4/28/16

Looking for God in everyday life



I was looking through photos on my computer this morning and came across some I took of my niece, Natalie last summer.  She had fun running around in my yard that day with fairy wings on and I had fun trying to capture it.

Looking at these photos reminded me of the curiosity and wonder in a child's eyes as they explore the world around them.  It also reminded me of how it's always been the "little things" in this life that mean the most to me.

I used to refer to it as "looking for God in everyday life" and I was intentional in my looking.  I would try to find one simple thing every day that reflected God's goodness and it would help me keep things in perspective no matter what I was going through.

With that in mind, I have decided that I need to be more intentional about that even now, and I have decided to use my love of Instagram to document it.  Beginning May 1st, I'll be making an effort to post one picture each day throughout the month to share what God is showing me.  I'd love for you to follow along and look for God in your everyday life as well.  Look for me @lynnlangford and let's use the hashtag #lookingforGodineverydaylife and be reminded of all the blessings God has given us.

4/27/16

Our Bonus Room: a multi-functional space


We've been in our home for 7 1/2 years now and I finally made it a priority to get our bonus room in shape.  When we built our home, we added this space above the garage because we knew we'd need extra space for things like our tanning bed and Scott's never ending supply of music equipment.  Note to my bro-in-law if you're reading this: that's your guitar in this picture....don't you need it back lol?!

Anyway, this upstairs room became a regular hangout spot for Dillan throughout high school.  When he had friends over or we hosted a family function, all the kids ended up upstairs most of the time.  It was a hodgepodge of furniture pieces as you can see from the pictures below.  (Sorry about the quality.  I always forget to take good before pics of projects with my camera and snapped these at the last minute with my phone). There was actually another small table up there before too that took up even more space.


BEFORE PICTURES







In some ways, it's still a little hodgepodge, but I was going for an eclectic look anyway and I think it works.  The room is now functional and a pretty cool spot to hang out.  And it didn't cost a dime! Which means....more money for other fun projects!

So....here's a look at the space now...starting with the view from the stair case leading up from the door in the kitchen.




AFTER PICTURES


Now doesn't it look better?

The tanning bed and treadmill are at the back of the room out of the way.  The middle of the room is for relaxing and watching tv/movies or playing the Wii.  I also use this space to workout with my weights.  


The leather futon is pretty comfortable and will be great for an extra sleeping space if we have company overnight.  I still need to get some cute accent pillows and a throw for the couch, so that's next on my to do list.


I used an old metal school desk for an end table and Scott's wood cajon slides under it easily. The cute wood top table and green chairs make a great spot for a snack or doing some work.


The back corner was the perfect spot for a dresser for storage and to hold family photos and now Scott has his own special spot in the house for his sound equipment and instruments.





I had hoped to take most of the guitars out of their cases to save on space, but Scott reminded me that some of them are better off left in the cases. I'm still hoping to figure out a way to store those so he'll have more room.


It's a small room packed with alot of things.  Normally, I wouldn't want something all the way down every wall, but I think it works in here.


Because I chose to do an eclectic space, it was so easy to just shop the house.  The fact that Dillan is now a full time glamper didn't hurt either!  Naturally, he didn't want to get rid of all of his furniture, so what I didn't incorporate here, I was able to put in his bedroom. I even pulled out some old art work from childhood.





Scott and I have been enjoying the room so much!  We exercise up there together and he now has space to practise his music without having to hunt for pieces to his equipment.  Dillan still enjoys the space too and is able to get alot more work done when he's home for a visit.  The space is even "Lucy approved"!





4/25/16

It only takes a spark.....



It only takes a spark to get a fire going
And soon all those around can warm up in the glowing....

The words to this song quickly came to my mind over the weekend when Scott and I participated in a 3 day revival in an outdoor tabernacle in a nearby community.  I was asked to take pictures for the event and while looking through the lens of the camera, I was reminded of how much I love to see people worship!

I've always been a bit of a "people watcher" anyway, but I love to see a person who has become totally unaware of those around them because their spirit is in total surrender to the Father, worshiping Him at the Throne of Grace.   

I also love to see a new Christian worshiping and soaking up God's Word without a care in the world of what time it is and how long they've been there. There's just something about being in God's presence that fulfills every need and leaves us wanting more of Him!

As a believer for a long time, I always come away from such experiences feeling renewed and refreshed in my faith.  The struggles and trials of this life will take their toll on all believers at some point, but through the Body of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit, we can be revived and receive strength to keep pressing on.

Through the teaching I'm sitting under at church and through this revival, I have been really encouraged in my walk with Christ.  My passion for pursuing my purpose in this life has been stirred and God is reminding me of what He's called me to do.  He's also reminding me that I don't have to do "big" things to please Him.  I just need to be faithful to seek His Will for me on a daily basis.

As the fire of revival burns in my heart, I am reminded of 2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV): “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands”.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to stand before the Lord one day and find out I missed out on the blessing of bearing much fruit for Christ.  I don't want to have regrets that I didn't step out in faith more and do what He's called me to do.  God has a purpose for each of us in this life, and as the Body of Christ, we are the hands and feet of Jesus in this world and we need to be about His business.
  
I think about what it means to “fan into a flame”. Although I love a good fire, I’ve never actually started one myself.  Yes, I know that’s a surprise. This Wilcox County, deer hunting, country girl is afraid I’ll smoke the house up.  But I have watched my husband and others build fires.  I guess if I were on the verge of freezing to death, I’d get the job done.  I do know that sometimes you have to actually fan the bed of coals to get the flame started.

You know, we have to do something similar with the gifts and abilities that God gives us.  We must exercise our gifts to perfect them and to operate at full throttle effectiveness in the Spirit.  If we never use our gifts, or if we never try to improve them, they will most likely die out.  Scripture even tells us that God will take away any gifts He’s given us that we refuse to use for His glory.

We all have been gifted of God in a way that our lives should bear much fruit, showing ourselves to be His disciples.  But the only way we will see that fruit is by knowing what our gifts are and operating in them.  It seems some people just instinctively know what their gifts and abilities are, while others go through life without ever taking a step of faith to see what they’re good at.  They let fear keep them from confirming their gifts, so they don’t get the joy of seeing abundant fruit in their lives.

Fear can hold us back and keep us from fulfilling God’s purpose and calling on our lives.  When God tells us to do something, we should do it ….even if we have to do it afraid.  2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) reminds us: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”.

It's my prayer that we would each do our part. We can each reach one for Christ, but together, as His Church, we can make a huge impact on our communities.  It only takes one person to start the spark.....and that spark can bring the fire of revival not only into our own lives, but in the lives of our families, our churches, our communities and beyond!


4/2/16

#takeahike



With Dillan's work schedule, it can be a bit difficult for him to find time to come home for visits....even for his birthday.  Because Easter was a few days before his birthday this year, Scott and I decided we'd just go to ATL for a weekend visit.  


We even took Miss Lucy to see her brother.  Because she doesn't typically like to travel, we don't take her often.  But we felt like she would enjoy the campground and she needed to see her brother's new home too.  So we took her with us.....and she did awesome!  She even did well with the almost 3 hour ride.  The 1/2 Xanax  pill didn't hurt either ;)



We arrived in town on Good Friday afternoon after Dillan was off work.  We enjoyed dining outside at Marietta Square for an early birthday dinner and stopped at this little cafe for a quick energy booster before browsing an antique store.  If you're ever in the area, Cool Beans has excellent coffee!  They give Starbucks a run for their money....I'm just sayin'.

Because we will be hiking the Appalachian Trail in May, we decided to take advantage of the fact that Dillan lives near Kennesaw Mountain and get some hiking in.  So Saturday morning we got up early and set out for a hike to test out our new gear. We've been ordering backpacking supplies for a few weeks now and really needed to see how it would feel on a long hike.  


My Uncle Mike will also be joining us for the AT and he was able to meet us at Kennesaw Mountain too.  My step-son, Austin will also be going with us in May, but he wasn't with us this weekend.


On our Peaches to Beaches trip, Scott found this old school backpack with external frame for only $10.00!  He was eager to try it out, but after a 5 mile hike, he decided the internal frame pack feels much better.  The old one looks cool in pictures, though.....and the Mister looks mighty cute :)


On our way up the mountain, we saw two deer.  They aren't as big as the deer in middle Georgia where we live....and they are much more tame!  You'd never get this close to the deer at home unless they didn't know you were there.  These two just walked right past us and kept looking for something to eat.



We made it to the top of Kennesaw Mountain and kept going til we reached the top of Little Kennesaw and then back tracked to the road going back to the park's visitor center.











Birthday boy!



We also got pretty close to a turkey making his way across the mountain.




It was a fun weekend and I'm so glad we went.  Although we couldn't be with Dillan on his actual birthday, we celebrated by doing something that he really enjoys.  He's probably responsible for getting us back into hiking again in the first place.  Last year we hiked at Sweetwater Creek State Park for his birthday.  If you've never been there, you need to go!  It's beautiful and I can't wait to see it again in warmer weather!  

There really is so much to do in and around Georgia!  I've included some of those things in my Summer 2016 Bucket List.  

I hope each of you are enjoying your spring break.  Happy trails to you!

3/23/16

Summer 2016 Bucket List


While I've thought numerous times about making a bucket list of things I want to do during my lifetime, I never have actually sat down to come up with such a list.  However, I realized recently that I had unintentionally come up with a long list of things I want to do this summer.

A couple of years ago when I finished my graduate studies, I was so excited about that coming summer and not having homework for the first time in years!  I dreamed (I can't make myself say "dreamt") of all kinds of things I wanted to do that I finally had the time to do since my homework days were behind me.

I think that's when I also decided that I would like for us to go to a different place every year for summer vacation.  I mean, why keep going to the same place year after year when there are so many awesome places right within driving distance for us to explore?

Last year we went to Key West for the first time and enjoyed it so much!  This year, Scott and I will be taking our first vacation without the boys because that week also coincides with our 15 year anniversary.  I'll tell you more about that later.  But back to the bucket list........

I thought it would be good to come up with a list of things to do this summer to help me be more intentional about actually planning these things.  There are so many things we can do for fun and some of them don't even cost a dime.  So why not make it happen?

So here they are....in no certain order:

1. Hike part of the Appalachian Trail (this is already being planned!)
2. Hike all of the waterfalls in north Georgia in a weekend
3. Do a zip line in a woodsy setting (yes...I said woodsy...I want to feel like Tarzan)
4. Eat at the Mennonite restaurant in Montezuma, Ga. (I don't know why I haven't already?)
5. Re-paint our kitchen walls/ pantry door (that door pains me every time I look at it!)
6. Day trip canoeing/tubing the Ocmulgee River with friends/family
7. Screen in our back porch and beautify it (now that I don't have cats....bless their hearts)
8. Read more books (social media has occupied me for so long now, I don't read like I used to...and that bothers me.  There's just something about holding that paper bound book in your hands and getting lost in another world).
9. Go paddle boarding

I may come up with a 10th one because my list just doesn't look complete ;)

So now that I've put it out there, maybe I'll be more proactive about planning these things and not find myself realizing that the summer has come and gone and once again left me with regrets.

Stay tuned.....I might just get an early start on some!

Peaches to the Beaches: a weekend of fun and good finds


Our annual Peaches to the Beaches yard sale trip was full of fun and good finds!  Scott found more treasures this year than usual (more on his later).  I found pretty plates for wall decor, a planter made out of tree bark, a vintage law scale and an egg basket, and a cute pink taser.  A girl's got to protect herself, right?  My favorite find was the $8.00 metal cart from the iron yard.  I plan to transform into a bar cart for our living room.  


I love how bar carts are being used in various rooms in our homes today. You can find them in bathrooms holding towels and toiletries, in bedrooms as side tables, and even as hot chocolate stations.  I plan to use mine in the living room at the entrance to our hallway that leads to our bedrooms.  I know it looks rough right now, but it's actually in great shape structurally.  It just needs to be sanded down to remove the rust and resprayed.  

I've actually had a difficult time trying to decide what color to spray it. At first, I was more concerned about making it functional for use in the living room and in the kitchen during the holidays, so I wanted to make sure I sprayed it a color that would look good in both rooms.

  
I love the vintage/modern look of this one with the wood surface.  Mine doesn't have wood surfaces, but I did entertain the possibility of doing some type of faux wood finish.



I love the festive look of gold spray on this one and it would look awesome in my living room!




I even like the white surface on this one with the chrome legs.  But I'm worried that white would look to sterile in my home.



The choices were difficult, but I finally decided to do something a little different than what I've seen on Pinterest.  After browsing through the colors at Home Depot, I finally chose two spray colors that I think I'll be pleased with.  And if I'm not, well, it's just spray!  I'll spray it again lol!

Now if I can just get around to working on it.  As soon as I do, I'll be sure to share before & afters with you.

3/19/16

Banana bread on a pollen day


I don't know about where you live, but spring is in full force here and the pollen is vicious!  Thankfully, we got a little bit of rain yesterday, so maybe next week won't be so bad.

Scott and I have had spring fever and have been out and about on the weekends lately.  Neither of us work on Fridays typically, so we like to enjoy our long weekends together or planning family adventures.  

But with the pollen like it is now, I've tried to be a hermit the last few days.  So instead of getting out of the house yesterday, I decided to make banana bread.  I already had some ripe bananas, so all it took was a little bit of time to whip it together.  

I'm not sure where I got the recipe from, but I've had it for years.  It's all from scratch, very easy, and always turns out great, so I thought I'd share it with you guys.  If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy it!


Recipe: Easy Banana Nut Bread

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted margarine
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups self-rising flour 
1 cup pecans (optional)

Combine sugar and melted margarine in bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in bananas.  Fold in flour and pecans; do not beat.  Spoon into greased 5 x 9" loaf pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until loaf tests done.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Let stand, wrapped in plastic wrap or foil overnight before serving. Yields 15-18 servings.

Note:  I never let mine stand overnight!  I always eat a piece right away while it is still warm :)
Also, you could also use gluten free flour if you prefer.