house tour.

Welcome to my new house!

Soon I can finally begin the process of making this house my own. It's completely livable - but not very pretty yet. All of the rooms and trim needs to be painted, and the floors need to be refinished. Also, the first floor bathroom and bedroom doors need to be rehung. These are the photos from my home inspection:

Front Yard/Porch
To Do: Remove the awnings, pull down the bushes, dress up the porch

Living Room
To do: Paint, dress up the fireplace, replace the window treatments and light fixtures

To do: Definitely paint, maybe update the light?

To do: Paint, add a dishwasher and garbage disposal, add more storage, maybe remove the soffits?

Dining Room
To do: Paint, change the light fixture, maybe built-ins around the window?

Master Bedroom
To do: Paint, add window treatments, fix up the closet

Bedroom 2
To do: More paint, more closet fix-ups

Downstairs Bathroom
To do: Replace the walk-in (handicap) shower, replace the masonite walls and dated tile, change the window treatments, mirror, and fluorescent light fixture

Stairway and Upstairs Hallway
To do: More paint, remove the carpet from the stairs, change the linoleum hallway floors, maybe tear down one wall into a half-wall

Bedroom 3
To do: Paint, replace the carpet

Bedroom 4
To do: Paint, replace the carpet

Bedroom 5
To do: Paint, replace the carpet, maybe do some rearranging between this room and the bathroom, look into other options besides baseboard heat

Upstairs Bathroom
To do: Paint, replace the masonite walls, add a showerhead (if possible), replace the flooring

To do: Eventually, fix the ceiling, replace the floor, paint
For now: Workshop, storage, and I'm creating a spray painting corner

(Hi Mom!)
To do: Remove the awnings, remove the outdoor carpet on the small porch, maybe eventually a deck or patio?

To do: Add some additional braces along the back wall, just to reinforce it

mary's prayer.

Cause your feet will walk on water
Your eyes will pierce the dark
Your heart will save the souls of men
Your hands will bear the scars

jake's poem.

Tonight, Jake shared a poem with me that he wrote for class. He said, "it's called a what if poem."

You'll understand why when you read it.

What if a minute was an hour?
What if there was no shower?
I would smell very sour.
What if the sun was too hot?

I would surely rot.
What if I died and couldn't say bye?
What if there was no saying hi?
I would surely cry.
What if I could not run and have fun in the sun?

What if I was not smart?
What if I had no heart?
What if I was very great?
What if I was no 8?
What if I left town?
I would leave with a frown.
What if?

an update, long overdue.

I know, it's been a while. I last posted over a month ago, when I was still living in Africa and starting to look toward home.

A friend of mine suggested I write one more follow-up post to my time in Africa. I agree, it would be a great idea. The problem is, I'm not quite sure how to write it. Living in Africa for four months and working with Hope House is like a lot of great life adventures, where they really don't end but instead continue to be a part of your life for a long time. I hope that's true for me - that God has really changed me during my time there. And I also plan to stay involved - to stay in contact with friends in Gabon, to continue to help Hope House, and one day to go back there.

For now, here is what is going on now in my life. I started working for CBN again a couple weeks after I got back to the U.S. God provided a perfect opportunity to continue to do the work I enjoy but remotely, from home. Right now I'm living with one of my sisters, but I'm in the process of buying a home and hope to settle and move in by the end of the year. It's a great house - wonderful location, a great size, and needing just enough work to keep my creativity engaged. That's a muscle I haven't been able to really exercise for the last few months, so I'm very excited about that.

This blog has always been a reflection of my life, even before I had ever considered going to Africa (back when I never thought I ever would), and I will plan to use it that way. I'll continue to talk about the things that I make, the way I renovate and decorate my house, and most importantly, the things that God is teaching me and doing in my life. I would love for you to continue with me on the journey, wherever God leads me.

Here's the story I'll tell my friends when they come to worship,
and punctuate it with Hallelujahs:
Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers;
give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore him, you daughters of Israel.
He has never let you down,
never looked the other way when you were being kicked around.
He has never wandered off to do his own thing;
he has been right there, listening.

 Here in this great gathering for worship I have discovered this praise-life.
And I'll do what I promised right here in front of the God-worshipers.
Down-and-outers sit at God's table and eat their fill.
Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising him.
"Live it up, from head to toe. Don't ever quit!"

From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses,
are running back to God.
Long-lost families are falling on their faces before him.
God has taken charge; from now on he has the last word.

All the power-mongers are before him —worshiping!
All the poor and powerless, too —worshiping!
Along with those who never got it together —worshiping!

Our children and their children will get in on this
As the word is passed along from parent to child.
Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news—
that God does what he says.

Psalm 22:22-31, The Message