After typing this post title, I googled the definition of “hack” and found everything from “an untalented professional” to “a cough” to “an unlicensed taxicab driver.”  And of course the more obvious: “A rough cut or blow.”  Finally, after scrolling way, way down (that’s for you Shelli :)) I found what I was looking for: “To change colour by painting or to make it do something other than its intended purpose. Normally with home decorations to suit your decor. Or to make things more useful.” So that’s what this happy post is about.  I hacked some bookshelves.  If you’re new here, you may not know hacking furniture is a thing with me. This particular hack involved a pair of cheap bookshelves, gray paint, peel-n-stick wallpaper, 1/4″ plywood backing, and a few nails. And a Fireman because he’s brave, kinda cute, and very handy. Haven’t we all, at one point or…

Two weeks ago I knew I needed to write this post.  For one, I’ve been wanting to show photos of our oldest son’s recent room refresh, and Two, I know I’m not the only one nurturing and training up a child who doesn’t quite fit “the mold.”  As our oldest son’s high school graduation draws near, I’m revisiting emotions and old assumptions which at times have fit uncomfortably like insecurity, ashamedly like comparison, enough so that I’m ripping open raw places once healed in an effort to re-establish a firm foundation of assurance, hope and trust.  I suspect there are other parents out there who wrestle with the same types of things, recognizing differences in their children, wondering at them, continually worrying while simultaneously celebrating unique skills and gifts not quite measurable, hoping beyond hope for bright futures while fearing they may look different from “success” we’ve seen before. I…

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…