58. Black and White

I’ve had black and white on the brain lately.

Everywhere I look, I see black and white together. Dark and light. Absorbing and reflecting. Hot and cold. Opposites. Contrasts.

black and white in natureToday, stopped at a stop light in the burbs of Pittsburgh, I saw a bald eagle. My first thoughts were, I must be wrong. What other kind of bird looks like that? Some sort of hawk? I may have misidentified it; but there it was — huge, flying out of the treetop, thirty feet above me. I got a good look: white head, black body, curved yellow beak, very large. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells me that it could be a turkey vulture, but I definitely saw a white feathered head. I’m sticking to my story.

black and white in the world
I was marveling at the sight when twenty yards down the road came two black and white police cars racing to a somewhere scene, lights flaring, sirens blaring. Yes, that was more like the city — powerful, forceful, a place full of opposites — street lights illuminating the dark, sirens piercing the silence of the night, churches and rescue shelters — havens in the midst of desperate neighborhoods.

black and white in design
Black and white in design is a study of contrasts. The design blog Hongkiat.com calls black and white a “stark dichotomy,” which makes the design impossible to ignore. It is clean and simple, yet it can be complex as well. Black and white together have “…endless opportunities that other color schemes just don’t manage to generate. It all just balances itself out.”  I especially like the word balance.

I love old black and white films, and black and white photography fills me with a longing that color just doesn’t satisfy. (See post 30. A Stillness in Time).  Wikipedia says, “Since the advent of color, black-and-white mass media often connotes something nostalgic, historic or anachronistic.” Yes, that’s me — nostalgic, anachronistic, and yearning.

Black and white together — it is bold. Courageous. Balanced. Stunning. It takes a stand. Bald eagles, police cars, photography, design… and our new kitchen floor.
Armstrong VCT tile

It is bold. I generally believe in hardwood floors or muted rugs. This stands out. It shouts out. I love it!

I have never been bold or courageous, though as I get older I discover I am gaining on them. Arguments still make me squeamish; heated discussions still often silence me; and I usually just want everyone to get along together. My walls are white, and my wardrobe consists of neutrals, though I occasionally wear an emerald scarf, a bright red sweater, a purple t-shirt. I have always admired boldness in others, while secretly thinking that bad things always happen to those who stand out or stand up.

In a world that needs boldness, I want to stand.

In a world that needs the saving grace and redemption of Jesus, I want to shout of His power to save.


Happy Easter! May we be bold in speaking of His love.

No, the issues that are fracturing us are not black and white. But what we must all take to heart is His love; His redemption; His power. Written over both the black and the white is His love — written in His blood — written forever, no matter who we are, what we do, or how we dis-grace Him. His love covers us all, and it’s free.


43. ReHabitat-ing the Yellow Bedroom, Part 2

Today was a double blessing day: our long awaited, too-expensive, gorgeous kitchen faucet arrived; and, in the mail was my reVive box from reHabitat, the fabulous design team who took on The Yellow Bedroom. (see post 37. ReHabitat-ing the Yellow Bedroom.)

ReHabitat ReVive Box

I was good. I did all my chores first, and then I cleaned off the table, made a cup of tea, and sat down with my treasure — all the while admiring the cool packaging.Inside the reVive Box
What caught my eye first was the beautiful fabric that was folded up inside — a gorgeous embroidered square of fall colored leaves. I love foliage!Inside the reVive Box
The next goodie was a whole page of accessories and photos layered on swatches of colors — a design board for inspiration. Bedding, lamps, curtain suggestions, all individualized to our room and our tastes. WOW! The best idea was a DIY headboard made from an old door, with a shelf on top for pictures, books, and candles. Umm, we’ve got some old doors hanging around…

Underneath the design board was the shopping list, which included websites and prices of most everything pictured on the design board. (The ceiling light and the closet doors were included just for inspiration.) I could just click away to PotteryBarn.com and look close up at the beautiful quilt. (Michael nixed it; he said it was too flowery!) Next to the shopping list was a palette of paint colors to choose from, and underneath that was the floor plan that showed us what pieces to use where.Floor plan from reVive Box
When my excitement settled down, I turned to read the pages of notes titled “We recommend…” (2 1/2 pages of recommendations!) Really, it just organized and clarified everything that had already been suggested, as well as gave us suggestions on how to prioritize, i.e., what would make the most difference (besides painting the yellow, of course!) The slide show below contains some of the suggestions — using what we have, interspersed with what we might want to purchase.

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I am so excited about this; it was just what I needed to reVive my spirits! I’m thinking that I don’t want to get off track from the kitchen, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a serene, finished room while we’re busy working on everything else? A place where we could just shut the door and look outside and pretend? All we need is some paint and some new curtains and…

Now if only someone would just come and do the work for us????