Friday, March 30, 2012

Importance of Community

It always amazes me how beautiful we are in the Lord's eyes. The Lord delights in us and He created us not because He needed to, but because the Lord God wanted to make man in His image.

It also amazes me the many differences between men and women and yet, we are created equally. We were made to love God and love others and we are also not to isolate ourselves. I guess this is what most of this post will be about- the importance of community.

All people are and will always be made differently from one another. For example, I love to cook, clean (I know, that might sound crazy but it is true!), workout, and love my family. There are many other things I really enjoy, but that list could go on and on. My husband, on the other hand, enjoys making people laugh, playing games, reading (especially academic books), and spending time with family as well as providing for us. And I must say, he does an amazing job with all of it! We are both different when it comes to personal tastes or outdoor activities, yet we enjoy each other's company and compliment each other in many ways.

Wayne Grudem talks a little bit about why we are made the way we are by God and what our purpose is here on Earth. In chapter 12 of Bible Doctrine, the section about personal relationships has become my favorite section.

It is so important to have community with others and it is important to not isolate ourselves from the world. To quote Wayne Grudem, "God did not create human beings to be isolated persons, but he made us in such a way that we can attain interpersonal unity of various sorts in all forms of human society." He also goes on to say that, "interpersonal community comes to its fullest expression (in this present age) in marriage, where husband and wife become, in a sense, two persons in one." Genesis 2:24 supports this statement of marriage. Some people may just think of this unity as physical, but it is not just that! It is also spiritual and emotional unity that can be found between a marriage of a husband and wife.

What is also amazing about this relationship we share with our spouse is the fact that it resembles the relationship that Christ has with the church. Ephesians 5:29-30, "For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are memebers of his body." A common theme in Ephesians is love- Love the Lord your God, love others, including your spouse, etc.

We can also extend this idea (and it is an important idea for sure) of personal relationships to the relationships we have with others, whether that is extended family, close friends, neighbors, etc.

There are many books on the market today about the importance of Christian community, and I know of a few that are excellent. However, the greatest information we can find about community is in the Word of God.

There have been times when I have been asked to do something with someone else and I although the words "NO" never left my mouth, I was in a sense saying that when I would ponder up an excuse as to why I couldn't get together with that person. We often times make up the excuse that we are "too busy" or have "so much going on" that we can't commit to hanging out with others (even if it is just for an hour!!) and I think that most of the time (not all of the time) that is far from the truth! This is not something I am proud of and I need to constantly pray for a change so I don't slip back into this pattern of giving people excuses.

For example, my family and I know of several godly families that have 3 or more children and guess what?!? They have never cancelled on plans and they always have time for conversation with others. For example, we know of one such couple (and this can be said for a handful more that we know) with 3 children all under the age of 6 who always jump on the chance to have people over for dinner or game night. Isn't that amazing?! I know that I want to be like this and have constant fellowship with other believers.

Sometimes I have used the excuse of "I am too busy to do something next week" to really mean, "Hey, we don't have that much in common so I will pass." Instead, I should try to find out what the heart of the issue is and reconcile. Did Jesus ever turn someone down because they didn't have anything in common with him? NO! He was the most loving person to ever walk this earth and that is what I aspire to be like. To love as Jesus loved...because he first loved me!

I am not saying that one needs to get together with every single person they come in contact with and have them over for dinner every week, because that would be next to impossible. But I am saying that the Bible calls us to love and to be in fellowship with the church. The greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37) and when we love others, we are essentially loving our Creator, hence the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).

This can be hard to hear and it was hard for me to hear because I have found myself doing this to others in the past multiple times. It makes me so sorry for how I have hurt others before and now I jump at the chance to do something with someone else, regardless of differences, because I know that is what God calls us to do.

My husband sets a good example for me in this area where I need constant reconciliation. He holds me accountable for these things and I do the same for him....therefore, we hope to pass these commands on to our children. Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Molding Touch-Up and A Day Outside with Friends

Hi there! Happy Thursday!

Today, I spent some time touching up our floor molding...which has been a little long overdue. I am not sure how often one needs to touch-up their molding, but ours needed a little TLC because of all  the painting we did, especially after we painted our stairwell and loft a few weeks ago.

One particular wall needed touch-up paint in the loft because for no real reason at all, I decided to paint the top of the floor molding Svelte Sage by Sherwin Willams months ago. This was a color I originally had in mind when we were going to paint the loft, but decided not to after we repainted the family room Relaxed Khaki and I wanted the loft to be one shade lighter than the family room. Anyways, after repainting the loft with Sherwin Williams Wool Skein, the molding needed to be repainted back to its original color and that is what I did a little bit today. I also decided to do some touch-up in other places like the bathroom and the stairwell, but it was only minor.

Molding before repainting. Not too attractive looking especially
painted green.   :)

Painting begins...

Wall color is Wool Skein by Sherwin Williams

It looks so much better painted and it looks really clean and new again. It always amazes me what a little paint can do to not only a wall, but also to molding.


Yesterday, my family and I met up with another couple and their son to have dinner at a local pita place and we had a little picnic outside with the kiddos! It was so beautiful outside and so we couldn't wait to eat and socialize and enjoy the wonderful weather.

Our babies had some fun too!

Watching the beautiful sunset.

Having fun with my buddy!

I love her little tutu dress.

Playing with Daddy.

Family photo.

It's funny how we don't have many family photos of all 3 of us together. Probably because it takes me forever to figure out how to set the timer on my camera so it can take a picture of us...nevertheless, we had our friend take this one and it turned out great!   :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thrift Store Mirror

I love browsing Thrift Stores (I capitalize these words because there is one particular one we like to always browse) and recently I found a wonderful rectangular mirror for $19.98. The color of the mirror frame was not something I was crazy about when I first spotted the mirror at the Thrift Store, but that can always be changed with a fresh coat of paint.  :)

After a few weeks of constantly walking by this particular mirror in the store, I asked my hubby if it was okay to go ahead and purchase it and he said that if I loved it, then to go ahead and get I did!!!! And for the $19.98 price tag, I didn't want to pass it up. I was kind of hoping for a sale or a little bit of a mark-down, but after two weeks of none of that and still seeing it in the store, I went ahead and got the mirror to bring home.

Here is the spot I would like to hang the mirror. I am hoping that by this weekend we can hang this puppy up on the wall, but I do have to paint it first. Well, I guess I don't really have to paint it first in order for us to hang it, but it would be nice. I was thinking of painting the frame black to go with the ottoman and the picture frames in the stairwell. And since it is just paint, I can always change it later if I don't like it.  :)

The details of the frame and the shape of the mirror are so pretty to me and again, for under $20, I didn't want to pass it up.

Here is another picture of our mirror again.

Have a wonderful rest of the day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Update to the Gallery Wall

A few weeks ago, I purchased an oak frame from the Thrift Store for a very cheap price and added it to my gallery wall. After putting up the picture frame on our wall, over time (and yes, after only a few weeks) I wasn't really feeling the oak frame and had been wanting to paint it ever since then.

So what does a girl do when she wants to paint? Well, if you are like me, you paint away and that is just what I did.  :)

Old gallery wall with oak frame.

I laid down some old magazine pages before painting my frame. This was a quick project to do and very easy.  

First coat of white paint and ready for a second coat

This is after the second coat of paint. I could have done a third but
I really liked the distressed look of the frame after the second coat of paint
 so I kept it that way.

After the paint dried on the frame, it was time to put our frame back up and take some pictures of it for the blog.

New frame on gallery wall

Full gallery wall

I like this look much better. I still have some darker wood colored frames mixed with the black and white frames from Target and the Thrift Store here because, like I had mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted a mixed look instead of having all of the frames match. There is still more to be done by the gallery adding some storage for guests to put their things and adding a place for our shoes to be stored, etc., but it doesn't have to be done all at once.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Empty Wall Space- Weekend Project

What do you normally do with an empty wall space in your home? Some things that come to mind are filling those empty spaces with picture frames, art, a mirror or two, or anything else that is personal to you and your family!

Well, this one particular empty wall space we had in our family room needed to be filled with something that was important to my family and I and that is why we decided to put up pictures of our family.

To be honest, we have hung 6 picture frames up on this wall and only two of them are of family. Oops! Hehe...that is okay because the other 4 have left-over fabric in them now and that will change as we take more pictures of the family and they get printed. But having some of the picture frames displaying fabric is a pretty neat idea (that I didn't originally come up with on my own) and it ties the family room in with the dining room (because the dining room has some of the fabric that I framed).

First, after purchasing 6 oak wooden picture frames from Wal-Mart for $3.00 a piece, I painted them with Sherwin Williams Extra White paint that I had on hand for other projects.

What I also loved about these frames was not only the price, but the fact that they had room for a 5X7 picture or an 8X10 picture. I chose to leave the mat in the frame because most of the pictures I print are 4X6 and not 8X10.

Now I know I just said that the frames hold a 5X7 picture and I print 4X6 pictures, so what I had to do was just tape the pictures to the paper that came with the frame which left a little bit of a white border around the 4X6 picture. Not a big deal, but in the future I will probably just print out 5X7 pictures so there is no taping involved.  :)

Here are some pictures of the whole process on what we decided to do with the blank wall and how we made it more personal! And I say "we" now because I had my hubby help me with the hanging process. He is much better at taking measurements than I am so I recruited him for the job!

Oak frames with mat around the edge.

Using a magazine as a paint catcher.

Setting everything up!

The painting begins...

Three frames are painted and now on to the rest.

First coat of Extra White paint

After I painted the first coat of white paint onto the frames, I needed to do a second for a more even look.

Second coat of paint

After taking a second coat of paint to the oak frames, I laid out the pictures and the fabric to see exactly how they would be hung. 

Getting the mats and pictures ready to be framed while the frames were drying.

Here is a before shot of the empty wall we have in our family room. The dark leather couch was bought used almost 3 years ago (I can't believe we have had it for 3 years already!) and I can't wait until we save up some money to buy a lighter, cleaner couch.  :) 

Blank wall in need of something!

First picture going up on the wall

Before I forget, the backs of these frames had their very own ledge (for lack of a better word) that needed to be removed. Instead of just ripping each ledge off, I took an Exacto knife to the edge of the metal backings and then was able to take them off easily. In doing this, the frames lied flat on the walls. 

Removing the ledges.

Four frames hung and now only 2 more to go!

Asking hubby to help with the rest!  :)

All done!

I have thought about adding two more frames to each side of the gallery wall for a total of 10 picture frames, but after seeing these 6 frames up on the wall, I think they came out great so I will hold off on buying more.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Angels With Us

For some reason, this blog title reminds me of a song called, "I'm Loving Angels Instead" but that is not what this post will be about.   :)

This post is another about a chapter I am still going through in Wayne Grudem's book, Bible Doctrine.
The chapter talks about angels, demons, Satan but so far I have only read about angels in the midst of us and it is something not really talked about in Christian circles, or at least from what I have seen.

It is pretty amazing to know that angels are around us and that they have been created by our God! I know some people use the saying, "Your guardian angel is with you" but really what it should say is something along the lines of, "Angels are guarding us." I have to be honest and say that I don't always think about angels as much as I should but they do exist and the Bible is very clear about that.
Genesis 16:7-  "The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur." Talking about Hagar, the servant of Sarai, Abram's wife, when she was fleeing from Sarai after Sarai "delt harshly with her" for looking at Sarai with contempt after she conceived a child. There is more I could say about this particular chapter in Genesis, but I want to continue on about angels.

A particular section of this chapter that I really enjoyed reading was on angels and their place in God's purpose. These paragraphs talked about some things I never really gave too much thought, such as how angels show the greatness of God's love for us and His plan for us. For example, in Genesis 1:26-27 and chapter 9 verse 6, it is stated that "man is made after our likeness" and "God created man in his own image." Note the plural, "our" here in this verse. This is in reference to last Friday's post about the Trinity and that means that we are made in the likeness of God. Therefore, we, human beings, are said to be made in the image of God and this is listed more than once in the Bible. How awesome that we were created in God's image and he loves us that much to do so! The Bible also doesn't specifically state that angels were created in the image of God, so that is something interesting to think about.

Another thought that I want to quote from his book is this:
"God will someday give us authority over angels, to judge them." I Corinthians 6:3 says, "Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!" When our salvation is complete, we will be exalted above the angels and will rule over them. In fact, even now, angels already serve us." Hebrews 1:14 talks about this when it says that angels are "ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation." These are some pretty amazing statements from the Bible that are not to be taken lightly.

Knowing all of this really shows me how much the Lord loves me and it shows us how much grace He really has for a sinner like me! To put in the words of Wayne Grudem, "this is far beyond our comprehension." How true! The Lord my God loves me so much that He gave His Son for me to save me from my sin.

Another point that is talked about in this chapter is about the example that angels set for us. In the Bible, angels worship God and sing praises to Him many times. They are also very obedient and that is something that I need to do be striving for daily. I need to pray daily to have the obedience the angels do. They delight in the Lord and perform tasks assigned to them "whether great or small." Isn't that how we ought to live? Singing praises to God our Father and be obedient to His Word?!

I do really enjoy reading Bible Doctrine and am continuously encouraged by the love of God and His plan for my life. It lifts me up to daily be in His Word and I pray that I can only love Him and others the way He loves me!

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy all that He has created.   :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Nursery Shades

Today's post will be another quick one about nursery shades for, you guessed it, the nursery!

One of the very first posts I wrote was about decorating our little girl's room and although it has been done for quite some time, there has been one thing we have needed to add to her room.

Recently, we have been wanting to add a black out curtain of some sort to the window in her bedroom because it lets in so much natural light. Having that much light shine into her room has been a little bit of a distraction to her when she gets up in the mornings because if the sun is shining bright and early and there is little cloud coverage or fog, our little one is up and ready to begin the day. Now, I realize that most people want a lot of natural light in their home, and I totally agree with that. However, in our little girl's room we really needed some sort of darkening shade on her window to help her sleep and/or nap better when the sun is still out.

And because of what I mentioned above, I have been on the hunt for some kind of new shade for her window. I was originally thinking of getting a curtain liner that could be sewed to the back of the current curtains in her room already, that is until I went to Wal-Mart today and picked up this (pictured below) for under $4.00!!!  


New window shade!

And it is pleated too!

 So here is what the room looks like in mid-day and you can see by this picture that this one window lets in a ton of light! It doesn't help that we have hung white curtains on the window, but I didn't want to get rid of them so we needed to find a solution to block out the sun when needed.

After taking the new roller shade out of its "box", I noticed that it was just a tad too long on the sides. I used my Exacto knife to trim the edges so it would fit inside the window and decided to take off about 1" on both sides total.

I really like the pleating on these shades!

There is a sticky part on the top of the roller shade that just holds to the wall.
It is a pretty simple gadget that does the trick!

I just peeled off the sticker that was at the top of the window shade and stuck it up on the wall underneath the window opening. How easy is that?!

Holding the shade in place so it sticks to the wall.

The picture below shows what her room looks like after the new shades are installed and the white curtains are placed back, this time in front of the new roller shade. I love it!

Not too shabby for under $4.00, right?!  :)

So again, here is a BEFORE picture of the room:

And here is her room AFTER the new shades were "installed."

Now she will sleep a little bit better knowing the sun won't be shining in on her crib.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dollar Tree DIY

For a few weeks I was on the hunt for some contact paper that was pretty enough to decorate my office desk. Originally, I was planning on just covering the top of my desk to prevent scratch marks, but changed my mind. Instead, I just wanted to cover the bottom of the pull out drawers and would eventually like to put a glass piece over the top of my desk.

When picking out the contact paper, I wanted something that had a little bit of green in it to go with the wall color we have because our new wall color has a hint of green in it. While shopping around, I noticed that TJMaxx and Ross had contact paper but the selections were sparse and it was going to cost me $6.00 for 2 small rolls and I didn't need that much to cover my desk. Plus, I didn't really want to spend $6.00! I know you might be thinking, "Wow, how cheap can you be?!?" But, seriously, I knew there had to be something else out there I would love and that would cost less than $6.00.

While my family and I were out and about last week, I decided to take a look at the Dollar Tree and am sure glad we did that! I found this pretty contact paper pictured below for just $1.00!!

The pattern is seriously what I was picturing in my mind!!

I needed scissors and my edging knife to cut the contact paper. The Exacto knife worked the best for this project because I was able to get a cleaner cut with it around the drawers. 

I had 3 drawers to cover and the two drawers on the end of my desk are the smallest so they were the easiest to cover.

This is one of the 3 drawers I needed to cover. It is one of the end drawers.

Cutting the contact paper to size. Thankfully, there were lines I could follow
on the back of the paper.  :)

Seeing how it will look once before it was put onto my drawer.

I had to slowly peel off the backing to make sure I didn't have too many bubbles left.
Some bubbles still got in there, but it was no biggie to me.

YAY! I love how it turned out!

Side view of the drawer.

Placing the drawer back into the desk.

This is the larger piece I had to measure. It is the middle drawer.

Peeling the paper.

Again, I love the pattern and the colors!  :)

I normally don't think of the Dollar Tree as a place to look and shop for items, but sometimes it is worth just checking out because you never know what you will find. If it is something you love, then you can't beat the price and you should get it!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!