Friday, January 23, 2015

Chopsticks or Bach

This morning I read an article that caused me to think about my life and how I choose to live it. We often talk about individuality and the desire to do things our own way, yet we strive so hard to be like others and as Christians we may be the worst. I love to read a good book, and I love to read self help books, but often times by the end of the book I am caught up in how this person lost weight, organized their life, has their prayer and Bible study time, felt led to sell everything and live on one third of their income that I am convinced that this is THE way to do things because the writer felt God leading them and found success. So indeed I need to eat what they eat, get up when they get up, read the Bible when they read, sell what they sold and on and on and on. They found success in an area and that must mean that is the way Jesus wants us all to find success, anyone else been there?

I am constantly looking for the easiest way to do things, some might say I am lazy, others might say I am efficient. But over time I have discovered there is no easier way to have a vital relationship with Jesus, it takes hard work and dedication. I can't read a book and copy what the author did to have a vital relationship with my heavenly Father, I must dig deep and study His word for myself. So often times I feel reading a book about the Bible or about Jesus is the same as studying His Word for myself. I can read numerous books about playing the piano, I can read about being a concert pianist, I can read about someone else who experienced great success as a pianist, but when I sit down in front of those ivory keys does that mean that I am a concert pianist? Does that even mean I know how to play, I think not! I must devote myself to playing the piano, hard work and dedication, sacrifice, those are the things that make me better, not reading about anothers hard work and dedication. Am I going to be content playing chopsticks, reading about some one else playing Bach?

Studying God's word is much the same. I can read about how Kay Arthur, Beth Moore (no offense to these ladies) study God's word and I can even benefit from their study, but until I study for myself, I will always be dependant on others and will never move past playing chopsticks. God's intention is not for us to be dependant on those we consider super Christians, but our dependence  should only be on Him. Reading his Word for myself, seeking His will for my life and not jumping at the latest Christian book or Christian fad bandwagon! Oh it requires hard work, devotion and sacrifice, but the end result is worth it! I get to experience Him for myself! Am I going to be content reading about the  relationship of others  with God, or am I going to have a relationship with Him that is all my own?

Go for it! Be the individual God wants you to be, have a real vital relationship with Him through personal Bible study and prayer. Stop trying to imitate others  walk with Jesus and enjoy your own walk, you will never have fulfillment trying to be like some else. I want to move past chop sticks and compose a beautiful life that glorify's Him.

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Homemade Planner

I am no organizing guru, but I have figured out a few things that work better for me, which I believe to be the key of success in organizing anything. Last year I talked about how I decided to make my own planner  and now I am a year into it and I am still loving what I came up with and most of all still using it which is the point, right? Through out 2014 I rethought and changed things that were not working as well as I would like, I upgraded a few other things that were working well.

Today this is my planner for the new year! I started out with a 5 x 8.5 binder that was just a few bucks, I didn't want a big investment. But the quality wasn't great and it started to show some wear and tear. So I upgraded to this binder in black  and I am pleased with the way it is wearing so far.

I added a zippered pouch and of course a pic of Wonderful and me created in Waterlogue . (One of my favorite apps ever!)

My first section is a monthly calendar, I buy the generic from Avery and fill it in for myself. I have a marker that I created so I could turn to this quickly. I have to have to be able to look at my month overall.

My next section is my week. I tried several daily page planners from several different bloggers, before finally sitting down to come up with my own. Mine is very basic, created on my Ipad, but it works best for me. I have each day, where I can include the date with several blank lines to include either a to do list for that day or whatever I need. I have a place that I can mark off  when (if) I exercised, I hate to exercise and need constant reminders that this is important. I also have a place to mark off my daily Bible Reading. Any notes or more detail has it's own section. I have a section for goals of things that I want to finish for the week that includes anything from make kitchen curtain to week the flower bed. These are generally projects that require more than one day to accomplish. I also have a place for my menu plan for the week as well as a cleaning schedule that is broken into zones for my home. I have realized that I don't need great detail, just direction. This is a full 8.5x11 sheet of paper that I fold and the second half has lines for my shopping. I can easily take this part off to take in the store, if I don't want to take my whole binder. Behind this is a pocket to slip any coupons that I might have for my shopping.

I have a section for notes, where I can jot down random stuff. A section for my Bible Study class that includes a class roster, any memory verses that I am working on and a place for study notes as well as prayer requests. I have another pocket that holds pieces of fabric, ribbon, paint chips or any project that I am currently working on for the house that I might need to reference. That way if I am out and see a great deal, I can refer to my samples instead of guessing if it will match. I have also included a place for business cards, etc. and a folder for receipts that I need to keep up with. There is also notebook paper and emply page protectors for whatever else I might come up with. lol

Now for some of you, this is crazy and you just use your phone or grab a random calendar, but for me I needed something that was specific for my life and how my mind works.

If you are struggling to find the "perfect" planner, I would encourage you to make your own! I even took the opportunity to make it a little cuter including my monogram and some matching clips. And lots of Post it Notes for my addiction! I would suggest with starting with just a couple of things and then adding to as you discover a need for more, that helps with cost, although this is not an expensive project if you use things you have on hand to start with, especially compared to the commercial personalized planners.

Sharing with:  Amaze Me MondayInspire Me TuesdayTitus 2 TuesdayHit Me With Your Best ShotImparting GraceServing Joyfully

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Friday Project-Stairs

It is that time once again, to tear something up, make a big mess and then make it better. When we moved in our stairs were carpeted with teal carpet. I am not sure I told you the house was done in teal and mauve. Well it didn't take long for the carpet to come off.

We were originally hoping to be able to refinish the stairs, but they were not made with good wood to paint or stain. So we started researching totally replacing. My BIL to the rescue again, he works in the flooring industry and while we were in Kentucky over Thanksgiving we picked up the tile  for the bathroom and risers and treads for the stairs.

The first thing was to completely tear out all of the stairs. Although our fridge is built in under the stairs on the opposite side there was still a lot of wasted space under the stairs. We couldn't figure out a way to make better use of it, but we did place insulation in there to deaden the sound of walking up the stairs and to buffer noise from the den to the dining room.

After insulation, then we started cutting treads. Wonderful cut and measured each one, and although they were pretty consistent, it did vary a bit. So the extra time and effort it took to measure and cut each one individually was worth the it! The risers were the same, measure and cut each one individually. This project actually moved pretty quickly and was easily finished in a day.

When Wonderful was finished, there were a couple of creaky stairs, he was going to try to fix them, but both Darling Daughter and I asked him to leave them. A few creaks has so much more charm than non-creaky. I know that would drive some people crazy, but I love it!

We still need to stain and paint and I am sure that will be another Friday Project. But here is how they look now:

Because of the damage and color of the oak stair rail, we had already decided to paint it all my favorite glossy white. I can't wait to see it all completed.

I am not sharing Friday projects in real time. This project was completed on the Friday before we were having the staff party  on Sunday. Cutting it close I know!

I had pictures all along the way, but I lost a whole memory card of pictures for projects we have been working on. Frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I have never chosen a word for the year before. I realize it is trendy and fun to come up with an inspiration word, but I never really gave it a second thought. Until this week.....

{ Sorry for the blurry pic, I recently lost several photos and this is the only one I had.}

If you remember the word joy appeared several times in my Christmas decorating (click here for tour). I just decided to incorporate "Joy" throughout the house and then after Christmas I packed "Joy" up with the rest of my holiday decor.

Wonderful is preaching a sermon series on Simply Church and last Sunday our message was about experiencing the joy of the Lord in our lives. We were challenged with verses like:

"you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory" 1 Peter 1:8
"Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:11

As I reflected on not just the sermon, but these verses, I decided to make Joy my word for this year. That I would live not in the circumstances of my life, whether good or bad, high or low, but on the joy that only comes through a relationship with Christ. I had to ask myself, would others consider me a joyful person, mind you not happy, which comes and goes, but joyful that comes from the inside and is constant. If not, why? Am I seeking joy in the temporary, or the eternal? So much to ponder, but certainly a worthy guide for 2015.
This chalkboard was made from a picture frame to fill in the awkward space by my cabinets. The glass was spray painted with chalkboard paint and the frame painted red for Christmas, now this Robin's egg blue to match some curtains that is a current project.

If you haven't already may you find the eternal joy that comes from knowing Christ in 2015. If you would like to hear the sermon "Why God Saved You" check out the church website at Humble Area First Baptist Church.

Sharing with:  Imparting GraceServing Joyfully

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Friday Project - Tile

We are all familiar with the phrase "Rome wasn't built in a day" and I am sure that is true, but I think it could have been built by a DIY couple on days off! Friday is Wonderful's day off with some exceptions, so Friday is the day we get the most done. Now I am telling you that man will tackle anything, and we have worked on some crazy stuff.

We got an excellent deal on tile for our bathroom, thanks to my BIL!!!!! The bathroom on the main floor has had no floor other than what was left after we tore the vinyl off! Yuck, gross, nasty. The previous floor had left spots of glue and other non recognizable things just stuck to the slab foundation. Wonderful had tried scraping dry, scraping wet but could not get a good clean level surface. So my mom suggested a heat gun, that did the trick although not without a lot of work and being extremely careful not to catch anything on fire! I held the gun and Mr. Wonderful scraped for hours on end, but we finally got a surface that was good for laying tile.

Wonderful worked hard on Saturday to get the tile laid out on the floor and getting all of the proper cuts made, we actually used nickels between the tile for proper spacing. After getting it exactly the way we wanted it, he used thin set to adhere  the tile to the floor. I chose a dark gray grout, I have had light colored grout and hated the work that it took to keep it looking clean, it discolored so easy.

We still have several projects to do, seal the grout, add trim and paint the vanity and woodwork and replace the lighting, but we love having our new floor. This is what it looked like when we moved in......

when the counter top went in.....

and now............

No Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was a house remodeled, but we are making progress one Friday project at a time.

Sharing with friends:  DwellingsInspire Me TuesdayTitus 2 TuesdaysHit Me With Your Best ShotGrace at HomeServing Joyfully