You may recall my resolution here not to buy magazines this year. As I scanned the magazines in the supermarket aisle recently I was challenged again and resolute to hold on to this edit. The latest Real Living magazine has finally given voice to all those suggestions, ideas, prompts that I get when I am actively engaged in reading design and home mags. Decor Lust.
Usually the mags tell us how to de-clutter, restore, renovate, renew and make great claims to life changing goodness. But here on the front cover we are told we will want to lust. We will have an uncontrolled and insatiable desire for…..a new sofa, lamp, flooring or designer vase. I suggest the lure will be subtle, your wants will convert to needs as you flick through the pages and before you know it you will have made an online purchase, watched several items on e-bay or gone out and bought it. What do you think? Do you decor lust? Edit it. Today.
Give thanks for a clean home. For space, for shelter, warmth and for the welcome you are able to offer family and friends. May they desire welcome, connection, community and Him through your home.
It is always exciting when a new business opens. And especially when it means there is more good coffee in town. In recent weeks our small regional town has seen retail stores close, several large car dealerships shut their doors and another chain store launch their ‘closing down’ sale. So our home town is feeling flat. But the warm welcome of a new cafe offers more than a good coffee to the local resident. It offers hope. Hope for future growth. More employment. More opportunities for people to connect and build community.
I am sure that when this idea for a new venture was being sketched out on paper napkins over drinks no one would have dreamt that it was going to be about more than just the food or the coffee. It would be about hope. Hope for them. Hope for us and for the whole community.
He is the designer of all Hope. He knew. That gives me Hope.
“Focus your attention and creativity on basic things, things that people need and want. Then look for ways to enlarge, improve, and enhance your big idea.”
Are you starting to acknowledge the fact that the new year is only just around the corner? Are you imagining what 2013 might look like for you and how you might harness your creative energy for an amazing project? Well I am…..in fact as you may know I think we are all creative and we use this energy less or more depending on the season we find ourself in. Stewart’s idea that a great project may involve improving or enhancing something we all need and want is probably a good one if you want to take your project big time and make money. But people need a whole range of things less tangible and not quantifiable or sellable. People need good neighbours, community, friendship, support, new ideas, opportunities to network……..
So as you consider your “projects” for 2013 an how you might spend your time, consider focusing your attention and creativity on how you might enhance the relationships and community you find yourself a part of today. Your office, classroom, blog world, family, kindergarten, playgroup, book club, sports team or Facebook page. Transform the basic things. People matter.
It is hard for me not drinking coffee and honouring coffee dates with friends. What does one drink when you are not drinking coffee? Thankfully our favourite haunt Roxburgh House has plenty to offer. The Rox is owned by friends and it is run with a passion for coffee, food and the local community. A short visit to the “Rox” becomes a catch up with so many different faces….as you share a tasting plate, warm yourself by the fire or wait in line with others during the mid morning coffee rush. It is a place for sharing food and telling stories. And Matt Preston, Australian food critic rates the coffee very highly indeed. Do you have a special place, that “third place” where you can meet new and old friends?
So I am a bit slow on the uptake of Pinterest. After watching every blogger I follow and friends on social media adopt this online pin board with vigour I have finally succumbed. For a girl who loves inspiration, magazine and new things it is perfect. And conveniently is it a way for me to collate all the things that I find and want to revisit on a rainy day. Using a FB platform Pinterest allows you to pin pics that you like around a range of topics of your choosing. Food, Family. Fashion. Craft. Photography. Design. This list is endless. It is helping me plan a quilt and a bathroom decoration.
If you want to find out more read all about it here. At the moment it is fun and a way of connecting like minded people but I can imagine it being useful for education and for interests groups as a way of sharing things. Could it be a new application for teaching and learning? A tool for the classroom. Just asking…..
I don’t regard myself as a great story teller. I am not the one who holds court at a party with some great yarn to tell. But this doesn’t mean I don’t have stories to tell. I do, we all do.
My man and I have been considering this notion of “storytelling”as integral to how we do life together in a community. When we meet people, catch up with friends for a coffee or over a meal we tell each other stories. The story of what you have been doing, how the kids are fairing at school, how you got on with that difficult colleague at work, the story of getting more rest over the last week. Our stories are often pedestrian and we assume they don’t have a narrative highlight or turning point, so others may not be interested. But our life is one big story. God’s story and good news sets the scene and our own tale is intertwined into that one; sometimes we resist, rebel and sometimes our story is one of reconciliation and contrition. Making our story more in tune with His.
In the last few days I have heard stories of marriage hardship, of addiction to work, of temptation with porn, of sickness, bad judgement, hope and hilarity. Stories about new purchases, new ideas, travel and the imminent death of a grandmother. Tales of a poor diagnoses, of bullying, new friendships and people making new connections. Others have stories of melancholy, of restlessness, discontent and fatigue. Our stories all intersect. We gather, we share and we connect and hopefully reflect His story in it all.
Are you comfortable with your small group, your network of friends and family? Do you ever find yourself anxious about the idea of your friendship circle being infiltrated by an outsider, a newcomer to town? I do.
If you answered no to the last question I suspect you were being less than honest with yourself. We all get comfortable and confident in what we know and who we know. There is safety in understanding, anticipating the status quo. But I would argue there is also the danger of becoming narrow minded, inward looking and perhaps unintentionally exclusive. Having lived in both rural and urban settings, both in Australia and overseas, I know only too well the sting of a cold shoulder or the silence when you have extended hospitality or an offer of friendship, however tentative. People are reluctant to get to know the new person. Why do we struggle to open our doors, our minds and out hearts to new friendships?
We fear that the goodness and blessing that comes from our friends may be hindered or compromised by new friends. And it may. But most likely, being on mission as a group to extend a welcome to others or to intentionally expand your group or network by engaging in a community activity together may bring abundant goodness that one cannot really describe in words. We all know we get to know people best when we do something together, share a task, an event or experience.
At times we need to seek those experiences and those people who are there in the shadows, waiting to be brought into the light and into friendship.