Best Friends in Marriage

The posts have been about friendship this week, we can’t forget our BEST earthly friend and the importance of maintaining  our relationship with him!

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Yesterday found my husband and me in the basement going through some boxes of “stuff.” Stuffed animals, old toys, pictures, school annuals, dolls, dishes, and books were sorted through. I was down there for several hours – not because I got so much accomplished, necessarily, but because when I go through old things it brings back memories and I have to stop and reflect! My husband and I passed many pictures back and forth to one another. “Oh, remember this?” “Look at us! How hilarious!” (You will not be seeing any of those pictures posted here!) Not only did we recall many special times from our past, but it was a sweet time together recounting good memories and numerous blessings.

I also leafed through a couple of the books that I hadn’t read in a while. One book was on marriage and there was a chapter on being best friends with your mate. The highlights were how important it is to spend time together having fun, talking, sharing your heart, and being open with one another. I smiled – we had done that even in a cool basement on Memorial Day when most of our neighbors were probably out at the lake or at the park having a picnic with their extended family. We had shared secret memories of times and places when notes were found written in our handwriting. We’d laughed. We’d talked about times when our girls were growing up. This is what friends do.

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After we’d had our grilled hamburgers later in the evening, we headed out for a drive through the countryside. Opening the sun roof on the car, the warm air blew through as we pointed at beautiful homes, the clouds over the mountain or a row of flags in a front yard. We even stopped for an ice cream at Dari ace – so cute! It was a great end to a fun day spent with my best friend.

Are you still best friends with your husband? Are you spending time together? I don’t mean time living – I mean time just being together. What tone of voice do you use when you speak to him or repeat an answer to his question? Is it the tone that one would use with their best friend? God gave Adam a wife so he would have a companion. Are you and I being the best kind of completer that we could possibly be? Best friends give each other the benefit of the doubt, love when no one else loves, and enjoy just doing little things together. Is your husband the one you spend that kind of time with? Don’t replace his companionship with that of your girlfriend, sister or parents. That is not God’s plan for a married woman.

I am planning on re-reading that book I found. It was a good reminder for me. We all need to be encouraged in what a godly marriage looks like. I’m thankful for a day in the basement that helped me to be refreshed in the friendship part of our marriage!

With love,

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P.S. I believe the book I was referring to is, The Ministry of Marriage, by Jim Binney.

Organization and Embellishing Stack-able Drawers

I hate clutter in my house. I like everything to be put away, however, I have a hard time keeping the hidden places in my house straightened up.  Places like drawers and closets are just hard for me!  I stepped into my pantry and my bedroom closet this week and decided I didn’t like the way they looked.  I’ve never had a walk-in pantry or walk-in closet before, and I am determined to make these spaces not only function well, but also be pretty!

I have a set of stack-able drawers in my closet for belts, socks, etc.  Because the drawers are clear, it looked messy.  So, I took scrapbook paper and lined the front of each drawer with coordinating patterns and colors to give it a neater look.

I have a small table in my closet to hold my jewelry organizers.  I have two necklace trees to keep chains from getting tangled.  I love my earring picture holder my dad made me.  It keeps the fish hook earrings in perfect view!

 I also have a tackle box for earrings and bracelets.  This box is great for travel!

Now on to the pantry ~  I had one little area that needed attention.  I have quite a collection of aprons and just had them hooked through one of my pantry shelves.  They hung on the floor and looked messy.  Soooo, I found a cute little hook at TJ Maxx for $8.  It is perfect to keep the aprons within reach and looking lovely!

Do you have some hidden spaces that need some organization?  Attack one or two spaces this week. If you’re like me, you’ll be happy about walking into or opening that space after you’ve done some straightening!

Refresh by organizing,

Breaking the Habit

“Negative Habits Every Family Should Break”  is the title of the series my husband is preaching on Sunday nights. This past Sunday night he encouraged families to get rid of disorganization. The very evening he was preaching his message, I was reminded of why it’s so important for my home to be organized.

As the service was being started, one of our very own missionaries who was passing through the area, felt led of the Lord to come to Boones Creek Bible Church’s evening service. He was by himself, due to his family being away for a few days, and so he was on no time schedule. After spotting him in the congregation, my husband had him come up and pray during the service. When our missionary guest announced how the Lord directed him to our church, and that he was on no schedule, the Lord prompted my heart that he needed to come and stay with us for the night. It was no surprise that when I talked to my husband after the service, he felt the same way. And so, our missionary friend returned to our home after the service.

As my husband was preaching, and I had been given the prompt to invite this dear man to stay with us, I thought, “I’m thankful that everything is in order at the house. I’m not going to have to go home and apologize for the messy kitchen, dirty dishes or laundry piled up on the couch. Whew!” Oh, not that my house couldn’t have used a dust rag or mop in places, but overall, it was ready for a guest to drop in.

Being organized and tidy isn’t only about teaching your children good habits and responsibility, it’s also about being prepared to be used of the Lord when He prompts your heart. There have been times that I would have resisted having a guest enter my home, trust me! But on this night I was thankful that I was prepared – not so I wouldn’t be embarrassed, but because my lack of organization would have caused my husband and me to miss the blessing of serving this servant of the Lord! It was a delight to have him in our home, and to be able to quickly obey the Lord’s leading.

So, if you look at your lack of organization and say, “It’s just my family, and they don’t care!” You’re missing the whole point. First, we’re stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us (that includes our belongings, as well as the training of our children), and secondly it will free us up to serve others.
Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. I realize that he’s referring to legalism, but disorganization can also be a type of bondage that keeps us from being free.

Look around your home right now and ask yourself if you’d be good with guests stopping in. If the answer is “No way!” why not start on a path to orderliness? Perhaps you could free yourself from the bondage of disorganization by:
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  • Check out Fly Lady’s “Getting Started” Tips
  • Determine to get rid of 7 things every single day. Put the unused items in a black bag and when it gets full discard it – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Consignment – something!
  • Read Emilie Barnes Books on organization, such as “Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a Well-ordered Home and Life

If this negative habit has been a part of your life, it’s not impossible to get rid of it! Start today and make a little progress at a time. It will be so freeing, and you’ll be ready to serve at a moment’s notice!

Would you be ready and willing to serve others today? What would it take to get you there?

 

Finishing Touches in My Home Decor

One project usually always leads to another, and then another, but the end result is so great it’s really worth the effort and the hard work!  After I finished the painting in my dining and living rooms, I wanted to make the color scheme more blue and white.  I set out to change the mantle’s decor, as well as the coffee table and my bookcase.

Then I looked at my kitchen table and my desk chair and knew they needed white slipcovers.  I looked at the fabric store, but didn’t find anything I like.  However, I was digging through looking at the clearance items at TJ Maxx when I found one beautiful white curtain panel, marked to $8.

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There was about three yards of fabric in the curtain, and I knew it would be the perfect fabric for my  slipcovers!

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Making a kitchen chair slipcover is super easy – you just hem the fabric, then sew up the three sides.

My desk chair was an easy fix, too.

I used a piece of newspaper to lay over the chair and draw out the pattern I would need for the seat and the back.  Then I added a seam allowance. I used the curtain hook holes already in the curtain to fasten the seat back together

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To make the seat cushion snug, I sewed a piece of elastic around the edge.

Some other changes in the living space will come in time.  I need a couple new chairs, but I’ll wait until the time and the price is just right!  I have purchased a new floor lamp from Kirkland’s but it’s being shipped to the store.  I’ve been looking a long time, and when I found this one on-line, I knew it was what I had been waiting for – and it was on sale with an extra 15% off!

So there you have it, my friends.  My downstairs make-over is nearly complete!  Well, until I get the urge to rearrange the furniture…again!

Thanks for stopping in to take a look.  I hope this has inspired you to refresh your home, even in some small way.  I think you’ve seen through my efforts, that it doesn’t have to break the bank to give your home an updated look!

Refresh your home, but also refresh your heart by participating in a Bible believing church this weekend!  I’ll see you Monday!

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Painting an Open Floor Plan

When we moved into our house four years ago, I was so thankful the walls weren’t painted white.  They’re a warm ecru.  It stands out nicely and every room looks great against the backdrop of that color.  I knew I’d want to wait a while before adding color, but this summer the day had arrived!  Yesterday I showed you the first room I painted – the dining room.  I painted all four walls, and really love it!

Yesterday I asked what room/wall you thought I painted next well…
In order to connect the dining room space to the living room, which is all open, I wanted to use color.  After the dining room paint was on the wall, I got to thinking about a gallon of paint I’d seen at Lowe’s on their mis-tinted rack.  It was marked to $9 and I was pretty sure it was a just a shade darker than what I’d put on these freshly painted walls and I felt sure it would look great on the fireplace wall of the living room.

I jumped in the car early the next morning and sure enough, that paint was the perfect shade to complement the color in the adjoining room.  And $9?!  What a great deal!  I always, always check the sale rack of mis-tinted paint before I pay full price for a gallon!  What someone else hated might be exactly what I need!

So, here’s what it looked like before it got painted:

Not bad, but…

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I like this even better!! I decided to only paint the fireplace wall.  I didn’t want to overpower the room with blue.  It was the perfect amount of color.

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Then aside from the paint, I also rearranged the room to open it up for summer.  In the winter months I enjoy having the couch facing the fireplace, but as I mentioned in a post here, I like to face the windows in the warmer months.  It also made the room look bigger.  Here’s the before and after:

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I angled my desk in the corner, again, so I can look outside while I’m working there.

I’m trying to add more whites and weed out the red in these rooms.  I’ve had red as an accent for many years, but it’s time for a change, which I’ll do gradually.

 

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The blue really freshened up the living room and made it feel calm and welcoming.  I’m so happy with this color choice and the room arrangement.

And what did it cost?  NINE DOLLARS!  Woo Hoo!

Do you have a room you’re wanting to paint?  Check out the discounted paints first and see if they have something that will work!  Does anyone else love to rearrange the furniture?

Refresh your living space!

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Home Project – Wall Decor, Creating Balance

I guess it’s pretty common for homeowners to make improvements in their homes in spring and summer.  The weather is perfect for it, and we have lots of daylight in which to work.  As I mentioned last Friday, like many others, I’ve done several projects in my home, and this week I thought I’d share one with you each day.  We’ll start with a simple one – a wall hanging.

This spring I showed you a little arrangement that I was working on in my living room.  I used a very inexpensive frame found at Goodwill, and changed it to make a whole new look.  You can find that post here.  When I posted it, it wasn’t quite complete, and I promised that when I finished it I would show you what I had done.  So today I’m going to give you a peek at the completion of that project.

Here was the unfinished grouping I hung next to the fireplace –

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Because of what was on the other side of the fireplace wall, I needed another something to balance it out, but I didn’t know what!  Then I came across this wreath tucked away and knew it was perfect!

 

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It gave just the right amount to balance out the large picture on the opposite wall, plus it added a little softness to the harsh lines of the wooden frame and Scripture verse.

I must have tried a half a dozen different items before I landed on that wreath, but when I held it up there, I knew immediately that I liked it!  Sometimes you just have to keep trying different items – pictures, mirrors, shelves, clock or wreath before you find what is perfect for a space.  But you’ll know it when you find it!

Tomorrow I’ll show you the whole wall, and another bigger project that was recently completed!

Do you have a project you’re working on at home, or is there one you need to tackle?  Why not put it on your list and whittle away at it before summer is over?

Refresh your space,

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Refresh Your Bedroom

Your bedroom might not be a place you get to spend much time, but when you are in there, it should be a bit of a haven for you (and your spouse, if you’re married).   If your bedroom doesn’t necessarily refresh your heart when you walk inside, I have a challenge for you!

In the master bedroom of a Birmingham, Alabama, apartmentdecorated by Doug Davis and Hannon Kirk Doody, a pair of chairs by Lee Industries is covered in the company's Serengeti with leather piping. See more designer bedrooms.    - HouseBeautiful.com

Today let me encourage you in a practical thing you can do to refresh yourself.  Walk into your bedroom and take look around.  Is it restful?  Is it inviting?  Or do you want to slam the door and turn and run because it’s become a cluttered nightmare instead of a peaceful getaway?  You can fix that – today.

 

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  • Remove the clutter. 
  • Clear off tabletops and dressers. 
  • Pick up loose items and put them away. 
  • Hang clothes on their hangers. 
  • After you’ve de-cluttered, give your room a good cleaning.
    • Dust, vacuum, and polish, then make sure the bed is made each day – after all it takes up a good amount of space in the room.  If it’s unmade, the whole room will seem messy, even if the rest is sparkling!
  • Look at Pinterest or magazine pictures of beautiful bedrooms that you love and see what you can do to copy the photo. You will be amazed at the things you’ll find just by shopping in your own house, items to bring into your room to make it inviting and cozy.  It might be a lamp, a few wall hangings, a plant, a bedside table, or a rug.

Lime-green accents gave this bedroom a fresh look. More real-life colorful bedrooms: http://www.bhg.com/rooms/bedroom/color-scheme/real-life-colorful-bedrooms/?socsrc=bhgpin081112bedroomlimegreenaccents#page=12

You will sleep better in a bedroom that is clean and rid of clutter.  Your bedroom should be a place that feels like a bit of a retreat.  You will love spending time in there…and you’ll be refreshed!

If you don’t have time to tackle the whole room at one time, set the timer and work for 30 minutes on the spot that is the most bothersome.  Then tomorrow, add 30 more minutes effort!  By a few day’s time, you’ll have a place you love to return to!

Do you love or hate your bedroom space right now?

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