smiled and nodded but made no further reply.

And that was it.

  • We withdrew our children from Sunday night programming.
  • We were forced to give up the support ministry we were leading on Sunday nights.

Over the next several months, I tried to reopen conversation with the church staff over the issues concerning special needs families. I did not want to give up. I did not want other families to experience what we were experiencing.

But I was mostly ignored. My pleas fell on deaf ears.

The Gospel or Science Fiction?

I’ve already admitted I’m not a Star Trek fan. I’ve seen a few of the movies, but I can’t quote any lines.

So imagine my surprise when we came home after the meeting and Eric said, “I can’t believe he quoted Star Trek.”

“What?!?” I replied.

“Yeah,” he said. “That ‘needs of the many’ quote is straight out of Star Trek. You know, Mr. Spock.”

Um, no. I didn’t know.

So let me get this straight. My son was just excluded from a church activity because of a quote from a sci-fi movie?!?

Again, I realize people love Star Trek.  My husband loves Star Trek.  Please, Trekkies, hear me out!

It’s not okay for ministers to use movie quote as theology. Isn’t that what scientology is? It sends up major red flags because it’s all kinds of wrong.

Here’s what Jesus had to say about the matter:

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” –Matthew 18:12-14

You see, Mr. Spock’s quip of Vulcan wisdom makes perfect sense to our human minds.

  • It sounds heroic, brave and true.
  • It is, as Spock says, logical.
  • It helps to further the plot of the movie and inspires viewers to feel good by the time the closing credits roll around.
  • It makes for a great movie.

But God’s philosophy is an upside-down one.

His kingdom is one which always appears to be contradicting itself.

Jesus says you’ll find your life by losing it, that the first shall be last, and the master shall be the servant.  It doesn’t sound very logical at all.

And here’s the thing: no matter what the needs of the many may be, God always, always, ALWAYS places distinct value on the individual.

Even — or dare I say especially — on those who are least valued in our human society.

Every human being to ever live, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant or even plain unlikable — is a person created in God’s image. And the true gospel clearly shows how Jesus loves and cares for each one.

Star Trek or Jesus?

We can invest our lives in the philosophies and ideologies of the world — those of the government, the cable news channels,  celebrities or talk show hosts, or even fictional characters like Spock.  And all of it sounds well and good and seems to make perfect sense.

It seems logical to place the needs of the many above the needs of the few.

At least until youor someone you love are one of the few.

Then your world turns upside down.

That’s when you need more than movie philosophy can offer. Instead, you need what Ann Voskamp calls an “upside-down kingdom.”

You might say, “But wait a minute! Didn’t Jesus do exactly what Spock was talking about? After all, He sacrificed Himself for the needs of many!”

But you see, Jesus didn’t just come as a sacrifice for the many. He also came as a sacrifice for the few. He came as the sacrifice for ALL. 

Jesus said it plain as day, that when we honor and love and care for the few, for the least, and yes, even for the one– we honor and love and care for Him.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” –Matthew 25:37-40

I’m happy to enjoy some popcorn and a sci-fi flick at the local cinema. Because I love to be entertained.

But when it comes to theology, I’ll stick with Jesus.

My heart belongs to the Ruler of the upside-down kingdom. And He’s no science fiction. He’s the real deal.

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*An earlier version of this post was published in 2013 on www.sheridacon.com.

 

 

What I’m Reading {May 2015 Quick Lit}

What I'm Reading May 2015

Hooray, books!  I realize how nerdy it is, but I love these posts!

I’m linking up again today with Modern Mrs. Darcy for her mid-month Quick Lit series.

What I’m reading right now:

Voyager  (#3 in the Outlander Series) by Diana Gabaldon

This is my current Audible pick and I’m almost done. I really enjoy listen to this series on audiobook. The narrator is perfect and these books are long. . . so I don’t have to abandon my mundane chores in order to get my reading done.

If you haven’t tried Audible yet, I highly recommend it! You can start with a free 30-day trial and you get to choose two free books to start. At the end of the 30 days, you can cancel your membership if you decide you don’t want to pay. This is how I started with Audible, but eventually I ended up getting the paid subscription. I love it.

As for the book, I think this is my favorite so far. More adventures of Claire and her beloved Jamie as they explore the Highlands and beyond. This one features pirates!

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The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

I love Liane Moriarty’s books. What Alice Forgot is one of my all-time favorites. The Last Anniversary had some mixed reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are all so different, and yet I found I could relate to all of them at some level. On the surface it seems like a light, chick-lit sort of read, but Moriarty deals with some difficult topics and she does it well.

I read this one on Oyster, which is an online subscription library. There is a monthly fee, but if you click this link, you’ll receive a $15 credit from yours truly so you can try it out for a month and a half to see if you like it before you commit! It really is that simple!

 

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The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

This is the only one of Morton’s books that I had not read yet, so I finally took the plunge this month and treated myself to The Distant HoursI’m not sure why it took me so long. I think this may have been my favorite of hers so far (Morton has a new book coming out this fall!). She knows how to weave a story, complete with fully drawn characters, intrigue, and the most thrilling settings. This one takes place in an old castle filled with secret rooms and hidden passages. LOVE!

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The Deep by Nick Cutter

I’m about halfway through this modern horror novel and yikes. It’s creepy. Very Stephen King-ish and not for the squirmish or easily spooked. I love this kind of stuff, and yet I have to admit that I had some weird dreams last night after reading it before bed. Still, if creepy horror novels are up your alley, Nick Cutter is worth a read. I also recommend his first novel, The Troop. Just brace yourself before reading because it’s gross.

 

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Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

I haven’t actually started this one yet, but it just came up in my library queue, so it’s up next. I adore Katherine Center’s books and I can’t wait to delve into this one. I usually gobble up her books in a couple of days tops.

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That’s what I’ve been reading this month.

What about you? Want to share your recent books with me? Please tell me what you’ve been reading in the comments below, and as always, you can check out all my books on Goodreads. Send me a friend request, won’t you?

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