Day 25: I’ve Been Paintin’…

“I haven’t seen any Ivory Bell posts in a few days”

Words from my Dad Tuesday night as I barely kept my eyes open watching the news with him.

“I’ve been paintin'” I said.

Smears of Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore caked to my finger nails and smudged down my arms.

“Well… that’s what you’ve been “DOING”” he finished.

It is.

It is ALL that I have been doing for the last few days.

I am not one of those people who likes paint because I see a finished product… I hate it because it seems to never end.

Once you finish a wall, you have to paint the trim.

Once you finish that room, you have to paint the kitchen.

The list goes on.

But I still love it.

The things that I hate most, I still love knowing it is one step closer to making this bad boy a HOME.

It is small.

But is a so cute!

Yesterday Cody Bell finally knocked down that load bearing wall, inserted the header with the help of our sweet brother, Brighton, and it has made the place look even bigger! 

It’s amazing what happens when we move a wall.

The place is a mess.

SERIOUSLY can’t wait to clean it all up.

But for now, you see the real deal mess.

The water bottles strewn.

Cabinets in the painting process airing out to dry.

Plastic drop cloths and remnants of plaster that just beg you to spend hours cleaning. 

I am sad that I have missed a few days of telling you about wishful doing… 

But I’ve been paintin’. 

What have you been doing?

Day 17: She Laughs At The Days To Come

Last night I was chatting with a friend about life as of late.

It’s been really hectic.

But strangely, I’ve been calm.

that doesn’t ever happen.

I am normally the one who frantically reacts to about everything that happens in my life.

Calm isn’t always my normal.

But recently, working tirelessly on this fixer upper, I have found more understanding of the Lord.

I know that every time (whoever is reading this) clicks it’s another random update about this place.

But it is doing something to me.

It’s teaching me to laugh.

Not panic.

Not cry.

Not worry.

We have sacrificed weekends and Sunday afternoon naps (those are a big deal at the Bell house), to work on this place.

But the other day, as I painted and painted and scrubbed and moved dirty old toilets outside and cleaned up mess and dust and grime and my back hurt and my shoulders burned and there were still spots that needed paint touch up, I felt the Lord show me how He works.

It’s as if He wanted me to see what it looks like inside my heart.

Ripping out old, bringing in new. 

Painting on new mercies.

Touching up spots that have been overlooked by man.

Scrubbing away brokenness and refinishing it into growth and new life.

Stealing ideas of what “should be” into “who I am called to be.” 


The last fixer upper was panic.

The last fixer upper was yelling.

The last fixer upper was crying and pouting.

But this one I know was placed in my life at this time on purpose.

A time to teach me that my life indeed will be ok even when things feel chaotic.

I can sweat.

I can smile.

I can rejoice.

I can laugh at the days to come.

Because when I choose to laugh at the days to come, I see the Lord in my present.

I see Him in my past.

I see Him in my future.

When I laugh at the days to come, I simply see Him.

I would rather see Him in the mess than miss Him finished product.

Are you able to laugh at the days to come? 

In 30 days of wishful doing, I am learning to laugh at the days to come.

Day 15: A fresh coat of new mercies

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated Mother’s Day lunch with my mama and dinner with my mama in love.

But it was the in-between hours when the rest of the world took a nice Sunday afternoon nap that the Bells were working on the duplex once again.

I honestly just felt over the whole process and in desperate desire for a nap.

You know when you are tired and you just want to chill so naturally you trip over everything, break something, get paint in your hair… etc?

I felt like a baby horse learning to walk for the first time and I messed everything up along the way.

So naturally I reacted. Poorly. 

At everything.

I took a paint brush to the wall and watched as it covered up very old, probably last painted in 1955, paint.

I watched as it smoothed over the top with ease and made something ugly perfect.

A thought ran across my mind:

His mercies are new each morning.

They are.

As Frustrating as life is.

The Unnecessary behavior.

The Attitude that didn’t have to join you.

His mercies are like a fresh coat of paint over your heart.

Painting over the day before.

Painting over the bad decision or word you used.

Painting over the hurt that maybe lingered a minute too long the day before.

Painting over the places that feel like they’ve been sitting in your life for way too long.

His mercies are new each day.

I know I am a little crazy, finding Jesus in the fresh paint and bad attitude.

But on day 15 of wishful doing, I challenge you to take hold of your new mercies and go on a hunt in your every day, to find an extra taste of heaven in all that you do.