Thursday, December 16, 2010

Peace on Earth

Hello, again!  Can you believe I am blogging again so soon?!  I actually wanted to get it done before this, but things have been a bit crazy around here.  A blizzard.  Two sick kids and a sick husband. A feeding tube "button" needing to be replaced. A house that needs to be ready for 13 guests (my whole family) next week.....
 This poor chalkboard is old and has spent a lot of time out in the weather.  It needs to be repainted....someday.  For now you will just have to ignore the "autumn blessings" that refused to be erased. Despite the chalkboard, I really like how the top of the entertainment center turned out.
 A peek at my nativity collection.  My 10 year old still enjoys setting these up.  Such a wonderful reminder of "the reason for the season."
Another fun vignette.  Jan P., are you reading this?  The sign came from you.  The wooden box came from you.  The chippy white bench came from you.  Oh, I miss junkin' with Jan!
 Please, please ignore the filthy windows.  I guess I will get to them in the spring.  It is far too cold right now.
 Love this old mailbox!  I paid 50 cents for it at a yard sale this fall.  The bugle in the above picture was a junk find from several years ago.  I liked how it tied in with the mailbox graphics.
 Here is my favorite corner cabinet that everyone dreads moving.  Sorry, but I'm not sure I can ever part with it.
 The ceilings in this house are vaulted, so I used the old shutter (another junkin' with Jan curbside find) to add some height.  Some of my old ornament boxes are just that - empty boxes. You sure can't find wonderful graphics like that now.
 This is not a great picture, so it is hard to see the red ornaments in the cups.  I bought this set of dishes at an auction right after we got married.  I rarely use them, but I still love 'em.
 The old dust pan came from Jan's son Dave.  One thing is for sure - I collected a lot of good junk (and good friends) while living in Arkansas!
This is our driveway last Sunday morning.  It is there - under a couple feet of snow!  It took some serious scooping by my guys to get it uncovered.  We did discover something nice about our location.  The sidewalk in front of our house is essentially part of the community walking trail.  So.....the city comes and clears it!  Nice!

I'm not sure if I will be blogging again before Christmas.  I still have pictures to show - just don't have the time.  If not, I wish you all a very merry Christmas!

{"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  Luke 2:14}

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Beginning.... look a lot like Christmas!  Since moving into the house over two months ago, I have really struggled to get any decorating done.  Unusual for me, because normally that is something I really enjoy.  Well, I'm starting to feel more like myself again!  This past week or so I have really had fun decorating for Christmas. And I discovered that it is a lot easier to decorate for the holidays when you don't have other "regular" decor getting in the way.

I do have to warn you before we go any further:  There are a lot of pictures, none of which are outstanding.  Also, please try to ignore any dust or dirt you might see.  I said I had felt like decorating, not cleaning!

Here is my decorated mantel.  Just kidding!  I don't have a mantel, so I decorated the top of the piano instead.  I did not purchase anything new - just used things I already had.  I really do love how it all came together.
Love the vintage bird ornament clipped to the star!  It is one of my favorites.

This pretty garland was a clearance purchase a few years back.  I finally took it out of the packaged and used it this year.  I think it adds just the right touch.

Okay, I really did try to wash those spots of the window.  They seem to be permanent. Oh, well.
For something a little quirky I added this old clamp.
Can you see what it says?  "Perfection."
Can you tell what my tree is made of?  It is an old bedspring with mini Shiny Brites.

I try to pick up vintage wooden boxes anytime I can find them really cheap.  This one was a couple dollars at an auction.  It was filled with lots of junky metal goodness.

It felt good to get this done.  I will show you more on another day.  Right now it is time for supper.

{The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,delighting in the Lord’s perfections.... Psalm 27:4}

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oh Where, Oh Where Did I Go? Part 2

Let me just start off by saying this may be a difficult post for me to write.  And honestly, I'm not sure why I am writing it.  Maybe I just need to do it for myself.  Here goes....

In my last post (I know it is been awhile), I answered the question, "Where did I go?" quite literally.  I was in Arkansas and now I am in South Dakota.  Now I find myself trying to answer that same question on a more personal level.  I read my words from a few weeks ago and wonder where the author is - who the author is.  Who wrote happy thoughts about God's provision?  About blooming?  Who is she and where did she go?

I'm lost.  Withering instead of blooming.  Doubting instead of trusting.  I don't want to go into details.  Again, I am not even sure why I am sharing any of this.  On the outside things may look and seem okay, but inside I am filled with fear, anxiety....depression.  There, I said it.  I've had "down" days (even weeks) before, but this..... this feels different. 

I know what your comments are going to be.  Moving is stressful.  Things will get better.  You need to get help.  I know.  I know. And I know. 

Do I feel better after telling you all that?  I'm not sure.  Maybe I feel better in that when one of you asks me how I am doing and I say "fine" you will know it is likely not the truth.  But you won't question me.  You will just pray for me until I can answer that question honestly.  Until I can find myself again.


Okay, so I can't just leave you with all of that.  I have to share a picture.  A picture that really does make me smile.

{There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
....A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer....  Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4}

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh Where, Oh Where Did I Go?

Here I am!  So much has happened since I last posted.  It was a rough summer and I just couldn't find the inspiration to blog.  My husband's job in Arkansas ended on July 1 and we began the journey into unemployment.  We had no idea how long the journey would be and we prayed that God would provide.

Provide He did!  We felt so loved and cared for by our church family during this humbling experience.  We also had great "family time" that we never would have had otherwise.  There were days that we got discouraged, but we always knew that God's plan would eventually be revealed.  Let's just say, when He decided to reveal, He did so quickly!

Phil had an interview in South Dakota on July 30 and an interview in Missouri on August 2.  On August 3 he was offered the South Dakota job and the next day he was notified that he was not chosen for the opening in MO.  We really felt like this was God's open door and we stepped right through.  This is when things really started to get crazy!  The very next day we hopped in the van for a 15 hour road trip to South Dakota.

House hunting began.  Really it started out as a search for a rental, but again, God provided the unexpected.

We made an offer on this house and, after a "counter," we had an accepted offer.  This is much more house than we ever dreamed we would get, but our payments will be about the same as we would pay for a small rental house. There is much more to the story, but I will save that for another blog post.

Of course, our short time-line posed a bit of a problem.  It was now August 9 and we needed to be living in South Dakota by August 19 so Phil could start his job and the kids could start school.  Yikes!  With that in mind, we headed back to Arkansas.  The entire house was packed in boxes, arrangements were made with the moving company (Thank you, Lord, for paid moving expenses - the first time ever!), good-byes were said, our two vans were loaded with "essentials" and we were heading north again by the 16th!

Sorry....I forgot to warn you that this would be a long post!

On the second day of the trip, and with only about 100 miles to go, Phil's van drove its final mile.  After giving us over 180,000 miles, it just couldn't give any more.  After a few phone calls I was connected with a distant family relative (by marriage, sort of...) who just happens to have two jobs:  1.  He owns a towing business and 2.  He works for a salvage the town where we were stranded!  Yes, God does certainly work in mysterious ways.  In the rain we re-packed; taking the "essential essentials" out of the dead van.  We left it behind to be towed to the salvage yard and went back the next weekend to get the rest of our belongings.
It was a long two days, but we arrived with one day to spare before the kids started school!  We don't have our house yet, but the university is allowing us to stay here:
A brand new apartment complex for students.  So, it is not ideal, but it is a place to live while we wait for a closing date on our house.  Hopefully that will be in the next week or two.

Okay, I will try to wrap it up here.  Phil is enjoying his job and keeping very busy with the start of the semester.  The boys like their new schools and are both playing football.  Sweet Girl has done remarkably well transitioning to a new school and has already stolen the hearts of her teachers.  I am playing chauffeur (especially since we only have one vehicle) and getting things figured out with insurance, utilities, new doctors, etc.
So, that was a really long post to let you know that I am now "blooming" in South Dakota!  I can't promise regular posts any time soon, but I will do my best to keep you updated. 

{Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.  I Timothy 6:17}

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Glimpse of Goodness

I recently purchased this wooden step stool at an estate sale.  It was almost entirely covered in mustard yellow paint when I brought it home, but some peeling places intrigued me.

As I pulled away some of the paint I got a glimpse of the {goodness} that was underneath. Oh, just look at those wonderfully chippy layers!  The more I peeled and scraped, the more layers I revealed. 

It got me to thinking about the layers I have in my own life. There is the thin layer of self-confidence that is easily chipped away to reveal the insecurity.  Sometimes the "super woman" peels away and exposes the "I can never measure up."  Then there is the layer of forgiveness that covers over a multitude of hurts.

Layers build up from each place I have lived; new and old friends adding color to my life.  Some areas are more chippy than others.  Thankfully, the joy and hope are strong layers and only occasionally begin to peel.

Each layer in our lives builds character.  It is up to us to decide which layers to keep and which areas to let peel away just a bit.  Is there something "unattractive" in my life?  Perhaps it is time repaint.  Do I miss an old friend?  Maybe I can peel back time and reconnect.  Life getting rough?  Get out the sandpaper and smooth things out.

Yes, I am going to leave my step stool in all its chippy goodness.  I will do a bit of cleaning, a little more peeling, just a touch of sanding....and it will be a beautiful reminder of life!

{How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.  Psalm 31:19}

I am linking to:
tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Friday, May 7, 2010

Where Hope Grows

Where HOPE grows, miracles blossom.

I'm still here.  Just really haven't had the heart to blog lately, but I did want to pop in and say "hello."  Hopefully I still have a few followers who haven't forgotten about me!  I did have the start of a decent blog post floating around in my head this afternoon.  Unfortunately, there are still bits and pieces floating around beyond my reach.  Maybe in a few days all the thoughts will be captured and put in order.

Isn't that a great quote I put with the picture?  I thought it was fitting for my blog and for my life right now.  Oh, things aren't horrible.  They could be much worse.  But still, I am holding onto the hope that things will be better soon.  My husbands job ends here in less than two months.  He has applied for other jobs in the past year.  He has had interviews.  He has been a "top candidate" more than once.  Oh, the heartache when he finds out he wasn't "the one."  I believe in him and am praying that a new employer will also believe in him soon.

For now we are waiting and praying; wondering where God will plant our family next.  We are ready for a new season of blooming!

{So each generation should set its hope anew on God,not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.  Psalm 78:7}

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rusty Treasures

Well, maybe someday I will get back to a regular blogging schedule.  Other things just need to come before this blog.  It is funny, though.  This past weekend we had a mini family reunion down in Louisiana.  When someone would tell a funny story or there was a "photographic moment" my uncle would say, "Hey, Vanessa, are you going to blog about this?"  It was a great weekend, so I suppose I should work on a post about it.  For now I will just share some little things I've been selling in my antique booth.
This is an old bed spring.

It is fun to look for old, rusty items that most people would consider trash and then search for a scripture to go along with each item.  I use Bible Gateway to find my scriptures.

I realize this isn't a real exciting post, but it is all I have for you tonight.  I need to get my Sweet Girl ready for bed, fold about four loads of laundry, make a grocery list and pull out the corresponding coupons, load the dishwasher......  The fun awaits!

{"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal..."  Matthew 6:20}

Saturday, March 20, 2010

His Eye is On the Sparrow

Yes, I am still here.  I know it has been awhile. Life has just taken priority over blogging, but I thought I would pop in real quick tonight. 

Spring is here!  Well, sort of.  As I am typing this many people are still receiving snow.  In fact, here in south Arkansas we have snow in the forecast for tonight.  Craziness!  But I am still going to talk about spring.  I love waking up and listening to the birds singing outside.  What a wonderful sign of spring!  The birds singing brought to mind an old hymn the other day.  "His Eye is On the Sparrow" is such a beautiful song.

I put together this little collage using a cover of an old book as the base. The "egg" in the middle of the doily is some sort of button.  I was going for the look of an egg in a nest.

I sing because I'm happy.  I sing because I'm free.
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Aren't those wonderful words?  God is watching out for that tiny little sparrow singing outside my window and He is also watching out for me.

This little scripture cards says, "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence; and His children shall have a place of refuge."  Proverbs 14:26  One more reminder that we are safe in Jesus.  I hope wherever you are tonight, that you feel His comfort surrounding you.

{"So don't be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows."  Matthew 10:31}

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thomas Edison Junk

I love this quote by Thomas Edison. My "inventions" aren't quite the same caliber as his, but our minds must work somewhat alike. Right?!

This is going to be a quick, simple post. Too many things to get accomplished today.
My "invention" this week started out with a cabinet door almost identical to the one above. It was purchased for $4 at the antique store.
This is what I ended up with.
The cheese grater was a $1 thrift store purchase and the button magnets were made from my stash.
This is heading to my booth, but I think I will make one for myself with the other cabinet door. I could have sanded and painted the "frame", but I really liked it left as-is. What do you think?

{Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Romans 12:11}

I'm linking up to

Beyond The Picket Fence

Be sure to head over there (click the box above) to see many great ideas!