Worthy of Our Calling

Living out Ephesians 4:1-3

Weird

I had another post in my head.  But.  Well, I’m not sure.  Here lately, I miss Uganda.  Like, a lot.  Of course I love it here.  It’s home.  It’s easy.  But it can get busy.  We keep our days simple, home, reading and learning and schooling.  But, I don’t want to fill my days and nights with things that don’t matter.  About 4 weeks before we left Uganda, when I thought we were getting close to going home, Eric and I both started grieving our time there.  Our friends.  Missing the time we were all together, all Ugandan, our second home, our second church, our family, our friends that quickly turned family there.  Thinking maybe, just maybe, God would call us back here.

Then things changed.  Things got harder, things didn’t get approved, we were waiting even longer than expected, we had to make decisions about Eric and the kids leaving.  It was just hard.  And we focused on the hard.  We made other people focus on the hard.  We didn’t point others to Jesus, I felt like, at the end.  And then, we were approved, and we were leaving.  And by that time, it was just Judah and I.  And we celebrated, but we mourned.  And we got ready to get onslaught by the Christmas season in America.

And so we came home and we tried to settle in and those first 6 weeks, they were hard. They were easier than Uganda, but they were hard.  Lots of parties and expectations and having to say no, and having to protect our bonding and having to deal with issues and exhaustion and beads and gifts and others’ expectations and no schedule.  I knew I wasn’t ready to jump back into our school.  I wanted to enjoy our first time home, but having not a great schedule didn’t help us settle in.

So finally, after New Years we’ve been able to settle in better, get some semblance of routine.  My big 2 have stepped it up.  They still have their times of difficulty, but overall, they’ve been extremely helpful.  They listen well and are doing what is asked.  Judah is the same.  He is understanding more and more and is wanting to please.  But my third born, she’s struggling more than I saw in the beginning.  She’s grieving not being the baby.  And it’s pronounced by her fits and screams of NO and I CAN’T, followed by Judah’s obedience and showing her that she could.

And so our days are good but parts are tough.  Many days I feel like a failure at the end of the day.  I lost my temper, or I yelled, or I put something else above what one of my kids needed that day. But then, God give me glimpses of joys and wins and love that day.  I’ve been able to connect with friends we made there.  When I think of our time there, and my kids do too, we have such joy and happy memories.  Sometimes I’ll be talking to Marissa or texting Brittanie or thinking of Michele and I tear up.  It’s so different now.  It’ll never be the same.  Cara wants it to be the same with Chapel so bad, but they’re 8 and you know how quickly 8 year olds change, and it hurts my heart.

I’ve recently found a few bloggers or missionaries that are there.  I’ve been reading their posts and missing Uganda so bad.  We felt like long-term travelers there.  We could never really settle. We had to be able to move or change at a moments notice in case things went our way.  Then, we had to move quick because they didn’t and we just couldn’t afford to stay where we were.  Twice.

And I look back and pray I didn’t waste time.  I pray that we get to go back sooner than 5 years.  I think, was God preparing us for something and now we’re missing it?  We felt like we could settle there and got comfortable with talking about it even, and now we are fully immersed back in our culture and sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it.  I feel like we are poster children now, and I’m fine with that, we knew that might happen.  But that doesn’t mean our hearts get a break.  My longing for the Lord’s leading is as strong as ever.  We are not ‘finished’ with our adoption.  Legally and spiritually.  This will be a long road for both.  And God is not finished with us.  But we are just praying to get a glimpse of what is next.

Our church postponed ‘orphan sunday’ so that we could participate.  So our pastor has been asking us questions about ‘what would a win for orphan care look like after a sunday like this,’ ‘what lies can we dispel,’ ‘what organizations, internationally and locally can we support.’  And some friends and I have back with things like ‘what way can we as the church help to prevent orphans,’ ‘what is the body willing to do to support those that are called to orphan care, even when it looks different than expected,’ and others.

So now we are here in this weird spot.  I can’t really explain it.  Except that it’s weird.  I look at pictures and remember good times and even read of others there now and I get so sad we’re not there.  Then I’m happy we’re not.  And I wonder if I will ever not miss it.  My friend Tonya has gone and come back and I know the photos will slow down from her.  So, that’s what was on my heart tonight.  I’m sorry it’s a little all over the place, but welcome to my head :).  Prayers are appreciated for all those that are recently home from bringing a child home, or welcoming one into their home.

The After – Master Closet

So, we painted, leveled, primed and laid the extremely easy vinyl tile that looks like wood.  That was on 12/29.  We were ready to install our Elfa system on 12/30.  I went to pick up the closet system at the Container Store in the galleria area of Houston at 10:30.  As I was walking into the store (which is 35 or so minutes away from my house), I got a call saying they were just starting to pull it all.  I shared that I had just walked into the store.  They had hoped they’d caught me before I left (at my appointment time??).  I shared that I lived 30 minutes away and I’d be waiting.  They gave me their word that they’d hurry and text me when it was ready at the front desk.

I headed in to shop for some ….. wait for it ….. containers.  I wanted some cute things at the top of my closet, but I also wanted something to use every available inch of closet up to the ceiling.  I waited about 30-45 minutes and came by the front to ask a question.  They shared that my order had just been brought up.  Unfortunately, they brought it up in white.  We had changed our order to the platinum color a few days before we ordered.  I wasn’t upset, it didn’t seem like it would take that much longer.

I bought a couple of accessories and looked around at some small things we could maybe use for parts of our closet.  I took photos of their ideas in idea books for the kids closets.  I looked at garage and laundry storage.  Finally, the marathon that was Christmas caught up with me and I just needed to sit down.  I found a chair at some desk storage and took a peek at my phone. I looked up and one of the store managers came up to me and offered me at $75 gift certificate just for the trouble of having to wait on their mistake.    This was very exciting!  I hadn’t complained, but when I looked at my  clock and noticed it was almost 2.5 hours after my original appointment, I thanked her for the kind gift.  Of course, my hubby was home with the 4 kids while I strolled an organization store on my own.  It was a win win!

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I finally got home and my hubby had installed the baseboards.  I was ready to put the closet in another room and just have a small prayer closet/home office.  I loved it!  Alas, we needed a place to put our clothes, he said.  

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So, after a little trial and error (and that is all we will say on the topic) he got the top bracket in and all the pieces put together.  I loved it.  I also thought we may have purchased too many racks!

IMG_0738Disregard the shadow on the right side, it’s hard to get a picture in this tiny room!

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This is where the fun begins.  We began by hanging our shirts, in ROY G BIV color on the wall to the left when you walk in, hubby on top and mine on bottom.

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IMG_0742Then we had 19 inches of ‘long hang’ that we fit my dresses and E’s large winter coat.  I had already read online to hang pants/skirts on top, which seems backwards since we wear them on bottom.  But, they hang shorter and you can actually use the shelf under them.

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After we got all that situated, we realized we had an extra 17 inch double pole on the bottom and the top pole could just be 17 inches.  We would rather have more shoe racks and drawers.

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And that’s when I fell in love with the Container Store even more!  I called to see what it would be to add 3 more drawers and another shoe shelf.   I was excited already because not only did I have the $75 gift card for waiting, but when January 1st rolled around, I received ANOTHER $75 for being a POP Perks member, from my $535 purchase in December.  Those drawers have 3 parts and they cost about $44 (after the 30% off right now).  So when I called, they drew up this plan to make sure it would all fit.

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I looked perfect to me.  We added 2 small shelves under our pants, one shoe shelf and 3 drawers!  Then I mentioned that I’m just going to put the extra long pole and shelf somewhere for later.  That’s when he said the magic words, “Oh, you can return them!”  What?  As long as they were purchased within 120 days, they can be returned.  Even if they are custom cut!  They just want you to be happy with your ELFA system and love it!  Well now I loved it!

Plus, with placing the order over the phone, it was ready within 2 hours.  So that night, I ran up there, picked up my order, returned what I didn’t need, and almost came out even!  What should have cost me another $200 ran up just under $15.  Thank you Pop Perks, amazing customer service and design team.  We had no idea we would get rid of almost 2 full racks of clothes, or that the thin hangers would make THAT much of a different.

Here is that new wall:

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From the top down that is:

Drawer 1: all of the family’s swimsuits/swim gear for the year (this will rotate down come May 1st)

Drawer 2:  hubby’s tshirts

Drawer 3: hubby’s socks, undies, under shirts

Drawer 4: my tshirts and tanks/camis

Drawer 5: undergarments, socks, pajamas, etc.

To the left of the bottom drawer are some Ugandan items we still have for sale, along with the clear tub on the very top shelf.  We haven’t brought back EVERYTHING into our closet yet, I still have some empty space I want to be sure I know where it’s going.  Like those random cowboy hats on that shelf, those will probably move.   Lots of empty space on top that I’m still looking for bins to fit well.  The black bin on the far left is our ‘gifts’ bin.  As I buy small gifts for the kids throughout the year I stick them up there, it’s kind of hidden from their site and reach since it’s so high.  While in Uganda, we also bought gifts for Judah each year for his birthday, so he’d have something as he grew from his homeland.  They are in there as well.

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As you can see, the bin is high/hidden!  On the left wall, I have one bin of all of our winter gear (we do live in Texas).  So it includes some cute scarves, hats and mittens.  I also have a box on the top shelf of shipping supplies (I have a postal scale, envelopes of all sizes, etc).  I have an empty bin the same size right next to it, still trying to figure out what goes there.  But I love clear bins so I can see exactly what it is!

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And now, this cluttered super full space is truly a walk in now.  We’ve moved my jewelry armoire into the closet on this bare wall . We have both been wanting to get rid of it.  I think I’m going to hang some hooks to the left of the door way for my big chunky necklaces, and then figure out some jewelry storage on the two shelves under my pants that hang!

IMG_0838I still think there is room for a prayer bench or something when we sell this jewelry armoire!  We will see what we can come up with!

I am not the best photographer (which is one reason I’m excited to get this bundle and take the photography lesson!!), and these photos don’t do it justice, but this little closet is so clean and organized and fresh: I love it!

We hope you enjoyed the little tour of our first DIY of the year.  We have another one to share Monday that my hubby had fun wood working again with.  We will see you back then!  Have a blessed Sunday tomorrow friends!

Remember, if you are wanting inspiration to ‘get your groove back,’ whether it be organizing, creative writing, photography or handicrafts, this bundle for only $34.97 gets you over 75 books and ecourses.  I can’t wait to dive in with Cara on some intro classes that she has even looked at!

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Worthy of Our Calling will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

Fine print about the Bundle can be read here, and you can search the FAQs at this link!

Amazon Prime – SALE!

Amazon Prime (One Year Membership) is today it’s lowest I’ve seen it in the past few years we’ve subscribed to it: $72 for the year!

They have expanded what all this includes and with the movies, tv shows, music and now unlimited photo storage, it is a steal today!

Click here for more info!!!

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Worthy of Our Calling will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

The Closet That Almost Wasn’t

**We are having major technical difficulties loading photos.  Not sure if it’s our router or wordpress at this point, so, we have made a Closet Reno flickr album, so go take a look!  We will get this working asap.**

Our closets were ok.  Our master closet measures 57 inches long by 64 inches wide.  Not grand by any means, but functional, or so we thought!

We have what others may call a small home. I always hesitate to say that because I know I have loved ones all over this globe, many in Uganda, and 1,500 square feet for 6 people is like a mansion.  And when we got home from 3 months there, it did feel very full but very spacious.  After sharing 2 bedrooms (sometimes 1 large one) for 12+ weeks, my quiet, comfortable bedroom was an extreme safe haven for me.  The kitchen that had running, safe water, and electric appliances that ALWAYS worked (and that I didn’t have to go by propane for) was a lifesaver.

But, a few weeks home and I started looking at home organization.  We don’t just eat and sleep here, we live here.  All 6 of us, at least 5 of us 24 hours a day while we homeschool.  We can’t just shove things places and forget where they go!  Especially things you don’t use every day, don’t you HATE searching for things longer than it would take you to go buy a new one?

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So, I began searching before Christmas.  I looked at Easy Closets, some local Katy/West Houston places, Ikea and the Container Store.  They had different price ranges, and some got cut out quick because of that.  I didn’t want anything that would cost too much, we pray we will be able to move in a year or few.  But, we can’t keep living here for that someday.  We have to make it functional for our today.

So, after lots of shopping around, and the debate coming down to Ikea and the Container Store’s Elfa System, I decided on the Elfa.  After receiving excess money than I anticipated for Christmas from family, along with the 30% off sale (still going one), it was almost a no brainer!

I started by going to the Container’s Store’s website and inputting my closet dimensions.  I schedule a time the next day for a closet designer to call me.  I was so excited!  When they called the next day, I couldn’t even imagine what they had planned!  Our closet was tight and closed in feeling with these random small, deep shelves that we just shoved stuff in.

 

IMG_0704 My husband, gratefully, got on board and we started tearing out the haphazard upper shelves we had installed throughout our 7 years here, and pulling out things that definitely didn’t need to be in the master closet.  We also made ourselves go through the steps we had read about online.  Step one, pull EVERYTHING out and give away or get rid of anything you haven’t worn in a year.  Since Eric and I have lost a combine 85 pounds and have kept it off for 2.5 years, we both had a lot of bigger clothes to get rid of.

I had decided on huggable hangers as well from what I read online.  I wanted thinner, velvet hangers to hold our clothes.  The problem is the price, $29.99 at Target for only 40 hangers.  I bit the bullet and with 2 gift cards we purchased 2 sets.  That was about half of what we needed, including all of our jackets, etc.

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I would like to rename this renovation the Returns Reno, for many reasons, but here is the first.  After I found the huggable hangers at Target, and even looked at them at the Container Store, I walked into Costo for my monthly visit for meats and some dairy.  There, in the aisles I never walk down, I found 35 packs of velvet, thin hangers for $7.99.  You betcha I bought 4 packs and returned the 2 other boxes to Target.  $32 for 140 hangers instead of $60 for 80?  Yes please.  You don’t have to be a CPA to do that math.

 

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After hemming and hawing for awhile, I decided to bite the bullet and make the online purchase.  I was assigned a pick up day as 12/30 at 10 am!  This was two days away, perfect amount of time to prep our closet!

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I do have to mention that my husband was extremely helpful during this whole mess.  We HAD just been home from Uganda for 3 weeks.  We HAD planned to go to my friends house in Louisiana for New Years + 2 days.  He was on his vacation and this wasn’t originally planned, but, we are both so happy with the results now, you almost can laugh about how how this did NOT deepen our marriage while we were renovating :).

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Painting to match our bathrooms we had redone in 2010. Because why not.

After those shelves came out, we realized they were put down before the carpet, and we’d have to do new flooring, which included quick set and a primer and vinyl wood floors.  All done in a couple hours one day, the day before our closet pick up.  I’m so proud of the finished project, I hope you come back tomorrow night to check it out!

The quick-set/self-leveling compound drying

The quick-set/self-leveling compound drying

We definitely took a LOT of inspiration off Pinterest and some of the talented and information sharing bloggers and authors that are a part of the DIY bundle that is out right now.  Take a look and create something today!  And don’t forget to enter our giveaway too!

And to share the reason behind the post title, I loved my little 4 foot by 5 foot empty room so much I dared Eric to let us turn it into a small office or prayer room and install the new closet in  one of the kids closets (all 3 of our bedrooms have the exactly same closet size!).  He didn’t go for it, but I can just imagine the life changing prayer that could have happened in it!

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Worthy of Our Calling will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

Fine print about the Bundle can be read here, and you can search the FAQs at this link!

Ugandan Bracelet Giveaway

So many things to post this week!  Coming later today is our closet reno ‘before’ and prep pictures.  We are so excited with how it turned out and how great the Container Store was as far as customer service!

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But, right now, we wanted to quickly remind you of this amazing DIY bundle that is going on right now, and share our giveaway associated with it!  I’ve received many questions: “What is a bundle?”  This bundle, and the ones they have scheduled in the future, is a collaboration by some esteemed authors and artists in their specific field who have ebooks or kindle version books they have allowed to be included in the bundle.  Why call it a bundle?  Because that is exactly what it is!  bundle of over 70 books and ecourses packaged at one extremely low price!  Even if you got each of these books on amazon for $.99, you’d still be looking at over $70!

The brains behind the Bundles have arranged for you to pay only $34.97 for all of these resources, not even including the insane bonuses that are alone worth double the price (have you seen the course from Craftsy.com?!?!?!).

So, to entice you even further to buy through our links and get books on photography, DIY gifts, DIY home renovations, creative homemade gifts, creative writing, social media marketing, interior design, furniture painting, thrifty design and more, we have a Bonus Offer of our own going on through Sunday night at 10 pm central time!

We believe in this bundle, the price, the way the owners treat the authors and affiliates and the team spirit that has been behind the scenes with each bundle we have participated in!  So, if you click on our links (any in this post or any other bundle posts we have this time), please come back and click HERE to fill out the form and be entered in our bonus offer!!

What is this bonus offer?  A little piece of our second home: A single bracelet from Uganda!  If you want to learn DIY from the women who created it, you should walk through the market days and watch these women nurse babies, carry on conversations with friends,  feed little ones and still their hands are constantly moving making paper beads, raffia baskets, bone earrings or wood carvings!  We have a variety of colors and it will be whatever envelope your address gets put on, but some colors we have to choose from are white with black stripes, light pink and turquoise blue!

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This is another $4-5 value that can be yours totally FREE!  I even cover shipping.  We look forward to seeing how many bracelets we can give away between now and Sunday night!

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Worthy of Our Calling will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

Fine print about the Bundle can be read here, and you can search the FAQs at this link!
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