HGTV, real faith, personal growth, and catalog shopping

hgtv_logoThis weekend, watching one of those home-improvement shows on HGTV, Rebekah and I  followed the camera as it panned a room to reveal item after item of nondescript furniture. The host then made a face, rolled her eyes, and said, “The six-piece matching bedroom set… ugh.”

We laughed, because we’ve never matched; piecing together completely unique furnishings has always been the way we’ve decorated. At first it was not so much by design as necessity. Over time, however, “our style” has emerged, and it’s certainly not matching furniture that brings it all together. There are other, more subtle, threads of design that run through our home.

GENESIS: This approach fits our personalities, yes, but the principles have been well thought out and developed over time. If I had to point to a particular inspiration, then I’d share the following story from a summer we spent in Jackson, Tennessee; we were 25 years old and had been married just two years.

61nud4VvbVL._SL500_SS500_HOME # 1: A friend gave us a tour of his home. The place was new, had every possible feature and convenience, and absolutely everything matched to perfection. It looked like a magazine. No, that’s not it, it looked like a furniture catalog. In fact, it pretty much was a furniture catalog. He had been to an Ethan Alan store and – essentially – replicated the “rooms” that made up the showroom.

Here’s what had happened. Our friend was a successful business owner and was about to begin his second marriage. He wanted the home to be “ready” when they moved in together. The result was catalog-perfect, down to the beautiful pictures on the wall, the unread books on the shelves, the matching table-lamps, and the various “home accents.”

The problem was that the home told us absolutely nothing about either our friend, his life, or his wife to be. Or – as Rebekah cleverly pointed out – maybe it told everything.

DSC_0006HOME #2: Next door (literally the adjacent lot) lived a family from the church where Rebekah worked. The house was several decades old and had been added on to a couple of times. To tell the truth, the layout rambled.

Nothing matched. Nothing looked like it had been purchased at the same time or the same place. Book shelves were stuffed with too many volumes and some were piled on end tables. The rugs spoke of the Far East. Art pieces and “accents” appeared to have been picked up from street vendors in Cairo, Istanbul, London, Paris, Timbuktu, or Nairobi.

it reminded me of Kipling’s home

The place was awesome! And the consistent thread that ran through the home was the collective experience of a family living like they meant it. The decorating genius was a mixture of travel, love, faithful commitment and the ability to draw the line just this side of the edge of clutter!

MESSAGE: Here’s my one-paragraph “point;” actually, it’s really more of a question. Is your spiritual life more like the “page from a neat-and-tidy catalog” home? Or is your experience of faith living, unique-to-you, full with as many questions as answers, constantly evolving, an interactive journey, a place where God literally interfaces with your everyday and is beyond simple classification?

  • DSC_0004Living…
  • Unique to you…
  • As many questions as answers…
  • Constantly evolving…
  • Interactive journey…
  • Beyond simple classification…
  • God literally interfaces with your everyday life…

Something to think about on a Monday – DEREK

4 thoughts on “HGTV, real faith, personal growth, and catalog shopping

  1. I am new to Facebook and delighted to find you as a friend, at least I believe you are. I attended First Pres. in Brandon for about 10 years and have followed your writing as much as I can. I enjoy the description of home furnishings. Mine are the latter and means nothing to those who haven’t known me for years. Indeed, something to think about. Good to be able to touch base with you.


  2. Les DuVall

    Right on. I like living in my home and sometimes it gets a bit cluttered but that’s ok because I can bring it back around. My house, like me is no showcase not unlike my spiritual life. I want to be a place where Jesus intercedes for me and my spiritual house is a comfortable place to live. In other words the spiritual house is a place in which I enjoy living.and it gets straightened and cleaned up day by day.


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