Tag Archives: God

Finding Beauty Within

Our household has been all-a-flutter with activity recently.   We have a bunch of projects going right now that will all be turned into blog posts, but some projects are taking a bit longer than anticipated!

This week will bring changes to our Living Room.  New furniture arriving on Friday will add a different feel to the room, and some added comfort!  I am in the process of working on lighting, a gallery wall, and scrabble tiles for a different wall – all of which are taking more time than originally thought!  More on this will follow as progress is made!

In our bedroom, we have been planning a pallet wall for months!  I found a guy locally who dismantles pallets and sells the boards for $0.25/each.  So that saved us a ton of time!  However, the wood was really wet so we had to dry it out good before we could even think of staining it.  And since the WI weather doesn’t really get warm in March/April, there has been a big delay getting on with the project.  Finally, the boards are dry and ready to accept stain!

It was hard to figure out what color stains to go with.  I wanted to have a variation on the wall of colors, but still keep that rustic look.  In the end, I went with a natural, golden pecan, dark oak, and early american stain.  I think they will all compliment each other once on the wall.  Here was our wall inspiration photo:

pallet wall

Once the wall is up in our room, I will post a picture of that.  But for now, you will have to hang in suspense!

Now that the boards are dry, I could go ahead with staining them.  Staining is not my thing….but for some reason, I just really enjoyed my time applying the stain (the sunshine sure helped!).  It really got me thinking about the beauty that was hidden in these old boards that will grace my walls very soon.  It was amazing to me how just a simple brushstroke could change the look of the boards drastically.

It was like a direct comparison to my time on this Earth, and how God has transformed my heart and my mind.  His goodness and grace is all around us.  Sometimes we let ourselves be “brushed” by His might; other times we turn it away and deny Him.  Those “brushstrokes” could be a friend’s word, invite, song, thought, prayer, nudging you to enter into a relationship with the Lord.  I know for me, God worked a long time to get into my heart.  I could always sense Him around me, but never did I truly understand His calling for me.  Until one Friday night in 2000 at a concert when I finally opened the door to my heart and let Him in.  It was like that unfinished wood that is now beautiful and free to show its “grain”.  It was my Maker’s brushstroke that set me free.

So yes, it is another project that is happening in my home.  But for me, staining those boards reminded me of how beautiful my Lord has made my life.  How blessed I am to know Him and be loved by Him.

Friends, keep on with those projects — and look for the beauty in each one!

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Rely on God

relyonhim

 

 

Rely on God. Rely on God. Rely on God. This saying resonates deep within my soul. You see, 12 years ago, I was a Special Education Teacher. I had taught for seven wonderful years. I loved my job and the families that I worked with so very much. My career was making a difference in the world, and it felt so good, so fulfilling. But God was calling me away from it and I didn’t even have a clue.

My husband and I were expecting our first child in October of 2004 and we were over the moon excited about the baby’s arrival! I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but financially I doubted that it would ever happen for me. God had plans that I didn’t know about! And His plans are so much better than anything I could have come up with!

When it came time to make a decision about going back to teaching the following school year, I thought working part-time would work out best for us financially. I would bring in some income for the family, and still get half days at home with my new baby. That door shut pretty fast, though, because the school district could not find someone qualified enough to take the other half of my position.

So my husband and I were at a crossroads. What were we supposed to do here, God? I really didn’t want to teach full-time and miss out on invaluable time with my precious new baby. But on the flip side, I was completely convinced that living on only one income would not cut the mustard.

Have you ever taken a leap of faith? Well, we did. We had to. When weighing out the options, staying home was the right choice and I knew that deep within me.   I was so wrecked emotionally with the thought of leaving my baby. God knew my heart, and He knew that the only way I would be able to be at peace, was if I was home my children.

Well, what were we going to do to make up the 50% drop in income (not to mention benefits!)? On the way to my parents camper one weekend, my husband and I made a list of all the ways we could earn extra money. A three-hour car ride produced quite a big list! We filled a few pages with thoughts and ideas to explore. But do you know what? God had other plans for us. In the end, not one of those ideas on the paper offered us the income we needed.

Out of the blue one day, I got a message from my Creative Memories consultant (who also worked as a Dietician at the nearby hospital), whom I see maybe twice a year. She knew we were looking for ways to earn some extra money. From an email that was sent out to the whole hospital staff requesting help, it was evident that this was a family who needed some assistance. They had just moved back to the United States from Germany. Both parents were doctors who had very demanding schedules and they had two young children. They knew no one in the area, and were searching for someone flexible, trustworthy, and reliable to be a family aide to them.

What the world was a family aide? Well over the years I wore many hats! It was cleaning, laundry, childcare, running kids to activities, grocery shopping, watching the house during vacations, getting their mail, letting delivery people into the home, and in the end, packing the house to move to another state. (Sidenote: This family is still extremely dear to me and I hold them in very high regard, even though they live 1221.4 miles away from me now. I miss them.)

I guess you could say that this situation was a win-win! I ended up working for them for 8 years! In that time, I had three more babies, and I was allowed to bring my children to their home with me anytime I needed to. This is a great example of how unbelievable God is – I never had to leave my children, our income issue was taken care of, I was able to be a second mom to their precious family, and I found a plethora of new things that I was good at!

Rely on God.

That is the biggest lesson I learned during that season of my life. Truthfully, I am still perfecting that one! But God is faithful to us in all circumstances and I trust in that truth. I rely on God’s truth and faithfulness to me, and for all those around me.

So for all you Mommas out there who think it is impossible to quit your job and stay home with your babies, think again. God will provide so many opportunities and will cover and protect you financially. This season of child-rearing is short and quick, and before you know it you will be able to go back to work. But in the meantime, rock those precious children. Play with them. Take them to the park or a museum. Go for a picnic. Snuggle on the couch and watch a movie together. Read books (lots and lots of books!). And allow God to wrap His loving arms around you and your sweeties and take care of everything. God is:

  • just
  • righteous
  • faithful
  • gracious
  • loving
  • protective
  • extraordinary

And you can RELY ON HIM. I promise.