The hubster and I have been slowly turning an old fourth floor NYC walk up into our perfect little haven in the city, and I think it’s time to start showing you in. But before we get there, let’s collectively jump up and down about that table in that picture up there.
You know why? Because it means the entryway is finally coming together. And this, friends, has been eluding me for ages.
Six months ago I decided our entryway, which is basically a long and never-ending dark hallway that leads to a small wall before the rest of the apartment happens, needed to change. Friends, we cannot have you walking straight into a blank white wall when you come into our home. It’s just not natural.
Then I stumbled across this post by the wonderful Sarah Dorsey about her tiny entryway space, and bells started ringing. I would have a turquoise demilune table (Steph taught me that word) in my entryway. We scoured the city. We combed Craigslist. We walked into every TJ Maxx, Target, and Marshalls in like a 25 mile radius. A turquoise table, or a table that I could cut in half and paint turquoise was not to be had.
Until the hubster and I almost had a tire blow up, then had to get a tire fixed, then missed our oil change because of said tire, then decided to soothe the pain in Homegoods two weeks ago and ran into this. We’re styling it just like this, except the budget part of my brain wouldn’t let me spring for anything outside of the table. So we’re going back. Would you believe that once we set it up this way, like a bajillion women tried to grab this table out of our hands? Would you believe the hubster almost pounced on them to make sure we brought this table home?
It’s all good. Love for our neighbor won out, no harsh words were said, and the table’s in our entryway just waiting for a giant chalkboard, huge orchid, and shimmery picture frame to make it feel at home. The chalkboard’s going to say “Well, hello there!”
What do you guys think? Any other ideas? Tell me your thoughts!
Last month I shared with you guys how the hubster and I committed to follow where Jesus leads this year, and how we set areas of focus to make sure we were being intentional with it, even though I fully expect God will surprise us with what He has in store.
Financial fitness is one of the areas we’re focusing on, specifically as it relates to being radical in paying down our debt. This has been a goal of ours for a while, and I used to be so scared of the fact that we’re in debt that it stressed me out like woah. I’m talking losing sleep and wondering if all was lost because there was a red number with my name on it. And while I do think it’s important to be aware of that and how much more we can flourish when we don’t have a bank trying to tie a leash around our necks, I’ve learned even that “responsible” fear I had was not what Jesus had in mind.
And something changed. Why, you ask? I learned that when we’re scared of our debt, we’re scared to give. And when we’re scared to give, we’re scared of really living. And Jesus didn’t die so that we could wait to really live until we debt free (see Galatians 5).
To be real with you guys, I love giving. And even in my most fearful moments, the hubster and I have always made it a point to give regularly every time payday rolls around. But I was torn between the radical generosity that I wanted to live out in my day to day life and the financial pressure I was feeling. Being released from that fear showed me that radical generosity can take many forms even when we’re not talking big bucks.
God is bigger than our debts. And we’re not spreading any light when we’re acting like we’re in shackles. The Bible might tell us that debt puts us into servant hood (Proverbs 22:7), but it also tells us that we are free (John 8:36, Galatians 5:1). Whatever debts we’ve racked up, they’re not bigger than the total debts that were paid for us on the cross.
And while that doesn’t negate the need for using what we have well, we don’t have to live in mourning while we do it. Jesus’ victory extends even here. And it’s in giving that we see all the while God is also giving to us. I’m not saying we don’t pay down our debts or that we give it all away, because we’re people of our words. But in letting go the FEAR of our debt, we see how much we really have right now. Not just as gifts from our Lord but as gifts for others.
Our love, our joy, our time and attention. An extra plate at the table and a book from our shelves. Our gifts that were given to us to be given to others – and whatever God brings to creation through our hands. Those are gifts and those are things that were made for us to be generous with.
“Radical Gratitude is the attitude of the revolutionaries. The radically grateful become the being radically generous.” – Ann Voskamp
So I’m no longer scared. I’m living it up. I’m accepting good gifts (Seattle trip, anyone?). I’m trying to give them out, too. And I’m discovering that even here in this place of imperfect financial scores, God is good and God is love and God is nothing short of radically generous.
You see, when you have too many dollars or not dollars enough, often the devil brings the dollars into your heart. But your heart must be filled with the Holy Spirit. And the Lord, He’ll do it. He will make you really the light of the world. – Corrie Ten Boom
Original photo of Smiling Female Executive by stockimages from freedigitalphotos.net. Adapted for this post by Stephanie Oh.
When the hubster and I visited Hoffman’s Barn Sale in the Hudson River Valley, I couldn’t get over their selection of used windows. They had huge collections of them all along the side of the barn, and they were crazy cheap. Yes, you’re reading that correctly. These windows above were only $7.00. Do you see all that sparkling treasure just sitting there and begging to be made beautiful?
I was super tempted to grab a bunch for a DIY art piece behind the couch, but since we’re already working on an art piece to hang there (including the frames to end all frames), I ended up letting them go. Still, I can’t help but daydream about all the things that could have been.
I love the chicken wire in place of glass and her beautiful DIY grapevine wreath.
I’m always a sucker for beach cottage themes. Seriously, heaven will have beach cottages, right?
Look how simple and pretty this headboard is! Also, her blog is beautiful and full of great inspiration.
via Craftberry Bush
Last, but definitely not least. This is my favorite of the bunch. I love the old window and white pumpkins on her fall mantle. And I’m loving her latest mantle here, too.
If you stumbled across a bunch of pretty old windows, what would you do with them?
Psst… more good stuff:
30 Creative Ways to Reuse Old Windows from architectureartdesigns.com
51 Creative Decorating Ideas for Old Windows from 1KindDesign
Original photo of Hoffman’s Barn Sale windows by Kim Fernando. Adapted for this post by Stephanie Oh.
Did I ever tell you guys about that time from September 2012 – September 2013 that I couldn’t breathe out of my nose for a year? Or my endometriosis and adenomyosis? Both experiences were horrible in very different ways, and maybe I’ll talk about them in more detail sometime. They really tested my faith in different ways, especially the nose incident.
But an amazing thing has happened. God healed me. Simultaneously. From two very different things that started at two different times and caused a lot of hurt in different ways. I’ve been blessed with great medical care – that in itself is a gift from God – and I was able to have surgery for both. But the story is more complicated than that and ultimately it’s been very clear: God healed me. I’m forever grateful.
So I created this printable as a sort of love note to God. I’m going for a handwritten letter on stationary feel.
Hope you guys enjoy!
Psst, grab more free printables here!
God can use you to win others to Jesus Christ. Why would God command us in Scripture to share the gospel if we had no chance of being effective at it? – Greg Laurie, Essentials
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
I had this month’s M4M post all typed up and ready to go, but at the last minute I scrapped it. When I looked at it, I realized it was just a list of stuff that I’d been listening to recently, but it wasn’t for you. This one’s for you instead. See if you can catch a theme in it, but even if not, I hope you enjoy it.
As always, the playlist is streamable for free at the bottom. We use Spotify, because we like it, but there are no affiliate links in the post. Just good music for you to listen to.
This is one of those songs I heard a million times until I heard it at the right time and it claimed a whole new space of my heart. Mandisa brings it. Every single time. And the more I hear her, the more I like her. This is one of those songs that speaks straight to the hard times, so we’re going to start this playlist with a lot of energy and mellow out with the rest of the tracks as we go.
You guys, I am a huge Mercy Me fan. They just get me every time. Put on “Homesick” or “I Can Only Imagine” and I will shush you until I’ve heard every single string arrangement and sang along to every last line. I have played this latest album into the ground since it came out like a year and a half ago. The title track is amazing and this song is another one that feels like prayer in a song, and I love it.
If you listen to one new album this month, let it be this one. Ellie Holcomb’s solo work (she also sings with her husband as Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors) is pure beauty. Plus there’s a hint of country in all the right places, and I totally swoon at how great it is. “I Place My Hope” and “With You Now” are making it onto the playlist only because I had to narrow it down to two.
I’m not sure what to say about this track other than it’s good, and it’s perfect for what we’re singing about or humming along to today. Also, can we talk about how right about now this is becoming the perfect playlist to listen to when you need a minute of rest? Or is that just me? That’s the hope, friends, and I hope it’s working!
Amy Grant “Don’t Try So Hard” featuring James Taylor
Who doesn’t remember how the summers felt like when we were kids and who doesn’t yearn for that same kind of simplicity now? I love how she captures that in this song and speaks to that part of us that measures our self worth by what we do instead of who are are – truly loved just for who we are, because we’re His.
I stumbled across this song and Audrey Assad’s track on Songs Inspired by Jesus Calling, an album dedicated to Sarah Young’s devotional. It’s simple and acoustic and probably one of my favorite songs I’ve heard from him, and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Oh, Audrey… We can’t get enough of her. She was in our last Music for Your Midweek, and this song is also from Songs Inspired by Jesus Calling. If you check in on us on Facebook then you might have seen me post this as a song of the day a couple days ago. But honestly, you guys, I had to close with this. Because I could listen to this song over and over again and let it sink in ten times over.
That’s it! I hope you guys like it. I hope it brings a dose of hope into your day. And I always want to know – what are you listening to and what would you recommend?