Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quotes from Joplin

I'm ending my first long week in Joplin. I'll be leaving tomorrow after just over a week. Hopefully one day I'll get time post real stories of real people being served by a real God. In the meantime, here are some awesome quotes either told to me or overheard while here.

"whatever blessings God has for you, I pray he doubles them" tornado survivor to relief worker
"You're acting like I'm the only person in Joplin right now." tornado survivor "To us you are!" relief worker
"What all have we used duct tape for: seal refrigerators, make shoes, fix pants, belt"
"Mom! Remember when we heard our house breaking!"
"I don't know how, but I know God will get me through this." single mother of 6
"Holy Cow. It's normal to be rocked right? I just want to hug people."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Apartment... New Decorations

My small hallway wall is going to be my motivation wall so I made this little special thing! It should do the trick!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Moving on up!

I'm moving!

Back to the city which I love! Into the general neighborhood that I love!

I'm excited!

I got a great deal on an apartment in the same building as one of the best people I know. But, it needed a lot of work. Part of the deal was that I'd do the cleaning and painting, I'd pay for the paint instead of a deposit, but I'd get to pick the colors and do what I wanted. Also, I'd get a new stove (the old one was so nasty I wouldn't let anyone cook on it).

This weekend was the start of the work. A lot of work. My mom came to town, I got us a hotel in the city and we were ready to go!

My biggest regret is forgetting to take before pictures of everything. You wouldn't believe the changes we made. Here's a little sampling.

First, if you are going to embark on such an endeavor... you've got to have a great team behind you. These two ladies own MCK Design in St. Louis and are unbelievable (both in talent and character)!!! They are personal friends who I am extremely grateful and indebted too!

Let's start in the back with the kitchen... Oh! the kitchen! It's old, it WAS gross, it needed help! I found a picture in the Benjamin Moore painting catalog and surprisingly feel in love with this bright green walls with dark brown cabinets. Here's the start of how we are recreating it...

After a few minutes Krissy stated the cabinet door fronts were unacceptable and she was going to make new ones. My mouth dropped (a. because she knows how to do that and b. that she would do that for me)! Also notice the brand new (albeit cheap) stove! Who's excited to be cooking with gas again?!?!!! THIS GIRL!

Before we move on, let me take a moment and explain the disgusting level of grossness that was this apartment. Whoever lived here before me was NASTY. Everything in the kitchen was covered in a thin layer of grease and gross. The refrigerator needed some love; my friend said it needed a dumpster. My mom got burnt out on painting and set to work with some bleach and now it sparkles. The outside still needs a little love, but looking MUCH better!!

Getting the rest of the stickers off will be my "home alone with nothing to do" project.

From the kitchen there's a small hallway with the bathroom to the left. I cleaned that sucker like it's never been cleaned before (or probably ever will again). There are two closets in the hallway. This apartment has the best/most storage I've ever seen in an old home; three large closets, two smaller ones, and a decent sized pantry closest... someone's getting spoiled!! No need to go wild in the hallway... it's just beige.

This picture is horrible, but the accent wall is the same green that's in the kitchen. It's a little boring now, but will have thick chalkboard painted strip horizontal across the middle. Krissy once again surprised me and bought magnetic primer for the chalkboard stripe. When we were in Home Depot she asked if I wanted it and I said I would, but since I'm renting I don't feel like I need to spend the $$ to get it. She felt the need! And, I'm going to LOVE it!

It's hard for me to pick a favorite room; I LOVE THEM ALL! But, my bedroom might take the cake. I had no clue what to do here and just forgot about it until Krissy asked "How do you feel about purple?" And, there you have it... a purple wall in my bedroom to match the lovely stain glass windows.

On the opposite wall though there was a hideous fake brick wall. HORRIBLE I tell you... HORRIBLE!!

Nothing a lot of kilz and elbow grease couldn't fix. I started and realized how much work it was going to take, but had to run to a meeting so I told my mom to not touch it cause it sucked so bad and I would do it. When I got back my friend Lauren had over half of it done! Final result...

It's still and will remain kilz white cause I'm not even going to attempt to do a second coat of anything on it. And, you can still see a little of the brick, but I think it adds a little character and tricks you to think it's a real exposed brick wall.

That's the new place! There's still a lot to be done, but it will get there. I believe a home is a work in progress that you continually improve and add to it.

I love that three friends and my mom have helped so far in making this my home. Every time I look at that purple wall and the brick wall, I will think about and pray for my friends, Lauren and Krissy. And, every time I'm not afraid to put something in the refrigerator, I'll think and pray for my mom!

And, if you aren't doing anything on July 3, I've got a plan for you ;)

Thursday, June 9, 2011


It's been a week now since I've been in Joplin. Slowly I'm beginning to think clearly and understand how I'm feeling about the whole experience.

My job equips me to respond to needs from around our Acts 29 Midwest Region and we have an amazing pastor, Steev Inge, in the heart of Joplin. Immediately we were overwhelmed by an outpouring of support and prayers for Steev's church, Mystery. Steev planted Mystery Church about 5 or 6 years ago with a desire to see gospel restoration take place through out the city, but not knowing he'd be a part of God literally rebuilding the city.

After a week and half of countless emails and phone calls back and forth, I was finally in Joplin surrounded by devastation and praying for clarity and vision for a strategic plan. God is good and faithful to His children. I left with a plan and friends who I can't wait to meet again!