I have recently experienced some extreme highs and lows. I recently met all of my long term goals in a short term time frame. I was on the mountain top. I plunged to the valley, though, when a trauma in our family rocked our world. It could have been worse, and we are relieved at the outcome, but as someone who has experienced trauma before, the invading thoughts that come post trauma are overwhelming. You simply can't take a break from thinking about the pain without something reminding you that you are hurting. After a week of racing thoughts, my mind let up Saturday night, and I made something to hang over our DIY headboard that I am building.
I am thrilled to pieces because it's one of a kind, but inspired by two of my favorite brands- Anthropologie and Ballard Designs. The Ballard Designs memo board was the inspiration for the background of the piece. The flower reminds me of the texture of my Rivulets shams from Anthropologie.
Here it is hanging in place above the bed. The flower is made of coffee filters. That's right. Over 250 of them. I arranged them in a circle, gluing them in layers until they resembled what you see. Not only does this flower represent an aesthetic that I love, but it has a deep meaning because of a project I did a few months ago.
I was asked to create some simplistic decor for our church's women's retreat (By the way, if you want a church home where you will feel welcome, Keystone Church could be that place. EVERYONE welcome!).
Immediately, I was inspired to create a giant frame with chicken wire and these giant flowers.
This sweet woman is Susan Thomas whose vision for this retreat was simple decor. I can't introduce her like that, though, because I have the privilege to call her friend and serve on the worship team alongside her. She is our pastor Brandon's wife and is an amazing licensed professional counselor. She is extremely gifted at fixing perceptions of relationships and pointing to truth that heals the hurt. She runs the women's ministry and has even authored a life changing book on the powerful subject of female friendships.
Since it would be the back drop of worship and every speaker, the desire of my heart was to bring a feminine atmosphere to these women that would reflect their feminine hearts back to them. It's like a giant version of the frames with chicken wire that are so popular.
This is my beautiful friend Leasha. She's a student ministry leader, wife, and mother of 3, and she's also my workout buddy! She is such an encourager. Her sisters are the only reason I know about a Kreg Jig. My friends John and Cara and my husband all helped build this frame, and I finally got to use one. The Kreg Jig was a vital part of making this big, heavy frame sturdy. When I drew it on paper, I totally underestimated the engineering. What a learning experience!
I believe this project was designed by God for me to heal some hurt. Creative people, don't we have trouble on the follow through? We sparkle with glitter and smile rainbows at our latest inspiration, but mid-project, we are ready to give up. This has been me my whole life. This idea came fast, but the journey over the four days it took to implement the idea were full of moments of worry and uncertainty. It had to be dismantled to travel on the trailer to the retreat center. My friends Shelly, Candace, Laura, and Erin were helping me as I frantically tried to make the pieces fit together as I had brainstormed. Literally, this was finished in the nick of time before all these women arrived.
Oh, how I prayed and cried and sang as the band Epic Rescue warmed up, around this big ole frame that was lying all over the stage floor in many pieces still. They totally focused, graciously seeming unaffected by the mess and panic-stricken lady. Natalie was instead filled with encouragement and sweet words as progress was made. She shared this clear picture on Instagram. Hope she doesn't mind I borrowed it!
I think this whole project respresents me and a journey I have been on my whole life.
A faith journey. A personal journey. I might feel like I don't have it together, but that doesn't mean I'm defined by my circumstances. I am not defined by the hectic chaos or trauma, but by the refining of my soul. And I am not alone in this journey. These people mentioned above have hugged me, listened to me, encouraged me, prayed for me, and pointed me in the right direction. So has my husband.
My husband is brawny and strong. He is constant. He is warm and full of life. This reflects us both. We've been married 10 years, and we are really able to appreciate how wonderfully these opposite identities come together as one.
If you have been following this blog over the last year, you know that I planned on finishing our room last August. I was stuck for so many reasons. I'm working through that, though, and I'm determined to work hard to bring all these elements pictured below together in a way that continues to marry the masculine Sean and feminine me.
I'm determined to quiet the invading thoughts and make this a refuge where our minds can rest.
For now, you can check out the other posts about our bedroom makeover here.
Thanks for spending some time in the deep water with me! It calms my soul.
Keep up, Honey!