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Monday Morning Encouragement - Our Creative God


"O Lord, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions."
Psalm 104:24

Good morning, Cottage Friends,

There is nothing that speaks to me more of God's creativity than to observe His earthly possessions. 

Patio Fun


When the spring temperatures began to warm, I took a break from painting my kitchen cabinets and worked on my patio. Summers are short here in Colorado, and I want to enjoy as much time outdoors as possible. The kitchen can wait. Prettying up my outdoor spaces comes first. 

Monday Morning Encouragement - Our Faithful Shepherd


Good Monday, Cottage Friends,

The 23rd Psalm is such a familiar passage of scripture -- often cited at funerals and celebrations of life, among other momentous occasions -- that I think we sometimes gloss over it without really absorbing the words. Today let's spend some time meditating on the words and really letting them soak in. To help us do this, I'm posting Psalm 23 in the Bible version The Message:

Monday Morning Encouragement - One Year Later His Grace Still Amazes Me

Happy Monday, Cottage Friends,

This morning I'd like to encourage you in a little different way. It's been a little over a year since I moved into this home. Fifteen months since my divorce. Honestly, if you had told me eleven years ago that I'd be where I am right now, I would have declared, "No way!" I didn't remarry after the death of my first husband with the idea that I would only be married ten years. I doubt that anyone thinks that way when they take their wedding vows. Otherwise, why would they marry? It wouldn't make sense.

Monday Morning Encouragement - A Friend In Time of Need


"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Hebrews 4:15-16

Monday Morning Encouragement - Abba! Father!


Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Galatians 4:6

Monday Morning Encouragement - Delight in the Lord


Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Kitchen Cabinet Painting Update

Hello Cottage Friends,

I used my staycation last week to paint my kitchen cabinets and I completed the project. Wait! No, I must have dreamed that. I didn't even come close; barely scratched the surface. Well, maybe that's too negative. I did complete a cabinet that I consider to be my "statement" piece in the kitchen.

I changed the door handles to knobs, so that meant filling in one of the screw holes with wood putty and sanding before I could paint. I purchased the knobs from Knob Treasures on Etsy. They are handmade historical French postmark reproductions.

The photo below was taken right after I purchased my home. Can you see the gold metal trim inserted in the crown moulding? No? Look closely, it's right in the center of the moulding.

"Oh, bliss! How wonderful to have gold metal trimming on all the cabinets throughout my home!" Said no one. Ever.

Seriously, why did mobile home manufacturers 20 years ago do things like this? Did designers sit in brainstorming meetings and intentionally plan to make perfectly fine cabinets look tacky? 

Ok, I'm done venting.

I removed all the gold trim after I moved in. Last week before the painting began, I repaired other trim and properly reinstalled the crown moulding, which had apparently fallen off at some point and the former owners tried to reattach with gold screws. Cuz, you know, that makes the tacky cabinet look less tacky, right? (Oops, I said I was done venting. Sorry.)
The faux brick wall is a work in progress. (Whew, doesn't it seem like everything here is "a work in progress"?) I'll blog about that at some point. Bear with me, I have so little time to tend to all these things, and it takes twice as long with only one pair of hands.

All this is loosely based on my inspiration photo.

There will be only this one black cabinet in the kitchen. The others will be white. I played around with one of the other cabinet doors to get a look that pleased me.

 I will tell you that this kitchen cabinet painting is no small task, and there are much better ways to tackle it. If I had a garage I would have taken all the doors off and lined them up in the garage and with one fell swoop painted them all at once. However, I don't have a garage or anywhere that I can do that. So, I'm doing it in sections and using my dining table and craft table as staging areas. I could have spray painted them, but that's something that needs to happen during a renovation, before you have new countertops, painted walls, etc.. Also, I'm going for a particular vintage look, which involves chalk paint and in the case of the black cabinet, dark antique wax. It's going to take awhile folks, but I'm okay with that. I will eventually get the job done, and I know I'll be happy with the results. Actually, I'm contemplating painting the inside of the cabinets while I have the doors off. I know, I know. One more step in the process, but really, doesn't it kind of make sense to live with the pain to end up with a well executed result? Tell me what you think.


Monday Morning Encouragement - God, The Promise Keeper


"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ. And so through Him the 'Amen' is spoken by us 
to the glory of God."
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)

In our society it has become so commonplace to make promises and break them, that we often find it difficult to trust anyone. Some politicians make bold promises they never intend to keep. Too often promises spoken at the altar are kept only until the passion wanes. How comforting it is to know that every promise God has ever made has been kept in Christ. Jesus is God's "Yes" to us. "Yes, I love you -- I sent my only Son to die for you" (John 3:16). "Yes, I will forgive you -- my grace is lavished on you in Jesus" (Ephesians 1:7-8). "Yes, I will strengthen you -- you can do all things through Christ" (Philippians 4:13). "Yes, I will come for you." (John 14:3) "Yes, you will be with me eternally" (John 10:27-28).  "Yes. Yes. Yes." And the list goes on and on. God is willing and faithful to keep every promise He has made to those who love Him. Through Christ we say "Amen (Yes)"  back to God. "Yes, I love You, Lord." "Yes, I put my trust in You, Jesus." "Yes, I will serve You, Master." All this to the glory of God!

This song 10,000 Reasons from worship leader Matt Redman is a tribute to our God, the Promise Keeper. Enjoy.

I love you, I'm thinking of you, and I'm praying for you.


Rainy Day Projects - Layered Frames Mirror and Craft Room Valance

 Hi Cottage Friends,

Sunday it rained all day, and for me that meant staying inside and finishing projects that have been simmering on the back burner.

At long last my layered frames mirror is complete and hangs on the wall in my living room. I love the way it turned out.  (Thanks, Kris, for the inspiration.)

Monday Morning Encouragement - True Freedom


"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. "
Galatians 5:13

Today in America we celebrate Memorial Day, a day set aside in our nation to remember and honor the military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom: the sacrifice of their lives. This thought should sober us, and cause us to gratefully cherish the freedom for which they gave their lives.

There is another even more important freedom that we should consider every day. For everyone who follows Jesus Christ has freedom in Him. 

Freedom in Christ. What does it mean? When we repent of our sins and receive Christ as our Savior, we are no longer a slave to sin, and are free to live within His grace embrace. No longer afraid to approach a holy God, we come to His throne room as a favored child enters her father's study; without fear of reproach. The Lord's love is unconditional and will never diminish. Nor will it increase. Nothing we do can make Him love us less, or love us more. God's love is never dependent upon our performance. His love is simply constant and thoroughly ours through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Knowing this should cause us to honor our Savior by being careful not to use our freedom to indulge our sinful nature. We're not free to be a stumbling block to others by the way we live. We are free to glorify God by thinking of others and how we can lift them up and encourage them. No longer bound by the selfish way we lived before we received Christ, we now are free to live the life of love He longs to give us. 

This is true freedom.

I love you, I'm thinking of you, and I'm praying for you.