Thursday, January 30, 2020

Some things have to be just right

For the last year or so, our desktop computer has sat on a pile of books to make it the right height.  I decided the actual desk top was way too busy, too messy, I wanted to read those books occasionally (dressmaker's pattern drafting and flower gardening to name only two of the five books), and just too much 'too.'

After spending way 'too' much time searching the interwebs for the perfect computer stand, and finding the 'perfect' one was, again, asking for 'too' much of my precious moolah, I decided to see what I could find at the trusty local craft store to DIY my own.

Not asking for 'too' much, my list of must-haves looked like this:
  • two shelves
  • pretty
  • space for my monitor
  • wide/deep enough for files to fit it the shelves
  • not $60
I went to Hobby Lobby looking for unfinished wood shelves/pieces which might get stuck together with dowels, or something-a-rather, with the intention of making a two-shelf, functional thing-a-ma-jig.

Here's what I found:



This wooden canvas, had two picture hooks on the back. It was approx. 35 x 12 inches and clearly 'too' long. But I had a plan.... I cut it in two! My youngest kiddo helped me remove the hangy hooks.



The next job was to use these fancy dowels I found. Shaker pegs.



I used a cordless drill to place the holes for the legs. A couple drops of this amazing glue was more than enough - it's probably the strongest part of this whole doo-dackie-whatsit.

Did you notice, the washi-tape on the drill bit? That's there as a marker for me, so I don't drill deeper than that. Clever tip, right there!


The pic above is the back of the stand. Note, you can see the long shaker pegs are the legs and the spacers between the shelves, the shorter pegs, are stoppers so the file (that slides in from the front) won't slip all the way through.

So, here's what I started with...


And here's what I ended up with:


This cost me exactly $15.55 from Hobby Lobby, and about 25 minutes of my time. I think that's a bargain if ever I saw one. Not 'too' much, it's 'just right.'

I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that the gap underneath was the perfect height for my keyboard to slide into and out of the way when I want to write at the desk.

What do you think?

Holly
xx

PS:  I am working behind the scenes on a special project. Something to get you thinking about scripture in a new way, or at least more often... I'm SO excited! Sign up to follow Room to Flourish by email, follow my Room to Flourish Instagram account or follow Room to Flourish on Facebook to stay connected.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

2020 Scripture Calendar and a Story

This year is beginning to wind down, we're almost in 2020. That sounds so strange! I remember in 1995 (or something like that, I was around about 10 years old) writing a story in school about 'What we think life will be like in the year 2000.' The year 2000 was only 20 years ago! Twenty. Good grief!

Yet, here we are.  Almost 2020 and I have a cute little calendar to show you - if you haven't already heard about it.



Last year, I was almost ready to get started on putting the 2019 calendar together when, all of a sudden, we were planning to move house, move state, from Arizona to Tennessee.  I had to quit with the calendar and focus on moving.  I was stressed.  Real stressed.

Jesus carried me through, I was in and out of despair.  I struggled to sing.  Me, struggling to sing, that is a big deal! But, God.  Through that dark valley, I learned to trust. I'm still a work in progress, but I'm pressing closer to the goal, to win the prize. Hallelujah for his kindness.



Story time!

When we moved to Arizona from New Zealand, I was expecting to be instantly plugged into an awesome church. I expected that we'd find a church family right away, there would be room for us at the table. I expected to find a church just like the amazing one we left in New Zealand.

So, we moved to Arizona. We didn't have a car. We didn't have the ability to buy a car right away and we had been listening to some guy called Dave Ramsey. He's only a lot famous in this neck of the woods. Anyway, we decided to save up and buy a car. This is where it gets tricky... Roy had a truck through is work, but that was only for work use. Our apartment was so close to the supermarket that I could put Levi in the stroller and walk over there. We would do the grocery shopping, and on the way back from work, Roy would meet us at the supermarket, we'd put the groceries in the back of the truck and he'd drive home while our kiddo and I would walk back.

It was a good-enough plan, until the Arizona weather began to heat up. But, we were finally able to buy a good little car around April of 2015, and OH my goodness. Life changer!

Having a car, meant we were finally able to get to a church. I was so excited about meeting our new friends and finding our place.

But, back to when we first arrived on Thanksgiving 2014 (yes, we survived about 5 months without a car) I was so set on finding a friend or two that I became a member of an online meet-up website, it sounds dodgy. The group was for Mom's of the local area who had a child in the year 'X'. I went to only one of those meet-ups (had to be within walking distance) and found a friend instantly - still my friend today! Praise the Lord. I believe the story goes like this; we both went there to find a new friend, and we found each other, so we didn't go to the scheduled meet-ups again, but we hung out a lot after that. Perfect! She had suggested we try out her church, so eventually we did (see: not having a car), and that church became our 'home' for the time we were in Arizona.

Aww, sweet little story. Heart-eyes.

In my search for friends, I also had found a Facebook group of like-minded knitters and crocheters who lived in the same area. I only ever went to one scheduled meet-up, we had a car by this stage. It was madness! Fun madness! The ladies filled up a huge area in a local cafe/bakery, maybe 20 or so of us. I was the only crocheter, I felt a little awkward, it was fun.

Imagine a 'fresh' New Zealander in the US, who thinks no one will understand her accent so she puts on a little bit of an accent to not stand out, but stands out immensely and feels like a fraud for putting on an accent. Confession: I did that way too many times.

Back to the knitters group. One day, on the groups' Facebook page, a member suggested a small meet-up with anyone who wanted to hang out at a local playground with her and her kids, while crocheting. I was SO there.

So, I turned up, bun in the oven by this stage - which means it would have been in the winter (see NZ summer kind of weather) of 2015/16, with my big kid in tow, who was 4 years old at the time. It was just her and I, her two kids, my big kid. We talked. We crocheted. We became awesome friends.

Also at this stage, we had been in Arizona/the States for just over a year and we hadn't felt like we found any close friends, nor were we involved in anything in the church. It was a huge church and we just weren't finding people. It's true. So many people, but no one to talk to.

We were regularly going to a small group, but it wasn't really a good fit for us. The leaders were awesome, and the members were, too. But, we were the only ones having a baby (different life stages), our kid(s) were the only boys. If you know my oldest kiddo, he's not one for sitting still (ever) and wanting to play school when it's not school.

It took a long, long time to find close church friends. It was a lot harder than I expected. I felt like we were being humbled. In a good way, but it still hurt. It was so hard to find 'our' group, to find real friends, the kind who are interested in more than just the 'Sunday church and Small Group' windows. The kind who were willing to let you into their lives, and also who wanted to be in your lives.

Even when we were trying to get involved in church, it felt like we were still not getting deeper than small-talk. It was a really hard time for both Roy and I. We wondered what we were doing here, why was this so hard, all the questions - but we would always bring it back to all. the. things. that fell into place to get us there.

There are many stories for another day, but there were too many things that happened, God's sweet gifts, divine appointments, things that happened perfectly for the next thing to fall into place that we KNEW without a doubt that we were supposed to be here. Still, our hearts were hurting. We lost a bit of spring in our step. Finding out that the 'instant church family and friends' didn't exist was discouraging.

I began praying for vision for my husband, for dreams for the both of us, for the Lord to put things in our hearts to give us hope and excite us. And you know what? He did.

In New Zealand, Roy had been playing in the band at church since long before we met. He was worship leader, guitarist, leader, and had been for so long, that it was so weird for him to not be involved in anything like that. So, when the call for worship team auditions came up, he was so excited! The audition came and went. He never heard back about if he was in or not. That was hard. So hard. God was molding his heart in the process.

Eventually, Roy decided to email the guy who auditioned him. There was a mistake somewhere. But, all in God's plan, Roy ended up playing guitar and worship leading for an amazing ministry called CR, Celebrate Recovery. This. This filled his cup. Hallelujah. The Holy Spirit was alive and well in the church, and he found it in CR. The most welcoming place, the most authentic place on a Friday night. People, acknowledging their vices, helping, encouraging one another, in Jesus' name. Hallelujah.

Oh goodness, I've rambled on a long ways. I'll sign off here and continue next time.

In the mean time, if you'd love a 2020 calendar, you can find my shop here at roomtoflourish.bigcartel.com  to see a small collection of Holly Bruce custom work I've done click here.

To be continued...

Love you muchly!
Holly

Monday, November 25, 2019

Naming Room to Flourish

I'm so glad to share my journey with you!  I created this space called Room to Flourish.  Let me tell you where it all began...

Way back in high school, one of the art projects we had to do was designing a brand name. I wanted a name for my brand that was found or inspired by something in the Holy Bible, and I came across the name Rehoboth. I loved it, and even though I ran with it then, I knew it was a strange sounding word.  It also takes a bit of practice to pronounce correctly. It needed some refining.

In Genesis chapter 22, Isaac was looking for a place to live.  The plan was to find a good place, dig a well for water, then settle. They did this twice, and when they had dug the wells, the people there quarreled over the land. So, Isaac moved on and dug a third well. No one quarreled over that place, so they named it Rehoboth. Rehoboth means broad places or open spaces. He said, "Now, the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land." Genesis 26:22 NIV.

Which brings us here to Room to Flourish, the translation for Rehoboth, and the promise of God. The Lord has given us room to flourish.

My heart for this blog is to encourage you in your journey to knowing God. I'm still walking this path and learning here, too, so let's do this together.

I'm going to share often about what God's showing me, the 'little gifts' he's giving me (more on that another time), and showing things I've been making lately.  If you follow Room to Flourish on Instagram, you'll know I tend to make a lot of different kinds of things - art, lettering, crochet, sewing, etc.

I do have an online shop, Room to Flourish, where I currently have a 2020 calendar available. Please check it out!


I have also set up a gallery where you can have a look at a sample of my commissioned art and design work.  See the Room to Flourish Gallery here.

Don't forget to subscribe and comment at the end of this post.  Thank you so much for following along and encouraging me as you do!

Holly
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Thursday, November 14, 2019

What is my purpose?

I have been pushing in to our Creator recently and he gave me a wonderful revelation!

Our purpose.  The plan and purpose for our lives.

All too often I've come back to the question, "What is my purpose?"

I know it's written in Jeremiah 29:11 that the Lord has a plan for my life.  A plan to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future.

This is a beautiful piece of scripture that I've clung to so hard when I've been in the pit, wallowing in my self-pity.  What am I doing here?  What is the point?  People don't like me.  I'm a fraud.  What exactly is my life-plan, my life-goal?  What should that goal be, what should it look like?  Am I doing the right thing to follow the plan that I have no clue as to what it is?

My clinging to that verse for my hope is a mis-use of that piece scripture, as I was reading it out of context. I was still left wondering what the plans were.

Things I know: I know my God is an awesome God.  I know he has plans for me.  He has good plans for me.  I also know that it's likely a very good thing if I don't know what the plans are, or I might try to run away and end up swallowed by a whale.

On Sunday morning, he spoke to my heart and revealed to me his good, good plan for me and for you.  For you.  For us.  For the Church.  The body of Christ.  He revealed to my heart the reason I'm here in this town, in this country, in this place right where my feet are. And not just that there's a 'reason', but that he MEANT for me to be here.

First I'll start with this word from Paul.  Ephesians 4:16 NLT He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

As a Christian, I am a part of the whole body and each part does it's own special work.

The plan for my life is to BE where my feet are.  I believe that nothing happens accidentally.  Everything has a purpose when things happen - and that includes where my feet are.  I am here.  That happened, and so my purpose is to BE where my feet are.  Let me elaborate...

My face needs to be seen by that person (who I might not have noticed that they notice if I'm there or not), my smile needs to be seen by that other person (who is yearning to find a happy face). Yet, another person needed to hear my words (who hasn't grown bold yet to speak courage over others) and still, there's another who needed my presence (who is looking for a familiar face - or yet, looking for a new face to befriend).  Another who needed the hug I gave them (who is realizing they are worthy of hugs).

The prompt of the Holy Spirit to say something nice about that person's hair, or the smile someone has, or the offer to pray with someone - might just be the thing that makes their day, lifts them up and points them back to Jesus.

Encourage.

If I'm not at church, small group or any other event, catching up with people, then they might not miss me.  But if I am there, someone might be encouraged.  I don't know what deeper plans might be within those moments and I don't need to know.  God makes it all work out the perfect way.  As long as we can seek His face in all we do, daily, hourly, moment by moment, earnestly seek Him, He will stay true to His word.  He is a good God.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.  Psalm 55:22 NIV.

Oh, but you don't think you're righteous?  Let go of that lie.  Even though you have Jesus as your Lord, you're somehow still not good enough?  Rubbish.  The one (in Christ) who does what is right is righteous (see 1 John chapter 3).

So, be where your feet are.  Look for opportunities to encourage one another.  Someone needs to hear your voice, see your face and feel your hug!

When we can truly believe that our purpose is to BE where we are, and that we ARE where we are supposed to be (because nothing happens by accident), then we leave no room for doubt to occupy our precious mind-space.  You can get on with encouraging others when there isn't a weight on your shoulder telling you that you're not really supposed to be where the Good Lord has put you.

You have a purpose and it's to be where your feet are.

Holly
xx

If you have been encouraged by this, please let me know in the comments below.

Some things have to be just right

For the last year or so, our desktop computer has sat on a pile of books to make it the right height.  I decided the actual desk top was way...