4.27.2016

Speaking The Hard Truths into Other People's Lives


How often do we speak hard truths into other people's lives? It's easy to tell people that God loves them, and He does. It is easy to tell them that He comforts in time of need and many other really important truths. But how often do we, in a loving way, tell our family and friends who aren't Christians that God has a law and they have broken it?


When Dave and I were traveling the west coast this past winter I stayed in the car one day to read my Bible while he went hiking. I read this verse "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient." 1 Timothy 1:9

For some reason God just really convicted me that I don't really tell unsaved people that they are law breakers, and the law, is for them. The law isn't for those of us who have placed our trust in Jesus as Savior but for those who need to.

It's by the law that others can learn their great need for salvation.

To be honest, it's uncomfortable to tell people that. But here is the thing: how can they know how much they need a Savior if they don't realize, not only that they broke God's law, but that they deserve eternal punishment in hell for it? That's a hard thing to think about isn't it? But it's true.

Our family, our friends and people we come in contact with day to day, that don't know The Lord, need to be hearing these truths. It's by truth that people come to know Christ.

Why do I write all this? To encourage myself and to encourage you to tell others.


I also want to remind myself and you that sharing something like this must be done in a lot of prayer and be done very tactful and loving. The Bible says a brother offended is harder to win than a strong city so I don't recommend just casually telling someone they broke God's law and are going to burn forever. Ask The Holy Spirit to help you know the words to say, who to share this with and when to share. He will help you.



What do you think about this truth? 
Is this something you share or have shared with others? 
If you aren't a Christian has anyone ever taken the time to explain this to you? 

4.19.2016

Home Tour: Our Guest Bathroom



Is it weird that the first room I'm showing on the blog is the guest bath? It was the easiest one to decorate and didn't require too much work. I plan to share with you all more rooms as we get them decorated and organized. 

It's fun to see and hear people's reaction to this bathroom. It's kind of a love it or hate it bathroom. Some friends comment on how much they love it and other people have asked why they didn't remodel it with the rest of the house? We aren't offended by people's reactions, it is just fun to see. 

Dave and I both really love it and Dave has art and decor from both Haiti and Bolivia that fits in there perfectly. I've nicknamed this bathroom, 'The Spanish Bathroom'. 



The biggest issue we had was with a shower curtain. The shower is arched so you have to put the curtain rod lower to get it to stay. The shower curtain was also way too long with the rod being put low but I just hemmed it up. The carpet was only $3.99 from At Home and it goes perfectly with the theme of this room. 


This art is from Haiti and sits right above the throne =). 


I love the tile in here and the sink is so fun!



Isn't this lizard fun? Dave bought it from Haiti and it goes perfectly with the frog handles that the cabinet doors have. That isn't a joke either. I had no idea that the handles were frogs until after we moved in. I think it's funny (and really weird).  


I like these towel hooks too. They are a good combo of antique and Spanish looking. The bus that we hung above these hooks is from Haiti.


What do you think of this bathroom? Do you like or dislike it? 

What was the easiest room to decorate in your home? And what was the hardest one to decorate? 

4.15.2016

10 on the 10th - April

Hi!

I'm starting a new photography challenge for myself and you can join in too if you want. It's a pretty simple and fun one too.

I hear about photography challenges often but they seem overwhelming. There are things from Project 365, where you take a photo every day for a year, to month long ones, etc. I don't know where I heard about this one but it is called "10 on the 10th". And how it works is that on the 10th of each month you share 10 of your favorite photos from the previous month. I am going to use DSLR photos and iPhone pictures because I don't think every good photo has to be with a fancy camera.

I do realize it is the 15th of April but I forgot about this until today. =) So here are my 10 on the 10th pictures.

1. I had to include our house because I'm just still so excited to be here. You can read about our house here and see pictures of the inside of our house here. This picture was taken with an iPhone.


2. Below is also an iPad picture. Dave mentioned in his sermon that we never use my fancy Korean tea cups and so I made him drink tea with me for our 3rd anniversary. 


3 - 6. I bought a year long membership to the botanical gardens here in Wichita. It's super pretty and a fun place to practice photos. Here are four photos from my visit there.


 7. An iPhone photo - We planted a bunch of lilies at the front of our house. They are really pretty and will hopefully come back next year too. Also, those cute rain boots are from TJMaxx.


8. Bleeding heart flowers I planted. I originally saw these when we visited Singapore and knew I had to get them when I found them here. Aren't they so pretty? iPhone picture.


9-10. Flowers that we saw while visiting some friends in Tulsa. Can you tell I love to photograph flowers? Also, these were taken with an iPhone.


11. Bonus! But seriously, how could I not include a picture of Weasel and Dave? The little picture on the right is when Dave got Weasel as a welcome home gift


And that concludes my 10 on the 15th ;)! I'll be back in May for 10 more pictures.



What is your favorite thing to photograph? Do you prefer to take pictures of people or nature? 

Have you planted anything this spring? 

Are you doing a photography challenge? If so, please do share! 

4.13.2016

10 things that changed while we were in Asia



It's always interesting to leave the country and come back and see what things have changed. A lot can change in a year but I have to say the thing that changed the most was my own perspective. 

Here is a list of 10 fun things that have changed while we were in Asia. 

1. Construction - or the lack of. When we left Wichita they were starting some major construction on bridges and ramps and when we came back it was all done! It's like they did it over night or something? But let's be real, they don't do construction quickly here in America. However, it sure was nice to come back to completed projects. 

2. Essential Oils - Whoah, America! You all went crazy with this. I do like oils because they smell nice and I do think they have their time and place but it is like everyone I know has a big pack of oils or they ask me to tell either buy them or sell them. 

3. Speaking of selling something, while away, I feel like everyone is selling something. Do you know what I mean? If they aren't selling Young Living then they are selling Norwex or something else. I'm not writing that out to be mean because I don't want to offend anyone who sells things, I just noticed that the year I was away, selling something became a big thing. 

4. Bitmoji - Do you know about this? Let's be real! Of course you know about this! You weren't in Asia for a year. But just in case you don't know what it is, you can create a little cartoon of yourself and it has all these fun sayings the you can send. It's like emojis but you are the emoji. My friend Kinzie told me all about this this past weekend and now I'm hooked. It's hilarious. Here is me as a bitmoji. Do you have one?



5. Drive Thru's at Panera - Why????? When I came back, Panera had a drive thru? Why? That's a place to go and sit still not rush through the drive thru. That's America at it's best (or worst). SIDE NOTE - why is it drive thru instead of drive through? Come on grammar friends, help me out. 

6. Fashion - Whoah! Let's just say I'm out of fashion. I went to a meeting and most of the women were wearing ankle jeans with ankle boots. Of course, I wasn't because I had no idea this was a style. Do you know what I'm talking about? 

7. My Teeth - People have asked me what the biggest adjustment coming back was and I have to say it was my teeth. They hurt so bad!!! I'm pretty sure it was the change from 110 degree weather to 30's. I went to the dentist just to make sure nothing major was wrong and he did confirm that my teeth were just adjusting. Thankfully they are much better now. 

8. LTE - When we turned our phones back on I could not figure out why it was saying LTE instead of 4G. I told Dave we were probably getting charged a huge roaming fee or some type of fee because of the LTE and then I was informed that it was just the newest and fastest network. 

9. Phone Service - Why??? Why did they change this? Instead of getting a discount for your phone and upgrades you just now pay a set amount per month for 18 - 36 months. It's like a loan with no interest. That is weird to me and a sneaky way for phone companies to make everyone think iPhones or expensive phones are cheap. Not cool! How does your phone service work? Is it just my AT&T network? 

10. My Perspective - I hope this change stays for good. I kind of chuckle now because things that used to bother me just don't anymore. I'll be riding in a car with someone and they get frustrated at the one car in front of them not going fast enough and I just want to say "Go to Burma!". After sitting in traffic for 30 minutes to go .25 of a mile, a slow car in front of me is no big deal. 

When people complain about the weather, don't even get me started! My reply is just "Go to Burma!" After living a few months in 125 degree weather and where the seasons are hot, hot and humid, hotter and hot and rainy I hope I never complain about the weather again. 

I also really get a kick when I'm on the phone with someone and they say "I'm so sorry our internet is slow." ha ha ha ha! They have no idea where I just came from. I mean the internet in Burma is pretty much horrific and slooooooooow and I just love that people say that to me so I can be reminded how great internet and technology in America really is. 

The amount of blessings God has given us in this country is just surreal and I hope I can remember that and appreciate it, always! 

Have you ever lived somewhere else and noticed changes when you came back? 

Do you have a bitmoji? Please say yes! 

Does anything on this list surprise you or stand out as funny? 

4.01.2016

Our home - How we found it and some pictures



Today I thought I'd share a little bit more about how we found our home along with the renovations hat happened here. 

When Dave and I were talking about moving back to America we knew that we were done renting, for lots of reasons. First off, we felt like our money was just getting dumped into rent rather than into equity in a home. We were also were tired of having loud neighbors and having to deal with apartments. 

As soon as we got back to Kansas I started looking for homes in Wichita. One day, I literally looked at every single house for sale in Wichita that Zillow had listed. Yes, I know that was ridiculous of me but I was focused and slightly obsessed at that time. 

When it comes to homes Dave isn't as picky as me but we did each write out a 'must have list'. I'll share those with you. 

Dave's Must Have List:
-master bedroom, decent size
-private master bath: 2 sinks or 1 large sink
-One room large enough for TV / couches

Beka's Must Have List:
-wood floors in main area
-gas stove or at least a gas line to hook up a gas stove
-updated kitchen
-lots of natural lighting
-move in ready / minimal updates

We both knew that buying a fixer upper was out of the question because after living overseas and being on the move I was emotionally done. The thought of fixing up a house would have sent me in the 'fixing up' category emotionally. =) 

When I first started saving homes on Zillow, I found this house (our house now) and it looked remodeled but I couldn't tell if it was nice or not because the owner had taken all of the pictures at night. The pictures were dark and kind of confusing. Looking back, I'm so thankful he did that because it probably helped it not sell, which meant we ended up being able to get it. =)

After we came back from our trip to the west coast we started going to open houses. This one was on the open house list and was the 2nd house we looked at. I kept it in mind but I had two other homes I actually wanted more but they both sold and I was super super sad. It's funny how emotional one can get over a house they don't even own. I'm thankful God allowed those other homes to sell and that we are in this one. 

We met with our realtor and he did some research and told us that the flip on this house was a good one and not just a paint job to get it sold. It had a new roof, ac, heater, updated electric, and a lot of really neat features. A couple days later we went back to this house with our realtor. I really appreciate our realtor because he wasn't afraid to tell us if a home was good or bad. Our home was built in 1935 so we wanted his opinion to see if it was a good home or if it was one we should walk away from. After thoroughly looking over everything we could see with our own eyes in the house, we decided it was a good one and put in an offer. After a few negotiations we agreed on a deal. 

This house was the only house we looked at with our realtor but we knew it was the one we wanted. 

This house was a major flip! Dave and I found a video of this house before it had been renovated and wowsers! It was ugly and needed major work done. They did a really good job flipping it and pretty much everything on our wish list was met. I couldn't have designed a kitchen this cute myself and I'm really really thankful to be here. 

Here is the before and then the after of the outside. The before doesn't actually look that bad but I think that is because of the yard and the green trees. 


I'm also amazed that while we were in Burma God knew all about this house and that it was being renovated and that He saved it for us for when we got back. I have no idea how God worked out all those details but I praise Him because I know He did. 

AND I have to tell you this - while I was getting this post together I looked at the old picture that you see right above here and that date says 7/23/2015! That is my birthday you guys. So, on my birthday they were taking pictures of this house to sell it. I call that a really awesome birthday gift from God. Seriously! Only He could have done that awesome detail. 

Here is a video of the house before it was flipped. 


Here are a few pictures of it after it was flipped. Also, this is not our furniture or furnishings in the pictures. These are from the listing. I'll be sharing more of how we are making it our own after we get settled a bit more. 

And just in case you are wondering, the open concept makes it look much bigger than it actually is. The total square footage is 1,445 sq. feet so it's not huge but more than enough room for Dave and I. 

Here's the porch, which I love! Once I get furniture out there you can come have tea and coffee with me. =)


Entrance into the living room.


The dining room. Also, those stairs in the background go up to the master bedroom and bathroom.


The bar at the kitchen.


The kitchen! I love this kitchen.


We call this the Spanish bathroom and we both really like it. We have art from Haiti and it goes great in here. Also, you are looking at a mirror and the shower is what you see reflecting. It's a confusing picture.


This is a guest room that we turned into Dave's TV room. I decided it was a perfect TV room because of the lighting on the wall. Sadly, our couch won't fit through the doors to be placed in there so he only has a recliner. We are trying to figure out what to do in there for seating.


This is where you will stay when you come and visit us. It's our guest bedroom and has a huge closet that goes under the stairs.


This is the master and I like it because it is the only thing upstairs. Well, that and the master bath. 


I'm super thankful to be here and plan on sharing more about what we do with this place over time. There are definitely pros and cons of living in an old house but overall we really love it!

Have you purchased a home? How was that? Have you flipped or renovated a home before? 
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