Mary’s Home Made Lovely

Welcome to Home Made Lovely!
Hello, everyone!  My name is Mary, and I blog over at Finding Healthy Hope(#whenicanfindthetime).    I started blogging because I wanted a place to jot down the happenings of our life, to be able to taste life twice, if you will, and to share our growing nutrition business with others. Hence my title, Finding Healthy Hope.  I also wanted to share my faith with others, but was a little hesitant.  As my journey with this space evolved, I could see God slowly turning my focus away from physical healthy hope, to the Ultimate Hope we can have in Jesus.  As we all know, this life is not slowing down anytime soon.  It truly is like a vapor that appeareth for a time and then vanisheth away.  God has been dealing in my heart a lot lately about the importance of sharing Him with everyone that I can.  It is my purpose, His command, my mission in life.  And it starts right here in my little corner of the world, my home.  If I cannot teach and live the Gospel to those under my wing daily, then I am certainly not fit to do it outside of my home.
(you’ll have to come in the back door through the garage,  our front deck is non exsistent right now…work in progress.)

And speaking of  (hm),  definition 4a and 4b particularily struck me as what I want myhome to be.

a.  An environment offering security and happiness.
b.  A valued place regarded as a refuge.
Sounds good, right?  I have to admit that I fail in this very often, but I am a work in progress, just like our home.  Now I think it’s about time we got this tour started!  Grab a cuppa joe, tea, or whatever suits your fancy and stay a while. I have a really, really good story to tell you.
It will be three years this December since our farm was sold at public auction, right before Christmas.  Yes, you heard me correct.  We lost everything(materially) when my husband lost his job in February 2009.  Some people call it the economy collapse, we call it God’s amazing plan(it took time to come to that realization).  I have to admit that my view of having a lovely home has changed drastically in these past three years.  I realized through God’s grace, that happiness and home isn’t about having exactly what you think you want or need.  It’s not about living in a restored 1800’s log cabin with original everything, nor is it about having the perfectly landscaped lawn, perfect flower gardens and grazing cows in the pasture.  Sometimes the perfect, lovely home is a ranch style with popcorn ceilings, older carpet, water damage, and broken siding, because home is wherever I am able to be with the ones that I love.  It’s about cultivating thankfulness and contentment with what lies right in front of you. Soon those silly eyesores begin to fade a little as long as I am exactly where He wants me to be and doing what He wants me to do.  Our dream farm was 52 gorgeous valley acres with a spring house and stream…chickens and cows, but God’s plan and our dream didn’t mesh.


“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:”
Psalm 127:1

So, we were home-less, but God had something in mind.  He clothes the grass of the field and takes care of the sparrows, why didn’t I trust that He would take care of us?

As we pulled up to the snow blanketed and neglected little ranch style home on a dead end road, we held our breath a little as we shoveled a narrow path big enough to make it inside.  Once inside, we both knew immediately.  We were home.  God had done, through friends of friends at church, what only God can do.  Within a week of losing everything, He restored to us what we were skeptical to think we could ever have again, not to mention so soon!  I could seriously chat with you all for hours with the amazing details and intricate hand of God in all of this, but just know, that He is good, and His provision is unmatchable. I wouldn’t trade that time in the valley for anything….it has shaped me so much.
Welcome to our home!
Here is our kitchen.  I spend a lot of time in here preparing meals and washing millions of dishes. God is using this kitchen to teach me a little thing called patience.  See those counter tops?  Yeah, me too. They are not my favorite, but maybe someday we will be able to replace them.  Maybe. They are very clean and usable.  And orange.  Very orange.  I’m dreaming of IKEA butcherblock.
When we moved in to this home, our landlords(sent from Above) paid for all of the paint and remodeling tools needed to spruce it up. My husband traded work on the house for rent, and we didn’t have to pay rent for close to a year! That was huge, because we didn’t have a steady income yet.  Nathan painted the dark, dirty cabinets a creamy white and we replaced the ginormous gaudy brass hardware with cheap Home Depot oil rubbed bronze hardware.   HUGE difference.
You will notice that I am very fond of all things old.  Things that tell a story.  I love treasures that people once loved and have since seen better days.  Transforming cast offs into beautiful pieces(on a major budget) makes my heart sing!  The thrill of the hunt is SO.MUCH.FUN.  Thirfting and antiquing are two of my favorite things.  Creating is life breathing to me.  It keeps me sane, and that is very necessary to have a lovely home.
Another thing you’ll see a lot of in my home is chalkboards!  Whether they are vintage, or I slapped some chalkboard paint on an ugly hollow core door, they are a GREAT way to post scripture around the house, and some of our favorite hymns as well.   The hymn above is, My Jesus Fair.
The chalkboard you see on the wall in the dining room is a $2 yard sale find.
 I had my local lumber yard  cut  me a new piece of hardboard and painted it with chalkboard paint.
I may have shoved the chalkboard in the trunk of the Prius
and let it hang out extremely far for the 45 minute ride home.  The only thing securing it?  A 50 lb. bag of chicken feed and some pine bedding.
I bought the tablecloths turned curtains in the dining room from World Market on clearance.
The Ten Commandments sign below is a must in our home.  I ordered it here.  It makes disciplining SO much easier.  When we have an issue of obedience or whatever it may be, I am much calmer taking them to God’s law, than trying to discipline with my own law.  Life changer right there.
Our dining room also serves as our school room and I love it.  Our house is pretty small, and I really don’t like clutter, so it has been a challenge to make all of our stuff for four home schoolers fit without it looking messy all the time.  Messy makes me a little crazy. The hymn, Channels Only(above chalkboard), is one of our absolute family favorites!
Channels only, blessed Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us,
Every day, and every hour.
And don’t be fooled, this schedule is for mama!
I am seriously in love with this print.  My dear blog friend, Jennifer, made it and offered it as a free printable! How nice is she???  Love you, girl!  I found a mat at Hobby Lobby for 40% off($2), and the nice big frame came from a thrift store.  I just (spray)painted it white. #ilovespraypaint
The numbers on the baskets came from Michaels for $1 each, and I had the baskets in my garage.  I just spray painted the numbers white.  Do you love spray paint, too?  Oh, good. My shelf came from World Market.  It was on sale, and I had a 10% off coupon, AND a $10 off coupon.  That’s the only way I buy new stuff.  The rest of my treasuress come from random flea markets, thrift stores and past antiquing trips.  Despite losing many material items during the time of home and job loss, I was able to keep our personal belongings.  Thank you, Lord.
(well, hello, Kit Cat!)
This bathroom was one of the first things that we gutted.  It had baby blue walls, water damaged linoleum, and the sink was pretty bad.  I literally scrubbed the shower stall for like 8 hours or something crazy like that.  The landlords paid for it all, and my husband did the work.  For a 70’s home, it is a pretty big space, and I love it.
I LOVE fall, too.
Another thing I like is vintage maps.  This one came from a thrift/antique store that I sell some of my treasures at.  I added the vinyl letters from Dollar General.  They are totally removable without harming the map, and they were only $1.50!   The verse on the chalkboard is my anthem for the school year.  Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, and I feel like being lazy, I go to it and it immediately reminds me that I ought to do my best for Him.
The Instagram picture of my husband’s grandparents makes my heart sing.  It’s from a family reunion this past summer.  His grandfather’s health is fading.  I’m glad I got this pic, it is a perfect representation of them.
Here’s a little nook behind the main living room.  The leather chair is the only piece of furniture that we bought new many, many years ago.  The rug is Urban Outfitters clearance.  Almost every other piece of furniture in the living room came from craigslist or garage sales.
Our girls are avid knitters!
The wing back chairs are from a garage sale and everything else is thrifted and/or from garage sales/antique shows from the past.   We don’t really get out to antique shows much anymore.  The large cabinet houses our T.V., which we rarely watch because there is seriously NO time with our busy school schedule!
My daughter knitted me that garland for the mantle and I made the silhouettes of my children.  The lamp is from Home Goods(seriously, someone hold me back from that place), and the white primitive trunk is something that I’ve had for years that I recently painted.
I scored that dress form for $18, and my Ikea chairs are from craigslist.
They both cost way less than the price of ONE new.  The grainsack pillows were made by a local lady that only charged me $5 to make them!  I bought the grainsack here.
Have you seen the price of grainsack pillows?  Like HUNDREDS of dollars.
No way, Jose!
Our children LOVE Lucy!