“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris
I am a self-confessed Pinterest photo-junkie/stalker. I couldn’t care less about making most of the things I find there (unless it is the food!), I just love looking at all of the beautiful photos. As a result of spending time there, I got one of those emails from Pinterest this morning suggesting that I check out some additional pics for one of my boards. Since that particular board is a collection of things that appeals to me “just because”…well, let’s just say that their selections were far-ranging. (ha!)
One of their suggestions actually led to a selection that made my board, but it took some time to find the article it was attached to and, though the photos were very nice, the premise of the article made me laugh a little. It was on how to make a shiny new kitchen look old–and that brought all KINDS of things to my imagination. (grin)
As I looked around my house, I saw some things that reminded me of my favorite William Morris quote and made me smile because they actually ARE old–not just made to look that way–and I am fast joining them as we gracefully age together! (insert chuckle here) In particular, there were two items that caught my eye: a small wooden stool and the wooden tray on my coffee table. (Nevermind that I needed help removing the dust DINOSAURS from around the stool before I could take that photo!–I can’t for the life of me figure out how they escaped the vacuum yesterday!?)
These two items are the first things I ever purchased just for me and “just because.” I bought them–and a handmade ornament that still hangs on my tree every year–at a Christmas craft fair while I was in college when money was beyond tight. (And I think that may be why I like taking my creations to Christmas arts and crafts fairs even now!) I can’t tell you how grown up I felt. I’m sure the vendor thought I would never make up my mind as I checked each item thoroughly and finally made my choices. It was important for me to get it right. Those few dollars had come to me dearly and I chose the spending of them to actually make them last.
It worked. I still love—and use–these pieces regularly. The stool is held together with wooden pegs and made without any glue or even a single nail. It remains tight and sturdy after all this time and got dragged into service as a low coffee table the last time my sister-in-law needed a place to put her coffee cup. The tray has held everything from breakfast in bed to rocks shaped like hearts, drinks on the porch, and giant white seashells…and, obviously, my favorite red hymnal. Like the stool, it remains sturdy and ready for use at a moment’s notice.
I’ve often thought about painting these pieces and giving them a new look, but I always decide to leave them in the state that appealed to me originally: plain, servicable, and obviously handmade. They have a few dings here and there, but they still make me smile. They were a good investment for me then and I love them still.
They remind me that I, too, am handmade, bought with a price, and still able to serve in variety of ways. My Maker carefully crafted me–and you!–on purpose and carefully placed us for service and ministry to Him and those around us. He has a long-term plan for us that is for our good and, if we’ll cooperate, we get to bless others in the process.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
It’s time to quit talking and get busy walking now. There’s work to be done. Let’s make God smile today!!
Grace and peace!
(P.S. A quick shout-out to my Mississippi friends Craig and Tracy Wilson at Poplar Ridge Pottery for making the gorgeous–and very functional!–coffee mugs that I love so much! William Morris would be SO proud!)