Do you have a favorite day of the week for your morning paper to arrive? Maybe it’s the Sunday paper so you can spread the funnies on your living room carpet and get lost in their colorful comedy with your children. (If the comics are all about the child in you, your secret is safe with me.) Perhaps you hunger for the sports pages or the cooking section later in the week for its BOGO news or exotic recipes. My favorite is our local Saturday morning paper because I enjoy reading syndicated columnist Marni Jameson. She has a cheery way of writing about home design and decorating, but it’s her way with words that captures my attention.
During the last few years, Marni wrote frequently about the dilemmas of moving her aging mother across the country to be nearby. After decades of raising her family and living a long life, she had accumulated more than enough treasures and not-so-treasured possessions. Marni had lots of advice about what to give away, what to toss and how to value what really matters. (I’m constantly battling the “too much stuff” syndrome. You, too?) When she married recently, she wrote with wisdom and humor about combining two households and blending families. I was stirred by how my heart responded to her September 3rd column about the design world’s highly anticipated event, “And the Color of the Year Is….”
Marni was awaiting a message from one of the color consultants, paint companies and style experts she frequently consults. News of the soon-to-be hottest color for waking up our tired walls and what nots was about to be revealed. That’s a helpful thing to know if every time you come in the front door your eyes fall on what frequently seems old and miserably faded or in need of a fresh coat of paint. To a homeless person, what seems raggedy and blah to us is bliss in comparison to their customary environment. A color of the year announcement isn’t a meaningful event when you’re worried about where your next meal is coming from, but I realize that it’s everything to those in the industry.
Every time my husband and I moved our military family and set up new quarters again, we had to decide how to make our furniture fit its new habitat and mix it with the plain old pieces base supply issued us. We often leaned our framed pictures against the plain walls until they told us where they’d fit best. (Marni would approve this method, I’m sure.) We emptied an increasing number of moving boxes, sometimes questioning whether we still needed the contents. It took months to bring order to our lives. And it rarely mattered what the newest trends were. Base housing came in only one color. Unless we attended church on the base, we also had to search our surroundings for a new church and develop new friendships. That meant telling life stories all over again. During our most recent family move it took two years for a circle of friends to develop. How long does it take you to connect in a trusting way with totally new friends? I’m thinking Marni’s mother is still developing those relationships.
We’re twenty-one years in Florida now. Our house has a homey look that fits our cold weather belongings, though I initially wrestled with, “Do we have to change all our household belongings to fit in here? What colors do people decorate with here?” I wasn’t looking forward to replacing our New England eclectic look and travel keepsakes with Florida flamingos and all things pink and aqua.
Thankfully, we stayed who we are and let our household unfold itself, no matter what trends and colors came and went. Although, we could have used some help from Marni. Hunter green hasn’t been the latest hot color for quite a while and it’s hard to find, but she surely knows where it’s hiding.
What holds me together and inspires me as fads and colors come and go is the peace my spirit has when I’m just me, the way God created me to be. He didn’t give me a passion (or budget!) for redecorating every time something new is in the stores. Though He did give me enough creativity and friends to learn from. The more I read about His character traits in His Word, the more content I am with what I have, and the more inclined I am toward giving away and tossing what’s not-so-treasured. (I remain a work in progress.)
In case you’re wondering, the 2017 Color of the Year is Poised Taupe. Sherwin Williams has declared it so. Just as there’s a story behind every choice for the design world’s annual Color of the Year, there’s a story behind every change God makes in my life. What I truly value is that He is the One in charge of those changes, whatever they look like. He is continually working on transforming my inner house. And He’s partial to jewel tones.
God is a Master Designer who always has time for everyone who looks in His direction. He’s also quite an Author. His words capture my full attention. The Word tells me He is the same in every setting and situation. He never changes. I can depend on Him. Hebrews 13:8 declares that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Knowing this gives me a sense of being content. I trust Him. And I never have to wait long for what He wants to say.