By Barbara Rainey
Happy Anniversary, Ever Thine Home! We would love to celebrate our 5th anniversary with YOU so be sure to subscribe below for special updates or check back in with us throughout the month.
We hope you enjoy this little snippet of where we came from:
Full of idealism and energy in my early twenties, I loved motherhood. For years, I had yearned for motherhood. For decades, I had dreamt of motherhood. But quite honestly, I was drowning in motherhood.
Because in my twenties I thought motherhood could co-exist with my other loves. Though my children were my priority, I still tried to reserve energy to foster my personal love of creating art. Motherhood wasn’t the only dream I’d ever had.
But while I painted, noses dripped down lips, untied laces tripped toddler feet, hungry stomachs growled, and siblings squabbled. “Mommy Mommy” cries regularly interfered with artistic aims and I had had it. The ugliness of my impatience over my children’s innocent interruptions scared me. My own selfishness glared blindingly in my face, and I knew something had to change.
Exhausted and overwhelmed, I boxed up my art supplies. I perched them just out of reach on a top shelf and prayed, “God, I give you my art stuff, and if you want me to have it back someday, great. But for now, I’m focusing on my kids.” I knew that my kids were more significant canvases that needed to be painted with love, God, and the beauty of discipleship.
I poured myself into my home. I wanted it to be our sanctuary, a place of creativity, safety and discipleship unto the Lord, so I searched for beautiful and meaningful ways to express my faith inside its walls. I wanted to teach my children great truths of the Bible that were deeper than children’s picture books. I wanted to make an enticing statement about Who we belonged to in our home. Cute books and a few decorative pieces were found in the Christian bookstores, but none that revealed the depth of Jesus’ beauty and glory I wanted my family and guests to enjoy.
Twenty -five years of waiting finally ended when my youngest daughters were in high school. I began painting lessons that felt like a scrumptious, long-awaited feast adorning after a famine. This time I could fully enjoy the sweet delicacy of art without regrets.
Then my empty nest years dawned, and I discovered my decades of parenting had matured me alongside our now grown-up non-profit, FamilyLife. Its fruition brought with it a platform for art I never would have conceived all those diaper bag-laden years ago.
My dreams had to pause again when my health demanded daily visits to radiation treatment rooms. While the introvert in me initially welcomed the mandatory hiatus, the rest of me chewed on the reason for the radiation and all its implications: breast cancer. Six weeks of laser treatment was merely a safeguard to eliminate any lingering cells from a surgically-removed lump. But still, even the tiniest hint of cancer painted in neon strokes that my health, and life, wouldn’t last forever. Now was the time to invest fully in the dreams God had given me.
Though I had tentatively re-entered the world of art and design, my days of radiation kick-started my ideas and imaginations. So in the eerie calm of that summer respite and reflection in 2011, Ever Thine Home was born.
I joined a fortress of like-minded beauty seekers and creators who from ages old have desired to proclaim faith through art. When we open our eyes to the beautiful, our souls are drawn toward God. We want to capture beauty and hold on to it because it speaks to a reality and a truth we know exists but cannot yet touch. That conviction is bottled up in Ever Thine Home’s motto: Believe beautifully.
Because I’ve come to see that God has each of us on a quest to know Him more fully, Ever Thine Home includes radiant hints of His calling in every piece we create. From our first set of ornaments, Adorenaments His Christmas Names, to now proven year-round ways for families to engage around spiritual truth and have meaningful conversations, I’ve finally created what I craved in my mothering years: tangible expressions of the Creator visible in my home, beautiful to behold and centered on True North.
All artists wonder if their visions and intuitions were well founded; I am no different. With each product I still wonder, Will anyone actually purchase this? Was what I always wanted for my home what other women want, too? There have been many naysayers and the work has been more difficult than I expected. But our first year generated a complete sellout, and I felt vindicated. With gratitude we celebrated; relieved that our vintage yet modern rendition of timeless truth resonated with women around the world.
It’s a profound delight of mine to share these products with my children and their families and with so many of you. It’s an honor when I witness my artwork in other homes, proclaiming faith to neighbors, friends and children. The message of Christ is everlasting and we all need it every day. Having those visual reminders around our home is good for parents and good for kids too.
The story behind Ever Thine Home is ultimately about a Designer with impeccable timing and limitless creativity. I continue to be amazed at the doors that open, the people who come, the ideas that bloom and most importantly, the stories from other women who have found joy in proclaiming faith at home through what we have created. Though my artistic journey didn’t unfold as I would have planned, I trust the One who knows all. And I am having a great time!