The BIG 4-OH!

My birthday is in 8 days! I have made a list of 40 things I want to do/accomplish in my 40th year–I call it my 40-4-40. There are many things on this list! Some cost money, all cost time and some will be difficult for me!

Come back next week to find out all the things on my list! I’m pretty excited (& scared about a few) and I can’t wait to share them. Plus, if I share them, I can be held accountable to actually do them!!!!

Are you for real?

As I was reading a friend’s post recently, I was amazed at her honesty. She was being very transparent about a struggle that she was dealing with in her life. Of course, then I read well-meaning comments that if you didn’t know the people they could make you think they were trying to “condemn” her for thinking about making a particular choice. I believe her friends were trying to encourage her to hang in there….but “perceived condemnation” is one of my personal fears about opening up to others.I am a genuine person. If I like you, you know it. If I don’t, you should. LOL! BUT, I am also one of the “mask-wearers”. I put on my happy face sometimes when I need to be willing to talk to someone about something that is a very real struggle. I can smile and say I’m fine with the best of them. And honestly, most people believe it. You know why? Because they are doing the exact same thing! The bad thing is, I pretty much know WHY, but opening myself up to change is one of those things that seems too hard to do.

So, here’s a little self-reflecting. When I was a child, I had some men in my life that I wanted desperately to love me! My dad, 2 step-dads and a couple other men that meant a lot to me. I pretended to be this “perfect” child who was smart and funny and I loved performing to get positive attention. The problem is, I didn’t get enough attention. They were happy at the time, but then I felt neglected. {I will tell you now that if you have a little girl and you are a male role model in her life (dad, grandpa, uncle, friend, etc.) PLEASE show her love and affection!!! Girls seek the approval of those around them, but especially males. They need to know (from men who don’t expect anything more out of them) that they are beautiful, smart, funny and loved unconditionally.} I felt like anything I did got me a temporary response, but then it was over. I needed more.

Unfortunately, I had 2 step-fathers who not only gave up on my mom, they gave up on me. They would say they loved me as their own and they would keep in touch, but neither did! I spent many a day crying when they were there (because they were not good people) but also many days crying because they left.  I wanted their love even though they weren’t good for my mom or me. That affected me so much in that when I became a step-mom — I actually dislike even using that word. I call myself Mom and he is my son (or bonus son if someone doesn’t understand that I didn’t actually give birth to him) — I promised myself I would love him and treat him as my own. And I believe I have done that. I would sure hope he would say that. 🙂

Now, I became a Christian at 8 (right after my 1st step-dad left us) and I have always loved God, but trusting Him has been a process that I continue to work on. It is amazing how your life experiences can so invade your world as an adult. I have grown and become more dependent on the Lord for my approval. That is a positive! But, we are human. We all still want the approval of those around us.

So, I said all that to say this–baring my soul and telling people when I am struggling with something is not something that comes naturally to me. I have a genuine distrust for people. I don’t want to say something that is important to me and have it blasted all over to other people, nor do I want people to think that I am not able to deal with things with God’s help! I WANT to trust God to heal me and listen to me, but having others say things about me would really hurt. In most ways I don’t care what people say about me, but there is that little part in me who desires to be loved, accepted, wanted, etc. I just have learned that God is the person who has to fulfill me. He is the only person who can fill the void in my heart.

That’s about as real as I can be. I am honest when I say that I wear a mask sometimes. You would probably be honest by saying that too. If not, I applaud you! But, if you are like me, I leave you with this quote.  you-are-enough-e1384619767723

Rebecca

God is action

I know that title may sound silly, but I firmly believe that God doesn’t want us to become a Christian and remain where we are. He wants us to move and change. Sometimes change comes in the form of good things and sometimes it comes in the form of difficult things, but in everything we are to grow!

The verse that spoke to me today is Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Some days I need my hope & my strength to be renewed. I need to focus on God and not my circumstances. I need to soar and run with someone else’s strength. How about you?

As I was reading in different versions I realized that there were 3 different words used: Wait, Hope and Trust. Although these words can be nouns or verbs, I believe they are used as verbs in this verse. They are things we should be doing!

Wait: Stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.

Sometimes we don’t need to “react” to a situation. We need to delay our action until “something else happens”. There may be something else that will help us make the right (Godly) decision instead of acting rashly.

Trust: Believe in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of.

Trust is something that you have or you don’t have. It makes you vulnerable. People, by nature, aren’t very trusting because it opens them up for hurts. God will never hurt you, so trusting Him is something that will help you in ALL aspects of your life.

Hope: Want something to happen or be the case.

There are lots of things in life you can hope for….you can hope your favorite team wins the ball game, or you get off work early on a beautiful day. But, with God we hope in what He will do in our lives. He IS our hope.

I am really sharing this for myself today, but I do “hope” that you may get something out of it too. 🙂

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Easter–the beginning

promise crossEaster to me symbolizes NEW beginnings! After all the horrible things our Lord had to go through before and when he was hung on the cross–the physical and mental torture, the darkness and loneliness, the sadness–that was not the end! On Easter Sunday everything changed! The sun (& Son) rose, the stone was rolled away, new life had come to all–HALLELUJAH!

This time of year we can focus on many things. I know people who prepare Easter baskets for their children/grandchildren or who can’t wait until Easter dinner and I’m right there with you. Who doesn’t love some ham and rolls ? But Easter is about SO much more than this. Share with those around you why you celebrate Easter (over that ham dinner). 🙂

How fabulous it is that Jesus did more for us than any other person could ever or will ever do! He was victorious over the grave not because he didn’t want to be buried in a borrowed tomb. No! He was victorious because He didn’t want us to be apart from Him. He wanted to fill our hearts with his love and that we would have the chance to forever be with Him!

I can’t imagine my life without Him! So you see, Easter wasn’t the end…..it was just the BEGINNING!

 

Please check out some of my fellow bloggers posts about Easter! I really enjoy this East TN Bloggers group-even though I was a slacker on this month’s Blog Hop! 🙂

Easter Inspiration from our East Tennessee Bloggers!

Jessie is sharing Special Easter Breakfasts!
Sarah has a lovely Spring & Easter Wreath to share!
Meghan is sharing some of her GORGEOUS baskets from her business called KMac.
Melissa is sharing a popular, meaningful Easter favorite: Empty Tomb Cookies!
Candace is sharing one of her family’s favorite Easter traditions: The Tomb Cake.
Heather takes us on a tour of the farm in Spring!!

Waiting on Spring

Spring — It is a time of renewal. A rebirth of those things that died during Winter. I long for it!

tulips

I want to see flowers blooming, feel the warmth of the sun on my face and enjoy a gentle, soothing breeze…..

Flowers

I want to hear lawn mowers and weed eaters and smell fresh cut grass wafting in the wind…..

bleeding hearts

I want to hear birds chirping and bees buzzing…….

tulip

I want to smell grills cooking and hear the laughter of families playing outside……

tulips

I long for Spring.

Rebecca

A Little Help From my Friends

Today we are having our first ever blog hop with our East Tennessee Bloggers group!

I’m going to be aging myself with this “cheer” but when I was in Elementary School just a few years ago back in the day, we had this cheer where all the cheerleaders introduced themselves and then it went down the line until everyone had finished….It went something like this “Jump in! Jump out! Introduce yourself! My name is Rebecca, and I’m a cheerleader, and I’ve been cheering for a very long time.” Okay, I was NEVER a cheerleader (or a Fly Girl–If you know the 90’s you’re still following me. And don’t try to pretend like you didn’t want to be a Fly Girl too!), but I sure did pretend! Now I’m REALLY rolling laughing at this, but please hang with me here!

The point of that little digression is to let you know that today on my blog I am introducing some fellow, local bloggers!  I want you to get the chance to read their own words about themselves and their blog and check out their blog for yourself!

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So, you all know me, but I want to “jump out” and introduce some of my blogging friends!  Some of them I know personally and others I only follow their blogs, but I can tell you that these ladies can write! If you enjoy blogs, {blog}hop around and read theirs to see if there’s someone that you really can relate to.  You will find inspiring, funny, encouraging & informative things written on these blogs, so get to hoppin’!

858540_10201455575243696_106113655_oCandace from MERCY IS NEW

I’m Candace and I blog at His Mercy is New. I’m married to David and we have 3 children that we homeschool; we live just east of Knoxville where my husband and I met at Carson-Newman College about 15 years ago! On my blog you will find homeschooling posts, great reads, posts about faith and especially encouragement for moms struggling with depression. I pray you are blessed and encouraged each time you visit!

MouseChristina from MOUSE IN YOUR HOUSE

Living in 400-square-feet with our new sweet baby boy. I blog about the hilarious side of parenting, and keep things exciting with DIY and home decorating ideas and projects. I throw in the occasional Q&A with crafty people and dig into lifestyle trends. Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while!

1654194_10202526500740894_458696713_nSarah from SARAHSHEARTSHOME

My name is Sarah and I am a homeschooling mom to three young children. I blog at www.sarahsheartshome.com where I write about daily life as a mom, recipes, homeschooling ,and more. I strive to find Joy in the Journey (as my subtitle indicates.)

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Meghan from KMAC CREATIONS

My name is Meghan and I write. Streamlined & slapstick stories of memories made. Not perfectly, but purposefully. Under blankets snuggled, my space for words is covered with stories of family, fashion, homeschool and design. Faith finds its way in too. Always. My blog {http://kmaccreations.com/blog/} documents time honest, hilarious and most certainly hope filled

melissaMelissa from LIFE OFF THE PAVED ROAD

Hello there! I’m Melissa. I am wife to Stacy and homeschooling mom to five children. We live in East Tennessee, just north of Knoxville on land that has been in my family for five generations. Life Off The Paved Road is my online home where I talk about natural living, marriage, parenting, homeschooling, and adoption. I hope you will stop by, hang out for a while and come back to visit from time to time.

heatherHeather from KISER RIDGE FARM

Hi, I am Heather, stay at home mother of soon to be 5 children. We live on a small farm in East Tennessee. We raise chickens, goats, rabbits, hogs, dogs, cats and kiddos. Kiser Ridge Farm is also my herbal shop, where I combine my 15 years of experience in herbal medicine, with my 20 years in Emergency Medicine, researching and mixing natural remedies. My blog is new and so is my business.

natalieNatalie Contributor for KNOXVILLE MOMS BLOG

At Knoxville Moms Blog we are passionate about parenting, community and the city of Knoxville. We strive to provide moms with relevant, timely and fun information about all things mom here in the Knoxville area. We are a collaborative blog written by and for local moms with daily posts on things to do around town, ways to get involved in the community, parenting solutions, personal essays from local moms, local business spotlights, giveaways, and an opportunity to share with one another in the journey of motherhood.

stephanieStephanie from THE MULTI TASKIN’ MOM

Being a wife, mother, full time work-from-homer, and a homeschooling mom, means that I must be able to multi task. Come join in as I share the journey along with several other moms on The Multi Taskin’ Mom:

saraSara from HAPPY BROWN HOUSE  &  CHATTANOOGA FAMILIES

Sara is a Chattanooga area blogger that writes about life in the Happy Brown House: homeschool, crafts, kids, adoption, and faith.

Sara is also the blogger behind the site, Chattanooga Families, a blog dedicated to helping local families find resources and local fun. Sara shares the reall nitty-gritty details about local events and places that are relevant to families in the Chattanooga area through a weekly newsletter. Want to know where the best park is or what restaurant has a free kids meal? Chattanooga Families is your answer.

melissa crabtreeMelissa from FINDING JOY ON THE JOURNEY

Finding Joy on the Journey started as I felt moved to record the blessings that occur in the every day. The beautiful blue sky, the warm sunshine on my face, the sweetness of a good book finished. I used to say, “simple pleasures” in high school and college. Only now they’re deeper than that. It’s deep-seated joy that isn’t based on circumstance. So I write here about joy in the midst of infertility, food allergy frustrations, depression, chronic health problems, and life just not turning out to be what we thought it would. (Is it ever?) The Lord’s name is to be glorified in it all, and that is what I want to do here on my little home on the web. I hope you’ll join me!

Megan

Megan from LIFESONG

Hi! I’m Megan, a wife (to one) and homeschooling Mama of three. I am passionate about Jesus, teaching my kids, and taking pictures. But I also love baking, Amazon, reading and writing. My blog is a little of everything – homeschool days, recipes, stories, traditions, and encouragement. We have made East TN home for the past eight years, and we love it here! Come say hello at Lifesong

Edie

Edie from LIFE IN GRACE

I’m Edie and I’m a lifestyle blogger, wife, momma, writer, home cook, foodie, keeper of chickens, and reader of many books. I’m a lover of home decor, truth, beauty, goodness, cowboy boots, and all things Appalachian.

Kristen

Kristen from WHEN AT HOME

I’m Kristen : Stay at home mom, Bible School grad, writer, yoga pants dweller, and obsessive chai drinker. I blog honestly and sarcastically about motherhood and wife-hood and whatever I feel like hood. I’m a little bit random and lotta bit fun.

Stacey

Stacey from ABIDING WOMAN

Hello, I’m Stacey, and I live with my husband and three daughters in the beautiful hills of East Tennessee. I’m currently expecting my fourth baby! I am very passionate about my walk with Jesus Christ. My heart is to encourage other women to walk closely to Him, and that is my main purpose in my blog, Abiding Woman. As I seek to encourage women to abide in Jesus I also blog about homeschooling, homemaking, fashion and beauty, recipes, marriage, parenting, childbirth, and pieces of my journey.

Thanks for checking out my friends. Don’t forget that you can follow or subscribe to their blogs to receive content when they update. We will be doing a once monthly blog hop on varying subjects, so be sure the check those out!

My $20 dresser update

I have been wanting to update my dresser for a long time! I even took one of the drawer handles off, carted it to Lowe’s and spent time in the aisle trying to match the size to something more modern. My problem was that my old drawer handles were wider where the screws go in than most newer ones. I had an option of choosing all new knobs (about $50 for the ones I wanted–not counting paint for the pieces) or painting the existing handles. Since I wanted to do this on a budget, I opted for painting my current hardware.

So, I drug the dresser outside (with a little help from one of my sons) and got to work! Here is my dresser before

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This is what the handles looked like on the drawers. And don’t mind my headphone wire in the photo. I needed to listen to something while I was working! 🙂

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I also pulled Brian’s nightstand out to paint it. He has had it since we were dating and it needed a lot of help!

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So with 1 can of 2x coverage paint, 5 cans of 2x coverage black paint and 1 can of a matte metallic paint, I turned those dressers into these works of art! I actually also painted the shelf that the tv is sitting on the same color as the handles (it was white before).

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Both pieces are painted inside & out, so the inside of the drawers are black as well. I chose a semi-gloss/satin finish that works well with the handles. I LOVE the transformation!

What can you do with 2 pieces of furniture and $20?!