I am about to be as transparent as I can be. The last year has been rough. Marriage is hard. Blending lives is difficult. Couple that with two demanding jobs, a husband working on his doctorate, a 15 year old boy, growing into a young man, learning to drive and pursuing his dream of baseball. Non-stop weekends that start on Saturday morning at 5 AM and end Sunday night at 11:59 PM. You combine it all and Satan has been given an opportunity to dwell around the Hutcheson household. He has lingered and brought a cloud of negativity like no other. My children were bickering, my husband and I were in constant disagreement, and illness has plagued our home-me, kids, husband. To say Satan had a foothold on my life and in our home is an understatement.
At the beginning of October, I was admitted to the hospital. Prior to being admitted, my husband and I were on the brink of divorce. My son was not talking to his father. My girls were not talking to each other. Misery and heartache were overshadowing my positive outlook with a darkness and taking over my life. I was not fun to be around. I loathed getting up. I did not care what I looked like or if anyone saw me like that. My breaking point was reached.
My first night in the hospital was fine. I was only being monitored. Then the next day I was told my gall bladder needed to be looked at because I was symptomatic of that. A day later I found out I was chronic. My gall bladder was full of stones and suddenly I understood half of the reason I felt the way I did. Surgery was scheduled and it was the most horrible pain of my life. I would say worse than childbirth.
I had too much time in the hospital and at home resting for a total of seven days. I had to do something so I read books, wrote, jounaled, etc. In that time I picked up my tablet and started doing a deep dive into a bible study called Worthy of the Calling by Sarah Koontz I had the pleasure of previewing, helping with edits, and launching it. I never knew this book of the Bible was the RX I needed. Ephesians! I have studied it often. Never like this!
Sarah Koontz has a way with words and explanations that I do not need a Masters of Theology to understand what she is telling me. I have done Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer studies spending hours daily studying. Half the time I missed a lot of the meat of the issue because I just wanted to get through it. But Sarah only needed 15 minutes of my attention and WOW! I never knew 15 minutes could make a big difference in my life. Sarah spoke to me in short emails that spoke to my hardened heart.
When I was given the opportunity to launch her bible study, I had no idea of the impact it would have on my life. I have read many Christian books and studies but this one study on Ephesians changed me. For the better.
Sarah’s easy to understand text intertwined with daily activities and the most beautiful freebies I have ever seen created for a study, make this a winner for any woman at any stage of her life.
In the last 14 days I have learned that in Christ I am:
- Chosen in Love to be holy and blameless
- I am not at fault because Jesus has paid the price for me and my sins
- Chosen by God to be His daughter; a recipient of His inheritance
- I am His princess entitled to the riches of His kingdom
- A treasured possession
- Defined by God (and ONLY God)
This is a short list of what I have learned in the first 14 days. By day one I learned that with the first two verses of Ephesians 1:1-2 I AM WORTHY! I am a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. I remembered who I am and whose I am. By day three, my marriage was saved. My husband and I talked through our issues like never before because my heart was softened. By day seven, my girls were loving one another and being kind to one another again. By day fourteen, a father and son finally hugged for the first time in months. Satan is no longer lingering in our home. Why? Because through this study, I found my Christian heart again. I was reminded of an unconditional love of a father and his daughter.
I never realized how much changes when we truly put God first. This study has helped me establish good study habits because I could not wait to see what God, through Sarah, would share with me. I enjoy my Sabbath now with rest and reflection because Sarah stresses this within the study as well. Whether it was reading my prayer cards or coloring my downloads, I have finally truly learned to rest.
In this study, I have cried tears of sadness, prayed in a different more spirtitual way and let my past go. I can look myself in the mirror for the first time in a long time and see the woman God created me to be-fearfully and wonderfully made. I have nothing to be ashamed of because all my trials were the ones He prepared for me. He knows my story. He wrote it. Only He knows the ending. No matter what path I choose going forward, I know I am Worthy of His Calling on my life.
In September of this year, I would wake up. Get dressed. I might brush my hair or I might not. I would go to work. Come home. Live in depression and strife. I, a blessed woman of God, never understood that I am worthy only because He made me.
Today, I woke up blessed and full of His love for me. I got dressed. I did my hair. I put on my makeup and looked in the mirror for the first time in months and said “I am Worthy”.
Thank you, Sarah Koontz! Because of this study, my family has been saved. I have come out of the darkness which has brought others in my home out of the darkness. God is first again.
I cannot wait to see what else God has in store for me in the next 17 days of walking with Sarah through the rest of Ephesians.
If you feel the call to join Sarah, please click the image below.
I have been ill with walking pneumonia all week. However, yesterday I finally felt human enough to do some home projects. Lee and I found a desk and a chair. The kids put my chair together and Lee tried but putting together a desk is not his thing. So, we returned it to WalMart and they are putting it together for us 🙂 Ask and you shall receive. God is good! I should have it tomorrow. I’m excited to finally have this space as my own.
I still have to find a rug and some other knick knacks but that is the fun of this project. Creating this space that is mine. Creating the space that will bring me closer to God. I could have bought a lot of things but spending time with my daughter and creating things with her before she leaves home makes this space even more special for me.
Stay tuned as I continue to update on this blog. I’m just excited to have the time (due to a new job) and the resources (due to a new job) to create this space in my home. God has blessed me with a wonderful new job that lessens my time away from home with an increase in income. This door was opened as I turned my life back towards the Lord and I will never forsake him again. I am blessed from my relationship with Him.
God is good all the time, All the time God is good.
Goodnight and God Bless,
A blessed woman
“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.” Psalm 45:1
Then I did something I do every time I start a new journal. I must write down some key verses that help me define who I am. Philippians 4:8; Jeremiah 29:11 and Proverbs 31:10-31.
Throughout the year I will put my prayers, thoughts, and create collages in this journal. I break it down into sections-Romance, Family, Career, Home, and Garden. I will print my own personal pictures or I will pull pics from magazines. Whatever it is I do, it is mine. There is no right or wrong.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8
There have been times I have decorated the whole cover from top to bottom other times I just wrote a word and today I kept it simple-a sticker and cross sticker. I’m not very artistic yet but as I spend more time working on this process the more in depth my journal becomes. Also, the more I do my 30 minutes a day of writing/brain dumping the more I get in touch with my creative and spiritual side.
I love this time I get to spend with me. I am finding the time to spend with me again. At the very least, I need to spend 1-2 days a week with my journal and myself. It’s also a time I can spend with the kids because we can work on our journals as a family. My son is reaching an age where this isn’t cool anymore but he still enjoys the time we spend as a family.
However I work on my journal, I just make sure it remains mine. I stay in my lane and no one is allowed to enter my zone. I also do not cross over into my childrens’ lanes. I have to let them grow into who God intended them to be in this lifetime.Again, in a house full of Type A, control freaks, it can be fun seeing who gets out of their lane first. But what is truly amazing is realizing the talent and skills my children have. Their art work shows me how their brains work. It makes for a very fun family night.
It never ceases to amaze me what God reveals to me whether alone or with my family. He is an amazing God who has restored our home to a Christ centered home. He has brought me to a point where I experience joy and happiness on a daily basis. I am blessed
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
What scriptures define you?
Goodnight and God Bless
A Blessed Woman
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
What is Prayer/Mom Space?
Prayer/Mom Space is that place you go to think and talk to God. That place that brings you peace in the middle of a storm. It can be your spiritual space in your heart or a physical space in your home. I decided to make my space physical and devote it to the Lord because without Him I would have nothing. I also needed a space away from my bedroom, away from the kids, away from life where I can just sit down and turn off the world. That is the only way this blog can exist.
How do I create a space?
Simple. First and foremost, pray. Ask God to help you find a space you can go and meet with Him privately. You will be amazed at what He says to you. Second, research ideas.. What appeals to you? What makes you sit down, close your eyes and say “ahhh”? For me, my space has to be in a corner of the living room. So, two things have to happen. First, it must go with the rest of my living room decor and second, it must be able to take me away from one of the main areas of our home. Fortunately, we have teenagers who have forgotten our living room exists anymore so distractions will not be a big issue for me.
What is my style?
I am not an interior decorator. I like to create things but putting them together to create something beautiful in my home is a challenge. However, if I have something that sparks an idea or a few ideas I can create some very beautiful spaces.
Here’s my first process:
- Set a timer for 30 minutes
- Gather magazines
- Just cut out what appeals to me
- No thinking; just cutting
Once you are finished gather your pictures and analyze what you cut out. You will find some theme to them. For me, I like french country, rustic country and all things country.
This is the area of my home I will use to create that space. I rent my home for now so I am limited to what I can do. However, in June/July/August we will begin looking for our forever home and that means no holds barred for this DIY-er. Lee loves my home “piddling” as he calls it.
Excuse the dog, she was a little tired and needing of attention:)
My second process I will be do the following:
- Pray: God help me find some spaces that appeal to me. Reveal to me the style you wish for me to have to align Your will with my will.
- Set my timer for 30 minutes
- Get on Pinterest
- Create a Board for my space
- Search for things of interest to me-mom spaces, prayer spaces, heart rooms, rustic offices, french country; whatever God places on my heart to find.
- You can find my Mom Space Pinterest board when you click here
My girls will join me if they are around but for the most part I like to do stuff like this alone without distraction. This is a very important space for ME! This is key to making it successful for you. It is YOUR space. I have to tell myself that because many times I forget and let the kids take over spaces mentally, spiritually and physically.
I am not a selfish mom but I am learning to be one. Not because I’m mean and selfish but because I have to do what makes ME happy. I have to do for ME to do for others. ME is not a word a lot mom’s use very often. When I am with God that is my time. It does not belong to anyone else. In a house full of strong-willed Type A personalities -it can quickly be forgotten. But remember, He is Your Father. He is THE King of kings and Lord of lords. So you can afford to be a selfish, princess or diva for a few moments of planning for Him.
Finally, I will go shopping. I will search Craigslist, go to Canton (huge flea market in TX), hit the Goodwills and Salvation Army’s and as a last result go to the furniture store. Remember there is not right or wrong to this process. This is MY process that God put on my heart to share with you. Tweak it, use it, don’t use it but remember whatever you do it will be right for you and just as You are fearfully and wonderfully made as told in Psalm 139:14 so will this space for you and God be made. God does not make mistakes!
How will your space be created? What will it look like? There is not a right or wrong answer. This space is subjective. It is yours! Your opinion is the only one that counts. But I would love to hear about or see your space so please comment below or link to this blog. I will share mine as soon as it is created.
Whatever you do to create your space do it with this verse in mind and in heart. Pray it over the space you will be using. That’s what I have done.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Goodnight and God Bless
A Blessed Woman
“Moreover, there are many workmen with you, stonecutters and masons of stone and carpenters, and all men who are skillful in every kind of work. “Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the LORD be with you.” 1 Chronicles 22:15-16
Life is slowing down for me as I enter my last few days at my old job and begin the new one. As I have more time, I am rekindling my love for arts n crafts and gardening. I am loving myself again! To do this I use to have my art journal that was just a diary of all things Me. I had magazine pictures, quotes, pics of things I’d like to make, how to steps etc.
I have not done this in over 2 years and I miss it. Here are some of the things I use to create from this time. These of my favorite pieces to create.
Although you think creating a collage is “easy”, it isn’t. Getting the color schemes together and decorating with 2 blank canvases, 2 unstained wooden adorations, and lots of scrapbook paper and embelishments was much harder than I imagined it to be in my head. Time for both: 4 weeks.
This next piece I did for my oldest daugther’s boyfriend at the time. These were the $2 crosses in the wood section at Wal-mart. Because these are hand painted I could not guarantee the stains but I am pleased with how they turned out. Time: 2-3 weeks
These were based on the following bible verse: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love 1 Corinthians 13:13
These next few pieces were created for FFA at my son’s school. They took about 48 hours to create.
These were more gifts for family and friends. These took anywhere from 24 hours to 14 days. Some the techniques used required plaster of paris.
These are just a few of my art pieces that aren’t necessarily the greatest of art pieces but they are my pieces and I am pleased with them. I firmly believe all my creations were spirit filled. God gave me what I feel are skills I need to create these things.
In 2015, I will rekindle this hobby and see what He brings to me to create. I am re-invoking my “All Things Me” journal again. Tomorrow I will go out and buy markers, colored pencils, water pencils, and a beautiful journal-the expensive ones at Barnes and Noble. I am worth that! I will fill it with all the things that speak to me. I will ask friends, neighbors, and strangers for magazines. This is a great thing to get your kids doing as well. We use to have family time doing this one task every Friday night. My girls especially love doing this. My son wasn’t thrilled with it but it has taught him how to brainstorm now for those bigger projects. I will get a post up on the “how-to” of this soon.
What is God leading you to do in 2015? Not sure? Write for 30 minutes every morning when you wake up. Here are the rules:
- Set up a mom space in your home-it can be an office, it can be section of the living room, but whatever it is make it yours
- Wake up before everyone else in your home
- Set your timer for 30 minutes
- Get your journal and pen out
- Pray this simple prayer “God, please place Your will on my heart and help me see my purpose through Your eyes. Remove all negativity from my life for the next 30 minutes and bring me peace to see Your plan for me. Bring me the words I need to begin developing Your plan for me. Amen”
- Start writing
- Don’t let the pen stop
- Don’t think just write
- Grammar does not count
- Get it all out
- Stop when it goes off no matter what
- Do your devotionals and start your day
Goodnight and God Bless
A Blessed Woman