...all of my life, In every season, You are still God and i have a reason to sing..i have a reason to worship...
That song by Hillsong is such a truthful testimony for my heart lately. God is so good and gracious and greater than I am and I am so very grateful. The beginning of this year I began having some health issues. Minor in the scheme of what "health issues" could consist of but still I knew something was not right. The beginning of 2010 we moved into our new home. I already felt the tug from God to take time away from my work to be more accessible while the kids got adjusted to all the newness of school, home, and neighborhood. It was a sensational summer sizzling next to the pool every single day and looking forward to starting a new school:)
...some shots of last year's sizzlin' summer...
Then it was here, the hustle bustle of August and riding the bus, reading and homework, and forming new friendships. Then, as usual, the holidays hurried in and left us just as quick as they came and then, Happy 2011!! Not long after that is when I saw and sensed a change in myself. Everything "seemed" to be "right." It was time for me to go back to work, just like I had planned. God had a different plan. There's a song by JJ Heller called Your Hands. ...when my world is shaking, Heaven stands ...when my heart is breaking, I never leave Your Hands..I know You hate to see me cry but one day You will set all things right... I listened to that song a lot during those first few weeks of weird rashes breaking out on my body, stomach pains, headaches, out of control heartbeat rhythms, weight loss and random fevers. All of which made it hard to function, let alone, force myself back into my 16 hour day profession.
...Christian's 9th Birthday Party...
...Thanksgiving at Memaw's...
...the Nutcracker tradition...
...Christmas at Memaw's...
...Christmas at GiGi Pat's...
...i will walk by faith even when i cannot see.. because this broken road prepares Your will for me... Jeremy Camp sings it and it was the song that became my background music for my prayer and Bible reading time each day this Spring. I felt just awful. As a wife I felt like such a burden, not feeling good, not working and just looking pathetic. As a Mom I felt like the worst, no energy, sad, and moody. As a daughter and sister I felt inadequate, wanting to help but not having the energy to be bold and share what God was laying on my heart for each of them because of my own personal preoccupation. As a friend I just felt unavailable, with everything else, there was just nothing of me left.
...Justin's Deacon Ordination...
I finally hit a wall and gave in to Justin's urging to atleast see a dr for something. I chose a dermatologist since the skin rashes were the first symptoms. They put me on a ton of medication after diagnosing it an allergic reaction that snowballed into an infection. Summer was now shining through the windows but that was the only way I was able to savor it sadly. I was on medication morning, noon and night for the "infection" and sun was a no-no. Pure torture. Comfort #1 God removed. At the time I didn't see it that way and just kept looking with my own eyes at the surface. I wanted to get better, get a tan and get back to work:)
...Six Flags with Keshia and Ava...
...Sunny's 8th Birthday Party...
The week before school started I finally hit more than the wall but the wall along with rock bottom. ..in the pain there is healing and in Your name, i find meaning ..so i'm holding on, i'm holding on, i'm barely holding on to You.. i'm still looking for purpose but You're looking for life.. It's Broken by Lifehouse. I began that week with what would be a long stream of blood-work and never-ending tests. Comfort #2 God removed. Within that same month I mustered up all my energy to be there for some of the people I love more than the next breath I breathe and would without a shadow of doubt, would lay my life down at this very moment for any of them. They were each at different stages of love and life as we all have been at some point and needed to lay it all at Jesus' feet as we all have to do every single day. It didn't go as I prayed and I planned and painfully became Comfort #3 God removed.
Today I sit here realizing He didn't make us carbon copies or robots for so many reasons. He put us here for specific purpose. He put us here to have a personal relationship with HIm, first. And when that is truly first, everything else falls into the perfect place for each of us personally. Just last week we found out air in our home was "compromised" due to it being new construction in 2007 and sitting until 2010 when we moved in. Poor air quality which leads to "health issues." The comfort of home became removed Comfort #4. ..here am I, all of me.. take my life, it's all for Thee.. Take my Life by Passion. That's what He was trying to teach me all the while. They aren't just words, it takes action, consistent action and giving something away that we love and want to have control over is a painful process.
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." John 13:7 Those words. That beautiful and bold verse for us not to try and figure it out but to trust Him and then and only then does any of it make sense. The past couple months of my life have consisted of exactly that. I look at what by the grace and mercy of God which pieces of my life that have not been removed. My husband. My prayerful, loving, and providing husband. My children. My priceless, smart, and compassionate children. Family and friends with new babies, new jobs, new goals and new encouragement and love they are to me each day without even knowing it at times. And, above all else, my beautiful Savior.
...our usual impromptu family golf outing this week...
The past month for Justin's physical therapy company has hands down been the busiest and most profitable month in all the 5 years they have been in business. They have been blessed with the opportunity of helping more patients day to day and week to week than ever before. '..and my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus..' Phil. 4:19 A verse He has continued to lay on my heart. In tears and on my knees, I knew exactly what He has been trying to tell me. This is where He wants me, for good. Oh I love my work. I love it so very much. I love it enough to have an entire post devoted just to allow me to "count the ways:)" But did I begin to seek my approval there and from 'man' more than from Him? Yes. Did that become a priority at times over what ultimately matters? Yes. And did I begin to love it and my will and desire more than my Creator's will for my life? Yes. Comfort #5 removed.
The night before last I began the sentence a total of 3 times before I gained clearance over the lump in my throat and forced the words out of my mouth to Justin, "I'm done with work." A rush of uncontrollable tears followed my speech then as they follow my typing now. This isn't what I'm used to, it isn't what I know and it definitely isn't what I had planned. From the age of 14 I've been working at this profession hoping my Dad would know I was beautiful, my Mom would know I was independent, my siblings to know I was consistent, my family to know I wasn't a failure, my husband to know I was smart, my children to know I was great, and my friends to know I was successful. But God knew all that to be true before and without the approval of people but through death of His precious Son to give me this life. And amidst all the unknown I have faith that God is used to this, He knew this would happen and this is His plan.
..AT THE CROSS YOU BECKON ME
YOU DRAW ME GENTLY TO MY KNEES, AND I AM
LOST FOR WORDS SO LOST IN LOVE
I AM SWEETLY BROKEN WHOLLY SURRENDERED..
Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle. A song that I have sang and prayed with many times over the years but have never truly experienced until now. In complete surrender and brokeness I look up and see so completely how we can never look to things or each other for our purpose because it's not found there. It's found in Him and only Him and specifically planned from Him for each of us. And I realize it's a daily walk and relationship. I know that He constantly has a plan for us and it's usually not what we think is next. Sometimes these seasons are shorter but usually longer than what our own patience provides. Which is exactly why He makes the point so many times, 'I realize you can't but what I want you to realize is I can so, please, just trust Me.' Romans 8:28 is one of the verses that assures us that ALL things work together for good for those who trust Him.
...love these moments...
Well, if you're still with me as I type these last few words I just want to say God bless you! I know it's a whole heap of a lot to take in a little more than 8 paragraphs, I've had 8 months and I'm still shaking:) I'll leave now with, you guessed it, a link to a song. This has been the one that has brought all this full circle.
...our other favorite family outing lately, Kennesaw Mountain. a little <>< as a reminder to look anywhere and everywhere for a reminder of Jesus and His presence...
...and my favorite view from the mountain..not from the top looking down but from the bottom looking up. there's a lot of darkness and things we can't see but the bright light of the "Son" always breaks right through...
Hope you all have a beautiful blessing of a weekend:)
talk soon...<>< april
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
A few months ago a couple from church emailed me about designing their home(!) For those of you who know me, you know how ecstatic I was about this possibility! I have always adored interior and exterior design and have dabbled in a few jobs, other than my own home and it's ever changing-ness, which drives my poor hubby crazy:) However, this would be my first opportunity to do an entire house all at once!! It was such an awesome experience and my creative juices were just flowing all over the place..all the time!! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and can't wait for the next project:)
The neatest part of it all was seeing how God worked and made it all happen. This summer I knew He was wanting me to slack off from work and put all that time and energy into my children. However, I've been having some health issues lately sooo financially I needed to work even though spiritually and physically I knew I was supposed to be here. Hmmm. Also, along with these health issues, going out in the sun was a no-no:( Huge bummer. So with the sun being off limits, my job being off limits and 2 full speed ahead kiddos, what's a girl to do?? Well what He desires all of us girls and boys to do of course..pray:)
And after some time in prayer, I got the email from the Millers! It gave me purpose, that He knows I so desperately need, and it opened up all new outings for me and the kids! We went on daily indoor shopping trips to "the city" to new stores and areas and I let them "help" me and pick out "prizes" for themselves if they were patient and trusty assistants:) The long drives gave us time to talk, that we otherwise wouldn't have had with our pool commute:) It gave me the opportunity to share with them another of my loves and talk with them about their likes and dislikes and dreams and aspirations for their fast approaching futures!
This summer was full of very low valleys with heavy weighing health questions, professional paranoia of letting my gifts go to waste, wrestling with unruly relationships, and just wanting answers to it all. But, on the other side of that, I know that God is at the peak of those valleys and He's looking down on me saying, stop worrying, I have a plan and You have never left my hands. There's always a silver lining and even though the rest of the cloud may be completely dark and grey, He promises "ALL things work together for good for those who love and seek Him."
So, I still didn't find all the answers but I did find a whole lot of silver lining:) Opportunity to exercise another of my professional passions, treasured time spent with my 2 favorite little people on this earth, and many moments talking to Jesus and fervently seeking His guidance! I ended up making some business cards as a little celebratory sign off from the Miller's home:) I went with "Designing Rich" as the name. The verse God laid on my heart was 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
This verse is a reminder that we all have "troubles" in this life but, thankfully, He blesses us with roofs over our heads for our families and kitchens and tables to eat the food on that He provides. And yes, Rich is a play off of my last name as with the title of my blog, but the deeper meaning to it and "Designing Rich" is that is what true value and being "rich" truly is. Our families, children, and friends. The things that last and matter. That "unseen" love that we can show through our providing of our homes for our children and the food we prepare for each other and those priceless photos that catch those "temporary" moments and help us remember them for a lifetime and ultimately "fix our eyes" on our "eternal" resting place with our Lord and Savior:)
Hope you enjoy the virtual tour of the Miller's beautiful home. Jessica was going to take my "AFTER" pictures for me so I could give my sad little pocket shot camera a break..but she got busy with a newborn baby or something;) Oh well all part of my master plan to get baby Lyla here, then I'll finish up the curtains etc and have to babysit her while Jess takes the final "AFTER' shots:)
talk soon..<>< april
AFTER - MASTER BATHROOM
Added rugs, wall art, monogrammed towels and small accessories
Decorating is all in the details:)
BEFORE - MASTER BATHROOM
AFTER - MASTER BEDROOM
Added beautiful bed that matched the furniture they already had..
rug, wall art, curtains, photos etc..
Definitely one of my favorite rooms ever!!
BEFORE - MASTER BEDROOM
AFTER - GUEST BATHROOM
Added awesome pinstripe shower curtain with personalized M..
wall art, rug, etc..
Love these colors..very soothing and welcoming for guests:)
BEFORE - GUEST BATHROOM
AFTER - GUEST BEDROOM
Added this bedspread that I totally wanted to keep for myself:)
pillows, wall art, photos, lamp, rug and accessories
Again LOVE this color scheme..bits of navy blue awesome with the rich brown!
BEFORE - GUEST BEDROOM
AFTER - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY
Love finding neat wall art that's also useful..
doorknobs are hooks for coats and backpacks:)
BEFORE - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY
AFTER - FOYER WALL ABOVE DINING ENTRANCE
Hands down my FAVE part of the house:)
These big beautiful family photos gracing the entryway of their home!
BEFORE - FOYER WALL ABOVE DINING ENTRANCE
AFTER - FOYER WALL ABOVE FORMAL SITTING ENTRANCE
Ditto on favorite part of the house:)
Especially love the sweet family shot!
BEFORE - FOYER WALL ABOVE FORMAL SITTING ENTRANCE
AFTER - DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM
Really liked this wall art..mix of color and iron work..
LOVED this rug and adding a larger mirror made ALL the difference!
BEFORE - DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM
DOWNSTAIRS "L" SHAPED HALLWAY
Adding the right wall art for wall scale and a solid rug did this area justice:)
AFTER - FAMILY ROOM
They already had the furniture and entertainment center..
added one of my fave rugs ever, pillows, photos, wall art etc...
The turquoise and orange are a fun color scheme for this energetic family!
BEFORE - FAMILY ROOM
AFTER - BREAKFAST ROOM
They had the table and wanted to keep the rug and "cafe theme" accessories
added centerpiece, table runner, and added wall art..
LOVE the warmth of this color scheme..
makes me crave a home cooked meal:)
BEFORE - BREAKFAST ROOM
AFTER - KITCHEN OFFICE AREA
I just purposed this useful area by adding a chair and clearing space for the PC
BEFORE - KITCHEN OFFICE AREA
AFTER - KITCHEN AND BAR
This is the heart of the home:)
added extra seating and 11x14 photos above cabinets to cozy it up!
BEFORE - KITCHEN AND BAR
AFTER - KITCHEN SITTING AND TV AREA
Perfect for watching those cooking shows and following a recipe..
for those of you who can cook;) Love this area!!
BEFORE - KITCHEN SITTING AND TV AREA
AFTER - DINING ROOM
Added lots of accessories in here!
this is my favorite part of this room..
love these fun little details:)
BEFORE - DINING ROOM
AFTER - FORMAL SITTING ROOM
Favorite room..hands down!
From the colors to the furniture to the grand grandfather clock..
this room turned out so cool..love it:)
BEFORE - FORMAL SITTING ROOM
AFTER - FOYER
Added lots here..
this rug tied all the colors together..
LOVE each aspect and detail of this space!
BEFORE - FOYER
A COUPLE OUTDOOR ASPECTS
absolutely adore this double rocker and these benches I found:)
Compliment this awesome outdoor space so well!
THE MILLER'S BEAUTIFUL HOME ON THE HILL:)
AND THE FINISHING TOUCH..
HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE TOUR:)