Tag Archives: Beauty

Good to Grow

16 May

This was my Mother’s Day present.  My pretty little purple teacup orchid.  I love orchids and it may be one of the few plants I can actually keep alive and help flourish.  My husband had gotten me another purple orchid plant about four years ago, and it was a glorious beauty. When we moved home to Oklahoma from Kentucky I left my plant in the care of my good friend, Heather, as a sign that our friendship would continue to flourish after we left.  It has.

It was a Just Add Ice Orchid, meaning I literally only had to add 3 pieces of ice, one time a week and keep it in indirect sunlight, and it grew and grew.  While this new one is not the same “brand”, I am hoping that adding 2ish pieces of ice a week to hydrate my little lovely will produce similar results.

As I sat gazing at my pretty present that was meant to celebrate me as a mother, I started thinking of how my plant was not the only tender thing that I was responsible for nourishing and growing with care.

I sat, almost 37 wks pregnant with my second son, looking at a portrait of our oldest son as it hung behind the orchid, and the enormous responsibility and gift of these little lives struck me with such intensity that I lost my breath for a moment.

Am I a good enough mother?  Do I know enough?  What if I make mistakes?  What about my flaws?  Can I give them what they need?  Is my love enough?

Am I enough?

My gaze didn’t have to travel far from the flower to linger upon the cross nearby.  And I had my answer.

No.  I am not enough.  But God is.

His love and grace, poured out through me is enough.

When I am weak, He will be there.  When I fail, His plans will succeed.  When I stumble, He will pick me up.

He will be the guide for my journey as a mother, and a light for my boys to seek and follow.

His love will be enough to nourish and grow them even when mine may fall short.

I can tenderly care for my plant by keeping it watered just right and providing the right amount of sunlight for growth.  If I neglect it or accidentally leave it in the shadows it may wither.

By trusting my boys to God’s tender care, I can trust that I will know the right amount of love they need for their souls to be nourished, and the perfect place of the Son in their lives for ultimate growth.

Why?

Because God is enough.

 

(This will be my only post for a little while as I finish preparing for the parsonage open house during our church’s 10 yr celebration, and Kasen’s very soon impending arrival.  Have a great week!)

Gracefully~~Heather

Pretty Planter Rehab

2 May Pretty Planter Rehab

I have a problem while I clean/organize; I get caught up in the things I am organizing and so tend to move slowly.  Does anyone else share this dreadful downfall?

I’ve tried to work on it over the years, but I am coming to accept the fact that I will more likely take longer to get an organizing task done because I tinker, putter, reminisce, or just plain dawdle.  Hi.  I’m Heather and I get side-tracked while organizing.

Well, while my mom was here helping us get the house in order, it happened again.  I was working on my disaster of a office/craft/writing area and I got an idea for a project to help beautify the space.  It was simple (in my head), and would only take a little detour from the organizing.  It was all in an effort to make the organization more appealing.

Here is what I started with:

An old tin planter that once housed an artificial plant

Not so pretty inside

It had been functioning as a pen/pencil holder for quite some time.  I had a similar thought for its use as I was organizing the craft supplies.  Here is its rehab journey:

The first layer of paint was a little leftover gray paint from touching up the nursery. I let that coat dry, and then brushed on the French Vanilla color you see above. Literally a little dab did it. I brushed this color on lightly as I wanted some gray to show through.

Finished painting and letting it dry on my fancy holder, a Pepsi 2-liter

From Old and Ugly to Fresh and Pretty

Pretty Outside and Inside

I applied the flocked scrapbook paper to the inside of the planter before I painted, using hot glue.  It’s not perfect as the planter wasn’t perfectly round, but it looks so much nicer.  I went with two patterns in the same color scheme to keep it playful.  After the paint dried I used a fine grit sand block and gently sanded along the vine patterns and the edges.  I wanted some of the original color to come through for the aged effect.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, for a free project as I had all the supplies on hand.

It now beautifully holds my colored-pencils and markers for craft projects

I think it’s much prettier now sitting on the top of the craft shelf, and it keeps the pencils and markers at easy reach instead of in boxes.

So my planter has had a pretty rehab stint.  Now if I can move a little quicker through the rest of my clutter I’ll be one happy girl.  I just have to pause and catch my breath, rest, and get my feet up every 30 minutes or so thanks to this growing little baby boy who is bouncing around inside.

Oh well, one thing at a time!

Have you rehabbed any everyday item lately?

Gracefully~~Heather

Pause for Something Pretty in Purple

12 Apr

Organization and clean-up has been slow-going this week.  Just when I feel like we make some headway on the clutter, there are the everyday tasks to tackle.  Dishes need washing, laundry must be folded, toys must be put away, and I have to stop and rest every hour or two thanks to being 8 months pregnant.

During my rest breaks, I get my slightly swollen feet up and try to catch up on the blogs I follow.  One I can always count on for beautiful inspiration whether through photos or design, usually both, is le zoe musings.  Kellie has an amazing eye for design and all things beautiful, including her adorable baby girl, Zoey.  Well, she inspired me again yesterday with her recent post on damask wallpaper.  I LOVE damask print and her post provided lots of eye candy and not only kicked my organization drive up again, it caused me to do some damask dreaming of my own.

While I enjoy a pretty damask print in many hues, (my bedding is turquoise and brown damask), I wanted to focus on my favorite color; purple.

Purple and black flock wallpaper

Image source here.

Purple and Cream Damask Wallpaper

Since we live in a parsonage, we really can’t wallpaper, but a girl can dream.  And while I was dreaming of pretty purple things, I thought I’d include a few other inspiration pieces.  Continue reading

Beautiful Sacrifice: Day 36: Lent Journey~

4 Apr Extravagant Love

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” – Matthew 26: 6-13

I can imagine the disciples grumbling to one another about how foolish this woman was for wasting such an inexpensive gift.  “How can she be so wasteful?”  “Imagine all the good that we could do with the money that perfume would bring.”  “Why is Jesus just letting her do that?”

Instead of ignoring them and letting their grumblings linger, Jesus immediately silences them by defending the gracious actions of this woman.  He calls what she did beautiful.  Jesus acknowledges the disciples concern and the fact that yes, there are the poor to help, but that the poor would still be there to take care of, and he would not.  He was reminding them not only of his impending death, but of a deeper lesson; to be able to see the big picture of how they were to serve, as well as those who had an immediate need of extravagant grace and love.

Sometimes the need to demonstrate God’s extravagant love is the only way to bring healing, hope, or grace to a broken life.  Perhaps through an expensive gift offered in an extreme demonstration of loving surrender says, “You are valued and worthy of this sacrifice.”

Let me paint a picture…. Continue reading

For Everything a Season: Day 34: Lent Journey

2 Apr beauty from pain

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:”

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  -Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 11

A friend handed me a copy of a devotional on Ecclesiastes 3:11 at church Sunday.  She said she was doing her devotional and thought of me since I had recently been posting on this very idea; beauty.  I was very grateful for two reasons: 1) She cared enough to think of me and make me a copy, and 2) She cares enough to read my little blog and remember something I wrote!  Makes my heart happy.

The funny thing is that she didn’t realize she was sending me a much needed message from God.  I didn’t read the devotional until after we had returned home from the Community Easter Service (yep, a week early), and I desperately needed to read that scripture and the accompanying message by then.

The author of the devotional, Nicole Johnson, focuses on the need for us to embrace beauty as part of who God created us to be.  Instead of getting so caught up in seeing the pain or ugliness in and around us, we often need to spend time focused on the beauty God has created in and around us; not to mention the beauty He is working to create through us.  Continue reading

Box Full of Happiness

31 Mar IMG_1888

I got a surprise in the mail yesterday…. my Vera Bradley order arrived early!  I was visibly excited.  Wiggling like a puppy or a kid on Christmas excited!

Plain on the outside
Pretty pop of color on the inside

I ADORE Vera Bradley products.  If I could afford it, I would own a full luggage set, and so many of their other colorful and wonderful products.  I receive email updates and frequently peruse the website for sales.  I had been keeping a close eye on sales lately because I had been green-lighted by Aaron to order by new purse when I came across a good deal.

Right before Micah was born in 2009, Aaron and I went shopping at a bookstore in KY and we purchased my very first Vera purse.  It was my birth present!  Sweet right?  Absolutely.  Why mess with tradition and a good thing?  Before my love with Vera purses, I would exchange my purses at least 1x month.  I carried that first purse for almost a year!  Loved every moment with it.  I got my second Vera purse as an actual birthday present from my mom in October 2010.  It is still my current purse, and by far my favorite print.  While still in really good shape, the wear and tear of everyday use for 1 & 1/2 yrs is starting to show a bit.

Parting will be such sweet sorrow with my Very Berry Paisley print

Hence the box of happiness carrying my new purse (my birth present for Kasen), plus a couple of extra pretties that were also on serious sale.  Here is some Vera eye candy to start off the weekend on a happy note. Continue reading

Defining Beauty Part 1: Day 33: Lent Journey

30 Mar

“The bride, the beautiful princess, a royal daughter, is glorious. She waits within her chamber, dressed in a gown woven with gold. Wearing the finest garments, she is brought to the King. Her friends, her companions, follow her into the royal palace. What a joyful, enthusiastic, excited procession as they enter the palace! She comes before the her King, who is wild for her!”   – Psalm 45: 13-15 (as interpreted by Holly Wagner)

beau-ty  (from dictionary.com)
1. the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
2. a beautiful  person, especially a woman.
Who we do let define our beauty?  Our worth?  Where does true beauty lie? Do others see us as someone whose beauty they wish to emulate?  Where does our beauty come from? Is it worth emulating?
I saw the above quote on Pinterest today, and it went along with the Scripture I had read in my devotional.  I’m focusing on this idea of beauty, and what it really means.  Am I someone who sees herself as beautiful? Honestly, it’s difficult to do when you are 30 wks pregnant.  I am tired because I’m not sleeping well.  I don’t feel like I get anything accomplished.  I don’t FEEL beautiful.  Is that my worth?  Doesn’t God see me as beautiful no matter how I feel?
I’m going to be reflecting on this concept of beauty today and tomorrow.  Think on this until then–
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  ~Philippians 4:8
How do you view your own beauty or the beauty in your life?
Gracefully~~Heather

Beauty in the True You: Day 31: Lent Journey

28 Mar

“You are altogether beautiful, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.”   – Song of Songs 4:7 (ESV)

God created each one of us; lovingly crafting His children from the inside out.  He knows us.  He chooses us.  He loves us.  The real us.

God isn’t fooled by the images we try to create of ourselves; what we present to the world.  He is interested (and He already knows) the real story.  He looks at each of us and desires for us to know our story as well.  He wants us to accept the offer of grace that is freely given, so we might discover our true story.  A love story.

We are masterpieces of God.  When we are covered by grace, God sees us and says, “There is no flaw IN you.”  God sees the true story inside us because He shaped us.  He is waiting for us to see our own true beauty.

I want to share the lyrics from Ginny Owens’s song, True Story, one of my favorite songs.  I encourage you to download it if they speak to you.

True Story

I am a gifted artist
I’ve learned to paint this canvas well
I work until I’ve finished
An ideal image of myself
But you know better

I am a storyteller
Quite brilliant, if I do say so
I tell them tales they want to hear
And they believe it’s me they know
But you know better

Chorus:
You see my imperfections
Still You say I’m a masterpiece
A marvelous reflection
The image of Yourself in me
You paint with strokes of grace
Undoing my disguise
You say beauty lies in the true story

The world might think me foolish
If they could see beneath my mask
They might find my dreams laughable
Or be embarrassed by my past
But you know better

(Chorus)

Of where I’ve been
And where you’ve brought me to
Of who I am
All because of you

Ginny Owens

I hope you have a day full of beauty.

Gracefully~~Heather