Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let's Not Call It Beige

One day last fall I woke up, rolled over, looked at the clock, and burst into tears. It was 5:50 a.m. and my first thought was what the (insert nasty word) am I going to do all day. My second thought was we've got a problem. That was the day that all the overlapping back to back crap of the year piled so high that it overwhelmed me and that was also the day that I started the often difficult way out of that mess. I'd had enough.

We bought our house a year ago this coming weekend. There was already a lot going on in both our lives which probably contributed to this being one of the toughest moves I've ever made. In the past, when I've heard people complain about moving, I couldn't understand what they were talking about. I found moving easy but now, I get it. If all moves were like this, once would have been enough only our moves haven't been difficult since we've moved eleven times in thirty-three years. But this last time... just let me say that we're here for a while. I am so not wanting to go through that again any time soon... with soon feeling like oh... about twenty years.

God does not always rescue us out of a painful season. He does not always give us what we so desperately want when we want it. The experience of sorrow in no way diminishes the joy of living. Rather, it enhances it. It makes us more alive in the moment, more aware, more present – to all facets of life.

Jesus is urging us now to care for ourselves, to watch over our hearts. The world needs your (my) beauty. That is why you are here. Your heart and your beauty are something to be treasured and nourished. And it takes time. Every gardener knows this – a garden’s beauty does not diminish with age; rather it takes years for it to become all that it can become. True beauty comes from a depth of soul that can only be attained through living many years well.
- from Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

This morning, I woke up to blowing snow with several inches already accumulated on the ground. Earlier in the week I noticed lily shoots in the front garden and paused to celebrate that life is so much calmer, more grounded, and purposeful this spring than last. I read the quote above in my study last week. Remember that beauty is defined in this book as soul beauty emanating from the inside out and encompassing the whole.  When I read those words, it was like God was saying directly to me - enough, no more running around, no fretting, no trying to control the world or right wrongs, no worrying about work or money or what might or what might not happen. All I want you to do is rest, nurture yourself, and support and encourage yourself to your best. Go create. Go do what you do. What a gift to simply rest and trust that what needs to come about will come about. What a gift to have a husband who agrees and isn't pressuring me to be someone I'm not or someone I'm not willing to be or capable of at the moment. YES !

We've been working hard on the downstairs of our house for the past few weeks although the work has to be done in phases for the least amount of disruption since there are no extra spaces in which to store stuff other than the laundry room. A laundry room's worth is how we're phasing the work with finishing the laundry being the last phase.

The previous owners made the access to the downstairs bathroom off the bedroom which was great for our son and not so great for anyone else so we're in the process of changing the access to come off the hall. The image above is the view as you turn right at the bottom of the stairs and enter the hallway. The door knob on the left is for the door that closes the hallway off from the stairwell. In phase two, it will be removed and the new door to the bathroom will be directly to the left once you enter the hallway. The new door to our son's room is now directly ahead. Since his room is actually through the door and to the left, I've ordered a frosted French door so that light will still come into the hallway while maintaining privacy. The set-back opening is his new closet. The old one will become part of the bathroom. Since taking this picture, I've painted the closet and bedroom wall (currently green at right) a shade of purple called Mystic Grape. It's wonderful to have a child who loves color as much as I do. Either today or tomorrow, the closet organizers, closet doors, and bedroom door should go up.

If you turn right at the bottom of the stairs, there's a hallway that runs down toward the laundry room, storage closets, and my husband's den plus there's another large room at the front off to the left where you can just see the raw edge of the wood which will be covered with another set of frosted French doors, again to let light into the hallway. In this image, the wall on the right is painted green and is reflecting on the Gentle Cream color of the wall on the left which is really a buttery, very pale, yellow - so let's not call it beige - as my children are trying to do - while teasing me mercilessly since I don't do beige. My plan is to paint all the walls in the hallway cream so it looks brighter and larger and then paint the doors either different colors or the green that the wall currently is and then use the wall space as a family gallery.

In Captivating, Stasi tells the story of John going off to spend some time alone and asking God to reveal himself in a special way. He's sitting on a rock studying the water when a whale jumps directly in front of him - a whale that should not be in that obscure, remote area and especially not at that time of year. Stasi then asks God for her own whale and discovers a gorgeous, purple-orange starfish when she's out for a walk. She pauses to thank God for a gift so custom tailored to her and then walks around the corner to find a cove full of starfish.

Naturally after reading that, and especially after the year from hell, I asked God for a "whale" of my own. On Tuesday, I found this extra deep laundry sink at the second hand store for $25.00 and taps for $10.00 including the copper lines to hook up the water. I went there after visiting three different building supply stores so I know that retail it would have been at least $275 for the sink alone. That's definitely a tailored to Myrna whale since I'm eager to get set up for dyeing and painting. AND then...

... an iron too - a steam generating iron. Mine broke early in January and if you were reading my blog back then you know that we are in the process of recovering from five major financial set-backs in a two week period. Buying a steam generating iron just wasn't in the budget so I've been making do with my very yucky, barely steams, I really don't like it, back-up model and then out of the blue a friend asked me if I knew of anyone who would want this iron because it was too heavy for her. YES YES YES - ME ME ME

Today, I'll start painting closet doors and trim. I'll probably do that again tomorrow and then pack up the paint supplies and that's it for a while. I'm getting itchy to be back in the studio. I want to finish the waistband on the zebra skirt, sew the Marcy pants, and start on that jumper.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - tailored to Myrna whales


  1. The whale story....I kind of like it. Seems like it could help when one is in the "painful season".

    1. Definitely - and when we start actively looking for those gifts, we see them more clearly - at least I do - and it makes the difficult stuff much easier.

  2. I always find it so wonderful to hear you talk so positively about your husband. I'm so tired of the "dumb husband" jokes in the media or people not speaking positively about their spouses, or playing the martyr card because they have to do "everything" because their spouse doesn't do anything the right way. When I read lines like "What a gift to have a husband who agrees and isn't pressuring me to be someone I'm not or someone I'm not willing to be or capable of at the moment." it makes me happy. I wish more people valued their spouse (both his feelings for you and your appreciation of him) like that.

    What a score on the taps/sink and iron!

    1. We've had our moments - which has to be true of any couple who has been together as long as we have - but I believe that we would both say the other has made our lives better. I know that Howard has always supported me in finding my own path even when he found it confusing. I forwarded your comment. I hope it makes his day.

  3. I agree with Seraphinalina.

    And it appears that whales come in many guises! ;)

    1. LOL - yes, such interesting whale shapes. I'm sure more will show up as I watch for them... a whole pod.

  4. Wonderful post - sounds like you have a real treasure in Howard (as he does in you).

    I'll never look at whales the same way again! :-)

    1. LOL - we hope he thinks I'm a treasure and not just a lot of work.

  5. What tailor made whales!

    I've been thinking that I need to take a day off and go watch actual whales.
    The whale migration is peaking in my neighborhood.

    1. Sometimes when I'm taking the ferry over to Vancouver Island I see whales along the route. That's probably the largest animal I've seen in it's natural habitat and it's so amazing to watch. I'd vote for a day off to go whale watching. Hopefully you'll get some photos for your blog.


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