The Reason for My Distraction: Getting Real.

The Reason for My Distraction: Getting Real.

These might be the ugliest photos I’ve ever posted on my blog, but they are also some of the most beautiful to me. Let me explain.

Sometimes as a blogger you find yourself a little distracted from the usual blogging activities and topics. You know, the normal blogger posts about your amazing transformation of an ugly vase to a spray painted master piece, life changing stuff like what is on your bakers rack this month or the ever favorite furniture makeovers and weekend garage sale finds. I mean, that is what house bloggers DO on a regular basis. They transform things around the house. I love that sort of stuff.

The Reason for My Distraction: Getting Real.

But at my house, house projects often come to an abrupt standstill. I try to start them, but then the reality of life sets in and fun projects have to be put on hold for awhile. In a nutshell, I have drums in my living room.

In case you are new here, let me give you a little background info. While I play a house blogger on the internet, in the other half of my life, I somehow turned into a willing but unlikely pastor’s wife. Two years ago we made a gigantic life changing move to a new state, Washington, to lay the groundwork to start a church called Voyage. From scratch. By ourselves. As in, it was just my husband and son and I in a new-to-us area where we didn’t know a soul, trying to find people who wanted to join us.

The Reason for My Distraction: Getting Real.

We left our dream house. We left our friends. We left our family. Our son changed schools. Our house in Portland took 9 months to sell. My girls changed colleges and moved closer to help us. They have given up their entire weekend every single weekend for a year and a half (and take an hour long ferry to get here!) to help out in every possible way, from setting up and tearing down the church each week at a school, working with children to music to organization, to helping me with my blog to doing our grocery shopping and more. My oldest graduated from college two weeks ago and I couldn’t be more proud of my amazing kids and their selfless hearts. But that is another post in itself!

The past two years have been emotional, physically exhausting, financially difficult and exhilarating for our family.  In good ways. So, yeah, I’ll admit we live on the edge of what would drive most people a little crazy. I guess you have to be a little crazy to do be a church starter. And a full time blogger.

The Reason for My Distraction: Getting Real.

I could go on but my intention is not to puff myself up here or to complain or dramatize all my adventures in life, but to just to explain a little bit more about my life behind the blog — why I feel a little scattered sometimes. Well, a lot of the time. Maybe you can relate in your own way. It helps me to be authentic and real here, us bloggers are real people with real lives too.

I wouldn’t have my life any other way, it is an honor to serve in ways that are bigger and more important than my own little world. I do like to contribute to and make a difference in people’s lives and this experience has been amazing! Goodness knows I could be obsessed enough over my own house if I was allowed to be 100% focused on it. This journey I’m on just ensures that I get to love what I do in my home and blog, but it forces me in a good way to give lots of time to something outside of myself as well. Both are important.

The Reason for My Distraction: Getting Real.

Four more bathrooms to update! I should be done redoing bathrooms by the time I’m 94 years old!

But every now and then, my creative worlds collide and that is always a treat for me. Being able to serve others in an area you enjoy doesn’t always happen but when it does, it is FUN! After a year and a half of a start up phase in a school, we are relaunching our young church into its own (leased) building. And that means our little church has a place to call “home.” The opportunities we now have to reach out to the community have expanded in many many ways, and that is why we are embarking on this new adventure!

So in addition to figuring out how to finish my bathroom at home, my new challenge is wondering how in the world am I going to  fix up a 7500 square foot building with no money? Oh dear.

The Reason for My Distraction: Getting Real.

The nursery. Before.

Particularly this week, how am I going to fix up a 300 square foot nursery?

We want to make this nursery available with safe and affordable child care for the large population of military families in our area who faithfully serve our country so they can enjoy date nights and moms’ mornings out. I want it to be fabulous for these families, as well as the young moms in our church (who are often left behind with the children while their husbands are off on submarines for months at a time).

>I’m on the hunt right now for a donation of flooring so we can replace the disgusting carpet with something fresh, clean and easy to care for! So if anyone out there is connected to a flooring company and would like my undying affection and shameless plugs to contribute some flooring or other needs to this worthy cause, we’d be grateful.

So far,  our wonderful people at the church have painted the walls of the nursery a fresh modern neutral and are going to infuse the space with pops of bright color and fun patterns and art to give it a clean, modern and youthful feel. Definitely more modern nursery than traditional church nursery.

We are going for a vintage modern coffee shop vibe in our church. Fortunately I have an interior design student as a daughter, a hardworking now college graduate as another daughter, a great 10 year old son and self sacrificing people at our church who are willing to put in the time and creativity to make this a reality on a shoe string budget (if that, lol).

We hope to create a place where a young community will comfortable just hanging out with us on a Friday night (and hopefully they’ll stick around for the message too). Yeah. It is good to have distractions like this in life sometimes. My bathroom might not be getting done and I might not be sleeping much but it is all for a good cause.

So, I bet you have things that are good but exhausting distractions in your life too! What is going on in your world that keeps you in the tug of war trying to balance YOUR life? I’d love to here from you all in the comments!

PS. Tomorrow I’m kicking off a mini-series featuring a fun in progress home office makeover! I can’t wait for this myself!

The Reason for My Distraction: Getting Real.

UPDATE:  Here is an update on our progress!


  1. domestosgoddess says

    Gosh, you have such a lot to do, but what more wonderful reason could you have for doing it? And from what you say of your family your mutual support and love will carry the project forward (you must have brought those children up well, what a credit they are to you).
    Balance…. Well, almost a year ago I left my full time job in a legal practice for many reasons, funding and my late boss’s illness amongst them. I worked part time in a designer home store until that closed in January, but my aim has been to accumulate a “portfolio” of part time work, so that I can have some pocket money, make good use of my time and keep brain alive, but also allow plenty of time for the voluntary work I undertake three times each week, and of course to be with my lovely husband and daughter as much as possible. To this end, I now call twice daily to an elderly lady with dementia to make meals, tidy her home and make sure she has taken her meds, and on Thursday I’m starting a part time job in a local interior design store. I can still do my charity work, look after the family and see my friends, it just takes a little planning, eg, making sure dinner is 90% prepped before I call round to my lady in the evening, making telephone calls as soon as I think of them, not waiting until it’s too late (major fault in me) and staying positive. Life is good, yours is too, because there’s a greater power watching over us.

    Love from England.

  2. What a wonderful thing you and your family are doing for your local community! I know the young couples, moms especially, will enjoy having a place of support to gather and fellowship with each other.

  3. I’m exhausted just reading through your post. WOW! Your work is impressive! It’s so beautiful to hear the loving dedication and commitment of your children. Wishing you many continued blessings.

  4. I am sooooo happy for you! As soon as I saw the first photo I knew….just knew….this post had to be about a new church building. Having just gone through this process ourselves less than three years ago it is very fresh in my mind. In fact we are just in the process of finishing the kitchen now….that feels so good. It has taken time to do it on a budget but is so worth it. Having many people involved is a mix of frustrating and awesome!!

    Yay! I am so very excited that you are at this next phase of the church. God must be blessing the work of your hands.

  5. I love hearing behind-the-scenes stories as the blog is just a snapshot of life.

    (Just this week I posted about how I had to pay to get a parking ticket because the “organising queen” lost hers) :)

    So to answer your question, I work full-time, have 21-month-old twins, run a business and write on two blogs almost every day………… :)

  6. PS congrats on the new building – it already looks awesome and God will provide, don’t you worry!

  7. Oh so happy for you Melissa!!! What a great time of transition. A church with a home all its own. Though you have a lot of work ahead at setting the new space up, it will be nice not to have to tear it down at the end of every worship service and put it all back up again the next week? Been there, done that. So glad I am not still doing that. :-)
    Praying for your “plant” that God will continue to grow it.
    And congrats to your daughter on her graduation.

  8. Jennifer Spadaro says

    i cant imagine doing all that. Thank you for sharing some of your real life with us. My full time job is taking care of my 4 month old daughter, my happy distraction is my home and reading wonderful blogs about homes. You are very brave and your family sounds wonderfully close, which is such a blessing. How exciting to be designing such a big and important space for your family and community. i cant wait to see the after pictures to come. no woner you didnt finish your gallery wall yet, lol.

  9. Thank you so much for this post! We are part of church plant in our area, so it’s fun to read about another one. I especially love reading the sacrifices your daughters (in particular) made. Wow! I pray that my sweet boys have servant hearts like that when they are grown.

    My distractions? A 5 year old, 2 3 year olds, Hubby recently hit by a car while running, major life change connected to that, the church plant, on top of launching a blog.

  10. Good for you! And more power to you! I can’t imagine how you find time to, not only do all these super cute and crafty projects, but blog about them, and keep up a website and now to learn you are basically starting a church from scratch? Wow, wow, wow!

  11. We have plans to try to start a family in the not-too-distant future, but first, we’re working like mad to get our lives ready for that kind of change. My husband is back in school AGAIN so that he can hopefully find the kind of work that will allow me to work less if and when we are fortunate enough to have children, I’m working two jobs to pay off some bills, and we are devoted to being full-time teachers during the day. I would so love to spend more time reflecting, writing, and working on being a good wife, sister, and daughter, but sometimes life is so crazy that I just want to drop! The other things fall by the wayside in pursuit of the next big thing in our lives.

  12. As the wife of a church planter I can totally relate! and give you a big “woot, woot!” on finding a space you can settle into as a church. We are praying and waiting for a similar space that we can afford here in SC. Church planting is hard and exciting work, i am impressed with how you are able to keep up your blog. My boys are still young and I have had such a hard time developing mine between them and our ministry. Kudo’s to you. I am excited to see how you revamp your new church home!

  13. Congratulations! The space looks promising and the best Helper is already on board. Look forward to the step by step updates and great reveal.

  14. How exciting!!! Now you can use your gift of decorating to bless the members of Voyage! I pray the Lord blesses the work of your hands, He will provide, He promises. You are NOT distracted you are right where you are called to be. Keep sharing the progress at your new location! Blessings to your and your family, Shelly Holland

  15. Melissa,

    It’s so nice to meet ‘more of you’! Thank you for this post. I think readers sometimes forget that we have lives outside our blogs. I wish we were closer and I could be a part of your church community. If there is anything you need (besides flooring) please let me know and if I have it, you are welcome to it.
    Congrats to your daughter on her college graduation! They both sound like such a help to you and your husband.
    My exhausting distraction is moving my sweet mother into my home. She was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I am blessed that I work from home and am able to care for her myself. I cherish the time we have.

    Your Friend,

  16. Congratulations, Melissa! What a wonderful, inspiring post. I don’t post every day on my blog, but I try to pop in at least a few times a week. When I get distracted from it, it’s usually something having to do with family or just plain being too busy with those home improvement projects to stop and take some pictures. :)

  17. Shirley Schilder says

    You are a true source of inspiration Melissa – as a Christian and as a talented woman. You have inspired me to start facing the self-doubt and fear which has kept from daring to follow my dreams and heart-felt desires for so long. Today, I started a blog account – a small step for mankind – but a HUGE deal for me!!! Thank you for showing me that it’s okay to love beautiful things and want to create a beautiful home environment. I had questioned whether my passion and desires,and oh-so-tiny bit of flair in this area were really from God, or just the product my self-indulgence and pride. You have shown me that it is okay to do this and serve the Lord too. May God continue to bless the work of your hands, your natural family and your church family too. Blessings from Australia!xxxxx

    • When you are blessed with creativity and the passion to share it, it is a God given thing. Embrace it, use it, keep it in balance and enjoy serving with all your heart!!!

  18. How wonderful! I want to encourage you…not that you need it but my daughter just moved from a temporary spot to a more permanent rented spot for chuch as well. Making it feel like home was a labor of love for many and it is amazing. She attends Vintage242 Church in Georgia; their space looks very similar to yours. We attend the main campus. I know the setting up and tearing down each week is time consuming and a bit of a pain. So very glad you won’t have to do that any more! Praying for the work you do, that the Lord meets you every step of the way and that inspiration flows to welcome His presence to the place.

  19. You are a true source of inspiration Melissa – as a Christian and as a talented woman. You have inspired me to start facing the self-doubt and fear which has kept from daring to follow my dreams and heart-felt desires for so long. Today, I started a blog account – a small step for mankind – but a HUGE deal for me!!! Thank you for showing me that it’s okay to love beautiful things and want to create a beautiful home environment. I had questioned whether my passion and desires,and oh-so-tiny bit of flair in this area were really from God, or just the product my self-indulgence and pride. You have shown me that it is okay to do this and serve the Lord too. May God continue to bless the work of your hands, your natural family and your church family too. Blessings from Australia!xxxxx

    ps This blogging thing is new to me as I said, so please forgive me if I’ve duplicated my comments – thought I’d deleted the first one. So much to learn! xx

    • Ha no worries, it happens to all of us sometimes!!! Blessings to you in Australia…I enjoy seeing how many friends I have around the world!!!

  20. wow! how exciting! i can relate to so much of what you shared! i spent 2 years working with a church plant, and it was 2 of the most exciting, exhausting, challenging, and alltogether wonderful years of my life! that is such GREAT news about space of your own, and just look at that huge, 7500 sqft canvas God gave you to decorate and make beautiful! i know it’s gonna be gorgeous!

  21. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! I pray that you will quickly (and freely!) find His beauty and plan for this space and that it will be filled with families and children coming to hear words of life. Thanks for your daily words of encouragement and loveliness!

  22. Congrats!!! My hubby and I are also church planters, so I just felt so totally excited for you as I read about your new ‘home’!! I knew (and felt giddy) as soon as I saw the pic that this was going to be about a space for the church. It’s so exciting…waiting (not so patiently) for us to get to that point!!! Blessings in all you do!

  23. love it love it friend!!! we were just given a 50,000 sqft old bowling ally for our church. we could use some of your design skills :) so excited for what god is doing sweet friend!!!

  24. Now I get it! Didn’t know how I found your blog. Knew why I loved it! It has God’s signature on it that’s why! I believe when we walk with God we walk in the liberty of being who he created us to be. You are good at what you do because you love it and because everything you put your hand to do is blessed!
    Never despise the days of small beginnings. Precious moments are jewels in our treasure box of time. Okay, I’m done, but I do hope you take moments to relax and breath it all in and enjoy it. The Lord did all the work we just rest in it. I can hear you saying, “Uhhh…….right.” Lol! Thank you for peek inside. I look forward to seeing the progress.

    Blessings to you and all of family!

  25. That is so exciting! We just went through that last fall in our church as well, we’re a newer church plant and finally have a building. We transformed an old hardware store in the heart of our downtown into an amazing space-and by we I really mean we. Every member of our church (and some who weren’t even members) had their hands on different parts of the building. Looking back we have seen amazing and miraculous provision, like knock your socks off amazing. Praying for that for you!

  26. A pastor at our church talked about the messiness of life this past Sunday. He spoke very candidly about how we can be sort of hands off to the painful/hard stuff going on around us. I was so convicted. Right now it seems to be like the daily schedule of my kids, work or whatever that seems to be able to take control of my life, and in effort to keep it “neat” I tend to shy away from the work that God seems to be calling me to.

    I loved reading about your church plant this morning. My parents planted a church when I was in high school. That is hard work…physically, spiritually, and especially emotionally. Love to you and your family as you continue to do the work He has called you to!

  27. Jennifer M says

    What an exciting time in your lives! I’m inspired by your faithfulness. You are being rewarded! And I can not wait to see how you shape this space into something special.

    I have to say, also, that my cup is overflowing with praise for our Lord and Savior as I read these comments. So many with similar stories, different stories, uplifting stories. He is the common thread in all of these. Thank you for the blessings!

  28. Amy Kinser says

    I sit with my heart racing as I read your post because it is so exciting what you and your family are doing. You guys must be a very special family for God to put this in your hands and in your lap to take on. The call of God in your life to do anything is incredible, but something like this, I think, is so great. I love that you are thinking “outside the box” when seeking to reach the unchurched and lost. What a ministry I know you have already and will continue to have.

    May God continue to guide your steps. May everything you are all doing be according to His perfect will. I believe many many people will have changed lives because of your obedience. Praise God!!


  29. as a military wife I just have to say THANK YOU for even considering the thought of doing Parents Night Out for the military members of your church and community. I don’t think people really realize that even when the service members are not deployed, they are gone a lot… 5am to 8pm is normal, so your kid care services will be treasured!

  30. Bless your beautiful heart! Prayers for you my friend. :)

  31. The job of a pastors wife is often overlooked at everything they do. It is so awesome the support you have for your husband on this journey and newer chapter of your lives! The building looks awesome and I’ll send up a prayer that God will provide in unbelievable ways for you to refinish the different spaces. The goals for the nursery area are amazing and every town should have something like that. Blessings!

  32. Church planting is hard work – but the results are immeasurable. When I saw the first picture I thought, this must be a new church building.

    Blessings on you and your family, Melissa. God smiles when he looks at you.

  33. Wow, I can so relate to your life! I am also a pastors wife, and we moved to an area where I did not know a person. We started a church 4 years ago in a school. We now share a very old building with a small church, and are trying so hard to find a building we can afford. As you can imagine, it is a very difficult thing to share a building, especially when we are much larger. And as I am sure you know, it is very hard to budget when just don’t know what will come in every week for both your and the churches bills. I am homemaker, and not your typical pastors wife at all, I prefer to be at home and work on projects! But as with everything, there are also many blessings that come with what we do. I am a bit overloaded at the moment with things on my plate. My husband found out he has stage 4 liver cancer, and is currently undergoing chemo for it. This is after he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer 2 years ago, and went through about a year of very intense chemo. They have given him a 50 percent survival rate over the next 5 years. This has turned our life upside down, he is very sick and still trying to preach every other Sunday. The good news, he only has 3 more treatments left! Anyway, I also am working on my youngest sons graduation party which is in June. My oldest sons Wedding in May, in which I am doing everything, including the flowers! I am also hosting a wedding shower which I am trying to plan! His fiancé lives with us, while going to college this last year. We have a friend of my sons also living with us, he is trying to change and get his life together. And along with everything, we own a gym! I know crazy, right? But, I do believe God has kept me busy with all of these things, to keep me busy at home while we get my husband healthy again. Stressful at some moments, fun and a blessing at others. My big escape and addiction in all of this…all the wonderful blogs out there like yours! It makes me feel normal and motivates me to continue to enjoy decorating, cooking, baking, and many crafts! Thank you for ALL the time you put into your blog, it is a bright ray of sunshine in my day… that I very much look forward to! Good luck with your new building, it is just beautiful!

    Love & Blessings!

    • Kim, wow. There is so much on your plate, my heart is heavy for all you have to deal with. I know God will work all things together, even the difficult things, for good as you keep your chin up and keep serving. I’ll be praying for you.

  34. Melissa I am thrilled for you and your husband and your church family! This is soooo exciting. And I can only imagine how fabulous it will all look. And….I absolutely know for sure…because you are having to do this on half a shoestring. It will be better than anything that can be paid for with money. God will bless you and create more creativity in you and your daughter than either of you have ever imagined. And…expect….God will provide out of the most unlikely places and people. How can you possibly sleep at night??? The excitement and rush of adrenaline must be over the top! If I didn’t live clear across the country I’d be privileged to come and lend a hand. But…I can pray for you… :-)
    May God guard you and give you peace (& balance?).

  35. Melissa, you are inspiring and I love that you keep it real on your blog and talk about parts of your life outside of decorating (which is so much fun to hear about). Your work with your new church is such an exciting venture and I hope your new space comes together as you dreamed!

  36. Wow! I love seeing/reading about the other side of your reality. I’m the Nursery Coordinator at our church. We have a baby boom happening in our church. The nursery was recently switched from a small room to a much bigger room (about twice the size). It’s been a fun challenge to figure out new ways to set-up and zone the space to fit the church’s changing needs. I can’t wait to see what you do with the nursery at your church (and all the rest of the spaces)!!! I’ve been toying with the idea of a bit of a revamp decor wise in our nursery. Best of luck!

  37. I would so much rather hear about your church than your baker’s rack. :)

    • Ha, well I’ll remember that the next time I feel like showing it off. I’ll have to start a new series called “What’s new at in my church nursery” ;-)

  38. I enjoyed your post today. I attend a churh plant that’s not so young anymore. After quite a few years of setting up & tearing down, we’ve finally settled in to a rental space. Part of the building was built in the 1800s & the other half in the 70’s. It’s been sitting empty for many years. We have the same issues with having to fix-up & decorate on less-than-a-shoe-string budget. It’s definitely a labor of love for the congregation to pitch in & donate & do the work.
    We’re trying to come up with some creative ways to bring in money for furniture. Our women’s group is doing zumba classes so we can buy tables.
    I clicked over to your church website & it’s so nicely done. I’m going to share some ideas with our group.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  39. Yeah! How exciting to be on such an adventure. We love the twists and turns that God leads us on and how He overlaps our passions and our giftings. We both have a similar background and are excited to see where your journey leads you.

    Kristin & Chris Ann

  40. Tears of joy ran down my face as I read this post and looked at all of the pictures!!!!! I am SOOOOOO happy for you guys!!! What amazing work God has done in building His church in just a year and a half! I am SO glad that you shared more of your story of what you and your family are doing as you follow God in this journey!!!! What a blessing! A true blessing to hear the Praise report and the prayer and practical needs that Journey now has! How exciting!!!!

    Be distracted? No! You weren’t! Your attention was right where it needed to be…on the work of God! :D

    I am so excited for you guys and the growth that is happening…and I will be praying for you as you discover the resources that you need to make this special new place into the welcoming place that God is leading you to build to bring people the comfort and joy of the Gospel.

    Congratulations, Melissa!!!!

    Building Home with Him,

    Mary Joy

  41. I am absolutely, positively, giddy for you guys. Praying and sending love from Virginia.

  42. I have just read a book that I think can be a great inspiration for you as you decorate your worship space. The book is “Chasing Francis”. I think this book will be a wonderful encouragement. I’d love to hear what you think after you read it–I think you will pass it on!

  43. Hi, Melissa, thank you for your sweet words of encouragement to me recently on my moving post. It’s been so great to get to know you as a real life friend too these past few years.

    Don’t we all have real life in the background of blogging that takes over so many times? I sure do! As you mentioned in your comment, it is so easy to feel out of the loop in blogland when so many creative & crafty things are going on & we don’t feel a part of them. I know I have felt lost & like everyone is having fun but me right now. But, life is made up of ups & downs & God is still there with us through it all. Right now, I’m in a definitely down time, but I know He is walking along with me (as well as my wonderful family!).

    I so admire what you and your hubby have done, that is a selfless thing to do, moving away from all that is comfortable and normal to start a new church. My former church in B’ham, Church at Brook Hills, just sent a team out to Seattle to start a church too, maybe you will run across them sometime.

    Hugs, Melissa! Here’s to real life and dealing with it gracefully.

  44. Wonderful! I wish you and your family all the best. You are a very inspiring woman.

    I coach clients who are struggling with eating/food issues. And I am opening my own (small) wellness studio (TOMORROW!) after having met with clients at the community center and a local yoga studio for the past couple of years.

    I only work part-time but it’s been a real juggling act since we travel a great deal and homeschool as well. But my family has been on board since the beginning, helping/supporting/encouraging. It’s meant the world to me and made all the difference in my motivation. My new studio is exactly how I’d pictured it in my mind all this time – and my family helped translate that dream into reality.

    I am still figuring out the “balance” part. But I have that “this is right” feeling, so I’m confident it will all work out.

  45. Very cool! I think this is EXACTLY the kind of environment young families would like to hang out in and learn about the Lord. May He bless you in this church plant!

  46. Wow! That is so exciting! I guess I didn’t realize that you were a Pastor’s wife. I am an Associate Pastor’s wife, and am amazed at the work load that brings to my plate every week! You are definitely an inspiration!

  47. Melissa, what an exciting adventure! I think we all have “that other life” and it’s kind of cool when we get to see that part. I did a post about mine in September. :) I hope you are able to find all the elements you need to create a wonderful place of worship. It’s the people that make the church, though, so I know it’s already perfect.
    Just think of all the posts you can create about this! Decorating on a large scale! :)

  48. Melissa, I think I’ve mentioned to you before, that I can so relate to this wonderful thing you’re doing. We started a church plant several years ago now. It was the most amazing spiritual experience of my life so far. God is good and DOES provide!

  49. I have to confess to feeling a bit emotional as I read these comments. It’s so comforting to be among faithful, believing people. I’m not saying it’s great to read of others’ hardships, but there’s a sense of community knowing we all have struggles and we can strengthen each other through our faith. And it’s true that when we look at others’ trials, we may well choose to keep our own.
    Our major trial at the moment is that on April 22nd we will have gone 2 years without a job. For my husband, as for most men, this is very difficult. He wants to work. Unfortunately, the level of experience he has isn’t offering many positions. He has “dumbed down” his resume considerably, but still few opportunities. He starts every day with exercise, study and prayer and then spends the day looking for a job- that IS his full time job at the moment. I see him for mealtime and occasionally he’ll take a break to do something in the house- a simple, quick repair.. And now our youngest daughter is getting married and while that is joyful, the financial realities make it a little hard. Who wants to pay 60$ for envelopes??? We keep our worries from her and are doing it all…not really by ourselves. Our friends have stepped in in marvelous ways. Several friends have daughters getting married and have opened their homes and decorations to me- I’ll pay nothing for tableclothes and next to nothing for decorations, using some before their own weddings- such kind friends.
    We prayed from the beginning as to what direction we should take. We feel peace in staying in our home, though homes are selling in our neighborhood. We feel peace staying in our area.
    That’s the answer to our lives, I think. When we pray and make a decision, if we feel peace then we’re on the right track. The Saviour gave us HIS peace and that peace “passeth all understanding”. I know more fully what that scripture means because as our funds have depleted we have continued to feel love and peace in our home. WHO could understand That?? but a person who trusts in the Lord with all their heart; and leans NOT to their own understanding. (Prov. 3:5).
    We are at the end of our funds, which we ALL reach in our trials- the end of the rope- and that’s when we are stretched the most. Do we really have the faith we have proclaimed? Do we really beieve He hears our cries?
    I witness that He does. He knows us- we are His little lambs and He loves us. He knows our pains, our sorrow, our worries and He lifts us and blesses us and strengthens us beyond our capacity to understand. And beyond what I deserve.
    Thanks, Melissa, for what might have seemed a simple post – decorating your church and organizing it for blessing others- visiting this “inspired room” has blessed me today.

    • Aw, I know exactly what you are going through. My husband was unemployed for a year when our daughter got married and that was bittersweet in many ways. And I know what you mean about your husband needing work…that is so important for them. My dad is in the same boat, nearly retired and life took a twist that left him needing a job after owning his own business for most of his life. Tough times. Sending you much love and prayers.

  50. THIS is why I have been faithfully following your blog for 4 years now Melissa. I love your faith and your philosophy! Thank you for sharing your whole world with us and inspiring and encouraging others:)

  51. As a mother of four and a husband deployed life is always busy. Also a daughter to two pastors with a church they started, I am following your journey.

    As an aside: have you checked out they have wonderful odd lots carpet tiles for cheap. We did an odd lot in our 30 x 34 great room, looks like a quilt. Durable with the kids too, easy to install and cheaper than any other option. I can send pictures if you would like.

  52. Wow, what an amazing venture Melissa!.

    Good luck to you and your family. I look forward to seeing how these rooms are beautifully transformed by your love and attention to detail.

    Your current project pales in comparison to my current painter-from-heck story and other home re-decorating efforts-lol. Warm regards!!

  53. Melissa, you have a lot on your plate. You certainly are a superwoman and a super mother.
    I wish you and your family lots of luck in this new venture.

  54. Oh, Melissa! How exciting for your church! And for your family! I’m grateful to have seen a glimpse into your life outside the blog! I now know how to pray for you when you come to my mind. : )

  55. Wow Melissa. I knew a lot of the move&new church but not all. I sooo wish I lived near you. I would bet some of thos wonderful military families would love to help,too. It will help with the worrytime to share for a cause that will help them,too. Any carpet recyclers in ur area? Maybe get some good stuff not meltworthy? Recyclers who use tires to make padded floor mats fun to play&tumble on? Walmart? ReStore aka the donate from contractors part of Habitat? Am trying to think&am trying to get out the door too. Momma/89 in hosp w RSVpneumo &non-vaccine influenza & since am immunosuppressed re lupus,caught smthng from her or at Daddy’s(88) 2dr appts last wk-nephro&vasc surg for fistula, stage4 kidney disease&bladder Ca. Kept BC to bladder lining for 10.5yrs w 3mo scoop&scopes but now 1ureter&that’s the better kidney! Able to stent for now…haven’t been around and am sry. Miss you. :( but momma not well&have to see,is fading.Has vasc dementia & out of “safespace” a week,& I hvnt been able go cuz of fever.Prayrs.

    • Carol Adams says

      Susan.. Just happened to comment on this and saw your response.
      I am sending good thoughts and prayers your way as I also struggle with Lupus as well as Neuromyelitis Optica and am also on immunosuppresssion drugs. Had to “retire” from being a critical care nurse for 30+ years. Sending my best thoughts and prayers to you as I have inkling as to the struggles you have. Oh, also dealing with my 89 yrs old dad’s recent cancer diagnosis as well as dealing with my elderly aunts issues..
      Don’t know if you will even see this… But am putting out good wishes hoping in some way you know someone has you in their thoughts.
      Feel free to email me if you desire and have the time.
      adamsca at me dot com

    • Oh so sorry to hear that Susan!! Take care and know I am remembering you!!

      • @carol adams & @melissa – thank you both dear ladies. Carol u really understand! Bless u both for hearing&caring with all u have on your own platters rt now! You certainly have outgrown plates…service for eight maybe? Feels that way some days! Carol I saved your e, rest assured I will b in touch&kno my prayers are w u&urs,too. Melissa,dear one, you are always in my heart even when I hv fallen off face of the earth. Out the door on the fractrd AVN knee,pain clinic day. Hv to keep a cpl of_my_appts. :) love2u-s-

  56. Hi Melissa from Brisbane, Queensland.Australia. All I can think about whilst reading your blog and enjoying it so much,is what a giving soul you are. I have come to know you through reading what you have been up to in the Inspired Room. I want to say this in regard to your new church and I quote. “God will provide”.
    It is a wonderful journey you and your family are on, and as we Aussies say “Good yah mate”.
    Hugs Moyra

    • Thank you Moyra, it is amazing to know people care all the way over in Australia. That is pretty awesome!!

  57. I’m so glad I found this post today. My husband and I are on the cusp of a major change in our life. This summer we are moving from our home in Southern California to Washington. We are both bible college graduates and pastors. The idea of church planting has bounced around our brain, but we’re scared and feel unprepared. Oh, and we have four small children. :)

    So, this was very encouraging to me. To see someone who followed the leading of the Lord and all of the beautiful things He’s doing in your life. It makes me even more excited to see what He has in store for us. :)

  58. Carol Adams says

    Life certainly is an adventure, isn’t it?
    I am inspired by you and your family! I soooooo appreciate you being REAL.. that in an of itself, speaks to me!
    My best wishes and prayers to you and yours…You are on an amazing journey!!
    Hugs from Indiana!!

  59. This post just made me super excited for you!! I work full time and attend seminary part time, so I totally understand those “good but exhausting distractions”…sometimes I feel pulled in a million different directions, but in the end (as I’m sure you would agree) it’s SOO worth it!

  60. My Goodness!! How inspiring and wonderful, exhausting and fulfilling. God bless you for spreading His Word and Works, while sharing your beautiful gifts. I now admire you even more. :)

  61. Congratulations on your NEW SPACE!! How exciting. The church that you are envisioning yours to soon be sounds so much like the church I attend – New Hope in Friendswood, Texas (almost Houston.)
    It’s actually in a strip center and the particular space used to be a furniture store. When you walk through the doors, however, you enter a different world — a great world!! Everyone wears T-shirts and jeans, they have a great little bookstore, tons of donuts and coffee and then pizza for the 11:00 service, a great youth program.

    Good luck on the transformation and try to enjoy every step!!

    xo Vikki

  62. Oh awesome Melissa! Talk about a blank slate! I’d be paralyzed with indecisiveness on what to do in there, but sounds like you have a great team, and yourself of course! I can’t wait to read about the new adventures and the shananigans that come along with it. :) And if I had a flooring company I’d totally give you some flooring. :)

  63. This post is amazing in so many ways but I’m afraid I’d leave a novel if I told you all of the parts that made me happy & excited for you so I’ll just tell you the part that made tears spring into my eyes… The nursery part. For military families. My husband is in the military & I would LOVE to have some place like that near where I live. We actually have a huge military community with lots of units deployed, deploying or preparing to deploy but there is no base so people in the community don’t know/notice. I would just like to say a profound THANK YOU for thinking of the parents who are left behind who need some time for themselves sometimes!!! Thank you thank you!! They will appreciate it more than you could ever know. I appreciate it and I live all the way across the country!!! Xoxo

    • Kristi, I am so glad you left a comment…thank you for your encouragement. We just want to do what we can to show that we care about these families –we are so appreciative of everyone who supports our country and keeps us safe. I know that career, like ministry, it is not the easiest road to travel so I appreciate the sacrifices you all make!!! xoxo

  64. Laurie Snyder says

    Hi Melissa, Thank you for your encouraging words today. I too, am a minister’s wife and we also have started a new church in a small town in TN along with 3 other precious families. Our hearts desire is to connect people with Christ. We have grown from 4 families to 190 since September. We are leasing and auto auction building and it is simple, but a perfect place. We are called New Life Ministries. I want to encourage you to keep going and let God show you His power. On a personal note, I just returned from Chicago, where my 21 year old beautiful daughter was admitted to a wonderful women’s treatment center for depression. It has been 48 hours and she is doing well, but at first she wanted to leave. The prayers of so many has given us a peace that I give God the praise for. You never imagine this for your precious children. She wants to be healed and give back to those who fight this terrible disease. Her name is Lacey and I would love the prayers of anyone on her behalf. On Sunday night after the cab brought me to my hotel, I sat in my room, weeping for her, but also thanking God for this wonderful place that He revealed to us. God bless your family. Laurie

    • Laurie,
      Affirming abundant goodness and gentle healing for your daughter and your family. Be strong and know that she — and you — are never alone.

      • Laurie Snyder says

        Thank you so much Laura. She is struggling to want to stay right now. Please pray for her to have the courage to stay and benefit fully.

    • Oh Laurie, I can imagine your pain. Praying for healing and all the wonderful things that can come of her heart to help others. Take care!

    • Charlotte says

      Hi Laurie, will be praying for you and your daughter. If you could email me @ , when you have a moment, I would certainly appreciate it. I am interested in knowing more about the treatment center for depression for someone I know who battles this awful foe.
      Thank you. God bless you.

  65. Andrea S. says

    Wow! I’m am so happy for you and your family…and your church family! I have been in churches in rented facilities for most of my Christian Life…and a place to call home is so wonderful! I love your blog…and now I feel I know it’s author a little better! I look forward to seeing the progess! And pray God will help you all nest in your new home!

  66. I am so excited for you! Wow. You have a full plate. Praying for you.

  67. Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure with us. Our church started many years ago in small building in the middle of acres of farmland. It has now grown to 3 buildings and 6000 members, with a new branch church starting. It has been an amazing adventure. I will never forget services in the gym before our larger sanctuary was built. When the children’s building was being built, we spent many months organizing and painting murals. It was on of the best times of my life. When we started a Praise Service, I loved it and continue to attend the more casual service instead of “big church – as my daughters called it”. I wish I lived close to you and could be involved in your amazing adventure.

    We have many companies in San Antonio who do advertise as faith based businesses. My husband works for one – they are always willing to donate to anyone who is working to share His Word. I hope you will find some of those wonderful businesses near you.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thank you Norell, I wish we had companies to help us — I am going to be looking out for them and pray doors like that will open, as we definitely could use the support! Thanks so much!!

  68. As we say in the South: “Bless your heart!” I so wish I was close by – I’d love to help out! What a beautiful ministry — so inspiring! Praying for your family today and all the families you will touch with the love of God!
    “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”
    1 Cor. 16:13-14

  69. Melissa,
    Congrats to you and your family! I am a commercial real estate broker in Calif. and I have worked with church congregations in the past — it’s been incredibly fulfilling. I honor your family’s spirit of service. The bathroom can wait…what you are doing for your community is priceless. Great work!

  70. Amazing, amazing, and inspiring! It’s a calling no doubt and what a courageous thing but when God leads you, you have no choice. I am so moved.

  71. I love this post, Melissa. I am a ministry wife, too, so totally get the drums in the living room, and decorating a building with no money.(My version, of course, looks different.) It will be fun to see what you and God come up with. Love your heart for the young military families, too.


  72. My goodness and bless your heart! I already have a church I love, but how inspiring you and your family are to have such conviction.
    If I lived closer I would be a happy volunteer in your wonderful nursery…if only :)
    Good luck to you, and I’m sure blessing will rain down upon you and yours!

  73. Melissa – so interesting and fun to see the other side of your life. You have every right to be distracted now and then, you have so much going on!! I’m sure your new church building is going to be a warm, welcoming, beautiful place. Can’t wait to see how you transform the nursery and bathrooms.

    What great kids you have; loving, giving, caring, and flexible!


  74. Melissa – You have every right to be distracted now and then, you have so much going on!! I’m sure your new church building is going to be a warm, welcoming, beautiful place. Can’t wait to see how you transform the nursery and bathrooms.

    What great kids you have; loving, giving, caring, and flexible!


  75. Thank you so much for giving us all a glimpse into what is important in your life. What an amazing project! As the wife of a hubby who traveled a lot early on in our marriage, I know that those military families will be so blessed! It’s so encouraging when people don’t just ask to help but do it!
    I am so looking forward to how you decorate the nurseries! I’m the nursery director at my church and it’s so hard to come up with a way to decorate that isn’t pricey or hard to maintain.
    Also – as the daughter of a church planting pastor, know that this is a huge blessing to your kids- now and in the future. We are still so close to those first few families who came to the church and it’s so amazing to seem them leading in churches and other ministries. I saw first hand my parents continued faithfulness through good times and bad and it has really made an impact on me and my brothers. Press on!

    • Thank you Kara, I appreciate that so much!! I am sure I’ll have lots of creative ideas to share since we’ll be working hard on it for the next few months!!

  76. So funny!! One morning last week when I woke up you came to my mind before I even got out of bed. I immediately prayed for you and your husband and the church God has called you too!! God is so good! and I’m so happy for you all!!

    • Thank you Cyndi, you have no idea how much that means to me. I sometimes worry about the “risky” side of taking this on but knowing I have friends around the country remembering me and my needs just gives me so much peace!! Thank you!

  77. Melissa, I love that you shared this with us! I’m a recovering church planter. :) Seriously, it’s awesome to hear a more successful church planting story than my own, because even though our first attempt was a failure, I’m still open to God’s leading for a future attempt. (Yikes! Did I just SAY THAT???) Thank you for sharing a bit of what’s going on behind the scenes!!

  78. Wow! How exciting!! Thank you for sharing this; it’s truly amazing how we (I…) can feel so connected to someone that writes a blog even though we’ve never met in person.

    OK, now I have to share this – your blog was the VERY first home blog that I ever discovered. The only blog I ever followed up until this important discovery was the one written by Jean Stockdale. She writes & teaches the MOMS bible study that I’ve had the pleasure to attend since my son was only 5 months old (he turns 8 this Friday). She’s been doing this for a really long time – I think 23 or 24 years now. Anyways, she either linked something to your blog or for some reason shared your blog address on her blog… one click & I found a whole world of people that have similar interests in decorating/projects/ideas. How cool is that??

    By the way… if you are looking to offer a bible study for these moms – send me a message. I’ll be happy to send you any one of Jean’s studies. Her studies are even sold on Amazon. I’m just fortunate to live in the same area & can attend in person. Her studies can be done via dvd or streamed live via the church website. They are all written on how to parent according to what God says in the bible ~ & she shares the most hilarious stories of being a wife, mom, & grandmother. She has the gift of teaching & speaking when it comes to MOMS.

    Sorry for such a long comment! Just needed to share that!!

    • Thank you Paula!! They sound like wonderful studies and I’d love to see them! I know I’ve heard her name before, she may have commented on my blog or we crossed paths somehow!! What a small world!!! Thanks for sharing and YES, I love how connected we can feel in spite of the distance over the internet!!! I could just hug everyone of my commenters today. The encouragement was so wonderful.

  79. You. are. amazing. I can’t even get over all you do! and your husband and kids sound amazing too! I want to head right on over to WA and hug you all!

    Congrats on your new space! Praise be to God!


  80. Melissa,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your church. I’ve loved seeing this amazing glimpse into your life. If this is what scattered looks like. I just have to say WOW I can’t imagine you “together”. I think God put these wonderful challenges and opportunities when we can best use them for our good as well as the good of others. I’m sure your church will be blessed with all you need. Send me a note I have an idea about a fundraiser! We have a new faith and virtues collection I’d be happy to donate.

  81. melissa stover says

    what an exciting next step for your church. your church website looks awesome by the way. did ya’ll do that yourselves too?

    • My husband was very particular in how that website was designed, but we had people who actually know how to code something do it for us! We are clueless with that sort of thing ;-) We think it turned out great too!

  82. Melissa,
    This was a fabulous blog post and one that made me stop in my tracks today. As bloggers and blog followers we don’t usually realize that we have lives beyond our blogs and other things going on outside of interior design. I love how open and honest you were and letting us know that there is more to you and I think more relatable as well. Your family and your church will be in my family’s prayers. Good luck and please keep being real.
    Thanks for a great post today!

  83. In January of this year, we walked away from my 53 years of life in SoCal and moved to Idaho. We left my folks, brothers, my daughter, my only grandchild and friends, taking a huge leap of faith into the mountains of Idaho. We immediately got plugged into a church and began to forge a new life — with no money or jobs. It’s a slow process, but God is definitely in it. We have a comfy cabin roof over our heads, food in the pantry; a future and a hope! So, I do relate to the distractions, the causes, and the wonderful inconveniences! Your new mission and ministry are a blessing to hear about! There is no greater excitement than in building for the Kingdom of God!

    Best Blessings, Karen
    Idaho City, Idaho

  84. Here’s a fun idea! Have a ‘baby shower’ for the church to help fill the new nursery space. You can register at a big box store for items other than toys and sheets for cribs if needed and invite guests to help celebrate the big occasion. I’m sure there is a blooming artist in your congregation or that you know (the local college perhaps) who could help with a mural on the wall, too. Many blessings and best wishes!

  85. Deb CLaytor says

    As I have spent many days/hours on your blog,enjoying the many picutres/inspirations. THANK YOU
    I had no idea about all the details behind this blog. I again, want to say, THANK YOU for sharing. For letting us be able to lift you, your family, and church in prayer to the feet of Jesus. Thank You for being more then just some GREAT ideas and Wonderful pictures, THANK YOU for sharing you.
    Thank you for being real, living a real life, w/ real life struggles.
    I will ask God to keep you and your prayers lose to my heart.
    Deb CLaytor

  86. I read your blog daily and find lots of inspiration, but now you have a chance to reach people in a more profound way. You must have done a wonderful job with your children to have them be so selfless. Before you were a diversion, now you truly are an inspiration. Best of luck to you and your family with your new endeavor.

  87. Oh Melissa,
    I just cried when I read this. How absolutely amazing this is! God just takes us on adventures sometimes and I love hearing the stories of those adventures. I will be praying for you, your hubby, your family, and the church. I can not wait to hear more updates from you. By the way, does the church have a website that we can keep up with. In faith dear sister in Christ, Karen

  88. What a wonderful thing you are doing! I understand how you feel! I became a pastor’s wife at the young age of 23 (and also a new mom nine months later!)! I am praying God will bless you even more than He already has! I can’t wait to see what y’all do with your building! I pray God uses you and your church to reach the multitudes!

  89. M, love what you and your hubby and family are doing. It’s inspirational and I’ve walked through a lot of it with you. I blame my “distractions” on midlife hormones now, ha! Or ADD, or something (hee hee). Love you, girl! Can’t wait to see what you do with those white walls!

  90. Hi Melissa,
    I can’t believe you do all the work with your church and blog full time too! I’m retired and I can’t imagine fitting in bogging if I was working outside the home. I’m glad that you can, though, because I enjoy your blog so much. You are such an inspiration to all of us. We all want beautiful homes but being a beautiful person (like you!) is the best.

  91. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I loved hearing about your ministry and the plans you have to serve your community. I come from a ministry family – and I married a young minister. Our lives are in a different place right now but I know the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ that goes into any endeavor to touch the lives of people.

    What am I involved in right now? I’m the only child of an aging mother who is a dear lady. We are trying to keep her in her home as long as possible but her needs continue to grow and it gets harder every day. I am just so thankful God let us be here for her at this time of our lives. We do it with joy! (Most of the time.)

    I am a chaplain in care centers, assisted living residences and retirement communities. That is a challenge as the dear older folks of our towns have such need and are often forgotten. I love them dearly and wouldn’t be anywhere else.

    I’m headed to Portland – not far from your former home – and I always think of you as I pass through that area. Think of you and whisper a prayer!


  92. Wow, I feel like you are living my life! We just moved to Vermont and are helping some friends who came here to start a Church. We left our house (which still hasn’t sold)and are piled with our three kids into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment! I’m just DYING to get into a house and decorate! Our Church is still very small but moving into a rental space soon. It’s fun and exciting and really inspiring way to live life for sure! Good luck to you and your church and many blessings!

  93. Congrats on the new space!! I think Bremeton is a great spot and one that needs what you are doing. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. I wish I knew someone who had carpet but will pray bxoxox Clarice

  94. That looks like a really neat church – the kind I would love to go to if I was in WA. I wish you the very best in your new endeavors and am so glad you shared it. :)

  95. Best post ever! I’m so thankful for churches like this reaching out to young adults like my own kids. I’m praying for you and your church. May God give you “inspired” creativity and abundant resources as you and your family serve Him!

  96. Hi,
    I just found your blog, and came around this post and knew I had to read it when you mentioned Bremerton, WA. I live about an hour north of Bremerton, west of Seattle. So glad to have found you, neighbor!!

  97. This sounds so amazing and exciting! It’s beautiful when God’s plan begins to unfold! Your faithful that you and your husband have shown does not go unnoticed in the eyes of our Father!! (words I am speaking to myself right now :)

  98. AWESOME. My husband and I were part of a church plant in ORL. I know how insane crazy it can be. And awesome.

    Praying for more awesome than crazy for you guys!


  99. Hi! I’m a frequent stalker, er, reader of your lovely blog. I just wanted to say, this post touched my heart on many levels, from seeing how your family is pouring out their hearts and efforts to create a place where people will feel “safe” to try and meet with God, to your desire to help military families (we are a military family :), to your struggle to keep it all balanced. :) Thanks for that… You made my night.


  100. i loved reading this blog post. i am a pastors wife. i knew i was going to be one when i married my husband. a lot changed for us when we left our sunny southern california home on the central coast & moved to the rainy dreary pacific northwest for our new church adventure. we came up here to be apart of a church plant. i am so excited to see how things finish coming together for you guys.

  101. Would you mind if I ask more about the church you are planting? The doctrinal statement? I love it when others see the need to plant churches and spread the Gospel of Christ.

  102. This space has so much potential!

    i should have known you were pastor’s wife…we are a very cool and hip group indeed :)

    I would love to hear how the space is coming along. Lots of prayers and blessings on your Church!

  103. Elise Orlando says

    Just discovered your blog and am loving it! I, too, love to make something from nothing, repurpose, decorate on a dime, constantly inject new life into my home, and now that I see you are a fellow church planter, I see why I felt an instant connection. Blessing on your endeavors and praying for God’s provision for your church and family! We are a crazy, adventurous lot!

  104. This looks like an amazing, heart-warming adventure! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and after seeing your Etsy/West Elm post realized we were in the same area. No wonder I enjoy your posts so much – it must be the NW lighting that draws me in! Wishing you good luck!!

  105. Wow, it looks like the hard work really paid off! And the modern coffee shop vibe sounds like a great way to draw in a larger church community. Love it!

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