My first blog post, how exciting! I NEVER thought I would one day create a blog, or that all of the MySpace coding I did in middle school would end up being helpful later in life. But, here I am, nervously (& excitedly) sitting before you all sharing my heart in hopes that it will encourage you, inspire you, and help you see that decorating is FUN! Now, brace yourselves… this post is long. BUT, I promise the read is worth it!
For this first entry, I wanted to share a little bit of my background, and explain the reason that I chose the name “gather in grace”. I currently am a third grade teacher living in Houston, TX, and recently finished my third year teaching. My whole life I have known that I wanted to teach one day, and also felt that, as a believer, teaching would be my ministry. I have such a strong desire to help and encourage students to reach their goals, but also to remind them that they are loved and important. Unfortunately, (as I’m sure you have read in the numerous articles on teaching in public schools that surface online), teaching is not as simple as some may think. Yes, we are given the opportunity to love, encourage, and help students (which is why we stay dedicated to the profession) – but we are also limited by the demands that are put on us. Paperwork, data, and state tests consume every single aspect of our work as teachers. As this previous school year progressed, I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into a slump. A slump of knowing that teaching is what I love and feel called to do, but also feeling exhausted and lifeless at the end of the day when I returned home. I began asking myself “Is this really what God has in His plans for me?”. Then, on one of my toughest days, I remembered God’s grace. I realized that at the end of the day, when I felt like I had given every ounce of energy to my day job, I would come home and decorate. I began creating spaces in my home that were full of light and warmth. Spaces that made me feel “homey” and were inviting to others. Decorating brought me joy, it brought me peace, and without even realizing it – decorating kept me going.
When I was younger, my dad shared with me his story of how he came to learn the true meaning of “grace”. Since it has had such an effect on me and my faith in God’s greater plan, he has given me permission to share it. >>
As a young boy, my dad realized that he had been given an incredible ability to “kick a ball” and was confident that one day God would lead him to pursue a career in placekicking. His success carried him through high school into college, and then led him to his dream of getting to be a professional placekicker. He was confident that he was trusting & following ALL that God had laid out for him. But then, when he felt like he was right where he needed to be, his “perfect” plans fell apart. The person he was in a relationship with at the time was unfaithful with someone from the team he was currently playing on, and his world was shattered. His career; his marriage; his life as he knew it was suddenly in shambles. But then, in the midst of his grief and confusion, he learned the true meaning of God’s grace. Everything he was doing that he thought had been God’s plans were really just his OWN plans. After completely surrendering and humbling himself before the Lord, he was led down God’s unwavering path into the business world, and also to meet my precious, angel of a mother (who Christ had made perfectly in His image just for my daddy all along). Little did he know the HUGE things God had in store for him in both his marriage and his success in business. My dad’s story paints an incredible picture of God’s grace & plans being far greater than we could ever imagine.
So, here’s how learning the true meaning of grace comes into play in my own life. Although I would never want to quit teaching, I couldn’t get rid of the tugging feeling on my heart that yearned to seek out my passion for design. One day, during a quiet time, I asked myself…
Welp, there ya have it. 861 words explaining the reason for this blog. A place to share all of the spaces I create that bring me joy, encourage me to invite people over to gather in God’s goodness, and most importantly –remind me of God’s grace.
P.s. Thank you to the INCREDIBLE, AMAZINGLY talented Kara Anne with Kara Anne Paper for designing my logo. You rock, sister friend. Seriously. God has big things in store for you!