Thursday, August 30, 2018

Growing up with an Alcoholic: A Story of Redemption

A few weeks ago in church, my Pastor used the phrase “God writes a better story,”during the sermon, and it really moved me and got me thinking. Growing up, when I was really young, family life was pretty good. It wasn’t until I started high school that things started to go downhill.

I was 12 years old when my brother was adopted and for the first two years of his life things were great. I loved pretending to be mom, helping out with him and other things around the house. We did a lot of things together as a family, but eventually my mom had to go back to work, and that’s when she started to get really depressed.

So depressed that she started drinking. First it started out as a drink or two during the week. Then it turned into two drinks 4 nights, until she was drinking almost every night. Sometimes she would finish a full bottle of alcohol in one day. Don’t get me wrong her life didn’t end completely, she was still able to function. She was what you call a functioning alcoholic and she was very good at hiding it from others, but we really knew how bad it was and we saw everything that went on behind closed doors.

The memories from high school and college weren’t the greatest, I’m sure you can imagine. Lots of missed events, yelling and screaming at each other, not to mention the worry every time she got into a car to go get more. We couldn’t stop her. There is just no reasoning with an alcoholic.

I won’t go into all the details, I can’t even remember them all. Some of it is just a blur, but maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe God doesn’t want me to remember everything. Maybe he just wants me to remember the ending to His story.

It was about a year after I graduated college when my mom sat us down and told us she had had enough. She was ready and she wanted to get help. It was time. What an answer to prayer that was. We knew that the only way this would happen would be on her timing!

I remember taking her to the rehab center close to our home, where she spent the first week of her rehab process, but after speaking with one of the counselors, they felt it was best for her to go to a bigger facility down in Florida. The place she was staying at in New Jersey was only meant to be for a week or two and she definitely needed more time. After praying about it, we agreed that this was definitely God moving in big way and that He would provide a way to pay, if the insurance wouldn’t cover it. I can’t remember much of how I felt while she was gone, other than helping at home with my younger brother and other things that needed to be taken care of.

What I do remember is when she finally returned home, three months later. Not only did she look different, but there was something different about her, when I looked her in the eyes. I knew the victory over alcohol had been won. God had delivered her and she was a changed woman. I also remember not fearing the future, if whether or not she would start to drink again, because I knew that this battle was the Lord’s battle and He was fighting for her, we just needed to be still.

It’s been over 10 years now since my mother has had anything to drink, and it puts a smile on my face every time I think about how far she has come. You see in my head, the ending to my mother’s story was a little different, but isn’t that how it is for all of us? When we’re in the middle of the storm, we always write the worst possible outcome or ending in our heads. Instead, we need to wait upon the Lord during these times, He will renew our strength, just like my Pastor mentioned in Isaiah chapter 40. And what happens next? God is the one who writes the story and it is indeed a much better story!! Many Blessings!

Keep It Simple,

Monday, August 27, 2018

Creating Your Nest: Part Four

The crisp morning air. The smell of pumpkin muffins filling the entire house. The first of many  leaves changing from green to browns and yellows. It's almost here. Fall, the best time of year.

I have to be honest, I may start decorating my house for Fall next week! I know it may seem too soon for some of you, but as I get closer to my delivery date, the less I want to do, and I know that I won't really have time in the weeks to come! 

This post is that last part of my series, Creating Your Nest. I hope that you have enjoyed reading these posts as much as I have enjoyed sharing my ideas with you. This last post will focus mainly on how I decorate. Once again, I was faced with the challenge of trying to explain how, because I never really thought about it before. What I learned, was that a lot of how I decorate, involves creating vignettes.

The word vignette has a few different meanings. The original definition being, a running ornament (as of vine leaves, tendrils, and grapes) put on or just before a title page or at the beginning or end of a chapter, but when dealing with interior design it is considered a small decorative arrangement of a variety of objects that are placed just so. Sometimes this grouping of items can tell a story, and other times they may just share a common theme. I love creating vignettes. It's arranging and rearranging at its finest, and the beauty of it, is that, it is constantly changing. You can add and remove objects as you please, depending on the season or maybe if a certain item just doesn't go. I have created a Pinterest page with all different kinds of vignettes. Check it out here --> Vignette Me.

I also found this awesome article that talks all about creating a vignette. The author does a great job explaining how to arrange a vignette. Follow the link to the article here --> The ABC's of Arranging Vignettes. I took a few photos of vignettes that I have created around my house.

This year for decor, I plan to do a lot of the same stuff as last year. As you can see from the photo above, I love pumpkins! It is my favorite thing to decorate with in the Fall! Most of the ones I used for decor were neutral colors. I plan to keep it simple, since I will be 8 months pregnant. I added some pops of copper in last year too, which I loved, so I may do that again! My style always tends to be more of a simplistic style. I don't really go over board. I try to have just enough stuff, so that you know what season/holiday it is without it taking over! 

I hope that you have enjoyed this series and most of all, I hope that it has inspired new ideas when creating your nest! Many Blessings!

Feel free to catch up on the rest of the series by clicking on the links below!

And don't forget to download the Fall freebie that I created for you! Just click on the link below!

Simply Yours,

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Creating Your Nest: Part Three

I feel very blessed when people compliment my house or my style. It makes me feel good, because it's something I am very passionate about! However, I can't take all of the credit. I am only who I am because of who He created me to be. He knew before I was even born, that decorating would be something He would gift me with, and so it is for His glory that I do what I do. I am so grateful for this gift and I will use it in whatever way I can to serve Him and others!

When I came up with the idea to do this series, Creating Your Nest, it was because I wanted to help others with decorating and styling their homes. I just didn't know that it would be this hard to write about it. You see, when I create and decorate, I don't really think about the logistics, I just do it. Then if I like how it looks, I leave it, and if I don't like how it looks, I rearrange and move stuff around until I do.

I was never taught how to style a home or took any courses on designing and decorating, so most of what I am writing for you is not from an expert and my vocabulary may not be correct. Some might say that I have no idea what I am talking about, and maybe they are right, but my goal is not to be right or better than anyone. It's simply to give you some tips and share some of my ideas and styles.

I also want to add that, a lot of what I am sharing with you, could be consider personal preference. I know a lot of people who have different styles than I do, and their homes are just as beautiful. We just have different tastes. That doesn't make one or the other better, it just shows our individuality and tells our story.

After taking some time to go through every room and observe how things are set up and decorated, here is what I came up with. *Note: This post is more of an informative post with different tips and tricks. I simply came up with a list of different style trends that I often follow.

You can still have a colorful room without having too much color. I like to add color using pillows, rugs, and curtains. Sometimes, furniture as well! You want your pieces to compliment each other, not clash. I would say to try and pick four or five colors/shades and stick to that when purchasing items for a room. Most of my rooms consist of black, white, creme or biege, some shade of gray, and specific color (green, blue, yellow). I wouldn't do a green and red or blue and orange, ya get what I am saying?

Patterns are fun and can really add to the feel of a room, but you want to be careful to not have too may different ones. You want to have a good mixture of solids and patterns. I would say, two to three patterns in a room are good as long as they are not right next to each other. For example, in my front room, I have a simple oval pattern on my curtains, a floral pattern on the throw rug, and a coral pattern on the throw pillows for my couch. These sound like they might clash, but they don't. Why?, because they are one of the five colors I have chosen for the room and the patterns are not right next to each other. No putting stripes and polka dots together people! 

Unlike patterns, having a variety of different textures is a good thing. I love adding a lot of different textures to each room to help complete the look and make it unique. I really love the weathered wood look. I guess you can call it rustic. I also love rawt iron and burlap. You can mix and match all kinds of textures/materials as long as they are one of the colors you chose for the room. A few different examples would be, metals, woods, iron, stainless steal, fabrics, and glass. Don't be afraid to mix new with old either!

My last style tip is about creating balance. You don't want to have too much of anything. Remember, you want your home to tell your story and I'm sure there are many different things that make your story unique. You don't want to have too many pillows on your bed that you can't even lay down. Neither do you don't want to have too many plants in your house, so that people feel like they are in the jungle when they come over. On the other hand, when styling certain areas, such as shelves, you don't want to have too little, making it look incomplete. Once you start to play around with stuff, and rearrange things, you will begin to learn if there is too much or too little.

Most importantly, don't be afraid to try something. Even the best of the best make mistakes. It's fun to experiment, that's how you learn! You have to start somewhere! Many Blessings!

Simply Yours,