The Third (and final) Bedroom Makeover

We came into marriage, like a lot of young couples, with a hodge podge of home furnishings.  Many things we were blessed to be able to buy new, but our bedroom, for years, has been a bit, ummm, ecclectic.  For the last four years or so, I’ve been using our old changing table as a makeshift dresser.  We looked on more than one occasion for new furniture that would match the bed Matt built us several years ago, but we just couldn’t justify the expense when what we had was working.

Well, over the course of the Summer of Painted Furniture, God blessed us with a couple of new-to-us pieces and gave us ideas for two of the pieces we already had, and for a grand total of about $60, our bedroom furniture is finally coordinated, beautiful, and functional.  Woot!

And once again I’m shocked that in the thousands of photos on my hard drive, I have ZERO before pictures of our bedroom.  Well, I have one.  But from the angle I took it, it looks exactly like our room now.  Sooo, nevermind on the befores.  On to the finished product!

First, the whole room.  Well, sort of.  From the door….

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My “new” dresser and table….
The bureau was given to us by friends that were moving and didn’t want to take it with them.  The table was a yard sale find.  Some black paint and new hardware dressed both of them up nicely!  I still need to finish accessorizing the table and buy a mirror with a frame…..all in good time.

The nightstands….

These tables were my grandmother’s.  They were a light honey color before.  We painted them a mustard yellow color that matches the hallway leading into our room and is in the paintings above the bed, and then Matt wiped them down with a dark glaze.  Fun blue drawer pulls helped tie them into the room even more.

And the turquoise chair even made it into the room….just for fun!

 

That’s our bedroom mini-makeover.  Hope you have a fantastic Thursday, friends!

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

The Little Things

As I sit here on this Monday morning, still shaken from an awful dream that seemed to last all night, only to wake and find that for a family not far away that nightmare is their reality today, my heart is heavy but full of gratitude to the Giver of Life for the simple gift of being here with those I love most.  We are but a vapor and I don’t want to take these moments for granted.

2063.  groceries bought

2064.  cabinet cleaned out

2065.  brilliant, almost-full moon shining in through the window

2066.  quiet time devotions that speak to me exactly where I am

2067.  hope this morning

2068.  a good five mile run

2069.  glorious almost-blue moon setting

2070.  breath-taking pink-orange sunrise

2071.  good conversation with a friend who prays with me

2072.  sleeping in just a little

2073.  rain falling

2074.  three-day weekend

2075.  one last trip to the pool

2076.  celebrating the Book of James with some Orange Leaf

2077.  an extra day to get ahead for the week

2078.  the book of Hebrews

2079.  dinner with the in-laws

2080.  a Tuesday that feels like a Monday – long, but still good

2081.  lightening my load a bit and praying over the schedule

2082.  a Hundred Day Cough for two of the girls (now three)

2083.  “metaphorphosis” – the six year old acting it out while she reads it aloud

2084.  a presidential signature and being one step closer to having her home

2085.  being hope-full

2086.  a really good day; still long, but good

2087.  school finished, graded, and ready for next week

2088.  whole house clean

2089.  nutritious dinner prepared and served

2090.  two sick children getting two good nights of rest

2091.  a passport application for the oldest

2092.  quiet, rainy days

2093.  more cleaning and organizing finished

2094.  First Friday Artwalk with the family

2095.  a good Saturday

2096.  birthday dinner out with my favorite

2097.  another year of life

2098.  birthday greetings from so many – the joy of Facebook

2099.  a family that loves me and  a husband who makes every day feel like my birthday

2100.  open windows

2101.  groceries bought – two SUV loads full

2102.   the gift of an evening free

2103.  youngest child’s first gymnastics class

2104.  endless grace

2105.  news from a far land – we are out of IBESR!

2106.  knowing I don’t have to get up as early in the morning

2107.  words to comfort, encourage, bless

2108.  a beautiful day of rain, candles, open windows, and school books

2109.  a couple of hours out alone – even if it’s for a mandatory meeting

2110.  a rooster crowing outside my window in early morning dark – a reminder of Haiti

2111.  long run finished for the week

2112.  projects completed

2113.  time as a family – laughing, playing cards

2114.  life with those I love

2115.  time to spend with them

May we all remember this week to give thanks for those we are so inclined to take for granted and keep our eyes open for the little things.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Week in Review and Links to Share

The past two weeks have been a good kind of crazy.

Last week started off with me feeling very overwhelmed.  More activities were starting up and school was still taking way too long each day and I felt like I was drowning in all the stuff that wasn’t getting done.  I dropped the only thing I felt like I could drop (one morning run) and prayed for strength through the rest of it.

On Wednesday we got the incredible news that our dispensation had been signed and our time in IBESR was coming to an end.  We also confirmed what I had come to suspect – that two of our children have pertussis.  A strange relief came from finally figuring out what was causing their unrelenting hacking.  I’ve decided that it’s just not Back to School around here unless we have some weird infestation or illness that forces us into relative isolation for weeks on end.

As we reached the end of last week, it finally felt like we were finding our rhythm with school and activities.  On Thursday, I finally made my family dinner and cleaned the house and we did school.  This week has continued much the same, keeping our heads above water for the most part, and it feels really good.  We turned the page on Week 6 of school this week, so it definitely took some time, but hopefully we’ll be able to keep it all in balance in the coming weeks and months.

Last weekend we celebrated my birthday.  Matt took me out for a wonderful dinner and we sat long outside on the patio enjoying a glorious evening.  They all treated me well and spoiled me royally.  I am blessed!

This week has rolled along quite smoothly and for that I am thankful.  A third child seems to be coming down with whooping cough, so she is on antibiotics.  Hopefully it will stop with her and not work its way through the entire family.

This is a “recovery week” in my race training, so a friend and I did my long run this morning and we rocked that trail.  After an entire summer of struggling up the same hills on our normal route, it was very encouraging to see how much easier a flat route was!  I’m looking forward to not having a long run to do this Saturday – like giddy excited.  Hopefully we’ll be able to go to the local Farmer’s Market and I can tackle an organizing project, then we’re going out to dinner with friends.

That about sums up the past couple of weeks around here.  Below I’m sharing a couple of links I’ve found worth reading recently….

The semi-annual clothing swap is my least favorite time of the year.  As the days begin to turn cooler, that dreaded event looms closer and closer.  For a couple of years now I have been praying about how to simplify this process by refining exactly how many clothes came into the house to begin with.  This post is fantastic at laying out fairly specifically how to help your kids maximize their outfits while minimizing the number of articles of clothing they need.  Love!!!

I shared from this one of Ann’s yesterday.  I just love it.

I think that’s it for me today.  The girls are all watching the third (very, very long) Lord of the Rings movie.  I may go take a nap!  Have a glorious weekend!

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Where Hope is Found

This was written last night as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to come and posted this morning…
 

So tonight I lay here in bed. Tired from an early morning and a busy day, with my heart and stomach doing flip flops over our news.

Today we learned that we have exited IBESR. Excellent news. Amazing news. Praise God news. Because that means she is one step closer to being home.

To being here.

Forever.

A while one part of me is kid-on-Christmas-morning excited, another part is oh-dear-God-what-have-we-done terrified. If we’re being honest, that is.

From the moment I laid eyes on this little girl in a grainy photo sent from Haiti via Blackberry Messenger, I have known she is ours, she is one of us. Our fifth daughter. And yet this isn’t a child who has grown in my womb, developed to the sound of my voice, my heart beat. She comes with her own strings attached to someone else, no matter how much she may think she loves me in her 5 year old mind. No matter how much I love her. She comes with a story and a history and a lifetime of hurt.

And what that means for the rest of us scares me more than a little. This great unknown of what are we inviting in. Some days we’re barely hanging on as it is. What happens when a little girl who doesn’t speak our language gets here and realizes she can’t pinch these other children when they want my attention because she has to share me with them forever? Or when she cries at night and wants a mama with her skin color, her hair, her history? Or when one day she longs for her homeland and in her personal wrestling forgets what a gift it is to be here with us?

How do we deal on those days?

I have no idea.

But over the past few months I have watched as God has taken last year’s impossible and overwhelming schedule and opened it wide, making time for the six of us here to bond, connect, and slow before she comes. I have watched as God has given both of us more of a heart for our children. Still not where we want to be, but more including, sharing, doing life together. And I have watched as God day after day puts hope in my path. In devotions. In blog posts. In scripture reading. In a quote. Everywhere there is hope. And I cling to it. As we travel this road of adoption. As we struggle through home schooling and parenting all these girls. As we fight for our marriage against an enemy who hates it. I cling to hope. I cling to the point that I write it on my skin, a daily reminder of what I have in Christ.

And this little girl, she will carry this hope with her always. Amania Hope: faith in God, hope. What a name for a little girl whose part in our story has only begun to be written. Faith in God. Hope. That is where our strength is found. That is where her strength will be found. That is where all strength is found – as we continue to wait. As we continue to weather. As we continue to walk this path that He is leading us down.

And Ann writes today“hope, it can split right open in the dry places and yield up life”.  And as I read that post, God gives more hope as she writes on, “Sometimes if you wait until you really know what you are doing – means you don’t know really God and what He can do.”

And peace comes as I realize I don’t have to know how this will all play out.  There are no guarantees with our biological children, just as there are no guarantees with this adopted one.  But as we follow Christ is serving the least of these, we know we are doing right and He will lead and never abandon and we can trust in His plan and we can have hope.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Hope

In the middle of a week when I feel like I’m drowning, when my feet can’t find ground to stand on and I wonder about this school year and will I ever find time to cook my family a meal or vacuum the floors, and as I drive to the minor emergency clinic to confirm my suspicion about the hacking coughs born by the younger two, I get a phone call from my beloved.

We have received our presidential dispensation and **should** be out of IBESR soon.

And my heart skips a beat and I don’t know what to say, other than Praise You, Lord!  While many months and steps still lie ahead, my heart is blessed and we are all encouraged.  As we have watched others in the process with us, we had begun to give up hope she would be home before next summer.  But hope returns.  Amania Hope.

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For His Glory ~

~ Sara