Daily Walking with God

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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Daily Journaling

Stephanie’s daily journaling after reading the bible through the year.

This photo was taken by me dear friend, Dede.

This photo was taken by me dear friend, Dede.

It appears that the phrase, “Go big or go home” is being applied to the evilness that continues to occur in our country.

2017 Las Vegas shooting…worst mass shooting in current US history.

2017 New York…greatest number of lives lost due to being ran over.

2017 Texas…largest mass shooting in Texas history, during a worship service.

2017 Hurricane Irma…most powerful in the Atlantic. (not an evil act of man, just natural devastation)

It breaks my heart to see such destruction being demonstrated around our great nation, and the world.

In the news reports, you hear governors and other public officials commenting on how strong each town or state has been throughout each tragedy. You see hashtags like #texasstrong #floridastrong #keysstrong #newyorkstrong and so many more.

A copious amount of times, those same public officials have openly asked for prayers and for God’s strength, comfort, and peace to be with those victims and their families.

If the evil-doers of the world can “go big or go home” in their acts, then we can do the same in a positive light.

I challenge you to GO BIG in/by:

  • Smiling at others when you walk by them. You may be the smile they need at that moment.
  • Asking someone how they are today, and truly listen for their response.
  • Praying for others to know Christ in a personal way. Be specific. Mention them by name to God. Get on your knees, if you able, and bow humbly before the Lord.
  • Share Jesus with others through your words and deeds.
  • Opening the door, and holding it, for others.
  • When faced with a challenging person, smile and silently pray for them, right in the moment.
  • Doing those random acts of kindness you often hear about.
  • Spending time with God (through His word, listening to Christian music, praying, being involved in your local church, etc,).
  • And on and on

#ChristLoveStrong #LoveBig

Agree?

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

All the evil happenings in the world can bring fear to each of us. Please don’t allow fear to cripple you. I serve a God who 365 times in the bible reminds us to not be afraid. He is not a god of fear. Satan, on the other hand, delights in crippling us with horror. Stop! Not today, Satan! Give God your anxieties and know that He can and will conquer them all.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

This verse doesn’t tell us to “Be fearful because Satan is seeking you.” It clearly states to “Be sober-minded; be watchful…”

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

Praying for our country.

#KnowWhereYouAreGoing

Have a blessed week ahead.

 

 

 

This is how I felt when I received the call from the doctor.

This is how I felt when I received the call from the doctor.

Sigh…Just breathe…Smile…Cry…Relief…Praise the Lord!

That was how I felt last week when I received the news.

Not long ago, I had received a postcard in the mail reminding me that it is that time of year to schedule my appointment.

I called the hospital, made the appointment, and informed them of a possible issue that needed some attention. When I arrived at the lab on the morning of my appointment, I wanted to confirm that my diagnostic mammogram was ordered. The nurse had a puzzled look on her face and said, “Ummm, we only do diagnostic mammos on Mondays and Thursday.”

The doctor had ordered the diagnostic mammogram with a sonogram, yet my appointment was mistakenly scheduled on a Wednesday. The nurse noticed that there was an opening the following morning at 8:00, so I said, “I’ll take it!”

Tim didn’t go with me to the Wednesday appointment, but his schedule allowed him the opportunity to go with me on Thursday. As we were awaiting my tests, the thought did cross my mind, “What if my appointment was rescheduled because Tim needed to be here for support if I were to receive any unwanted news?” A couple of days later, Tim admitted that he had the same thought.

The results informed the doctor that I had a swollen lymph node and about a half inch in size “something” around the same area (I don’t recall the medical term). Both doctors, one from the hospital and my family physician, believed that all was well, but wanted to confirm with a CT-Scan.

The scan was ordered, and we were ready to go on the following Monday. Unfortunately, the timing for my insurance company needing another approval from my doctor, and my physician’s vacation were causing a delay in the scan.

Two weeks later…the CT-Scan was performed.

During the three-week period, many “What ifs?” came to mind.   Even Tim, who NEVER talks about me going before him, had made a comment along the lines of, “I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to you…”

God and I chatted daily, He kept me in the word, yet my writing and sharing was on hold. I was internalizing this entire process. Only a handful (if that) of folks were on the radar about my situation, besides my husband and kids.

While I was meeting with my precious friend, Karen, who is revamping the soakinguptheson.com site (stay tuned), my situation came into our conversation. I mentioned to Karen that if I do not hear from the doctor today by two o’clock, I was calling. The phone rang at 1:15PM. My dear doctor was calling me to let me know that, indeed…all was well. Sigh…Just breathe…Hugs…Smile…Cry…Relief…Praise the Lord!

Tim was out of town when I heard the results, so I texted him. He informed me that that text was what he needed to hear.

When Cole came home from school, I told him how relieved I was. He opened his long arms wide, walked over to me, and gave me a big hug and a huge smile.

I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off me, and my family.

Why? Why do we allow those “what ifs?” to come into our psyche? Oh, yea, probably because WE ARE NOT GOD. We are human. Even when we know that He is in control of everything, the stresses of life can easily oppress us.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

When Jesus was said He was giving us peace, He didn’t just give us any peace, but HIS peace. A peace dependent on trust. The world’s peace depends on feelings.

“Stand firm, and you will win life. Luke 21:19

“When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Friends, troubles and trials will come our way. Anxieties will trap us. Our hearts will be burdened. But…remember:

  • Stand firm in Christ.
  • Turn to God in trouble times and allow His joy to wash over you.
  • Run to God and find rest in Him.
  • Give thanks.

Blessings to you and yours,

Stephanie

 

 

USA Flag 1992Last week Tim and I attended a Zac Brown Band concert. Our seats were in the first two seats beside the aisle. Mid-way into the concert, we noticed the paramedics rushing a young girl down the aisle (late teens or early twenties…and appeared to be highly intoxicated), on a gurney. Her friend was hastily following her, and with panic in her voice, you could hear the friend saying to the young girl, with her eyes rolling into the back of her head, “Look at me! Stay with me!”

My heart ached, as I told Tim, “I couldn’t imagine being the parent of that girl, and receiving a phone call that my child is in the hospital due to over-consuming alcohol at a concert.”

I’ve always been the parent who reminds my children that we are not promised tomorrow. Morbid? Maybe, but truth.

This morning, I turned on the news and was sickened by what I heard and the footage I observed.

At that time, a gun-man had killed over forty people, and over 200 were injured. (At the time of me typing this, there are now over 55 dead, and over 500 injured.) These folks were attending an outdoor music concert, The Route 91 Harvest Festival. What should have been the ending of a three-day event, filled with fun and songs still billowing through one’s mind in the end of it all, was now filled with terror of gunshots and a fatal scene forever engrained in their minds.

Again, I just couldn’t imagine being the one receiving a call of my loved one being injured or killed due to the evilness and cowardness of someone.

I went into my eldest son’s room to tell of the news (which he was already informed of), and asked if he had any friends at the concert. He, thankfully, responded by shaking his head no.

With our country drawing together directly after three major hurricanes, and other natural disasters around our world, we are being tested.

I was proud of my President when he spoke to our country, shortly after this devastation. He said many encouraging words and empathetically communicated to our nation.

President Trump quoted Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

The POTUS urged us to call upon the bonds between us: faith, family, and our shared values. He called upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.

President Trump mentioned, amongst many other heartfelt words, that he is praying for the nation to find unity and peace.

I sent a text to all three of mine and Tim’s children this morning which read, “In view of this morning’s tragedy, I want you three to know that I love you so very much. I’m so proud of each of you! You are a blessing to me and dad. We are not promised tomorrow. Live each day full of love and laughter. Put God first in all you do. Tell and show those you love that you do love them. Count your blessings. Serve others. Be a person of integrity. Love, love, love you!!!”

Can we please all put political differences aside, and become a unified nation?

Can we please put pride aside, and become prayerful?

Can we please put selfishness aside, and become serving?

Can we please put hatred aside, and become helpful?

Can we please put all hostility aside, and become harmonious?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are instructed to “Pray continually”. When I dropped my youngest son off at golf this afternoon, I overheard Sarah Huckabee, on my XM radio station, stating that the President, Vice President, and their spouses were leading a moment of silence in sixteen minutes. I look at my clock, and noted that 2:45pm would be the designated time. I quickly ran into the Publix grocery store to grab dinner ingredients, and informed the cashier that there was going to be a nationwide moment of silence at 2:45.

As I rushed back to my car and started driving home, an announcement came across the air waves that the moment of silence is going to now take place. The time was 2:40pm. I pulled my car over to the side of the road, and tearfully prayed for our nation, the families, and the gunman’s’ family as well. The radio station was honoring that moment of stillness too.

The point I’m trying to make regarding the times is…it doesn’t matter if you partook in a prayer at 2:45PM, 2:40PM, or 11:00PM, just pray.

I want to encourage you all to pray for the first responders (who did such a phenomenal job responding during this catastrophic event), the medical personal who have dealt with and are continuing to work to save lives, for the families and friends of loved ones now deceased or injured, for the family of the gunman who were in utter disbelief, for our nation, The President, and yourself too.

#GodBlessAmerica #PrayingForVegas #AmericaStrong #PrayingForOurNation

Blessings to you all, Stephanie

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He choose for His inheritance.” Psalm 33:12

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” Romans 12:12

Let’s get back to some decorating ideas.

First of all, I must confess…I truly felt guilty about posting ideas for decorating, when 1) I wasn’t sure if we would have a home after Hurricane Irma, or at least a roof and other structural damage, and 2) there are so many folks who were affected by the wind, rain, and tornadoes of Harvey and Irma to their homes, and they have to completely rebuild. My heart just wasn’t in it. (The last decorating post was on September 5th!)

Secondly, since many of us have or are persevering through the aftermath, it’s definitely time for this next post!

I’d like to remind you that our taste in décor may differ, maybe about as much as our opinions on various subjects vary. Yet, I hope you will take away from this mini-series:

  • To decorate your home with things that you love
  • To show your personality in your style
  • To share your love for Christ through various avenues of décor.
  • To NOT decorate just because of an empty space, but to wait to fill a space with something that speaks to you
  • Inspiration comes from all over…I hope our home inspires you.

I know when I travel, thumb through magazines, watch decorating shows, or even simply visiting a friend’s home, I get inspired. I may see some things that look great, but not necessarily for me, or say, “I totally want to try this in my home!”. When friends come to my home and ask, “Would you mind if I did this too?” or “Where did you get this, so I can do the same?” I take that as a complete compliment and am humbled.

Here we go…Volume 4…The master bathroom.

Some may question, “Why would she say it’s definitely time for this next post when she wants to share her bathroom?” Well, after all the laboring of getting one’s home back in order after a storm, doesn’t a nice hot bath sound relaxing? I know it sure does for me.

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“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.” John 14:1

We had a clawfoot tub in our last home. I believe our dog got more baths in it than I did. Since we’ve moved to our newly renovated home, I was forced to bathe in the tub due to an accident the day before Thanksgiving. That habit has stuck with me throughout the months that followed. #lovemytub. When I soak in that tub, it feels as if all my troubles are washed away.

“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Ephesians 4:13

Like me, those curtains are a work in progress. I wasn’t finding the window panels that just spoke to me, so I visited a fabric store and saw this material. The colors were perfect to coordinate with the décor in my master bath. I purchased the material and got busy cutting and gluing. Yep, you read that correctly…gluing. I’m not one who sews. So, my “work in progress” is this…maybe you can give me your opinion…the curtains have plenty of extra material, draping the floor, so should I: use it to cover shades for the iron chandelier, trim enough so that’s barely touching the floor, or don’t worry about it at all?

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“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.” Psalm 62:5

The wall plaque above my tub comforts and encourages me. It is well with my soul. Yes! No matter the challenges that come my way, it is well with my soul, as long as I’m with Jesus in and through it all.

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From this time on we don’t think of anyone as the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. But we don’t think that way now.  When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new! 2 Corinthians 5:16-17

Think outside-of-the-box. I just knew that I did not desire for the ordinary bathroom cabinet. I searched furniture stores, thrift shops, online, and any place that may give me inspiration for a vanity. After a few months on my cabinet mission, I was meandering through the aisles (and this was not the first time here) of my local home décor and furniture store, Southern Hospitality. When I saw this entertainment center, I took a double take, pulled out my measuring tape, and measured the size for the space in our master bath. PERFECT! This piece of furniture that was originally intended to house a television and electronics, is now graced with a ceramic sink from Mexico, towels, soap, and all things bath. “Suddenly, everything is new!” OH…here’s a good tidbit…people often comment on this one…notice the container of small cups and mouthwash…it’s a hit.  I have this combo in each bathroom, even the outdoor bath.

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Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

While putting on makeup, or doing my hair, I sit at my vanity and glance at a few women in my life who fear the Lord. My mom, late mother-in-law, daughter, grandmother, great-grandma, and friends are thought of each day and appreciated. These women have taught me about beauty (inside and out). Yea, I did throw in some guys into the “ladies zone”, but my husband and sons are pretty special to me. There’s room for more photos under the glass. This is an easy decorating idea to display those memories of loved ones, and they make me smile too.

I encourage you to:

  • Relax, and allow God to wash your troubles away.
  • Keep growing and maturing in your walk with Christ.
  • Put your hope in Him, and know that it is well with your soul.
  • Look at things in a new light.
  • Cherish those who have helped mold you into who you are today.

I hope you will find inspiration as you read these posts. Not only inspiration for your home, but your walk with Christ as well.

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

#decoratingideas #decoatewithlove #inspiration #ahomenotahouse #relax

 

 

 

 

joy and peace

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

I prayed this verse for my children today. And you know what? I prayed it for you too!

Dear Lord, You are The God of hope! I pray that you will fill my family, friends, and myself with Your abundant joy and peace today as we trust in You. May we be brimming with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Have a beautiful weekend!  Be joyful!

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

#bejoyful  #filledwithHislove #brimmingwithpeace

 

stormWith clean-ups, clean-outs, and all things that deal with Hurricane Irma, and on top of Harvey and Irma…the catastrophic earthquake in Mexico and another fatal hurricane named Maria…I’ve been quiet and reflective. My heart and prayers go out to all.

Heartaches and heartbreaks happen in life. Troubles and trials WILL come our way.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

That stinks! Yet it is required. Events, such as these, are required to build character in ourselves, collaborate for a purpose with others, and to demonstrate Christ’s love in desperate times.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”  Romans 5:3-5

Yesterday, I heard a news reporter mention that some say that our world will end on September 23, 2017. Well, I do agree with people that we are in the end-times, but I must also agree with God’s Word. In Matthew 24:36, 42, and 44 the Bible repeats to us that we do NOT know the date, day, time, or anything of such specifics when Jesus is coming again.

36“No one knows when that day or time will be. The Son and the angels in heaven don’t know when it will be. Only the Father knows…42 “So always be ready. You don’t know the day your Lord will come… 44 So you also must be ready. The Son of Man will come at a time when you don’t expect Him.”

So, let’s say that man is smarter than Jesus and that man does know that September 23rd is indeed the last day. (“Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”1 Corinthians 1:25. ) Are you ready? Is your heart right with God? Do you believe in Him with all your heart?

Yes, our world is showing true signs of the end-of-times:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. Matthew 24:7

Agree?

But…we do NOT know when. So…while we wait for that glorious day:

  • Love others
  • Help others
  • ­­­­Be kind
  • Be humble
  • Obey
  • Show gratitude
  • Be holy
  • Forgive
  • Have self-control
  • Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength
  • Share and show His love with others
  • Pray

Can you? Will you? You’ve got this…with God.

Have a beautiful day. Enjoy soaking up The Son wherever you are.

Love to you and yours, Stephanie

#theendtimes  #liveforGod #shareHislove

 

I love to decorate with items that either tell a story, remind me of places I’ve traveled to, looks interesting, or I simply just like. When you walk into my home, you may look and say as my precious friend said, “I’m not sure how to describe your style. Eclectic? Whatever it is, I like it and it’s YOU!”

The photos, that I’m including in this entry, are strictly items Tim and I purchased from Tampa Bay Salvage (located in Tarpon Springs, Florida).

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Originally, I was going to use an antique screen door for my pantry door, but when I saw these security doors from India (I think), my creative juices thought, “There are our new pantry doors.” Tim agreed, and now they are guarding our goodies. I often joke about how they are keeping me from the Oreos or other unhealthy snacks that adorn the shelves.

 

These colorful swinging doors once hung in a business in Indonesia. Now they are used as privacy doors for our outdoor shower. A little pop of color is exactly what this grey and rustic outdoor area needed. Yes, they came this way. There was no need for adding any paint to these little jewels.

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Ahhh, our outdoor living space is fun, inviting, and definitely outdoorsy. There will always be hunting and nautical décor being added to this space. I’d show you the entire living space, but I’ll save that for another post. The barn wood that graces these walls have a special meaning to them for us. When we asked Barry, at Tampa Bay Salvage, where this specific wood came from (the majority of it anyhow), he replied, “Kentucky”. Tim and I just looked at one another with a smile and said, “That’s it. We’ll take it.” You see, Tim’s late mom, Mrs. Jany, was born and raised in western Kentucky. Even if the barn may not be from the same town she was from, the meaning is still rich to us.

 

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Tampa Bay Salvage has a plethora of miscellaneous wood pieces to use for diverse designs. Tim wanted a shelf to be used while they practice their bow target practice. This piece of wood not only is used for its original purpose, but is mainly used for eating on during entertaining.IMG_0788

 

 

 

Also, for the outdoor living area, we purchased this wooden table which has a Large Tooth Sawfish Bill inset in the middle, that was caught in Key West. The Shuffs are a family of avid saltwater fishermen. We’ve also spent a lot of time lobstering and fishing down in the Keys. So, this furniture piece fits perfectly into our outdoor “family” area.

 

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I love this mirror we are using in our master bathroom. When I first pondered the idea of getting it, I was like, “Hmmm, dusting won’t be fun.” Then I changed my mind and decided to vacuum when needed. That’s exactly what I do. This mirror screams character to the bathroom, and it reminds us of the beach too.IMG_0791

Our last three TBS items were bought just yesterday.

 

  • Mine and Tim’s bedroom walls are blank. I didn’t want to just decorate for the sake of looking complete. I wanted to truly love what’s on the walls and let them speak to me. (crazy?) Well, today my handyman, Jackson, and I created the wall feature using barn wood. I love it!IMG_0802

 

  • I’m not afraid of funky. When I sat in this Adirondack rocker chair, I knew it was coming home and resting on my front porch. The colors match perfectly with the palate I have on my baker’s rack displaying plants. (Plants that I hope I can keep alive. LOL)

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  • Finally, I’m not completely sold as to where this last piece will end up, but Tim has a habit of collecting driftwood from boat outings, and I often bring small pieces of driftwood home from vacations. Our youngest, Cole, said it reminds him of the art that was in the movie Beetlejuice.

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Whew, I do believe we have enjoyed our shopping excursions to Tampa Bay Salvage.

So, how am I going to quickly intertwine this journal entry to scripture? When I think about how each piece has its own story can comes from various places all over the world…it reminds me how it doesn’t matter what nationality we all are, God loves us all and desires a relationship with each of us. To Him, we are His masterpieces…colorful works of art…and loves how we all have our own characteristics, but are unified by Him.

He accepts anyone who worships Him and does what is right. It is not important what nation they come from. Acts 10:35

God wants each of us to embrace a relationship with Him, and do what is right in His sight…no matter where we come from.

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Friend, it does not matter where you are from, how bad you think you are or things you’ve done, the socio or economic status you have, to Him you are worth everything! We are His eclectic masterpieces!

I hope you enjoy decorating with what speaks to you, and also allow God to speak to and through you.

Blessings to you and yours.

Love, Stephanie

#decoratingwithlove  #wearealleclectic  #eclecticdesign  #notahousebutahome

 

Here's me and Don landing.

Here’s me and Don landing.

Don asked, “Does anyone want to go flying?” I popped my resting head up off the pillow, where I was power napping on the couch, and quickly responded, “I do!”

Off we went. Headed to the hanger, where Don keeps his plane, I was excited to see the beautiful Georgia land from an aerial view.

After we guided the plane, a 1946 Piper Cub, out of the hanger, Don instructed me to get in the front seat. Thinking, on my limited knowledge of flying, that the pilot usually is seated in the front, I curiously replied, “Why am I sitting in the front?”

Don informed me that he will be piloting the plane from the back seat.

Whew!

It wasn’t long after we were hovering above the peaceful pines below when he asked if I wanted to fly the plane.

“How?”

“Put your hand on the lever and fly.”

As I had no clue what to do, and definitely not wanting to crash us into the ponds below, I’d glance over my right shoulder and see Don guiding me by example. He would motion his hand one way or the other, instructing me to push, pull, or lean the lever to its right or left.

That lasted for about a minute. Between me glancing over my shoulder constantly, and not enjoying the view as much, I pointed to Don and said, “You fly.”

Ahh, peace filled my somewhat anxious self, and I could once again relish in the stunning landscape below us.

Don has been flying for over 35 years. I trusted his expertise and ability to guide us safely to our destination.

Throughout the process, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how I don’t want God to be the co-pilot of my life, I desire for Him to be The Pilot!

He is the expert.

Even when I take control of my life, God is there guiding me. It is my responsibility to glance at Him for guidance.

When God is in control, no matter how the scenery may be, I’m at peace.

Tim took a ride too.

There have been times (MANY) when I think that I am in control of situations. (Yea, I saw you shake your head in agreement…I’m not alone.) I either do-it-myself, seek God for guidance, or point to Him and say, “You take this.”. I can assure you that the first strategy mentioned doesn’t have the best of endings compared to the others.

Are you going through an anxious time in your life? Point to God and say, “You fly.” He is the expert Pilot who will give you peace and land you safely on the ground.

Blessings to you and yours.

Enjoy soaking up The Son wherever you are, Stephanie

#godismypilot  #flyingpiper  #godisincontrol

Capturing the sun setting behind the pines was an added bonus.

Capturing the sun setting behind the pines was an added bonus.

 

 

 

Yesterday, while traveling in the truck, heading to the hunting camp in Georgia, “I” would search the bible for verses to fit into the next decorating journal entry. Nada. But…shocker…God had a plan.

Each morning, before I rise or seek the face of man, I seek the face of God. Prior to opening the app on my phone to read the day’s bible verse, my prayer is “Lord, speak to me and through me.” Well, He did not disappoint. I actually got a little giddy when I read the verse-for-the-day.

“O LORD, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:64

You may be wondering, “How in the world does Psalm 119:64 fit into a decorating idea?”

Well, I guess you’d have to know my love for travel to understand. So…welcome to “my travel room/study”.

My family has been blessed with the opportunities to travel the world. During those travels, memorabilia will be purchased, moments captured in photographs and the mind, lives are being enriched (ours and others), and many amazing memories are being made.

Just yesterday, my nephew and his sweet wife (Caleb and Candace) were staying at our home, as they were ending their weeklong vacation in Florida. They were walking around the home, and knowing that I was writing journal entries regarding making a house a home, I asked her, “Candace, look around and let me know what speaks to you.”

She opened her arms, and with a smile on her face said, “This room speaks to me.”

Which room? My “travel room/study”.

What is it about this room? Is it the stories each piece or picture tells? The biblically based books adorning the shelf for growing in His word? The pins on the map on the cork wall? The coziness of the navy color adorning the walls? My hidden prayer wall for those private times? Who knows! Yet, it spoke to Candace, and it speaks to me as well.

DSCN5629Each hat has a story to tell. When I look at specific ones, precious reminiscences flood my mind. Like the fourth one from the right…it has traveled to Botswana, Cape Town, and Victoria Falls in Africa, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Athens, Greece, and many others places that God created.

The majority of the pieces adorning the walls or shelves were from travels we partook in, yet there are a few passed down from family members: A hieroglyphic urn Tim’s great uncle Wilfred brought back from his days in the war. A large cow bell my in-laws picked up from a trip to Switzerland. An engraved stone tile my dad brought home from the Mayan villages. Again…each piece tells a story.

A cork wall! This is a definite work in progress and will be ever changing and added too. I went to the local home improvement store and purchased two rolls of underlayment. You know, that stuff people lay down on the floor before they install tiles or hardwood. Why not have a wall of it.

It wasn’t long after my idea of a corked wall when I saw somewhere that JoJo (from the HGTV show, Fixer Upper…love!!) had it installed on her office wall. My thought was (after I was like, “Hey, that was my idea!” LOL!) “If JoJo did it, it must be a great idea.”

There are so many photos and "stuff" to add.  One day.

There are so many photos and “stuff” to add. One day.

Ahhh, my hidden prayer wall. Behind the skillfully created sliding door, I asked my contractor to install a metal backing. This backing hold magnets from adventures, and…most importantly…numerous prayer requests. Whether they are written on a small piece of paper and magnetized to the door, or written directly on the metal wall, requests are being lifted to the Lord. When the door is open (which it always is unless I’m in there studying), no one even knows that my private prayer wall is there. (Your name just may be on there.)

Okay, now don’t you just love our porthole…an online purchase. We originally were going to have it inserted to our outside bathroom door, but it was too large. Then, I thought it would be fun to have at the end of my kitchen island. One side of my island is open, and I could just imagine my future grandbabies opening the porthole and crawling through. (Glad that didn’t happen…my shelves are full of pots and pans.) Finally, the porthole found its home in the sliding barndoor. Perfect! People love taking pics, while sticking their heads through its opened window.

I won't show my metal prayer wall (too personnel), but this sign hangs above it.

I won’t show my metal prayer wall (too personnel), but this sign hangs above it.

Candace and Caleb.  Sweetness.

Candace and Caleb. Sweetness.

So, how does “O LORD, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:64 fit into this entry? It brought you to my study/travel room where you can sit on my comfy chair and be filled with inspiration of world travels or, do as I door, and have some quiet time with Jesus.

I hope you have found some inspiration today to either:

  • Turn a wall into a corked wall
  • Install a metal backing to your door
  • Display collected items, and remember the stories they tell from your experiences
  • Just find a quiet place for you to soak up The Son

I hope you will stay tuned, have a glass of sweet tea, and sit a spell with me as we take an adventure through my home and share some decorating ideas.

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

#home #adventure

 

As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

 

I am so grateful and humbled by comments from others when they come into or walk through our home.

Two goals I’ve always had when decorating are 1) I want others to see Christ as the center of our home and 2) I desire for folks to feel welcome and comfortable.

I just received a precious note from a friend who recently attended a gathering at our home and she penned the words, “Your place feels like home. You both have done such a wonderful job creating such a warm and friendly atmosphere.” (Thanks, Liz!)

When others meander around and ask me to come and help them decorate their home, that just thrills my soul, and again…I’m humbled.

So…I’ve decided to turn some decorating tidbits into a small series of journal entries. (You know I had to tie in some Jesus somehow. ) Take note…I am NOT a professional decorator, just a girl who knows what she likes and has a way of displaying items and decorates from the heart.

Now, grant it, you will discover that our home is a work in progress. Much like myself, there’s always room for improvement and upgrading. Also, notice that I won’t call our home a house. This isn’t just a structure that houses people, this is a place where there is much love and nurturing taking place.

So here goes the first entry of this mini-series:

When we laid the concrete was laid and bare, writing scripture was a top priority. Whether it was a testament to having a firm foundation in not only the house, yet foremost in the Lord. (I also wanted to share Jesus with whomever was working on our home at the time too.) As I walked through each room, stopped at each entryway, and glanced out each location of the future windows, I’d say a prayer of hope and thanksgiving, and write scripture.

We added on to an existing home, so the rooms (only three) that were not being structurally touched, I would walk through, and even sit on the floor, and say a prayer.

“Listen, people of Israel! The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Always remember these commands that I give you today… Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6, 9

scripture on home collage

Today’s tidbit:

Have God as the foundation of your home and life.

Do you want to make sure you have a foundation in Christ? PLEASE click here to know more.

I hope you will stay tuned, have a glass of sweet tea, and sit a spell with me as I take you on a journey through our home and share some decorating ideas and especially some Jesus time.

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures”. Proverbs 24:3-4

Oh, yea…I would LOVE for you to share your own related stories with me as we journey through this together. I will enjoy getting ideas from you!

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

#ahomenotahouse  #decoratewithlove  #christasthefoundation  #home