When we were home schooling I came by an accidental education beyond anything that was taught to me in public education. It was during some research for material about the Holocaust that I read about these words that were scratched into the concrete wall of a concentration camp. I could only imagine the intensity of what it must have meant to this prisoner to be able to reach inside oneself and find strength through the realization of these words. Through the years I will reach for this verse for comfort and strength because I believe…even when:
“I believe in the sun even when it is not shining And I believe in love, even when there’s no one there. And I believe in God, even when He is silent.“
Let’s face it – January is dark and dreary most of the time and we are all waiting for the sun to come out to stay so we can stand on that mountain top again. When the sun is out I see things differently, the struggles seem less daunting and the possibilities seem more appealing. The reality is that I need the sun to shine down on me. Truthfully, I need The Son to shine on my soul.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to depend only on myself or those around me to overcome the darkness that I see in my own life and in the world around me. I could not make it without the knowledge of a saviour; or while pondering the infinite vastness of the world, having just a glimpse of an intelligent designer holding it all in his hands. I keep reminding myself during January that He Lives! Yes, my Redeemer Lives – The Bible tells me so in the Book of Job, Chapter 19, Verses:
23 “Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! 24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever! 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[a] 26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in[b] my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!
While you are moving through January, sometimes with a heavy heart, remember to reach for the Son. I find Him in His Word, pure and simple, by reading in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. I find the Son in the old hymns and sermons by pastors like John MacArthur or Voddie Baucham. I find Him by reaching out to someone else feeling blue and trying to pour encouragement into their lives.
It has been awhile since I last posted on this blog. I hired someone to upgrade my blog to something more unique, it was never finished, and was left in a big mess. Today, I had some time and decided to see if I could fix it myself and I DID! Who knew I could figure this out by myself? I sure didn’t think so. The sun is definitely coming up on The Irish Lady blog. Stay tuned for future posts.
Where I live and work is always a fusion of new and old. Somehow it just happens that way. Perhaps, it is because the majority of the properties are antique houses with so much darn character you just fall in love instantly. I had the privilege of decorating this quaint bed and breakfast beauty. It is open to the public by reservation only – year round. You can visit the website here: http://www.thecottageatchappellhill.com/
The following photo is the sitting area of the master of The Cottage at Chappell Hill.
Here is a peek in the kitchen area where a buffet and plate rack serve as the coffee and breakfast center.
An up close of the sink area. My client has a fantastic eye for good bargains and would find a lot of things on her own. She would ask, “Can you use this?” Of course I can, what great taste she has…
There was an old fireplace mantel that I had used many times for store displays. It received a coat of chalk paint and serves as the headboard.
A view of the modern living area or front parlor as they would say in the “olden days”. Some of the oil paintings are from local artists depicting everyday life from that era.
A view of the bath with the buffet turned sink vanity. An old crate mounted to the wall serves double duty as a towel holder.
A bit of a bounce around, but I wanted to share the view of the kitchen with the clock because the owner’s hubby picked it out and thought it wouldn’t be used. Here it is in a place of prominence…I loved it.
The plate rack in this photo belonged to another client who was ready to let it go. Instead of placing it in my antique shop, I suggested it for this client. It serves multi purposes keeping the coffee bar free of plates, for storage and it is just so pretty. The dishes are a hodge podge of good deals found by the client.
One final shout out – The photography was done by Scott Hill, of Brenham Portrait Gallery, who has been shooting (no pun intended) Brenham and Chappell Hill families for years. You can find the website here: http://brenhamportraitgallery.com/photography/
When you live in a rural area a porch becomes a thing of necessity and the fifth room of the house. It can express the personality of the home and exist as a functioning extension of the home. My own home has three porches: the breezeway where mostly shoes wind up by the mudroom door, projects sit to dry and it serves as the gateway to the garden, pasture and garage; and,
the front where guests enter and we sit in the mornings to avoid the hot summer sun that rises in the back of the house;
the back porch serves as a sitting area, dining area, grilling area, roasting area in the fireplace and downright hangout for everyone in the house.
This settee was a fabulous find from an antique dealer who let me rummage through her storage units. She had this beauty tucked under some other things and it looked nothing like this. With new cushions and an updated paint job, I thought it turned out really well.
The next photos are of a screened porch that belongs to a client. We chose plush seating, outdoor lighting a minimal of accessories. My favorite are the old swinging doors used to accentuate the space for the small dining area you will see in the next photo and to break up the screened area while still providing that country view we all love.
A smaller table makes for a more intimate outdoor dining space.
All of these porch pictures are making me long for a crisp fall day so I can sit out on my porch with a good book and a warm cup of tea. Instead, I will have to settle for my secret place where the sun can’t reach and there is still just the slightest breeze catching the leaves to make for a comfortable spot out of the heat with a cool glass of iced tea…relaxing. (This was at dusk when the low lights are emerging before dark.)