So much going on these days... that is all I feel like I am doing lately.

We are getting granuliar on the home and "Gathering Place" plans for our land and have been in meetings every day this week!  Who knew every little door hinge, drawer pull and "can or not to can" on your lighting were things we would have to decide?

I'll share a few photos of the things we have picked this week here:

First is the fireplace area in the great room.  Trying to decide between black, white or red brick for the fireplace area and we decided on white!  With the black windows and French doors on either side we think this look will be best.

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These doors will be on both sides of the fireplace... if we can find the space!  The dimensions were a little off for the fireplace and doors in this space so we are hoping they come up with a solution that doesn't add $$$ to the equation!

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We had a door and window meeting... YES, that's a thing.  (rolling my eyes, but it is important) BECAUSE we changed about every single door and window from the plan!  Did NOT want square windows so we changed every window (except little square ones up high) to a rectangle size with 3 side by side with space in between.  So this is actually what our Master Bath will look like as far as the windows. Not sure of the black tub yet...

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The picture below is the alcove where the bath tub and some shelving will be in the Master.  It will be much more casual with black and white and wood tones... and lots of greenery. I LOVE plants!  But the question is?  Do I want a fancy chandelier to "chi chi" up the space or go with a wood round chandelier like the picture below this?? (kinda like the wood one)

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Next was picking doors, door handles, drawer pulls and front door handles... etc, etc.  So fun.  NOT.

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The last two days were meetings with the home builders Interior Design Team that they use in town, Quail & Blu.  LOVE THEM!  I think I want a job there...  This reminds me of my Interior Design days in Newport Beach many moons ago.  But this part is FUN.  Picking out the elements of the Kitchen, Master, Mud Room and Pantry are things we have Pinned for many months and we finally get to DESIGN the spaces! We have a huge Mud Room and a Pantry that I got to have a field day designing!  The pictures below are the Mud Room.  We have one end that will have black built ins, then the flooring we picked is below this photo.  isn't this tile a DREAM?!?  I'm having "Tiny" build out the sink below in the mud room. (I can't wait to meet Tiny... don't you think he's not going to be TINY? lol) I will give tiny a BIG hug when I meet him! Since the Mud Room will also be my Art Space until the Barn is done, I made sure there was room for my art supplies and a desk and art easiel.  

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I LOVE this old barn sink!!

Yes, I have to do laundry in there too... So this laundry storage was a fun idea I found on Pinterest and sure enough... we had room!  We even put in a DOG SHOWER!  Yes, I know that's over the top... but we plan on getting a big dog and with the two of them, we figured we'd rather bath them in the Mud Room instead of one of the bathroom showers!  lol

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Next up was the Pantry!  We had a pantry and "butler's pantry" in the last house.  They weren't a room you could walk into, but this we get to have that!  WOW, I still can't believe this is happening...

So we will put some of the applicanes we don't want in the kitchen in the Pantry.  Since this is literally one step behind the kitchen and I don't use a microwave very often, it makes sense to us.  I found this photo of a pantry and we pretty much planned our space around it.  Now you KNOW I love PARIS and was just there... so coming back from that trip where I was so inspired by all the cafes, I had to incorporate some of that into the house.  My idea for the Pantry is to have this little hexagon flooring with white and black (Like the picture below of a cafe in Paris) and then have them put the black edging around the room with maybe the word "Market" or EAT"  What do you think? We also are having a little "coffee station built into the kitchen! More on that later...

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So bringing my brain back to reality...

This is a LOT of planning.  a LOT.  I have a love/hate relationship with this and I know that's probably normal.  What I don't want to get distracted by is the overwhelming sense that you could get so drawn into THIS that there isn't time for JESUS.  That this unbeliveable DREAM HOME He is allowing us to plan for is INCREDIBLE... is an understatement.  I am in tears every time I sit and ponder that.  (like right now as I'm writing this... ugh) I just don't want all of THIS to become more important than the PURPOSE of this land He has given us.  It's a fine line and I just don't want to be on the wrong side of that... Please Lord.

Last night I was PLANNING another thing... the Itinerary for our Art & Faith Creative Retreat next month in Italy!  Like I said... there is a LOT on my plate right now.  And in the middle of that planning I just felt like I needed to STOP.  The Lord literally put it on my heart to put my pen down and stop.  Take some time to step away from planning and PRAY about it instead.  

You see yesterday was so hard... and I cried a lot. (that's kind of normal lately... I turn 50 next week, YIKES)  

I am SO grateful for what I GET to do, please don't get me wrong!  I have 1st world problems and I know that!  So in that though, sometimes I question why I can't just have a house picked out for me and I'd be happy to LIVE in it! (Yes, I know we could have just bought a house on some land and called it good)  BUT... God.  I know the WHY.  He has combined ALL. MY. LOVES. into a life I can't believe I am blessed with.  BEYOND Measure... and it's BECAUSE of the desires HE puts on our hearts that we are BLESSED with those amazing paths He puts in front of us... AND in that, they are also a responsbility... to be used for His purposes.

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." Jeremiah 33:3

I was having coffee with an "online friend" who became a REAL "in-person" friend this week!  She lives in Colorado Springs and we met for coffee!!  It was so fun and it made me realize that the Lord has given us SO many connections here for a PURPOSE.  

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He is weaving it all together.  I was telling her all that God is doing and planning and that it IS AMAZING.  I am in AWE of it all!  From the outside lookng in (aka Social Media) it isn't always the whole picture though.  FB and IG have a way of making us think life is SO easy for people??  I want to be as open as possible here.  I am CONFIDENT that the LORD has moved us here for a REASON and my retreats are for a PURPOSE... and I think He is blending ALL OF MY LOVES into this PURPOSE.   But with that... comes the enemy wanting to tear that down, right?!  It's just the honest truth.  Stress, doubt, health issues, etc... are things that try to block us on that path.

So what I cling to is PRAYER, the WORD OF GOD and our godly friends who I know are praying for us! I am SO thanful for all of that.  To fullful God's will in our lives is my utmost desire.  Last night, with the Lord putting it on my heart to put things down for a while and just praying for His will to be done, He spoke CLEARLY to me when I woke up this morning to this "VERSE OF THE DAY" that the YouVersion Bible App sent me:

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Ok God... I hear you!  :)

We can, AND SHOULD, plan things!  It's not BAD to plan and have wisdom and prepare... Those are all biblical.  What we/I need to be reminded of is that we can plan, but ultimately whatever the Lord purposes in our lives... THAT will stand.  That will take place and be RIGHT. 

Having our focus on the Lord 1st and all the other stuff next... that is what I pray for, for everyone.  To SEE the reason and/or goal of our lives is to be living for His Glory.  

I can't WAIT until all this is done and I get to invite YOU to come and GATHER... That is something I will be in tears for on that day for sure!  Thank you for being a part of this vision and ministry the Lord has given our family.  We LOVE that we get to serve on people and draw them closer to Jesus in Italy, France and here in the U.S...

I will update you soon on next years Creative Retreats because we are very excited about 2019!!

Hugs to all,

Laura

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