Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Tea


One of my favorite sections of Scripture is about the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness.  We read in chapter upon chapter, God's exact instructions for building the Place where He would dwell with His people at that time in history.

Perhaps the most important aspect of God's character I learned from these chapters was (and is) His love of  beauty and the importance it is to our lives.  I mean, really, how can you argue with this...

"God spoke to Moses: "See what I've done; I've personally chosen Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur of the tribe of Judah. I've filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him skill and know-how and expertise in every kind of craft to create designs and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to cut and set gemstones; to carve wood—he's an all-around craftsman.

Not only that, but I've given him Oholiab, son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan, to work with him. And to all who have an aptitude for crafts I've given the skills to make all the things I've commanded you..."  Exodus 31: 1-11 The Message (modern translation).

It reminds me of Edith Schaeffer's statement that we among all people (Christians) should be known by the beauty which surrounds us.

While we are also warned against materialism and making a god of the things of this world and we know we must only spend within our income (and perhaps even less than we earn), we are also called to create.  We... who are created in the image of a creative God... will never know true joy until we find our hidden Bazalel.  Who, what, huh?

You know, the guy God gifted to create all kinds of good stuff in the Scripture above.

There is a reason we are drawn to plant tulip bulbs, paint landscapes, make up stories about Hobbits who save the kingdom, brown the beef before adding veggies to simmer in the Le Cruset, combine flour and sugar and butter and milk and chocolate chips, cut fabric into squares to sew back together into beautiful covers to warm our family, turn skeins of yarn into lovely sweaters with two needles, or a cherry tree into a table.

It is why we enjoy using our china and crystal at Christmas and cover the picnic table with red gingham on the 4th of July.  There is a reason some of us spend time carefully touching and perusing vintage books, lining them up on shelves to glance upon with fondness or keep our eclectic collection of silver spoons beside the coffeepot in an Americana mug.

Our homes (be they a room or a mansion) reflect the person God created us to become.  Which is why we can walk through the front door of a friend's house and feel immediately at home while another leaves us cold... both creatively decorated with love but the colors and style and architecture of one is friendly and the other foreign... neither right nor wrong... but unique to the individual.

We must never feel it is ungodly to spend time creating.  Just turn to Proverbs 31 again to view God's perfect ideal of woman and see that she is frugal and creative.  It is in our God given DNA from that time He breathed into Adam the breath of Life... in His image... the Creator who created us to... create.

We were born in Eden and Scripture shows us it is at the core of our being to take great delight in beautifying our surroundings.  We may not be working with gold and silver for a Tabernacle but if it is true the Holy Spirit lives within each Christian... we create our homes and lives to become a place He will enjoy living.

17 comments:

alecat said...

It's been a few months since I read that same scripture to my children as we were going through Exodus, but I remember it brought about some very interesting discussion about how we have various talents and the ways in which we can use them.

Thank you for the reminder. ☺

Quiltin' Mama said...

Thank you- that is what i needed to hear this Sunday AM that my time to organize, beautify and create is not for naught. Oh- I do wish the organize-clean took less time though.

Mrs.Rabe said...

I love Edith's book "Hidden Art of Homemaking." Such great truths.

It is why we love to garden and why we love to make our homes warm and welcoming....

This is a kindred spirit post, Brenda!

Thank you.

Virginia Knowles said...

I love this post, Brenda. Thanks for writing it. It makes me feel like a kindred spirit and motivates me to invest more time in creating an attractive atmosphere in my home.

Virginia Knowles
Www.virginiaknowles.blogspot.com
Www.comewearymoms.blogspot.com

freetobeme - Anita said...

I would love to have been sitting across the table from you sipping tea while we discussed our Creative God and how He has blessed us with a creative mind and spirit and abilities. But since we can't be across the table I'll thank God for our computers and the technology of today that someone with a creative mind put together! Thanks for sharing!

Doodlebug's Mommy said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I have been thinking a lot about decorating our home and feeling like maybe I should just be happy with what I have and not be so caught up in worldly things. It is so good to know that God wants us to create and live in beauty, though!

Tracy said...

An inspiring post, Brenda, and one I needed to hear!

Bernideen said...

Once many years ago(70's) we visited a site in Pennsylvania where they had a replica tabernacle. It was amazing but visually not that big! I found that fasinating! This was a great post Brenda!

Pam said...

This was wonderful. I'm so glad you posted this today. I needed to hear this because just today as I was shopping in an antique store and found the precious china teacups and silver spoons and embroidered linens, I wondered and worried if I was being a little too captivated by it all. I love to create things too and you reminded me that we are made in the image of God and He is the Creator! Thank you, thank you for this post.

suzel said...

This is a wonderful post, my dear Brenda, I love to read it over the ocean.
Blessings
Suzel from France

Karen June Miller said...

Beautifully written, Brenda! I believe our surroundings are a canvas for the expression of God's creative nature in us! Even the Proverbs 31 woman was busy using beautiful things to enhance her family's lives.

Thanks for sharing!
KJ

freddie said...

... and now we are His tabernacle...

prying for you and your family

br.freddie

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Brenda dear,

The leaves just MAY be gone. We are expecting a huge hit from the hurricane. Jeff and I are discussing when to board up the windows, move rockers off porch, etc. We live just a few feet from the water so...

Love,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Sally Clarkson said...

Always heartened and encouraged by your posts. You are such a treasure and I am so blessed to be able to read your life-giving writing. Pushing through one more week with kids home and then maybe in a month or two I will catch my breath.

Beth said...

What a lovely post today! It is so timely for me as we are thinking very seriously about downsizing into another home (which I have already picked out and we are spending the week earnestly praying about!) I am trying to decide what things to keep and what to give to a charity or sell if we do buy the house. I think that keeping the lovely or very sentimental is all that we can keep unless it is just necessary. I truly want to make our home feel like a pretty little sanctuary to our family and those who enter as well as it being honoring to God!
Thank you again, for such a nice post!
Beth

Jodi said...

Thank you for this, Brenda

Lallee said...

Brenda, thank you SO much for this post. I will be printing this one out for when I need this reminder. I need to remember the crafting/decorating I am drawn to are gifts to me from my Father's hands. I know this intellectually, but it is an area the enemy loves to try and taint. Creating beauty is an expression of imitating God's creation, which is a beautiful form of praise for all He makes!