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    by Susan McGrath

"Layering It on Thick"
Date Posted: July 15, 2006

Professional decorators teach "layering" a room to get a warm and finished look. I know because I am addicted to home decorating shows and now have all the knowledge and ideas required to make over my own home. I'm just waiting for the money!

But when I do get going I will begin with paint color and move through the layers up to greenery, lighting and accent pieces. Many people stop before these final layers either because they are unsure of their ability or, like me, don't quite have the budget to get the look they dream of.

Adding fresh paint and new furniture to an empty room might make it look more fashionable, but it may lack that finished look and personal touch.

You can tell when you walk into a home where someone has decorated from the heart, regardless of how little or much money they have spent on it. The difference comes from how much love they have invested. It becomes a place where you feel at home -- you don't feel like you have to take off your shoes, but you want to because it's comfortable. You want to sit down, drink coffee and stay awhile. And you want to know who created such a lovely home!

Our service to the Lord can follow the same lines. If we do just the minimum required to get by and keep up appearances, never quite putting our whole heart into it, we may fool others, but God knows we're holding back.

However, if we want to decorate our lives with Christ, we will give our whole heart to service, always striving to finish what we begin, always offering ourselves warmly to others that "they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven."

When we devote ourselves to the Lord's service, and therefore to serving others, we will be like the room that is decorated with love -- people will want to be around us and will want to know our Creator.

So if you aren't quite ready for the "Surprise by Design" or "While You Were Out" teams to show up at your door and give your house a makeover, relax. Focus on layering your walk with Christ. Use biblical examples like Phoebe and Paul. Let others (including your children) know the Master designer and decorator through you.

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in your will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 1:6

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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