Thursday, November 13, 2014

They said... He said...

"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 

"Buy a white slipcover," they said... 
     "It will show stains. But you can wash it and put it right back on! It's a clean, simple, look to pull a room together." 

I inherited a good couch from my sister. It was tan and in good condition- minus the cat scratching post that the sides had become. It was perfect for the playroom. I had always wanted a white couch, so I took to blog land to seek the expertise of veterans of the white slipcover. One such blog had a seamstress make an inexpensive shabby chic, ruffle, couch slipcover from heaven... I jumped over to the chic seamstress's website for a quote on my couch. Two days later, I received the practical quote of $750... And by practical, I mean someone who has a trust fund set aside to specifically purchase a slipcover. I contemplated following the advice of one thrifty blogger by throwing a white sheet over the couch and strategically tucking and pinning until a desirable fit was achieved. I found an old green sheet turned drop cloth before dropping the big bucks at Wal Mart for a new white sheet... No tucking or pinning could keep the sheet in place with 3 kids, 2 cats, and a husband that abused the new to us couch on a daily basis... I found a friend in blog land who had purchased an Ikea slipcover and did a happy dance while typing in my credit card information to get me one. The husband put it on the day it was delivered. It took me a week to get over the imperfect fit (an inch or two too short in the back). But really, it did provide a type of serene sense of relaxation in the middle of what was usually a battleground of dolls and play trucks. However, my friend, if I can even call her that anymore,  forgot to clue me in on how frustrating it was to put the piece of happiness back on once washed. I let a few stains happen. You know, the usual I'm going to use the couch as a chalkboard, jump on it like a
Trampoline with muddy socks, pee on the couch like its the best cloth diaper ever to touch my hiney, and let's sleep on here forgetting we have a Frappuccino in our lap kind of stains... My handy dandy Norwex detergent and hot water, heavy soaking washer removed the stains with one cycle. Woo hoo! I do love this slipcover, I thought... My friend had said to dry the cover to dampness and then put on so I would not have to iron. Isn't she a gem for getting me out of ironing. I mean, I do enough ironing with the hand towels, underwear, and fancy silk dresses we wear daily. I came upstairs to re assemble some peace in the playroom, occasionally glancing at my son doing his seat work all on his own, the gas logs bringing a warmth up to us, and my cat preparing her paws for her bed to be made. After halfway fitting the first cushion, I had to remove a jacket, then socks, wind my hair up in a bun and give myself a pep talk to do the same thing 5 more times. It was a full body workout. I deserved a Coke and sugar cookie for my efforts. I pushed, squeezed, kicked, twisted, and finally had it all together. I laid down and cried... Really yall, I cried... So to the sweet real life friends that came to my daughters birthday and said, "I love you, but white? Really..." Well, I love you back, so much so that the next time it's wash day for the dreaded white slipcover, you're coming to help me. 

While I let my tears dry and sucked in my silly petty ways of letting things get to me, I started in prayer. You see, getting those cushions into their place was therapy for me. I have had many adjustments in the past four months. All have been met with either skeptical words of love or wise discouragement. But it really hasn't taken me long to be shown God's grace in taking me through the impractical to a place that can only show His glory. 

For starters, homeschooling Dallas was the absolute last choice on "my" list of options for his education. Plenty of people told me it would be too hard with two babies under feet. And they're right, some days are too hard... because I let them be. I rely on my strength and patience. But the Lord reminds me "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13 

When Whitney Gallaway moved from Georgia to South Carolina to serve where God needed her family, I had well meaning friends tell me not to get any ideas in taking her place at our church. I was too busy and just learning how to say "No" to overwhelming responsibilities. However, I knew that their moving would reposition my place of service. I determined in my heart to seek Gods will above mans. Two Bible lessons, a Bible study group start up, and a few ladies seeking counsel later have shown that I do not even have a clue what my life's purpose is in connection to God's timing. Palms up, head down, I will not be listening to naysayers... "Watch ye and pray, lest he enter into temptation. The Spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." Mark 14:38 

I woke up the other morning feelkng discouraged and lacking... My biggest enemy had my number and called me out on it. It wasn't long before I was unsure of my husband's faithfulness, my children's preparedness, or my own hearts motives. The Enemy doesn't have a blog or iPhone to direct thoughts into our minds, but he does work through others. Those people saying there are "9 signs of a cheating husband", "Public school is the only way for your child", or "Your judgement is leading others to hell" have no clue what my God is doing. 
"The Lord will fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." Exodus 14:14 

My God has painted a pretty picture for each and every person's life. I'm not about to let someone else purchase mine, frame it in a distasteful way, and hang it up in their front room to have their guests criticize. I will take it home with me and hang it in my prayer closet. Untouched and admired by me, myself, and I...