Tuesday, October 20, 2015

{ creating my own little corner }

This past weekend, my dear Courtney drove up from South Carolina to spend a few days with me. While she was here, we tackled the job of re-decorating my room.

My basement bedroom up till this point has been the family guest room, so not much had been done to it since my family moved in last summer. When I first got home in August, I put some strings of pictures up pretty much right away, but that was about it.

In the past four days, the Lord truly blessed us as we spent hours re-doing everything. I want this physical room to be a place where His presence is known and felt, and I knew that in order for that to become a reality, I actually needed to change what the room looked like. I won't get into all the spiritual ramifications for that, but there's definitely something powerful about deliberately decorating a room in such a way that brings glory to Jesus and changes the atmosphere of the place.

With that intro, onto the project!


...and after!

I'm in love with it all! So thankful.

Courtney and I made two shopping outings, one on Friday night to T.J. Maxx for pillows and Walmart for pillowcases, and then on Saturday morning for everything else, ha! Before we left on Saturday, we stopped and prayed - gave the whole project to Jesus. He knew our heart, and *I*knew He'd lead us to the perfect things for this room. 

And oh, He did! We were finished in less than three hours, and spent the rest of the day arranging and hanging and adjusting and painting (yay Court!) and adding touches here and there. Overwhelmed and blessed that Jesus cares about every little thing!

Now for the details...

my bed:
bed pillows // T.J. Maxx
square throw pillows // T.J. Maxx
bicycle throw pillow // clearance at Stein Mart
throw blanket // clearance at Stein Mart
old bear // daddy's

wall elements:
world map // Marshalls - a complete answer to prayer. from the beginning I said I wanted a map for my bed wall...it was the last thing we found!
circle mirrors // Marshalls

The picture frames were all from Goodwill, and the canvases from Marshalls. The keys we found at Steinmart and they were so so perfect....so much spiritual significance!

I loved making the collage frame. We found a big frame at Goodwill, removed the picture, and I ran twine back and forth in between the wood, securing it with the fasteners already inside the edges of the frame. Then I just hung the photos with clothespins like I did back as part of the "old room." I love how it turned out!

One of my favorite things about the room now is the lighting once night time comes. With the Christmas lights framing the back wall, and the two lamps and candle, there's such a peace in here. 

Speaking of The Candle - it's a Scentsational natural soy candle, apple cinnamon scent. It's magic, and I'm in danger of burning it down too fast cause it smells SO STINKIN AMAZING. Oh, the little things that warm my soul!

The chairs got to stay in, and still match wonderfully. I love having such homey "sitting room" space. The "Life is a Trip" pillow was on clearance at Steinmart and made me laugh. The chair itself was given to us by our precious neighbor back when we lived on the farm, and I treasure it so much. I love that it gets to be in my room!

The globe was a fun find, found that at Home Goods. It was on clearance, and it's a little hard to turn, but the more maps the merrier and yay for a vintage globe! All the little knick knacks on the table are mine from all over the place - stories behind every single one. 

The rug on the floor is actually from my parent's bedroom. Mama was planning on getting a new one anyway, so she let me have it. It was bargain to begin with - she found it at the Salvation Army for $30, got it cleaned, and now it's worth...a whole lot more than that. *grin* Thrifted for the win, every time!

The second twin bed - affectionately dubbed "Courtney's Bed", it belongs to whoever's turn it is to visit or spend time in the room. My sisters have already made themselves at home there when they come down to hang out or do homework. That fuzzy blanket is something else...

blue bed:
bed pillows // T.J. Maxx
square throw pillows // T.J. Maxx
round pillow // purchased at Orchard House (home of Lousia May Alcott and family) on a family trip to Boston a few years ago. It finally matches - so happy!
throw blanket // Stein Mart

wall elements:
shelf // I have no clue - we've had it for years and years and years
wood block print // T.J. Maxx - you can't read it in this picture, but that wood print on the shelf says, "a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices..." - a beautiful line from "O Holy Night." it fits so perfectly with everything I'm walking right now, and has that precious word HOPE in it again!
"L" // Steinmart - another answer to an unspoken prayer - I wanted a letter on my wall so badly!
"Dreamers" canvas // Steinmart - one of my favorite things we found. After reading it a hundred times, I still don't fully understand it but it's so cool....and kinda prophetic in a really neat way.

There came a moment with this wall (which we did second, after my wall), where Court and I looked at each other and weren't sure if it was going to pull together - then we remember the shelf, pulled it out of the closet and within a few minutes, all the pieces fell into place! Yay!

Once again, all the frames are from Goodwill. Courtney painted the word "joy" inside the gold frame, lovely artist that she is.

On the little shelf, the shells on top are from Isle of Palms, South Carolina on one of our countless beach trips, the photo of the mountains in the frame is actually a postcard of the Alps from my dear Kate when she lived in Germany, the peacock feather is from my hope chest - a farmer's market find when I was about ten, and the coke bottle is from a little soda fountain my mama used to go to as a girl in Mt. Pleasant, SC. So lots of little special things!

Above the dresser there is a map of the West Indies. We found it at Goodwill, and what an unexpected blessing! I mean, you can hardly find a map of the Islands anywhere, much less vintage, and I didn't even *think* of looking. But there you go - a piece of my family history on my wall. (For those of y'all who don't know, our family heritage on my Dad's side goes back to St. Croix, USVI and Puerto Rico - hence the surprise and excitement at finding such an obscure map)

Also on the dresser is a print - an illustration from Little Women, actually, that we bought at Orchard House in Concord years ago. It's Jo, and her old German professor under their umbrella in the rain...sorta makes you want to sing, maybe? *grin* Couldn't have my own room with bringing Jo in somewhere *wink*

All the little bluish-greenish pottery on the table tops every where are from a host home Miriami and Feli and I stayed at in South Carolina. We actually made it, so it's super special. The girls didn't take all the pieces they created back to Mizoram with them, so I have some of theirs. *hearts and love and sniffles* #imissmygirls

Last but not least, there is a big tall happy bookshelf between the closet and bedroom doors. All my books and treasures have a home, and now that everything's out, I've started reading and writing again. It's an incredible feeling - to realize that the part of me that's been set aside and on hold for over two years during my travels and adventures - is still part of me. Very much so.

Well, that's a wrap! This was a such a fun project - and so blessed from start to finish. Everything we bought was super affordable (no piece was more than $20, most were under $10-12, except for the large map, which was $40 - but it was the last thing and such an answer the prayer!) and it didn't feel like we were shopping for ourselves...I can't explain how tangible the presence of Jesus was in this whole process. It was so beautiful.

This room already become such a haven of peace and rest in the past few days...my cozy place. I've been going through boxes of keepsakes and papers and letters and junk and everything else you can think of that I haven't touched in years, and it's been so fun be all holed up in this lovely space listening to my music and smiling cause it's so homey. SO THANKFUL.

And I'm crazy thankful I got to do it with my Courtney...double the trouble and double the fun.

Have a happy Wednesday everyone, and hey....there's an extra bed so...come visit? There's hot tea ready, I have TWO mugs now so we can each have one, and we talk or do a puzzle on the floor or read or talk or do nothing and just be...and listen to my quiet playlist or the Mizo music I'm currently playing on repeat...just come be, friends. Fellowship is precious.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

of stickerless wemmicks and belonging to Jesus

I learned something about myself this week.

I think I always knew it, I mean, looking back, it's pretty blatantly obvious throughout my entire life.

I like belonging.

I don't mean fitting in - never cared much for that. Wasn't interested in changing in order to belong...I just wanted to belong, just the way I was. Always have. From sports teams, group projects, theatre troupes and casts, classes, everything...I love belonging. I love having people who are "mine", and we all do stuff together, and we're on the same page, and everyone accepts everyone else, and even if there are hard things, we are always still US. There are people who I used to "belong with" in various ways that I still keep in touch with, simply because there *was* a bond, there was something we built, because we *were* a team.

That's all well and good, and a strength of mine actually...to a fault. So many times, I ended up loving people who hurt me, I would feel like I belonged, when the truth was, I had been rejected. You find that out when it's over, and everyone's saying goodbye and leaving, and your "best friends" go silent afterwards, and you realize they didn't feel the same way as you. This was just another thing to them, and they're moving on. And, when that happens enough times, you learn how to pour yourself out (cause honestly you don't know how to do anything else) and then just shake it off, suck it up, and move on when everyone else does.

Well, this week, I was laying some hurts before the Lord, being honest with Him, asking Him to show me where I needed to forgive, where I needed to move on, and what I needed to fix on my end of things. Courage to do what I needed to do, patience to wait for what I can't.

As I was processing stuff, writing it out actually, I realized where these hurts were coming from. My little spirit was struggling with belonging again - or *not* belonging, in this case.


I sorta froze. Stopped in my tracks. Sitting there, criss-cross on my bed in my shorts and too-big t-shirt, feeling very weak and very little....I just thought. Slowly the light dawned on my hurting, lonely soul.

"You like belonging. You feel abandoned."

"But there's a truth that you *know*, that you need to embrace."

"You only belong to One Thing."

"It's okay to love people like you do. It's okay to belong. It's okay be sad, it's okay to miss things, it's even okay to have hurts."

"But Liza. The only belonging that matters.....is that you belong to JESUS."

And then the truth began to change things.

I was at the edge of a smallish identity crisis. Jesus was pressing me towards deeper freedom. In light of what I had just realized, I had to choose - to either continue walking in my spirit of abandonment and just grasp onto Jesus but not actually walk in fullness of abundant life that He was offering to me in this area....or utterly reject it, claim truth, and take a step of faith into a new reality.

Even though I didn't feel very brave, new reality won out.

That means a rejection of a previous way of living, of thinking, of looking at myself.

It's a deeper level of son-ship. Of walking in depth of identity that claims *nothing* except my redemption, justification, and adoption into the family of God. It's the ultimate identity trump card, and the only label I claim.

I love that little book, "You are Special" by Max Lucado. It speaks directly into a very deep part of my soul. As a child, I remember that it used to bother me. Looking back, I'm sure it's because, deep down, I knew I was covered with stickers. With labels. Not necessarily of whether I was good enough or not, but self-stuck-stickers that identified me as X, Y, and Z. That gave me a fleshly sense of belonging, that actually clouded my view of my Jesus, because I was claiming so many other things in addition to Him. The Lord freed me from that mentality a long time ago. But this subtle, underlying hurt was still there.

And Jesus was asking to take that too. To show me that there is even more abundant life, even more victory, even more freedom, even more recklessness in following Him with no strings attached.

In that story, Punchinello's stickers start falling off when the more time he spends time with his Creator, Eli, and the more he understands his identity as a precious and valuable "son" of the Woodcarver. How powerful is that?

The more we know of Him, and who we are in Him, the more our identity becomes completely wrapped up in His Name, His Life.

"In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." - Eph 1:5-6

"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” - Rom 8:15

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." - Gal 4:4-6

It's a journey, for sure. But the renewing and transforming of our minds as we draw closer and closer to Christ is one of the most beautiful, painful, life-changing, real miracles we will ever know.

The key to healing from abandonment? The key to being a stickerless wemmick with an other-wordly confidence?

Believe who the Father says you are.




His child.