Thursday, March 29, 2012

Postcards in Time

I collect vintage postcards. I display them on my desk or bookshelves and change them according to the season or holiday. 

The illustration on the front catches my eye, but I enjoy reading the messages written on the back even more.

An Easter card with dancing chicks on the front says it’s also bringing wishes for a happy birthday to “dear little Kate” in 1910. 

A postcard with a colorful image of a girl in an Easter hat and parasol brings the message to a father from a son, saying he’d found a job in Michigan in 1914. 

An undated card from a mother to her daughter informs her that she’d sent her a box of eggs for Easter. She hoped they arrived unbroken since she had packed them well, but if not, to get after Uncle Sam, since apparently she’d sent the eggs and note with him.

I’m sure the writers of those postcards never thought that their words would be saved and read by strangers almost a century later.

I love the idea that a card or note of mine sent to a friend or family member might be stuffed in a drawer and read by someone a generation or two later. 

I like to think that my words might make a connection across the boundaries of time.

Words that encourage, remarks that compliment, and notes that express thanks. I hope that those are the words that matter, not just for today, but for tomorrow, too.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two Chairs and a Bench

I loved the pair of French-inspired pink velvet chairs the first time I spotted them in the antique mall. 

There was even a little bench that completed the set. I envisioned the elegance those stylish chairs would bring to my house. 

Until I saw the price. Unfortunately, each piece was priced separately and the price of just one chair was more than I would have paid for all three, so I reluctantly left them behind.

I didn’t get back to the store for a few months, so I couldn’t believe it when I saw the chairs and bench still there on my next visit. 

The prices were the same but I asked the owner if she would consider discounting them, since I was a frequent customer.

She told me she was surprised they weren’t snapped up as soon as she put them on display. 

“I guess you and I must be the only ones who like that style,” she said.

She named a price for both chairs that was half of what she wanted for just one. 

“I’ll even give you the bench, too, since I know you love them and will give them a good home,” she said.
My pink velvet chairs proudly anchor the corners of my living room, but I keep the bench in my bedroom. 

Under a window, it’s the perfect height for a window-seat. Or a prayer bench.  

I don’t think I have to be in any particular place to pray, but when I glance at the bench, it reminds me of a sweet place. 

Where every week during a time when I felt stretched and challenged, I spent a few minutes asking God to help me measure my words for a kinder, gentler version of myself before I stepped out the door. 

Where I boldly asked God for his perspective on my life after a disappointment, and he graciously answered and allowed me to see just a tiny hint of what his plans might be for me. 

Where I continue to wait quietly to see what God might have to say to me.

Two chairs and a bench. 

The chairs grace my living room with a hint of elegance. 

The bench graces my life with an invitation to come pray, await and hope.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Ps. 17:6

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dreaming of Decorating

I’ve heard some of my friends say they’ve dreamed of being mothers since they were little girls. 

Not me. 

I dreamed of having my own apartment.

I was a fourth-grader when I was invited to visit the apartment of my schoolteacher with my friend Jill, who happened to be my teacher’s sister. I was captivated by how the rooms flowed one into the other, with all the nooks and crannies. 

I loved the compact kitchen that didn’t have room for a table and chairs. I loved the counter and stool where you could eat. I especially loved the tiny balcony I could glimpse through the sliding glass doors.

I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could have my own apartment, just like this one.

Now, several apartments, a condo, house and townhome later, I am still amazed that I have a place to call my own. 

A space I can decorate in my own style of French-girl-gone-shabby with my stash of treasured vintage objects. 

Although I’ve enjoyed every place I’ve lived, I think my current townhome is perfect. A courtyard where I can sit outside and enjoy my morning coffee. A gleaming white breakfast bar with ruby red chairs for meals in my kitchen. Two spacious closets in my bedroom that I have all to myself.

I am grateful for this life. Blessed. Overflowing. Sounds kind of nice.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Ps. 118:1