Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Best Never Rest

Yesterday, I read a sports story about the new Philadelphia Philly phenom, Hunter Pence.  Since his acquisition in late July, the team has a 12-3 record.  But, what stood out in the Pence profile was his attitude toward baseball beginning in his junior year in high school when he decided to make it his priority.

"When I woke up in the morning, I was going to do everything I could possibly do to get better.  When I went to bed at night, same thing.  Throughout the day, I was going to find a way to be the best I could."

An ever onward-and-upward attitude also produces the best home designer. How can I prove it?  Well, if you were house shopping which home would you choose to visit?  The one in the real estate ads with the Williamsburg blue carpet, the hunter green walls, and the ubiquitous brown leather Lazy-boy recliner or the one with warm but neutral walls, vessel sinks, and granite countertops?

Although our youngest daughter and her husband did a lot when they moved into their home, they have not settled for status quo.  Rachel has not stopped making forward progress room by room, and Curt has continued to improve the landscaping.

About four years ago, when they were getting ready to occupy their home, they were given some family antiques and hand-me-downs.  The antiques are keepers, but some of my cast-offs needed to be updated. This lamp is an example, showing decades of wear on the cracked wooden base and yellowed shade.
Replacing the traditionally-shaped lamp with a gold-gilded contemporary lamp took the vignette from wilted to perky.
We also found another angular lamp to replace a predictable lamp in her hearth room. (She moved the wooden lamp to the basement game room.)
Mixing traditional furnishings with contemporary accessories updates a home.  Even modern pillows contribute to a current vibe.

Then bringing in a hint of grey as relief from all the brown, also makes the space seem less passe. 
 These changes are small, but add up to a fresh look.

What is more, the updates didn't break the bank.  We discovered the gilded lamp at an antique market. A trip to a lamp repair shop for a black shade and base gave a high-end look to a bargain.  The little square lamp was a discontinued sale at Crate and Barrel. Three pillows and the throw came from Target; while the last two pillows were purchased at West Elm.

However, before you adopt "the best never rest" slogan as your own, a word of caution is in order. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors can be destructive.  In fact, psychiatrists prescribe medicine for the disorder!

Staying current must be balanced with contentment.  Always needing the latest fashion, technological gadget, or home accessory can destroy a budget and a marriage.  One must ask oneself, "What soul-hole drives me to obsessive behavior? Who am I trying to please?  Why can't I be content?"

Inner contentment comes with the certainty of God's love.  If you are sure the Lord accepts you for who you are, you don't have to keep up with someone else or try to be perfect. Only God is perfect, and although he wants us to live to please him, he doesn't want us to be driven to try harder or strive more ardently to gain his favor.  After all, his love was guaranteed, when we were the opposite of perfect!  We are commanded to press onward and upward looking unto Jesus, but remembering that all is grace!  


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