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Whatever Your House, Make It a Home

29 Aug

Martha Bolton and Brad Dickson wrote that there are Seven Signs You’ve Made a Bad Real-Estate Investment:

  1. The words “as is” appear 749 times in the contract.
  2. The home warranty expires in thirty-six hours. And that’s the extended warranty.
  3. During the final walk-through, the home inspector falls through a hole in the roof. And on the insurance report, you have to clarify which hole.
  4. The crown moldings turn out to be made of actual mold.
  5. The sellers apparently did not realize the toilets and doorknobs were part of the deal and took them all with them.
  6. The address is 4369 San Andreas Fault Drive.
  7. That almanac-sized bundle of paper the sellers left behind turns out to be the final disclosure statement. (1)

Most of that will not be as surprised by a home we buy (or even an apartment we rent). We’re careful, knowing that our investment is a big one!

But regardless the size or “bones” of your house, you can always turn it into a home. Some of the most Home Welcome Matinteresting programs on television are the home-makeover-type shows. There’s something satisfying about seeing a drab or even an OK home become glamorous and inviting.

I (Dawn) have a number of books on homemaking and hospitality in my library. Years ago, I read Karen Mains’ Open Heart~Open Home. My new favorite is Practicing Hospitality by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. But the other day, I pulled out a book I got a few years ago that radically changed my perspective.

In The Warm and Welcome Home by Quin Sherrer, a woman named Mary Jo offered to help the author give her house a face-lift. After Sherrer gave her cart blanche to move forward, Mary Jo told her that God had “already supplied” what would be needed for the makeover. Most women have “accessories hidden in their closet, attic, or garage, or under the bed,” Mary Jo said ~ and those were the places she would look!

Not wanting Mary Jo to claw through her stuff, Sherrer rummaged through things herself and pulled out all the “extras” that seemed useable for the makeover.

Sure enough, Mary Jo arrived ready for D-day (“decorating day”)…. and Continue reading

Better than Botox

10 Jul

Phyllis DillerPhyllis Diller’s self-deprecating humor (when she kept it clean) often made me (Dawn) laugh. She once said,  “My photographs don’t do me justice ~ they just look like me.” I’ve used that line myself on occasion.

Arlene Pellicane wrote about Diller in one chapter of her book, 31 Days to a Younger You. [Note: You can get Arlene’s book at love-wise under “Books/Products by Other Authors.”]

Discussing the topic of “Plastic Surgery, Botox, and Other Modern Marvels,” Pellicane began by sharing some of Diller’s humor, noting that the comedian was never one to conceal her facelifts.

“Her one liners about plastic surgery brought her fame and endeared her to women and plastic surgeons alike,” Arlene said.

“Punch lines like:

  • The only parts left of my original body are my elbows.
  • My Playtex Living bra died … of starvation.
  • I never made Who’s Who, but I’m featured in What’s That?” (1) 

I (Dawn) have found that some  women have unrealistic expectations about plastic surgery and other external “miracle” procedures to procure “beauty.” Those who believe all the advertising and hype about beauty fail to understand that physical beauty won’t last, but true inner beauty is both attractive and eternal.

Arlene doesn’t condemn botox or other procedures, but she does offer words of wisdom.

“Having cosmetic surgery will change your appearance, but it won’t change your life,” she Women with Inner Beatysaid. “Friend, if you’re not enough without plastic surgery, you’ll never be enough with it. You were lovingly and beautifully created by God. If you feel insecure about your appearance, the true transformation of beauty will first happen in your mind and heart, not on the surgery table.” (2)

I am tempted to stop right there. Arlene said it all. We are awed by women with true, inner beauty. Refined by their Creator and Heavenly Father, joy radiates from their lives.

I’m just going to add some scriptures to encourage you, if you struggle with your appearance. (All are in the English Standard Version.)

  • …For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b)
  • I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)
  • Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  (Proverbs 31:30)
  • So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
  • Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.  (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Arlene concludes her book with these words, “Looking and feeling younger is about accepting your appearance, embracing your God-given age, and doing your best to improve your assets. Hear the voice of your heavenly Father as He looks at you, His daughter, and proclaims, ‘Good.’ … You are a luminous work in progress.”

Luminous. I like that.

We are told to let our “light” shine so others will glorify the Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). So, shine, Friend … you are BEAUTIFUL!

(1) Arlene Pellicane, 31 Days to a Younger You: No surgery, No Diets, No Kidding (Harvest House Publishers, 2010), p. 97

(2) ibid, p. 98

God’s Creation ~ Drink It In!

15 Jun

Glass_HalfEmpty?A well-known proverb states that an optimistic would say a glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty. What would people of different professions and walks of life say?

The Banker would say that the glass has just under 50% of its net worth in liquid assets.

The Government would say that the glass is fuller than if the opposition party were in power.

The Opposition would say that it is irrelevant because the present administration has changed the way such volume statistics are collected.

The Economist would say that, in real terms, the glass is 25% fuller than at the same time last year.

The Philosopher would say that, if the glass was in the forest and no one was there to see it, would it be half anything?

The Psychiatrist would ask, “What did your mother say about the glass?”

The Physicist would say that the volume of this cylinder is divided into two equal parts; one a colorless, odorless liquid, the other a colorless, odorless gas. Thus the cylinder is neither full nor empty. Rather, each half of the cylinder is full, one with a gas, one with a liquid. *

Whether a glass is half empty or half full, there’s nothing like crystal clear water to satisfy our thirst; and I (Dawn) am so thankful that God blessed our planet with rivers, lakes, oceans … beautiful bodies of water that serve so many purposes in our lives.

As Pam posted photos to Facebook recently of her time in beautiful, exhilarating Alaska ~ especially the gorgeous Pam Reading in Alaskascenes where she had her quiet time with God (I love this one of her reading LOL with God), I couldn’t help but think of the three years I lived in Iceland during high school ~ a place that is, in at least one way, much like Alaska. It gets cold!

Iceland’s official first day of summer is at the end of April, even though Icelanders won’t see higher temperatures until June or even July.  My favorite time of year there was summer, when the sun was visible for almost 24 hours of each day. I remember playing softball outside at 3:00 am! If I were there now, I’d be covering my bedroom windows with aluminum foil so I could sleep in the “Land of the Midnight Sun.”

OxarafossIt is a “land of frost and fire” with volcanoes, hot springs, and active geysers alongside glaciers, making this country one of the most unusual in the Atlantic. One of the most beautiful natural features of Iceland is its waterfalls. They are among Europe’s most powerful, magnificent falls.

My favorite waterfall ~ though not the most beautiful or the tallest ~ was the chilly Öxarárfoss near the Almannagjá rift valley, where the Vikings met for their parliament meetings at Þingvellir (pronounced Thing-vet-lur).  We placed six-packs of Continue reading

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