Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Making Home

        Ever since I was a child, I have always loved being creative. My specialty has always been taking limited resources and somehow creating whatever was needed. From Bible school room decor to school projects, the opportunity to be creative has always captivated me. 8 months ago I was given a blank canvas upon which to create. For it was 8 months ago that my husband and I moved into our first apartment. Not just an apartment, but a basement apartment. Not just a basement apartment, but the place that once belonged to my  grandmother and was filled with her things and memories. I am so happy and proud of our decision to move here, but at first I was scared. Scared that it wouldn't feel like ours. The most important thing to me was that the place felt like home to Jason and I. Thus began my new love of decorating; my new favorite way to create. I have been so inspired by many blogs (what else?) particularly....The Nester & also 320*Sycamore and other's style that I just really love like Raechal at Finding my feet (look at her new nursery, drool) and Katie at Harrington House (Allie, if you read this, this girl reminds me of you!). All this new inspiration called for a few projects on this my week off! Let's see the before...

First, the curtains in my bedroom. So, so bad. These were a quick pick-up at Target, I threw them up there with a rod that was already there, and just never came back and fixed them. They are too long and just generally weren't doing much for the window.

Before I show you the after, let me point you to my inspiration. It's from one of the sites linked above: The nester. She has a whole section on window mistreatments, that is what I decided to do. It's basically a "no sew, no lining, totally not perfect,  just make what you like approach". So if you have time, hop over and take a look. She also supports the mantra that it, doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, amen sister! So the after...

     Okay, so not perfect, but I like it! I loved that fabric, and I just came home and started pinning it different ways. I probably won't leave it like this forever, but it is for sure 1000 times better than the before! And I just loved the opportunity to create.

Next project, before....

     This is the wall behind my dining table, for whatever reason, it just kinda was left bare. Blank Canvas, I love it. Since becoming a wife and "home" maker, if you will, I have a newfound love of dishes. I knew I wanted some of those on the wall, but it needed something more. I should mention that before this creation-fest, I spent no less than two hours in the place I affectionately call Hob Lob. Oh, I love that store! So many beautiful opportunities. I had these projects in mind and I went to town. Ok, ok, the after....

    Check out what I found! I was thinking of some sort of saying, but the vinyl lettering I liked was $30, no thanks! I kept on the hunt, and found that perfect little thing you see there! It was on clearance for guess how much..... TWO dollars. You just can not beat that with a stick. And I loved the message. Welcome! I pray that our home is always a welcome haven for others. The top three plate holders were half off, and were $2.50 each. The bottom plate holder, I already had (but it's also from the Hob Lob, it was on sale for like $5). So not counting the dishes, this wall cost a total of about $15. Oh yes.

There is also another variation of this wall...

   I think it's a nice option, especially if I'm using the platter (which another shout out to Allie, who gave me that platter as a wedding gift!) But the Bible on the stand , that was my super cute and oh so talented hub's idea! A little shout out, you know who was the one who really made most of this actually happen? This handsome handy man here....

    Yes, be jealous. Look at those biceps. But even more than those, I'm so so thankful for a man who will come home after working all day and then teaching a Bible Study, and will still happily (yes, happily) go to town on a project for me. I am one blessed woman. 

  So there you have it! I actually have one more project idea in mind that I hope to accomplish before my week off ends. So hopefully that will be coming at ya soon!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

These are the good 'ol days...

    An odd thing has happened to me since I've been married. You see I've never been that girl that sat and pined away for the time I would be a wife and a mother. In fact, I would roll my eyes at my friends who would insists on stopping in the baby section at gap on our weekly visit (hi Am, love you). I've always wanted to be a mother, but it wasn't something that preoccupied my thoughts. For whatever reason, that has changed over the past few months. Now, as I fall asleep or am alone with my thoughts, they usually center around...babies. I don't know what caused the switch. Maybe the fact that it is a possibility now, maybe its because my parents frequently say stuff like "just wait til we have grandkids", maybe it's because my heart absolutely melts when I see how wonderful Jason is with kids and how much he loves them, maybe the Lord is preparing my heart for an unexpected early blessing? Who knows why, but I can now be found perusing the baby section in Target, doodling baby names, and reading books and blogs about pregnancy and babies.

   In the "timeline", (oh, the timeline), I would love to make this dream a reality the summer of 2012 (pregnancy, that is). But, a thought keeps entering my brain... 
These are the good 'ol days.
   These days of weekly date nights, relaxing evenings, lazy Saturdays, and sleeping in. These days of little responsibility, of easily saving money, of only taking care of myself, of doing what I want to do all day. These days of  quiet mornings, of long showers, of getting lost in a book all afternoon.  These days of afternoon journaling, of checking my favorite blogs, of frequent dinners out. These days of leisurely strolling through Wal-mart hand in hand, of taking my time getting ready, of  checking everything off my to-do list. These days of car dance parties, of spontaneous trips to the movies, of long talks over dinner. These days of dreaming about trips to Australia, of clean houses, of having Jason all to myself. 

   Just us :)

   These days are precious, and as soon as we have a baby, they will be over. So I will cherish this time of just my husband and I, but you still may see me in the baby section :).


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Week off: to-do list

   So, this week I'm off from work. The breaks teachers have really are awesome. Every 6 weeks= a week off, it's just awesome! So as a glimpse into my life for you, and a reminder of this time later for me. I give to-do list for the week:

Workout everyday
Wally world run
fix pillows
mistreat bedroom windows (see here for definition:
oil change in car
list e-bay stuff
take taxes
call ATT to ask about discount
file pile-o-papers
finalize grad school stuff
clean baseboards
deep clean stove/microwave
hang out with Amory and Allie :)
go to bookstore and get "Reunion" and "so long insecurity"
change decor behind couch and dining room table

Edit: Whoo Hoo!!
So thankful for the opportunity to do all this! Somebody ask me at the end of the week, how much I actually did! Ha!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Whoa, Light Bulb!

      I read this great blog post last week about this girl's (total stranger...gotta love blogs!) spiritual journey of growth. She talked about different experiences she has had, books she has read, etc. It really got me thinking about my own spiritual growth journey. But, the main thing that really got me thinking was that she said she could remember the first day she felt like she walked in the Lord all day. Funnily enough, she is a teacher too. The day I read that was just an overall yuck day. I was easily frustrated, scattered, and tense for no real reason at all. Then I started thinking...Have I really talked with the Lord today? And, I hadn't...coincidence?...I think not.

        Yesterday (Monday February 8th, 2009...I wanna remember), I decided I wanted/needed to strive for that day of total dependence on Abba God. I think the very best change I made was in the morning. Most mornings, my drive into work is spent dodging traffic, constantly glancing at the clock, and listening to bad morning radio (even the Christian stations..are just bad in my opinion...annoying/negative...why did I listen to that?). Even music (once again, even my great Christian CDs) were sometimes distracting to me. So step one was...turn off the radio. My 20 minute drive into work was transformed into personal prayer time. Who knew my car could be a great prayer closet/altar. It was such a wonderful time. The biggest transformation was that I could feel that wonderful peace that only the Holy Spirit can bring. Ahhhhhhh.
          This really set the pace for my day. All day I would just constantly talk to God. Each thing I saw or heard would prompt something. It was just wonderful. All day, such peace. That particular day, I was placed in a particular situation that would have usually made me feel frustrated, but I just immediately prayed, and it was released from me. I asked God to whisper His words into my ears all day, and boy did He! I just love having verses in my head, what could be better than....

If God is on our side who can be against us?

I die daily.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom.

I will meet all your needs according to my glorious riches.

For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.

Thou Oh Lord, are a shield for me, the glory and the lifter of my head.

Do everything without grumbling or complaining.

The Lord is slow to anger and quick to love.

         The bonus to this was, it made me CRAVE God's words, I couldn't wait to get alone with my Bible. I just gobbled those precious words of God right up. It was just great. The Lord granted me what I asked of Him! I walked in His presence ALL DAY! Oh, it was just wonderful. But, just like my last post said... I had to FIGHT to do that. Literally, those verses plus others were my sword against the evil one who would constantly try to swoop in and steal my joy by plaguing me with pride, or jealousy, or worry, or hatred, or guilt. But, by His grace and power, I defeated that nasty thing. OH, it was wonderful.
       There was also a glorious side effect to all of this. Normally, my way of dealing with stress or emotions is food. I am guilty of seeking comfort in a brownie instead of the Most High God who gives His children peace that passes all dumb! A few months ago, God really put this into perspective for me. After a stressful day, I heard someone say..."I need a drink". How disgusting, I thought! How could someone reach for a bottle because of stress or frustration. Then I realized... I do the exact same thing, its just my bottle comes in the form of chocolate. The bad thing is the food isn't even comforting. Once I've eaten it, I feel terribly guilty, which adds to the struggle instead of curing it. I've been praying for months, years even, that God would heal me of this awful sin. But the struggle continued. However, going along with the "Fight" post, I realized that I had to fight against it...every day, every moment. So Sunday night, I prayed that God would remove that temptation from me. But I also proclaimed that He would not tempt me beyond what I can bear, and that He would always provide a way out so I could stand up under it. So on Monday , when frustrations came, He was so faithful!! Instead of reaching for my stash of starbursts (which I keep for the kids and don't even really like!), I reached for my Abba. Soooooo much better, let me tell ya.
         Today was another test, and He was so faithful once again. I had a long day, and previously tonight definitely would have been a night for a big ol bowl of ice cream to soothe me, but I can proclaim that instead... I have been comforted and fulfilled by Jesus. On the drive home from my class, I just prayed and listened. That wonderful peace returned.
        I am just in awe of Him. One last thing that made me so happy was that I could see that this practice of all-day-complete-communication/reliance on God was making me into the woman I long to be....

I thought of that quiet and tranquil spirit in 1 Peter...
    “Let your beauty not be external - the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes - but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in the God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NET)

I thought of God's ways of handling emotion...

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,

Exodus 34:5-7

I thought of Jesus himself, His humble quiet spirit.
Then, light bulb moment...
This constant walking with the Lord= Becoming more like Him

I've heard it a million times. It's as simple as can be. But I finally got it....
And I don't wanna go another day going my own way...