Posted April 13th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, LR Interior Design

Bittersweet:  causing pleasure tinged with sadness or pain…

Driving back to The Farm from the airport last night…home to my wonderful husband of exactly 23 years, I thought about the one word to describe my week in New Orleans.  Bittersweet.

My sweet friends Hattie and Bruce hosted me in their beautiful contemporary home in River Ridge. Hattie called me several years ago to help her make some design decisions after they had looked at our home to buy. She has a very edited, really minimalistic, style so we hit it off immediately.

My days were filled with very long hours consulting with new and old clients…primarily editing.  As Spring approaches, we are all ready to “lighten up” in every way. So I peeled away years of accumulation revealing this lightness and the beauty of simplicity. The beauty of a well-edited interior began to define each room in these homes.

With my new clients, as always, this question was asked more than several times.

“BUT WHAT ARE WE GOING TO PUT THERE?” And my response, as always…”NOTHING.”

Learning to live with less, with some empty space, takes time, but everyone comes to enjoy it. As I created piles of “expendables”, I could see my clients wondering why they had cluttered their home needlessly…

Often, clutter just happens. Years of accumulation and we find ourselves completely overwhelmed.  The bittersweet is that it takes someone who will honestly tell you the truth. Someone who will ask you the hard questions which force you to make the decision to

give away

throw away

and put away.

Although I left laundry rooms and garages full of those piles, my clients were thrilled! With furniture moved around, art rehung and accessories carefully placed, a beautifully well-edited design took shape. Hard work-fun work. A bit bittersweet.

If you have been a part of our on-line community for a while, you might remember my pictorial blog, TONE ON TONE, about the home in New Orleans I completed last fall.  click HERE

16 months of working with this generous, caring couple who lived in a modest home for 30 years. They met at age 12, later married and raised 4 children. Their new home was their dream home…a new and wonderful season of life they were looking forward to sharing.

MY HEART IS BROKEN. Janace has been diagnosed with a fatal and rare {1 in 1 million} degenerative brain disease. Mayo Clinic can’t even figure out how she would have contracted it. She is dying. Her husband called me only a month ago for prayer, and as I sat and held his hand on Monday, Hospice was setting up a hospital bed in their beautiful bedroom. My heart is broken. His words still stinging my ears…”Leah, I can’t remember life without her.”

Any day now she will behold Jesus’ face and I will always remember the long days we spent together carefully editing and making selections for this new season she was so excited about.

Although I know and believe God’s Word, I am grieving for my friend. My comfort comes in knowing when we are absent from our earthly bodies, we are present with our Lord. My comfort comes from knowing that sorrow lasts for a night, but joy eventually comes in the morning. My comfort comes from the ever-present comforter, the Holy Spirit, who grips my heart in love as I pray for this family I came to know and love.

BITTERSWEET…I take a giant step back, to widen my view and take in the overall picture, whether in a room or in a life. Editing out the clutter and expendables, making room for what is truly important. That is the interior wisdom that God alone gives to create beauty, simplicity and order in our homes and hearts.

Please pray for my friends.

Life is full of BITTERSWEET moments and God alone gets us through them, tenderly teaching us and He edits our lives.





2 Responses to “BITTERSWEET”

  1. Jody Collins says:

    Leah, what a gift that you could be with these precious friends….oh, the curveballs God throws at us. Jesus be with you and with this family.
    love you,

  2. Lisa says:

    I’ll be praying for you, her husband and family. My best girlfriend of 25years passed suddenly only six short years ago at the age of 35…so I can truly relate. What I had to finally understand is that her passing did not come as a surprise to God. We may not understand, but we do know who is in control.

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