Thursday, January 9, 2014

With Just A Little Love and Paint

I've taken up kind of a new hobby in the last few months. Not that I really have the extra time to add anything else in my schedule, but this was one of those "wants to" kind of things.  I had seen a lot about chalk paint, the ease of using it and the fact that very little prep to the furniture is needed. That last little phrase grabbed my attention - very little prep to the furniture is needed.  I had (and still do have) some things that really need to be painted but I detest the sanding that I always thought was necessary before painting. Well...along comes this new kind of paint called chalk paint. I think it was originally discovered or put together by a lady named Annie Sloan. She actually has her own line of the paint, now. It peaked my interest. I did some research and I was hooked. It is very easy to use and hardly any prep to the furniture is necessary. I particularly like the old or distressed look that it can take on with just a little bit of sanding.

I've done 5 small pieces so far and I'm thrilled with the results. I have a couple more pieces that I am currently working on plus several others in the future as well as my kitchen cabinets.  Can't wait to get started. Now, where's that time that I'm going to need?
# 1 - Before
#2 - Before

# 3 Don't have the before of this one but it was a dark wood finish.
My favorite piece so far...


Monday, January 6, 2014

Lost and Didn't Even Know It

It seems over the last couple of years, I have developed a frustrating habit of losing things. I can lay something down and 2 minutes later forget where I laid it or not be able to remember why I walked from one room into another!   I like to think that it's not because I'm getting a bit older but that it's because I have so many things on my mind regularly, so many things to process, that some things just fall by the way. I always thought that when my children grew up, left home and started their own lives, that mine would slow down. How wrong I was.  It seems that it has only gotten busier. I'm not complaining about that at all. Actually, I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful that I'm not one sitting around being bored with seemingly nothing to do, no one to help, no one to encourage.
Having said that, my cell phone is one of my best buddies and one of my worst nightmares. It keeps me connected in so many ways to those I love and can easily get me to where I'm going as long as I plug in the correct address. The information of the world on any given subject is at my fingertips as long as my fingertips type in the correct word when I ask it to search. So, you ask, how can it be a nightmare?  Well, I am probably one of the world's worst at keeping up with my cell phone, particularly when my mind is running in many different directions.  I'll lay it down somewhere and forget where I've laid it. I'll put it in my purse and not be able to find it in the bottomless pit of my purse. Time and time again, I've had to call my cell phone from my house phone so that I could follow the ring and find it! I've even had to have others do this for me when I've been out somewhere and misplaced it.
Recently, I was at a local store here in Huntsville, and the following announcement was made over the speaker, "If you've lost a cellphone, please come to the front." Well, my immediate thought was - "That poor soul. I know they're frantic. I'm so glad it was found and more thankful that the one who found it turned it in! There ARE honest people in this world!" So, I go on about my business, pushing my cart through the store searching for the ultimate bargain knowing that my cellphone is where I had put it - safely tucked away in the side pocket of my purse. After a couple of minutes, I opened the side pocket just to be sure my cell phone was where I was confident I had placed it. Hmmmm...not there. Well, I must have just laid it in the main, larger section of my purse - the bottomless pit. It's the place where things are difficult to find regularly. ( If you're a woman reading this, you understand.  If you're a man, you'll just have to trust me on this one.) It wouldn't be unusual for it to be there since I toss it in there sometimes. But after searching the bottomless pit and pulling most of the items out of it,  MY CELL PHONE WAS NOT THERE! Okay, I have to admit that I was  getting just a bit anxious at this point. At the same time, I was thinking - there's no way that could be my phone! I was sure that I hadn't used it in the store so I couldn't have laid it down anywhere!
Slowly but surely I turn my cart toward the direction of the front of the store. Reaching the area where the lonely, found cell phone was, the following conversation took place.
Me:  "I don't know if I've lost my cellphone or not, but I can't find it in my purse." 
Person with cell phone:  "What color is it?"
Me: "Pink"
Person with cell phone holds up pink cell phone. 
Me:  "Oh my! Where did you find it?"
Person with cell phone:  "In the parking lot."
Me: "Thank you so much!"
After thanking the kind, honest young woman, I gave her a small token of my appreciation to help pay her expenses at the store we were both shopping in. It was the very least that I could do to express my gratitude to her. It was then that I remembered having it in my lap while driving to the store. Once I had arrived at the store and stepped out of my van, my pink buddy slid out of my lap and onto the pavement of the parking lot.  I didn't even hear it hit the pavement because of the noise of the other cars around on the busy street. My pink buddy was lost and I didn't even know it.
That got me to thinking. How many people are lost and don't even know it -lost spiritually, that is. Well, God tells us a couple of things about that that I want to share briefly with you. He says in Matthew, chapter 7, verse 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter" It's not enough just to say...we must do, every day, the will of our Father to the best of our ability.
God also tells us in Matthew that few will find it. Matthew 7:13-14 says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." How many is few, you ask?  I don't know. I do know that when God destroyed the earth with a flood only 8 souls were saved. Yes, I would define 8 as a few! But you know, the actual number isn't the important thing. The important thing to me is that I want to be a part of that "few" regardless of the actual number.
I have a challenge for you - a good challenge. Read the Bible with me this year so you will know for yourself, from your study what God expects of you. Work as I do so that we can make it a part of who we are. I would love for you to join me in that endeavor. If you would like the reading schedule that I'm following shoot me a comment and I'll be happy to send it to you.  I'd love some encouragement, some accountability to help me stay on track. I think we all need that sometimes.

Lord help me to read and study your word with an open heart so that I can know and be confident in what you would have me do. Then, Father, help me to make it a part of my life...everyday in everything that I do.