Why I’m no longer without.

Why I'm no longer without / an inspiring writeup on the steps it took to get out of financial and mental hard times. via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

I came across a comment on my FB page which asked me if I’ve always had this passion for repurposing.

The question brought on unexpected emotion. My eyes began to sting and then a smile appeared. I indeed had an answer.

In a word? Misfortune led me to this junky passion.  Who knew that going through what you feared most would turn things around?

I think by nature, women are security seekers. We don’t want the bottom to drop.. security, whether that be financial or being where safety reins is part of our makeup. We want to be safe from harm and keep our families tucked closely to us and cared for in every way possible.

So what happens when the bottom does fall out? What if you lost your marriage, your dream home, your new shop just built on your property and had to start all over with a small son in tow? Oh, and let’s throw in getting sick.

When you hit bottom, there’s no where to go but up. So I slowly started uphill the only way I could. By tackling one misfortune at a time. 

I eventually found a home I could call home even though it was a mess. 

But miracles weren’t handed to me on a silver platter either. I couldn’t sit there and wallow in self pity and rock back and forth, ranting, “I can’t do this! I don’t know how!” Sitting this one out would not win the race.

old horsegate headboard

I had to make do.

I remember hearing about this home show in town. I didn’t have two nickels to rub together at the time, but I went anyway. I wanted to SEE pretty home setups even if I couldn’t afford them.

Well, the inspiration did me in. It was like I grew a new set of eyes on my way home. I drove past this old sign in the back of a gas station, pulled right in and asked if I could have it.

I brought it home, cleaned it up, and hung it as a headboard. It was my very first repurpose. I knew I was onto something HUGE, and kept doing this over and over and over again. I was decorating my home in the most unique of ways for FREE.

My entire home tour is all about making do. (see it HERE) And I’ve never loved my home more.

Bathroom with ladder towel holder via Funky Junk Interiors

bathroom before and after

I had to be proactive.

The toilet leaked like a sieve. Something had to be done FAST, yet I didn’t have the funds to hire help. So I head down to the store for a pile of self help books for half price and started to learn all about the wonderful world of toilets.

The first time I pulled a toilet out of the floor, I was a physical and mental MESS. But once it was back in place and actually working… I cannot tell you the triumph that entailed.

Push yourself! If it doesn’t require great physical strength, it’s possible for you to do anything yourself. Never forget that.

I had to allow help.

I remember one day in particular. I was sitting on the bathroom floor in tears, with 3 self help plumbing books cracked open. I was trying to install a tap set and was NOT getting it. The millions of pieces were spread out around me and nothing meshed.

That’s when the phone rang. My buddy Vic was checking in on me and after hearing of my frustration, head right on over to help. He took one look at all the books and said, “You can put those away now., we’ll do this together.” I don’t think I could have loved anyone more than at that moment.

But I learned something I didn’t expect after the fact. Vic needed this as well. It was the first tap set he installed and we aced it. Together. Growth. For both of us.

I quickly learned that by allowing others to help us, we in return help them in ways we could never even begin to imagine. Ditch the pride friends, were weren’t meant to walk alone.

{ my home reno blog is HERE }

pallet TV stand via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

I had to become fearless.

I was in this 10 week online decorating competition and nearly every week, I wanted to make something I’ve never done before. One week I wanted to make this TV stand out of a pallet. 

Crap was strewn all over my driveway like you wouldn’t believe with the big deadline looming. I had NO idea how to install legs onto a pallet! But I had to be fearless in trying method after method until I eventually figured it out.

I can now carry this knowledge to my next build and make it even better! By becoming fearless yet again of course.

Incidentally? I had to be fearless for 10 weeks because every project I made was a first. Most amazing growth of my life to date.

Fixing a travel trailer door

I had to believe.

When I wanted to purchase a used travel trailer , I expressed my concern to my friend on not knowing how to fix something if it was broken. Dan gave me the best advice I’ve ever heard and it’ll stick with me for the rest of my life. 

“Anything is fixable. ANYTHING.”

Believing I could do it was a whole other ballgame, but that’s all it took. If something broke, I took a deep breath, took apart the broken thing taking pictures along the way, then put it back together again. 

My most recent ‘big’ fix was the rv door. It’s now as good as new.

I prayed

I wanted this little cottage that wasn’t broken in the worst way. But I knew I’d have to sell my broken house in order to get it. So I prayed for an answer.

I didn’t get my dreamy little cottage, but something way better. 10 minutes later, a team offered to come help me fix my home. A year later, they left with everything in PERFECT shape.

If that wasn’t a God thing, I don’t know what is. My full story is HERE.

He waits to be asked. Start asking.

A blog office desk from sawhorses, pallet wood and an old ladder via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/ 

junk styled desk in blog office HERE

 I work double duty.

When I first moved, my day job was very part time. It wasn’t enough to earn from. I coasted on savings until they were gone. Then the recession hit. Gulp.

But poverty threw me into motion. I started snooping on the side of the road for things. And eventually grew my passion for junk into another business. 

To this day, I’m still doing the day job AND the blog job. And I’m going to continue with both until the blog wins. It’s hard, but if that’s what it takes to feel amazing every single day of my life, I’m IN!

Don’t give in to the difficult. It may just be around the corner!

– – – – –

Why I’m no longer without is because I’ve had a lot of misfortune. And the more misfortunes I’ve had, the harder I had to work to better myself. 

No luck applicable.

Please insert YOU into any of these scenarios. The world is waiting.

Beautiful Things by Gungor. This was played in our church today and it blew me away. So fitting… crank it up good!

More ‘wordy inspiration posts’ are HERE.

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Categories: Blogging, Blogging Tips, Business, Inspiration, Junk Drawer, Personal
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  1. Very inspirational and helpful post. Thank you so much for sharing. Your journey sounds like you have really worked for good results, in the face of some awful situations. Kudos to you 🙂

  2. I so seriously love this! Kudos to you for choosing to triumph over adversity. YOU did it. You are proof that God helps those who help themselves! Rock on!

  3. I saw that comment on FB the other day and immediately took note of your response. Someday maybe I’ll share my story with you, but I just wanted to chime in here and encourage your readers along with you that sometimes what we perceive as the worst thing ever CAN become the pathway to the best things ever if you keep your heart open and your eyes tuned to the possibilities! My story has some similarities to yours, Donna, and I can attest that God has worked blessings into my life that I never could have even thought of! I have found that the times when I most don’t want to press on through the next tough thing, that’s the very time I must. The most amazing things happen when you DO what you thought you couldn’t!
    Anyway, I could babble on here, but I’ll stop 🙂
    I’ve seen your story, Donna. I can relate in SO many ways and I just want to thank you for sharing the hard stuff and encouraging people (especially women) to have a vision for what is possible in their lives.
    You are a blessing!

    • What an incredibly thoughtful response, Jeanette! I would LOVE to hear your own story! I know it’s hard to put it all out there, but when I hear the countless stories that can follow, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!

      I think it’s my job. 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been struggling with what direction to take in my creative life… trying to find the courage to follow through with my dream instead of letting it fizzle out. Your story has empowered and encouraged me to push through my fears and see this thing through.

  5. Wow am I ever glad I read this post! I have to be honest, it’s so easy to envy someone and aspire to be like them and think that well … they “made it” because unlike myself, they had it easy. Shame on me! You cant imagine how humbled I am right now. Your story has got to be one of the most inspiring ones that I have heard. I now feel like I have no excuse for not making my own dreams become reality. Like you, I also have a love for junk and especially free junk. It inspires me more than anything shiny and new.

    You are a testimony to what God can do in our lives; that blessings come disguised as difficulties and that if we get through them, He can work miracles. I am beginning to see them happen all of a sudden in my own life after so many difficulties. It’s hard to be patient and trust the one who knows what’s best for us, but things have to happen in His timing. Thank you so much for baring your soul!

  6. Still learning the ask for help lesson…but getting better.

    I love your story…it’s what drew me to you and your blog over 2 years ago.

    Thanks for sharing the song. He makes beautiful things indeed…you are one of them!

  7. My dear, you are FABULOUS ~ and what a great feeling of satisfaction you must have in the life you have made for yourself ~ even I feel inspired…

  8. I love to hear your story Donna… not only are you a creative genius, you have the scars that make it an earned title. Your home is beautiful, I love all the photos. Just like you had helpers with your home and some of your projects, you have unselfishly passed your knowledge to others… me being one of them and I am very thankful for your encouragement. Onward and upward!

  9. Wow, I never knew your story. Thanks so much for sharing. It has given me hope for a hard area of my life. It has been a stumbling block for too long. After reading this post, I am going to start chipping away at my ‘issue’ one minute at a time. God has a better plan for me than to wallow in this painful part of my life!! I’ll keep you posted!

  10. Donna, I guess I have never heard your story before. I cried in many parts, but was joyous when you were triumphant. I am so proud of you, and thank you for sharing your past. We are currently going to shut down our business of over 20 years due to the economy and I am fearful of what will happen next. Your story is inspiring for sure:)

  11. Love your testimony! Your sweet spirit & positive attitude is what drew me to your blog a few months ago (& those super cute kittens). Thank you for sharing. We serve a God of restoration!

  12. I remember the first time I installed baseboards in the bathroom of my “single girl” house. 51 years old, never lived on my own, newly divorced, broke, but I did it! As a woman, I had never felt so empowered. I could do this! So I fixed the toilet, installed those light fixtures and rebuilt the steps to the shed. Owning my own home was the best thing I ever did. Even though financially it was ruining me, spiritually it was the best growth period of my life. Thanks for reminding me of this amazing time.

  13. Donna, thank you. I first saw you during that 10 week challenge, I too was in a spot, I am still struggling but every day gets better. Now to let loose of things holding me back.

  14. What a wonderful story…that may sound odd since you went through so much, but I admire your perseverance. So many people these days just give up and stop caring. I love the way you work so hard to fix and make everything. So happy to have found your blog! I love you style and your projects inspire me!

  15. Beautiful and Inspirational Story !! Thank you for sharing <3
    I was raised by a single Mom and then as an adult had a story very much like yours.
    During those years I also learned to make due. But I also learned that nothing is impossible as long as you have God..Friends and lots of imagination !! To this day I still would rather repurpose things than buy new…I love that everything in my house has a story..a history.
    I am gutting an 800 sq ft unit for my husband and I to retire in…90 % of everything in it will be repurposed. What a fun adventure it has been looking for all the treasures to go in it !!

    Sending lots of Love and Congrats your way.
    Thank you for being an inspiration to all women everywhere !!

    Hugs !!
    Sharon 🙂

  16. I am so happy you give God credit. Our God will supply–especially when we give Him the glory. I love your blog, and your spirit. When we use the talents we’re given, we are given more. Your story proves that. Blessings for you today and every day in the future. Keep giving Him the glory.

  17. This was great to read. I wish everyone responded to struggles in the same way! So many people give up before they reach success. I almost hate to use that word “success”, because it’s often equated with financial success, a big home or a new car. I think your success was deciding to not give up! Philippians 4:13
    Diana

  18. Wow, what an incredibly moving and motivational blog post. I’ve been reading your blog for some time and truly admire all that you have achieved and conquered. You are a super talented lady that has definitely found your reason for being…to create and to inspire others. Thanks for sharing your story and for inspiring me to make my dreams come true despite the obstacles!

  19. Thank you so much, wow, brought me back to what I possibly was forgetting a little. Through God and a some hard work all things are possible. Thanks again and I love you blog. Take care and God bless.

  20. Your story is inspirational and thank you for posting the video at the end. I am trusting God to make some beautiful things out of something I have no control over…hope and trust are my words to meditate on. You make some amazing stuff and I love that the rust is intentional! Have a blessed day and “junk on”!

  21. Beautiful, Donna. I think I’ve let fear of failure paralyze me most of my life. But ladies like you motivate me to step out and just try. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and I’m learning to be ok with both. 🙂

  22. Donna, you and your post are an answer to prayer! I feel that God brought me to this post today to reveal things to me and give me strength. I so love how your beautiful soul comes thru in your blog. I love how God can bring people from all over the world, from all different walks of life together for His purpose. Thank you so much for this sweet message today!

  23. Blessings, Donna – and JOY to you with great boatloads of gratitude! How I needed this boost of HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT today! I am so glad to have connected with you via Blogtalk as I have turned the corner in my career life and am just hanging out there with nothing but the Hands of God holding me. All my former career crutches gone – and what an imposing place to be. I do identify with your story – still on the uphill climb after my own divorce a dozen years ago. I moved out in my craft and plateaued for a time, but the season has changed and I’m in a whole new game now. Yes – God things happen along the way amid the tears of frustration and anxiety of where the cash for the next bill comes from. But, the VISION remains and the stirring deep inside to follow where I can barely see – but KNOW exists – cannot be quenched apart from pulling myself up from my bootstraps and climbing to the next height marked out for me.

    WP makes the “following” thingy harder than it seemed in Blogger – though I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. I keep my blogroll on my old Blogspot site I know how to manage things. Glad I can find you via Facebook. Read my story in this vein – just published this past Friday – here: http://www.thewritersreverie.com/2013/10/meme-me-friday-none-so-lovely.html

    Thanks for a good word to start my day!
    Joy!
    Kathy

  24. Donna, I cannot possibly fully express how inspiring you are to me! Thank you for always showing up as yourself and for letting yourself be seen. I have begun my own journey of starting a business out of nothing, and it is because of people like you, sharing your stories, that I can dare to dream big. Your post was incredibly timely as I’ve been questioning my decision to strike out on my own. I needed to be reminded that God can make something beautiful, even out of me!

    With incredible thankfulness and joy,
    Carrie

  25. It may have been your painted stairway that first caught my eye, and I continued to snoop around at all your projects over the course of a few days, never commenting. But it was your story that made me stop and send an email. That story is what makes you inspirational, the projects are frosting.

  26. Your life is such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world. We sing this song frequently at our church and I love it so much and now you’ve given it even more meaning. Thank you!

  27. Thank you for sharing your story. It touched my heart at a time I really needed to hear it. It is easy to become overwhelmed and filled with doubt. It is inspiring to read your story and to be reminded with Faith in God and some elbow grease, anything is possible.

  28. I’m a new reader – I started subscribing because my husband and I are trying our hand at repurposing old stuff into something more – operative word, “trying”. What I didn’t expect to find here was such a wonderfully inspiring story. Thank you – I’m definitely going to share this one! (and thanks for all of your creative ideas, too!) – Susan

  29. THANK YOU so much for posting this today! IT is exactly what I so need to hear from someone…it is where I am…only I am much, much older than you…I am a Great Grandmother that finds herself with no money and so scared that I can hardly breathe! I am completely frozen in my fear…and have isolated myself from the shame of being where I am now.

    Your post has given me hope….Thank you for taking time to share…I have copied this to my email so I can read it many times per day…until I can see results and the first rays of success…

    Dolores

  30. Donna…This is a wonderfully uplifting post. You have accomplished so much…and are still growing! Your words…and your accomplishments will be motivating to many. Isn’t it amazing how God works???

    We are probably going to lose our home…As sad as I will be to start over at 60, I am also looking forward to the new adventures ahead. God gave us this house when it was needed…to raise our sons, to have LOTS of young people in and out as they learned what family was all about, to host rehearsal dinners for 2 sons and their brides (their requests), to allow our friends to host HUGE birthday parties here, to host numerous Bible studies, and more. It’s been the perfect house for all of this…And now that our “entertaining” has gotten smaller in size, God is leading us in another direction. And I am OK with this. Yes, I am sad to leave this home… But there’s a new adventure ahead. And I am salivating to get to it.

    Thank you for all the “junk tips” and ideas…and for sharing your story.
    May God bless you in every way.

    Jane

  31. You did a fabulous job with your home and your life. I think that it makes you stronger when you have these issues to tackle.
    I also had to deal with issues like yours…. The same month that I turned 30, I was left with 3 beautiful children (2,4 and 6). So I needed to pay the mortgage for the home, 2 loans that I had not known where as much as they actually were a car loan….you get the idea so off to work I went and I babysat before and after also…A couple of years after that I purchased a home on my own ( with the children also) in another town…paid it off and now have 3 fantastic grown children and 3 fabulous grandchildren and I did get married again a few years ago…. I think that we need to give ourselves a good pat on the back for hanging in there and being brilliant and doing something with what we have…. way to go people you CAN start again, hold up your heads and keep your mind moving being fabulous!

  32. Dear friends,

    I haven’t had time to reply to any of the comments, but please know, I’ve read each and every one. Including the emails, and FB prompts I’m getting.

    Thank-you for the kudos. I truly do hope that those struggling put any of my above suggestions in motion. Today. Why wait? No reason! Today!

  33. Amen to “You Make Beautiful Things”! I’ve heard it said, “God don’t make junk!” But, then He makes folks like you who make even “junk” beautiful. 🙂 He is the Creator God, so why shouldn’t His kids be creative?

    Thanks for your inspiring posts! Keep ’em comin’!

  34. I never can get enough of your story, or your challenges and triumphs along the way. Getting off the computer now to go put together the very thing I think I may not be able to do, but can. I needed to take time to read this today. You are AWESOME!

  35. Thanks for being so honest – I think we woman entrepreneurs have to be a voice for others. I started a tea company with another stay-at-home mom, and my best friend, last year. We struggled for months with FEAR. Fear of failure, fear that we didn’t have the skills, fear that we couldn’t balance everything, fear there wouldn’t be enough money. Since we had EACH OTHER, we would take turns having moments of panic – the other would say (and it has become an office motto) “Pull up your big girl panties, and just do it!” Last month our product was included in the gift bags at the 65th annual Emmy awards (if you google emmy awards bags you will see our goofy faces next to Neil Patrick Harris’ photo) and this month we participated in the New York Food and Wine Festival. It has been anything but easy, but the message is – Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you and don’t be mad at everyone else when it is yourself that you are mad at. Pull up your big girl panties and JUST DO IT! http://www.tempestinateapot.me

  36. Oh Donna , I love reading story’s about strong woman . When I went thru my divorce I was a student nurse with 2 young children. I was on welfare for a bit of time cause my x went to jail. What a mess but I was stubborn and empowered. I was soooo lucky tho because I met my soul mate. As time went on I graduated and passed boards.i prayed along the way and mostly my prayers were answered . I think you learn true gratitude with hardships. Today I can truly say I love my life I am still with my husband of over 30 yrs we live in a mountain home in no az, with 2 great pooches (aka the girls). I work with wonderful people at a great hospital. Truly Life is Good. Also my children are grown and living their own lives and I have a wonderful relationship with them, their life paths are not my choices but are working for them. In the end we are the inspiration for our families and friends. Many hugs to you 😉

  37. It is very hard to follow a dream. It is so much easier to fall in line and try to “get a real job”, though those are evaporating rapidly and it seems to turn out that this is the most hope any of us can have; “To Do What You Love The Money Will Follow”,(the book that was a driving propellent for Ms. SpoolTeacher to take a vow of poverty and follow her own dreams. Creating our own “right livelihoods” is not much of an option these days. We can’t give up and all of these wonderful blogs with tips and tricks and wonderful inspiration (Funky Junk Donna) just propels this “underground” movement to “have it our ways”! Thank you for the post. JoaT ST

  38. Every time I need to overcome adversity, I know that I need to make a leap of faith. It’s amazing how far I can jump. Thanks so much for sharing, Donna. xo Laura

  39. I am self employed and in 2012 my home-based business was barely able to sustain itself and provide an income for me.
    When I look back at what my family went through it brings a lot of emotions flooding back.
    It was hard because it was a cloak everywhere I went, not knowing if my debit card would be declined, having to constantly say no to my kids and not being able to afford anything outside of necessity. We were on the brink of losing our home and with that the business.
    Christmas came faster than ever and because our kids are still young we implemented a four gift rule for our kids( thank you Pinterest).
    Even though we were scraping by I wanted to use this as an opportunity to teach our oldest that shelter, food, family and love is all we needed, as long as we were together, wherever we were, it would be home.
    My daughters school held a Christmas pj drive, it was important that my daughter participate. We spoke of the feelings that she experienced in getting new pjs at Christmas and I said “that feeling is what you are giving someone else”. Our home was filled with more joy that Christmas than money could ever provide because we truly gave of ourselves.
    I will continue to build on this lesson to ensure my kids have the ability to adapt when their environment changes.
    We are still recovering but we are maintaining.

    My daughter is constantly pointing out free stuff on the side of the road. The funniest was when she pointed out a “free” car that was on the side of the road. I had to explain it had a “For Sale” sign in the window.

  40. Donna,
    so encouraging to hear how someone so talented (and easy on the eyes) is actually God fearing and humble! A rare trait in today’s ever-changing, attention deficit society.
    Starting over at an age where one should be preparing to enjoy the retiring aspect of life is indeed a challenge.
    Without going into morbid details of being engaged to a sociopath, It was easy to feel bad myself but I considered this: I am not confined to a wheelchair, I own my home, I don’t drink or smoke, I’m in good health and my dog loves me unconditionally.

    Understandably, not everyone is so fortunate. The fact that I can wake up another day gives me profound reason to give thanks! Being single affords me the opportunity to take things more slowly and to stop & smell the roses. I appreciate everything and everyone in my life and having a healthy fear of my creator keeps me coloring inside the lines.

    When my ‘significant other’ and her daughter moved out I had a little more room. I took advantage of things I had stored for many YEARS and had more time to flex my creative muscles. I found solace in creating and purpose in constructing. Rust is my bud, wood is lover, leather my liaison… however, money is still stranger.

    Yep, life is good! 🙂
    .

  41. I loved reading your story. I have only recently stumbled into the world of blogs and yours is one I love to read, not because I’m a junker … more of a vintage Bohemian, I suppose … but because of the stories of you and your boy. When I left my marriage, at times, I wondered how I would cope but life is great now and I’m more “me” than before. It’s sounds to me like you’ve found the real you. Love your blog and your stories. Xx

  42. I’ve also walked a similar path and am still learning to be self-reliant. It is difficult to start over in your 50’s…but I will persevere. With your words of wisdom and experience, with the love and support of my wonderful friends and family, and most important, with my faith in God’s never-ending love for me. Peace and blessings to you and your son.

  43. Very inspiring! You have been through some tough times and I really admire your fortitude and creativity. My elderly Mom really needed a railing put in along her basement stairs and both of us realized that it required someone with experience to install one correctly. You don’t want mama taking a tumble down the stairs because the railing gave way! Her home has some questionable construction by a previous owner so studs are sometimes not where they should be/walls are not square etc. My friend the handyman wasn’t able to help her. What did Mom think of and do? She called her electrician who has remodeled his own home! The man, bless his heart, came by today and the railing is up and secure. This man is the top electrician at his company and for him to take what little spare time he has to help out is very wonderful. Mom just got done putting sealer on the railing and is happy as a clam (as is her worrywart daughter).

  44. Donna,
    Sending you a virtual hug {{ }}…I love this song. They play it at my church too.
    You are amazing and this story helps me cope in so many ways. I have an uphill battle with my daughter who is sick but I never forget where I was and where I am now. I am grateful for everything I have. The rest is in God’s hands. I also would love to supplement my income with repurposed junk. I find beauty in just about anything. Someday I hope to have a blog! I pray to get over the fear of starting that. For now I’ll keep reading yours and all the other wonderful brave women I have met at Haven and visiting my favorite bloggers stores. Keep these inspirational stories coming. We all need to Know, It does not have to be perfect, Just good enough. I applaud your bravery!
    Cheryl
    P.S. my sisters and I always use the term. “It’s a God thing!” Amazing things happen when you least expect it.

  45. WOW ! I have God’s goosebumps after reading this ! I’m reading Joel Osteen’s new book and WOW ………………… many similarities ! WOW !
    Blessings and prayers for you to keep spreading your love of God by telling your stories !!!!! 😀

  46. YOU ARE AWESOME!!!! Thanks for the inspiration. I have been on the fence about starting a blog because I don’t know how, but because of you I will find the right people to help me, so that I can be an encouragement to others. May God continue to bless you.

  47. You are an inspiration. Thank you for being real and for sharing. God is using you- not only to be an example for others in repurposing, but also in having faith and embracing hard work and discipline. Blessings always!

  48. Well, that was God inspired. Some fear gripped me tonight. I was yielding to the worry and all the “what ifs”. Your post was a reminder to first lean in to the Father who loves me. But, it was also a reminder that He has blessed me with talents, abilities and determInation. Thanks for the timely reminder and encouragement.

  49. You are an inspiration for me. And, I am sure many others. Thank you! My story is, shall we say, a work in progress. Repression, self doubt, and so on. Yet, I know what I love and what I love to create. But, at the same time, I am afraid of failure or, more to the point, not being good enough. I am working through this with God’s help and the love and praise of my family. Baby steps.
    Thank You once again, you give me hope!

  50. I sit here wiping tears away as I read your post. You are a true inspiration! God has so much in stored for us, but we just have to see it to believe. Thank you for your honesty. May he continue to bless and keep you.

  51. Dear Donna,

    I’m not sure why I awoke In the middle of the night, and how one blog lead me to you, but I am a firm believer everything happens for a reason – especially at this time in my life when things have hit rock bottom for me, or have they? Thank you for sharing your story and the “Beautiful…” video, that in and of itself was so inspirational (I will be passing it on!).

    We all have a story to tell, and by sharing a story, a simple gesture like a smile, or letting someone go first in a crowded grocery store, one never knows what kind of impact they may have on another, you obviously have touched many lives through your own story, thank you for touching mine as well! Blessings

  52. A lot of love and prayers in ones heart! God’s sheltering arms by grace! God given talents! Add hard work out of necessity and you have God’s life plan by design. Indeed we have an awesome God! Thank you Lord!

  53. I so enjoyed your post today. You’re an amazing woman and your posts are always great. I think the personal ones thrown in with our regular posts make us real people with lives beyond the things we collect or make. My family knows you as ‘Donna from BC’, when I chat about you.
    Anyways I feel I’m still very new to this blogging world and take inspiration from you and what you’ve accomplished. Thank You!

  54. You had me in tears! I’ve followed you for awhile now and enjoy every minute of it….love the beauty of BC, too! Love the the song….such a wonderful worship song 🙂 Goosebumps and tears 🙂 Keep going…you have a faithful following….and kindred spirits!

  55. You brought me to tears, and I am SO proud of you, and for you. You remind of my Mom…her husband left her while she was pregnant and with 3 kids already, she was in a pickle. WARNING: BOOK POSTING:

    Way back then, there wasn’t much in the way of help at all, so she had to move back in with her parents. Her father plowed his fields with a mule, didn’t even have a tractor. She found a job bussing tables on an Army post. She never made it past 7th grade in school, but damn, she was one smart woman. She met my father, who had two sons of his own, and they married and had me. Money was tight, even with a husband to help.

    She made do, much like you do, with limited funds but a creative mind. She would rearrange like crazy. When we came home from school, we didn’t know what the house would look like, bumping into furniture that wasn’t there in that spot when we left that morning~~hehe! And the joke was, not to stand too long in one spot or she would paint right over you! Not too far from the truth, she was a wiz with a paintbrush. She ‘antiqued’ furniture long before dark and white wax and chalk paint. And she could sew ANYTHING! Like my grandmother, who could look at a picture, and take newspaper and cut a pattern and make something that looked just like the picture, dresses, shirts, household items, you name it. *wish I was that good*

    So much energy, I couldn’t keep up with that woman. All this, and she worked outside the home as well, unlike most women of that generation. Can you tell I’m proud of her? I will never live up to her example~~ but I can try. And with your inspiration, I’m getting lots of ideas, so many my head feels like it’s gonna explode! She would have LOVED your website! Her blue eyes would positively be dancing with joy! Thank you so much~~

    • My goodness… I adored your book posting! 🙂 Your mom sounds like such an amazing force to be reckoned with! I think you should write the book on her, your words had me feeling I was right there in the room working it! Thanks for the kind words!

      • Donna, I have loved following your blog for some time . . . you always amaze me with your creativity. My decorating style is different as I like traditional, English country, French country, etc., but I most enjoy reading your blog for your wonderful inspirational stories. May God continue to bless you. You are in my prayers. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, and He will direct your paths.”

  56. This is such a beautiful written and honest post. I enjoyed reading your story and your encouragement of all of us. I truly believe it one door closes,many more open (eventually). It is all part of a plan that we can not always see. Happy Wednesday to you! x

  57. OMG! Just stumbled on this post – just read your story and listened to the song. ….recent marriage break up (after 22yrs) and was feeling so low….thank you for sharing….makes me feel not so alone… needed to hear that song…xx

  58. we don’t hear about your son in the present tense. i hope all is well with him. i love peeking into part of your life. i have a nice time following you with your journey and seeing the sites along the way!

  59. Donna,
    I’ve been on your site a hundred times and I just now saw this post. It has inspired me to get off my bummed out duff and get going – it brought tears to my eyes. It’s been a year of huge change for me – You are an inspiration and I thank you for your honesty. Keep on junking – I’m soon making a trip up to Granny’s – it looks like a junk Disneyland.
    Thanks again. Kathy

  60. Donna, this post took my breath away. Your story is a testament to DIY, faith and overcoming adversity. Life’s curve balls and obstacles are inevitable; however, the manner in which we face them makes all the difference, forever changing the trajectory of our lives to the goodness God had in store for us all along.

  61. I cried reading your post today. It spoke to me so closely it was almost doubly painful.i apologize for the way I tend to go on, but I do. This was emotional for me to read!

    A house fire, death of 3 cats & my Golden. Ugly, painful divorce, $643,000.00 of debt DH left me with, no electricity, a toilet & bathroom sink, no kitchen, no drywall, holes where windows would go? That was only the beginning of the nightmare. Stress fractures from Malnutrition from living on pasta & tomato sauce. Only. The $1000s of dollars I’ve spent redoing that which my GC DH did “good enough for now.” Still, just the beginning.

    However, *I* have been rebuilding this house. *I’ve* built my kitchen. My MBR. My laundry area. My porch. Me, Myself and I. And just the way *I* want it to be. I continue to teach myself how to use the 3 generations’ worth of tools DH left behind. I ASK QUESTIONS to the point of driving people crazy. I thrift shop, roadside shop, take anything someone’s throwing away.

    Without faith and the inexplicable kindness of people out of the blue (God is blue, y’know!?) I’d have sat down and let the snakes fall out of the ceiling and the darned leaky roof fall down on me. Without my pets’ snuggles and love, reminding me someone cared, I would have lost the house. Work, work, work, but working for my end goals. I don’t ask for anything (except an occasional break) and I don’t ask for free. I do it myself.

    I am also not without. I might not have the luxury of impulse buying or “just” hiring someone to xxxx, but I get along and move forward. And it’s amazing what I just don’t need these days.

    Thanks for reminding me how great I have it. Others might gasp, but I gasp in delight when I find another project *I* can do myself.

    And DH? Living in [ahem] paradise, living off of and taking care of his handicapped GF (more handicapped when he’s around) and the best gift? He’s fat. AHAHAHAHAHAHA Living well…:) is great.

  62. I stumbled across your FB page, then this site/blog. What an inspiration! I love how you turned the negatives into positives. Thanks for sharing.

  63. WOW! What an amazing, inspiring story. I have told you this before – I love your style and your attitude. Attitude brings great things to us and God is merciful!

    I can relate to your story on many levels. I’ve faced some of those adversities, and am grateful for my faith.

    Thanks for sharing and continuing to inspire each of us!

  64. Thank you for sharing your story..So much hope and praising God for His hand through all of it. You are showing so many invaluable life lessons to your son! Keep up the great work 🙂

  65. Like others have already said, thanks so much for posting something so very personal so that we might also overcome our own personal obstacles. Very uplifting and insightful post for all of us to learn and grow from. I certainly needed it this morning. I hear my train puffing, from “I think I can” to “I KNOW I CAN”

  66. One of the reasons I kept coming back to your blog is because I find you endlessly inspiring. The ideas in and outside of your house make me smile, or lead me down garden paths lined with pallets to making an idea my own.
    I also keep coming back because so many of us, myself included, can relate to where you have been. I left a decade long relationship when I finally admitted to myself it was toxic, and started over with a broken down house, no budget, and two cats. However, I plan to sort all of this out too. I can do all of the things that need to be done. I don’t know how, but that isn’t really the point, is it?

    I have a brand new, and fresh blog waiting for material. Will I revolutionalize the blog world? Not likely, but that isn’t the point either. I have a voice and a desire to do it. Maybe that isn’t much, but it is a start.