Friday, May 29, 2015

The Getting- the-House-Ready-to-Sell Whirlwind


It's been some ride.

The endless conversations, the whispered praying-without-ceasing, the confirmation in our hearts that YES, we always said we'd know when it was time to go and now it is.  The straight out, exhausting non-stop nuts and bolts of our month long side-by-side work to get the house to its absolute Sunday best.

And then all those endless hours of watching HGTV finally paid off as we staged each room 'just so,' a warm and homey {but not too personal} invitation to prospective buyers to imagine making themselves at home in this place.  Followed by the act of signing papers as we put our home out there for all the world to see.  And then our You Tube debut!  {Be sure to click on the gizmo on the bottom right to get the big picture!}

It's all been a real trip.  In the best sense of the word.  Really.

And you guys, well you've been the BEST cheerleaders ever!  As I began to share our transition journey, you surrounded me with the sweetest encouragements and virtual hugs, heaven-sent prayers and emails as I put my heart right out there on the table.  And I quickly realized that you were coming with me and I wouldn't need to say any online good-byes.

Can I tell you that this is an immense gift since there are so many difficult in-person farewells going on?

In a nutshell, here's a few things I learned in the whirlwind of getting the house ready to sell.

1.  If you ever made a list, now's the time.
He had a list, I had a list, we had a list together.  If anything or anybody had to be contacted / bought / accomplished / scheduled / checked out in some way, shape or form, it needed to be written down.  Period.

2.  If you ever stuffed a folder, this is it.
Every scrap of paper, every receipt, every estimate, every bit of information was kept in one easy-to-grab location.  I lost count how many times I flipped that folder open to dig some kind of much-needed paper out.  I blessed the day we thought of consolidating every bit of info into one place.

3. If you ever underestimated your abilities, forget about it.
I've always been a coach potato and never knew a screwdriver from a hammer{well, almost}.  But it was all hands on deck to get everything done in the very small window of time we had set for ourselves, so I had no choice but to climb ladders and strip wallpaper and spackle a million nail holes and haul garbage and make big decisions much more quickly than I would have preferred.

4.  If you ever bought supplies, buy more than you think you need.
You think you won't, but you WILL run out of paint or caulking stuff or paper towels or mulch.  Always.  So we bought more than we needed, no matter what it was, and we were able to return the leftovers easily.

5.  If you ever said 'thanks' right and left, this is the opportunity.
To our realtor team and the photographer they sent our way to capture the beautiful pictures for the listing ... we hit it off with them all right from the first minute.

To the guys at Home Depot and the hardware store and the garden center.  They know their stuff.

The flooring installers and the appliance delivery men deserve some kind of medal.  They didn't get bored with our questions and observations or irritated by our obsessive insistence on details and minutia.  We tipped them well and called their bosses and sang their praises.  I hope they get big fat raises.

And then there was the patience and grace we had to keep extending back and forth to each other, husband and wife, as we got under each other's skin on more than a few occasions.  And the great relief in knowing that God was right in the midst of all the craziness as we forged together 'round the next corner.


Let's talk houses.  
Updating, staging, listing, selling.

visiting with Kelly  *  Mary  *  Holley  *  Lyli  *  Leigh  *  Emily

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Michael W. Smith Giveaway!

Michael's been around forever.  

That ain't no slam ... I mean it in the absolute best sense.  I'm not saying that the guy is old, it's just that he's kind of been a steady companion along the way, you know?  His is the music that's accompanied us along the journey, the tunes that have streamed from our ears down to our hearts and looped back again.  More often than not, the richness of his work has touched us someplace deep so that the cleansing tears could finally begin to flow.  He's brought us to that awesome throne room kind of worship.  He's sung about the bittersweet beauty of relationships, the pain of saying good-bye, and making a difference in the world.

He's been there for as long as I can remember.

And I like that in this era where artists come and go, he keeps returning with music that blends the beauties of substantial faith with a rich creativeness.  Yep, even after more than 15,000,000 albums, 28 number one hits, 3 Grammys and more than 40 Dove awards.

About this video?  He says, 'I'm really passionate about the song SKY SPILLS OVER.  It was fun creating it in the studio and I've been overwhelmed at the response it gets when we perform it live every night.  My son Ryan is a really talented filmmaker so I always enjoy working with him on a project.  But what made this project even more special was that 3 of my own grandkids were in the video.  This video was a lot of fun to make.  I hope people enjoy it!'

{And to get the best viewing of the video, be sure to click the full screen gizmo on the bottom right!}

Michael W. Smith.  Grandpa.  Hard to believe, huh?

I've got a copy of his brand new CD, SOVEREIGN, for one of his long time / brand new fans.  Just leave a comment on this post by Monday, June 1st at 9 am {eastern, US & Canada only}.  I'll be sure to let you know who walks home with his new songs.

And maybe it'll be you.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, May 25, 2015

In Which We Rejoice in Her Continued Sobriety

I'm delighted that the lovely, courageous client you met via Praise God . . . She's 2 Years Sober has once again given the thumbs up to sharing her story of continued, grace-infused sobriety.  Please feel free to share her words of celebration with your social media friends.  Be assured that a surprising number of your followers will personally resonate deeply with her daily victories.

And you'd never even know.

*    *    *

Dear Friends and Family,

On this Memorial Day weekend I feel grateful to those who served and presently serve, knowing that I can not imagine the sacrifices that are made on a daily basis.  I cannot comprehend the solemn realities many have faced in the line of duty.  I am inspired by their courage and awed by their sense of duty.

On this Memorial Day weekend I feel grateful to be sober and content.  Gone is the frenzied obsession to make sure I have enough wine to get me through a long weekend.  Gone are the searches for an open store (for just a few hours on a holiday) before the weekend ended.  To be free to enjoy life as it comes is a wonderful blessing.

At the onset I was disappointed once again not to have a plan, no barbeque or picnic, but quickly changed my thinking, deciding to make the best out of a stellar weekend.  So I have contented myself to work outside some and then relax close to home.

Yesterday we spent a quiet day by the lake reading and then taking a short walk.  Today, after some yard work, I am actually relaxing under the red maple finishing the book I started yesterday.  For me to be relaxing in my own yard is something to mark on the calendar.  It seldom happens.  I have invisible blinders keeping me from seeing the weeds!  I actually feel content and peaceful.  It is a wonderful feeling.

Today on this unofficial beginning of the summer season, I am grateful for the beautiful weather, for the amazing return of lush summer foliage and beautiful flowers ... I am feeling relaxed, blessed, grateful, looking forward to the summer of 2015.  I hope this finds you in good health and happy spirits as well.

Love and blessings to all.

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taking the celebration to Kelly's  .  Holley's  .  Lyli's

Friday, May 22, 2015

You Are Absolutely Unique . . . & the monthly blog coaching giveaway

Something special about you causes your words to soar high, to grab hearts, to make a difference.

There's a certain quality about your online space that's subtly but certainly unique.

What's drawing people repeatedly back to your place to linger, to visit, to connect?

Let's figure out your appeal . . .

My faith impacts the core of who I am in these ways . . .

My family history has shaped my story because . . .

These are the victories have propelled me forward . . .

The impact of the disasters that have stretched me is . . .

My unique personality quirks that make heads turn are . . .

The passion that gives my life meaning is . . .

I show my readers I care about them by offering . . .

My irresistible message is . . .

In each monthly blogheart posting, we go behind the scenes of our writing,
past the numbers and the how-tos, and headed straight to the heart of what we do and why.

The best part?

FREE name-it-and-claim-it blog coaching session is offered to the first reader who leaves a comment.  If that's you, simply shoot me an email at and we'll set up a time to chat. 


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You'll find me visiting with 
Kelly  .  Mary  .  Holley  .  Lyli


quirky sea creature's photographer unknown

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

For Sale . . . Our Much-Loved Haven

All's been scrubbed and staged ... 
our best foot forward in every way we can make happen.

Some gorgeous photographs for the online listing have been snapped by Wendy
capturing the essence of this place we've fondly called home.

The real estate sign spreads the news, 
holding court along the roadside.

A lockbox stands at the ready, a willing sentry, 
an invitation to turn the key and take it all in.

We eagerly welcome browsing guests, 
confident that God has just the right family to make our home their own.

After 21 years, our beloved haven is for sale.
To say I have mixed emotions would be a great big understatement ...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

When Your 10 Year Old Sweetheart Decides to Be Baptized

The phone rings {or was it an email?} and we get the most delightful news that our tender gentle-spirited ten year old granddaughter has decided to be baptized.

In five days.

So we put the finishing touches on the house as we get it ready to sell, tie up loose ends here and there, and shift around a few plans.  After this past week's rather windswept breathless days, we pack our bags and jump into the car for the five hour trek to Annapolis.

For this, the sacred, matters.

It's right up there with the day she was born.  And her someday, far off wedding.  It's that earth shaking, that meaningful, that precious.  Yes it is.

This, her decision to honor to Christ by letting everyone know in a very public way, that her life belongs to Him and Him alone.

I will remember this evening always, surrounded by family and many friends, eager little cousins straining to catch every glimpse of water sloshing over the side of the tank.  Her story of salvation read aloud, her parents, brothers, and sisters gathered 'round the sacred pool, her dad asking her the most meaningful of questions before he oh-so-gently lowers her under the water and raises her up, symbolizing sin put to death, new spiritual life come to dwell forever.

We give her the Bible that was given to me in 8th grade, our own words of love side-by-side with the original inscription.

And all I can do is thank God for this sacred mercy, to see yet one more granddaughter proclaim her forever love for Jesus in a pool of warm water.

The tears pool in my own eyes as I smile with a peaceful joy, as I release another huge sigh of gratitude.

And for the millionth time this week, I can't help but praise the God I adore, whose blessings never seem to come to an end.

* Yes, Kathryn's our sweet girl who created that little video that just about went viral around here, the one welcoming her six month old brother Tyler home from the hospital for the very first time ...

*  Sharing joy with Kelly  .  Mary  .  Holley  .  Lyli  .   Susan
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