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Before & After

the old is gone, the new is here.

-St. Paul

I love “before and after” TV shows especially What Not to Wear. I eagerly anticipated the suspenseful moment when the contestant walked out to find Stacy and Clinton’s utter surprise. I was amazed how all their little tweaks; hair, makeup,and clothes,formed a complete physical as well as emotional transformation. Not to mention, home improvement shows! Of course, in Fixer--Upper when Joanna opens the door and welcomes home their clients I nearly jump out of my seat to examine the before and after.

My life is a bit like a before and after show. If I am honest, my before picture is pretty ugly. I am talking olive green shag carpet, orange formica with a bit of 90’s pink and forest green mixed into the photo. Seriously, before I started to live in Christ's love and freedom, my before picture was a hot mess. My heart felt unsettled, chaotic, and anxious. Even with four children (under 5 ) and a great husband, I felt lonely, and I regularly searched for worth. But over the last 17 years, God has transformed the chaos into peace, the worry into faith, and the loneliness into a community. He has patiently pruned, lovingly convicted and taught me the value of obedience. I still have quite a few orange formica counters left in my heart, but my split screen- before and after- has God's handiwork written all over it.

How about you? Take a minute to reflect on your before-it's easy to believe that nothing has changed and we are stuck in the same old patterns. But, God promises we are a new creation in Christ. He sees a perfect, unblemished after photo. Life change happens when we allow Him in for demo day. (Side note- for me, it is demo days God takes one room at a time. I have A LOT of rooms in my heart which require a full overhaul) As we open ourselves to subtle tweaks here and there, we begin to live in the reality of the after he promises.

A few weeks ago a woman contacted me to ask if I just "tweaked" spaces. Once I realized she didn't write "twerked"-I answered tweaking is what I do best! Inspired by the homeowner newly painted house in the perfect gray, I got to work.

The long awaited Before and After-

The larger pillows add great texture and are from Pottery Barn. The embroidery is absolutely beautiful and along with the smaller ones from Wayfair they are the perfect combination. The lumbar pillow and great clock are from Home Goods. The mixing of shapes on the wall add visual interest. Plus the white clock ties the lamp shade and ivory rug together.

Usually, I am all about moving furniture pieces away from the wall. It typically provides a cozy conversation space and brings the room together. However, in this case, the sofa table behind the couch caused the room to feel smaller. I moved it in front of the window keeping their beautiful topiaries on it. I found this incredible rug at Wayfair, an 8 x10 for $190. It is so beautiful and a great cost point. The larger rug filled the space and added to the feel of a bigger room. I moved their occasional chair to the corner, which opened it up to their dining room.

Just a little tweaking and this living room was transformed into an open, welcoming space for larger family gatherings and a lifetime of new memories. I love twerking...I mean tweaking. I am 47and no one needs to see that.

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