I am so thankful for the wide variety of random gifts and talents God has so generously given me.
I can write. (Well, at least let’s hope, or this 400+ blogging website is a real issue.) I can sing-ish. And I can even auctioneer. (I’m serious. Maybe I will do a vlog of that someday just for fun?)
But one gift I do not possess? The gift of design when it comes to coordinating a room/decor.
Seriously, up until our current home, I called my design “randomly eclectic.”
I just threw things on the wall, sat furniture wherever I though it would function most productively and left it at that.
But this time, this house… it was going to be different.
And I have to say… I did put a lot more thought (and prayer) into how things were organized, what colors we painted some of the walls and where we hung our decor. But when you are in ministry, there’s usually not a lot of extra cash lying around to go all out and buy things that coordinate and look amazing.
I’m not complaining. I like our home. I really do. But when people come over, I think they are confused as to why there at bookshelves in the dining room.
The placement of these shelves was (shockingly) unintentional, but has worked out in our favor. Although not necessarily as “Wow, those really bring the room a scholarly look” or “Oh hey, that is totally feng shui.”
Really, I just put them there because I didn’t want my husband to have to carry both huge shelves plus a couple dozen boxes of books upstairs. And we didn’t really have room in our office since it also doubles a guest room with a twin bed. And I was impatient and wanted to get it organized immediately upon our arrival so I chose a room that we weren’t going to paint.
However, God has really shown me that it WAS intentional on His part.
I am so thankful that these bookshelves are in my dining room, and wholeheartedly believe it was God’s idea. First, it’s a cool (albeit sneaky) witnessing/encouragement tool. People come over, see a book they would like and DING… They borrow it and get a little dose of Jesus.
Cool, right? It gets better.
Since these bookshelves are in my dining room, I walk by them dozens of times a day… And in the past couple months, many rather profound epiphanies have erupted from seemingly innocent books just chillin on the shelf.
Example: My husband and I were praying about leading a home group this semester for church and we wanted to use some challenging but unique curriculum. One day I’m walking by the shelves and BOOM… Out of nowhere, the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan catches my eye. I read it a couple years ago and it literally changed my life.
And guess what? We are now leading a home group studying “Crazy Love.”
On another occasion, my worn-out new mama self walked by and KA-CHOW! A book about sleep training that I had received from a good friend yet never read jumped out at me. Interestingly enough, just a couple of days before I was stressing about how to get baby girl to nap somewhere other than on me (or in someone’s arms) with a semi-predictable schedule.
Now baby girl has given this mama a new freedom of two semi-predictable daily nap times and a legit bedtime routine. Seriously changed my life. (Sidenote: Why had I never legitimately heard of sleep training before? For real, people.)
Anywho, here’s the moral of the story… I firmly believe that God can work through anything, anyone, anytime. It wasn’t just my lack of motivation that landed those bookshelves in my dining room. God knows that some of those books are incredible tools for my walk with Him and our life as a family. If they were hidden upstairs in the office, I would see them probably once a week, not dozens of times a day.
He is the one who prompted us to leave those bookshelves right where they landed, a couple of feet from out kitchen table, although we didn’t know it at the time. He had it planned from the start. He is a creative God who knows how we listen and how we learn.
And that, my friend, is why there are bookshelves in my dining room.
Reading and Succeeding (For Jesus),
“I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants…” ~Psalm 85:8
PS: How does God creatively speak to you or encourage you in your life? Be bold and comment below!