overcoming decorating paralysis :: the comment that took my breath away
Thursday, April 12, 2012 by {darlene}

A few weeks ago, I wrote the first post of our Overcoming Decorating Paralysis series, and it was not exactly how I had planned to begin the series. Nevertheless, I felt stirred to air an inner struggle that I often faced regarding the balance of fitting interior decorating within the entire context of the human experience.

Heavy. I know. But, my oh my. I discovered that this was a topic to be reckoned with. I got a tremendous, HUGE response from my readers {and if you still have not read all of the amazing comments, you really must!}. And what surprised me about the response was not that there were so many… but that they were ALL heartfelt. This truly is a struggle that many are facing.

But there was one comment that brought me to tears. My amazing friend Angela. oh my. That girl is a true Artist – with the paintbrush, with her style, and as a wordsmith. And lo and behold. That girl knows how to dish up some truth!

I contacted Angela to see if she would give me permission to share her comment as a post {it is that good}, and she humbly blushed through the computer and said that she trusted me.

If you have not read the full post, I encourage you to do so before diving in to Angela’s comment, so that you have the context of this topic that dealt with faith, poverty, creating, art, purpose…. and other light topics like that {smile}:

….  “Excellent, thoughtful, brave post, Darlene!

So…here are my thoughts on the matter, in no way organized or whatever: The Bible begins with an Artist before a blank canvas, a world black and void. He spends days creating a diverse work filled with usefulness (water, fruit trees, and other food) but also filled with creations of sheer beauty, for the absolute love of beauty and nothing else (ridiculous colorful fish and gloriously varied flowers come to mind).

This original and awe-filled scene has been set for the crown jewel of his creation–man and woman who are created in his very image. An image that values beauty, DESIRES beauty–and something that causes my skin to ripple in goosebumps and my eyes to fill with tears–an image that, like Him, CAN CREATE beauty as well. Imagine! The joy he felt in creating the intricacies of our world in perfection, He instilled in us–and that becomes manifest in a bajillion different ways…architect, artist, baker, decorator, musician, writer, etc, etc. So that when a human is instilled with this talent, this creativity, there is no denying its existence because denying its existence is like denying part of His image and denying ourselves and the PLEASURE of creating. God wants us to feel pleasure at creating, that joy, that rush, that heart-filled euphoria–He wants us to say, as He did, at the end of the day “And it is good.” Frivolous, no.

Before … pain and suffering, there was beauty and happiness. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the world seeks, more than anything, beauty and happiness. But just because there is suffering now because of sin, that doesn’t diminish the value of beauty. There are perspectives to take, of course, and opportunities to use our gifts and talents to benefit others–possibly being the difference between life and death. But we can’t all be teachers in struggling schools, doctors, workers in foreign lands, peacemakers, pilots who fly lifesaving supplies to needed areas. Just as the pilot is called to be who she is, the artist is called to be who she is. A body with many parts–helping each other do what we are called to do. No one person can do it all, right?

But absolutely, positively, anything can become an idol in our hearts. And how easy for the thing that we love to do, that we are designed to do, to become overpowering in our life. Nothing should be more important than our treasures in Heaven.

….I love to read about Bezalel in Exodus {see here and here}.

I also love that Revelation ends with the promise of the two things we seek so desperately: happiness and beauty. There will be no more pain or sorrow, and then John immediately describes the beauty of the scene of Heaven, of the materials used in its construction ( we’re talking jewels and gold here and not Formica, ha!).

….Thank you, Darlene, for provoking meditations in me about a very special gift God has given me and my friends like you. I always like to think about how eager God is to give us good things, like an earthly father to his child.”


No, really. Thank YOU, Angela. Thank you.

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Labeled: overcome decorating paralysis


  • Thanks for sharing this amazing and heartfelt comment.

  • Thank you for sharing that. Beautifully written.

  • Good Morning Darlene,

    I have been AWOL for a while (very busy playing with Annie Sloan) and what a wonderful post to welcome me back!!

    Thanks ladies, you have started my Thursday off with a smile and a slice of humble pie.


    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  • How beautifully and thoughtfully said. Thank you for sharing Angela’s thoughts, Darlene. The way her words come together is just another example of the talents God gave us – to stir emotion, change perspective, and help others to understand. Lovely.

  • that comment completely makes sense and validates the beautifying we do for sure! very well said indeed.

  • What a perfect and purposeful response -

  • So well written and shouts with joy and care for all of us who find a calling in creating beauty and happiness in our homes.

  • Thank you for sharing Angela’s comment. I find I crave beauty, and this comment hits the nail on the head about balancing it all.

  • Wow, what an amazing response. I never thought so in depth about it that way and it was like a wave of awakening washed over me and got me thinking more. It is such a wise explanation Angela. I have often thought upon that God has created the beauty of His landscape for our pleasure. Everything of God is beautiful. Anything He created for us was to please us and make us happy. God is very visual and sensual and because we were made in His image he has given us beautiful things to awaken them. Music to listen, delicious meals to taste, delightful aroma’s to smell, all kinds of textures to touch and feel and beautiful creations to see and he certainly gave His children the talent & giftedness to create them. I’m grateful that Angela said what she said because it got me thinking even more on all of it.
    I have thought at times, if I was wasting money on my home and I’d think of the less fortunate and feel a tug of war going on inside of me that made me feel bad. I am so thankful that all of this was brought up. Darlene, you have such a way in bringing out one’s innermost thoughts that brings a sense of awareness and makes us feel comfortable about sharing what is on our hearts. That alone is a gift in itself as well.
    Thank you so much for sharing all you do. You’re a blessing!

  • “and other light topics like that” :) Awesome.

    Again, I love that you are tackling this series and starting with this “light topic,” ha! That’s all I will say about that because God only REALLY DOES know that I’ve talked your virtual ear off about it. :)

    Love you, Darlene!!!

  • Wow – just wow.

  • I’ve struggled with this and have put off starting my own blog because I questioned my intentions, my time, etc. But I did once pray to meet smart, like-minded people, and found the blogosphere filled with so much inspiration and insight! I dare say that I once got teary-eyed over the beauty of a fabric once! I guess it touched a part of me, like a beautiful painting would! Maybe it touched me because it reminded me that our homes can potentially be a place of beauty and comfort. Now, if I can get rid of the paralysis of perfectionism!

  • This is just what I needed to hear…your posts and Angela’s comment. I have been struggling a lot lately with “Does God really want me to decorate or have a blog?” “Is it wrong?” I love to create whether it be interior decorating, painting, or gardening. It is something that is deeply apart of me. I can’t separate from it. God gives us the desires of our hearts. He placed this desire to create within me. I feel reassured now that I don’t have to feel guilty spending time doing what I love as long as I don’t make it an idol or put it before my family. Thank you so much for sharing. God truly spoke to me through this message.

  • I whole heartedly agree with Angela’s comment – whole heartedly! Amen and so very well said. I believe that creating and making life beautiful brings much glory to God – we are, after all, created in His image. And He is the Master Creator and Master Designer. LOVED reading this!

  • […] And I think about this conversation between two women of great faith that I love and consider mentors, Darlene and Ang… […]

  • Beautiful. All of it. And when I went to add this post (and Angela’s comment) to my favorites, I realized that somehow He has me on the same page because weeks ago I had changed my “decorating” folder to “imitating the Creator”.

  • Ah, that was excellent. In fact, it was creatively written!

    How many times have I thanked the Lord for creating me (us) in His image in that way of creativity. To find the tremendous pleasure of reveling in the creative process and then in the finished by product. We glorify Him in praising Him for it. That’s what also makes me smile, a little sad, when talented designers seem to get all hoity toity puffed up and snobby (non here) about their talents, as if they have anything to do with having it.

  • […] Ironic thing is, I was skipping church when I painted this little guy.  Have I told you that creating is my spiritual food? […]

  • So beautiful!!! Gives me chills. I almost threw in the towel again today, but now I am refreshed!

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