Tag Archives: cleaning

The Story Behind our Blue Chair

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SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Our blue chair has a story behind it. I still remember the day we selected it. It didn’t come from a furniture store. Rather we saw it on the way home from a speaking contest. I was dressed like a princess (because I was speaking about my fairytale marriage, and how letting go of the things I thought I wanted (temporal things) enabled me to hold on to the things that really mattered most). I wore a dark blue flowing silk gown, high heels. I even had a tiara.
As we neared our home stretch, I saw this blue chair, sitting by the road. “Oh Jeff, look! A chair just like I was praying for, for our family room.” With little money, we couldn’t just go out and purchase furniture.
Jeff rolled his eyes and giggled at me as I hopped out of the car, in my blue flowing dress and high heels. “Do you want your tiara princess?” He joked, extending his hand my way with the crown.
I glanced back at him and smiled, dodging mud puddles, and keeping my eye on the chair. As I neared it, I noticed a rip in the fabric, down from one of the decorative front buttons. But I could fix it. I glanced at the legs of the chair. The fabric had come unhemmed. But a needle and thread could do that up nice. There was some obvious soiling beneath the arm rests, but I had faith that with some scrubbing and old fashioned elbow grease, it would come clean.
“What do you think?” Jeff hollered out the car window.
I glanced at Jeff. “I think we can fix it up. Let’s take it home.”
I grabbed one side of the chair, Jeff grabbed the other. Together we placed the chair in the trunk.
He skillfully managed the car down the streets and to our driveway. We scurried out and lifted the chair from the trunk, and walked it back to the patio. Jeff drove off to work. I went to task.
First I sprayed the chair down with disinfectant. Then I lathered it with antibacterial soap, scrubbing off all the layers of soiling. I rinsed off the suds and let the chair dry in the sunlight. I soaked and scrubbed the cushion. I laundered the cushion cover and then dried it on the clothesline. After the chair had dried, I threaded a needle and carefully mended the upholstery.
That night, when Jeff arrived home, we added our “new” chair to the family room. It not only worked, it matched our decor perfectly. It has become one our favorite comfy spots to enjoy.
My chair story reminds me of my marriage story. As a woman whose husband experienced job loss and depression, I know marriage is not easy. But I want to offer hope. Christian marriage is a cleansing process. With a lot of prayer, and following the Bible’s principles, God’s mending and scrubbing at the stains of the hearts of imperfect humans, marriage can be a treasure and a comfort. Maybe we’ll think of the little blue chair next time our marriages challenge us.

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Jump into Fall

 

jumping with sun 2I confess, this is the time of year when I struggle a little. It’s not that I’m not in touch with Jesus. It’s just that season… leaves fall, the wind blows, temperatures get colder (unless you’re blessed enough to live in a warm climate year round). So what can you do?

  1. Try on a new attitude-spring doesn’t have to be the only time you get a fresh start. Fall can be a starting point instead of the ending just as the Jewish tradition has looked at the night as the start of the new day. We can choose to look at fall as a sort of beginning, a prologue, or an introduction to all things new! By the way, that’s one of my favorite verses “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone” (NIRV).
  2. Re-arrange the furniture-I once met someone who admitted, “this is the only way I can arrange my family room.” Okay so to some this may sound radical… but what would it hurt if you moved that armchair into another corner and placed a cabinet in its place? Sometimes rearranging furniture can really add zip to a room. Check out some fun ideas at Better Homes and Gardens. Just remember where you put things so you don’t do a Dick Van Dyke over the ottoman!
  1. Add a little paint- (paint you may already have just waiting in a can, around the house)… There are new methods to paint like these vertical striped walls which place your seal of style on any room.
  2. Thoroughly clean everything- from the walls to the curtains to the carpets … who says spring is the only time to clean? Check out Real Simple for ideas. It just makes sense to get your house ship shape for the holidays now before the rush. Cleaning can be a lot of fun, put on a favorite Christian Praise CD and pump up the volume! Although many verses in the Bible talk about cleanliness, the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness isn’t in the Bible, rather it was a phrase apparently coined by the founder of Methodism. But surely our God is a God of order. As we look at the changing of seasons, and the intricate systems he has designed within plant and animal life, we see his beautiful orderly mind. God is not a God of chaos, but of order.
  3. Set some goals before the new year approaches-weight loss and exercise can lower risks of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Walking, an aerobics video, or even dancing to the songs on Christian radio stations like Family Life Radio and K-Love for 30 minutes can really add uplift to your day (your family can even join you).
  4. Join a Bible study-chances are you may have some Bible study groups in your area you didn’t even know about. I benefited greatly from Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). When my husband Jeff was going through long term debilitating depression, my friends at Bible Study Fellowship were my life-line of encouragement! God used my teaching leader Bonnie, to speak God’s words into the places of my life that needed it most, reassuring me and helping me know the joy of perseverance. I actually served as a BSF small group leader for a few seasons because I saw the benefits. If you are well-grounded in the Bible, you can also ask your pastor if you can start a Bible study at church. You don’t have to write it. Many Christian publishers specialize in Bible study material. Publishers such as Discovery House  and Lifeway have some great Bible centered book studies from which to choose. Think about this time as a gift to you and your group! When you grow close to friends through Bible study and praying it creates bonds that just may continue not just through the fall season, but for the rest of life.

This is by no means the entire list of things you and I can do to jump into Fall. I invite you to add your ideas to this blog so others can benefit.

From my heart to yours,

Tammy Bovee