Thursday, October 28, 2010

Abba, Father

A few weeks ago we looked at the portrait of ourselves that is hung over the fireplace in our Father’s living room. ( Hopefully you were able to stand and admire the picture with Him alongside you, allowing Him to point out exactly what He loves best about your portrait. Even more so, hopefully you are able to see God as your father. Father is perhaps the most endearing name our God has. Jesus’ first mention of Him is as his father (Luke 2:49). He could have referred to God by any number of names that describe His character: Creator, Master, Provider, or Healer and so on. Instead, Jesus called Him by a name that is more intimate than any other name He is known by. Later in his teachings, Jesus identifies God as father again (Matt 6:9) but this time a shift from “my father” has taken place to “our father.” In doing so Jesus gives us permission to call upon the God of the Universe as our own personal father. And oh what a father He is! He loves us dearly (John 16:27) and calls us to be His own people (Rom 1:7). His glory is timeless (John 17:5). He is holy (John 17:11) and righteous (John 17:25). He gives us peace (Rom 1:7). And best of all He has adopted us into His family (Rom 8:15)! Now, in the original Greek, “Abba” was used in Rom 8:15. This is a personal name. According to Vine’s Concise Dictionary of Bible Words, “abba is the word framed by the lips of infants and betokens unreasoning trust.” Unreasoning trust? This deep level of trust is obtainable when we know that everything is possible for our Abba, Father (Mark 14:36), that He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3) and we are His great pleasure (Eph 1:5). Do allow yourself, Sweet Daughter, to trust in His unfailing love (Ps 13:5) and in the generosity of the gracious favor (Eph 1:7 AMP) of your Father, knowing you will always be the subject of His favorite portrait!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Recently I heard the term "upcycling" in reference to repurposing/recycling items. Pretty neat term, huh? It gives a classy sounding name to an age old idea. As for me, I'm just not there...yet. I still refer to it as repurposing when I'm giving a new life to an item. More than just being functional it is thrilling to me to do this. My journey with repurposing started many, many, many moons ago. For the first fifteen years of our married life my husband and I had small/smaller houses. While living in them made for feelings of coziness it also meant that every single piece of furniture, etc, brought in to live with us had to have a function. There just wasn't any room to have something sitting there just because it was pretty. However, I wanted pretty things around that made the house a I just began thinking outside of the box. Even though the current house we're in is the largest one to date this mentality has spilled over into the way *new* items are still brought into the family. Yes, there are shameless displays of something pretty just because I like it now that there is room for this, but moreover most pieces in our home have a function. Many times I run across items that I instantly fall in love with and know I have to an old wooden ladder...but realize they do need new life to live comfortably with us. Sometimes it only involves a quick coat of paint to achieve new life.

Beyond the thrill of making something *new* from something *old* thinking outside of the box with items gives a home a unique style all your own. Now, if you like buying all your furniture pieces all matchy, matchy that's perfectly okay! God created all of us differently for a reason. Maybe repurposing a large piece of something just is not your style. Not everyone likes to deconstruct/reconstruct/paint, etc., etc. But who doesn't enjoy a little something totally unique? Repurposing can be in the form of just using something differently than what it was originally intended to be used for. Doing this requires no modification to the item. It just requires asking yourself the question "What else can I use this for?" So don't feel like you cannot repurpose something if you do not know how to sew, love to paint, or have the time for a day long project. Just keep an open mind while coming across items you love.

Here at "All About Home" we'll explore, as the weeks go by, the many different ways we can repurpose items to make our homes as unique as we are...from projects that take some elbow grease to quirky things that only take brain waves to make happen (not talking about bending spoons with our minds...). So, with that all being said, feel free Dear Reader to submit your photos (click on "Contact Me" in the upper left side of the homepage) to showcase your creativity for all of us to "ooh!" and "ahh!" over and  get inspired to do something similar!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Christmas Countdown, week one

Don't ask me how this happened but Christmas is now officially two months away (sixty-one days to be exact). It seems utterly impossible that a whole year has passed. I mean, really!?! We just did this whole thing like yesterday, right? Well, the impossible has happened in my world and I'm looking back at another year. And for as much as it seems an impossibility it is in fact a that I know I best start preparing for. Now if you're one of those people who thrive on last minute preparations, read no more. For the rest of you out there like me read on...

When I start thinking of Christmas the obvious first thought is gift giving. (Don't blast me for saying that. I am speaking in practical, physical terms. I know the real reason behind Christmas and firmly believe that we all should daily keep our Savior first and foremost in our minds and the motivation behind all we say and do.) This can be either the biggest thrill of our year or the biggest headache of our year. To keep it from being the latter, take a few minutes this week to write down who you want to bless this year. Then go a step further and write down some ideas by their name. Then go one step beyond that and list the items you'll need to gather for the gift you want to give.

Now as you do this keep in mind the gifts need not be grand in nature to be the blessing you want them to be. For most of us something homemade that shows the giver has put thought into pleasing the recipient really are grandest gifts of all! Basically, just consider the needs of the person/people you are gifting. Someone who has "everything" can always use something consumable. Have a family you want to gift but not sure what everyone likes? A gift basket filled with the makings of breakfast, movie night or game night are fun options. How about a college student? They're always broke and a care box full of toothpaste, soap and shampoo is more than welcome. Throw in a gas card and they'll think they've found the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!

Once you have your list made keep your eyes open and begin gathering items. Hitting yard sales and thrift stores are two of our favorite ways to gather things we want to use to make gifts. Doing this also stretches your dollars so you can give more. Honestly, though it may sound cheesy to do so I have yet to EVER have someone ask "Did this come from a yard sale?" Most recipients have loved those unique items more than if I had bought something brand-new. Oh, and don't stop gathering once this Christmas is all set. You'll get a feel for what kinds of things you'll use so gather those items year 'round. This makes for even less stress, both on us and our wallets.

And don't overlook items you've been given that you can regift. Nothing cheesy about that, either! Remember, it is all about blessing people and when that is the motivation behind the gifts you give the recipient of that blessing feels the love you are showing them!

If you're stuck and needing some ideas for homemade gifts surf the net. There are oodles of ideas out there...from the zany to the tasteful. (Okay, pun was intended.) Here are a few sites that I've come across with some cool ideas.

This first one has gifts in a mug and is perfect for someone on your list who is single or watching calories:
They also have an extensive list of other gift ideas:
I must say here that I have not thoroughly been though this website but from what I have seen I have not come across any offensive material while going through their gift ideas.

As always, Martha Stewart delivers some classic ideas:
Okay, okay...Martha doesn't live at my house, either, but she does have some great ideas.

Lastly, this site offers many homemade craft/gift ideas for the various people on your list:

So now it's time for you to begin your list, check it twice and get to gathering! As for me...I'm off to do the same...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What’s Your Motivation?

When one takes a moment to reflect upon motivation we see that in and of itself it is not a bad thing. Many times it has a negative connotation with it but simply put, motivation is the inner drive that causes us to do something or act in a certain way. When we are hungry, motivation is the driving force in the decision to reach for the refrigerator handle. It drives us to get up when we stumble or fail. Behind each life-goal that is met one can find motivation as the inner driving force. We all possess this inner drive but the option is ours whether this drive remains pure or whether it becomes corrupted by greed and self-importance. Unfortunately there are times when each of us can inadvertently slip from pure motivations to corrupted ones without realizing we’ve done so, even if we are walking with the Lord. Too often we can read a scripture like Ps 37:4 (AMP), “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desire and secret petitions of your heart” and think we’ve just discovered a one-way ticket to a gold mine. It does sound good and we can begin thinking that if we just delight in Him that new Corvette will be ours in no time. However, this line of thinking misses the point and instead of delight in God it becomes greed-motivated adoration. True delight is motivated by love and is actually an inward action, as stated in Rom 7:22 (AMP), “For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self (with my new nature)”. Ps 1:2 (AMP) echoes the delight in the law of the Lord, “But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.” When one does delight in the Lord, in His precepts, an interesting thing happens. Many of the desires of the heart do change. The ones that remain transfixed are the ones that were never motivated by greed to start with. There may still come a day when that muscle car is parked in the garage, the home-based business that has been a life-long goal comes to fruition, or the keys to a larger home that suits the family better are finally handed over. Do remember, however, that the end result of such blessings is not merely in the fulfilling of the desires of the heart it is to glorify our Father in Heaven. He absolutely loves to lavish his children with good gifts and it is okay to ask of Him as long as the desire is motivated by love for Him and our delight is in His law. What we ask must line up with His Word and will. We must also continually ask the Holy Spirit to check the motive behind our request and convict us when we ask for the wrong reason. But what do we do when there is a request we have been making, a strong desire such as one has never felt before that we know comes from the right motivation, that seems to go unfulfilled? Either it could be that our timing is not lining up with God’s or it could be that what we ask for requires the cooperation of another person. For example, after years of praying, the desire of our heart for our loved one(s) or friend(s) to serve the Lord does not seem to be coming to fruition. The motives are pure. The love is real. What we ask lines up with the Word. It absolutely is God’s will that none shall perish (2Peter 3:9) because Jesus was sent to save the entire world (John 12:47). However, the prayers still seem to go unanswered. Ultimately what we have encountered here is the free will of another. Remember, though a person’s free will cannot be changed we can hold onto this desire and persevere in prayer until being called home to be with the Lord. If the case of an unfulfilled desire is due to the lack of proper timing, give that up to your Father. He knows. He won’t forget. And He is always right on time. Lastly, and what personally thrills me the most, is the fulfillment of desires that you have not even asked your Father for. I’m speaking of the “secret petitions.” Perhaps those are the most special times because this is when you realize that your God, the God of the universe, the Creator of all, took the time to look deep into your heart and just give you a thrill because He loves you so. And just think, it’s all because you have taken the time to delight yourself in Him and you possess pure motivation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Making it Personal

Saying I love to watch HGTV is without a doubt an understatement. Fresh ideas, latest trends and tried and true techiques are right up my alley whenever I'm needing inspiration. There is one particular show that takes three different homes that have had the same room renovated with the same amount of money each and two experts decide which reno was the best. The experts include a HGTV host and a local realtor. They end up nitpicking the room to death. This is after the homeowner explains why they did what they did and how much they love it. While the experts critique the room the homeowners watch via video feed. Makes for an iteresting process to say the least. Last week as I watched this show I found myself growing irritated at the *experts* and their *professional opinions.* (I have to say here that one of the experts is absolutely one of my favorite designers on HGTV.) But as they went on talking about all that was *wrong* with each room it just got so annoying. They were seeing it through the eyes of what appeals to the masses while each homeowner did the reno to be lived in by them and their families. Which got me to thinking about how we ought to be decorating our homes. Our homes should be a comfortable place to live in, filled with things that we love. And, yes, we do want people to enjoy our homes when in them but while one person may think an accent wall painted in a shocking red is the worse thing that can be done to a room, another may smile each time they admire that same wall. Now let me pause here to say that when one is in the process of selling a house I firmly believe in staging a house to appeal to the masses. Otherwise, we should be adding our own personal touches without worrying about "what if" we sell one day or "what if" so-and-so, whose house is nicer than mine, doesn't like my decor. Our homes are our sanctuary from the stresses of the outside world. We do best to surround ourselves with items that make us happy. Sometimes this means thinking outside the box when doing so. So gather your inspiration from whatever places you like but in the end, make them your own. And when inspiration hits, run with it! Such happened to me two days ago. Saturday mornings are notoriously lazy in my household (unless we are hitting yard sales) so as I was enjoying my morning coffee I surfed the web, hitting some sites I do not get to enjoy very often. Now, there was a neglected wall living in my house:

This wall was a tricky one to decorate. In the summer the setting sun shines on it so putting a picture up was not an option. By not being a fan of cork boards, that idea was out. So it just sat there for months on end looking all sad and lonely. Then I came across this idea:

Photo from
This photo from Country Living got the ball rolling in my head. I have been collecting picture frames from yard sales. Why? My husband often asked. Just because I like them. Wasn't sure of what I would do with them so they also lived sad lives, lonely and neglected in the closet:

Until Saturday, when, with spray paint in hand, they became the new decor for the wall:

By placing them further apart than what the inspiration photo showed I am allowing myself room to add to the collection which serves my intinct to hunt and gather. Want to know the best part? The summer sun won't fade the paint. And, it just makes me happy to look at them.

There are some people who will look at this wall and think it pointless to hang pictureless frames on a wall and that it is the goofiest thing they've ever seen. Others will be inspired to do the same, as I was after seeing the photo on Country Living's website. The point is that it makes ME happy. Which brings me to remind you that when it comes to your decor, make YOURSELF happy with what you have surrounding you. By doing so it makes a house a home. Your home. My home. The one place in the world that our family can retreat to. The place we are to serve God first in. The place that should bless our loved ones the most.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Knowing How to Trust

On Monday this week we looked at a love letter from our King which talks about courage. (If you haven't read it yet, pause here and come back after you read it.) There were some key things that stuck out in the letter that I highlighted and want us to expound upon one of them today.

Perhaps the most powerful element to the love letter is the question "Can you trust that I am strong enough to handle any situation?" Notice God is asking us "can" we trust and not "will or do" we trust in His strength. The word "can," as defined by Webster's, means to be able to, to know how to. So putting the question it into context with the definition, God is asking "Are you able to trust...? Do you know how to trust...?" Now let's take it one step further. The word "can" is a verb so this gives a new element to the question. Looking at it this way, God is asking "Are you actively able to and know how to trust that I am strong enough to handle any situation?" Really ponder this for a moment. Tough question, huh? The key here is that we must know how to trust God in order to be able to actively trust Him. Without knowing how to trust God we really cannot trust Him. To get to this place of applied knowledge in our lives we need look no further than His Word and His past activity in our lives. By spending time in His Word daily we are exposed to His promises and stories of how He took care of those who trusted Him in the past. It is only then that are we able to take Him at His word. Without knowing what He has to say we simply cannot actively trust, for we do not know what we are trusting Him to do. If we do not know that God will neither fail nor forsake us (Deut 31:6) we will not trust Him so that in times requiring courage on our part we cower instead of being courageous. If we do not know that God does not change (Heb 13:8) then we see the stories as words written on a page that do not apply to us personally. If we never take the time to stop and think of what God has done for us in our past we easily forget that He knows our future (Jer 29:11). Dear one, it is vital to our spiritual health to know these things. It's not to say that each one of us has to be a Biblical scholar. We simply must take the time to read for ourselves, asking God to open our minds to receive all He has to say to us. There will be times we need help understanding the written Word and for those times we have access to the Holy Spirit of the Living God who does understand all and is available to counsel us (John 14:16). As we grow in our knowledge of our God, so we will grow in our ability to actively trust in the strength of our God and what a sweet place of rest that is to find ourselves in by being able to stand firm while we face every situation head-on, knowing that we are empowered and protected by the One who has gone before us preparing the way!

Monday, October 11, 2010


There are times in each of our lives when we feel like we can conquer the world or feel like the world is conquering us. Either way it can leave us feeling wasted and tired. However, God reminds us that it is NOT up to us to be courageous in our own strength. We all can use the reminder (sometimes daily) that it is our God who supplies the strength we need.  So, take a few minutes, grab a cup of java (or tea) and let His words on this subject soak in. The following love letter is full of invaluable nuggets of truth for us. Then, take courage, Daughter, for you ARE a highly favored and greatly loved daughter of the King. May His words and promises not soon depart from your precious mind!

My Princess…Take Courage in Me

You need never be afraid to stand up and do what is right, My child. I will always go ahead of you and prepare the way. I rescued Daniel from the mouth of the lions and delivered David from the hands of his enemies. Can you trust that I am strong enough to handle any situation? I truly want what is best for you. Take courage and walk in My strength, not your own. Face every situation head-on –armed with the sword of the Spirit, the belt of truth, the armor of righteousness, and the shield of faith. You never need to turn your back and run –I will empower you and protect you. Just stand firm and pray, and watch your courage become contagious.


Your King and your Captain of Courage

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The LORD your God will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.” Deut 31:6

Taken from “His Princess: Love Letters from Your King” by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Apologies

Okay, I feel like I need to explain myself...and this is one of those times I'm going to get a bit personal and apologize for not posting regularly. These past three weeks have been an unusual time for me. First, I was blessed to go on an over-nighter with my husband. Just me and him. This was a real treat since he travels during the week. Then last week/weekend my daughters and I were at the most awesome women's conference I've ever been privileged to attend. And now this week I am struggling to get my bearings and my feet back on the ground after such a powerful time with God. So not only did I lose a few days each week due to the back-to-back trips this week I am trying to figure out how to come back to the real world after spending time soaking in God's presence. Really, how does one really go back to regular life after spending time away with God? To say one is different is an understatement. But go back to daily routines one must and this is something I am walking out as I type this note. So please bear with me this week. Next week the posts will begin again regularly with some new ideas that are running around in my head, waiting to be implimented. I'll *see* y'all then!
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