Memorial Weekend Friday Blog Hop

Did you miss WWYD Wednesday this week? It will be back next week. I got a little busy with landscaping, gardening, and catching up on things after our deck makeover.
What are you doing for Memorial Weekend? Have you created a project or a special blog post in memory of someone special? We’d love to have you share your links on the Follow Friday Blog Hop below.
Also, check out my free download of the song I wrote called “Pray for the Soldiers” . For the free download, just right click on the link on the music page on my website and then save the MP3 file. I’m so thankful for those who have given up so much to protect our country! I was finishing up some planting the other night and ran inside to get the flag to add to the front yard. I have a dawn to dusk spotlight on it, so even when I’m sitting inside at night, I can see my flag as reminder of the great country we live in. 
Follow Friday Blog Hop

Blog Hop Instructions:
  • Be sure to link to a specific blog post not your home page so that we can find your fab projects and posts easier. 
  • Please include a link to the site and mention on your blog post that you’re linking up to T2T OR Mention on your twitter account that you’re linking up to Trash to Treasure for the blog hop and include a hyperlink to this post. If you tweet a link please mention my twitter name: @trashtotreas in your tweet.
  • You can even get the code and paste the blog hop on your own blog if you’d like these very same ideas posted for your readers.

With the new Linky Tool (formerly called MckLinky) you’ll be able to add a thumbnail of your project if you have a picture on your post, or upload a pic from your computer.

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

One Mistake Away from Killing Someone

As I finished reading the latest book that I’m reviewing, I was struck by how many times in my life I’ve been one mistake away from killing someone. When I worked as a registered nurse, my decisions could change a life. I recall one time when I broke a rib on a patient when I started CPR only to discover she had a pulse after all. It made me afraid for the many decisions I’d be forced to make on the fly as a nurse. I often wondered, “What if I kill someone thinking I’m doing the right thing?”
I recall a time in the car when I leaned over to assist my gagging one-year-old (whose car seat I had illegally in the front seat). I nearly rear-ended a parked semi truck. In those pre-airbag days, I’d likely have killed both of us, but I swerved in time and then struggled to regain control of my skidding car. I’ve met people who weren’t quite so fortunate. Without intending to, their decision or their mistake cost someone else their life. It’s a sobering thought when I realize I could just as easily been one of those people. These thoughts traveled through my mind as I read Almost Forever by Deborah Raney. 
My Review of Almost Forever
I can’t imagine what it would be like to do something accidentally that causes the death of someone. What if that someone was 5 members of a fire department, including your own husband? In Almost Forever, Bryn Hennesey believes she might be responsible for the fire that took the lives of her husband and four of his comrades. In addition to grieving the loss of her husband, Bryn must figure out if she was negligent when the homeless shelter burned down while she was on duty.

Author Deborah Raney knows how to capture a reader and touch the emotions; and she brings her reader into the story in such a way that I couldn’t help asking myself what I would do if I were Bryn. I felt the raw emotion of grief and the self-doubt about a budding friendship with a husband who lost his wife in the same fire. I understood her dilemma over needing a listening ear but wondering what people would think about their friendship so soon after the loss.

Raney writes well and I enjoyed the story very much. If I had one disappointment with the book, it was that it was a little too predictable on several aspects of the plot. However, the author did a marvelous job of incorporating scriptural truth without it standing out or seeming pasted in. That’s commendable when so much of Christian fiction doesn’t do that well. The message of grace and the emphasis on telling the truth despite the consequences were both solid and convicting.

I’d definitely recommend Deborah Raney for any reader who hasn’t already checked her out.

Note: In exchange for my fair and honest review, I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publicist.

About the Author
The award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty novels, Deborah Raney always delivers poignant stories of what it means to wrestle with the realities of a world in chaos…and emerge triumphant.

Her books have received the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers’ Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her novel, A Vow To Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title.

Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four grown children and two precious grandsons, all of whom live much too far away.
 What About You?

Has an unexpected tragedy cause you to deep grief? Are you grieving about a mistake that you made? You can experience grace! Feel free to contact Michelle by e-mail if you’d like someone to pray for you. Or leave a comment below and share your experience.

Recycled Deck


I’ve recently extended my trash to treasure projects beyond just decorating. In some ways it’s decorating because it has everything to do with the curb appeal of my home. And it has everything to do with how I feel about my house.
When we purchased our house, it had this 12 by 16 foot deck on the front. It had nothing special about it. The railings were plain and it functioned mostly as a means of getting us into the front door.

As you can see, our home is a little unusual. It was once a church with an attached parsonage. But I think the deck on the front really kept the ranch part looking like it belonged in a past decade.

We seldom sat on the deck because it offered no privacy from the cars going by or the gas station just kitty-corner to us. So all winter I shoveled snow off it and put chairs out for looks in the summer. But since it’s on the south side, the sun baked us and the yellow jackets wouldn’t leave us alone on the few occasions we tried sitting out there.

This spring, when I was longing for something in the back yard where we had just a plain cement steps, I came up with the brainy idea of recycling our deck by taking it down and using the lumber to build a deck on the back side.

Kinda plain. And no place to sit and enjoy the shade.

So, I talked my handy hubby into tearing off the front deck to recycle it for the back. 

Lovely, huh? This is what happens when a wife gets a bright idea. The next challenge was to figure out how to build a smaller replacement “deck” and connect it to the sidewalk while also managing the slope. 

I designed the brick part and my hubby helped get it all installed. The above photo was when it was 90% finished. All it needed was the hand rails.
 
All done! We bought new treated lumber for this project. (BTW, I took the picture at dusk and the weird glow by the door is the security light). Now, for the recycled deck in the back.
First, my hubby started framing it in.
We decided to leave the existing steps in place and build the new deck alongside with a small step up. Eventually, the old cement steps will get a stone facade treatment mortared on.
Before the last board was on, I started putting furniture on the deck. I couldn’t wait! When the last board was on, my hubby sat down to admire his work. Or take a nap.
 He flipped all the boards to the side that wasn’t stained. I’ll eventually stain the deck with some sort of water sealer. And we’ll be rerouting that down spout so it goes under the deck as soon as we get supplies.
 

 I’m so thrilled with both the front and the back now! And by recycling the one deck, the whole project cost less than half of what it would have. Now, I’m hoping to find some “new” patio furniture at a thrift sale. And you can see some of the stones on the right bottom corner that will eventually be fitted and mortared onto the cement steps. But, I’ll let my hubby rest a little before starting that project!

I’m linking up this week to:

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

What Frustrates Your Pastor?

How close is your pastor to burnout? Or how far past it is he? Do you know what frustrates him? Perhaps you’ve never stopped to think about what your pastor and his wife need to keep them going in ministry. I’ll admit that I spend more time thinking about my own needs and how my church meets them than I do about what my pastor needs. I just finished reading a review copy of a book that made me think.

Statistics from the book: 

~ 80% of pastors believe being in pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families

~ 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started

~ 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once per month

~ Only 1 of every 10 pastors will actually retire as a minister in some form


The publicist says:

Being a pastor is hard, no doubt about it. Burnout is all too common. After serving 30+ years as a pastor, Dr. Charles Stone had enough. He went in search of the killer of ministry. Working with The Barna Group, LifeWay Research, and Christianity Today’s NationalChristianPoll.com, he surveyed over 1,900 pastors and 1,000 non-pastors.

He found not one, but FIVE killers and he’s calling them out in FIVE MINISTRY KILLERS and How to Defeat Them: Help for Frustrated Pastors.

 
5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them
My Review
According to the research included in 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them, 80% of pastors and 84/% of their spouses are discouraged or are dealing with depression (p. 33). The author also says that Focus on the Family estimates that 1500 pastors leave their assignments each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention within their local congregations (p. 43). Those are serious statistics.

In 5 Ministry Killers, Author Charles Stone has set out to examine the statistics, to evaluate the reports of the condition of those in ministry, and to provide help for frustrated pastors. He presents the information to pastors, but it’s packaged in such a way that lay people would gain much from reading the book as well. The author presents a convincing argument for the need to encourage pastors and help them renew their enthusiasm for ministry.

The book is based on sound research from multiple sources and the author approaches the topic from the trenches. I found this refreshing since he’s been there and understands that which he writes about. In a few cases, I thought maybe his experiences were a little too emotionally raw in that he comes across a little cynical, or mad. However, considering how few people really understand their pastor or his frustration, these feelings are understandable. He assumes that all 12-15% of pastors who said they had no struggles were in denial and clueless (p.55), however, I find it possible that not every pastor is frustrated. Still, the idea makes the reader want to explore a little and find out what truly does frustrate his or her own pastor.

Stone challenges the reader to think, spells out the problem, and then offers four clear steps for dealing with ministry frustration. The 5 ministry killers are mentioned in the introduction and then in Chapter 4, but then the author says, “I don’t unpack this in a linear fashion…Rather, I’ve sprinkled them throughout the book” (p. 11). I’m a little more linear in my thinking, so I would have liked to have seen a little more attention given to clearly unpacking the 5 ministry killers since that was the title of the book.

Does your pastor need this book? Most likely, yes. Why not give a copy as a gift? (see how you can win a copy below)

Note: In exchange for my fair and honest review, I received a free copy of this book from the publicist.
About the Author
Meet Dr. Charles Stone: The pastor of Ginger Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, Dr. Stone presents the Truth of God’s Word to about 1,200 congregants each weekend. He has served in ministry over thirty years and, together with his daughter, is author of Daughters Gone Wild – Dads Gone Crazy.

To watch a video of Dr. Stone discussing his new release from Bethany House, FIVE MINISTRY KILLERS and How to Defeat Them – Help for Frustrated Pastors, simply click on his image to the right.

 Win a Free Copy of This Book
Are you a pastor who would love to read this book? Are you a church member who would like to encourage your pastor with a copy of the book?
Five Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them: Help for Frustrated Pastors--Including New Research From the Barna GroupLeave a comment on this post (at www.faithcreativitylife.com not via e-mail to me) and tell me why you’d like to be entered in the drawing to win a copy.
On May 31, I’ll randomly choose one name from the list of comments and send the winner an e-mail to get mailing info. Please be sure I have a means of e-mailing you. (Example: michelle at michellerayburn dot com.)

Office Chair Mat Project- Designed by My Son

My Trash 2 Treasure Teen

Every so often, there comes a moment in a trash to treasure decorator’s life when someone in her household grasps the wonder of the thrill of a great T2T project. That moment when she isn’t the only one who stands back and admires a project, but when she is instead the one admiring the work of one of her offspring. And the feeling of pride when that offspring is her 15-year-old son who has come up with his own trash to treasure project is nearly impossible to put into words. 

Recently, my son cleaned his room. I know, wonders never cease. He was of course motivated by the stipulation that he would not receive another allowance until he cleaned it and kept it that way for 7 days. After he finished cleaning, he was in there with the door closed for quite some time, until he asked me to come see what he had made.

He’d unearthed an outdated poster-sized calendar of vintage cars and he didn’t want to throw it away. But he also knew I wouldn’t want him to tape them all over his walls. So he came up with a trash to treasure idea. He chose 5 favorite calendar pictures, cut them all down in size and laid them out on the floor. Then, he put his clear office mat over the top. 

 The little points on the back side poked right into the paper (those are the dots you see in the pics), which was about as thick as magazine paper. It’s held in place without glue or tape and it can be changed out any time. I was so proud and I wished I’d come up with the idea!

Just think of all of the things you could recycle this way besides the calendar pictures. Wrapping paper, fabric, posters…there are all sorts of possibilities! If you have other ideas, feel free to share them in the comments below.

It all starts with an office chair mat like this one from Office Depot:

Add a little of your own creativity, and you’ve got yourself a terrific office makeover. Thanks Austin for using your creativity and letting me share your idea on my site. You’ve done your T2T mama proud.


Now, it’s your turn to share your ideas. 

Follow Friday Blog Hop
What did you whip up this week? Or what did you find in your basement or at a thrift shop that’s just waiting to be redecorated.
Blog Hop Instructions:
  • Be sure to link to a specific blog post not your home page so that we can find your fab projects easier. 
  • Please include a link to the site and mention on your blog post that you’re linking up to T2T OR Mention on your twitter account that you’re linking up to Trash to Treasure for the blog hop and include a hyperlink to this post. If you tweet a link please mention my twitter name: @trashtotreas in your tweet.
  • You can even get the code and paste the blog hop on your own blog if you’d like these very same ideas posted for your readers.

With the new Linky Tool (formerly called MckLinky) you’ll be able to add a thumbnail of your project if you have a picture on your post, or upload a pic from your computer.

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Yard Sale Adventures

Creativity Meets Everyday Life

I love it when I find an opportunity for my creative side to blend with everyday life, including family relationships. So often, as a mom of teen boys, my creative pursuits are something I have to do solo. They aren’t into sewing. They aren’t into creating scrapbooks, although they do like looking at them. They don’t fully appreciate the benefit of a great chick flick. So it makes it a little more difficult to find ways to bond and spend time with them. But we do have one thing we both enjoy. 

We love to go to thrift sales and garage sales. They look for movies and books and I look for trash to treasure decorating ideas, craft supplies, and home decor. It’s the perfect blend for spending time! You can probably imagine how excited we all were when I blocked out a weekend on the calendar to head over to the Twin Cities for the Woodbury, MN annual city wide garage sales. We spent Friday and Saturday putting on the miles as we explored the city with a map and a list of sales. 

We stayed at a budget hotel on Friday night and as we were loading up to get started on sales Saturday morning, we found another opportunity to bond. I noticed that the air compressor in the back of the van kept running, indicating air was leaking somewhere from the air shocks. It wasn’t a serious safety issue, but I didn’t want to burn out the compressor as we drove around all day. 

One benefit of having teen boys is that I have traveling mechanics. With my hubby on the other end of my cell phone talking to one son under the car attempting to fix the leak with a wad of gum and a band-aid, we had plenty to laugh about. But I’ll admit there was a lot of tension in the process, mostly on my part. I’m not so great with mechanical delays. Still, in the end, we laughed and we were on our way.

We brought home some bargains, and a lot of free stuff my scavengers couldn’t pass up, including a roll-away cot missing some important middle leg extensions. If their friends who stay over have swaybacks, it isn’t my fault. I found some projects that satisfied my creative side. But most importantly, I enjoyed the time with my boys. Dad might take them to the Boundary Waters to bond, but I take them to the city.

What ways have you found to spend time with your family? I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments below.

WWYD Wednesday

It’s WWYD Wednesday already! Congrats to Mallie for the winning idea last week on what to do with an airplane propeller.

I know, I haven’t shared any yard sale finds with you yet, but you’ll have to remain in suspense for another day or two. I hope you took the time to enter the iPhone giveaway sponsored by Garage Sales Tracker. In the meantime, what would you do with this? 


I saw this old stove at an antique store and wondered what my readers would do with it. I’m not sure the firebrick inside is up to code, so I have my doubts about turning it into a working wood burning stove.

The top part of the stove.

The bottom part of the stove.
My father-in-law has a similar type of old stove that he says I could have if I’d like. However, I’m not sure what I would do with it just yet. I have a spot in my dining room where I could probably make room to have it on display, but it’s very heavy. And it’s so big, that I’d like to have it serve more of a purpose than just sitting on display. 
So readers, what would you do? How can you turn an old stove from trash to treasure?
Link Up Your Idea

Here’s how the WWYD list works.

  1. You leave your idea(s) below on the link list and next week, I’ll go back in and edit to name a winning idea.
  2. Add your name at the end of your idea (optional). Example: I would paint it green and add yellow polka-dots. Then add glitter and sequins. From Michelle Rayburn.
  3. Add a link to your blog or a specific post if you’d like us to check out your site or if you want us to see an example of your great idea.
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Friday Blog Hop

Bright and early Friday morning, I’m heading over to the Twin Cities for the village of Woodbury’s annual city wide garage sales. My teen sons and I will spend two days hunting for treasure. What more could I ask for? It’s my Mother’s Day treat to spend this time with my boys doing what we love to do.

I’m bringing my camera along and a pocket of cash and I can’t wait to find things to feature on future Trash to Treasure posts. Woodbury is about an hour and 45 minutes away, so how does a person go about locating the best sales for treasure?

First I searched the Internet and found out which gas stations will have a directory list of sales for purchase. It lists the sales that are participating in the Lions Club annual sales this weekend. I also discovered a few on Craigslist. But there is a brand new site on the web that had others and if you’re into trash to treasure decorating, you might find this tool helpful. Since it’s still new, I only found a couple of the hundreds of Woodbury sales listed on the tracker. But that’s sure to change as the site grows!

 

Garage Sales Tracker is a site for listing garage sales and it offers you the ability to advertise garage sales on the internet. It also features tools that allow prospective buyers to more easily find garage sales. And the best news? It’s FREE.

That means you can search for free and list your sale for free! And now, Garage Sales Tracker is offering an application for your iPhone so you can easily search for a sale in your area. 


Follow Friday Blog Hop
In honor of my bargain hunting excursion today, I’d love to see the bargains you’ve discovered lately. What trash to treasure finds have you added to your collection?
Blog Hop Instructions:
  • Be sure to link to a specific blog post not your home page so that we can find your fab projects easier. 
  • Please mention somewhere on your blog post OR on your twitter account that you’re linking up to Trash to Treasure for the blog hop and include a hyperlink to this post. (If you tweet a link please include my twitter name: @trashtotreas)
  • You can even get the code and paste the blog hop on your own blog if you’d like these very same ideas posted for your readers.

With the new Linky Tool (formerly called MckLinky) you’ll be able to add a thumbnail of your project if you have a picture on your post, or upload a pic from your computer.

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

They Almost Always Come Home

Have you ever been at a difficult place in your relationship with your spouse? Perhaps wondering if it really mattered to you if your relationship survived?
For today’s book review, I have the privilege of recommending a book from an author I know well. She’s one of my dearest friends, and I’m so thrilled to recommend her debut novel They Almost Always Come Home.

In They Almost Always Come Home, debut author Cynthia Ruchti puts to pen and paper what many women don’t dare say aloud. Libby’s story lets the reader into the thought process of a woman who wonders if her husband’s delayed return from a Canadian wilderness trip means he’s left her or if he’s lost, or worse, dead.

Libby gives a voice to every woman who has ever wondered if her marriage was worth saving, wondered if her husband cared, and wondered if she wanted him to care. She’s the woman so lost in the darkness of grief and emotional pain that she hasn’t considered her husband’s dreams or fully embraced her own. As Libby, her best friend, and her father-in-law canoe and portage their way through the wilderness in search of Greg, Libby finds her way through the spiritual wilderness she’s drifted in for so long.

They Almost Always Come Home has just the right balance of serious moments, heartfelt emotion, witty dialogue, and humor. Ruchti has a fresh style and voice as a writer. The story is told in first person present tense, so it’s easy for the reader to feel part of the action as it happens. The book has enough mystery to keep the reader hooked from the first page to the last, with a few surprises most readers will never suspect.

There is nothing predictable or formulaic about this book and that places it above so much of the fiction on the market. If Ruchti continues to deliver fresh fiction packed with hope and real faith, she’ll have loyal readers for a long time.

Propellers- What Would You Do With It?

It’s another What Would You Do With This Wednesday. I had a terrible time deciding on a winning idea from last week’s WWYD, so this time, I declared them all winners. Great ideas for the rusty tub! I received an e-mail from a reader who thought this was likely a wood ash bin. Another reader said it might be a copper boiler. Thanks for the comments and ideas. 

I snapped a picture of this week’s WWYD at a junk/ antique shop. It was out in the yard with lots of other stuff, which you can see from the photo. This shop had several sets of airplane propellers in the yard and I wondered, “What would my readers do with this?”

 So, what would you do with airplane propellers? Could you turn it from trash to decorating treasure? Each set had at least one that was bent or damaged (Side trip: it made me hope that the pilot in each case was okay).

Link Up Your Idea

Here’s how the WWYD list works.

  1. You leave your idea(s) below on the link list and next week, I’ll go back in and edit to name a winning idea.
  2. Add your name at the end of your idea (optional). Example: I would paint it green and add yellow polka-dots. Then add glitter and sequins. From Michelle Rayburn.
  3. Add a link to your blog or a specific post if you’d like us to check out your site or if you want us to see an example of your great idea.

The purpose of WWYD is to share great ideas, but also to network with other bloggers, so I love those blog links!

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com