Wishing you a Happy Fourth of July!
Wishing you a Happy Fourth of July!
My word for the year 2014 is “AUTHENTICITY”. The word came to me a couple of months ago and I said out loud, “What? How can I be more authentic?” You see, I stand up in front of people every week and tell my story, and much of it isn’t very pretty. Mr. OTN and I are Directors of a 9 month long class called Freedom Session. Part of the teaching that we do is authentically sharing our own messy stories so that others can find hope and freedom.
“What can I do to be more authentic?,” I ask myself.
“You can take a risk. You can tell those who have never heard your story what is really behind that smiling face and the funny things you do to make others laugh. Maybe they will relate to you more . . . or maybe they will decide they don’t like you at all. “
That is the risk of authenticity.
As part of my new blog design I’ve added an About Page with a short video of Mr. OTN and myself sharing a very small part of Our Story. I’ve added Our Story because it is what motivates so much of what we do in life. Our pain, turned to victory and joy is what drives us to share with others that there is HOPE. As our participants come along on the Freedom Session journey with us we even offer to let them borrow our hope for awhile until they can find their own.
Are you curious now? Click HERE for more, but don’t forget to come back when you’re done!
So that’s it. Our Story on video may seem to be more about my husband’s journey, with me tagging along, than my own personal story. But believe me when I say that my journey also has its ups and downs. I’ve lived so much of my life trying to live up to some ideal that wasn’t possible to achieve. My life is NOT perfect. I am NOT perfect. Thank God I no longer have to strive for perfection to prove my worth . . . for it is by grace that I have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for watching My Story. I hope it will help you see why I have such a love for making OldThingsNew, whether that be transforming old items from broken to beautiful or helping people on the journey toward freedom where they can live life to the fullest.
Blessings to you,
Today I’m giving you a glimpse into one of the hidden places of my perfectly imperfect life. Here is a peak at what lies hidden behind closed doors, garage doors that is:
and . . .
No, I am NOT a hoarder! In fact, I believe that I am the least likely person in my immediate family to be a hoarder. When we were searching for our current home my wish list included a separate, detached garage/shop area for the person in my family that leans a little more toward a “collector’s” mentality! My prayers were answered down to the last detail, including my VERY OWN garage. I have loved having my own garage and though it has become cluttered at times, it has always cleaned up in fairly short order. My garage love has been so great that I’ve even been known to vacuum and mop the floors, and then boast about it (oh boy . . .pride goeth before a fall)! I’m just sorry I don’t have a BEFORE picture to share with you. So what happened???
A passion for restoring old furniture was born!!!
Almost two years ago, we decided to remodel the little 1940’s fishing cottage that sits behind our house on the lake. When we tore into the walls we found our little cottage was in pretty bad shape and the repairs were more costly than anticipated. As a result, we really needed to furnish it “on the cheap”! Every piece of furniture that went into the cottage was either free or purchased second hand. The above picture is of a plain pine TV cabinet found on Craigslist after it was transformed to become a French Country armoire! This was my very FIRST attempt at furniture restoration and served to fuel the fire for MORE!!!
After finishing the furniture for the cottage, and doing some pieces for my own home, I didn’t want to stop! So the next logical step was to begin a small business and sell my furniture to others. This led to shopping for really good deals . . . buying when the price was right . . . and adding them to my project pile. This has resulted in a very, very full garage (actually two garages, mine AND my husband’s). I am so excited to have all of these wonderful projects to look forward to. Take a peek:
This one was my husband’s choice. He says he can easily repair the radio if I’ll paint it. Of course I will!
This is a funny little picture I found with decoupaged birds. I can see such potential. How about you?
What do you think of these two little chairs? Not so pretty right? But just wait until you see the transformation that has already taken place in my imagination!
This side table is going to be sooooo . . . cute!
And here are just a few more projects I’m looking forward to tackling . . .
So, I’ve given you a glimpse into some of the “hidden” places at my house. I’ll admit, it is sort of embarrassing. What about the hidden places in our lives? Those things we are ashamed of or that we’ve promised ourselves we’ll “take to the grave” rather than EVER let anyone know about us? We tell ourselves that if we just “stuff” those things deep inside and FORGET about them, everything will be okay. Is it? Really? In Freedom Session we teach that these are the things that don’t allow us to move forward into the full potential God has for our lives. In other words, these are the things that keep us “stuck”. My husband and I have pretty much exposed every area of our lives and what we’ve found is that as the dark and shameful things of the past are brought into the light . . . they lose their power to hold us in bondage to shame any longer.
I’m so excited to start working on my furniture restoration projects, mostly because of the feeling it gives me of making something beautiful out of something old, dirty or damaged. I’m also becoming very excited that Freedom Session will be starting up again this Fall, and for the small part we will be allowed to play in seeing lives transformed. Truly . . .I am living a BLESSED life!
For more info on Freedom Session I’ve included a link to their website: http://www.freedomsession.com/
This blog is not intended to be “preachy”. I really want to share with you my ideas for transforming things around the home. On this day of freedom though, please allow me the opportunity to share by biggest passion, that of seeing people’s lives transformed.
I didn’t really plan on blogging today, however, two things compelled me to do so. First off, yesterday was my husband Kelly’s 60th birthday. Since my blog is Old Things New I couldn’t help but think of the connection. As Freedom Session Directors by night (as my profile info says) we are all about seeing lives transformed or made new. While 60 isn’t exactly old, Kelly is definitely inching his way up there! But while he may be growing older on the outside, he continues to become a better person inside as he is daily being transformed by the renewing of his mind through God’s Word (Rom 12:1-2).
The other thing that compelled me to write was the very fact that it is Independence Day. We often equate Independence with freedom. As Americans, we supposedly live in “the land of the free and the brave”, right? Then why are so many people walking around in chains? I see it all the time. Even in church. No . . . Dare I be brave enough to say it? Especially in church. As Christ followers, many of us feel the need to put on a costume, appearing to be perfect on the outside, so no one will know what failures we are on the inside. Many people live in self-imposed prisons. They walk around believing the labels they’ve been given, or have given themselves. Some wear their labels like a badge of courage, “I am a victim”. Others carry around shame, guilt, unforgiveness, anger . . .
Scripture says, “IF the Son has set you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36, NIV). See the big “IF” there? Hmmmm . . . that sounds conditional to me! How does one become free? The answer is Jesus. Scripture also says that, “It is for freedom Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5:1). He wants to make a trade with us, our “junk” for His freedom. Sounds like a pretty good trade to me. You might want to take Him up on it.
Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share my heart this Independence Day.