Sunday, August 4, 2013

There's a fine line between boredom and chaos...

It's been a few years since I've done a show house for Historic Ellicott City but I'm doing it again this year. I've done five of them before but this is the first time I'm doing it under my name alone. Of course my dear, sweet friends from The Pink Cabbage are helping me out but, at the end of the day, it's gonna have my name on it. Wow, stress! But the good kind. The deal on the show house is that a different designer decorates a single room in the house. The funds that are made from the show house go to help keep historic structures in Howard County, Maryland intact plus there are scholarships and other benevolent deeds that come from the money. Just a couple of months ago I was feeling pretty bad about myself. I felt like my only worth was cooking, doing laundry, and getting a teenager where he needed to go. I felt I had no life or purpose for myself or in the world. Hence the title quote. I prayed and prayed for God to lead me to some purpose. Up popped this show house opportunity then, as I said in my last post, came the ministries. In between have been trips to Texas and NYC. I also have another personal project I'm working on but that's confidential-sorry, don't mean to be a tease-it's to protect other people. Anyway, I have plenty to do and fill my days with-yay!
Here's the room as I first found it. It's called the Governess Quarters. I loved the blue and white toile wallpaper right away. This house has not been decorated since it was last a show house, 18 year ago, so it's dated. I think this was the nursery; the toile print is one of children but I was ready to work my magic with it. The only issue was there was damage on the wallpaper near the window. I asked that if I did a wall of curtains to hide the damage on that wall could I keep the paper and it was thumbs up yes. The deadlines on these deals are a short in the beginning; the design board is due ONE week after being accepted as designer. So I went out running around like a chicken with no head or legs getting things for this room to be approved for the design. 
You can probably tell but the photo above of me and the head of the design committee, Carroll (we have worked together a lot and get along very well), that he was happy with what I'd put together.
Then came the day right before I left for Texas, a call from the show house chairwoman telling me that the workers in the house had accidentally removed the wallpaper from my room. Ugh. I thought I was done, thought it was over. I was already stressed and tired (not to mention I had already spent money on things for the blue design) from getting all the things in line to go with the wallpaper. I called my wonderful cohorts, Jody and Karen, and they talked me off the ledge. And, of course after I had time to think about it, it was beginning to look like a bit of a blessing. HEC was willing to work with me to help me out with painting the walls any color that I wanted and they approved of. The world actually became my decorating oyster. I'd always wanted to decorate a pink room so here was my chance. Yes indeed, a blessing in disguise. What is that saying I've heard so much lately? When life throws you a curve yell out "plot twist"!!!
Plot twist! Here's a sneak peek at what I've got in mind for the room. I'm very excited. I start painting tomorrow. I have to finish early because I'm meeting my mama, who lives in Oregon, in Texas for the first Texas A&M (where I was born and raised) football game I've been to in over 2o years. I will have a couple of days after I get back to do the finishing touches but I need to have most of it done before I leave. Then when I return from Texas I'll be working in the sales office at the show house. Bored-no, not even any time soon. Thank you God.

My new mission

Well it all started with facebook, of course. I reconnected with a couple of guys who went to school with my sister (a little 0lder than me) then met up at our hometown reunion in February. Actually I had reconnected with one of them during his ride last year when I found out he was riding through Maryland; didn't see him but it started the reconnection and learning about the ride. This is, as the sign says ,The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. There are many reasons why people make this ride; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, all the above. These guys have several reasons they ride but one is for charity. That charity is called Miles for Missions. Last year I was only on the very periphery of what the ride was about but as the ride got closer this year I learned more and more. And I learned a lot about the ministries they were riding for and they became close to my heart. I became close to David and Carla who started Miles for Missions; David through watching him ride live on his camera, listening to his Christian music as he road and with Carla through her posts on their facebook pages, messaging, and even through phone calls of support. It's a very intense experience, of course for the riders, but also for those who are following (Hoka Hey provides a tracking feature on their website to watch the riders live in animation). The testimonies of Carla and David's faith was awe-inspiring.
So I started, even before the ride began, checking out the ministries they were riding for. I got involved enough with the charities and with David and Carla that they asked me last week to be a board member of Miles for Missions. What an honor. It's just taking off so I have tons of ideas and can't wait to get to work with them and these great ministries.
Restore Her was the first one that got close to my heart. Started by the folks who opened Stillcreek Ranch, a ranch for at-risk boys, Restore Her is a home for mostly girls who the F.B.I. and other agencies find who have become part of child sex trafficking in the U.S. Both are located in my hometown area of Texas. This is one of the very few places where these children can go to escape and be saved from this heinous situation. And, of course, there is not housing for all these children who are being rescued. They need more money to build more homes for these kids. Who could look away from this issue? Check it out. They welcome any amount. It's not how much people give, it's how many people give.
Another part of Miles for Missions is David's work on getting water to people in El Salvador. He also helps with building homes and helps in general but the funds mainly go to getting water to the folks. Can you imagine life without water? Above is a photo of David cranking water from a new well for the people in the village. I'm very excited to be part of something so wonderful with people with such huge, loving hearts and who inspire me daily.