Yearly Archives: 2011

2011 list of lessons & gratefuls

The last few days of 2011…like a vapor time passes doesn’t it?  I have been trying to step out of this life’s busy pull..intentionally soaking up the last bits of 2011..taking inventory of what I am going to take into 2012 and what I am gratefully leaving behind as “life lessons”.

Off the top of my heart here is a little list of 2011′s lessons & grateful’s


a new old house that we can renovate all year long

a new adventure in a business that brings me so much joy

taking courage with me more often

nurturing my trust with God.  YOU & me I often say.  I am getting a ring this year that says that I swear…;)

FEARLESSLY  my 2011 word of year.  All year long I have been challenged in this area!  listening now for 2012 word….

eyes to see and ears to hear.  Praying daily for this.

a new found strength to be on my own..that I would be ok.  It is HARD but I can do it.  baby steps

liking my own heart.  ..I’ve always thought way deep about things that so many would not give a second thought.  For fear of being different I held it back.

learning that my weaknesses are ok and that He uses those.  He knitted me together so it must be good and not to be ashamed of the way my heart is.

hiding..leaving that vice behind.  Learning to accept my gifts as from Him to be used for Him.

Lastly, but the most important is living within each day.  Not in the future.  Intentionally stepping out of the world’s busyness and slowing down.  Often I am finding this is internal.  That is where my wheels want to go ninety miles an hour.  Just taking time throughout my day to talk with God as I walk with Him.  Especially when I mess up or am angry.  I am practicing not pulling away from God but drawing even closer.  And this..THIS is where I am finding more and more His abiding love for me.  He knows every nook and cranny of my busted heart and He still & always will choose me and love me.


my youngest grandbaby–miss kholey:)

and dear one…He does YOU too…chooses and loves that is.  If one thing you take away today please think on that.  He is ALWAYS there.  Feelings are fickle and come and go. God does not.

I am working on house projects and shop projects and getting photos ready to post right after the new year.  I have chosen to take the reminder of 2012 to really think about this past year and looking forward to 2012 and all it could possible hold.  In Jesus calling last week I read…

Expect to see miracles—and you will.  Miracles are not always visible to the naked eye, but those who live by faith can see them clearly.

Can’t wait to rebuild this house and my heart…with each and every one of you in 2012

together we will look for miracles yes?

what things are leaving in 2011 and what things will you be taking into 2012?




will you join the replacement army?

It is more than me..this year.  It has been about listening.  And seeing.  Nurturing my trust in God.

He is always working.  always.  When I can move past myself.  My own pain.  Circumstances busyness and pray to have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Who knew a stove can cause heaven and earth to meet?

Pinned Image

I saw her walk in.  Long unkept hair not real clean, clothes more than likely from the salvation army and she didn’t care if they were a brand name or not.  Honestly, she looked a little strung out…these were my honest first thoughts.  She was in conversation with the employee and was noticeably upset and began to cry.  I heard the word husband and soon after an older man walked in…looking much the same.

I completed my transaction without giving them another thought.  I was there picking up a hutch for House of Belonging.   I was standing on the outside of the furniture area and I looked to my right and there she was again.  Sitting on a couch with an employee rubbing her back while she sobbed.

Way out of character for me I tapped the employee on the shoulder and asked her..”what does she need?”  She said a gas stove.  Someone had given her 125 dollars to buy one that was sold.  They didn’t have anymore gas stoves at this particular store.  My heart skipped beats.. I swear!  You know that old gas stove we had?  Well – it was old and gross but it cooked and baked like a charm.  And we were getting ready to move the electric one upstairs.  After making a quick call to Nana to see if she’d mind if we gave the old gas stove away..I got the OK!

an Instagram of our new (used) stove that sits atop freshly primed and cleaned and is now mice free!

I went over to her and touched her shoulder…would you like a free gas stove?  She couldn’t speak.  Tears welled in my eyes and I couldn’t contain them.  She began telling the lady on the phone someone just gave her a free stove and she would give the check back to her.  The lady on the phone told her no to go buy christmas presents and some food.  This precious heart…who’s name is Cindy I later found out just kept saying….I just gave my heart to Jesus and He is blessing me…

Long story short.  They followed us home and we helped them load it and she just kept thanking us.  She has been abused so many times.  She wants to be able to make it on her own.  I know this feeling.  She loves to bake and wanted to bake me a pie:)  She has four children.  She has luekemia.  She looked a mess but you know what?

that day I saw with my naked eye God working.  With no strings.  No expectations.  I didn’t even say Jesus loves you and all that religious stuff.  She knew.  I knew.  I prayed that just this little bit of love would lay one brick in her new foundation.  Her new life.  And someday she would look back and really see God was always right there.  

The stove encounter has left me different.  More ready to walk on the edge with God.  It showed me how quick I can judge.  I have no idea what circumstances people have come from or are going through.

Later on my son gave me a hug and asked what that smell was?  At first I didn’t know…and then…it was her smell.

To be able to have eyes to see past the smells, the clothes and the messy pain that people are in.  That is what I want all year…this 2012.  To see God working everywhere in the everyday and that I would be available to do whatever He asks.  Even if people think I’m weird or don’t understand.

God is SO MUCH BIGGER than we can even imagine.  His plans and dreams for us are MUCH MORE than we can imagine and I so often put Him in a box.

Please don’t think me crazy here but I truly believe God is raising up a replacement army within the world wide church.  While I respect and love the church building and the people in them so often they are just treadmills that Christians get on and stay way to busy “doing” and miss God all together.

I long to be out in the trenches where real people are hurting and most likely won’t ever enter a chruch building.  But to show love without strings, a track, or a “do you know Jesus” speech.


just love

and may that smell always remind me of where I could be but for God’s grace.

I will be back after Christmas.  I pray for each of you that this year be the year where you KNOW His LOVE for you.  He loves you for ALL of who you are…messy and all.  HE NEVER leaves you.  NEVER!  He is right there and may you ask each day for eyes to see it.  I love you and I wish you a beautyFULL CHRISTmas.  There are no have’s and have not’s in God’s economy.  His GIFT is FREE!  and for that I can be grateful and find peace.



starting with the cabinets & furry friends:(


  WARNING: dead mice.  I called them my furry little friends.  Real life here girls.

Since I do not live in Pinterest reality is I only have so much to work with at a given time and no credit cards to go max out or increase which means I simply have to PLAN.

The beginning of the messy gross kitchen story.  I have an electric stove downstairs that is newer and cleaner looking than the gas stove that was in existence when we moved in.  The stove story I am saving for the end of the week.  Ohhh the suspense must be killing you:)

Sorry small picture.  Pulled it from the listing .  I will take close ups of the grossness in all its glory before I Kilz.

pinky promise.

In a nutshell here is my evolving plan for the cabinets.  They are in my top three things in the kitchen that gross me out!  (2) being the floor and (3) back splash

My house vibe will be urban farmhouse chic..whether it is “in” or not I don’t care:)  It makes my heart sing right?

I am going to Patriot Surplus ( a building material store) within a week to price cabinets to put into my budget      ( very important step girls ) but in the meantime this..hopefully will be an inexpensive fix..albeit a labor intensive project { insert smirk }

So here is my girl “plan”

::DEFINITION:: when I say do it like a  “girl” I mean :  the way a girl does things when there is no man around and you have absolutely NO idea what you are doing so you improvise…got it?:)  some of you know what I mean right?:)

I am going to take all the cabinet doors off.  Remove the old linoleum and bleach.  My least favorite part….eeewwww

Kilz is a OCD girls best friend.  I am going to Kilz the heck out of it.  Inside and out.

THEN the fun part.  Choosing a paint color…and that is the “evolving” part.

I think it is something I can live with for 6 months while I save for what I want.


OK..back to the stove.  Do you want the good or the bad news first? too.  Pulling out a stove after it has been sitting there for at least 10 years is a good idea right?  RIGHT

1)  I can clean it with bleach and Kilz behind it.  Good news

2)  you find poor little furry friends that have been there a very long time.  Bad news

gross gross gross

Pinned Image


maybe all white?  always safe.  We painted the walls in the dining/kitchen Ashwood by Behr.

We LOVE this color.  A why? post coming soon.

Pinned Image

desire to inspire

Take out the upper cabinets completely and install shelves…a possibility.  But showing ALL of my kitchen stuff…don’t know.

Pinned Image

looks a bit more creamy…but I don’t know what I want for flooring yet so…

Pinned Image

sea cottage

now I love the gray here but I have gray on the walls…and the sink but that is another post:)

Pinned Image

house of turquoise

this really strikes my fancy…really considering this..maybe a little distressing?

Pinned Image


two colors?  I like this option to0.  Uppers one color..lowers another

Pinned Image

house of turquoise 

CRAZY stepping out of the box right?  but I threw it in because … well … you just never know

Pinned Image

at last…color on the backside of the cabinets with the doors off.  Pops of color.

Getting a little wild but still playing it safe

SO there you go on my plan for the cabinets

Gross yes but real life.  In my dream Pinterest world I would LOVE to gut it all at once and go to town.  But I just can’t.  And that is A.O.K:)  When you move into an old house and you have to renovate or in our case…clean it up and make it manageable until you can REALLY renovate…you run into to all sorts of surprises and critters.   I still shiver!

I will be prepping for this project while I get very busy with House of Belonging shop!  I have furniture pieces to refinish, pillows to sew, signs to paint….table runners oh my.:)

wishing each of you eyes to see beyond the world in front of you and may you catch a glimpse of God working all around you.

Happy Wednesday



a humble thank you

I slept in until 8:30 this morning and it feels SO good!

Nikki and I had a full day yesterday of “beauty hunting” for the shop and came home with a truck ‘FULL’!

Just popping in to say thank you to three amazing friends who featured our Christmas mantle.  I still can’t believe it!

When you have some time go by and say hello will you?

Home Stories A to Z

Home Stories A to Z

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Savvy Southern Style ( my new friend I found through the Christmas parties!  GO visit her:)

Savvy Southern Style


Have a blessed Sunday and I will talk to you soon:)




what I’m doing right now

i needed a little break from Christmas..{the commercial end of it} for the day and i remembered Lindsey @ Pleated Poppy doing a post on

:right now:

and i loved it.

she stole this idea from meg and a bunch of other bloggers around the internets:  so now i’m a theif;)

::: right now i am :::

watching:  american pickers..i love shows like that.  finding old cool stuff and bringing life to it again.  but i’m typing on the computer so i am half listening

eating:  i ate mexican for lunch..2 beef crunchy tacos and chips & salsa.  my guilty pleasure.

drinking:  dr. pepper.  when i’m second one today..must be stressed

wearing:  american eagle sweats, camo slippers and a cami with a hoodie.  can’t seem to get warm..this house is either too warm or to cold

avoiding: cleaning my house.  it is growing worse by the minute.  card board pieces everywhere from building boxes to ship in.  now that i hand wash the dishes they don’t get done quite as quickly..dreaming of a maid

feeling:  nauseous..the throw up kind.  so hoping i don’t have the puking flu.  i despise looking into a toilet when i throw up.  who invented that anyway?

missing:  the days when i didn’t have gray hair.  to much work but i would look funny with gray hair

thankful:  for friends, HOT water!, light bulbs, orders, family, that i’m breathing, grace

weather:  40 degrees today.  it is dark now and i feel as if i could already go to bed…and it is only 6:02!

praying:  for tara, misty, t’ere and her 2 daughters

needing:  some r & r.  some sun a good book…solitude.  God & me..somewhere..quiet where there is not a dirty house or laundry:)

thinking:  about the shop and all that we have to do before we open.  i am beyond words.  so much work but fun work:)  i swear i can’t breathe i am so nervous

loving:  grace’s hot chocolate in the evening, him being away and that our home is peaceful, seeing more beauty in my days and trying to see the gift in hard things


would love to hear what you are doing :right now:

be back monday with pictures of the beginning of our beauty hunting for the shop!

take one step today to begin living your dream..just one:)

love ya