Packer’s first suggestion was a game changer when she saw me pull all of the loose pictures torn from years of magazine pages out of my “Home Vision Filing Box.” I sprawled them across the kitchen counter the way I tend to sprawl clothes in my drawer and floor of my closet. The way I sprawl piles of papers and my car keys across my desk.
“You know what you need?” She asked graciously as to catch me off guard.
“A babysitter.” I responded.
She laughed. “Yes, you need one of those, too, but you need to get you a binder and section it off by your rooms, like you have your filing box. Then, as you finalize the looks you want you can remove the ones you aren’t using. So, as you have meetings you can flip right to where you need to be.”
I gave her a Sophie cock of my head. “That is genius!”
She laughed again. “I have done this a time or two, sweet pea.” (Her nickname for me for many years.)
I left shortly after she did and headed to the endless vortex that is Office Depot. I don’t know about you, but I can get lost in a world of colored Post-its and Paper Mate pens and cute little file folders until before I know it, I’ve missed two meals and my email folder resembles the U.S. Debt Clock. I’m not sure why I chose the white one. Of all the colored ones and fancy ones out there, I, who love color and fancy, chose the white one. I still to this day will never know why I did that. I did get colored tabs though, and the clear sheet inserts, and headed back home.
The years of dreams crammed inside my file box were now spread across the counter and I held each one and studied it. The two kitchens that I loved ripped from the pages of Southern Living and Southern Home. The gallery image with the transoms and light fixtures I swooned over. The bathrooms that were collected and gave the feeling of a home long lived in. Each space and place and accent and image began to fill those pages as I weeded out the ones that no longer captured my heart or vision. I began my first section with the gallery and didn’t stop until my last section of outdoor spaces.
I would not know how used that generic white binder would become with its insides full of the uniqueness that would become our home. I did not know in that moment the number of pages I’d release as the vision shifted and changed and honed and focused. I did not know how many times I’d open and study and study and then study again to see the details of an image and try to envision it in our home that would be so distinctively ours. Would it work? Would it fit? Was it us? Was it right? Is it you Father?
You know the questions your heart asks so often when the vision on the page now has the opportunity to become the vision in real life. Each time I felt He answered. Yes to this one. No to that one. That will look good for five minutes, that one will look good for five decades. That white binder would birth so much. It had been ruminating in me for over a decade when I’d tear out this sink or that faucet, this countertop or that wallpaper. Now, it was almost time for the dream to come to life.
Visions take time. Visions come in a seed, form in a season, and can be birthed in a moment. But they have to start somewhere. Where is yours? Don’t throw that file box away whether it sits on your bookcase or is simply one you visit in your heart. Ask God about it. Get you a binder or a board or some paper and start putting the pieces together. Ask God what needs to stay and what needs to be let go of. He is the Master Architect, and He makes everything beautiful in its time, and that binder might very well be a launching pad to what He wants to build with you.
Lessons Learned: Every vision needs a place where it comes to life. Whether it is written down on paper or pictures placed inside a binder. Vision must start somewhere.
Sometimes with our visions we will discover as it grows that we are to leave some things behind, change some ideas or even erase and start over. But remember, if you aren’t willing to release what needs to be released when God asks you to, you will never be able to build what He wants for you.