Thursday, January 30, 2014

barn door

We are working of redoing our basement right now.  We had a doorway leading to the unfinished part of our basement that was too big for a standard size door.  My husband presented me with two options to fix it: an accordion door (seriously, they still make those...no thank you!) or a barn door (yes, please!)  So he picked up some local barn wood and made this door. 
 
I feel like the pictures don't do it justice--I love it! 
It adds to much character to a very plain basement.
Here were his steps:
1.  Rough sanded the boards and used a wire brush to clean all the dirt.
2.  Vacuumed the boards, then wiped them down.
 
3.  He left three boards the original width and then cut the fourth board in to the two end pieces so the door is the correct width.
4.  He added the cross boards to the top and bottom, front side of the door.
5.  The only trim piece added to the back is the one along the bottom.
 6.  He also trimmed the bottom of the very front.
7.  He hung the door using this barn door hardware.    

8.   Because the barn door hardware had a bottom piece that prevents the door from swinging outward that was meant to be drilled into the floor - which did not work on our concrete, carpeted floor - my husband came up with a solution.  He used a metal bracket, washers, and a piece of scrap board to make his own stopper.  (Ignore all the holes in our trim - we are planning on replacing our trim.)
 
9.  His next step is to take down the door and seal it, now that we know that we like it and it works!


 
 The door hardware was $89 + shipping and the boards were $61.
 
I will post pictures when our basement is done!
 
 

 

His will

Do you have moments when you reflect over a period of your life and think I have come so far?

When I reflect on the topic of understanding what God's will for my life is, that is how I feel.

I don't have it all figured out; I do not know the entirety of God's will for my life.  But, I feel more at peace with what God's will means to me - that is where I have seen personal growth.

I used to really struggle with the idea of God's will.  This big, looming notion of God's perfect plan caused me stress and anxiety.  I have always wanted to follow God's will but when I stood at the crossroads of a decision and God seemed silent, it was hard to discern what his direction really was.

Four moments gave me greater peace about what God's will means to me.

First, my Dad said to me years ago that God gives us free will and that means that he gives us the ability to choose.  Sometimes there is no wrong choice between two good options.  And God is big enough that he knows what we are going to choose and how he can use our choice for his glory.

Second, over the years God has written this thought on my heart:  If I know who God is and if I use the gifts he has given me and the desires he has placed on my heart to honor him and deepen my relationship with him, then I am moving towards God's will for my life. 

Third, I have seen God divinely intervene and move me in the direction he wants me by opening and closing doors.  Reflecting on moments when I see God's hand builds my faith and makes it easier for me to trust that he will continue to lead.

Fourth, motherhood has given me a better understand of how God might work.  I see how I do my best to shape my children into healthy, happy people -  even when they don't always understand the journey.  I can't help but think that God sees the bigger picture of my life and leads me as his child - even when I don't understand.

So now, when I stand at the crossroads of a decision, I stress way less that I used to.  It doesn't mean I don't stress at all; I still carefully weigh the pro's and con's of big decisions and tentatively put one foot in front of the other as I move forward.  But, I feel much more confident that if I am moving in a direction that honors God, then I am moving towards his will.  And I know that our powerful, personal and intentional God can always intervene and guide me to exactly where he wants me to be.

My personal growth in this area gives my heart peace

Linked to:  New Every Morning,  Whole Hearted Home, and The Wiegands

Sunday, January 26, 2014

photography

Took some pictures of one of my favorite families. 
(The snow overlay I got from Brenda Photoworks.)
 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

night skating

One thing I cherish - that I don't get enough of - is alone time with each of my sons. 

My middle son loves to ice-skate, so I told him I would take him and his friend.  I always see a different side of each son when it is just them, or them and a friend of their choice. 

It is in those moments that they tell me things that gives me
a glimpse in to a deeper part of their heart.

I cherish these kind of moments.

(As a side-note, I was excited that I am getting good enough at using the manual settings on my camera that I could get the "sun-flare" effect at night.  )
 
 
 
 
 

 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Science Center

"Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.
The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love!
 What you can accomplish!  And what your potential is!"

I hope my boys grow up believing this.  I hope they learn it in the little moments of life, like when we visited the science center and fed their already strong interest in science. 

I love looking at these pictures. 

I see so much potential.

Not necessarily in specifically being scientists, but in my boys discovering the gifts God has given them and seeing how God shapes their lives.

Because, like Anne Frank says, inside of my boys, inside of all us and our children, is a piece of good news....



Saturday, January 11, 2014

hope

 
The other day, I was seated in the waiting room of my doctor's office flipping through the pages of my health information the receptionist had given me to look over.  A line read:  "number of pregnancies = 4."  A sharp pain shot through my heart and I sat up a little straighter, surprised by the intense feeling that a reminder of my miscarriage between my second and third son brought.  Later, at home I dug out what I had written as part of my processing and healing process some months after my miscarriage.  As I re-read what I wrote years ago, I feel gratitude and amazement at how God always shows up in my life. 
 
  
My Miscarriage 
“I spy with my little eyes…” I glanced out the car window looking for any color besides grey to describe to my two sons who were enjoying our game from the back seat.   It was winter and a colorless grey settled comfortably on the earth. The sky was gloomy, muddy snow covered the trees and ground, and cars whizzed by coated in a slush that dulled their shiny appearance. Yet, the scenery of this road didn't always look this depressing. I had driven down this same road the summer before when it was full of life and beauty.  But, that summer my heart did not see the sunshine and warmth, it saw the colorless grey of the winter I am looking at now. 
 
Life’s sorrows often falls on us in dull colors, stifling the vibrancy of our surroundings.
 
My husband and I had just found out we were expecting our third child. Our hearts swelled with joy and we wondered in excitement what this new baby would be like. Would we have a boy or girl?  Should we go with a family name or just a name that we like? How should we decorate the nursery?  We were so excited and joyfully announced our pregnancy. 
 
Then, our joy was shattered.  I miscarried. 
 
Always being a practical person, I knew how common miscarriage was and thought if I ever had one, it would not bother me much. I was wrong.  When I miscarried, I was devastated.  Our unborn child and the loss continually stayed on my heart.  I mourned for the baby I would never meet.  I wondered why this had happened; perhaps I had done something wrong?  I feared maybe this was the beginning of a struggle with infertility.  I felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness, like one single storm cloud had settled over my head to follow me around and remind me of my pain. 
 
This sadness stayed with me as I continued on with my life.  I felt like I was set on automatic pilot as I went through the motions of being a mom and wife. I found busyness dulled my pain, so I fully immersed myself in life’s activities while I quietly grieved inside.  I surrounded myself with joyful, encouraging people because I felt like I needed to.  I was sad when I was not with people.  I stole small moments in my day to share my burdens and my heart with God.  I meditated on God’s promises and tried to concentrate on knowing who God is; that He understands my pain, and has a plan for my life including knowing the number of children I would have.  I focused on God's truths, that He is a bigger than I fully comprehend and His colors, full of love and beauty, surround us, even when all I can see is greyI did this even when it felt hard and I didn’t want too.  And I let myself be sad, because I was.  I found, as the clock continued ticking, very slowly, my storm cloud began to clear. 
 
God seemed to wrap His loving arms around me through the beautiful love and support of my family and friends.  Through their consistent and gentle encouragement and love, the pain in my soul began to ease. Through meditating on God's promises, peace from believing His truths ever-so-slowly seeped in to my heart.  I felt God around me in my everyday life.  It settled my anxious thoughts and lighten my heavy heart.  My sadness thinned and I found myself smiling with my husband and laughing with our sons  The skies became clear.  My heart and soul slowly began to feel colors and see beauty again. 
 
And as I write this, I feel the kick of another son inside my belly…reminding me of one of God’s most important colors….hope.  
 

For you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:5)