Stormy Re-posts & Furniture Re-arrangement

Seven months ago I published my fifth post on The Writer’s Reverie.  At the time, I had only a faint sense of inclement weather ahead.  I believe the Lord was preparing my heart for a year that would get progressively darker for me.  A stormy year. 
He had already given me my word for the year:  GRACIOUS.  I would be challenged to respond “graciously” in situations due to arise.  Situations that challenge one to respond graciously cannot be friendly, nor greatly desired.

To be sure, situations arose – and even now – swirl about me, that are decidedly unfriendly, challenging me in all things pertaining to graciousness and humility.  Apart from weathering this storm, I cannot hope for the cleansing a good storm can bring.  I am challenged.  My umbrella is leaking.  My galoshes have holes in them.  I am weary and wondering how to properly navigate in the blinding rains. 

So, I thought I’d re-post this encouraging word I wrote – to myself – and remember as we move through autumn into winter – when it was springtime in my Blogworld . . .

Well, the spring bin is emptied, and the living room and dining room are refreshed with seasonal decor celebrating bird houses, bunnies, and bouquets.  Been moving some furniture around, cleaning under couches, behind dressers, and between bookcases.  Made quite a mess in the process of the transition, too.  Now, though, I can sit back and enjoy all the new little dust catchers decking the halls with the icons of spring – the season of new life.

A lovely arrangement of furnishings around a cozy fire. 
Not my own home (stock photo), but a room I’d be at home in
if it were mine . . .

I enjoy changing out my room decor every couple of months – using my home as a three dimensional canvas upon which I arrange the paint (decor) to create pictures and settings filled with inspiration and story!  I have each season packed in plastic bins in the basement and rotate wall hangings, wreaths, lighted village houses, and all manner of doo-dads according to different themes. 

Occasionally, I have to move furniture around to accommodate the changes.   I picked up this little habit from my mother-in-law.   Every time I visited her home it looked completely different.  Couches moved to the other side of the room, tables from one room moved to another, lampshades changed out, color schemes switched.  It was like walking into a new  house – and always arranged with the most exquisite taste. 

One time, I actually got to be a part of helping transform the living room.  What a job!  In the transition process, it was quite a mess.  She had a plan, though, and it wasn’t until the last pillow was in place, that one realized how perfect the new plan was.  She would look over her work, well pleased – and already planning how she would re-arrange things in another couple of weeks.

Re-arrange.  Change.  A cup filled with equal portions of sweet and sour.  Like – a storm.

When I was a little girl, I was afraid of thunderstorms.  They were so loud – the thunder startling me; the lightning flashes shocking me.  Sometimes the rumbling seemed to shake the house.  There was such a deep sense of anxiety within my little heart as I was forced to wait out these violent outbursts of nature. 

Mother told me the thunder was nothing to be afraid of because it was just God re-arranging the furniture in Heaven.  Such comforting words gave my little brain something to think about as I pictured a great, robed, old man with flowing long gray hair and beard pushing couches and tables to and fro on the clouds.

Eventually, I learned the truth from one of the kids at school.  Her mother had told her that thunder was actually God bowling.  More fodder for thought and bizarre pictures in my mind’s eye.

Thankfully, science class presented me with a totally logical explanation of the phenomenon.  But, for this little girl – I still couldn’t get the idea out of my mind that behind it all – God was at work in some way.  Of course, though I grew to discount the furniture moving and bowling hypothesis, I just couldn’t get the words of my mom’s favorite hymn out of my head:

Oh, Lord, My God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works
Thy hands have made
I see the stars,
I hear the roaring thunder,
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed.

Storms, thunder, rumbling anxiety within; startling, shocking, in some cases.  Cloud vapors are being transformed – re-arranged and changed into water, a necessity for life and growth.  And, at the end of the storm, when those clouds finally clear, and the rumblings roll away allowing the sun to peak through with comforting rays of warmth and light . . . a rainbow.

Lately, it seems everyone I’m talking to is experiencing some sort of a storm.  God – moving furniture – re-arranging – changing.   In the midst of the storms, anxiety rumbles and upsets interior furnishings in people’s hearts.  Transformation from one season to another is messy business – like my living room on the day I’m changing seasonal decor.  The status-quot is jostled and overturned.  A new work replaces an old work.. 

Thankfully, as with the thunderstorm, God is behind the whole thing.  Through these life-storms, things are cleared away, like last season’s decor – that which seemed important for a time.  Things are moved about, like our comfortable routines – a job, a ministry, a loved one, a lifestyle, a worldview, the state of the union.

In awesome wonder, consider – these are the works of God’s hands, re-arranging the decor for a new season.  Greet the storm with the words of Jesus, who spoke with calm reserve to the fierce winds, jostling waves, and thundering skies by saying, “Peace. Be still.”  He had a plan that would not be thwarted.  He planned to get to the other side of the sea, storms though, there may be.

Are you finding that your furniture and decor is being changed – re-arranged?  New job?  No job?  New relationship?  Suddenly, no relationship? Unexpected windfall?  Unexpected expense?  Lifestyle adjustments?  Worldviews in a whirl?  Government shutdowns?  Society going to hell in a hand-basket?  Whether good or bad, every fresh circumstance brings change in some area of our lives.  Some changing and re-arranging is welcome – perhaps the long awaited answer to prayer – a refreshing, gentle shower.  Some, may not be quite so welcome – the violent thunderstorm aforementioned.  Seeing all as the works of God’s hands for ultimately accomplishing His perfect purposes in our lives provides opportunities to exercise our faith – with peace – being still – confident that God intends for us to successfully get to the other side of the sea stronger and better equipped to move forward than when we first set out.

When I dismantle my last season’s Santas and snowmen, and spread out my new season’s birdhouses, bunnies, and bouquets all over the living room, dining room, and kitchen amid plastic bins and paper wrapping, the house is a mess.  It looks like a storm blew through!  But, not to despair – I do have a plan – and like my mother-in-law, when the last pillow is placed – the direction I was planning to go all along is made clear even to the home-interior-decor challenged.

Rainbows at the end of the storm.  Birds singing once the sound of thunder subsides.  The grass and leaves glowing greener, soaking in the showers of refreshing rains.  Sit back and enjoy the new seasonal decor – what ‘ere the circumstances may be – God is in control – and an old hand at moving furniture.  

Sharing the “storms” with Michelle at Graceful’s Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday.
 
Dear Friends:  This coming week I expect to be schedule swamped.  I may be lurking with some blog reading, and have a couple of pre-written drafts saved for posting, but may not have a chance to post as often as I have been for a bit.  Hope to be back in the swing of things soon – as skies clear . . .

 

Comments

  1. Such encouraging words, Kathy. I just love how God speaks to us. I have had the wonderful joy of being blessed by the words of others. And I have also been surprised when God uses some of my *own* words to re-bless me! I truly believe that He uses blogging as a tool to shape and mold us. I know that my faith has grown tremendously over my past year of blogging. He and I “hammer” out the details of my life (and sometimes He’s had to *move some furniture*!!) In it all, He helps me when I wrestle and when I coast.

    Always there, He is ever near – and He speaks to me.

    Continuing to pray for your challenging situation. It is only by focusing on His grace to us that we have any hope of extending it to others!

    GOD BLESS!

  2. Oh, my. I’m speechless. Perfectly.

  3. These wise words to yourself are well worth reposting; thanks for sharing them with us. I hope your galoshes no longer have holes in them, dear blog friend and that the year is heading in to a bright season for you.

  4. Thank you for reminding us, He is always with us, through the storms of life and the bright sunny days.
    We are all praying for you. Wishing you happy days ahead.
    Peace and Love, Linda

  5. beautifully written my bloggy friend. Hugs

  6. Your post hits home in so many ways!! HE really is with us especially in our dark moments! We just need to stay strong and Believe, that there is a purpose for all we face.

    I think just like parents and teachers here on earth will push us to be the best we can be (though at times it may seem like they are picking on us) they see what our capabilities are and work to bring them out in us so we may flourish. I think HE does the same He knows each of our strengths and the detours we go on are to make us stronger so that we are better equipped to help others – though at the time it seems like its causing more limitations in us.

    Sending you warm heart felt hugs, thoughts and prayers…xo HHL

  7. SUch a fabulous post filled with inspiration and hope ..Thanks you for sharing the storm in such lovely encouraging words, my Friend… Peace and Happiness to you always… HUGS

  8. You had write such an awesome things. Your all the words are very interesting and fantastic. Hats off for your writing.

  9. Oh Kathy, this is just beautiful, and I can’t tell you how much I relate to this. I relate not only because I was a scared little girl (and am a scared 49 year old woman) but because I long for the “springtime in my blog world”. Personally, I love your mom’s explanation the best because it really IS a rearranging of sorts.

    Your posts was a kind of medicine for me.

  10. Yet again, I’m hit with the double whammy of being behind in my blog writing and visiting and then being troubled by computer whirling when I actually do take the time to visit and comment. That’s what happened here with a comment I just tried to make. It’s frustrating beyond words.

    I won’t try to remember exacttly what I just said. I will just say that I relate very much to both the little girl in your post and the grown up who is in the storm or rearrannging.

  11. Oh Miss Kathy! I do hope things are less stormy for you by now…

    We are coming down south! Probably going to stop by on Sunday… will call you to set up something. I am bringing your teacup. I need to email you and have to find your address. Chat soon!

    PS…I used to love to rearrange when i was a single gal but can’t do it so much now. But it always brought about a feeling of fresh change and outlook. I encourage it!

  12. Missing you Miss Kathy, but understand. Great post.
    Lady Linda

  13. Thank you for posting this, dear blog friend! I hope the storm passes for you soon! I am printing this, because I suspect I will need this reminder again and again!

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