Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Afternoon Tea - How focusing is bringing peace, beauty, and room to create.

I started keeping an "off the cuff ponderings journal" this year.  One where I write down snippets of what I have been thinking of that day. 

I haven't done a whole lot of writing in it (it is, after all, a new habit to form) but one day recently I wrote this:
Focusing on God always should bring with it a focus toward Beauty.  Think John Piper!  Think Jonathan Edwards!
As you can tell, I was pondering the concept of Beauty within my ponderings about being more focused this year.

And I have continued to reap the benefits of that focus as getting rid of the past (projects and the guilt that came with them) has brought with it the ability to declutter elsewhere.  

For so much space was now open in the Study dresser, I was able to transfer items from the overstuffed drawers in the Living Room hutch.  Which then created space for a home to some tea time related items.

Living life in the present will be so very much easier now that I am focusing on the here and now and have sent the "Past" to charity.  My entire home looks more open and peaceful.

In addition, that focus made its' way to my desk where I spent most of last week going through piles of paperwork and "must do's" and "should have done's" to put an end to both procrastination and simply choosing to kick the paper can down the proverbial road. 

Do you know what happened?  Every. Single. Item. I had procrastinated on (some for months on end) was completed in a fraction of the time I thought it would!  All that remains in the wire basket now is some paperwork which needs filed (since the actual work has been completed) and reminders of a few letters I want to write.

There is peace in my Study and in my Surroundings and in my Soul.

I am a visual person who now spends a lot of time at home.  This has been the modus operandi for about twenty years and even more so now.  It was always important that my home looked warm and cozy before then but it really didn't become the canvas of my creativity until that time. 

And something I have noticed is that when we listen closely, we realize God is giving us a passion for where He wants us at any given time... and what He wants us to do.  It is where we spend our time planning and pondering and where we spend limited funds.

When I spend any extra money... that which is given for items above daily necessities... I have a few priorities.  First I will purchase some food and necessary items for the pantry.  For as I have written, mine is no longer very deep but for it to work properly, I must shop for the pantry and then shop the pantry when something is needed.

If there is no other absolutely urgent need, I shop for the house.  I shop to make it a haven of peace and beauty within a storm filled world.  If I only have around $5.00, I head for a thrift store.  If I have at least $20.00, I often go to my favorite Antique Mall where many items are reasonable.  Or, I will peruse a favorite shop that sells Primitive American furniture and accessories.

Now, most of the time I am only looking for accessories for I realized long ago, they are the bright paint of the canvas.  When I am at Goodwill, I do check their furniture for I have found very good buys (like the tea table for $6.00).  When I am at the Primitive American shop or the Antique Mall, I do not look at the furniture.  ;)

Through the years I have perused enough decorating magazines to know what kind of items I am looking for.  This year with some Christmas money in my pocket, I went to the Antique Mall and found bread & butter dishes in the primary Friendly Village pattern, just the size I needed to add to my collection.  They were only a couple dollars each.

Then I went to the Primitive American shop and purchased a couple of their rustic candles and some small additions to add to various containers.  Both types of items were very inexpensive compared to what is mostly sold there but which... after perusing some magazines and online photos of houses... I knew would add depth to what I already had in my home.  (Yes, I will show photos on the next My World this Week post.)

Now, here I must add that other priorities in my life include creativity, tea, and books.  However, these items (tea, a couple of books, and washi tape) were purchased this year with Amazon credit. 

Which is why I jump through all the Associate's hoops and why I thank you who enter your shopping through my widget or those of another blogging friend.  Oh, and I did receive tea and books as very welcome gifts.  Friends and family do know what I like. ;)

To wrap up, there have been times in my life when priorities for time, attention, and money went to feed and clothe kids, lessons or sports equipment, homeschooling items, or kitchen stuff, or clothes when I worked amongst the "English" (you will get that if you read Amish novels), or when we were first setting up a household and we needed basic furniture.

Every stage in life will bring with it a focus, an area where God has you in the moment.  At this stage of life, creating a warm and cozy home environment and then writing about it is where He has me.  Oh, and at times waxing poetic on such culinary joys as making soup or lemon cream scones or the wonders of pumpkin spice lattes. 

But they kind of all go together if you think about it... and instead of stomping one's feet and complaining about what they cannot do or where they cannot go and all other limitations... God instead has us look for the Lovely where we are and be the gardener of our present life.

Now excuse me, I must have a second cup of coffee and work on my scrapbook journal this afternoon.  All of this pondering has given me some ideas...

Image:  Time For Reading by Judy Gibson


Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I love your phrase, "send the past to charity"....This is the equivalent of what my daughters call "blessing others with your stuff" but more elegantly expressed and more profoundly. I forge ahead.....And after reading Novel Interiors, I bought it through a link on your blog. The first chapter Put the Kettle on sang to me, and I found a very inexpensive copy on amazon.......I think my mantra this year will have to be, "Send the past to charity". And not only my past....Too much of the past of my mother, grandmother, and one well-loved aunt are filling my space, clogging it up. That doesn't mean I am not keeping some things, but I used to feel I had to keep everything or it was a sign of some lack of love....My dd Emily has taken to photographing things for me so if I want to see them again, I can. (But I don't know that I ever will...)But I have sent them to bless someone else........

Bookie said...

This is a lovely post today. I enjoyed it but I also rave about the photo at the beginning. I "fell" into that picture immediately...good setting for the thoughts that followed!!!

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Brenda. I love what you do with so little. You've said that your finances have been diminished yet your home by the forest is so beautiful. God loves our gratitude and blesses it. That is so obvious in your photos. I live with her Fluffiness's twin sister Molly Grace. Wish you could see how similar they are :) Enjoy your tea and journaling, it's over 60 in Texas today so I'm heading out to the picnic table with tea and bible study time. Donna xx

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog posts both yesterday and today! You're inspiring me to deepen my pantry with food we'll actually eat and do more de-cluttering in the house and garage. We went through our clothes closets, recently, but have so much more we really could (and should) go through! One thing at a time, however! Thanks for sharing yourself and your insights. I can relate to so much of what you share. Just want to let you know, your blog has really been a blessing to me!
Laura C. (WA)

Vee said...

Still having trouble letting go here. My sister brought home the kitchen curtains my mother made for camp. The fabric is faded, but I couldn't let it go so have been using it for some sewing projects. Multiply that by a hundred. Sigh.

Your words are inspiring and make me think there's hope yet. Really!

Scrappy quilter said...

What a wonderful post as always.

Nanna said...

you said it all so beautifuly, we are in the prosscess of culling out, throwing out, orgainizing, trying to talk ourselves into believing that less is more lol!I nolonger want to live in the "someday" realm, we'll never truely enjoy our homes, our dreams, our desires even life its self if we stay too long in the "someday"


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I like what you're up to these days! Very inspiring!


Nanna Chel said...

Brenda, it certainly does seem to be decluttering time on the other side of the world as well. We are in the middle of summer so it is normally a good time to 'send the past to charity' so to speak. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Karen Andreola said...

Sewing curtains from bed sheets was one way I decorated economically in years past. (But even sheets are expensive now). I've sewn "some" for the windows of this house but your post has given me a nudge to get out that fabric (I bought rather impulsively during a fabric sale 3 years ago) and get working. In all the houses where we'd lived (we moved a lot) the windows were rarely the same size.
Thanks for the inspiration, Brenda.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Actually, I realize, I bought a full price copy, but I really like this book and hope to be inspired by it often!

Heather LeFebvre said...

Enjoyed this post and thinking about "A passion for the stage of life I'm in now". Hoping to get to the post office today!