What’s Your Story? Wednesday: Chris Blue

bekah Guest Writer 2 Comments

When I began featuring people on What’s Your Story? Wednesday, Chris Blue was the first person that came to mind. Only having known her a short while, she has a warm way of inviting you into her world with grace and a candid honesty that is both refreshing and brave. Written as an overflow of her heart, I’m blessed and moved to tears to share her story with you today!

“Hi! My name is Chris Blue, and I am so honored to share my story on Bekah’s blog today! I have the lovely privilege of knowing this amazing young woman because she sells her fantastic Inspired Windows in our Costa Mesa store, 7 blue chairs. My personal favorite is the one which reads, “Gratitude Turns What We Have Into Enough.”

gratitude

Dang! That’s a hard one! Just as the snake’s taut to Eve was one of discontentment, much of mine has been the same struggle. Discontentment with self, with circumstances, and gratefully enough, finally a discontentment with what anyone other than Jesus has to say about me!

THE DAY YOU WERE BORN IS THE DAY GOD DECIDED THE WORLD COULDN’T EXIST WITHOUT YOU.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, almost 44 years ago, and raised in a small town not far from there, my childhood had some interesting twists and turns. I had my first sexual experience at age five with the neighbor boy next door, and by seven, my parents were divorced and I began smoking. My babysitter soon became my step-mother, and I was off to a life in search of affirmation. There was rebellion. There were boyfriends. But most importantly, there was dance!

My mother had enrolled me at an early age, and I loved it! I took ballet, tap and jazz for years, but when I discovered hip hop… well, it changed my life. I earned a scholarship to the then 9-time National Champion MSU Pom Squad, went on to dance with the Laker Girls for 3 years, had a few bit roles in film, and began Trojan Dance Force for USC. I was defined by this passion of mine, but now my need for approval was greater, and my heart was more empty than ever before.

Invited to a Christian athletic conference, the first night’s message pricked my heart. The gentleman proclaimed, “The higher the gloss, the cheaper the merchandise. It’s true with furniture. It’s true with women!” Can you believe this led me to the Lord!! His heart was sincere, and he went on to talk of those who live not by preference swayed by the wind, but by conviction knowing One greater than themselves exists! Greater than themselves…hmmmmm…

I was engaged to my college sweetheart, but that relationship was soon abandoned in pursuit of one with this Lord who promised to love me with an everlasting love and draw me close with His kindness.

“There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.” John 1:6

My previous fiance had been an African American basketball player, so when John Blue came into my life, I knew it had to be the Lord!! I had been single and growing in God for about five years when this short(er), white, NHL hockey player, who listened to heavy rock music and drove a cargo van entered my world!! We dated for less than two months, got married nine months later; were apart for another nine months while he finished his final season and I graduated, then found out we were pregnant on our first anniversary! I said, “I’m not sure I even know your middle name, but I’m about to have your baby!!”

My sweet baby girl, McKennah, now 15, was born, thus answering a huge cry of my heart, “God, could you ever trust me with a child after the choice I made in college?” He answered me again and again, with the births of Jackson, 13; Tennyson, 10; Hudson, 8; and Georgia, 4. I am crazy in love with their daddy, and this year marks 17 years of fighting hard, loving hard, and living life with my very best friend!

blue fam 3

We had moved to Austin, Texas, a place I could write pages and pages about. It’s a place I visit every spring because I long for its bountifulness; our first home, 3 of our babies born there, lifelong friendships forged there. I feel as though I became a woman in that place, so much so that I think that’s why we have baby #5! Upon returning to Southern California, and after a traumatic trip to Cool Cuts for Kids where Hud’s 2 year-old curls were mistakenly chopped off, I broke down in a heavy heap and wailed, “I need another baby!” I simply had not been without a toddler at my side, an infant on my breast, or an embryo in my belly for the last eight years! I didn’t know who I was outside of the woman I had been there, but I wanted to once more surrender who I had become for who He always is.

After 9 years in Austin, God drew us back to Southern California to pastor a church, Watermark OC! What? That’s NOT the logical progression from NHL hockey player to ministry. But I’m sure you’ve figured out there’s not too much “conventional” happening here. I fought the move from Austin but sometimes we experience change that seems painful because God knows we would’ve never made the decision on our own, and THIS is where we are supposed to be. He has been so faithful, and we are so blessed to be a part of the church family at Watermark OC.

“God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less.” The Circle Maker by Mark Batteron.

blue fam 1

A long time dream, our shop, 7 blue chairs, was birthed out of a love for all things vintage, a passion for treasure hunting, and of course, the dining room chairs! Beth Moore’s mother once said she was the happiest when all “fourteen feet” were under her table. Our last name is Blue, there are 7 of us, and we love when all those booties are in the seats of those chairs! Here, hearts are opened, peaks and pits are shared, and memories are made surrounding that deeply distressed, glitter and glue glammed, harvest table. Each unique chair, painted a signature turquoise, brings to life the plethora of personality in our home, and thus a logo was born:

 blue chairs logo

I had driven by the adorable cottage on 17th and Tustin, Costa Mesa almost every day, and in May of 2011, when the “for lease” sign went out, I excitedly declared to my husband, “This is it! This is the one! This is exactly what I picture when I think of having a modern vintage home store!” He laughed and retorted something about where I get all my money. The banner announcing the opening of a new clothing boutique soon appeared, and that was it. Or so I thought…

One year later, almost to the day, I was shopping in the fields of Round Top, Texas (an antique wonderland so fabulous that if you haven’t been, you go get your ticket the minute you finish reading this!), when I received a call. “The place you love is available. Are you ready?”

“My heart stands in awe of Your word. I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.” Psalm 119: 161-162

I have been amazed at the amount of fear, pressure, anguish, joy, excitement, and sheer awe that goes into pursuing a dream. I have loved lighting a candle and making a fire to cozy up a customer’s day. I treasure the stories that are shared across that counter. I get giddy over the arrival of a new product. It’s a blast to decorate a house that actually stays clean at the end of the day. I hate paperwork. Paying bills. Taxes. I even miss carpool. I have moments where I wonder if I was actually already living a dream of being a stay at home mom! A dear friend once said of me, “She always wants to be where she isn’t.” It is sad, but an unfortunate true observation of my battle with restlessness. Oh, how I long to trust and rest in my Maker. Just as I elbow my way through estate sales in fervent search of vintage blue mason jars and mid-century finds, my heart has indeed longed for the Lord in this season!

7chairs

“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” Deuteronomy 8:2

 Remember earlier I mentioned discontentment and gratefulness? Well, I was with my oldest son in Florida when I received this call. Right before we were to step on the stage for a family runway at an acting showcase for him, my phone was blowing up with texts. It was my neighbor. We were losing our house! A house I called home for the last seven years. A house I believe was given to us by God. A house we had been trying to refinance for the last year. The fight was over. We had lost, or had we? For the first six days, the answer to that question was a definitive YES! This felt eerily familiar. I had this same response when we moved here from Austin. Could I really be experiencing this again 7 years later?? That took about a year for me to recover; thankfully after almost a week, I began to listen. Yay! Greater turnaround time! I’m growing!! I envisioned a chess board, and really felt like God was strategically maneuvering us into a new position for the next thing He had for us. Our lives had become controlled by that house. No fun activities on the weekends, just cleaning and maintaining. The fear of where we would now live was met miraculously by a dear hockey friend, who offered up a home he was planning to expand, which by the way, just happened to have a panoramic view of the ocean!

We are only here until June, but I know the Father will provide. He told me long ago, “You build me a house spiritually, and I’ll build you one physically.” I didn’t even bring a bed for Georgia, or her books or toys. We are still in boxes, but we are going to entertain and build the kingdom as if we live in a mansion.

We are the Blues. We have freshman hormones on one end, preschool “first’s” on the other, and lots of testosterone in the middle. On most nights we can be found at hockey games, baseball practices, play rehearsals, and marital counseling appointments.  There are

  • Blogs that don’t get written
  • Books that don’t get read
  • Rooms that don’t get cleaned
  • Papers that don’t get organized

But there are seven necks under our roof that get hugged every night, and just like Bekah’s window says, we are grateful.”

blue fam2

{One of the Blue Family’s ever-adorable Christmas Cards}

As you reflect on your day, what are you grateful for?

You can check out Chris Blue’s adorable store, 7 blue chairs on Facebook HERE, or better yet, stop by and do some one-of-a-kind modern vintage find shopping!

1724 Tustin Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 949.307.7947

Comments 2

  1. LOVE!! Chris, words cannot express how I loved reading this! Your heart is so beautiful. So true. And so transparent. This was so inspiring for me. Thank you for sharing your life!!

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