Happy Father’s Day

June 15, 2014

 

The Parable of the Lost Son

Jesus continued: There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

-Luke 15:11-32

 

At various points in each of our lives we can probably relate to one of the characters in this story.

For most of my life, I resonated with the second son. I was a very compliant girl, I did well in school, I rarely got into trouble; life was relatively easy for me. My brother had a harder time growing up, and for much of the last several years, the disease of addiction has kept him away from us (physically/mentally/etc.). The first time he went into treatment in 2008, I actually purchased a bottle of wine named “Prodigal Son” and was going to open and drink it when he was out and “healed.” (How naïve of me –­ as if it was that easy.)

I’ll never forget the Sunday, sitting in a pew at Bethlehem Baptist Church and John Piper was preaching on the parable of the prodigal son. In some ways I could relate to the, “What about me?!’ as the second son, wondering why the father in the story hadn’t ever really thrown him a party, even though he was the one who really “deserved” it. But it more so brought me to tears thinking, “if my brother does get clean and “comes home,” my dad will eagerly welcome him home joyfully with the biggest of hugs, no matter what.” That’s what love does. That’s what grace does. That’s what my dad does.

On this Father’s Day, since I’m currently without a car and was unable to purchase a traditional greeting card, I’m dedicating this blog post to my dad. He has been the greatest example to me of God’s unconditional love, and he has taught me what it means to be kind (even when it’s difficult), to be generous (even when you don’t have a lot to give), to show grace or forgiveness (even when you don’t want to), how important it is to choose joy (even when difficult circumstances arise), and that progress is waaaay more important than perfection (especially when giving up would be a lot easier).

From coaching just about every sports team that I was a part of growing up, if nothing else, capturing it on home video, to volunteering with the youth group together, to endless memories in Disney World (also captured on video), to our Vikings game dates, to meaningful conversations at the cabin, to laughing so hard our drinks come out our noses, I’m forever grateful for his support and encouragement and quality time spent together.

No matter what I’ve done, I know I can turn to you, dad, and you will accept me with a big hug. Thank you for being such a great father. I love you. (And thanks for getting a “fattened calf” for both Dan and me tonight, even if it was in the form of filet mignon at Chianti Grill.) :)

Cabinet Painting Project Process

October 30, 2013

before/after

I’ve had many requests to share the process I recently used to paint my cabinets, so what better format than my blog. Even though it has been several months since my last update, maybe I’ll get back into the groove of posting more often. We’ll see. I won’t promise anything yet. :)

Before I begin, please remember that I am by no means a professional. There are most likely better ways to paint your cabinets, but this was my process (most of my research coming from Pinterest). Also, my quantities of paint were estimated for 18 standard cabinet doors (fronts & backs) and six drawers.

So, here we go (it may seem like a lot at first glance, but I just want to be thorough.):

You will need the following supplies:

  • Screwdriver (pref. electric)
  • Drop cloth(s)
  • Several box lids, photo albums, etc., to use as spacers
  • 4″ Paint roller w/ 2-4 foam covers
  • 1″ Foam brush (1-2)
  • Paint tray
  • Blue Painters tape
  • 1 qt. Zinsser BIN, 1-2-3, or Cover Stain Primer
  • 1 gal. paint (in your color of choice), nothing less than semi-gloss, pref. glossy sheen
  • Lots of patience
  • Tin foil (optional)
  • Caulk (optional)

1. Take all the hardware off of the cabinets: pulls/knobs, hinges, etc. If you have an electric screwdriver, now is the time to put it to use, unless you don’t ever want to use your wrists again.

For those of you with older cabinetry, you may want to label your cabinet doors and their respective hinges, to make installing them at the end of the job a lot easier to ensure a better fit. I did this, but it probably wasn’t necessary since my cabinets are less than 10 years old. Post-its were used to label the doors, and individual snack-size ziploc bags, labeled with the same numbers, for storing the hardware. I put all the knobs in one large ziploc, since it didn’t matter which door/drawer those went back on.

Remove doors

2. Put down a drop cloth under your workspace, along with something to put under each door that will give a 1-2″ space from the floor (so you can paint the edges). Lay out all the doors on their spacers face/front up.

3. Time to prime your doors with the first coat. I recommend the Zinsser primers because they don’t require any sanding (a.k.a. less work!). I used the Cover Stain mainly because it was the cheapest of all of the options. You may want to ask the paint professional at your local hardware store what they recommend, but most of the reading I did recommended Zinsser. Also, if possible, try to open a window or keep a fan running, as the primer is pretty potent. My cats and I were pretty loopy by the end of the first coat. Good times! To save on clean-up time, I put a layer of aluminum foil in my paint tray before getting to work. Go ahead and pour some primer in the tray, get your foam roller ready, and go to town. I didn’t do this, but I would suggest using a 1″ foam brush to coat the edges and any beveling in your cabinets, then go over everything with the foam roller for a smoother finish. Once dry, turn over and coat the back side. I did one coat of primer per day, takes longer to dry than the paint.

photo 3

4. While you’re waiting for your primer to dry, you can move back to the kitchen and paint the outside of the cabinet area. Foam-brush the inside edges and roll the exterior surfaces. I chose not to paint the shelving, but that is up to you. Seemed like more work than what I was looking for. :) Don’t forget to put Painters tape wherever you don’t want paint. I forgot to do this and now I have to paint my kitchen walls because there are a couple of white stripes that I wasn’t anticipating. Wah wahhh.

4b. If you’re painting cabinets that haven’t been painted before, you will likely want to caulk any of the open joints (where the cabinets meet; corners, etc.). When the wood hasn’t been painted, the joints aren’t noticeable as when they have even a coat of primer on them. Since there aren’t many projects I do that involve caulk, I just purchased a small tube (approx 5.5 oz) of multi-purpose caulk in white. I just put a thin line in the corner joint of my cabinets and smoothed it out with a damp paper towel (to remove excess). Makes a world of difference.

1 coat primer

5. I did two coats of primer on the fronts of the doors, the outside of the cabinet area, and one coat on the backs & edges of the doors.

6. Time to paint! Even though I used white primer and white paint, I used a new roller cover and a new foam brush for the paint step. Same process as the primer, except I used two coats of paint on the edges and back of the doors, and three coats on the fronts of the doors. Since I was going with white paint and I have white appliances, I wanted to make sure I chose a paint that matched well and didn’t make the appliances look dingy/yellow. That process took me longer than the whole project, but I ended up going with Pittsburgh Paints’ “Ultra White” in semi gloss from Menards. If I could do it again, I would’ve chosen the glossy sheen as the doors seem to be more dull than I would’ve preferred. Live and learn.

1 coat paint

1 coat paint 2

7. Once the doors look properly covered and once they’re dry, it’s time to hang those babies back up. I probably could’ve painted one more coat on the fronts of my doors, but I was too anxious to get it done. Hanging the doors was easily the most frustrating part of the process for me. Put the hinges back on the door, and then screw them back into place on the frames. It was tricky for me because I was trying so hard to not ding or scratch my freshly painted beauties. Thankfully I only hung two of the doors upside down, so the most exciting part was finally here…

Add knobs

8. Put the door knobs back on! And voilà! You’re done!

Done!

The entire project took me four days and less than $50:

  • Monday: Removed hardware and doors. Purchased needed supplies.
  • Tuesday: One coat primer front & back.
  • Wednesday: One coat primer front. One coat of paint front & back.
  • Thursday: Two coats paint front, one coat back. Reinstall doors. Finish.

Approximate Cost (dependent of what supplies you currently have):

  • Primer: $12
  • Paint: $22
  • Roller/covers/brushes: $8
  • Caulk: $4

Hopefully this was helpful, and if there are questions you still may have, don’t hesitate to ask by adding a comment below. Thanks to all who have shared their positive comments! It has inspired me to finish the bottom half of the kitchen. :)

Botswana: 4 days!

March 19, 2013

sunset__giraffe_botswana-wallpaper

On Saturday, Jenny and I leave for Botswana. We’re going with Kids Around the World to build playgrounds for kids in the area. I’m so incredibly excited, but just as of yesterday the anxiety kicked in. Do I have everything I need? Will I be able to get everything done that I need to do before I leave? All these questions are filling my mind and I know that’s normal before a big trip like this, but the reality of how soon we leave is starting to make me anxious. I just need to relax and remember how amazingly ordained-by-God this trip was/is.

Anyway, we’re starting a blog to write about our adventures, so if you’re interested, definitely check it out: dumelabotswana2013.blogspot.com

Keep praying that I’ll be able to get all my funds in time for the trip. And if you want to donate to the cause, visit grouprev.com/botswanajb13. There was some miscommunication with KATW, and I ended up underestimating the flight costs by over $1000, so even though I thought I had surpassed my goal, I was actually UNDER funded by $1000. Kind of a thunder-stealer if you ask me, but I know it will all work out.

Frenchy Day!

February 21, 2013

Well today started out interesting (interestingly?)… I had a meeting this morning, which I thought was supposed to start at 9:30 a.m., but when I woke up at 8:23 a.m. I quickly realized I had misread my calendar and the meeting was really at 8:30 a.m. Also, yesterday I started feeling like I was getting a cold or something, and when I woke up this morning it was confirmed. I felt MISERABLE. I feel like I have razor blades in my throat every time I swallow. So my initial thought was (before I realized that it was actually an 8:30 a.m. meeting) that I would go to the Target Clinic to see if it was strep or something and be back to work in plenty of time. But then I remembered that this was an important meeting with our branding agency and I really didn’t want to miss it. So I quickly pulled myself together, razor blades and all, and made it to the meeting by 9 a.m. Not ideal, but at least I was there for part of it. It’s really difficult collaborating on creative concepts when everyone has their own aesthetic opinion. It’s just so subjective. Plus, web designers and print designers require to some degree a different set of creative standards. Anyway, long story short (not really), I’m glad I made it to the meeting, but I wish we all could’ve had more time to talk out our different needs/desires, especially when the creative aspect of the branding project greatly impacts all of us.

On a more positive note, it’s Frenchy Day at Bethel! What’s that, you ask? Well one of our favorite food service employees, Charlotte “Frenchy” French retired in January, and as a way to honor her time at Bethel and the legacy she created, she is coming back for one day only and we’re making a whole event of it. Some of her favorite meals will be served in the dining center (sesame beef!!!!), there is a photo-op available with Frenchy herself (or her cardboard cutout), autographed water bottles, etc. It should be pretty fun.

Well that’s about it for today. I have to get back to work for a few more minutes before I head down to grab some sesame beef. Yum!

 

2013 Motto Announcement!

January 8, 2013

I’ve finally decided on a motto for this year
(do do dooooo -*trumpet noise*):

Motto-2013

Progress not Perfection. I’m excited. I’ll go into more detail another time, and perhaps recap on Make Yourself Proud in 2012, but for now the announcement is all you’re getting.

Thank you, and goodnight.

I’m on Etsy!

November 26, 2012

My Etsy shop is now open! Get your owl on!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/jennab4designs

It’s Monday!

October 29, 2012

Image

The end.

Top Ten Wednesday: 9/26 Edition

September 26, 2012

Hey y’all! Guess what? I’m actually posting on a Wednesday for the first time in what feels like forever! Aren’t you proud of me?

I’ll be honest, I’m pretty impressed, considering I have probably never been so busy at work. Priorities, people!

Anyways, here are the top ten things that I feel like writing about today:

  1. The saying that “blondes have more fun”  may actually be true because, I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been having some pretty good times since dying my hair a lighter color.
  2. Last Saturday for example, I went to the Como Zoo with some friends, then to dinner at O’Gara’s Irish Pub, then drinks and conversation at W.A. Frost. I haven’t laughed that hard and for such a continual period of time in, well, I can’t even remember when. It was so fun. Then after that (a.k.a. after my old friends went home to bed), I met up with some other friends in uptown and continued the good times until the wee hours of the morning.
  3. Sunday was fun only because I got to sleep in and cuddle with my cats all day on the couch, and we all know that chalks right up there with one of the best activities of all time. For me, at least.
  4. By the way, W.A. Frost is one of my new favorite places. It’s just such a cool environment. And if anyone has any connection to my future husband, I think the outdoor patio would be a great place to get engaged. Just sayin’.
  5. I actually got goosebumps as I walked past, imagining the man of my dreams, surrounded by a beautiful garden and twinkle lights, down on one knee. Seriously. Queue the waterworks.
  6. In other news, I’m currently obsessed with Caramel Apple Suckers. Yep, the ones that were popular like 10 years ago. They’re only 15¢ in the campus store with my discount, so I splurged the other day and got one. I’ve been hooked ever since.
  7. You know what else I’m hooked on, that I’m pretty sure they put some addictive ingredient in it? Any powdered drink mix, mainly of the Crystal Light (or Market Pantry) variety. Raspberry Lemonade. Mojito. Cherry Limeade. Yum. My mouth is watering just thinking about a big cold glass of one of those bad boys.
  8. Speaking of bad boys… just kidding. I have nothing to say about bad boys. Only good boys.
  9. One of my new from-a-distance friends came home today after being gone almost five months in Europe, so it will be fun to see him (whenever that happens).
  10. Unrelated: I desperately need a haircut. I think all my hair bleaching didn’t help, but it is just so dry. All I need is a little trim. It will probably have to wait until Friday (payday!)… unless I can find some spare change under the couch cushions or something.

The end. See y’all soon.

Y’all — Twice in one blog post? What’s wrong with me?

(Don’t answer that.)

 

Beloved

September 21, 2012

A song to take you into the weekend… It’s not new, but it’s so good. My theme song right now.

“Beloved” by Tenth Avenue North Listen

Lyrics:

Love of my life

Look deep in my eyes

There you will find what you need

 

Give me your life,

The lust and the lies,

And the past you’re afraid I might see

You’ve been running away from me

 

You’re my beloved

Lover, I’m yours

Death shall not part us

It’s you I died for

For better or worse

Forever we’ll be

My love it unites us and it binds you to me

It’s a mystery

 

Love of my life

Look deep in my eyes

There you will find what you need

I’m the giver of life

I’ll clothe you in white

My immaculate bride you will be

Come running home to me

 

You’re my beloved

Lover, I’m yours

Death shall not part us

It’s you I died for

For better or worse

Forever we’ll be

My love it unites us and it binds you to me

 

You’ve been a mistress, my wife,

Chasing lovers that won’t satisfy

Won’t you let me make you my bride?

You will drink of my lips and you’ll taste new life

 

You’re my beloved

Lover, I’m yours

Death shall not part us

It’s you I died for

For better or worse

Forever we’ll be

My love it unites us and it binds you to me

It’s a mystery

 

Top Ten Wednesday: 8/29 Edition!

August 29, 2012
  1. First things first: it’s been two weeks since I’ve had money. Somehow, God has provided. Coincidentally though, I’m at -$338.80 in my checking account. So there’s that.
  2. I will be shouting for joy come midnight tomorrow (Thursday) night – payday!
  3. Then crying; since two days after that, I will be practically back to zero.
  4. I love money problems. (not!)
  5. I do love (trying to change the subject) that this has been the first week of classes, so campus is abuzz with students. It’s so much fun.
  6. I’ve been busy on Facebook posting Flat Jay photos from around campus (getting ready for the State Fair), and photo booth pics that people have submitted (once at the State Fair). It’s great how excited everyone is about Flat Jay (and real Jay)!
  7. I’ll never forget when real Jay said (in response to us calling him Flat Jay), “Better than Flatulent Jay.” HA!
  8. I’ve been busy on Facebook, but on a more personal note (not work related), sending messages back & forth with one of said crushes from last time I blogged. That’s been fun. Good for a smile, if nothing else.
  9. Other things that make me smile: Brumby (cat #3) finding a new happy home with Sherie, Lace & Mike choosing a wedding date/venue, Roch day with Becks last Sunday (and mani/pedis with Lisa & Tina “small nail”), Gwen and babycakes coming into town this weekend. Among other things, I’m sure.
  10. Oh, I’m blonde now. Remember my hair color poll back in ’09? Well, my hair is very similar to the blonde photo, except the under layers are dark. I actually really like it. I would probably like it a lot more if I was able to wake up in time to wash my hair every day. But no. Not yet.

That’s all for now, folks. Thanks for reading! See you soon!


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