Today is my final post on my “Bad Attitude” series.  It’s been several days since I posted Part 3 and there are a few reasons for that.  It was REALLY hard to be so transparent about the methods I used to pull myself out of a moody pit.  And you know what?  It wasn’t so much because I doubted whether the methods were effective or legitimate ~ because for me they truly have been ~ but I was surprised and alarmed by the accusing voices inside my Christian head drilling me on why I didn’t dig further into God’s Word during my season of despair, or why I didn’t recite relevant Scripture, or why I didn’t kneel and pray upon consciousness in the morning instead of choosing to do the things I did. Which, by the way you guys, are all such powerful, life-changing spiritual disciplines which deserve volumes of…

Dear friend, I am so glad you are here reading this post today! I have so many things bubbling over in my heart to share that I pray will resonate and inspire you.  As we journey this path of life together, isn’t it often easier to share the happy things, the good days, the successes?  But what do we do in those hard times when we feel punched in the gut, when our grief threatens to choke us, when the fear of tomorrow dawning more difficult than today effectively robs us of the energy we desperately need to function at our best? Which is the pace I found myself last November as we prepared to embark on our family cruise (read Part 1 here and Part 2 here).  Two specific thought patterns alerted me to the depravity of my condition; however, I was not yet physically, spiritually, and emotionally prepared…

(If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here to catch up and join me back here to continue reading.) My mom was the queen of a cheerful attitude.  From earliest memories my siblings and I were expected to choose a good attitude regardless of our circumstances or feelings.  As I grew into adulthood, this discipline of choosing one’s attitude wove itself indelibly into my value system as well.  In fact, a few years ago I transferred one of my favorite quotes onto an index card to keep near my Bible study chair as a reminder: Mood cannot be prayed away.  It must be battled head on. From the moment you rise in the morning your brain will talk to you. Don’t let it!  You determine what you will think, and then let your feelings follow that decision. ~ Ravi Zacharias   So given this upbringing and personal conviction about…

“I have absolutely nothing to offer, ” I complained to my husband as we sat side-by-side on the small transport bus.  “What could I possibly offer to anyone this week?  I have no inspiration, no wisdom, no joy.  I have nothing to offer.  Not to anyone.” I stared hopelessly out the bus window as I  took in Houston’s grievous poverty, recent hurricane devastation, and miles of never-ending freeways.  My family had rented a private bus to transport our group of 24 (grandparents, siblings, and cousins ranging from ages 2 to 17) from our Houston hotel to the Royal Caribbean cruise ship port in Galveston.  We were about to embark on a much-anticipated family reunion in celebration of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  This group of 24 was my tribe.  My people.  They were the ones who loved me regardless, who knew me when, who wanted the very best for me.…

One of my favorite things to do when I visit a home design blog is to click on the Home Tour page and gaze at all the marvelous photos of other people’s homes.  You, too?  This is not a new obsession: Even pre-children, Fireman and I used to frequent local Parade of Home tours for the sheer joy and pleasure of walking through newly constructed, beautiful homes.  What I love most about Home Tours is that they reflect the styles, personalities, and stories of the families within.  Tours are a personal, private glimpse into other homeowners’ lives, and although we find much to admire in other homes, we often realize that in many ways, we all deal with the same dilemmas in our homes.  Things like mudroom chaos, inefficient closet organization, pantry storage issues, and paint color mishaps.  In the end, although a Tour can be gorgeous and photos stunning,…

One huge risk of re-purposing is that sometimes you come across deals that are best left behind. Or perhaps not, because MAYBE…with enough paint and some pretty fabric and enough time…. (and there, once again, you’re HOOKED on a deal that should be left behind because re-purposing is simply part of your DNA and you just can’t help yourself). Which is part of the story behind this couch Fireman and I brought home yesterday. I know, I know. Kinda gross, VERY weathered, and those cushions??  We were somewhat afraid to sit on them. But you see, there’s this local guy named Seth, and Seth has become a “picker” friend of sorts for me, and when Seth emailed and asked if I wanted this couch, I had a hard time saying no.  One, because I like Seth.  And two, in my re-purposing mind, I kept seeing pictures like these: Lovely, outdoor…

Okay, who needs a little home improvement project to stimulate your Tuesday?  I spent a few blissful hours DIYing around my home this weekend and the solitude ~ along with the accomplishment ~ was good for my soul.  In the not-so-recent past, I often tried to “squeeze” decorating or creative endeavors into my life….often feeling indulgent and even guilty for doing so… but over time I realized that creativity could no longer be an aside in my life.  Something within me, within my very design, longed to be expressed and released.  For me to suppress or dismiss that longing was to minimize its significance to my own well-being and purpose, and perhaps even to rob others of whatever small offering I had.  It truly was a turning point in my life. ( If this is a struggle you share as well, I highly recommend the book A Million Little Ways…

Now that the dust has settled and I’ve had a day to catch up on rest after my first in-home Vintage Market, I wanted to share a few details on how things went, what I learned, and what my plans are for next time.  And yes, there will most definitely be a NEXT time because I don’t know about you, but this Market was such a dream come true for me that I can’t imagine not doing it again.  I’m sitting here this morning savoring all the memories of meeting you, discussing everything from the painting of chandeliers to the versatility of paint drop-cloths, from whether or not to paint bookshelves/outdoor furniture/lamps to the 101 ways you can decorate with shutters in your home.  I am so touched and honored by all who came out on a gorgeous Saturday to say hi, supported this endeavor, and took a little piece of my…

Good Morning!  We are down to the final countdown of  my first ever in-home Vintage Market (4 more days!) and I am heading back out to the shop first thing this morning to dive in to more sanding, prepping, cutting, painting, distressing, and sealing the few lsat pieces of furniture, handpainted signs, and a few fun cutting boards.  Fireman and I had such a good time yesterday designing and cutting out several provincial-style cutting boards that will look great on a shelf in your dining room or leaning against the backsplash in your kitchen ~ adding that farmhouse/rustic charm we all love so much. Remember this space from last winter, the studio I was working on in the lower level of our home (just before Project Go-Back-To-Teaching commenced?) This week the studio is receiving a major overhaul and will serve as our in-home store on Saturday.  Here are a few…