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Too close? It’s All in the Details


So while you’re at my house today, I want to show you a close-up. Details that you’d never see in a far-away shot of the mantel. From a design standpoint, this is where the beauty lies. The textures. The mix of materials. The natural, the man-made. The rustic, the shiny. The old, the new. Chippy paint, old galvanized metal, vintage books, glass, stone, all working together to create “the look” I was after. From a distance. As I was working on this little vignette, I kept stepping back to assess what was needed. More of this, less of that. Until the composition was pleasing to the eye. My eye.

This strikes me as being a lot like what we do as people. We spend a lot of time looking at ourselves “up close.” Assessing the imperfections, noticing the cracks and worrying about the areas where we lack. We hope others will only view us “from a distance” and not notice how we are certainly not perfect.

What if…well, what if the details, or the close-up view, is where the beauty lies? The difficulties in life. The hardships. The rough patches. The times when we had no choice but to cry out to God for help. No, these times are not beautiful. But allowing Him to shape us and mold us into who He wants US to be, THAT is beautiful. 2 Cor. 12:9-10 says “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

What if…well, what if HE is creating the most beautiful vignette with YOUR life? Adding more of this, less of that, until the composition is pleasing to HIS eye? What if the trials you’ve faced could actually HELP someone else? Someone that is dealing with something similar? What if, a difficult stretch of time in your own life could end up being the blessing of wisdom and encouragement to another?

Sometimes we prefer to keep those tough seasons of life to ourselves. It’s personal. It was hard. We’d rather others just look at us from a distance. Where everything looks put together. Ohhhhhh, but it’s ALL IN THE DETAILS! How did you become who you are today? What shaped you?

What if…well, what if we were transparent? What if we didn’t mind admitting we’re not perfect? What if we allowed God to use our imperfections for HIS GLORY? Oh. My. Goodness. If THAT is what He’s asking, I have got some major material for Him to work with…how refreshing, how encouraging, how downright EXCITING that He can use us JUST AS WE ARE!!! “For when I am weak, then I am strong”…because THAT is when we realize we can’t do this on our own. THAT is when we stop looking inward, and start being a blessing to those around us. THAT is when our lives start becoming a beautiful reflection of God’s love.

So what do you think? Are you willing to show others a close-up of YOU? To let them see where the beauty lies?


  • September 25, 2015 - 12:37 am

    Sally - Wow!! This was a wonderful post! I really needed to read this today, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that I found your blog today. Do you? Without writing a book, I e been sick for quite a while and have really had to learn to find his strength through my weakness. Thanks for this great topic and you’re eloquent style of writing.
    I also love your home and your vignettes both close up and at a distance! Ha!ReplyCancel

  • September 25, 2015 - 2:17 am

    Pamela - OK. Now I get it.
    But where do I start?ReplyCancel

  • September 25, 2015 - 2:40 am

    Pam Foster - Hi Janna,
    I love what you said there about the rough patches in our lives… and how these times shape us and mold us. I have found this to be so true. And how they bring us closer to God. . . It is when I am seeking His help that I see his answers.

    I REALLY like the way you said God can use us just as we are. That is a freeing thought. I love it!

    I love the way you can put these things into words… Thanks for sharing!!!ReplyCancel

  • September 25, 2015 - 2:51 am

    Jane - This is a powerful post, an eye opener. I need to read this. Thank you for the vision!

    Jane xReplyCancel

  • October 8, 2015 - 2:44 pm

    lindsay code - I love your warm, yet, neutral color scheme. Would you mind sharing the color chosen in the kitchen?ReplyCancel

    • October 9, 2015 - 2:07 am

      yellowprairieint - Hi Lindsay! The wall color is Valspar “Coconut Milk”. Have a great weekend!ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2016 - 9:00 pm

    Jessica - Love this site!!ReplyCancel

    • January 29, 2016 - 3:24 am

      yellowprairieint - Thank you Jessica!ReplyCancel

  • May 2, 2016 - 9:24 pm

    Ashley - I love how you decorated your mantle. We have a dark stone fireplace and I have simply lacked the vision to decorate. I saw your pictures months ago but it’s difficult to find farmhouse decor in southwest Florida 🙁 any particular places you buy your awesome goods that is easily accessible? You’re house is beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • September 9, 2016 - 1:54 am

    Deb - Wonderful web site with my two favorite things decorating and self improvement!ReplyCancel

    • September 9, 2016 - 4:03 pm

      yellowprairieint - Awwww, thank you Deb!ReplyCancel

  • October 21, 2016 - 7:58 pm

    Teresa Lehman - Thank you so much for your timely words of inspiration that you have shared. Also for the reminder of these perfect words of scripture. I really needed to read these today. You are beautiful inside and out,and your home reflects that..ReplyCancel

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