There is nothing quite like it: the joy of creating a home.
We’re in the process of furnishing our long-longed for and now much loved holiday cottage. Each piece we place in it, from the small (a delicate net to protect food) to the large (the utterly comfortable beds that the delivery men struggled to carry up our steep, narrow hill), makes it feel a little more homelike.
Some things we have brought from our other home; some are gifts; a few we’ve made or upcycled; some inherited and others bought new. When we need to buy, we are trying to support local businesses, which has led to wonderful excursions as we’ve discovered the treasures to be found in the local hospice shop, antique and vintage emporiums, and art galleries.
This morning, I watched my husband and Simon from Kabula Ltd. (https://www.facebook.com/kabulaltd/) carry six dining chairs and two bar stools up to our little 1930s semi, the latest additions to our seaside home.
We’d searched for some time for chairs that would sit well in our kitchen diner, fitting with the décor and our renovated dining table. I’d pictured something like the fashionable Ercol style but hoped for something a little more original that therefore wouldn’t date. Back in December, we visited an enormous barn in a small rural industrial unit, crammed full of old furniture from house clearances. And here, right at the back, we found a dining set with interesting backs but uglified by thick dust and even thicker dark, almost black varnish, along with some equally dark and wobbly bar stools.
We thought, underneath it all, these might be something like the chairs we had been searching for. We hoped they could turn out to be beautiful.
As we waited for the company to completely strip them and clear varnish them before delivery, I have to confess, I forgot exactly what they looked like. But when they arrived today, they took my breath away. They weren’t beautiful – they were stunning.
Sure enough, under all that age and awful colour, was detailed carving, a lightness of design, and the natural rays and rings of the original tree, each pattern unique to each seat. I barely recognised them. And they looked perfect in our setting.
And that’s the thing about a search, isn’t it? Sometimes we think we know what we’re looking for but God surprises us with something much more: something more beautiful, something more wonderful, something that more than fulfils our hopes and dreams, something better than we could ever have envisaged.
Looking at my life, I know that’s so true in my marriage and my family. Life in all its abundance is what Jesus promised those who love and follow Him – but only He knows the full extent of that. What an adventure to find out.