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sixteen days

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One of the most daunting projects on my Sixteen Days of Getting my House in Order was painting the cabinetry in our kitchen.  I finished the week-long project early-mid October, so we’ve been living with white cabinetry for six weeks now. My overall six-week-in evaluation?  I cannot believe the difference white cabinetry has made in this space.I thought I would share more details about my process in this post, and also give an update on how the paint is holding up in our busy family kitchen.First of all, there were a lot of beautiful things about the original kitchen, specifically the warm tones of the wood stain and the textured travertine backsplash. However, as we’ve worked to make this home more our style, the dark colors in the kitchen began to clash more and more with the brighter, whiter spaces we were developing in the remainder of the house.  (Plus, although you…

Okay, I’ll admit it.  When I originally committed to getting my house in order in Sixteen Days, I truly believed I would be done by Labor Day.Please don’t laugh.Have you ever experienced one of those seasons in which it felt like each circumstance and event was strategically lined up for the sole purpose of challenging your personal resolve and commitment?  In spite of best-laid plans, sky-high inspirations, and truckloads of work ethic, so many things came flying your way that you finally had to throw up your hands in the air, take a gulpy deep breath, and do the one thing that is ultimately.so.very.difficult.Surrender?The thing is, in the midst of surgeries, septic issues, broken garage doors, red-eye flights, bladder infections, a very sick dad, and a deeply-loved family member working her way through her own life-altering decision, one Scripture verse keeps running through my head over and over again.We can…

One goal I had in mind when I set up my Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order was to rethink our household food storage.Our kitchen is not large, and therefore does not offer many options for food storage.  One way I’ve worked around this dilemma is to repurpose furniture pieces as food storage areas.Just this morning we finished “moving in” to one of these repurposed furniture pieces and I quite simply can’t believe we didn’t do this sooner. We have needed a designated space for snack items, lunch prep things, plastic utensils, and party items (think birthday candles, candy sprinkles, etc.) for a long time.  This hutch sits directly in the midst of our dining/kitchen/living rooms which makes it an ideal storage place for these items.  The only thing is, when we tried to use it without adequate shelving, it ended up looking like this:I’m sorry you had…

The last few weeks I’ve been preparing a Bible study based on Annie F. Down’s book Let’s All Be Brave.According to Annie, painting risers on the stairs as part of my Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order definitely qualifies as brave.Here’s why:”The moment you take that first step,the moment you start,little seeds of courage,the ones already planted there right now,begin to sprout in your heart.You aren’t headed out to find courage.It’s in you, it is blooming,and it is with you as you say yes to things that seem scary.”p. 23, Let’s All Be BraveThe thought of painting my stair risers was, indeed, scary for me.  In spite of many hours painting furniture, walls, and various accessories over the years, painting laminated risers in a high-traffic stairway scared me.I was afraid the paint wouldn’t adhere, afraid that it would chip and scuff over time, worried that painted stairs would negatively…

What is this love between a mother and a son?In moments, her heart so overwhelmed it truly aches.Her soul and spirit pregnant with hope for who he will become.Right now, a celebration of his nearness.So many high stakes and choices and crossroads ahead for him…for young men today.What is this love?Bending down to retrieve another sock left behind, all the while whispering a prayer for his life-giving and salt spreading and servanthood in the halls of school today.  Because this daily bread is now, this present, and grace abounds right now.Complete, unconditional forgiveness for the neglected sock in light of these more important things.Complete, unconditional love to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.A mother’s heart beats with the cadence of prayers for her son.I am listening to a beautiful story in the mornings this week, a love story between a mother and a son. …

In spite of falling somewhat behind in the Sixteen Days schedule I set, the experience has proven tremendously rewarding and purpose-driven.Being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and church member, and attempting to be sensitive to how the Lord would order my days (as opposed to me rushing into my own schedule and asking Him to bless it), the truth is that ordering one’s house cannot always take top priority.  However, the good news is that I’ve learned much in the process and am moving forward with continued inspiration and determination.  For my own sake, I needed to plan the days the way I did, understanding they would be tweaked as circumstances required ~ things like, oh I don’t know, spending two days processing a moose in your backyard??  You know, random things like that.Here are a few reflections on my Sixteen Days journey so far:   1)  Making the…

I’m sitting here at my desk, my eyes darting from the computer screen down our driveway because at any moment my youngest will emerge from a large yellow bus after her first day of public school in four years.  Red, heart-shaped Rice Krispy treats are sitting on a plate, I brewed myself a double-shot latte, and I cannot wait for our chat party to begin.In the meantime, I will begin my post on Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order ~ Kids’ Systems Part 2 (you can read Part 1 here) but I may have to come back and finish later.  But first, can I share my heart with you a moment?  After my last post in which I shared our family systems for Bible Reading, Memorization, and Prayer, I felt compelled to reassure your momma’s heart in two areas:  Recipes and Realities.By Recipes, I am referring to the…

Many things can wait.Children cannot.  Todaytheir bones are being formed,their blood is being made,their senses are being developed.To them we cannot say “tomorrow.”Their name is today.-Gabriela MistralI am still new at this mom thing.  Although my children are now 15, 14 and 10, they continue to teach me new things as we journey this life together.  Like me, I hope they, too, are learning that sharing life together is about grace….about forgiveness….about unconditional love, and always expecting the best.Even when everything in you dreads the worst.Parenting children does not get easier as the years go by, it just changes.  Some days it feels like the stakes are higher.  I don’t worry about their safety now as much as the condition of their hearts.To be honest, it was easier to control their safety.  Or seemed to be.  (Bear in mind, my children are not driving yet.  This reduced safety concern may…

I titled this post “The Sixteen Day Master Closet” because, truly, it felt like it might really take that long to finish.I relate to the Nester’s post today about her boys’ bathroom: “I’ll do a final post once it’s 100% done (in four years.  kidding.  kind of. )”As I was working on finishing this shared space between Fireman and me over the weekend  (okay, and all the way into Tuesday as well…), I couldn’t help but reminisce on the way things used to be.Back when we had our first apartment together and we used a cardboard box for a tv stand.Oh, don’t worry.  It was a reinforced cardboard box, and a very small tv.  To make it look pretty, we covered the box with a pretty towel.But still.One summer night, Fireman invited some friends over to watch a movie on our very small tv.  One of the guys was so…

As you know if you read my last post, Friday was the first day of my Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order.  I assigned myself the area of Closets first so I could evaluate school clothes needs and begin to turn over seasonal clothing as fall is nearing.  As is often the case when we commit to action in any area, obstacles and distractions come hard and fast in the wake of inspiration and enthusiasm.  The class Fireman was scheduled to teach Friday and Saturday was cancelled, so he was home those two days.  Although I love having my guy around, I think most women would agree that the plans change when the Mister is home, bless his little heart.There was also the matter of no cheese or cereal in the house Thursday evening, a dilemma worthy of rapid address if I was to avoid a mutiny in…