Restoration is a pretty big buzz word these days. Much of the time, the word is used to describe remodels and renovations taking place in homes and commercial spaces. HGTV and design magazines have flooded their audience with colorful palettes, streamlined layouts and a fresh new look to and old space. On a whole other level, upcycling, or repurposing has made its debut, featuring old tattered things given another chance at having purpose again.
When I felt the rumblings of change for my business Blue Plume Studio, I ignored it for a month or so. But again and again, reschedules, cancellations of lessons left my little quaint studio in a spot where I knew change was inevitable. During weeks where cancellations of lessons left holes in my teaching schedule, I worked through the growing pains with restoring my husband’s and my 1912 farmhouse. On a day where 3 cancellations left me angry, I decided to take it out on my stairs. I worked one by one, up all 15 steps, coated, antiqued and drybrushed the risers, then worked my way down the stairs staining the tread in a deep black brown glaze. I did not stop until I was done. For me, it was therapy. God reminded me through the stairs project, that sometimes He takes away things, so that something so much greater can come to fruition.
I have known quite a bit about loss, have gotten pretty good at letting things go, and going through incredible changes. My business Blue Plume was the one thing I was going to hold on to and kick and scream about. For through all the hard times I had gone through in the last 5 years, my 7 year old business had been my constant. My reason to get up in the morning. My joy to greet my clients with a smile and a palette full of colors. But maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t about me and what I wanted. Maybe, it was about what God wanted for my life. Art was my pride and joy, teaching filled me up. But God started showing me, that maybe it was time to break that pride, have Him be my joy, and have Him fill me up. It wasn’t that my studio was a bad thing in of itself, it was that God had some restoration to do. So, by tackling my stairs, refurbishing a coffee table, painting my fire place, He was doing critical work on my own heart and soul restoration. Memories flooded my mind, the tears fell as I worked. I remembered my mom’s and my morning walks, seeing beautiful things on the side of the road thrown away, and my mom cheerfully stating, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, let’s make this old chair beautiful!” I remember the antique school desk she taught me to paint with the grain, at 8 years old. My grandpa was an incredible craftsman and woodworker, creating exquisite carvings from lightning stuck trees in the Ozarks, to building churches at prisons and Native Reservations in his retired years. I would nestle myself into his workshop and watch him work. I was in awe of the magic that would happen in that space. We didn’t have to speak much, it was a silent understanding, a sacred inheritance he gave to me to become a maker myself. My dad would give me the scraps of wood from house projects, and I would sit on the floor of the garage, leaning up against the workbench and build or paint my own masterpiece out of it. My dad would smile with a twinkle in his eye, and this became one of my most beloved ways to pass time.
So, As I had been renovating and working out the frustrations of change, it became apparent that I was not only to paint works of art, but to restore the tired things in life. Thus, a new business and way of life was born, A Vintage Inheritance. As I enter this new chapter, along with my husband Matt, and my friends Tamara and Jeff, the process has been an aching, a growing, a laborious birthing of something new, and I am trusting that the beauty of what is to come is a masterpiece in itself.
As I sat in prayer about the floors needing to be redone, walls painted, artisans needed for our store, and all the other monumental tasks piled higher than my flight of stairs I conquered, This is what I heard,
“You go and do what I call you to do. It may be uncomfortable and hard, but it’s part of my plan. Do you think Moses had it easy? Or Jacob? Or even Esther? All of them had to step out in danger, hardship and do what I asked of their lives. What makes you different? You are part of my kingdom, and you will face adversity because you align with me. It doesn’t mean to give up, it means to persevere, to hold strong and push harder. Fighting through the walls is the lesson and season you are in now. Not all seasons are easy and happy, but in the seasons of rough waters, you find your peace and joy in me, not what you are doing, how you go about things. If you do it through me, I will carve the journey before you. I love you my daughter, remain faithful to me, for I am always faithful to you. I have a plan, I love watching it unfold. You are a maker, and sometimes that’s hard, its birthing something new. But that is what I created you to do. To make new. My will be done, trust that it’s the best way. “