Monday, February 25, 2013

Furniture Face Lift

Last week I spent all of my free time giving some of our furniture a face lift. I was inspired by a headboard that we found. A small little secret - some storage facilities have an area for people to leave things that other people might want.   You can find some sweet treasures.  So, as My Chef and I were on a very romantic trip to his work's storage unit last Valentine's Day, we happened upon this beauty:

It had some stickers on it, a few scratches, and didn't really match the other furniture.

But that was fine by me, because I had two things on my side: a can of primer, and a can of paint.
In fact, they had been burning a hole in my proverbial pocket; waiting for the perfect project.
I was going to take the lead from my friend over at White Butterfly who snazzes things up
with new hardware. But I was on the cheap. So I picked up myself some metallic silver spray paint for the trim pieces and, if you're asking me, I made a pretty good choice.


Now that I have a little confidence that I can successfully paint furniture, my next project is to find a free piece that I can clean up during Lentsgiving and donate to a local organization that serve people getting back on their feet and need furniture. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

10K Talk with the Big Man

Today was the day of my 10k run, and boy, was it a good one. I started the race with my friend, who is a strong runner, at the back of the pack because she was pushing her two chitlin's in a stroller. About a quarter mile into the race she said she was going to peel off. After I ate a bit of her dust, I was left to my own thoughts.

The sun was just rising at the start of this race; so naturally a camp song came to mind. "So, rise, and shine and give God the glory, glory..." In that moment, I knew that He and I were going to spend the next 6 miles talking.

I thanked Him for the cool weather, for the able body, for my loving family tucked in their beds. He sent some birds to sing in reply.  I gave Him praise for the beauty around me.

I told Him about my friends- How LJ was having surgery again for breast cancer - How my Cousin Lisa (who isn't really my cousin) just had surgery again for cancer cells in her brain - About my mom's complex body - About Kim's foot - About my friend John who bid farewell to his wife so she could be with Him.  I spoke at length about their fears, their pains, and their sadness.  I thanked Him for the comfort He sends them each by way of doctors and medicine and people to love on them.

Then He reminded me that he knit each of them together while they were still in their mother's bellies (Psalms 139:13). That He knows every inch of them. He knows every ailment, every worry, every need.  That He will provide for them, carry them, heal them and make them new again. He reminded me that He works all things for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

We ran together like this- me lifting up my loved ones, and He answering with scripture. "Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not grow weary."

I was beaming when I rounded the last corner to see the balloon-arch finish line. I had not walked once. And God reminded me to "run with perseverance the race that has been marked" for me. (Hebrews something something).  And I told Him I would. Then we high fived. 

Then as I was crossing the finish line, there was my friend, with her two beautiful children that she pushed in the stroller, waiting to cheer me on. (Never mind that the three of them finished 17 minutes faster than me.) I got my medal, three Gatorades, a banana, two bagels and a granola bar and set off for home with a huge smile on my face and joy in my heart.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I just made up that word. Lentsgiving. It's like Thanksgiving. Only in the spring. And instead of giving thanks, you give something up.   Last year one of my friends commented that he didn't even know what Lent was. So, in case that's you, I'll start with a short explanation.

You could Google the word Lent and come up with all sorts of history and articles. But let's skip that and go straight to what it means to me. Lent is a time that I have recently started to appreciate as a way to prepare my heart for Easter. For the 40+ days before the celebration of Christ's Resurrection, I like to reflect on my own life. One year I gave up Facebook, intending to replace my time giving thanks to God for all his grace. One year I gave up pop. Last year, instead of giving something up, I wrote letters to people. As I wrote, I took stock in the the blessings I'd been provided by way of those I was writing to. 

Looking back, all of those seasons were about me. This year, I want to do something different.  Since Lent is a season to prepare for the celebration of Salvation, which has nothing to do with me or my actions, but all about God's sacrifice and grace, then maybe I should be spending this time giving Him mad props. Maybe, my actions shouldn't be something that I can pat myself on the back for, rather something that will glorify God.  So how then, would I glorify God?  This is when I dug deep for a cliche, and asked What Would Jesus Do? 

He'd probably do what He does best and SERVE people.  I've been making a list of ways I can serve others, not for my recognition, but so that God would get the credit. My list is simple. It consists of things I try to do regularly anyway, and things I can continue to do throughout the year. In the past, it has been a time to discipline myself, but then I always go back to my old habits. This year, I want to train myself to look for opportunities to love on other people. I don't want this season to be marked by an End Date; rather turn it into a six week kick off event to what I pray will be a year of blessings.

You're probably curious about my list. I started it by thinking of ways that I could give of my time, talents and resources.  My very first act of service will be to replace my neighbors mailbox. It is one good rain storm away from just being a post in the ground. I see this guy trying to re-attach his flag every time he has outgoing mail. I know it's a small thing, but it's on my heart, so there you have it.  The list also consists of bringing meals to families in need, donating to the food shelf at school, volunteering (I read somewhere that a local retirement home needs Bingo Callers! It's a win-win!), and prayer.

There are so many people looking for, and in need of, prayer. If you would like, I'd be honored to pray for any of you. You can leave a comment below, or feel free to email me at    My heart would be, if you celebrate Lent or not, that God might bless you and show you ways to love on those around you.   Happy Lentsgiving.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Easy on,not so easy off

It finally occurred to me why it is so easy to gain weight and so HARD to lose it.

My girlfriend and I were having True Confessions on the treadmill yesterday. She told me about a 410 calorie donut. I told her about an empty bag of chocolate treats. When we were done sweating, I did some math.

If we're being honest, one Nikki-Sized serving of chocolate treats takes 5-7 minutes to consume.  In that 5-7 minutes, I could potentially eat 500 calories. (yikes!) It takes about 45 minutes for me to burn off 500 calories.

So if over the course of one week, a gal hypothetically had one serving a day (and twice on Sunday) that's just under an hour of indulgence versus 6 hours on a treadmill.

Who has six hours for a treadmill?

I wish I hadn't typed the word chocolates so many times because now all  I can think about is chocolates, chocolates, chocolates.