September 24, 2007

jigsaw puzzle of wistful loveliness

Every once in a while I get glimpses -snapshots- of the life I hope to have one day. There are all sorts of pieces to it, and every once in a while I stumble on another piece that I think I want to add in. I just don't know quite how it all goes together. It's like finding a bunch of puzzle pieces that all have to potential to create a beautiful picture and not knowing how to put them together or even if they all go to the same puzzle. Take the beautiful homesteads that I've seen on some people's blogs. All that gorgeous green beauty all around stirs my heart, yet I doubt Allen and I are going to end up taking our family out to the country to live. Either that piece doesn't go to my puzzle or it fits in some way that I can't see now. Then I find a flickr photo album of someone's artsy, vintage, eclectic urban residence, and something on there really clicks with me. Now I have a pastoral vista and a downtown flat both tugging at me in their own way. Add in a couple of cute pigtailed girls in pinafores, an all-American love of blue jeans, my enjoyment of cooking, and my distaste for dishes.Throw in my desire to dabble in all things handicraft when instead I often settle for link chasing or novels, and there you have me. Left staring at a bunch of puzzle pieces and wondering just how the odd shaped one I'm currently standing on connects up with the beautiful panorama at which all the other pieces silently hint. I love to cook. I love kids and old novels and great big tree with the sun drifting down through the leaves. I like those funny little designs made with flowers and doodles in odd colors that don't look quite modern or quite vintage. I have blue berry patterned dishes sitting on a baker's rack near a little shuttered window draped with a string of miniature paper lanterns. I yearn for a house where big windows let vast puddles of sunlight into every room. Everywhere I turn I see scraps of what my life could be, would be, will be. Then I look at my little apartment furnished and decorated by fits and starts. Cleaned the same way. My desires sometimes seem so myriad and often opposing that I don't know where to begin in the effort to move forward, to accomplish, and to be. Of course I suppose therein lies part of the problem. "For it is God who works within us both to will and to do for His good pleasure." I don't suppose it really is my job to put everything together and make my piece fit the puzzle. Like as not neither the piece nor the puzzle are yet in the shape they need to be, and I just need to patiently wait for God to put all things into their proper order in His time. Still can't say I really no what do though. I suppose I just keep collecting my puzzle pieces as they come my way and trust that someday God will turn them into a vision of shining loveliness.


Trina said...

Natalie - I am sure all the pieces will fit together in time. I do love your musings! I feel the same way, sometimes. Here I am in a 70 ft. trailer with neighbors close enough to share the same radio (thou we don't like the same music!) and I long for wide open, yet private spaces. Yet I am trying to make the best of this season. A small house and no place for a garden lets me spend my time on other things. Sometimes I don't feel like going to the trouble to beautify my trailer, then I remind myself that it is practice for our dream home someday. I should make the best with what God has given me in this season...

Natalie said...

Thanks for your comment, Trina. Your blog has really been a big encouragement to me as I sort through what it means to live well and make a nice home and be feminine and useful.

Loren said...

You know, I seem to find myself forever busy with 'stuff' and just plain tired. It's hard to get into the beautifying when you're tired from just maintenance and cleaning!
We rent a cheap old house and always dream of one day owning. Our rental is in 'well used' condition. ;)
But you know what? There is such JOY to be found in the mundane and beauty amongst the falling down bits!
We have our first backyard of our married life.. and we LOVE it. We dreamed of a backyard the first 2 yrs we were married. The house may be in disarray, but we escape out to the sandpit and run around on the grass and eat lunch under the avocado tree. Fabulous!
There's the biggest, most ancient clothes line (google Hills Hoist ;)) ever, it's got a lean and it's heavy to wind up BUT it's actually FUN FUN FUN to do 6 loads of washing and totally fill the line on a perfect sunny day! It's one of my favourite sights, all that washing flapping away. :D
Anyway, it's kinda all relative isn't it. You may not ever have the dream home, but anything in your current place that brings you delight is totally a step up. :D