Saturday, November 29, 2014

Before and Afters: Upstairs Hallway


We are moving upstairs this week to look at the transformation in our hallway. The before pictures were taken about 2 years ago, while we were still finishing up trim paint and such. hopefully you will notice a a few small changes...



It always amazes me what a little paint and a few pictures can accomplish! Don't ever believe the lie that you have to spend a ton of money to make a space beautiful, we are an abundantly blessed people take a look around you, there might just be something you could repurpose to make your space more inviting or lovely. 

Have a blessed Saturday Friends, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Living Room: Before and After

Hello Friends! 

It is OH SO good to see the sun shining today, I hope it is shining by you too! 

As some of you may have read, our house is going through a little reno do to last winters ice damage. We are nearing the end of the renovations ( just painting and decorating left to do!) so in honor of the current fixing up going on,  I thought some of you might like to see some before and after's of our house, since we moved in 2 years ago, until the present. 

At the end of this series of before and After's I will reveal the dining room and guest bedroom transformations. that are currently underway. I am getting excited just thinking about it, which is why this post series is pretty much just a glorified motivation speech for myself! 

Hope you Enjoy!

 This picture was taken just after the hole was cut into the living room/ dining room wall, you are looking into the dining room from the living room in this picture.
 This was post- paint and a few pieces of furniture, pretty much everything you see here was given to us, I have to smile at this picture, because my color choices and style has changed so much, but I also smile, because it is such a practical example of how blessed we were and are.
 Before our entertainment center was installed, I LOVED reading here...
 Front entry...


 Ok, now for some after shots...or present day shots....Christmas is just around the corner, so soon there will be a tree involved...

Again, so many things in this picture, given or repurposed. Trust me when I say you can do A LOT of change on a little budget! 
 New and improved reading nook...
Remember that hole in the wall??

 The entertainment center (still needs door knobs, will post when I find the ones I am envisioning)

Hope you enjoyed the little tour of our living room, stay tuned for the next room on the tour, 
coming soon!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Finding the Quiet

I'm thankful for the snow. 

I'm in awe of how it forces me to slow down. Gone are the days of summer and fall where I can drive some where, anywhere without giving it a second thought. Here I sit today, cozy warm in my house, no where to go, all commitments canceled. Thankful for the snow. Thankful for its powerful ability to re orient my whole day, my day I had planned out before the snow arrived in a flurry. God had this day my day all planned out too.

"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

This idea of slowing down, has been something that continues to surface itself in my heart these days. I think it has something to do with that wall, the one that is my heart, which was stripped bare. In my brokenness God is pulling out all sorts of things, and in the process He is revealing areas of quiet that have always existed, but rarely noticed.

Hear me, oh please hear me when I say, that I have plenty of "quiet" moments in this little white house with a green door. When I am home in the evenings, I come home to quiet. Chase and I don't create a lot of noisy chaos. Sure our little Marley likes to voice his opinions at times (isn't that what dogs are supposed to do?) but for the majority of the time, our house is quiet, as far as the noise level goes.

So here is where I struggle. I wrestle with being quiet. Quiet on the inside. When I have the time to sit still, I rarely take it. I like to get things done, busy myself with unnecessary tasks, (such as search every online store known to man for the warmest most durable winter boots out there. NO JOKE) I am distracted on so many levels, my mind being pulled in so many rabbit trial directions, I forget that being quiet, the holy kind of quiet, is the most productive thing I can do.

This brings me back to winter. As the snow blew in late last week, and has continued to fall, my initial reaction was less than pleasant. I was grumbly. Then, as if God positioned me right back in front of the barren wall, my grumbly spirit was hushed, and broken I stood again.

Eucharisteo! Euchariseto! Eucahristeo! Cries my heart.

This fluffy white snow and the black icy roads are my euchairsteo for today. They are a physical reminder of the change God is doing within. For today, I have been given the gift of true quiet time, which might not be so tomorrow or the next day as I, along with many of you, adventure to vocations, meetings, gatherings and so much more.

To be completely open with you, today I was scared to be gifted so much time. I know myself well enough to know that I struggle to use my time in an un- busy, un-hurried way. "Help me Lord!" was my plea,  "Give me the grace and strength to be quiet today, I desire to be a good steward of the time you have given, but I so easily wander. Guide me Lord, lead me back to the cross all day long. Put your Holy Words before me, the life breathing, better than anything on this earth words!"

The fact that you are reading these very post, shows that the LORD is answering my cries for a quiet spirit today. Typically I can't sit still until late evening to write. My presence here on this blog, is a practice in quiet. It is here that I wrestle, grow and submit to HIS WAYS. Written words help me to see what I feel in my heart. Writing it down, solidifies for me what it is that Lord is doing in me.

In my quiet, the Lord is leading me, showing up in the still places of my heart and beckoning me to come. To Be Still. And so today, I'm praying on your behalf for safety on the roads, clarity of mind and the humility to find and relish in the quiet with me.

To GOD be the Glory!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stripped Bare

This picture is me.

 Yes, you heard that right, I am this picture. Ok, technically I am in the reflection of the window, you got me there, but I am claiming that the stripped down, emptied out, vulnerable room you see, is in fact a very raw look into my life. 

The Room. 

Before I go off, spilling out my heart and what I am learning during this season in life, let me quickly catch you up to speed on the demo situation going on above. You may recall a certain harsh winter we Michiganders experienced survived last year. Well, our lovely home decided enough was enough and began to cave, quite literally! Now, fast-forward to this week, our trusty fix-it man is here repairing the under-the-surface damages done by the ice and snow. (Just in time for it to hit again, but rest assured we are prepared this time around!) 

My Heart. 

When I walked into our guest bedroom last night and saw this, I had to take a snap shot. Yes, because it's only right to document change, moments in the life of your house; but if I'm honest I needed  to take this picture because of what it reveals about me, my heart and soul in this season. 

God is breaking me, and it is beautiful. He is emptying the rotting parts of my heart and filling me with Himself, fresh and anew. He is building me up to display His beauty, as only He can. 

Change is never very easy at first, but I am learning that it is a beautiful experience when God is the one making the changes. He is stripping me down in small ways, like the fact that my house is in total disarray right now, everything out of place, yet I am ok with it. Yes, I am really looking forward to putting the pieces of my home back into working order, but the fact that I can sit in this space and not go crazy is an act of God. 

He is also working on revealing my discomforts and securities in bigger ways. Last month I attended a conference in Greenville, South Carolina where I knew exactly one person going into the multitude of faces. I don't necessarily enjoy being put into situations where I know basically no one, but let me just tell you that sacred things happen when we go where He calls. The beauty of stepping out in faith is that God never pushes you some place, without already being present there Himself. 

You see, there have been times in my life when I have walked through an entire season of questioning God, while wearing weak lenses that are out of focus. In those times it is impossible to see the big picture. God's picture. 

This season isn't like that though. By God's grace alone, I am wearing lenses custom fit by my Abba. My heart is in sync with His, and I can see clearly. By faith I am walking like Abraham, unsure of the final destination, but willing to follow and trust Him to lead me the entire way. The more I lean into Him, the clearer my vision becomes. This season is absolutely still a journey. I fail daily. He picks me up, sets me back on track, and reminds me again and again that I am HIS. 

I am overwhelmed by all the ways he is moving me, and can't wait to share more! For now I want to encourage you to stay tuned! Changes are on the way with the bedroom above included. You may even see some of those changes taking place right here on my blog, and I can hardly wait!

You are cherished my friend, You were created by the King of Kings! Won't you please let that truth  sink deep into your soul for a moment?

Wherever He has you right now, He knows what He is doing. Our days are filled-to-the-brim with unknowns and uncertainties. We are all being stripped down in one way or another. For today though, won't you choose to rest in His embrace with me? Let's lay down our fears again this morning and face today with arms open wide, ready to receive His blessing for today; even if that means being our guest bedroom wall, broken wide open and vulnerable.