When I go out junkin (the blanket term used at my house for Mom’s love of hunting) I have a few staple items that I’m always on the lookout for. One of them is carnival chalk ware, specifically dogs, but I have branched out to religious pieces as well over the last few years. There are basically two main types of chalk ware, earlier European and carnival. The first being nicer, more detailed display pieces and the second being exactly what it sounds like. It was the prize you won at a carnival before the stuffed animal days. The history behind these pieces brings to mind the old fashioned carnival days, I can almost taste funnel cakes and candied apples. Back in the days where the prize you won wasn’t something you could go around the corner to Walmart and buy for ¼ of the price it cost you to win it in the first place. These carnival prizes ooze nostalgia, a simpler time. Plus, I’m a dog lover, so put the two together and I am sold. I feel confident that my craze for chalk ware hasn’t caught on as the latest trend because, quite frankly most of these pieces are kind of ugly. (for the record, there are some REALLY beautiful pieces too) The ones I like are often lacking in detail with loud fluorescent color paint. They were made for the masses in their day. I can totally see how one could be turned off. I saw this disdain firsthand on a recent junk outing. I ran into a friend at Round Top who was shopping with her girlfriend. As we shared stories of our exciting finds of the day, they asked what I had purchased. Like a kid at Christmas I reached into my bag and excitedly unfolded the wrapping off my latest chalk ware score.
As I uncovered my treasure I could see the friend’s mind growing quite curious. “so…where do you think you’ll put that in your home? Do you have a spot for it?” she asked doubtfully. I could see right then and there she thought I was off my rocker. She was obviously not as pumped as I was. Like I said, I kind of get it. I mean if I were to decorate with one just sitting alone, by itself it would look poor and pitiful. I’m sure it’s flaws would be overly obvious. Everyone would see it the same way this lady saw it.
But…I like to take these statues and nest them among complimentary pieces in different settings around my house. They add depth, character, color and life to some would be dull vignettes. I love them. I would have to agree though, they don’t look their best sitting alone. It is hard to imagine their beauty in the bright sunlight.
Over the years I have found that I’m a lot like decorating with chalk ware. We are called to be among others.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
When I get in a funk, a bad rut, I tend to retreat from others. I give up meeting together. In that place of aloneness all my flaws are highlighted and the enemy attacks. I feel as ugly as chalk ware looks to most.
It is imperative to get back out there and surround myself with believers so our colors and gifts can lift each other to a better place than we can ever stand alone. If you are trying to decorate your world all by yourself and you have given up fellowship with people I urge you to go out today and allow others to enjoy you, spur you on and encourage you. Not only will you pull your world together a bit, you will brighten theirs! If you happen to be one who is happily tucked in among believers, invite someone in. Help pull them out of their dark aloneness and into His light. Meet together! I think you’ll agree…it looks much better this way…
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
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