Saturday, February 22, 2014

{re}purposed Happenings

Helllo, world.
It's been a little while.
In the last year, I've written three posts.

That's because I've been on a
beautiful, crazy, wild adventure for the
last year.

You may have heard:
I started a business.

It's been so much more than I hoped
and yet so much more than I
bargained for!

Having my own business is a dream come true!
It's my dream job!
I get to do what I love...from my home,
and get paid for it!
And yet, it's been so very challenging.

I'm a homeschooler.

While homeschooling is actually ideal
for the line of work I do
because it allows me to be flexible,
you can only
flex so much!

This last year I've had to flex and
bend so much, I was sure I was
going to SNAP!
Running a business while simultaneously
giving my children virtually everything
they will ever need in order to
succeed in life?

Piece of cake, right?!

We also help lead several
areas of ministry at church, 
which means we're pretty much 
constantly running somewhere, or
throwing things in closets
cleaning the house to prepare for
people to come over!
Although some days it doesn't look like
I want it to look like, our lives are full.
It's gone better than I ever
could have hoped for.
My boys are wonderful, brilliant, 
compassionate kids
who have had to learn to go with the flow.

And this little business of mine?
It's going really well.
It's wonderful, actually!

It's been crazy and wonderful and challenging.
There have been a million times
that I've wanted to cry and throw my hands up,
and yet there's been a million times that
I've come to the end of me, and God's
grace, once again,
has lifted me up and taken me to places
I never could have gone otherwise.
It's a beautiful, humbling thing when
he stretches you further than you ever imagined
you could go!
It's in those times that he “tears the muscle”
and helps us become stronger.
It's not always fun or glamorous,
but it creates a 
depth and a strength
that we couldn't have otherwise.
I never would have thought I was
capable of doing everything I've done
for the last year! 

Crazy Mess
of a situation you may find yourself in,
He's greater.
He's bigger.
He's there with you,
and He can make it beautiful.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wide Awake!

Two years ago last night
I got a phone call at 2 am.
My exhausted brain tried to comprehend
what was happening.
I could hear my two sisters, my mom, and
our dear family friend, Stacy all on the line.
I was confused.
Why were there so many voices?
It took me a while to realize we were
on a conference call.
Mom was calling to tell us that
Dad had taken a turn for the worse.
The doctor didn't have much hope
and that he was too sick to operate.
I had just flown back to MN eight hours
ago, after being with him at the hospital
in Dallas for a week.
It was clear that I had to hop on the next plane
and return to Dallas.

Two plane tickets within
the same pay period simply was not a possibility!
We don't have any credit cards, so that wasn't
even an option.
I didn't even have time to worry
about my plane ticket,
when I got a phone call from my
sister. Several ladies from
her church had pooled their
money and had come up with
enough money to buy my ticket!
It was all too much.
It was such an overwhelming
experience. I knew my Dad was dying,
but I was so aware of God's presence
and his provision.
I was so overwhelmed by the fact that
He was literally carrying me
through that day, and, oh, yeah...
here's a plane ticket so you can
get down there.

Tears streamed down my face as I
packed my suitcase.
As I threw items in haphazardly,
I suddenly realized that I needed
to pack clothes for his funeral.
I grabbed every black article of clothing that I had,
wadded them up, and threw them into the suitcase.

I was mad.
I was confused.
I was in denial, and yet I knew
exactly what was happening.
Dad was going to have surgery
to repair the infected heart valve that had
been rotted because of his staph infection.
There was less than a 20% chance
that he would survive.

When I got back to Dallas,
I was so overwhelmed by the support of
so many loved ones!
My dear friend from my high school
youth group picked me up at the airport.
His mom had flown in from
St. Louis.
We had people from all over the
state of Texas sitting in the
waiting room with my mom.
I walked in, saw all of those beautiful faces,
and though it was so comforting,
all I wanted to do was find my mom's face in the crowd.
There she was.
our eyes met, and the tears
streamed once again.
Is he out of surgery? Have you heard anything?”
No. Nothing yet.”
We hugged and did the only thing we could:

Hours passed, and Dr. Matter
finally came in to talk to us.
Dad had died on the operating table,
but he was able to resuscitate him!
Although the surgery was over,
he was far from out of the woods.
We were told time and time again by nurses
and different doctors
to turn off the machines because there
was no hope.
We were told to say our goodbye's, because,
nobody has ever been this sick and
left our hospital alive”.

Dad was in the ICU for 6 months,
and in the hospital eleven days
shy of a year.
But because of the faith of my amazing
mother, my Dad is still alive
two years later.
She refused to listen to them.
God had told her that he would survive,
so no matter what
said, her faith was solid
as a rock!

The last two years have been the most
horrible, but most wonderful two years
of my entire life.
There's no way I would ever wish upon anyone
what my family has gone through,
and yet I wouldn't take a million dollars for the
place that God has brought us all!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing
of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that
you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.”

James 1: 2-4

Something I will never take for granted
again is the value of amazing friends.
Friends who don't know what to say,
or what to do, but they're
there anyway.
It surely is a beautiful thing
when the Body of Christ
comes together
in the way it's intended to.
We've gotten to see
the most beautiful things through this
terrible experience.
We've seen amazing people who were
literally the hands and feet of Jesus to us
when we were so broken and hurting.
Friends who came out of the
woodwork and stood in faith
right alongside us.
Friends from 20+ years ago
who came to the hospital every single day..
Friends who gave meals,
provided lawn service for my parents,
friends who literally prayed through the night
so that we could get some rest when
Dad was in critical condition.
Friends who went to the hospital chapel
and worshiped and prayed with us.

I'm so thankful for where
God has brought my family and I.
I'm so grateful that the Lord
so graciously spared my Dad's life.
And I'm so grateful for the love and
support our family has been shown.

Although I've loved Jesus my whole life,
I spent a majority of my life
spiritually asleep.
Now I'm


Saturday, March 23, 2013


The first time I heard the word 
when we lived in Alaska. 
We were in a lifegroup with some of the most
amazing people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. 
Chris and I grew up a lot in that lifegroup. 
Our leader talked a lot about abiding-- 
that our relationships with God shouldn't be us going to Him 
when we need something or when we feel like talking to Him. 
It should be this constant-never-ending-on-going experience. 
The highs and lows of the day, the mundane moments that seem too boring
to bother God with...ALL OF IT! 

Though that was 10 years ago, I'm just now
truly learning how to abide in Him. 

I've started a new business. There's SO MUCH I could share about that, 
but that's for another blog post. Today's post is about
an experience I had today. 
This whole new business endeavor has been 
so challenging, but so very rewarding, and 
honestly the most fun I've ever had in my life!
I'm doing what I love and I get to make money doing it?! 
But even though it's been such a fun experience, 
it's been a very spiritual experience! 
He has shown me that if it's important to me,
it's important to Him! 
So, before I go to thrift stores, I pray.
I ask God to show me which pieces are mine.
I pray that He will give me creative ideas. 
I pray that He will give me His eyes to see
not what's in front of me, but what things are capable of 

Today I drove up to Goodwill.
The parking lot was about as packed as it could get. 
I hate crowded stores, so I took one look and was about to drive away!
But I stopped myself. 
I prayed first. 
I asked God if there was anything in there
that I was supposed to get.
I still felt a pull to go in.
I prayed again, "Okay, Lord, if I'm supposed to 
go in there, will you just confirm it by giving me a good
parking space? " 
I was just about ready to leave, when one of the 
best parking spaces opened up!
I kid you not! 
So, I thanked Him for opening it up for me, 
parked and went in. 
I grabbed my cart and prayed, "Okay, Lord! You brought me in here!
What do you have for me in this store? Open my eyes! Let me see 
what you see!". I walked around for a while, and nothing major
caught my eye. So, I prayed again, "Lord, if there's 
something here that I'm supposed to get, will you show me? And
if there's someone here that I'm supposed to talk to 
or share with, or pray for, show me! I know you brought 
me to this store! This was your idea, not mine!".

I turned the corner and found this:

I thought it was cute, so I grabbed it. 
I found a few other small things, but honestly, I 
was kind of thinking, "Well, that was anticlimactic!" 

I got home, and Chris started inspecting this 
candy dish. He said, "I'll bet this is 
worth a lot!"
Turns out that it's not worth tons...
but it's worth way more than I paid for it!
According to how much they're going for on ebay, it's 
worth about $50!
Not a bad score!

It's not about the $45 I'm going to make from this 
experience! Honestly, none of this is about the money!
God is showing me how to rely on Him fully!
He's teaching me how to 
listen and obey!
We've told our boys to "listen and obey" 
since Cade was a toddler! 
And now WE'RE learning to listen and obey!

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
       John 10:27

No matter what your situation is right now, 
talk to Him about it! 
There's literally nothing too small or
insignificant to talk to Him about! 
Talk to him, and then be still 
and listen for His voice! 
He's speaking!
Listen and obey!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Home Re-vamp {helping a friend} Phase 2

After I replaced my friend's chairs
{see phase 1 here}
it was time to think about
wall decor in her house.

I needed an
awesomely cheap
way to make a big impression
on a s small budget.
So, I immediately thought about my
mirror collage.

This is my favorite collage
in my house,
and my friend has always liked it...
so I got to work making one for
her home.

First things first:
every thrift store
within a 20 mile radius!
The frames I found ranged
in price from
$2 to $5.

They don't have to be gorgeous!
They just need to be a variation of different
shapes and sizes.
Really any mirror will do--
it doesn't matter,
 just as long as it has a
nice shape.

Then, using painter's tape,
completely cover the mirror.
Sometimes it helps to use a
butter knife to
tuck the edges of the tape
under the frame
so that it makes a clean edge.

Now comes the fun part!
Go to town painting the frame
whatever color your heart desires!
I usually would have used
spray paint,
{my BFF}
but I had some paint left over
from the chairs I painted for her,
so I just used that.

I didn't want to just have mirrors
on her wall.
I wanted more
texture and color.

I found a fun way 
to do that: 

I found this over-sized key
at Hobby Lobby
for about $4

I spray painted it white,
and then had my husband
drill holes in the board
so I could attach the key with wires.

Then secure with wire

Hot glue a pop tab or
wire on the back,
and you're good to go!

 Lastly, I wanted another
pop of color,
so I found a cheap "H" at JoAnn's
{H being the initial for their last name}


and painted it
 peacock blue,
which is going to be 
the color of their 
dining room table

So there ya have it--
it adds a
lot of personality
to this room
on a shoestring budget!

Go forth
 be inspired!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Home Re-vamp {helping a friend}

I've been helping a friend
her home for a while.
Step by step her house
is being transformed from
a "bachelor pad" (her words!)
to a cozy, comfy, welcoming space.

What's one of the biggest
ways you can make a huge impact
on a budget?

Beautiful dining room seating!

Her dining room chairs had
seen better days.
So, I went to work and found
chairs for her table.
I had great luck looking at
thrift stores and on Craigslist.


Not everyone likes the
mismatched look, but she's a
gal who wanted a shabby, eclectic, urban feel.

When looking for furniture to refinish
don't look at all of its

Most of the chairs I found had terrible
stains on the upholstery.
But, you can always
the upholstery!
Focusing on a dining rooom chair's
upholstery imperfections
is like those people on House Hunters
whining about the color of a room.
{are you kidding me?! It's called paint and
you can change it!}

Instead, look at the bones and the lines
of the furniture!

This chair is absolutely
It just needs a little love!

I used the painting technique I used
and then I finished them off with a
few coats of a clear
topcoat (spraypaint, of course).
I reupholstered the seats with a fun,
bright fabric,

{Yes, I'm aware that this isn't the same chair
I was showing you earlier. Note to self:
remember WHICH chair
you took the before picture of.}

I'll be back soon with more fun
projects from her
Home re-vamp!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shoe Organizer Advent Calendar

As soon as I saw 
on Pinterest I was
All you need is 
1) shoe organizer- I got mine at Walmart= $5
2) free printables (on link above)
3) card stock= $4
4) clothes pins- Dollar Tree= $1
5) spray paint- had it on hand, but can get
it at Walmart for about $3.50
6) hot glue- Dollar Tree= $1
7) double sided tape or Elmer's Glue

Did somebody say spray paint?
 I'm in!

Here's Eighteen 25's version:
And here's mine:

I cut my brown card stock wider than she did,
in order to fully cover up the pockets.

I found these cute little Santas
at Archiver's and hot glued one
of them on to one of the clothes pins.

That way the boys know 
which day we're on for the count down. 

I love how it turned out!
The pockets are a great size for 
small gifts for the boys, or cards revealing
the special activity we'll do each day of the month. 

It's become one of my 
Christmas traditions!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CHEAP Storage

You Guys!

You're SO not gonna believe this! 
I found this pin on Pinterest
about spray painting storage bins from the
Dollar Tree,
and I was like, "NO WAY!".
So, of course I had to try it out, because it's like the 
cheapest storage solution on the planet! 

So, I went to the Dollar Tree to get my bins.
Unfortunately, the size I needed was hard to come by.
I had to go to two different stores, 
and I only came up with six 11x11 bins.

So this is what they look like:



Buy these:

The tan is so much easier to cover, and since 
I was painting them blue, the spray paint 
covered these like a dream. 
The other two styles were horrid. 
Don't get them. 
Just don't.
I started out spray painting the bins in a box, but they
wouldn't stand up very well, so the best method
I found was to just hold them up and 
go to town!

Of course, it's always a good idea to wear gloves
when you're spray painting,
but I have a tendency to do things the 
messy way!

Case in point:

FYI, here's a fun little tid-bit:
What does one do when they're covered 
with blue paint and look like they're 
a member of the Blue Man Group? 

I had a feeling that my usual solution of 
scrubbing my hands with steel wool wasn't gonna 
cut it this time, unless I wanted to remove 5 layers of my 
So, once again, Google to the rescue!
Rub your hands with olive oil for a 
few minutes, and then rinse off with Dawn. 

You're welcome.

So, you wanna see how they turned out?
Not bad, eh?
Not too shabby for $6.
But I've still got some work to do...     

Now, if I can just find three more....