New Home, New Improvements 2

Many of you may have seen pictures from last week.

My before bathroom.

IMG_4251IMG_4249 (1)My home was quiet, peaceful, and untouched.

NOW…

IMG_1794They gutted,

IMG_1793gutted again…

IMG_1942knocked down a wall and rebuilt one, with room for a little pocket door to conserve space.

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Our contractor built a wall and a pocket door for a space for the toilet.

In case you didn’t notice,

our toilet was smack in the middle of our bathroom.

It was awkward and weird and just no.

IMG_4287Our bathroom is shaped weird, long but narrow.

We have had to be very strategic in placement, where to build and where to put everything.

IMG_4302In the process, my boxes never move.

The dusty footprints stay ever present, no matter how many times I swiffer wet jet it.

There is a lingering smell of paint in the air because literally we have painted everything we own.

It’s like a drug. We. can’t. stop.

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But building something new in an old home reminds me that there are new places of my heart that the Lord is building.

24 years of life have created spaces that are worn a little, crackled and scarred with joy and with sadness.

BUT

the best thing about seasons is that they are ever changing.

newness is on the horizon.

and PRAISE THE LORD FOR NEW TILE IN THE MORNING!

New Home, New Improvements

A few months ago, my hubby and I bought ourselves a little cottage in the historic district of our city.

A little house built in 1929.

The cuteness + the excitement was unreal when the house finally became our home.

IMG_0762There is so much pretty in this little house I could bust.

The house was renovated in 2006, but over the years, wasn’t properly taken care of…

until we got in there and did the grunt work.

Yes, legitimate grunt.work.

Painting every room.

refinishing floors (yes, that includes stripping the floor, staining, sealing and YES it was miserable, but TOTALLY worth it.)

Trying to still love each other in the process.

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There is so much charm in this little cottage that captured me when we initially considered buying it.

The main love was the windows in the master bathroom 🙂

IMG_4313But the windows were all that we loved about that particular room in our house.

So we decided to do some more grunt work, with EXTREME help from our contractor.

We picked paint colors and tiles,

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went to home depot more than we’ve ever been before, and are now currently living in a construction zone.

IMG_4295 IMG_4298Im not naturally a tidy person, but construction in your house makes you crazy hungry for a clutter-free room/ANYTHING.

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Even an attempt to make boxes less “everywhere” seems IMPOSSIBLE.

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(before of the master bath)-I can’t WAIT to show you the after pics! 

As crazy as this may seem, living in a little bit of chaos that keeps on going teaches me so much about how life is a consistent process.

Most things take more than 24 hours to accomplish or obtain.

Nothing, not even living in a dusty, construction zone of a house, lasts forever,

except Jesus.

He’s forever.

And I love that He is.

Why Faking It Doesn’t Make It

I am not an interior decorator.

It really is a fact.

I salute all who are, man, what a gift and EXTREME sense of patience.

I feel so overwhelmed by the process of putting things up on my walls, positioning furniture, picking colors. AH! All of it gets to my head.  I second guess every choice that I make until I just simply quit making choices.

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Does it look cute? Do they notice the tacky wall paper that I didn’t have a choice about when agreeing to live in my apt? Does it smell nice? Are people comfortable here?

The list of questions I battle in my mind about my home are endless. I become so obsessed with trying to accommodate what I think others expect my home to look like, instead of making it according to my taste.  In fact, I think my taste buds change for every person that comes over.

But yesterday, help came to the rescue in the form of my sweet, precious, barely five foot tall aunts. These two know me.  If they walked into a room and had to decorate it “La” style (nobody in my family actually calls me Laura Jean), they would knock it out of the park.

They walked into my apartment with a bag full of fun things and sat me down at my kitchen table.  My Aunt, Kathy, started to give me a little pep talk, well at least I viewed it as that. She talked right through my heart without even knowing it.  She said, “When it’s all said and done, fill your home with things you love, things that have meaning to you.”

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We got to work.

I mean, they were at my apartment for hours.  Not a dime spent, just simple rearrangement, hanging items in different places, finding things that hold a deeper purpose and exposing them within my home.

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 Those two women are like mama’s to me. What I love about them is what they see in me that I can’t see within myself. I type these words with misty eyes because of the gratitude I feel for them; they know me. They held me as an infant, probably on their hips when I was a toddler screaming because someone told me “No” (Y’all that was a real season in my life, God bless my parents). They cooked me meals, carted me and my 7 cousins all over town, I know they have prayed for my heart and my future, they support my goals and my dreams, and I love that I get a hug every Sunday morning after church service, the list goes on and on.  I have done life with these two ladies.  We may look like night and day next to each other, but there’s no denying they’re family, and no doubt that they see my gifts better than I can.

We filled my walls and my bookshelves with items that have meaning, a real story behind it. I am pretty sure a story was told for every nail hammered.

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In the whole process I started to feel this notion of how my home can be such a representation of my heart.

How many decisions do I NOT  make because of my fears of not measuring up, my fears of others not liking what I have, or simply my fear of finding out what I am not. If I simply don’t make a decision I never have to find out if I am really not good at something.  So, I stop. I quit.  I don’t pursue.  I let others who know they are good at something pursue their wildest dreams and I stay content being their cheerleader, and not really having a “thing”.

It’s easier right? Never exposing your deepest dreams or gifts, that way nobody will find out who you really are, nobody can shame what you really love, you stay protected, you stay safe.

OR better yet, you never expose yourself to yourself. 

“Better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.”- Matt Damon

But I wonder, how many things in this world HAVEN’T happened for that exact reason?

That’s a chilling thought. 

I had a professor in college who gave me 57 on a 15 page research paper.  The only notes or corrections made on the paper was this “You could stand to use better vocabulary”, and a 57 in bright red, circled.

So, I doubt.

I doubt my abilities.  I doubt if I really am good at the things that I actually love or if they are just little things I will never be a master of.

But here is what decorating my apartment brought me:

I love writing

I love reading

I love talking (seriously it’s the best)

I love people

I love running

I love coffee

So this morning, the decision to stop obsessing over what others believe I should be and the start to being who I know I was created to be has begun. I have my list of what I love, and I am done being afraid of myself.

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 *for real, my coffee addiction is real, that’s why my husband and I make our own. Buy some Bell Blend today :)*