Tiny House Tuesday // Our Choice Will Floor You

Tiny House Tuesday

 

Okay, maybe our choice of flooring isn’t that surprising but it surprised me.

For over a year, I read magazines and pinned every floor that caught my eye, but this one never made it to the board.

It all began on a whim when we decided to “run in” to Liquid Lumbidators, as I call it, just to see what they had to offer. (This is like stopping by the Humane Society when you’re allergic to dogs but taking shots in hopes of one day adopting.)

 

Nothing stood out to me.

 

Until we spotted “Bull Barn Oak”. A few ideas began floating around in my brain while eying the sizable sample:

  • Its pattern⏤white, gray, taupe, with a dash of mint and distressed⏤is sure to give the tiny space an older feel. Or at least that’s what I hope. With many of the windows being the efficient type, it needs a little aging. An antique mantel can’t carry that mission on its own.
  • Because of the distressed pattern, the crisp white walls will be smooth and simple. Shiplap will crown the ceiling. The last thing I want is colors and textures vying for my attention when I walk through the door. Can’t we all just get along?
  • This last point is sponsored by Brian’s sanity and delight. The entire floor (all 144 square feet of it) can be installed in one day. #bestdayever And, it was on sale, saving us hundreds of dollars. Let’s just say that’s quite the blessing at this particularly pricey point of the process.

 

Tiny House Flooring

{The picture doesn’t do the floor justice but it’s hard to control the lighting in a Lumbidator sort of place.}

 

I admit to having doubts whiz past me a time or two because I’d planned to use a solid color in hopes of making the tiny space seem not so tiny.

 

But for every doubt, a smile emerged as I imagined opening my door to this funky floor.

 

I’m not an interior decorator, I just know what I love, and it’s not very often we get to choose a “major” purchase based simply on delight. Will our choice of flooring look as I imagine when it’s installed in a couple of weeks? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

When is the last time you chose something based purely on delight?

 

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 34:7

“At root, what God delights in about us is that we delight in him.” — John Piper

 

Thanks for stopping by the Tiny House on the Hill! If you’d like to become a part of our *tiny* community, skip over to the sidebar for more information. Every other week, you’ll receive a note from me in the form of a blog post, sharing how we might see God at work in our lives and how this can transform our lives, as well as others.

One of the monthly posts, like this one, sheds a little light on the process (no pun intended) of building a tiny space of my own and hopefully inspires you to consider a way of finding your own space.

 

Need Direction? Gather Co-Listeners + A Next Right Thing Giveaway!

Becoming a Worthy Listener

“Gather Co-Listeners” is one of my favorite chapters in Emily P. Freeman’s latest book, The Next Right Thing.

In it, Emily shares how, in the midst of transition and all the questions that came with it, she and her husband invited a few trusted friends in different stages of life to simply listen to their words and see what they had to say. Although they weren’t asking for advice, they were open to it.

She says, “We wanted people we loved and trusted to hear what we were saying, to see if there was something obvious we were missing, and to be with us in the midst of our uncertainty.”

Their friends listened, asked questions, and prayed for them. They even agreed to do it again a few months later. Emily goes on to share how God used their community of co-listeners to eventually help make her husband’s next step clear. They didn’t sit around complaining about how people weren’t showing up in their time of need. Instead, Emily and her husband prayerfully and intentionally sought out co-listeners to join them on their journey.

She shares more details in her FABulous book, so while you wait for your copy to arrive (or possibly win one here!), here are three simple things Emily suggests you keep in mind if gathering your own group of co-listeners:

  • “One, do it on purpose. …There’s something powerful about gathering people specifically for the purpose of listening, asking questions, and reflecting.”
  • “Two, the co-listeners don’t have to know one another, but they all need to know you well.”
  • “Finally, you have to ask them.”

Brian and I have shared in a small setting, but I can’t say we’ve ever intentionally invited others over to simply listen. That might just be our next right thing! Thanks, Emily.

 

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Becoming a Worthy Co-Listener

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” – Karl A. Menninger

 

Think back to the last time you felt listened to — How did it make you feel?

  • Understood?
  • Loved?
  • Connected?
  • Relieved?
  • Healed?

Chances are your listener possessed one or all of these fundamental elements:

 

A Godly Motivation

 

Several years ago when Brandon, our oldest son, and his new bride, Megan, called to ask if they could come over for a few minutes, we knew something was up. Turns out, he was offered a position as a worship pastor in Ohio. You know, the eight-hours-away-Ohio.

At that moment, my flesh wanted to cry out, “No, please don’t leave!” but quietly below the chaotic flesh was the remembrance of inked lines in my prayer journal where I often asked God to use our boys for His glory. Although this mama’s heart struggled, trying to hold on for all the wrong reasons was not going to happen.

{I wish I always listened with two ears and a heart bent toward heaven, but I don’t.}

So before agreeing to be a co-listener in any setting, maybe we would be wise to ask God to search our hearts first.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23, 24

If we find ourselves waiting for the person to hurry and finish up so we can one-up her, or tell her about our experience (that we thought of while she was sharing), or give advice based on anything but God’s truth, we may want to stay here for a while and soak.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 ESV

 

Spiritual Maturity in Action

 

Since joining our church last year, I’m reminded of how spiritual maturity has little to do with age. Our small group consists mostly of young couples and college-aged students. I marvel at their wisdom and knowledge of the Word. But I’m especially inspired by the tenacity in which they seek to grow in their faith.

Speaking the truth in love, birthed from a godly motivation, benefits the body of Christ, whether we co-listen in a group setting or over a lavender latte in the local cafe. *wink*

Rather, speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ… Ephesians 4:15

 

Embrace the Ministry of Listening

 

“Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I’d never considered listening as a ministry, but it’s true, isn’t it? When we listen well, we make ourselves available to share in the work of Christ, lending the ears of God and the power of the Word to those who seek it.

 

So much of Emily’s book has inspired me to reclaim forgotten truths, like the beauty discovered in a listening ear.

The Next Right Thing

If you would like to have an opportunity to win a copy of **The Next Right Thing, by Emily P. Freeman, simply share one way you would like to improve your listening skills in the comment section below.

**This is an affiliate link which means if you purchase this book by clicking the link above, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. {Savin’ for that latte!}

Soli Deo Gloria! (Glory to God Alone)

{Tiny House on the Hill subscribers: Be sure to check your inbox tonight. Your Monthly Letter includes the first peek of our flooring choice for the tiny house, specific ways to pray for children as they head back to school, and ways to use a simple picnic basket to remind people of God’s love. I appreciate you so much!}

 

Tiny House Tuesday // A Shield for All Seasons

Tiny House Tuesday

 

I didn’t want insulation used in the tiny ceilings.

It cost more in both time and money, and studios shown on Pinterest didn’t use it (hello, white-washed beams). Need I say more? *wink*

But my husband, being the wise steward that he is, insisted. The hours spent writing + the depth to which I detest feeling hot = a quickly depleted electricity budget, so Brian dressed in his Oompa Loompa outfit and got to work.

Insulation Man

You can see from the door color that he started this project months ago, one rectangle at a time. Now that the exterior is complete (except for my porch light), he’s oompa loompin’ right along.

I may not fully appreciate a prickly-pink shield around the walls and ceilings right now, but I know that day is coming. Stifling southern summers and bitter cold days will ensure this heart ends up grateful to the hubby who made it happen.

 

Receiving protection creates a grateful heart.

 

King David defined a grateful heart in Psalm 3:3:

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

When he wrote this, his son and former friends had turned against him. Some were saying there was no help for him from God because he didn’t deserve it. (2 Samuel 16:8) But it’s for this very reason that Psalm 3:3 sweeps our soul off its feet with the same excitement of a bridegroom carrying his new bride over the threshold.

I love this! David isn’t asking God to be his shield⏤he’s declaring that God is his shield. And in this truth, he finds rest, both spiritually and physically. (Psalm 3:5)

 

David doesn’t allow anyone or anything to cloud his confidence in God’s power of redemption.

 

He knows Whose he is, and that’s a shield of protection that no season in life, circumstance or person can penetrate.

Though the insulation will soon hide behind the walls, its protection will be evident in every season.

“…your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3

May God’s power and protection be evident in every season of our lives as we declare that He is our shield!

 

 

Deepen Your Prayer Life with On Bended Knee by Crickett Keeth (Win a Copy!)

You know how it feels to meet someone for the first time but instead of the awkward pause, you settle in quickly, like they’re a long lost friend?

Crickett Keeth is one of those people for me. We first “met” on the Facebook Blue Ridge Bible Study Writers page several years ago. From the get-go, I think we both knew we’d discovered a peep for life. We’ve prayed for each other and cheered one another on with all the sis-boom-bah we could muster.

Here’s one thing I know: when Crickett says she’s praying for me, she is⏤there’s no well intentioned fluff here. She’s on the battle lines for women around the world, those in her church, and the participants of her NEW release, “On Bended Knee: Praying Like Prophets, Warriors, and Kings” by Moody Publishers. Notice I didn’t say, readers. In this 8-week study, participants are encouraged to engage with the Word and the questions along the way. The goal isn’t to form a perfect answer, but to allow God to use those questions to probe our hearts and deepen our prayer life.

So without further ado, it’s an honor to introduce you to Crickett.

 

Welcome, Crickett! So tell us, how did you get started writing Bible studies?

 

I led a small group when I lived in Dallas, and we used a number of popular Bible studies on the market. I would add questions to help facilitate discussion and get them to think deeper about the passage. One summer, they challenged me to write our next Bible study. As I prayed about it, I felt God was leading me to say yes. So, I wrote that first Bible study on the characters in Hebrews 11 found in the Book of Genesis. I loved writing it and knew I wanted to continue. And twenty years later, I’m still writing Bible studies!

 

Why did you choose to write a study on prayer?

 

I actually wrote this Bible study several years ago for the Women’s Ministry at my church. At that time, my life was out-of-control busy, and my time with the Lord was becoming more of a ritual than a relationship. Yes, I still had quiet times, and I was praying. But I felt like my prayers were rushed and missing something. I was just going through the motions, but not enjoying that intimate time alone with God in prayer. So, I cried out to God one day, asking Him to change my prayer life and bring me back to that sweet intimacy with Him through prayer that I had previously experienced. He led me to begin looking at prayers in the Bible, and that’s how this study was born.

 

Can you tell us a little more about the study and what we can expect?

 

On Bended Knee is an eight-week study looking at the prayers of eight men and women in the Bible. Each week is divided into five days, and each day has four parts. Looking to God’s Word directs us to the Scripture for that day, guiding us through observation and interpretation questions. Looking Upward challenges us to wrestle with thought-provoking questions and promotes rich group discussion. Looking Deeper encourages us to look at additional passages that will deepen our study. Looking Reflectively focuses on application and reflection of the lesson.

I don’t give a lot of commentary before and after each question because I want to guide you into discovering what God’s Word is saying instead of telling you the answers. I don’t want it to feel like you’re reading a book, but that you’re digging deeper into God’s Word as I guide you. However, some of the questions are challenging and make us wrestle with the answers. So, there is a Leaders’ Guide at the back of the book to walk you through those more challenging questions.

 

Which prayers do you highlight, and why did you choose those prayers?

 

We look at the prayers of Jesus, Paul, Job, Hannah, David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Nehemiah. I chose the prayers that I continually go to in my life situations—prayers that have helped me when I couldn’t express what was in my heart. There are many more prayers in the Bible we could have studied, and I wish I could have written on all of them. Maybe that will be a Part 2.

As I “listened in” on the prayers of these men and women, I wanted to look at the heart behind the prayer. What motivated them to pray? How did they approach God? How did God answer? How did their relationship with God deepen as a result of their prayers?

 

Who is this study for, and how will it impact their lives?

 

On Bended Knee is for anyone who wants to go deeper in their relationship with God through prayer. If you’re dissatisfied with your prayer life, wanting to be more consistent in prayer, or looking to deepen your intimacy with God, then this Bible study was written for you.

 

Where can we find this study?

 

It’s available now on Amazon, Moody, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbook.com

Crickett Keeth is the Women’s Ministry Director at First Evangelical Church in Memphis, Tennessee, where she writes and teaches the women’s Bible studies. She is the author of The Gift of Rest, Sumatra with the Seven Churches (co-authored with Sandra Glahn), and her newly released study from Moody, On Bended Knee. Crickett was on staff with Cru for ten years and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching regularly at her own church, she also speaks at women’s conferences and retreats. Learn more at www.crickettkeeth.com.

 

Thank you, Crickett, for taking time for this interview, and for offering a free copy of this much-needed study to one blessed reader of mine.

Before you go, is there some way Crickett and I can pray for you today? Share your request in the comment section, or email me privately using the icon in the sidebar, if you like. 

To enter the giveaway, share who you’ve recently met that feels more like a long lost friend.

 

Tiny House Tuesday // Finding Ideas in a Magazine + Starbucks Giveaway

Tiny House Tuesday

With the interior work just around the tiny bend, my abstract ideas need to harden like concrete.

For instance, there will be the eight-foot-long desk but we’ve not yet decided on the materials. There will be walls, but will they be planked or smooth? And the floors, will they be wood of a lighter or darker tone? These are just a few of the questions tapping on my brain when I’m all tapped out.

Pinterest is usually my go-to when searching for new ideas. But last week, while facing a stash of multi-layered eye candy otherwise known as magazines, I spotted two letters⏤Ti⏤peeking out from the left side of a Dwell Magazine. Could it be? Why yes, yes it could:

I rescued the latest issue of Tiny Homes magazine and later turned the pages one by one, hoping to gather ideas into my concrete bucket. Some corners received the coveted fold-over while others were pleasantly ignored.

Here are some of my favorite fold-overs for various reasons:

 

Tiny House Desk

Any time I spot a tiny desk in front of a window, I take note. It seems like many are bar height, maybe because it doubles as a table for those who live in their tiny abode.

 

Tiny House Charleston

These window boxes make the colorful Rainbow Row-inspired siding pop. Let’s just say there may be a patch of pink flowers peering in my windows down the road.

 

Tiny House Community in Greenville SC

I learned there’s a tiny house community only minutes from my house (now I know of two!) Yeah, that Greenville.

 

Tiny Gardens

A garden, be it veggies or flowers, doesn’t require a lot of space to be productive. One day, Lord willing, there will be a garden filled with hollyhocks, foxgloves, and other vintage flowers framing the tiny house. But first, a long strand of free weekends await, something we’ve not enjoyed for over a year. (For more tiny garden ideas, visit my Pinterest boards!)

 

And finally, sometimes it’s not so much about finding what you want to put in your space, but what you don’t want…like, say, these antler rails. Make it stop.

 

When the interior work begins, watch for specific questions on Instagram. I look forward to your feedback!

 

But for now, just for fun…what’s your favorite magazine? Do tell!

{Leave a comment to have your name included in a Starbucks giveaway. Enjoy a cup of coffee while dog-earing your own pages!}

Thank you for spending time at the Tiny House on the Hill today.

 

 

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