It’s big and brown and so not me…

At least that is what I first thought.

Brand new it retails for $1,000. It’s king size, saddle leather (though a bit scuffed up in places) with brass nail trim on the arms and across the top of the camel back. And it is so not me.

Nick and Kristin bought it from a secondhand shop across from the grocery store in town after spotting it out by the road with a $100 price tag. Nick’s $50 offer was accepted and the big brown leather couch inhabited their living room for over a year before moving into ours two days ago.

Our home interior will never be featured in a magazine. It has always been an eclectic blend of colors and styles that has included a few heirloom antiques, multiple hand-me-downs and bits and pieces of whatever we could afford when we absolutely needed it. I love it.

The last piece of furniture that we purchased new was a futon when Emily was nine years old. After moving mother’s hospital bed and equipment into the master bedroom, Louis and I moved into Emily’s room and Emily – bless her sweet little heart – moved onto the living room couch until we could buy a futon and move her into the study.

Shortly after Nick and Kristin were married over three years ago we gave them our couch and moved the beechwood framed dark blue calico futon into the living room where it remains today along with an 80’s entertainment center, “beach condo” style coffee and end tables, two over-sized recliners, and the “new” dark brown leather couch.

That couch is so not me and yet it is me all at the same time. If you’d seen my Christmas tree – with it’s assortment of handcrafted, child-crafted, gifted and store-bought ornaments with no particular theme or color, you’d know exactly what I mean. This couch may not be the one I’d choose if I were doing the buying and choosing, but it’s not difficult to see that my perfectionist tendencies stopped way short of my interior decorating, and that being the case, the monster couch fits right in.

You didn’t think I’d post photos of a large brown scruffy camel-back leather couch with brass nail head trim when there were gorgeous tiny purple wildflowers growing in the pasture, did you?

Polygala polygama (sounds like the name of a sorority, doesn’t it?)

We’re not big party people here on Pollywog Creek (Louis’s internal alarm clock is permanently set on “farm time”), but I do enjoy staying awake on new year’s eve to finish packing up Christmas decorations, preparing for our traditional southern New Year’s Day feast, reflecting and savoring the waning moments of the old and gratefully breathing in the freshness of the new.

There’s something about a new year that seems to give us permission to change – to resolve to live differently in one way or another in the days ahead, but how very grateful I am that January 1st is only a day just like every other day on the calendar. It is because of God’s kindness and His great love that I am given strength and mercy to live differently every single day – for He is the One Who makes all things new.

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

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