Thursday, January 10, 2013

Breakfast with a friend
I love the beach. I like to walk on the beach and morning walks are great. Imagine as your are walking along a wonderful smell starts wafting by you in the breeze.  It smells like fish, and toast, and fire all mingled together.  Your stomach starts to growl as you are now pretty hungry since you've been walking for awhile. You start walking a little faster so that you can find out where that wonderful smell is coming from. You arrive at the place and you are pleasantly surprised and a bit overwhelmed. Your best friend who you haven't seen in awhile and whom you did not expect to see has made you breakfast at your favorite spot and is waiting for you to enjoy the meal with him. (He knew you would be walking on the beach and walk past this way!) He invites you to sit down and fixes you a plate. Then he asks, "What are your plans for the day?"

I have been reading through the message Bible and I recently read the last chapter of John. I'm sure everyone knows the story and I have read it in the past. There are many analogies and lessons that can be taken from this story. For some reason, this last time I read it, the story has replayed in my mind over and over again. I imagine it at night after a day of work and Jesus says to me, "How was your day?" He knows what I like and where I will be when. He knows what I need and when I need it. He always makes things special. Wouldn't you love to have a wonderful chat with your friend on the beach over a campfire meal? The beauty of it all is, I can and do have that relationship with Jesus. I tell Him what my plans are for the day and how my day went. He listens and cares and He helps me. One day, I hope to enjoy that meal on the beach with Jesus for real. Would you like to join us? It will be wonderful! In the meantime, when I am discouraged, I start to take a walk along the beach in my mind and Jesus is waiting for me by the campfire. He says to me, "Sit down and have some food. Tell me all about it. I can help..."

P.S. After proof reading this something else came to my mind. I have a dear friend who I used to chat with a lot about spiritual things. I remember her telling me an image that she carried with her about Jesus cooking a meal for her but hers was a kitchen setting. She used to work in a restaurant!:> Perhaps this is where these images came from in my mind, but either way, God uses the things we enjoy and can relate to (me, the beach, my friend a kitchen restaurant) to help us to understand how much he loves us and wants to be included in our lives and to help us. I have also been reading Brother Lawrence's book, "Practicing the Presence of God".  I think these images that we carry in our minds of Jesus also help us to "practice the presence of God." I hope you are filling your mind today with the images of God and experiencing His presence in your life.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Trees!

Okay, I confess. I Love Christmas trees. I like to see how people decorate them. I like white ones, flocked ones, fake ones, real ones, short ones, fat ones, and even steel ones! Pink ones, white ones, green ones, blues ones, gold ones, silver ones, and even teal ones! I like lights that are colored and lights that are white; lights that are blue, and lights in the night. There is nothing like the glow of a Christmas tree that spreads throughout the room and brings a smile to your face. I hope you are enjoying your tree this Christmas season.
TV room Christmas Tree

Living Room Christmas Tree

Bedroom Christmas Trees

Library Christmas Tree

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oh Baby, Baby!

The Lord has been gently nudging me over the last 3 years to do some volunteer work.  I wanted to do it, but really didn't know how to go about it.  I looked into it in GA and was going to volunteer for a christian organization that was similar to Goodwill, but quite honestly, I never got around to it.  Then the move happened and life was in such chaos, that I just didn't think that I could do it with everything else.  Well, the "nudging" never really stopped so one day I started looking online for something that I could do.  I found 2 organizations that interested me.  One is called, "Birthright of Columbia" and one is called, "Learning Ally".  The need for Birthright was for baby booties or office work.  I could do both, and would enjoy both.  The Learning Ally is books for the blind or dyslexic and since I love books this one really interested me.  I inquired about both. The Learning Ally would be making recordings of books. I would love to do this, but I will have to invest in a pair of headphones with a USB port before I can try it.  I didn't hear anything back from the first, but thought I better try out making a pair of booties before I give them away!  I used to crochet many years ago, but hadn't done it in a long while.  Conveniently, my crochet hooks were in a box that was accessible (still trying to find things from the move!) so I took them out and bought some yarn.  I am a big pinterest fan and loved all the beautiful booties I had seen there.  I found a few free patterns online and got busy.  Had a few mistakes, and I was a bit rusty, but just like riding a bike, it came back to me:>  I dropped my first attempts off  2 weeks ago and learned a little bit more about the needs of this organization.  The person I left a message for did return my call.  I will hopefully be able to learn a little bit more when I take my next batch in.
Pretty little slippers!
First "collection":>

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Nifty Thrifty!

This is the completed desk area.  I  made the curtains
and the lamp was a redo as well.  The desk is an old english
pub table.  The 2 end leaves fit under the top and it can be
a square table. We purchased a cut piece of plexiglass
to protect the table's surface.  They will cut to size
at Lowe's if you ask nicely:>
 The geraniums are a new addition as of yesterday.
The arrival of cold weather prompted their move from the
front porch!

I have to say, I'm a bit discouraged about not having a nice Goodwill near my new house.  When we lived in GA, the Goodwill's were the best I have ever found.  They always had great things and the prices were very reasonable. If I were still there, when I needed a desk, I would just pop in and low and behold we could find something that would work.  Unfortunately, in SC this is not the case.  When we moved back here we needed a desk for the library/office.  I was unable to find one in the thrift stores so I ended up getting one at an antique store.  It looked great and I was excited, but when I got it home, it wasn't as big as I thought and didn't look right in the place I was going to put it. So, I thought I would try to sell it on Craig's list and start over.  The offers that came in were almost all scams so after giving it a month, I decided that the desk was here to stay.  I moved it to a different place and it looked pretty good there.  Then there was a new problem.  I was originally just going to use the wingback chairs that we already had for the desk.  They were not the right size and didn't look right.  So, off I go again to the thrift stores to look for a desk chair!  We do happen to have a thrift store that has an abundance of office chairs and most of them are only $5.  Em bought one earlier in the summer and did a great job fixing it up ( you can check out her blog to see it; you can find a link to it in my sidebar:>).  Mike has a real gift of finding things I just don't see, and once again he came through!  We had checked out all of the chairs and didn't find anything, and then Mike called me over to a back room and showed me a chair that was behind some other ones.  It was perfect and only $5.  We loaded it up and took it home.  In the midst of a garage redo (yes, my life is still in upheaval from moving; will it ever end?!)  we ripped it apart, repainted it, and recovered it.  I thought I would be able to use some of the fabric that I had from previous Goodwill trips, but none of them really seemed to fit the color scheme I was going for, so I found a lovely print at Hobby Lobby.  It cost more then I wanted to spend for it, but, hey sometimes you just have to splurge, right?!  It only cost about $12 so I think it was worth it.  I already had the paint on hand, so the chair cost about $17.00 when all was said and done. Now it's a lovely place for the two teacher's currently living here to work:>  Here's a few pics:

and after!

Monday, November 5, 2012

This and That

Unfortunately so much time has past since my last post, I don't even know where to begin to update all that has happened in the last few months!  When I last posted, I was painting the trim in the old "new" house.  All of the trim has been finally finished.  It looks nice, but oh my what a huge task it was!  Once the inside painting was finished the next chore to tackle was the garage.  What a job.  The  family that rented our home kept a dog in my garage.  I was unaware of the horrible odor that awaited us when we returned to the house.  It has taken me over 16 months to eliminate the odor, a great deal of time, effort, money, and headaches (literally and figuratively!)  We of course immediately cleaned the garage with every possible kind of cleaner you can imagine.  It helped, but the odor lingered on.  We then had the walls painted by a professional (supposedly, but it wasn't done very well) and we treated the floor to another epoxy coating.  We took off the rubber gasket to the garage door.  We used air fresheners (many different kinds!).  We replaced the moldy wall caused by a broken water heater. (replaced the water heater as well.) Removed the utility sink and had the pipes looked at as they appeared to be leaking, and removed the wood cabinet next to the utility sink that appeared to be rotted due to the leaky pipes.  All this was done in order to put the house on the market.  While the smell was better, I still was not satisfied, but since I was not going to live here, I decided I had done the best I could do.  Besides, the only one that was really bothered by the odor was me!  Well, when the decision was made to move back here, I immediately started to pray about how we could eliminate this odor (and the one under the kitchen sink, but that's a whole other story!).  God was either going to have to eliminate it for me, help me not to be bothered by it, or help us find a way to get rid of it.  Well, it did not miraculously disappear, I was still bothered by it, and the only option left was to somehow fix it.  Soooo, All the trim was sanded and painted, every possible surface was primed with a shellacked  (Zinser primer, supposed to block odors and stains), all the surfaces were repainted, the ceiling was repainted, and the floor was again painted with epoxy paint and a clear coat on top.  We put the clear coat on top this weekend and the major work has finally been completed.  It has been a long, discouraging, tearful, and exhausting ordeal but I believe...THE ODOR APPEARS TO BE GONE!!!!!!!!
New wall color and painted trim (floor hasn't been painted yet)

Painted floor with clear coat on top and on workbench

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

They say you can never go home again...

The house in Georgia is sold!

Yes, we painted all the trim
in the house.  Ugh, what a project. Is that
dental molding you ask?  Why yes it
is.  Each one was painstakingly
painted with a tiny artist paintbrush.
Newsflash!  You can go home again:>  The dust has finally settled on decision making and the Lord guided us to where we are going to be in the coming year.  While it took 6 months of waiting, trusting and praying, it took only a few weeks for the Lord to answer all those prayers.  Our house in Georgia sold very quickly so it was clear that Georgia would not be where we would settle.  Closing should be Monday if all goes well.  We moved back to our "family homestead" in Columbia.  We originally rented the house out for a year and half.  If you recall a previous post, about a year ago around this time, we were trying to get the house usable once again after the renters moved out.  It was quite a disaster and unfortunately we ended up working on it up until November of last year.  We put it on the market, fully expecting to have to sell it so that we could stay in Georgia, but God had other plans!  The house never sold, and truth be told I was secretly thankful that it didn't.  I was having a hard time letting it go and I know if it sold it would be very emotional for me.  This house was a special gift to us long ago when we were very young and we moved into it when Josh was just a year and a half.  Emily was born here and lived here most of her life, and there were a lot of happy and sad memories we shared together in this place.  Mike and I really grew up here together and while I realize it is just a place, and "home is where the heart is"  it really is the only place that we consider our home.  When we received the house I dedicated it to God and asked that he would use it as a blessing to us as well as to all that spent time here and that we would use it for God's glory.  I can truly say that our home has been a place of refuge for not only our family, but several others as well.  As we move back into it, I pray that it would continue to be used for God's glory.  We are still "working on it".  When you own a home, are you ever done fixing it up, changing it, or adding to it?  I don't know if it's just us, but we always find something that needs to be done with the old place.  Enough about where we will be living, what will we be doing?  Mike accepted a job at Northside Christian Academy in Lexington, SC.  Yes, that is correct, only a small drive up the rode from our home.  I wish I had the time and place to explain all that God did to orchestrate our being here, but suffice it to say for now, we can clearly see God's hand, guidance, and direction, and know without doubt that this is where we are to be this year.  Mike is excited for the opportunity to minister at this wonderful new school where God is glorified and honored.  He will be teaching computer and science this year.  Emily will also be working at the very same school!  Yes, it is amazing.  She will be at the same school as her dad once again, but this time not as a student, but as a teacher!  She is excited about her first year of teaching and is looking forward to getting to know all her new 4th grade students.  What will I be doing?  I'm not sure yet.  We actually moved all our stuff to the house not this weekend but last.  I have not even begun to unpack as I was trying to get all the trim painted in the house first.  It was a massive undertaking but today we put the last coat of white paint on the bathroom and boy am I glad.  I do still have the garage to paint, but since all our stuff is in there right now, the garage will be put on hold until I can find the walls again.  I will be unpacking for awhile and trying to get us all settled back in.  I am praying about future opportunities  and am still waiting on the Lord to hear where he wants me to be.  For now, it is putting our house back in order.  And last, but certainly not least, an update on our favorite portlanders.  Josh and Alli purchased a home and will hopefully be moving by the end of August.  We are so excited for them.  The house is a wonderful old home in town and we know that it is just the perfect place for them.  Josh is doing great at his photography company.  His company is growing by leaps and bounds, he received a company car, and will be getting a phone to use for work.  He travels a lot and has been working on the yearbook for schools part of the company as well as many other responsibilities.  We are thankful that God provided him with a job that he enjoys doing so much.  Alli has been working in a coffee shop (coffee is life support for Portland people!)  She has a flower business as well as an Etsy shop and has exciting plans ahead for her in the future.  They are both busy with church, they are avid Timber fans, and throw in an occasional camping trip for fun.  We are hoping to be able to go out and visit them soon.  For all of you who prayed, thank you!  We love you and appreciate you caring enough to lift us up in prayer!  We hope that our answered prayers are an encouragement to you.  Blessings!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Well, it has been a long time since my last post.  Typical for the Schreck clan, it appears the Lord has a new adventure ahead of us once again:>  We were in the process of selling our house in SC.  We are now in the process of selling our house in GA and moving back to our house in SC!  I know, it's hard to keep up with, even for us!  It seems our time at GCA was ended and now the Lord has a new place in store for us to minister, although we are not sure where that will be at this very moment.  Needless to say, the Lord has been teaching me in the last 6 months these concepts from the Bible:  Wait.  Trust.  Help is on the way, an answer is coming, everything will work out. The only one who is all powerful is also merciful.  Fear not.  Be strong and courageous.  Don't be afraid, friend.  Peace.  Everything will be all right.  Deliverer "taken from one place to another".  Little did I know when the Lord started impressing and speaking these words into my life, how much I would need them and depend on them in the months ahead.  I lost my sweet Bear in March, went on a mission trip to Jamaica, Lost a dear colleague to cancer, Mike's job was not renewed due to a lack of funding, sickness, Emily graduating, and our old house not selling, putting our new house on the market, moving again after only 1 1/2 years.  Needless to say, it has been another period of extreme highs and extreme lows, but God...  He is sustaining me and helping me to get through this time.  I have also read a book (many times now:>)  Entitled the "Red Sea Rules".  I can not express how much this book has meant to me.  10 truths that have kept me from going over the edge during this difficult time are explained in this tiny little book.  They have been invaluable and even the timing of receiving this book was no coincidence.  Please pray with us as we start a new adventure once again!  More to come in the days ahead...