Saturday, August 30, 2014

DIY Project Turns into Chaos


      Why is it that every time I see a project on Pinterest or even on an HGTV type show, I think, “That’s a great idea! “That won’t take long to do, maybe a couple of hours.”


     Well that’s exactly what happened this past week.  For a while now I've been looking at the shelves that are in the kitchen of the preacher and I and I've been thinking that they needed a face-lift. I began searching Pinterest and the website, Houzz.com, for ideas. I finally decided that they needed painted, I needed to add some color to our kitchen.

     So last Monday, I went to the hardware store and bought some paint. Then I took everything off of the shelves and placed everything all over the kitchen bar and table. 





Then I cleaned the shelves. I then discovered that I didn't have any sand paper but I found some steel wool pads. After scrubbing the shelves down with the steel wool, then cleaning them up, I began to apply the first coat. Unfortunately, I was only able to paint the top shelf and a little of the bottom of that same shelf. Something came up and I had to stop.

     Now during all of this, the preacher was not too thrilled with my determination to paint. He really wasn't on board and I could tell he wasn't wanting to help in any way. But I thought that’s okay, I can do this!

     Well the next day I discovered that the paint just began to bubble and shrink! Oh no!, that got me upset, but I was determined to get these shelves painted. So I went back to the hardware store and bought some sandpaper. I sanded all of the shelves really well, this wasn't going to happen again. While I was sanding the preacher was teaching at the local college and when he came home he was not too pleased with the mess I had made.

      During the week the shelves just sat there, not getting a coat of paint on them. That's what happens when you have to work, go to several meetings, and then being so tired at night you just can't do one more thing.

I saw this ecard on facebook this same week and thought what perfect timing to see this.

     On Friday of this week I had had enough of this DIY project.  I just wanted to stay home and get this done, I was tired of the mess in the kitchen! I was tired of the chaos that this project had created in my home. So I began to get upset, the melt-down was happening. Then my sweet preacher told me that he had two meetings that day but he would come home and help me get this project knocked out that day. Yay! I began to feel better, I felt like the end was in sight!

     And we did it! We got the shelves painted (it took four coats). We also decided to pull out some old paint and finish painting the hallway that didn't get done when we painted the kitchen and dining room several months ago. The hallway looks so much better and brighter!

     I love the way the shelves turned out! Now that they are done I've been cleaning and rearranging kitchen drawers. The preacher says “That’s enough, no more!”

     I just can’t help it, when something gets in my head I can’t stop thinking about it until it’s done.

     What DIY projects have you done lately and how did they turn out?

                                                      Love from the Preacher and I


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Write Your Story On My Heart

Books I am currently reading/journaling in.

The Preacher and I love books. If you know me at all, you know that I have more than one book in my backpack at all times. I love the feel of a book, I love the smell of a new book, even the smell of a bookstore. I love holding a book, the feel of turning a page to find out what's on the next page. I have downloaded the e-books but it's just not the same. There is a convenience to a digital book, like being able to carry several books in one small package, but it just doesn't have the same feel of a hardback or paperback book.


When I was in school, for the first few weeks/months, I would carry all of my books, even though I had a locker to store them in. The most exciting day of school was the day I received all of my books for the year. Actually opening them and studying...well that was a different story.

Some of my books that I am currently reading are inspirational, and some deal with art - art journaling, scrapbooking, and mixed media. 


One day last week, I was running on the treadmill at the gym, I had my headphones in and my "Need To Breath" station on iHeart Radio was on. The song, "Write Your Story on My Heart", by Francesca Battistelli came on. I heard this song clearly for the first time. The chorus says:
"I'm an empty page, I'm an open book, write Your story on my heart, come on and make Your mark. Author of my hope, maker of the stars, let me be Your work of art, won't you write Your story on my heart."
Upon hearing these words it got me thinking how the Lord loves a good book too, and that book is me! I am His art, I am His story! Each and every day is a new page being turned. Each and everyday a new piece of art is being created. I believe the Lord gets excited opening His book called "Linda"!

Today, be sure to ask the Lord to write His story on your heart!

Love from the Preacher and I

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I Want To Be Wonder Struck

photo taken from Google Images - www.independent.ie

     Last week, a friend of mine gave me a book to read called, "Wonder Struck - Awaken to the Nearness of God" by Margaret Feinberg. My friend would like to lead a women's Bible study using this book for the study so she asked me to read the book to see what I thought.  

     In the first chapter, Margaret Feinberg described how she had lived in northern Alaska, but due to her husband's job change, she and her family had to move to Juneau. On the day that they moved, they rode the ferry to the mainland. It was very late in the evening and during the ride her family fell asleep. She could not sleep and went out to the deck of the ferry, she looked up into the night sky and saw that the aurora borealis was just beginning to perform its beautiful light show. She had seen this wonderful miracle many times before, each time she was wonder struck. But she knew that when they moved to Juneau, a city notorious for its light pollution, and being at a lower latitude, she would not be able to witness this wonder. After they settled into their new home, she said that she would still scout the sky in hope of catching another glimpse of the wonder. She went on to say that - "It occurred to me that this is the posture we're supposed to take in our spiritual journeys. God delights for us to cup our hands in prayer and scrunch our faces against the vault of heaven in holy expectation that he will meet us in beautiful, mysterious ways. The Creator desires to captivate us not just with his handiwork but with himself--displaying facets of his character, igniting us with his fiery love, awakening us to the intensity of his holiness."

     The scripture, Matthew 25:1-13, talks about how there were ten virgins awaiting the Bridegroom. Five were ready but the other five had fallen asleep and had to go out to find oil for their lamps. Consequently they missed the opportunity to join the Bridegroom at the Banquet.

     I have always related this parable to the second coming of Christ, but what if it is more than that? What if it is not only a lesson about the second coming but also a lesson in being ready everyday? Everyday we need to be looking for His miracles. God is there extending His invitation to experience Him daily. But we seem to sleep right through it, and even when we do wake, we just want to say, "leave me alone, I want to go back to sleep". 

     We need a spiritual awakening! We need to not just look for the spectacular miracles of God, like the aurora borealis, but look for those everyday wonders that He gives us. God is there, waiting for us to awake, to live alert, to watch for His wonders in our lives.

     Upon reading this, I pray that you be wonder struck by God.  I know this is what I am praying for!

With Love From the Preacher and I

Friday, August 8, 2014

DIY Cat Scratching Post

The finished product!


     After three years, our cat Belles, was in desperate need of a new scratching post.

     The preacher and I went shopping for a new one. We checked all of the usual stores, Pet Smart, Wal-Mart, Target, and we checked on line. We couldn't believe the prices! They ranged from $40.00 for a small post, up to $300.00 for a very large, very tall post/house. 

     The preacher and I decided that he could make one for a lot less. After searching for ideas on Pinterest, we had a plan. We had left over lumber, all we needed was the rope and carpet. A local carpet store gave us some scrap carpet and they also loaned us their carpet staple gun for free. A long time ago I had found two drawers from an old desk at an auction and had never found a use for them, until now. The post were left over from when we built our house. I found a ball chain and added some ribbons to it to create a toy. We bought some rope and glue at our local hardware store for $18.00. And that's it! That is all we spent on her new scratching post! I think it's a very nice scratching post for our little Belles!

     Here are a few pictures of the preacher and I building Belles' new scratching post/house.

The planning stages.
I painted the old drawers with some left over paint from another project.

The preacher put E6000 glue on the post and then wrapped and stapled the rope and carpet.

We cut the carpet to fit the top board and the inside of the drawers.
The preacher then stapled the carpet onto the board.
He also drilled screws into the post to attach them to the board and the drawers.

Belles checking out her new post/house.
(We cut a hole in the top drawer.)

The hanging ball chain with ribbon is her favorite part.
Here you can see where we wrapped the carpet and rope onto the post.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

When Do We Stop Helping “One of the Least of These”?

(picture found on joyshope.com)


      This question has been on my mind for the past week. Here in this post I will try to give you my answer. But first let me tell you the story of the preacher and I when it comes to helping ‘one of the least of these’.

     When the preacher and I were first married, we worked for various owners of harness horse stables at different race tracks on the east coast. This is where I discovered what kind of servant my husband was.

     There are plenty of rough characters on these race tracks but there  are also very good and wonderful people. We had invited a beautiful young girl, who worked with us, to church one Sunday. She told us she didn't have a car, so we told her we would pick her up. Where did she live? Right in the middle of a very run-down neighborhood. Upon driving into this neighborhood we were approached several times by drug dealers asking if we wanted to buy what they were selling. Even though this was a terrible place to be, and we were frightened by these people, we picked her up every Sunday that winter season.

     Another time, there was a young man working at our stable, who clearly was on drugs. My husband talked with him and discovered he wanted off of the drugs but couldn't get away from those who were supplying the drugs. So, we invited him to live with us in our one bedroom apartment. He slept on our couch, ate our food and came to church with us. Just about every day we were harassed by his drug dealers who just so happened to work at the same race track. Unfortunately the young man left our home and went back to his old way of life.

    The preacher and I have been helping people and opening up our home ever since. There have been success stories but also there have been stories with not so good endings. Even today the preacher gets a lot of phone calls saying that they need help – gas, food, counseling – and it seems like they take and take and take seldom giving back with no apparent effort to make better choices. Sometimes I get upset and express my opinions and then I feel guilty.

     So when do you stop helping? Upon studying and talking it over with the preacher, this is what I have discovered. There is the principal that “God helps those who help themselves”, but what if they’re not willing to help themselves? In the preacher’s last few sermons we see that Jesus explains to the Pharisees and Rulers (Luke 13 & 14) that if they don’t heed his word there will be consequences. The parable of the great banquet (Luke 14:12-24) shows us that all will be invited but not all will come. He is saying that if God invest in you, or if people invest in you and you don’t respond, then there will be consequences.

     I don’t believe that God wants us to stop helping, but I don’t believe He wants us to continually give until there is just nothing left to give. I think He shows us, time and time again, that we need to see some consistent progress in people and when you don’t see that, then it’s time to let them go.

     Do we stop loving them? No! But we have to stop helping them. Do we stop praying for them? No! Pray that they will understand the love that was shown and how to respond to that kind of love.

     Service has an intrinsic value within itself. It has value for you, and maybe we shouldn't worry if our help was not received. God has a bigger picture of their story and our story. In all things, we must give, even ‘one of the least of these’, over to Him. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

12 Tags of 2014 June

   
 

  After posting my tag for July, for the Tim Holtz, 12 Tags of2014, I discovered that I had not posted/shared the tag I did for June.

     So here is June’s tag.  My tag is really close to the tag that Tim Holtz created. I had the butterfly stamps and the gears were left over from the January tag. I stamped the word CREATE with letter stamps. For the background I used my flower stencil and used my Dylusions Ink Sprays, and of course, I used the Ranger's Vintage Photo Distress Ink to cover the tag itself.




     I hope you enjoy.

Monday, August 4, 2014

12 Tags of 2014 - July

   
   
      On July 31, I finished the July’s challenge of Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2014. I was beginning to wonder if  I would get a tag finished in July because I was having such a hard time trying to decide how to create my tag.

     Tim’s tag, shown here, is a summer themed tag. I don’t have the dies that he used nor do I have the embossing powder that he used to make the sand and to cover the seahorse, sand dollar and star fish.


     My supply closet is very limited. I know I still could have created a summer themed tag but something just didn't feel right. I thought about using a July 4th, Independence Day, themed tag but nothing was coming to me.

     Then, the son of the Preacher and I was sworn into the Army (read post here) during the month of July, and I knew that I had to do something to remember this big event in his life.  

     My tag is very simple, nothing fancy. I found the Uncle Sam postage stamp image and the Army camouflage background on Google images. I used some old stickers for the USA and I found the stars in my embellies stash. I stamped the date,  July 21, because that was the day of our son's big day. I had the Army print ribbon in my stash from a page I made documenting the decision our son had made when he was 12.



     Now on to the August tag!