Before I get to what I wanted to share today, I'll repeat the obvious. As you can see, I decided it was time for a change in the design of my blog. I really wasn't actually planning to be quite so drastic, but my limited knowledge of designing forced me into it when I couldn't undo my experimenting. Oh well, it's summertime and a season of bright colors, right??
I've spent the last week or so continuing to sort, reorganize, and unpack so we could finally be settled. It's amazing to me how attached we can get to stuff and when you have to make decisions, you realize how little is really needed to live. If nothing else, the moves of the last two years have been worth it to simplify life.
One of those items we've been waiting for "someday" to deal with was a painting that Tiffany gave Jeff as a wedding gift. The one she chose was named "Stillwater Cottage" by Thomas Kinkade and this is what it looks like.
While she like the actual painting, it was his description of why he painted it that drew her toward it. This is what it said:
"Still waters run deep; the waters of this crystal pool offer balm to the soul. Here, in this tranquil glade, God's perfect peace reigns....I wanted Stillwater Cottage to come alive for you as a place of refuge. The light pouring from the widows suggests that a family dwells at peace within....In this place, God is surely present; we feel the comfort and protection we can only know when we are in His hands."
If you know her story, it turned out that the painting ended up being almost a mockery of her hopes and dreams and while she didn't necessarily want to keep it, leaving it with the house was not an option when she had to move out. For the past 3+ years, it has hung on a wall in our house or been propped up against a wall in an unused room waiting for "someday".
Fast forward to the present and we realized it was time to see if the gallery would work with us on some kind of exchange for something Tiffany wanted. After a couple of phone calls and an amazingly gracious visit, not only did they exchange it, but they gave us credit for the leftover amount and we were able to get something for our living room as well.
God has used where we've all lived in the past 3 years to be part of our healing. From the north shore of the New England coastline to Baltimore, to Cinderella's castle in Disney World, He has been faithful to not only heal, but restore our hearts so we can fully be who He created us to be. As I leave you with our latest reminders of His love and grace, I hope you take a moment today to look for them in your life.
A New Day At The Cinderella Castle - "Two of the dream-memories we take from childhood on our life's journey, if we are fortunate, are the wonder and excitement of Disney World and the soaring majesty of castles. Perhaps that is why the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, Orlando, is such an enchanting inspiration to young and old."
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
"The Sea of Tranquility - How true it is that we often sail to distant shores seeking that which lies hidden in our own heart, our own home. The Sea of Tranquility is not a place; it is all places, for it is buried deep within all people. Inside each heart is a private refuge; a place of serene rest which Christ referred to as "the peace which passes understanding."