Sunday, May 01, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Running to the Lovely

Bella Grace, a favorite magazine for those who write and journal and run to the lovely.

This past week, I was sitting on the sofa and feeling warm and cozy as a very cold rain fell outside the window.  As a gardener, I'm well aware that April showers are necessary but it is still easy to feel gloomy after a few days of such weather.

I went to pick up a mug of hot coffee when I noticed the issue of Victoria magazine which currently rests on a corner of the coffee table.  A "vintage" issue sent to me by a long time blog friend, the cover being particularly beautiful so I left it out to enjoy.  I'm not sure if it was the hot coffee or the Victoria magazine that made me smile more but whichever it was... I needed it.

I have a few issues of Bella Grace ready to peruse, to be inspired, to lose myself in their beauty of words and photos.  Kind of a staycation in words and pictures.

I need "whatsoever is lovely" these days. 

It seems each evening the news brings us images of anguish and terror which could cause one to stop watching all newscast and read only Brambly Hedge... perhaps turning to Pooh or Max & Ruby to escape a bit into another world. Yes... I'm reverting to pre-K stage.

Although to be honest, I find that running to Who is lovely helps most of all.  Obviously the most Beautiful is God and His Word... Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Ever the most Beautiful in the entire Universe.

God created us in His image so we are drawn to all that is lovely.  We were born of the sod of Eden and in it, we long all the days of our lives... whether we realize it or not.  We stop at a garage sale to purchase that gorgeous piece of artwork sitting next to a tree just waiting for us to notice it while driving by.  We choose to bring home the pretty table or vintage silver or that pot that will look perfect for a plant... all so inexpensive at the thrift store.

We choose to sip our tea in a floral teacup and our morning coffee is poured into a favorite mug that makes us smile.  We display our colored pencils and pens in vintage blue Ball jars on our desk because they are as pretty as flowers... and fill our home with plants to bring nature indoors during the long bleak winter days.

I hear quite often that the world is worse than it ever has been and in some ways that is true.  Definitely there are enough bombs and chemical warfare bottles and crazy people to destroy the earth many times over.  Thankfully, God still has His hand in history and will not let the enemy of our souls destroy the earth before God's timing.

I've been reading about life prior to WWI and how mankind thought war was done away with because man was now so darn smart and well, so wise you know.  Little did they know that the 20th century would become the most violent in history.

So while it may seem terrible at the moment with so many changes around us and this crazy election going on and the hearing of wars and rumors of wars and terrorist killing people in coffee shops and in airports... we can run to the Lovely.

Each one of us has the capacity in our own little place on the earth to create Beauty and to some extent... peace.  Never perfectly but good enough that we can enjoy a hot beverage, get lost in a well written book, or perhaps watch a PBS Mystery... or a British flick DVD... or listen to our favorite music.

We must run to the lovely... on purpose.

As for my husband and I, we no longer keep 24/7 news on during the day, now turned on only if there is a major news story happening at the moment.  I'm doing what I can to make our home even more peaceful, like decluttering the garage (it drives me crazy when I walk in it to do laundry).

Soon I'll purchase flowers and plants for the porch and deck, designed to create Beauty when one walks into our home or looks out the window.  Veggies will be planted in the garden with hope and a prayer and organic fertilizer.  Running to the lovely once again.  Choosing Beauty.  Choosing to live and not cower in a corner of the house.

For I'm making a decision to balance out the bad stuff for which I have no control (other than prayer) with the good stuff in my control.  Like flowers and pretty teapots and good books and tying an apron around my waist to chop onions and make soup and to do... whatsoever is lovely.  


Rachel H said...

A beautiful post! Yes,so many difficulties in life, home is where we should be happy and comfortable. My mother is a hoarder. I don't know how to help her. In my mind she needs help, but is she happy this way? I don't want to tell another how to live their own life, but very hard for me to see this.

Vee said...

I suppose that there's a fine line between being engaged and present and being on overload. Most evenings between six and seven find me in the front room on the computer while John must watch the news. What passes for news these days with such a corrupt media is more than I can handle. I prefer reading my news on line from a number of sources. Often prayer is a part of that process.

You go out to the garage to do the laundry and I descend to the dungeon. I sure would like to make that a more pleasant experience. Is your garage partially heated?

Anonymous said...

I have never commented on your blog although I read it regularly. This is exactly what I needed today. He is truly the Lovely One. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

lynneinMN said...

Reminds me of Philippians 4:8.
I, too, am focusing on the lovely - despite our less than stellar spring, so far! Thankfully, God knows what is going on, even before it happens. Sometimes its so hard to keep that forefront & center! HE is the Prince of Peace...
God Bless-LynneinMN

Anonymous said...

I, too, am running to the lovely...more and more deliberately; consciously. Especially to Him who is "altogether lovely"!

It's Just Dottie said...

So well say...

Ann said...

Once again, you are so timely and your post so relevant to our lives today. I wholeheartedly agree that we must pursue the bits of lovely that we can find so that we do not get overwhelmed by the ugly that bombards our minds every day. You just have such a neat way of saying it all. Thanks again ... and have a blessed week.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

We chose to do away with cable/satellite a few years ago. It has brought so much more peace to our home. We watch movies or shows through Amazon prime or netflix or youtube. There are online news sources. For us this is what has worked in our home.

We certainly don't hid our heads in the sand but we filter how much we let in at a time. We too, focus on the lovely - the source of everything, Jesus.

Good words, Brenda.

Liz said...

Hi Brenda, I have never commented before. You write so beautifully. I always feel so calm and soothed after reading your thank you. Liz in Cranebrook Australia.

Anonymous said...

A thought provoking post. Thank you. Joyce F in Kansas

Melissa said...

Yes, as well as speaking with grace...let your words be a gift. Paraphrased- Ephesians 4:29

Kathy said...

Beautiful post! Thank you! I needed to read this today.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brenda,
Whatsoever is lovely. Thank you for writing about a good place to go. Your writing is always so enjoyable to read, particularly your Saturday and Sunday posts.

When you don't want to hear the terrible things on news channels just turn them off or tune in 5 or 10 minutes after the start of the broadcast and miss the terrible news. Better yet, if you have cable turn to EWTN, the Eternal Word Television Network and their news programs usually in the evening for the news from a Christian perspective. Some other Christian stations also broadcast news that puts emphasis on better stories. Thank God for better programs from people who care.

Nita in southeast Michigan

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog very much. I'm interested in all the topics you write about. I was interested that your laundry area is in your garage. I have wondered if it is possible to have our laundry area in the garage, since it is getting difficult for me to go up and down the basement steps. Our climate is similar to yours, and I wonder if you have a separate room that is heated, in the garage. If you have any further information or pictures, I would be interested in that.

Kellylynn said...

So great. Thank you <3