Gratitude Day 212 – Refresh Wednesday

Wed., Feb. 6, 2019

Proverbs 7:6 – When from the window of my house, from behind the screen, I gazed down

Today’s Refresh Wednesday isn’t a recent project. It’s one I’ve had for quite a while. But it’s a fun one … one I hope you’ll enjoy.

Interested in knowing more?

Great. I’d love to share.

When Hubby Rick was about 5, he and his family moved into an old house. Originally, the house was built in 1850 by a General Starks who was part of the Union Army during the Civil War. He moved to Wisconsin from out east. When he came upon the small village of Ableman, WI (now known as Rock Springs, WI), he bought land because the countryside reminded him of the area where he lived out east. The year after the house was built, a barn was built.

While the house was an elaborate house in its original day, by the time Rick’s family moved to this house, it had fallen into disrepair. In fact, Rick’s maternal grandfather felt his daughter and son-in-law had made a poor decision in purchasing this house and farm. Over the next few decades, Rick’s family upgraded the house and made significant improvements.

At some point, new windows were installed. For years, the old windows were kept. A number of years ago, Rick brought home a couple of these old windows. I’ve used a few of them for decorating purposes in our houses. I’ve enjoyed using something historical from the house where Rick grew-up. And it doesn’t hurt that I LOVE me some good, old antique items.

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When I started this project, this particular window no longer had glass in the panes, which was what I wanted. To prepare the window, I twisted a few eye hooks into the sides of the panes. Then, I used some thin but sturdy wire and hung it between the eye hooks. The wires became “clothes lines” of sorts, on which I can hang various items. Some window panes have two clothes lines; some have one.

This design allows me to change the decorations seasonally. For fall, I used items I had at home: cut-outs of leaves and such. For Christmas, I use repurposed Christmas cards. I keep an envelope with the fronts of some of my favorite cards and hang them during the holiday season. I’m behind on getting some hearts and Valentine’s hung up for February. (I kept thinking I’d get home hung and picture snapped. It didn’t happen.)

At Easter, I’ve hung cut-out Easter eggs. In the summer, I’ve hung pictures of flowers from our gardens that I’ve taken and printed. To hang items, I use small clothes pins from a craft store. I keep a supply of them on hand.

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Windows have an interesting role in the Bible. Noah made sure there where windows in the Ark. Windows were used to lower people out of a location. Sometimes, particular items were hung from a window to identify the house. Once, a man was listening to Paul speak, who, apparently was long winded. After the man fell asleep, he fell out of a window!

I like to think of windows in another way. Windows allow us to look INTO a building or house. They also provide an opportunity for us to look OUT. Both ways, the window provides the vantage point of what we are able to see. A big window? Why, we can see a lot! Just a little window, it’s harder to see in and out.

Each of us chooses how much we allow others to glimpses into the “window” of our lives. We choose how much, or how little, another person can see. When someone takes a glimpse into your life, what do they see? Are they able to quickly determine what your priorities are? Through your actions and choices, is it clear what truly is most important to you? Or does the glimpse into your world portray a life lived differently from what your main priorities are?

While initially this window came about as a fun way to decorate for various seasons of the year, its true message is far more important and reaching. I pray this window is a reminder to let others look into my life and see God as an important part of my daily life. When I look out of the window of my daily activities, I pray they reflect what is most important to me and are easy for others to determine. When people gaze down into the window of my life, I pray Jesus is clearly there, for all to see.

For windows into our lives, I am grateful.

Holy God – may we see the windows of our lives as an opportunity to share glimpse of what is important to us. I pray we align our life priorities with what others see when they gaze into our lives and world.  Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 206 – Refresh Wednesday #3

Wed., Jan. 30, 2019

Psalm 63:6 – whenever I ponder you on my bed, whenever I meditate on you in the middle of the night—

Welcome to Refresh Wednesday!

Today, I’m excited to share with you a project that is one of my FAVORITE refreshes we have completed in our house. It’s a great example of taking something old we had at our house, refreshing it and repurposing it for another use.

Would you like to know more?

Good, I can’t wait to share!!

Last fall, we created a beautiful master suite on the second floor of our 1906 Victorian Farmhouse. I’m anxiously awaiting to show you the entire room but have held off because we’re waiting for our floor guy to refinish the hardwood floors. He’s experienced some challenges in his personal life, which are far more important than our floors, so we wait.

When my sister and her husband bought a new king-sized bed, they gave us their old one. We started with just the frame, box spring and mattress. As we put the suite together, I really felt the bed really needed a headboard.

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Here’s what the head of the bed looks like. Nothing too fancy, right?

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Until you remove the pillows and see this.

I began looking for a headboard online. Notice the window above the bed? I love the light the window lets into the room, but it affects the height of the headboard. While I found something that would have worked, I wasn’t thrilled with it.

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This is when I came up with a much better idea that didn’t cost us anything. Well, except the paint, which we already had.

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We have some old doors from the house that we no longer are using. Some of these doors are very narrow, like less than 30” wide narrow. Upon my request, Rick dug one of these doors out. We measured the length of the door and discovered it was just a little long for the king-sized bedframe. It would work great as a headboard!

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Rick cut the door to fit the bedframe. Then, he made posts for each end to attach the headboard to the frame. He found a piece of leftover trim in the attic, which he fashioned as a cap for the top of the bedframe. After sanding the door, we put on a coat of primer. Once dry, we painted the door a dark charcoal grey. The bedroom walls are a medium grey. The dark grey headboard looks stunning against the lighter walls.  (Look carefully … you see the floors we’re waiting to refinish.)

When we show people the headboard, most do not realize that it used to be a door. Rick did such a great job; the headboard looks like it was made this way!

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My favorite part of the project? We took something that was original to the house, refurbished it and made it into something that fits into the design and décor of our house.

When I wake up in the morning, I spend a few minutes in prayer before me feet hit the ground. I dedicate my day to God. I ask for God to direct and guide me through the day. I ask for wisdom in making decisions and noticing the things God desires for me to note. As I meditate in bed, I pray that I can suppress my will and seek God’s will for me for the upcoming day.

I’m anxious to continue this morning ritual in our master suite, once the floors are completed. In the meantime, several overnight guests have utilized this bed and master suite. I’ve loved being able to share this refurbished headboard with them. In fact, my sister was so taken by the beauty and function of the door-turned-into-headboard, she had Rick make her one, using an extra door that she had! We’re letting her choose what color she wants to paint it once we get it back to her house. It’s another example of using something you already have and refurbishing it into another life.

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For refurbished furniture that adds beauty to our home, I am grateful.

Holy God – beauty comes in many different ways. Sometimes, we just need to look at something from a little different perspective to see the purpose and beauty in a new way. On this day, maybe it’s something in our personal lives that needs some tweaking and imagination. May we not be afraid of potential refurbishing’s that come into our lives, realizing the finished product can be truly amazing. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 201 – Refresh Wednesday #2

Wed., Jan. 23, 2019

1 Corinthians 6:19 – Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves?

Last Wednesday, I began “Refresh Wednesdays.” Each Wednesday, I plan to post some easy, quick little thing I’ve done lately that brings joy to my life.

In the first “Refresh Wednesday,” I shared how I updated our beautiful front porch from Christmas decorations to a winter wonderland-inspired décor that will be appropriate until our Wisconsin winter disappears.

Today, I’m going to share one of my new mantras for 2019. It’s really very simple:

20 minutes in blue

20-minutes.

I prioritize things that are important for me to do each day for just 20-minutes. Nothing more. Just 20-minutes.

Here’s an example: exercise. For years, I ran multiple days a week, lifted weights a couple times a week and rode bike when weather allowed a couple days a week. Since we moved to our current house three years ago, exercise has been such a struggle for me. I don’t have my favorite running trails anymore. As we focused on remodeling our house the last few years, I felt like I didn’t have time and/or energy to exercise. All too quickly and easily, exercise fell by the wayside.

At my annual physical two years ago, my doctor encouraged me to lose 10-15% of my body weight. (One person told me that I should find a new doctor!) Ugh. It’s so challenging. When I went for my physical last fall, I was down a few pounds; just not as much as I would have liked.

I know exercise is important. I should exercise, as both of my parents struggled with health issues at the end of their lives. My pants would fit better if I lost those pounds my doctor encourages me to lose. And yes, I would be able to wear those things in my closet that don’t really fit but I’ve hung onto, anticipating SOME DAY I will be able to wear them again.

I’ve put together exercise schedules, willed myself to get make exercise a priority … all with little success. Through the process, I keep reminding myself of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I knew that I needed to change my approach if I wanted different results.

Here’s my new approach in 2019: 20-minutes of exercise a day. This is all I expect of myself. A 20-minute walk or run. A 20-minute DVD. A 20-minute online video. Or 20-minutes of exercises that I choose to do myself. Just 20-minutes a day. I should be able to find this short window time, right?

So far, I have been. Some days when it works, I might do two 20-minute exercise blocks. I’ll go for 20-minute walk and do a workout video later. I don’t expect myself to do this every day; my first priority is always that first 20-minute block.

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With this mentality, I no longer talk myself out of doing some form of exercise. I KNOW 20-minutes can be found. It just needs to be a priority.

Honestly, exercising is not about fitting into clothes better or anticipating someone will finally notice that I’m down a couple pounds. The real reason why exercise is so important? It’s how I want to care for my body. I view my body as a temple. Just as we want to carefully care for the temples, the places where we worship God, we should also care for our bodies as a temple for God. Neglecting to care for my body says to God that I don’t value how God created my body, my temple. Exercise is one way that I can express appreciation for the finely-tuned body God has provided me.

As I get a little older, I also must be realistic about what I expect and how I care for my body. I’m convinced that 20-minutes a day is really more helpful for my body than one day of overdoing exercise. Not only is it good for my physical body, it also gives me a mental break.

What is something you’ve been wanting to change in your life? Something you’ve been trying to change … but keep reverting back to the old way of doing things, yet expecting different results? What is one thing you can do today for 20-minutes that will bring joy to your life as well as provide self-care for your temple?

20-minutes

Just find 20-minutes and do it.

Now, if I could only fix my eating habits as easily …

For refreshing my physical body, 20-minutes at a time, I am grateful. 

Holy God – thank you for the wonderful temple that you have provided me with my body. Forgive me for the times I have not appreciated my body nor cared for it well. May I discover easy and important ways to care for my body. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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