Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Seeing in a New Light

Chandelier in Hotel Florence in Bellagio, Italy

I’m kind of in love with chandeliers. 

{You might be able to tell from my blog header photos.}

Especially vintage, French-inspired Italian-esque, chippy-painted white ones. 

I don’t even care if they work. If there are a few sparkling crystals with a hint of a Parisian flair, I’m tempted to buy one solely for use as a decorating accessory.

I’d actually like to replace the ceiling fans with chandeliers in every room in my house, but living in Florida without ceiling fans isn’t really a cool idea. 

{Just a little Floridian humor.}

Chandelier in a historic villa in Bellagio, Italy

I have vintage chandeliers in my living room and entryway and a crooked one hanging near my kitchen, that swings wildly no matter how much I tilt and straighten it. 

But I’ve long thought about getting a chandelier to hang over my stairs.

Since I live in a townhome and there aren’t any windows near the stairs, it’s a perfect space for an interesting light fixture to light the way up and down the stairs.



So last weekend my sister took me to a designer lighting store where she’s had success unearthing great deals. Her latest steal was a showroom model fully assembled chandelier for her entryway.

While I was still in the first room staring at the ceiling, she crisply inspected the entire store, pointing out several to me that were on sale.

I couldn’t make up my mind.

As soon as I saw one I thought I loved, there was another one I liked even better. 




The lights and crystals were a little blinding.

I was overwhelmed by all the dazzle and when I become unsure, I tend to think I should do {and buy} nothing.

My sister said I should just choose one I love and decide later where it should go.

Then I found a chandelier in the back corner of the store she hadn't noticed. 

I wasn’t sure about the best place to hang it in my house, but I knew it was the one.



There's nothing like a lighting store to get you thinking about all the places in your life that could use some illumination.

There’s a decision I need to make soon. 

And an emotional strain I’m thinking about unloading. 

And there are a few dreams I’ve been carrying around that I’m close to putting in cold storage.

For all of these and a few dozen other large and small concerns, I wish I had a big bright light to show me the way to go, what to do, or how to act. 


Inside Notre Dame in Paris

We want a light to show us the way forward, but God wants to be our light.

We want the light-bulb moments to understand the circumstances that don't make sense, brilliant insight into the difficult decisions, and dazzling clarity for the heart-wringing wrestles in prayer.

But instead we have the luminous light of God's presence.
He is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth. -2 Sam. 23:4

For it's those of us who are searching in the inky-black starless night, seeking answers to our deepest questions, and pursuing fulfillment of our still unmet yearnings who get to see God in a new light.



When there's just a shadow showing us there's light off in the distance, illuminating only the next step forward, we learn to trust that what we have is enough and believe what he says is the truth.

Here in our mostly ordinary days, he is the glorious light to our lives, through his words, among those around us, and in between the darkly difficult trials and the magnificently splendid seasons.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. - Ps. 119:130
Knowing and seeking and finding are a lifelong pursuit, but enlightenment along life's journey is really God's gift to us, isn't it? 

St. Paul's Chapel in Manhattan

Since I wasn't lucky enough to snag a display piece like my sister's, my new chandelier is spread out in pieces on my dining room table, waiting for my handyman to assemble it. 

He's not all that excited about hanging it in my stairwell.

He says it needs an electrical box installed through the attic and maybe a covering over the ceiling light that's already there. 

{He said a few other things too but I lost track of it all, except that it sounds tricky.}



He says the main thing is his ladder. He doesn't know if it will reach to my ceiling and it will be hard for him to work perched over my stairs, but he says he’ll give it a try.

{I'm just not sure exactly when.}

And by the way, if you’re easily swayed by the names of items like I am, I discovered as I opened the box that my chandelier is from the Venice collection. 

I think that might be an enlightening illumination straight from Italy, don't you?




I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. Join me there to read more posts from my blogger friends!



44 comments:

  1. You ARE my most favorite bling-dazzle person ever! I can't wait to see that staircase in its full glory.

    And speaking of glory ... well, you always point us to Jesus here. Every story speaks of your love for Him. I leave here blessed, as ever.

    This little light of mine ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you, Linda, I love that little compliment! :)

      You and me both -- I can't wait either to see if it really does go nicely over my stairs or will have to go elsewhere, depending on my handyman's opinion! xo

      Delete
  2. Dear Valerie,
    Your thoughts are so beautiful on this grey and dreary day! I wonder if we have become so accustomed to flipping a light switch, that we have lost some of the joy that comes from the glory when a fully illuminated crystal shining chandelier is suddenly lit up before us? Just like that gift of enlightenment from God that you mentioned--LIGHT is more appreciated after the dark times. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and photos again. They have brought me encouragement today! Hugs and Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bettie,
      I know how gray and dreary days can weigh on our hearts -- I think I remember hearing that my hometown of Pittsburgh had more gray days than most other places! I'm thinking you found enough dazzle here to light up the few minutes of your visit! :) So grateful for you! xoxo

      Delete
  3. " ... For all of these and a few dozen other large and small concerns, I wish I had a big bright light to show me the way to go, what to do, or how to act."

    When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12).

    I am praying for you.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Victor,
      Thanks so much for stopping by my online home! I enjoyed reading your interview over at Cheryl's site this week and I'm thanking you for your lovely verse of encouragement!

      Delete
  4. Valerie,
    It's so interesting to me how God has connected us and that this week our posts had another connection point. The booklet you placed in your picture with the chandelier crystals says: She Knew This Was Just The Beginning! How cool is our God? Have a great day!
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherry,
      After I read your post, I did think we were on the same wavelength! I love that little journal on my table with all it's hopeful sayings and beginnings are one of our greatest hopes, isn't it? So glad you're here! xo

      Delete
  5. Oh girl... yes... I think we've been on the same quest this week- searching for light (in fact the last verse in my post tags along nicely with yours!) And oh how I identify with being dazzled and then overwhelmed and then not budging at all in any direction because I'm afraid of making the wrong decision... Praying for your path (and stairway!) dear friend- may it be lit from above in God's timing (literally and figuratively!) Can't wait to see the ultimate handy man's work come to fruition in us this year. Lifting you up in prayer Valerie! xoxo ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather,
      We are on similar treks this week and our posts do nicely coordinate, don't they?! Love it that you're on the path here with me, step by step, as we move forward into this new year. Grateful for your prayers and love! xo

      Delete
  6. I love your delight in things glittery and
    Feminine. Chandeliers are a thing of beauty. So glad you found one. Sounds like
    You have some big
    Decisions ahead and the emotional unloading sounds arduous. I hope
    You do receive the exact instruction you need. Loved that scripture from Samuel. Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Somer,
      Isn't that the prettiest verse from Samuel? I love how different verses jump out at us, as if we've never noticed them before and they strike a chord in us for just what we're going through. Thank you for your sweet thoughts and I'm so grateful you're here! xoxo

      Delete
  7. I love crystal chandeliers, especially how the light reflects rainbow colors through the crystals. I'm glad you found one that fits you, Valerie. :)

    "We want the light-bulb moments to understand the circumstances that don't make sense, brilliant insight into the difficult decisions, and dazzling clarity for the heart-wringing wrestles in prayer." Amen! I love the verses, too. They also remind me of Psalm 119:105 - "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." My sister once pointed out to me something I have never forgotten. A lamp only gives enough light for us to step forward one step at a time. We can't always see beyond it, but God will give us the light as we need it. God bless you! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Trudy,
      Ah yes, the rainbow colors are so you! Isn't it amazing how all of us would probably choose something different in a store of light fixtures and chandeliers?! I think it would kind of be an interesting field trip! :) I love what your sister said and it's so true! The light is just where we need it, to take the next step and he'll provide a way for the rest of the journey! xoxo

      Delete
  8. We get to see God in a new light when we seek Him in the starlit nights. My gosh, Valerie, what wise musings! And they bring my heart hope in those times of wondering what God is up to. Yet, those times also bring us closer to God, and our relationship stronger. My hope for you is that as you take those next steps of faith, that you know He's in each of those moments even if it seems like only one crystal reflects His light in a chandelier of many. I hope you post a picture when your handyman finally gets the new chandelier hung for you! Hugs!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn,
      Oh I do wonder what God is up to -- for all of us -- and it makes me eager with anticipation! But even if (aren't those just the words?!) things are different or stay the same, I still want to see God at work because it's so breathtaking when we see him with a different focus. xo

      Delete
  9. This brings back memories of cleaning my gram's chandelier - crystal by crystal. Especially love this: ". . . thinking about all the places in your life that could use some illumination." Praying for God to shine his light where you need it most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dianne,
      So glad to see you around here! I'm wondering if cleaning the crystals was a fun job? Sometimes they are since it's fun being around relatives while you do chores! I remember painting my grandmother's porch railings as a kid and I thought it was so much fun! xo

      Delete
    2. I loved cleaning my Gram's house, whether it was mopping floors or doing windows or dusting. It was never a chore! Dusting was my favorite though . . . fingering all her treasures . . . wonderful memories. And yes, cleaning the crystals was actually fun (we only did that once or twice a year).

      Delete
  10. I love that you have so many photos of different chandeliers! I loved seeing where each one was from while reading about your pilgrimage to the designer chandelier store (I am surprised you even left)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brittany,
      I had to make up my mind quickly -- my niece and nephew were prowling around the store and I knew I might not get back anytime soon to get my sister's opinion! :)

      Delete
  11. I hope you get your chandelier sorted out soon- I'm sure it will look amazing. I definitely struggle with wanting God to light up the whole path ahead and show me what's coming. I'm learning to walk with him and trust him to light the way one step at a time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lesley,
      If only we had a big map with dots of light on it, showing us the way, right? But we have just enough light for today and I think that's how it's supposed to be -- one step at a time -- I'm walking along with you in learning to trust!

      Delete
  12. Beautiful, Valerie! The photos are stunning and their use in the value of His light was well done! Let us know how that installation goes! Sounds scary to me!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pam! I'm anxious to see how the installing goes too -- thanks for your good wishes! xo

      Delete
  13. Oh I absolutely LOVE that chandelier! I just bought one second-hand for my stairway too. It's not nearly as pretty as yours - but it was just the right size and I couldn't pass up the great price. You've inspired me to maybe put some crystals on mine though!! Would love to catch up soon!! -Shawna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shawna,
      I guess you know I'm talking about Jim hanging the light! Did he do yours? He said he's been doing a lot of work at your place! :) Yes, we must catch up! xo

      Delete
    2. He hasn't hung it yet - I think I actually want to paint it now and jazz it up with crystals! My place still feels SO "under construction" - I was hoping to feel much more settled by now! As always, I absolutely loved your words - your posts always point me in the right direction. :) -Shawna

      Delete
  14. I always feel so happy when I visit you here, Valerie. You, yourself, are such a shining light to all who enter here and such a blessing to us all! I SO understand how you feel about needing to unload what is heavily emotional and standing at the crossroads. My little family and I have stood in similar spots so much, of late, and it is all just so hard. I have often wished God would shine a flashlight several steps ahead and at least give us a general idea of the steps that follow the one in front of us. But, as we know, there is no such flashlight...sigh. This is such a walk of faith, and not by sight, and it is all about learning to trust Him more and more the farther we go along. I can't wait to see how your new beautiful light looks when it is hung and completed, and I look forward to seeing the amazing things God does in and through your life as you pass through this difficult season. I just loved every thought you shared, and I leave your space inspired, as always. God bless you abundantly, sweet friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl,
      Your words are so kind and I'm so grateful that you stop here and share your thoughts and insight! Flashlights would be easier for the journey but we'd miss out on so much, wouldn't we? xo

      Delete
  15. Hi Valerie! What beautiful chandeliers! :) wow! !and I love the one you chose too! It is making me rethink our lighting- We have some very old ugly ones in the hall that I would love to replace but haven’t been able to- I too often wish I just had really clear direction on things-and sometime get frustrated trying to figure out what God wants me to do. But like you have said so beautifully here. God wants to give us Himself more than the answer, He very presence more than knowledge of which way. He knows thats what will really bring us what our hearts want most! He knows the story he is writing and He wants to lead the way without our help- I think that way we can enjoy His companionship rather than plan the next step - I get too far ahead of myself and then I worry and fret. I am guessing thats why he leads me this way. This is so great and has given me lots to think about- Thanks so much! xoxo blessings and love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susie,
      It sounds as if chandelier shopping might be a fun outing for you! :) All the facts we store up in our heads about faith and trust are what we believe about them, but when we have to put them into practice, it's not always so clear-cut. I know we can't ultimately thwart God's plans for us and for that I'm grateful! xo

      Delete
    2. Yes true! I might have to do that! Sounds so fun! :) You are right- about that- whats in my head is often hard to put into practice! i am grateful too that God won’t let me get in the way of his plan either -sometimes I am afraid of that! with much love

      Delete
  16. Ah, Valerie. Light is my favorite, and I love this post! The chandelier you chose is lovely ... I hope the handyman can make it work for you. (Ladders can do much more than we think, but not without a certain amount of risk. At least that's what I've learned from watching my husband work around our house!) This line caught my eye: "And there are a few dreams I’ve been carrying around that I’m close to putting in cold storage." Sometimes that's what it comes to, isn't it? And that's OK. The trick, I'm finding, is knowing when to push through and when to lay to rest. Here's to taking the next step and trusting God to illuminate the next one after that ... Hugs, friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lois,
      Ladders are precarious aren't they? I get a little woozy standing at the top of only a 4-foot one so I can relate to my handyman's reservations! :) Oh -- that is the trick isn't it-- when to push and do and when not to! Thank you for your encouraging words! xo

      Delete
  17. I always always like hearing the things you get to do and see and shop for (antiques and food : ) ). Through your experiences, I can see just how you grow even when things seem dark. God is faithful like that.
    Now I know you talked about God being our light in our circumstances but I couldn't help to focus on when you mention God's presence. God really brought that attention to me this morning during my time with Him. Isn't amazing what drawing near to His presence brings us as Christians? For me meant mercy and joy. For you light and understanding and direction for the future. He is a God who supplies and sustains us for all things. If only we rest in that all the time.

    Hope you a good day and good weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristina,
      I always smile when I see you here! :) And I'm so grateful you tolerate (maybe enjoy?!) my stories! I love your words that God supplies us with all things - - exactly what we need and when we need it!

      Delete
  18. Chandeliers are beautiful and just a bit impractical, which makes them all the better. :) But, yes, you are right about needing ceiling fans. Can't imagine not having ours!
    Pictures when it is hung up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah,
      Yes, unfortunately ceiling fans are a necessity, but they're just not very pretty, are they?! :)

      Delete
  19. Valerie, your chandeliers are beautiful! I love how we are so drawn to beauty; it gives me a greater appreciation for God, the Creator of all things dazzling! I love the picture of God as a brilliant, sparkling light, and how His Word illuminates our path with the light of His wisdom and guidance. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christin,
      I love to think about how God places unique characteristics in each of us, drawing us toward what connects to our hearts and I'm interested in how that's different for all of us too! Of course, that's just another thing to be in awe about the way God made us! :) Thanks so much for popping over to read!

      Delete
  20. Oh my, such a beautiful display of light here! I don't own a chandelier, but I do so love them. Beautiful pictures and parallels drawn between the Lord and light in our lives. Hugs to you today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marilyn,
      Maybe even a tiny candle chandelier to enjoy if there's not room for a big one?! It's so lovely to see how the light hits them and how pretty they look! Thanks for reading and stopping by again! :)

      Delete
  21. We want a light to show us the way forward but God wants to be our light...amen!!!! Loved this today, though I am a little late for the light show. Get it? You always make me smile, Valerie. Blessings to you!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading -- I love to hear your comments! To leave a comment, you can choose an ID in the "comment as" box or just choose anonymous. Choose your ID first, write your comment in the box and hit publish. Your comment will be visible just as soon as I can post it!