Monday, November 13, 2017

On Table Beauty and Reduced Capacity

This week, the theme in photos will be setting a pretty table! I had two opportunities to host dinners at our home last week and my favorite part continues to be setting the table and making it pretty!

The cooler weather made a lovely backdrop to move outside and enjoy FALL! It was chilly and cozy and just so fun to snuggle under quilts huddled around the fire until way past bedtime.

Lately, the thing that keeps coming to mind is how I'm watching God reduce my capacity. That phrase just keeps coming back to me as I watch things that used to be easy for me really aren't right now. I think it is a season of parenting we are going through that is affecting our whole lives, it is fatigue that has built upon fatigue that reduces energy for extras and it is a humbling and a reminder that I need to rely on God's strength over my own.

In the midst of this capacity reduction, I am grateful that God still allowed me these opportunities to host and the life-giving art of setting a pretty table that has not been reduced but remains. This is a gift to me during a season of difficulty. Beauty blesses and feeds the soul of not only the one making the beauty but those who are invited to the table to partake of it and be fed by it as well.

This inviting to the table of beauty is a privilege for both the host and the guest - and I've gratefully been on both of those ends lately.

As I've thought about this reducing of capacity, I find myself wanting some sort of bullet list: What do to when God reduces your capacity; but I think right now - the lessons are just in the walking through it and the humbling of heart, mind and spirit. That word humble has been coming to mind a lot lately and I'm doing some Bible Study on that word to learn more of God's perspective on this character quality.

It reminds me of a church sign we drive by that recently said, "We don't need to think less of ourselves but rather think of ourselves less." Yes! That seems to fit the bill!

So, let's talk about this table - I didn't really have a vision in mind - just sort of layered one piece at a time and kept adding until I was pleased with the result. It is simple and homey and comforting which are all things I'm craving in my life right now.

The only things I bought were the sunflowers and some candles earlier in the day at Wal-Mart. The rest of the flowers and leaves came from our yard and I shopped our house for everything on the table. The pretty leaves on the table and acorns came from our recent camping trip!

David moved the fire pit and chairs out to the yard and prepared me a good pile of firewood for the evening too!

In addition to setting a pretty table, I just LOVE eating outside!!!!!

Have you ever experienced this reducing of capacity? Tell me your thoughts!


Anonymous said...

Yes, right there with you. I long to have the time and energy to do my usual baking and decorating, but I don't have the focus to do it. It makes me kind of sad, but I know this is a season. My husband is having some health issues and he and our kids need my full attention right now. I did find a candle I enjoy from White Barn candle, I think it is chestnut and clove. Just lighting that on the stove makes me feel happy and cozy.

*carrie* said...

Thanks for sharing, Monica. I am amazed by your talent for setting beautiful tables!

Pastor Brian shared a quote from Ann Voskamp yesterday to end our sermon--this may not be verbatim since it's from memory: "Bind yourself to Jesus and He will free you from all that binds you." Anyway, just something I've been thinking about.

Love you!

Wendi said...

Monica, I could have written this. Even though I am home most of the time I don't feel the ease to bake, clean, decorate and craft that I have in the past. I know that most of it has to do with the season I'm in. As much as I love our new role as a homeschool family it has added a new dynamic to my life. The energy I use to have for housework and fluffing the nest seems to be directed to math. That is the hardest subject for us and I find that most days after we struggle through there isn't much left of me for more then the basics. I hope that in time the season will shift and I will find the energy once again for the things I love. Know that you are not alone, my friend, and I've found that although these seasons are hard they add wisdom to our lives and thankfully don't last forever.

Lisa M. said...

Yes. We have 2 teenagers in the house and a 12 year old. We find ourselves more worn down after the day than when they were babies. It is a season (I keep telling myself). I actually was thinking this morning about how my thoughts and actions have shifted through the years regarding activities and fun at home with the kids. Thanks for sharing. Love the quote. I may share it.

Chelle said...

Your table was beautiful. It looks like such a cozy place to sit and relax. I know what u mean about capacity. My families lived have changed so much since much my children have gotten older. This year has been a hard year. Reading your blog has been a resting place to see all the slow and beauty. My oldest daughter is getting married next month. It has been very hard for me to let her go since she is only 18 but I know I have God on my side. Thank you for making things look so homey and beautiful.

Mary Ann said...

This is an interesting thought, Monica. This past year and an accumulation of several rather stretching years have left me having a really hard time being motivated with homemaking. Primarily, cleaning. And keeping some sort of routine so it doesn't pile up. Figuratively and literally. LOL

I'm hosting my family-in-law for Thanksgiving this year for the first time! This has been a good time to get going with cleaning and decluttering. Each day I feel better about my progress. I'm also being mindful to not seek perfection but to do what God requires of me. Perfection is stressful but simple obedience to the Father brings peace.

Your table is so pretty and cozy; almost makes me want to do an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner!

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

Yes! As you know we have similar ages in children (Younger two) and I have noticed a huge shift this year. I am also babysitting a 6 month old and have senior graduating. Crazy busy!

Jen said...

I am currently pregnant with #5, homeschooling ages 8, 6, 4, and 2. I feel how much older I am with this baby versus the earlier ones, and also just the amount of caring I must do. Yet I still need some time for quiet, and to have the house running. The kids are increasingly helpful, but I definitely see needing to scale back what I might like to do. At the same time, these are some of the best years of my life, I am sure, and I want to enjoy them and create beautiful memories. It's hard to find the balance sometimes! I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.