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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our Room Makeover for under $10

Jacob and I have been married just over a year, and we have slowly redone the house.  Two rooms were left, and I've been "pinning" away trying to find something to do.  I loved the look of wall decals, but they are so expensive and you can't easily customize them. 

This weekend we found a $3 solution that turned out GREAT.  We decided we wanted to do a travel/map theme in one of the spare bedrooms.  Jacob used to run a travel company, and we have a lot of friends that serve overseas.  We'd already painted the room using $7 Oops paint from Home Depot.

After searching online, we found a simple image of the continents that we cleaned up in Photoshop.  We owned a overhead projector, but I know that's not common for most people.  You can easily rent one from most public libraries, or your local church or school might load one out.  So after projecting the image on the wall, we traced it with pencil.

Using an Elmer's paint pen we purchased for under $3 at Wal-Mart, we traced the pencil lines in white.  Wal-Mart had a great selection of individual colors or you can buy color packs for about $10.  They are located in the craft section.  Other craft store do carry these.  When selecting your pen, take into consideration the thinness of the lines you're tracing.  We used a medium point pen, but for more detailed work you may need a smaller tip. 

We LOVED how the wall turned out.  Here is a picture of the finished product.  The best part is that it cost us $3 to do this, and if we didn't like it, we could just paint over it.  We would be out only $3 and not the upwards of $50+ for a wall decal.   

We decided to do this same process but in another room.  I wanted to see if words would be as easy, so I selected one of my favorite quotes.  This time I found one online that I liked instead of doing our own in Photoshop.

After projecting it like in the other room, I traced the outside of the words. (It's a little hard to see, but that is the point....don't want it to show through!

Then I started at the top and filled in the image.  It's important to hold your pen in an angle so the paint flows out easily.  I also tried to start at the top and work my way down from the left to right.  For the most part, I had no issues getting the paint to come out smoothly without drips.

About half way through I did have to get the paint "restarted" by tapping it on a paper towel until the paint flowed out again. 

I don't consider myself a super artsy person, but this made me look like I am!  Here is the finished product.  It looks great and was super cheap to do!  I think I will take $3 over the expensive wall decals any day!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Waiting on God

Below is a passage written by Christian author, Elizabeth Elliott, on waiting on God.  I've always loved this passage.  When I was single, this was something that spoke to me as I waited on God to bring me a husband.  Now that I am happily married, the next stage is waiting for kids. 

Waiting is a universal issue, though.  Waiting on marriage.  Kids.  New Job.  It seems I am always waiting on something, and I think that is the way God built us.  Waiting makes us hungry for something more.  We're meant to yearn, to desire more, to draw near.  The question is, what are you yearning?  What do you desire?  What are you drawing near to?

Our pastor is doing a series on false gods.  Basically a false god can be anything--even a very good thing--that replaces the BEST thing, God.  What are the things you are waiting for?  In your desires, have they replaced the BEST thing?  Those are questions I am struggling with myself.

Anyway, this passage is a great reminder for me in any period of waiting.  It keeps my focus, too, on the One leading more than the long winding path. 
The truth is that none of us knows the will of God for his life.  I say for his life—for the promises is “as thou goest step by step I will open up the way before thee.”  He gives us enough light for the day, enough strength for one day at a time, enough manna, our “daily” bread.  And the life of faith is a journey from Point A to Point B, from Point B to Point C, as the people of Israel ‘set out and encamped in Oboth.  And they set out from Oboth and encamped at Iyeabarium, in the wilderness…From there they set out and encamped on the other side of the Arnon…and from there they continued to Beer…and from the wilderness they went on to Mattanah, and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab.’

So far as we know, nothing happened in these places.  Oboth, Iyeabarium, Arnon, Beer, Mattanah, Nahaliel, Bamoth mean nothing to us.  They traveled and they stopped and they made camp and packed up again and traveled some more and made another camp.  They complained.  There were so many complaints that even Moses, who was a very meek man, could hardly stand the sight of these who God had called him to lead.  But all the time God was with them, leading them, protecting them, hearing their cries, goading and guiding them, knowing where they were going and what His purposes were for them and He never left them.

It is not difficult when you read the whole story of God’s deliverances of Israel to see how each separate incident fits into a pattern for good.  We have perspective that those miserable wanderers didn’t have.  But it should help us to trust their God.  The stages of the journey, dull and eventless as most of them were, were each a necessary part of the movement toward the fulfillment of the promise.

This may only be a stage in life’s journey, but every stage is a gift.  God may replace it with another gift, but the receiver accepts His gifts with thanksgiving.  This gift is for this day.  The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived—not always looked forward to as though the “real” living were around the next corner.  It is today for which we are responsible.  God still owns tomorrow.