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Monday, September 24, 2012

paint. my new best friend...


This past week I have been keeping real busy during the boy's nap time. With paint.  I have discovered  that paint is a wonderful tool for adding a little bit of flare and newness to the decorations that are already in my possession.  Let's face it...redecorating can be extremely expensive.  But paint can provide either the subtle or drastic change that you are going for without breaking the bank.

So here is what I have accomplished this week during nap time (I hope it inspires you to go the cheap route the next time you want to change some things up in your house!)

I did not take before shots for these next few...sorry...

The canisters (above and below) were plain glass before I got ahold of them. All this update took was some primer, spray paint, chalkboard labels and chalk. 

I made the above magnetic-pen holder out of a can of corn...I love having pens/markers right there on my fridge. 

The candelabras were all black before I painted them...adding some color really livened up the living room.

The balls on the above candelabras were green, orange and creme.  The new turquoise color on them helped balance out my turquoise desk.

I hope you've enjoyed looking at my projects...I've got a few more up my sleeve but I've gotta get over this hangover from the paint fumes before I tackle them!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Real Talk

I am a new creation.  But the "old me" still knocks on my door and stays for awhile from time to time...I do not like these visits...especially when these visits take up residence.

Here is a quick summary of the "old me"...the part of me that I struggle with everyday...

perfectionist, over-achiever, OCD tendencies

Some people would look at these attributes and think that those things do not seem all that bad.

I look at them and see bondage...these three things sneak in and control me.  I make idols out of them.  They often take rank in my life before God, my husband and my kids. 

And these idols feed on each other.  My perfectionism drives me to over-achieve and manifests itself in compulsive behavior. 

...but there is an even harder factor driving these three idols.  My need to please...I let these thoughts control me: what will they think of me if they see my unmade bed? these sticky spots on my floor? these toys EVERYWHERE?

My husband does not care if the house gets messy...if there are dishes in the everywhere...crumbs on the floor...he just wants to see me with a smile on my face and a joyful spirit.

and my kids? ...they want mommy to stack blocks with them and read them a book.

and those unexpected visitors that drop by the parsonage?...they want to see the real me...they want to know that the pastor's wife is just like them...that her life is just as messy and crazy as theirs.

and God? ...He wants me to abide in Him and He in me.  He wants to take first place in my life.  He doesn't want to take second place to laundry, dishes, and clean floors. 

When I stand before Him one day, I doubt that he's going to say, "Wow! Your house was always so clean! Good job!"'s probably going to be more like, "How did you advance My kindgom?... or "How did you bring me glory?"

So who am I really pleasing here with all this cleaning? Myself! I worship myself. I have made myself into an idol.

I'm not saying that keeping a clean house is a bad thing.  I'm not saying that we should neglect our duties at home. God has not called us to be lazy.  But we cannot afford the other extreme me...the over-achiever who often lets these thing get in the way of my relationship with Him and the people I love most.

So how do I overcome this?

do nothing...I'm realizing that only God can perform this miracle in me...I'm saturating this matter in prayer and instead of praying "for help", I'm praying that God would make this change in me.  It is only by His love, grace and strength that I can overcome this. 

So can I ask you to lift me up in prayer over this matter? Do you struggle with the same thing? Please let me know if you do! I would love to lift you up too...

Also, has God revealed to you any ways in which to break this vicious cycle? I would love to hear them. Here are a few things that I have been trying this week:

1. I can only clean up/straighten up twice a day.  I set my timer for 30 minutes after lunch. I use this time for laundry, dishes, sweeping, etc. (obviously there are some exceptions...for instance, I do clean the boy's food trays after breakfast that way they will be clean for their lunch....or if there is a major spill or teetee accident that merits cleaning right away...just use common sense.) I'm amazed at how much time this has freed up in the morning to focus solely on God and my boys. With this rule in place, cleaning does not get in the way of sitting on the floor with my boys and just playing or doing a homeschool session or playing outside.

2. My second cleaning/straightening session happens once the boys are tucked away in their bed.  This one does not usually take long.  It's mostly just loading the dishwasher, putting a load of laundry on to wash, picking up stray toys, etc. 

(If you want to try this realize that the first day is doing to be very hard if you are a chronic cleaner.  It was for me anyway!  On the first day of implementing this in my own house, I found myself pacing the house resisting the urge to go behind my boys and pick their messes up.  By the second day, I was joining in on the fun!)

So right now I'm going to do something that is really hard for me.  I'm going to post some pics of my house in a semi-messy state in hopes that this serves to free me even more. So here goes...

...long exhale.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

my new hobby...

Last week my mother-in-law brought me this:

I had been wanting an inside rocking chair for awhile and she so graciously gave me this one.  And what is really neat about it is that she used it to rock her babies in it.  So now I get to rock my babies in the same chair that their daddy was rocked in...sweet, huh?

But first, it needed a little TLC.  For awhile now, I have wanted to learn how to restore furniture and this sturdy little piece gave me the motivation that I needed...pinterest might have played a small part in this makeover too. ; ) I am very happy to say that I love the way it turned, there was much satisfaction to be had in knowing that I transfomed something that was "okay" into something that is "beautiful".  It's the same feeling I get when I put on makeup. (just kidding)

Anyway, scroll away to see the transformation process and the finished product:

First, I used this cool little gadget to rough it up:

and then "the help" showed up:

it didn't take long to realize that I should have waited until his nap time to work on this project...

after the sanding was done, I cleaned the chair up...

the ends of the rockers where in bad shape so I filled them in with wood filler:

after the rockers dried, I lightly sanded them again:

and then the real fun began...priming...before I started this project, I really didn't know what primer was.  In most cases, it's necessary to use a primer before painting, especially if you are painting over something that was previously painted and/or stained.  It helps your paint stick...

after the primer dried, I started painting...

after my first coat dried according to the directions, I applied the second coat...I have found that the best way to apply a second coat is with spray really gives the best even coat.  Of course, this only works well if you can find spray paint in the exact same color of the paint that you used for the first coat.  (oh, and I would not recommend using spray paint for your first coat.  It tends to be really runny...use regular paint for the first coat, spray paint for the second coat)

this is the best part....

...check back soon for more of my recent projects!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

and so He mends the broken wing...

My sin makes me sick.  My husband/pastor tells me that this is the right response to sin.  More importantly, the bible tells me this as well. 

The Lord saved me by grace, through faith several years ago.  He completely opened my eyes to my wretched, sinful ways. But ever since then, instead of letting God sanctify me daily from His word, I have spent more days than I can count striving to cover up my sin that I still struggle with and mask it in different doing so, I hoped that no one could see my sin and be as disgusted as I was. 

Yes, it is true that even after the Lord saves us, we still wrestle with our flesh and we will until the Lord takes us home.  Cliche it may be, but it is also true that none of us are perfect.  But for whatever reason, I thought that I could make people think that I was pretty darn close. So for years, I have tried just that.  But there comes a point, when the striving to hide and cover up becomes's the point at which true colors show, if you will...

It doesn't always happen overnight...sometimes it's a rage of temper here that leads to a sudden outburst...and a roll-of the eyes there...frustration that pours out...the inability to keep that pretty little smile when the lungs want to burst forth in anger and retaliation...and they do...the realization sets in...I am practically naked now, exposed for the world to see me for who I truly am...Life sometimes has that affect on you, doesn't it?..strips you of your defenses...and then the fear of what will people think sets they know that I am a sinner!

So where do you turn when you get to this point?...this point of total helplessness when fear takes over?

You turn back to the One who redeemed you.

and He says to you what He said to me...

I did not redeem you and give you freedom for you to build a cage around yourself and hide behind masks when you decide to venture out! Quit this game that you play with yourself and everyone around you! You are not fooling me! I see your thoughts... I hear the thoughtless words spoken in hushed tones. I see the tears that a closed bathroom door tries to hide.  I know your fears...your insecurities...When will you realize that you are a new creation? I have justified you, now, let Me sanctify you!

Has God ever spoken to you like that? Has the Holy Spirit ever so bluntly spoken words to your heart that melt the icy cold stones around it?

Oh, what Love!...what Grace!...that He cares about me that much!...that He awakens my slumbering timid fearful arms and tired angry spirit...He unlocks the door to my self-made cage...

And then He brings me here:

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

and here: were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

and here:

...but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Thank you, Jesus!

Your Word sanctifies me!...It refreshes me! It awakens my heart! Your voice gives me voice! You restore my arms, my legs, my eyes! You take away the pain, the anger, and the fear...I do not have to present myself as perfect! For Your perfect blood has covered me! There is nothing that I can do to cover up my can only be washed away by Your blood! So I'll let the whole world know that yes, I am a sinner! But more importantly, I'll let them know that You have forgiven me...You have justified me...and now You are sanctifying me!

No more more masks...

...and so He mends the broken wing and sets me free from my own prison...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

numbered days...

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”


Oh God, how heavy Your words weigh on my heart today. When this Word of Your Spirit was whispered into verse and marked by “Psalm 90:12”, did You know then, that I needed to hear this today? Of course, for You are the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

So today Lord, teach me how to number my days so that my today and tomorrow will be full of wisdom from above…when the little one takes a fever and sleeps restlessly…when the older little one doesn’t understand…when my flesh wins over and I long for a quiet, corner office…a title…a career…whisper Your words of grace that bring wisdom…whisper the titles that mark me already…whisper…redeemed…loved…bride of Christ…forgiven…justified…mommy…wife…daughter…sister…friend…teacher…

So many titles that You have given me, but because I do not always number my days, I take these titles for granted.  I find myself longing for other titles that will never fill this void that only You can fill…for it is when I do not number my days that Your wisdom in me is fleeting. On these days, I cannot see the big picture…it is on these days that I forget that I am a kingdom advancer and that there truly are not many days left for me to take part in advancing Your kingdom…it is on these days that I forget that it is Your will be done…it is on these days that I forget that I am to train up a child in the way he should go…it is on these day that I forget that I am to be an imitator of Him…it is on these days that go unnumbered that I cast off my armor of light and seek my own armor…an armor of coldness, heartlessness, selfishness, and pain. 

Lord, so with each new dawn, remind me to number my days, so that with each fading sun, I can say that I lived to bring You glory that day.