Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beautiful Things

For almost a year now I have been more stressed out than ever in my life. My spiritual health, mental health (I could've already used several 'mental holidays' to date if given the chance), and lately the stress has even affected my physical health bringing headaches and nausea. In attempts to combat the stress, I've begun regularly working out and trying to decorate a rental home I'm not sure I'll be in much longer. All I can think about is the next beautiful thing I can add to enhance the decor. I like beautiful things. I covet beautiful things. I'd rather have a new accessory for my home than a new outfit. My budget rarely allows for either so I've been getting a little creative. I've been perusing through countless home decor and craft blogs for inspiration and don't plan on turning this blog into a craft blog, but I might add a section showing off my thrifty transformations. All this begs the question, why do I want the things that I don't really need? Why am I so drawn to beautiful things, to beautiful homes and clothes?

For me, the answer is simple, we aren't made for this world. God made us for His glory and ultimately, heaven. My heart is not home, yet it longs for heaven. That is why I attempt to make my home a heaven on earth - choosing the right paint color, every picture in place, attempting to be organized down to the last paperclip. I have four little folks and my favorite man to help in the disarray of my home, but in vain I try.

My heart longs for a beautiful home (that has my name on the title) where I can live for the rest of my life with a parade of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren visiting my perfectly decorated home every Christmas where wassil is warm on the stove, my husband is leading us in carols and everyone is peaceful and content. Idyllic, hmm?

The reality is that God doesn't want our hearts to be here. He is jealous for our attentions and if you look at scripture closely you'll read how often He moved his people around, requiring them to depend upon Him often.

My comfort should never be in the stuff that this culture has taught me to love: that American dream we chase after - the house, the car, the shiny wardrobe and perfectly obedient children. I'm sure I've said this before, but houses rot, cars rust and breakdown, clothes go out of style (or get washed with a random red scarf and turn pink) and children will disobey.

While I wait for heaven and attempt to train my heart for it, I will continue to try to make treasure out of this world's trash and I will still attempt to make my home lovely on a shoe-string budget, but maybe as I transform a thrift store skirt into a new pillow or paint something I found at a garage sale, I will be reminded of my need for the Father who has made all beauty. And in Him is where my treasure should lie.

I can still hear this song being sung by the older ladies at my grandparents' church when I was a little girl:

Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life,
Let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life;
Words of life and beauty teach me faith and duty.
Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life,
Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.
Christ, the bless├Ęd One, gives to all wonderful words of life;
Sinner, list to the loving call, wonderful words of life;
All so freely given, wooing us to heaven.
Sweetly echo the Gospel call, wonderful words of life;
Offer pardon and peace to all, wonderful words of life;
Jesus, only Savior, sanctify us forever. -Words & Music: Phil­ip P. Bliss, 1874

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:20-21

Semper Reformanda- Ever being reformed,
I'm attempting to attach my husband's quick (and beautiful) version of Wonderful Words of Life below. video

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