old table, new year

I hadn’t planned to take such a long break from writing here in this space, but after we crossed the threshold into the new year, I just didn’t have anything really to say. I mean, I had plenty to say, but I kept feeling an urging from the Holy Spirit to just be still, be quiet, and to continue to let my heart and mind rest.

I kept coming up with clever and catchy titles for things to write about. I kept rehearsing stories or angles or anecdotes from starting a new year with a fresh sense of purpose and a clean, blank slate. But my heart kept saying, Hush. Rest. Quiet. Wait.

So in the past sixteen days since my last post I have been attempting to enjoy some carefree time with our extended families, getting settled back into a new school semester and routine and hitting the ground running with forming some new habits. I made mention in one of my goal setting posts that one of my three main aims for this year is to continue to learn contentment through the discipline of simplicity.

Only ten days into 2015 and I’m not going to lie, yesterday afternoon I was really wanting to go cruise through my favorite stores (Target, Marshalls, Ross…all in the same shopping center!!!) I didn’t need anything but I wanted to just go inside and look. I restrained myself because once I go in those stores it is nearly impossible for me to have the discipline to leave without buying anything.

I have taken my goal of simplicity so far that I even have a sheet started in my household binder where I am holding myself accountable for what I am bringing into the house and what I am getting rid of. My first goal is to avoid bringing in any non-necessities for at least 90 days; necessities include groceries and household items like toilet paper and laundry or cleaning supplies, and library books that will be returned. Non-necessities include new clothes or accessories or junk (Target stationery, candles, scarves, Marshalls cooking items or educational games…shall I go on?!?)!

I know that sounds silly to some, but we just came off of Christmas and abundance and overload with stuff and I always take the first of the year to just breathe and get my bearings. No. More. Stuff.

Each week between now and then I am aiming to get rid of at least one thing. Last week I got rid of three large items on Craigslist that we no longer need or use. And it felt so good to say goodbye to them. I keep repeating to myself “I have everything that I need…” I am asking the Lord to keep this reminder close to my heart. Instead of filling myself and my home with more stuff, I want to make room for Christ. I want to invite him into my life more and more and remove that (physical, mental and spiritual clutter) which hinders me from his daily graces.

Yesterday, instead of mindlessly shopping, I chose to invest my energy into a small project I have had on my radar since we moved to Georgia over six months ago.

When my girls were little-bitty things, my parents had a small table and two chairs hand painted in polka dots and their monograms for their room. This was almost six years ago and they have worn that little table out! Structurally the table is in great shape but the paint job needed to be refreshed. I also had two additional chairs that my Mamaw used when my dad and his older brother were small that I wanted to paint over and make into one cohesive, coordinating set.

I debated the paint color and realized that if I chose wisely, I could use this table in a variety of settings and locations in our house. I think it turned out really cute and now our table is good to go for another round!

School Room: (where it is currently)

IMG_1177 IMG_1179

Girls’ Bedroom: (its original spot in this house)

IMG_1183 IMG_1187

Kitchen: (extra little people seating when we have company)IMG_1191 IMG_1193

Bonus/Guest/Toy Room: (where it actually is now…I was convinced to leave it out for the dolls to continue their birthday party!)IMG_1197 IMG_1198

I think about that little opportunity I had yesterday to first, hear the Lord whisper to my heart. STOP. I was ready to hop in my car and go wander the aisles of Target. Secondly I am thankful that the momentary feeling of needing to go fill a perceived void by mindless shopping, passed. I busied my hands with a few hours of painting and was able to keep my resolve and continue working toward my goal of simplicity. Not more stuff, contentment with what I already have. 

I began to admire this little table and chairs after they quickly dried and I was contemplating even more about my love for tables. I used my Mamaw and Papaw’s kitchen table from college until about eight years ago. Then we “upgraded” to a very old table that belonged to Ryan’s grandparents that we had professionally refinished (pictured in the kitchen photo above) and we have had literally TENS of THOUSANDS of memories at that table. Last year, we added a “new to us” Craigslist find to accommodate our growing children and their growing bodies and our need for a larger, sturdier table. This current table is in our dining area and we have already had dozens of meals there, game nights there and broken bread with both friends and family there.

That is what I LOVE so much about tables. To me, they are the places where as a family we gather and recognize and offer thanks to God for his work and blessings in our lives; they are the places where we offer a meal to friends and family and live out our faith; they are the places where we can show the hospitality of Jesus.

Though this freshly painted table set is small, it can represent for my children those very things too. In their school work and academic disciplines they can know Christ more. In their quiet times they can uncover the mysteries and promises of God. In their fellowship with friends they, too, can feast on the Bread of Life. Even in their imaginative play, they are growing and developing habits they will carry into adulthood as another generation of people who see the daily graces of the Lord around their own tables. And I hope that they, too, will feel contentment.

“But be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.”{Titus 1:8}

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4 thoughts on “old table, new year

  1. Karen Ward says:

    I still keep coming back to your post a few weeks ago where I felt I was hearing the word “content”. I think about it every time I see an IG post from the little shops I love. I think about it when I catch myself clicking on a link from Nordstrom’s that Shaeffer (Pinterest Told Me To) has posted in that day’s blog.

    Saturday was a HUGE cleaning session at my house. Why did we have over 15 coffee cups? There are only three of us and while one drinks coffee and the other two drink tea, we certainly don’t need all those cups. Off to Goodwill. Our “junk” room got a major overhaul. One bag of trash and three more bags off to Goodwill. It’s not over though. I plan on trying to get rid of one bag of stuff a month and I’m going to try really hard to do what you are and not bring in anything but necessities. If I do bring in any new clothes, it will be because I needed them – not wanted them – and something will go out in its place. For example, I have at least five pair of black pants. Why? Three don’t fit very well any longer so I’ve ordered two new pair and if they work, those three pair are gone. Tim even got in the spirit of things and cleaned at least five pair of jeans that no longer fit out of his armoire. Rachel did too and paired down clothing from what took up two closets to one. Two more bags off to Goodwill.

    As Kathy has said, your words DO encourage and inspire!

    Like

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