Wrapping My Head Around It

I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts for weeks now about moving. Maybe find the words to describe my amazement in how we accumulated so much stuff (Oh My Goodness at the STUFF!). Or wrap my head around balancing the many hats I have worn this summer (mom, wife, daughter, packer, mover, teacher, youth pastor wife, friend, etc.) The problem is that so much is moving, so many hats are being worn, too much is changing. It’s like my brain can’t decide how to process it.

This past Saturday we moved out of our home in Cartersville. Most of our stuff went to storage in Rome (because Calhoun storage units were not available). The stuff we need for the next few weeks moved to my in-laws with us (we are all here one week, hannah and I are at my parents next week while Kyle is on a mission trip, then we are all back at the in-laws for a week). I have several bags of stuff to move into my classroom. Plus we had to leave Kyle’s mission trip gear out too. It’s a lot to process.

Kyle asked me on Saturday, as we were finally laying down for bed, how I was doing. (He knows I don’t do well with change.) The amazing part is, I was excited! This temporary move gets me one step closer to my dream home. It’s one step closer to being obedient to what God has told us to do. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve cried (for many reasons) and laughed. We’ve shared stories about our home in Cartersville and sweat more than we ever thought we could while moving out.

Cartersville, it has been my pleasure to call you home for 19 years. Calhoun, watch out…cause we are coming!!!

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A Life Unrecognizable 

Last night driving home from my parents’ home Kyle said, “I don’t even recognize our life compared to this time last year.” And oh how true that statement is. We have always known that God could lead us anywhere (just like he can everyone…not just ministry families), but the whirlwind we have been in for the past year makes our lives completely different. Unrecognizable. Bare with me. 

In June 2016, I was pregnant. I worked at Cartersville Elementary. Kyle worked part time at ATCO Baptist. We had no clue how we were going to afford a baby. We were living in a 900 square foot home with two dogs trying to make space for a baby in all of our stuff. We were overwhelmed!

Fast forward a year to June 2017. We have a healthy, beautiful 10 month old daughter who is crawling all over the house. I work for Calhoun Elementary. Kyle works full time for Trinity Baptist. We are packing our tiny home and moving to our dream home/mini-farm. We are overwhelmed!

Two different kinds of overwhelmed. I feel a bit like Jabez. Praying for guidance, blessings, provisions, ministry opportunities, protection, peace…
 “Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.” (1 Chronicles‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬) I know Jabez didn’t use all of the words I did, but God has blessed Kyle and me in ways we didn’t even know how to pray for a year ago. Our border has been enlarged to encompass Calhoun now! We have prayed for God’s blessing and He has more than provided! God has protected us from harm. God is Good!

Years of praying brought us a healthy, happy baby girl! God is good!


Opening our eyes to where God may take our ministry led us to Trinity Baptist Church. This provided financially, spiritually, and has grown us closer together as a family. God is good!

I didn’t want to leave my job and had planned on staying unless God moved mountains. I received a phone call in April from a principal who didn’t even have a job listed as open on the website. I interviewed the next day and knew I was going to their school. They offered me a job 24 hours later. God decided to heave a mountain out of the way! God is good!

We decided to list our house even though it had little repairs that still needed to be done. We had a contract on it within 24 hours. God is good!

We had been looking for months at homes in Calhoun and nothing made us excited! Until a tiny farm came up for sale. Lots of people were looking at the home and we just knew we would never get it. Until 2 days later we got a call that said otherwise. God is good!

I could bore you with a million details that give me chills because I know they were from God. His hand has moved what feels like a mountain chain to bring us where we are. Trusting Him is one of the hardest things to practice, but has huge rewards! We are still walking through the changes, stumbling on details, and ironing out wrinkles, but God is so GOOD!

Door Decor Died—Time to Make a New One!

Almost two years ago I posted on Shining the Light in Third Grade a DIY for a burlap wreath (check it out here!). This beauty has been a GREAT front door wreath for years and was so much fun to switch out the add-ons each month.

burlap wreath

But slowly the wreath has died. The burlap is warn out, the R is losing is crisp coat of paint, and all in all I just need to start over.


So I have disassembled the old wreath (because why should I buy all new materials if some of them are still good?—I do not have money to waste) and found new inspiration!!!

As you can see my new inspiration is less full, but still very fun! I think I can use this inspiration to continue to switch out pieces throughout the year to make the same wreath festive for each season.

When I disassembled my old wreath I was left with this:


I decided to reuse the foam wreath, pins, and burlap!!! The “R” I think I can repaint and use for something else around the house (maybe a simple Christmas ornament???). If you are going to make this wreath from new materials you will need:

  • 1 foam wreath (mine is a 14″)
  • about 150 floral pins
  • 5″ wide burlap, cut into 5″ squares

I simply folded each 5×5 burlap square in half. Then I used two floral pins to secure it to the front of the foam wreath (one pin on each side). I layered the burlap folds about 3/4″ apart to add some texture to the wreath (this is why the picture above is simply inspiration—not a recreation!).

When you get close to going all the way around the wreath, you will need to pull the first fold up a little to tuck the bottom of the last fold. The full wreath at this point should look like this:


I have purchased a new, larger “R” and painted it with a high gloss white paint. I hope the high gloss paint will allow the weather to not affect the letter so much (with the last wreath I used a tempera paint).


I also am adding a white burlap bow to the side of my wreath where the add-ons will be attached. This is to add some dimension and cuteness to my wreath! I am not going to hot glue the bow so that I can move it more easily with each add-on if necessary. Instead I will use a floral pin (or two) to attach the bow.

My spring add-on is a tin bucket of flowers (held on with two floral pins) and I must say…I am in LOVE!!!


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Recharge, Paint, and Save Money

Everyone has different ways to recharge. Some people need to be around people, others need to be alone. Some need to be creative, while others need mindless activities. After a week of testing, I was looking forward to a morning alone with my worship music playlist and painting Hannah’s room. That is how I recharge: alone, worshipping God!

I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t pay someone to do something you can do yourself. And when you have no money, like us, this is especially true. I have been painting rooms with my mom for as long as I can remember. It is super simple and just takes a few quick and easy steps.

  1. Clean your trim work. If it needs to be repainted, this is the time for that.  
  2. When the trim is dry from being cleaned, or completely dry from being painted (at least 24 hours), use painters tape to cover all trim edges. Remove light plate switches and outlet covers. Now you are ready to paint.                 
  3. I like to paint one wall at a time in this order: edges, corners, everything else. I use a flat padded tool for edges, a brush for corners, and a roller for everything else.                                                                                        
  4. After the entire room is painted, wait about one hour for everything to dry. Then go back and look for places that need a second coat or touch up. Make sure to get close to the walls and look for speckles that are not your paint color.  
  5. After another hour, remove the painters tape. Do this at about a 45 degree angle for best results. You may find that some spots need touching up. Use a small paint brush for these.
  6. I like to wait a full day before putting my furniture back, but not everyone has that much time.

So not only did this task save us money, but it gave me a chance to recharge and love on my sweet girl before she arrives!


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Making Something For Her

We have been so blessed by family in the way of furniture for the nursery. Years ago my aunt and uncle gave us their entire nursery bedroom set and my grandmother gave me an old glider. I have learned to always accept the freebies and modify them to suit your style and needs. 

Over my spring break, I refinished the glider and covered the cushions. New cushions can be up to $150 and I was not about to pay that price. A new glider can be three or four times the price of new cushions! I didn’t love the oak finish of the glider or the terrible blue fabric of the cushions, so I changed them (knowing that my grandmother was fine with whatever I did to them-always ask people if they mind!)

I used a spray paint primer on the wood frame of the glider. I didn’t sand anything. Just wiped it down with a damp rag, let it dry, and sprayed a thin coat.

  Then I was able to use a satin finish, white spray paint (about 2 cans) to coat the chair. This takes time because you have to be willing to do thin layers of paint and let them dry in between. 
I finished the frame by spraying a clear, high gloss enamel over the entire frame. 

For the cushions, I bought 2 1/2 yards of upholstery fabric. I chose something girly because I’m having a girl! I folded the fabric so there were two layers and placed the cushions on top of the fabric. I then left about a 4″ edge around each cushion when I cut the fabric (for thickness of the cushions and wiggle room getting the cushions in). I sewed up three edges for both cushions with my sewing machine. I used a wide zigzag stitch to make it more secure. Next, I put the cushions in the fabric and hand stitched the fourth edge (back side of the seat cushion and bottom side of the back cushion).

I made straps for attaching the cushions out of the left over fabric, but you could also use a thick ribbon for this.   

Ta-Da!!! My glider now looks brand new, girly, and it cost me $23 in fabric, $16 in spray primer, paint, and enamel, and two partial afternoons of time!

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Inspired Flower Planters

Living in the middle of the woods has its benefits! No neighbors, no worries when the grass isn’t mowed, no noise, no light, BUT I also had no reason to buy flowers for the yard for years. I have discovered though, that the joy I get from the flowers is worth the small cost.

This year my flower pots were inspired by this picture I found on Facebook. 

  
I was able to use the image and identify most of the plants at Home Depot this weekend. I bought the smallest plants of each for a few reasons:

  1. They are cheaper.
  2. You get more individual plants.
  3. I like to watch them grow and fill in the pits throughout the summer.

Here is how my front pot turned out!

 
All of these plants like part sun and will really flourish here!

For less than $20 of flowers I was able to fill three planters, one pot on a table, and one hanging basket! Can’t beat that!!!