Life is Not A Magazine Cover

Today is one of those posts that I take a deep breath, click the Publish button and hope for the best.

In the going on 5 years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve shared bits and pieces of my personal life along the way.  If you had told me then that I would be a full time blogger in 2011, single again, without a home of my own, and living with my elderly parents, I would not have believed it.  That would not even have seemed a possibility to me at the time.  You just can’t plan for things like that to happen in life.  Sometimes life takes a sharp left turn and you are not prepared for it.

{Two of my treasures, one of which is never too old to sit in her granddaddy’s lap}

This is not going to be a downer post, but rather one that I hope uplifts, gives glory where glory is due and gives all of you out there the shot in the arm that you might need to believe that things can be good.  From bad.  Faith is the key word here.

As blogging has gotten so popular in the last few years, we are all invited into each others home.  Even encouraged to peek in the windows.  How many times have you clicked on a blog and looked at the pretty pictures of the home, the homeowner, the homeowner’s beautiful children and cute husband and figured she has it all together?  I doubt that is true in  real life.  None of us totally have it all together.

But the blog world sure can paint a pretty picture.  We are what we portray on our blogs to the world.  No one truly knows all that goes on behind the scenes of anyone’s life, but our friends and family.  Those folks get to see the real us all the time.  So, it’s easy to be a little wistful when we see a gorgeous home, beautiful family and think that person is so, so fortunate to be living such a good life.  A dreamy life.  Those glossy magazine picture perfect pics can be deceiving and no one lives the perfect life.

{Mother’s Day, 2011:  my sister, Renee, Mom, Lauren and me}

My life certainly hasn’t been perfect by any means.  I have been transparent at times, but I’ll spare you all the gory details of my bad choices, disappointing failures, and marital non-bliss that have been such a part of my life.  You know from what I’ve shared this year, that it’s been a heartbreaking one for me on many levels.  Life just doesn’t always turn out the way we plan or dream or hope for.  That, my friends, is reality.

But, I’m here to tell you that there is a silver lining to the black clouds.  There is hope in the midst of a storm.  There is a new day and a brighter tomorrow.  We all go through trials and pain and sorrow in life.  There is no escaping that.  The Bible gives us plenty of clues that life just ain’t always a bed of roses.  God allows us to walk in the rain and brings storms into our lives, sometimes for months and we can’t always see where that is leading.

What good could possibly come out of all of the bad?

I do not have all the answers, but I’m here to give some of you hope.  I’m a middle-aged woman in the midst of a life crisis.  It’s not over yet.  I’m in the middle of getting a divorce.  My soon-to-be (I hope) ex-husband is in jail for good reasons, related to, but none of which have anything to do with the financial devastation he has done to me (for those of you waiting for some scoop, there you go!). Maybe one day I will write that book, you never know.  It is certainly an interesting story, one that I am still in disbelief over the fact that it has been a part of my life.

So, life goes on.  I am alone again.  I have no idea if I’ll ever find (true) love again.  Do I hope that there is love for me in the future?  Yes, yes I do.  If God allows it, my heart would be open to it.  In the meantime, I will keep doing what He has allowed me to do and continue on the path He has led me on. I will be patient and wait.

I started my own business about 3 years ago, which grew out of this blog.  I love being creative and always dreamed of doing something other than working in the Corporate world and when I started blogging almost 5 years ago, I had no idea that it would turn into my dream job.  Working from home.  Sharing decorating and design inspiration.  Talking about my travels.  Sharing my family with all of you. Cooking recipes.  Getting to go on fun trips.  Doing life.  I’m so, so grateful that God allowed it to blossom and bloom into what it is now.  I’m so fortunate that He has blessed me so much just since I moved back home with my parents in April.  So many new doors have opened and opportunities have come my way.  It makes me all teary-eyed to think about it.

Is there anything I’ve done to make this happen?  No, not at all.  God has done it for me.  I’m not getting rich from blogging, by any means. But, he has allowed this to become my source of income.  Something that I love to do.  Some days, I will tell you that I get sad and a little down, remembering what I used to have.  I had a nice house, 2 of them in fact.  Now I have neither. I miss having a house that is mine to do with what I want to do.  I miss being creative and having fun with that.  Being a blogger can just magnify that part too.

But, you know what?  That is OK.   I have to believe that I will have a house again.  So many folks in this country are going through hard times.  Many have lost jobs and lost homes.  These are tough times.  I am not alone.  I’m learning to appreciate the small things in life and be content in my circumstances.  Peace and contentment cannot be purchased.  They are priceless.  I may never have the financial security I thought I once had again.  That is up to the Lord too.

I have to remind myself daily that I’ve got SO much to be thankful for and believe me, I AM thankful.  God has allowed me to still have my parents at my age.  They could easily have been gone already, but they are here for me.  They love me unconditionally and give me the emotional support I need all the time, as do my whole family and my wonderful friends.  I am grateful for all of them!

So, if you are going through a hard time, let me just remind you, that God is still there.  He cares.  Ask Him to help you and He will.  He might not do it the way you expect, but He will always, always take care of his children.  I’m a testimony to that.  I have no idea what my future holds.  This whole blogging thing just might blow up and we all may be on the street and if it does, that is OK too.  I know that He will take care of me.

Let me just take this opportunity to once again thank all of YOU out there who faithfully come to visit me.  Each and every day.  Many of you just lurk and never leave comments and that is OK too.  I know you are out there and I’m grateful that you take a little bit of your precious time each day to spend with me.  I don’t take that for granted.

If you have always dreamed of doing something from home (or not from home) and never had the chance, I want to encourage you to give it a try.  You never know if you don’t try.  I started my business with the hopes of having a full fledged decorating business and it has turned out not so much about that as being able to write and share about decorating through this blog.  I would love to develop that side of my business more and maybe it will come with time.  In  the meantime, I continue to do what I’m doing and as long as it is blessed, I will stay on this road.  I consider this blog my ministry of sorts too.

Don’t give up!  If you have dreams that have never been fulfilled, don’t give up.  It’s not too late.  If I can reinvent myself in my mid-50’s, you can certainly do it too.  Follow your heart.  Follow your dreams and do what you are passionate about and I truly believe you will find a way to be successful at it.

So, that’s it!  That’s my pep talk for today.  I hope my being vulnerable will help someone else realize that you, too have much to offer and a God-given talent that you can use as well, to fulfill those long ago dreams that you might have been putting off.  Waiting for another day.

As the old Nike tag line says, Just Do It!

What are you dreaming of?  Please tell me, I want to know.Is there something you’ve wanted to try and haven’t because of fear or uncertainty?

{I’ve been camping out in the old Streams in the Desert devotional this year and there are some great nuggets in there.  Psalms 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy oh Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of your hands}.

- Rhoda


  1. Life certainly is not a magazine cover. You are a strong woman and have held your head high through this rough patch in your life. I hope that you one day do find true love. You are too special of a person not to!

  2. When you have your health…you have everything, the rest will fall into place. All the best to you, dear Rhoda!
    Lori B

  3. Rhoda, I can see God’s hand in your life. God gave you to me as a special friend many years ago. That friendship directed my path to stay closer to Him. YES, God has you in his hands and I love how you share that with everyone. All I can say is…. the book is going to be a good one! I have some ideas swimming around in my head to start a business. I need to, like you said, JUST DO IT!

  4. Rhoda….From the bottom of my heart, thank you for giving me hope this morning… voice to so many of us going through really tough times. Having faith in God is having faith in His timing.

  5. Rhoda,
    This is for you! God Bless You, you give me such strenght in all I am going through too.

    God’s Hands
    Today is in God’s hands and so are you.

    His hands are strong and will uphold you;
    His hands are great and will enfold you;
    His hands are gentle and will embrace you;
    His hands are protective and will cover you;
    His hands are reassuring and will quiet you;
    His hands are powerful and will defend you;
    His hands are parental and will train you;
    His hands are masterful and will conform you;
    His hands are compassionate and will care for you;
    His hands are healing and will renew you;
    His hands are calming and will comfort you;
    His hands are giving and will bless you.

    The hands that hold you will never let you down.

    -Roy Lessin, DaySpring co

    This is for you! God Bless you, you give me such strength in all I am going through.

  6. I’m one of your “lurkers”; love your blog. Having coffee early this morn to see what’s going on and found your thoughts. You are still young, beautiful and full of talent; you’re going to do great things. And, you’re going to be very successful at design–so please remember to write that book because millions of women who are or will have to go through what you’ve endured will need that encouragement–to see that everything happens for a reason; to get out there and make it happen. Thanks for being such an inspiration; far more than you realize.

  7. Your best post ever! Thanks for sharing. He IS in control! Thanks for sharing the truth of His victory over our circumstances, if only we invite Him in. As much as we enjoy beautiful homes and all the eye candy we see in blog land, it can all be gone in a moment. Knowing that we can have a mansion in eternity- now that IS something to blog about! You just did it!

  8. Mornin’ Rho:

    Yes, you have come through so much in the last year. I have seen the hand of God work miracles for you. He has truly brought you out of the wilderness. I prayed for you so many nights that you would be safe in the midst of the storm that you were going through. You are a beautiful, strong, talented child of God. Your family is amazing. You are so blessed to have your Mom, Dad, Sister and precious Lauren. Those treasures can never be taken away. I am blessed to know you and to call you my friend. L, Judy

  9. Thanks for sharing your heart, I really appreciate your words of encouragement. Life has definitely thrown some curve balls at my family lately but we are just trusting in God & standing firm and believing that things will be better soon. You have been an inspiration to me this past year!

  10. Becki Foster says:

    This must have been a hard posting for you, but also therapeutic in a way to get it “out there.” We don’t know what is happening in those beautiful homes – but we know that they are real people too. They are going through day to day trials, job loss, deaths, floods, etc., just like the rest of us. I look forward to your blog each day or so and hope you are around for a long time. God bless you and keep you.

  11. You seem like a beautiful woman–with beauty born from adversity and trial and hardship. God is faithful–thanks for the reminder!

  12. Thanks for your honesty. It is refreshing. I love real. Transparency is hard to come by. Thanks for yours. I have had many opportunity in life to persue things that if fear dictated my decisions, I wouldn’t have done. My move 3 hours north for ministry so my husband could pstor a church, selling my beautiful home to make the move possible, helping my Father with his illnesses, making a career shift, and now, contemplating a little business endeavor with a friend. So many hard choices and fear to go along with each. But…trusting in God through it all. Jesus is my strength and I know He wants to prosper me. I juts pray, try to discern what’s best and his Will for me and trust He will help me through. Take care and thanks again for your honesty!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  13. What a beautiful, courageous, heartfelt post, Rhoda. Thank you for your honesty and wisdom. You are a beautiful person and it is evident that God is working with you and through you for great things–I can see that. I pray that you can continue to be comforted, encouraged, and faithful as you go through this journey. Hugs to you today!

  14. Such wonderful words of encouragement, Rhoda! God Bless you, my friend. :)

  15. Mrs H in WV says:

    Good Morning, Rhoda, from one of your Wallflower followers :) .
    Thanks so much for sharing such a personal part of your life. From the first time I found your blog (can’t remember how I got here) I was drawn instantly to keep reading a following your writing. You come across as a very real down to earth long lost Southern sister in Christ. Seeing beauty in ashes, whether it may be someone’s .05 yardsale “junk” that you have marvelously transformed into a new appreciated, soft-after treasure (just like God will do with our brokeness if we allow Him) to your humor and even the not so fun things.
    I’m so thankful you didn’t give up blogging I don’t get the opportunity to post much as I typically have my hands full being a stay at home mom and for the last 6 weeks I have been on hospital bedrest 2 hours from my family with twins on the way. It has been a challenge, and no this is not the magazine cover pregnancy with the perfect twin nursery waiting patiently for my girls’ arrivals. We are surviving and rolling with the punches, but keeping God at the center of what’s important in our family right now and appreciating all of the blessings that we take for granted on a daily basis..
    Much love to you and May the Lord keep you and continue to bless you and your sweet family abundantly!

  16. I am one of those “lurkers” who reads your blog daily. You do a great job sharing the good and the bad and you’re a wonderful vibrant person.
    Stay strong and open to change!

  17. Wow! What a blessing you shared with the rest of us. Awesome, powerful, and true. Thanks for sharing your heart. You are so right. We usually share only the “good” stuff, we do not allow others to see the “bad and ugly”. You are an inspiration. I love reading your blog.

  18. No, life rarely turns out like we expect, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be good. I admire your attitude in adversity. I think it is a gift from God that at times when we’re going through trials, we can look beyond the immediate and know that whatever happens has been sifted through His hands.

  19. That is so much to deal with. I came here via Miss Mustard’s Seed’s tweet. I am praying for you. Specifically that in the midst of all the mess you will find some ways to be creative and have fun…

    Maybe for now that’s in someone else’s house. I am sure there are many people who would want your creativity!


  20. Rhoda, I love your post … over the last few weeks, I have started to share part of my journey on my blog too…this all sounds so familiar to me. I am a late 50’s girl that had to start all over about 17 years ago. I have been mostly silent about it but have really felt like it was time to start talking.. :-) when I started blogging about 18 months ago, I had no plan except the love of taking pictures and writing about life…I appreciate your vulnerability..this looks like a trend in is time for the women to use their voices and tell their stories…so glad to hear yours….Bless you as you move forward….

  21. This post says it all. We all go through highs and lows, and you have shown us how to handle a difficult year with faith and grace. You’re an inspiration to me, from your decorating to your faith. Streams in the Desert is one of my favorites, also. Blessings to you and your family.

  22. Thank you.

  23. I have read your blog for several years now, Rhoda, and I have so admired your faith over this past year. God is with us in every trial, and you have truly glorified Him when sharing your story. I pray that you always hold my favorite verse (Jeremiah 29:11) close to your heart. I can’t wait to see what blessings are in store for you!

  24. You have inspired me today. I am on my knees for you and thanking our Father for many blessings . My mother died 9 years ago at the age of 75 (too young). I decided then that life was too short to put off any longer the dream I had…. I am now doing interiors design work and have a small retail store in Orlando. It started out as a shop with small furniture, lamps and accessories to support my design work. In this “down economy” it has grown to include a children’s room and ladies room (jewelry, handbags, scarves, clothing) It is hard work but oh so rewarding when people come in and tell me how much they love it. I have people who travel to Orlando and it has become one of their places to go when they visit.
    Let your parents wrap you in love… this is where the Lord wants you at this time….

  25. I just wanted to say thank you for your transparency and your bravery in sharing this post. May you be blessed in every way, today and every day.

  26. Definitely life is not a magazine cover, that’s a very good title you chose. We’re all in process of growing. :)
    I believe that those moments/parts in life we share with others that we don’t have “it all together” are the places God can use to help and reach others… “when I’m weak, I’m strong”… Thanks for being vulnerable! :)
    “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
    Hugs! Hugs!

  27. Thank you so much for this post. God bless you & your family.

  28. Rhoda,
    It is so evident that the Lord is your Rock, Fortress and Strong Tower. Thank you for reminding all of us that His ways are perfect, no matter what it might feel like in the midst of pain and trials. Praying for you now, that the Lord would continue to strengthen, comfort, and guide you, as He sustains you each day with His grace. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  29. What a beautiful post, Rhoda! Thank you for sharing from your heart and for opening your life a bit to us. You are SO right – life on our blogs is not always just what we read. Life has a way of happening behind the scenes.

    You are a strong, brave lady and I admire you for going on. God bless you every moment of the day – giving thanks for what He has given you is such a thing of beauty. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

  30. Rhoda, I teared up when I read your post – feeling for you and all you’ve been through. Thank you for being willing to share with us – I know there’s other women out there who have been through similar situations, my best friend being one of them, and I think if they see this it will help them know they’re not alone.

    I”ve been pursuing my dream in the last year, but the big leap of faith will be when I leave my corporate job to pursue it full-time. :) Somewhere around my 32nd birthday I realized that I wanted to just GO for it – because I agree, you’re never too old to reinvent yourself.

  31. Rhoda – Thank you for sharing. I am sorry for your lifes turn but so inspired by your spirit. Sometimes when I look at Blogs all day, I get so bummed out at what I don’t have…you remind me of ALL I do have and all YOU have…you have everything you need to go forward…and then some. Come on over to myold countryhouse anytime you need a distraction. I might just put a new section in my blog called, “The Truth”! best regards

  32. Rhoda,
    My dear friend. You and your blog, guided me through a very dark time in my life and you without knowing it gave me hope that I would have a better life.
    God is the ultimate healer, he has taken you through this storm and he will rest his gentle hand on your shoulder and continue to guide daily, he is a awsome God, and he has awsome plans for you.
    We never know why he allows things to happen, but we can rest assured he is going to make something wonderful come to pass.
    You inspire us daily, with your creativity, your charm and your uncanny ability to make each of us believe we can do it! You have gone through this storm with incredible grace, and dignity and no doubt that is because of the truly remarkable woman you are.
    I will be following you, cheering for you, praying for you each and everyday.
    And remember With God All Thing Are Possible.


  33. Such a beautifully written post, Rhoda! It made me want to reach through the computer screen and hug you. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Life is most certainly not a magazine cover—I appreciate your honesty and encouragement to share more real life in the blogosphere! :)

  34. Dear Rhoda,

    First I need to say that I just want to hug you ((((((((hug))))))).

    OK…we got that out of the way ;->

    Can I tell you how much I loved this post? It seems weird saying I loved a post about someones hardships…kind of like saying you LOVED Schindler’s List. Does that make sense? What you said about blogs painting such a rosy picture of the writers life. That has always been my biggest criticism about bloggers. Let’s face it…not everyone is married to an AMAZING man. Much of it comes off sounding very cliche and phony.

    Your candor is so refreshing and honest. It reminds me once again not to be so quick to judge people in their actions…you never know what is behind them.

    I remember reading a comment left on a past post. She scolded you for
    posting so many product related stories and pretty much called you a sell out. That really bothered me at the time and now if I were that woman I would feel ashamed.

    As you said …you do what you need to do make a living for yourself. No one has the right to question that…NO ONE. God is the only one we need to account to.

    So keep on keeping on my friend. You have so many friends here in Blogland and that tells me you are doing something very right.

    OK….now I really can’t wait to meet you at HAVEN!!!

    Much love,
    Janet xox

  35. Thanks for sharing these words of encouragement. God is with us in every trial, and you have shared His love via your pen on your blog today. Your post is just what I need to read today, as it’s 5 a.m. and I still have not slept because of a trial I’m going thru. It is such a great reminder for us to rest all our cares before the Lord. Thanks for sharing and your in my prayers that the Lord will continue to give you His strength for each new day.

  36. Please, pass the tissue! :-)

    I’m not joking, my friend. You’ve spoken to my soul this morning.
    We also had everything and, with the financial crisis we lost a lot. We still have a nice house, but I know we need to downsize. We’re trying to sell it and it’s not being easy. You’re right, nothing and no one is perfect when you look close enough. You have no idea how much stress we suffered the last 3 years and I didn’t even think my marriage would survive. We were loosing everything. I kept strong with my faith, praying for God’s love. I need to feel that He still loved us, cared for us. It took a while to feel this Love again. I wanted to work, but having two children I’d spend more money with daycare than if I stayed home. I started my blog to feel more useful and hoping I could grow with it and someday, also be able to make some money with it. God is being so, so good. He’s helping my blog grow, I’m also not getting rich from it, but it’s helping with things around here. God gave us a really beautiful gift in the beginning of this year, he gave us a son! Our baby boy will be born in 2 months and my marriage and our family couldn’t be stronger. We have faith that things will get better and they are, slowly.
    Nothing is perfect and everybody goes through difficult times. The important thing is: Don’t forget you aren’t alone! You are not! Even when there’s no one to dry your tears, you are not alone. Even when you think God don’t hear your prayers, I guarantee you… He’s still there. You’ll get out of these problems, God will dissolve the knots of your life. Be patient, have faith, keep walking ahead. Your path will be cleared.
    We’re all growing.
    And you are not alone.

    Thank you for opening up and allow us to do the same.

    God bless you, my friend.


    Luciane at

  37. Rhoda,
    Such beautiful words and a living testimony, of example, encouragement, and faith.

    Keep Strong, and Rock On!


  38. Rhoda, you are just precious. This post is the most beautifully written, amazing thing ever. I’m SO thankful for your testimony of faith. God is so faithful. I’ve prayed beauty for ashes for you so many times in the last several months and I know that God will continue to fulfill that promise in your life. I love Streams in the Desert too. I read it every day and my heart is so blessed. Love you so so very much!

  39. dear Rhoda, thank you so much for sharing your story. my eyes filled up with tears as i continued reading. i felt as though you were speaking directly to me. i am inspired by your resilience.

  40. What a wonderful, perfect write-up. Thank you for sharing.

  41. Patty Hibble says:

    Rhoda…you’re such an inspiration! I appreciate your words of wisdom. I have made many mistakes in my adult life, and I wondered why God let me make them (particularly the really bad ones). But then I came to realize that God lets us make our own decisions, find our own ways and lets us grow from them. Probably like you and most others, I would never make those same errors again. However, I wouldn’t change anything as they’ve made me who I am today. Sounds kinda whacky. I am grateful that I’ve lived in hell before, as I can fully appreciate living in heaven today! Thank God.

    Thank you for everything you blog about. Your blog is the first one I subscribed to and has always been my favorite…
    and now, even moreso! Godspeed.

  42. I am so glad you pushed the *PUBLISH* button. Do NOT regret it for one moment.

    The only thing I want to add is this: After 25 years of marriage, the gavel came down and it was over. My father has not once been the man God expected him to be, but my mother has never. once. said. a. single. negative. thing. about. him. to her children. Because of mother, I could forgive my father for his numerous extra-marital affairs. I didn’t want to, but she showed me how.

    I am so sorry for all that you have lost, but I am truly grateful for all that you have learned. An inspiring post, in deed.

  43. thank you for sharing this wonderful heart felt post!

  44. Dear Rhoda, Thanks so much for sharing your heartfelt post! I can relate to everything that’s going on with you and we all know that our lives aren’t “magazine covers”. At least you’ve continued blogging through your crises. I on the other hand….have gone through “things” with my adult children that have kind of put ‘me’ on ‘hold’. I have to think of all the positives in my life, such as my wonderful husband, Todd, and we have our health. I have a great career and home and family. We’ve been married 10 plus years and am very thankful….but, it is my 3rd marriage! Maybe third time is the charm. Anyway…..have a great day…..and PLEASE keep blogging! Love ya, Judy

  45. What a wonderful and honest post. Also, very positive and even after all you are going through, not feeling sorry for yourself. This makes me like you even more than I did before! Please know that we are here for you to vent. It’s nice to have someone be real for once and not show the “magazine cover” as you say. It gets old to read blogs about how perfect someone’s life is and how they can’t decide which $100 shoes to buy next. Times are tough right now and it’s the little things that count. Family, Friends, being Frugal and appreciating all God has given you. Thank you for that reminder and the wonderful pep talk!

  46. So beautifully written and so perfectly said, Rhoda. Thank you for such a touching post. You are an inspiration to this lurker, mid-40s, soon-to-be career changer! I’m not sure what that dream career is, but I’m about to jump into the deep end of the pool.

  47. Rhoda,
    I’m so glad you posted this message of hope. I too have been having problems in my married life and just this past Sunday, turned it all over to the Lord. I’ve been trying to “fix” it for many years, but now I’m just asking God to show me the way. Your heartfelt message and your courage to make lemonade out of lemons inspires me. I think the most important message I got from your post, is the fact that indeed, life is not a magazine cover. We tend to get wallowed in our own problems and have envy of others. Yet, we never know what is truly going on in other people’s lives. Outwardly they seem to have it all, when in fact they may be miserable and unhappy. I pray that you continue to find peace and happiness with the unexpected turns that God has given you.

  48. Dear Rhoda,

    This heartfelt post couldn’t have come at a better time for me…..your words have opened my eyes and made me realize that I can get through my hard times too…..just be patient and believe that the Lord will see us through – he will not abandon us. Oh ! And – enjoy this time with your loving parents… are so fortunate really, to be living with them, and being able to spend your days with them – I miss my loving parents every single day, and every day wish I could see them and talk with them again. Tell your Mom and Dad today how much you love them !!

  49. Rhoda, you know how I have always admired your strength and tenacity. Those and your faith have just absolutely shown over the past year. You are a wonderful example for keeping your chin up!

    Kowing what it is like to start over, when I least expected I was going to have to, I am aware of how easy it could be to wallow in self pity; I’ve seen it happen. All those years ago, I decided to pick myself up and keep on keeping on and I haven’t stopped over the more than 30 years, since I began my “newer life”. I admire your “just do it” attitude, so very much.

    You are amazing my friend!!

  50. Rhoda, I know what you mean, and my prayers are with you. There is a real person behind the blog. A real person who’s life isn’t always easy, in fact sometimes, it just plain sucks. But those plans God has for us with out us knowing why are the hardest to get through. You are an amazing person.

  51. Elizabeth H says:

    Beautiful post Rhoda. Our God is an awesome God. I love your blog and have for a long time. I read you first and this post is the best! I would be lost without your blog. I do not have a blog so thanks for letting us non-bloggers read yours. Very inspirational.

  52. Rhoda – I should really apologize to you because I have cherished you and your blog dearly and have never told you that. You have been a bright spot in my daily life for the last year since I found you, and I have received such joy from you but have never told you that. God has used you so mightily – you will honestly never know how many people you bring a moment of joy to – and as we all know, joy is precious. Obviously I was first drawn to you because of your beautiful taste in decor, but what has truly touched me is your sincerity and love of the people in your lives. You are so right that we can look at someone’s life and assume it is perfect – thank you for being truthful that life isn’t always as it seems from the outside. You are like a sister that we all dream of having – your own sister must know that she has been blessed beyond belief. The posts about your family and friends are the ones I treasure the most. Showing the pictures of your parents hands – you will never know how happy that made me and I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you then – I should have. Your sweet daddy helping you on projects – so much like my own father. Boy – isn’t it a wonderful thing that God doesn’t reveal too much to us at times? If we knew what lay ahead for us, it might terrify us yet when the time comes, God provides. You are right that your blog is a ministry – whether you are showing us the beauty in decor or the beauty in relationships, God is using you to touch lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And please tell your parents thank you from me – they are obviously fantastic people to have brought such a wonderful, Godly lady into this world!

  53. Rhoda, it is just so true. During my very worst moments (many of them from my former marriage) I just needed to lookthere up and He was to help me out. Sometimes it took me a bit of time to look up but it always worked out. Life is still not a magazine cover but it is quite wonderful.

  54. Good morning Rhoda – thanks so much for today’s post. I am one of those lurkers that rarely comments. I went thru a very hurtful, challenging time four years ago, and I agree that with faith you survive. Maybe not in the way you expected, but still you survive and learn to be happy again. The Lord has given me so many blessings since that time and for that I am truly grateful. You are such an inspiration to so many. Keep on with your wonderful blog and thanks again for sharing. Hugs!

  55. Rhoda – I have “lurked” on your blog for over a year now. I prayed for you when you posted about your marriage and impending divorce. I have been grateful for the lovely posts you have put together and am thankful especially for your post this morning. I am getting ready to go to clinicals for nursing school in a city 3 hours away (after starting school again two years ago at the age of 44). So, yes …. I DO believe God can open up doors for us, no matter our age. Thank you for being such a beautiful reminder of that hope this morning. I have been very tired and worn out (in my soul – if you know what I mean). This journey has been neither easy nor fast…. but I am still on it, and I continue to give God the glory – even in my exhaustion, for the promise of a new day EACH DAY… and a love that never fails. I remain, In His Grace!

  56. Rhoda,
    Thank you for sharing your faith, honesty, and inspiration. I’m in my 50’s and about to file for divorce after 35 years. It’s a scary road, but I have faith God will guide me. He is using you to shine His love & glory to all of us. I wish you all the best. You are a true GEM! And I’m so glad you made this post to encourage those of us that really needed some hope today.

  57. Dear Rhoda,
    You touched me today. I have always enjoyed your blog because we are close in age – and the other “life is wonderful” ones come off a bit plastic at times. I like you even more now – we share some life changing events and I feel your grace and dignity shining through! Thank you for being you! And thank you for sharing with us – virtual hugs sent your way!!!

  58. Good job, sweetie. :)

  59. Can I just say Hallalujah?! What a great post. Thank you for being real and for your faith even in the tough times (and for sharing it!). I’m not surprised at your hope, though…your face just glows with it! You have such a fantastic smile:) One that is real, not forced and that radiates what’s inside. Know you are being lifted up and so much more joy can come from peace & contentment than in just having those “things” we all think we want. Blessings to you, my friend!

  60. Wow! You have a ministry that is very powerful. The Lord has placed you where he needs you to be to help spread his word. Please continue sharing that God is Good!!!!

  61. Thank you for sharing your heart, sweet lady. I am praying for you. Remember God’s promise to us in Psalm 3:3: “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” Praying the Lord shows you your worth today and lifts your head so that you may look up and keep going. Thank you again for sharing with all of your readers.

  62. Rhoda…thank you for sharing from your heart. That is one of the reasons I like this blog. I think if we lived next door to each other we would be good friends!! My heart aches for you as you go through the deep waters but God has you by his Right Hand and He will bring you through. He can take our weakness and make us strong. I am going through a hard time dealing with an illness of a dear friend….it has been hard to pray believing. Today we are beginning to see a turning point and things look much brighter for my friend. And still I doubt…is this just another ‘up” on the roller coaster or is this an upward progression. Even when God answered specific prayer, I find myself doubting! We are all on a journey…I know God uses our experiences to refine us so that one day we will shine like pure gold. I try to remember this!! All this to say, I know none of us are perfect but we can encourage and pray for one another! We will all keep pressing on!!!

  63. Hi there,
    I have been following your blog for a few weeks now and I love it. You have great design talent, and your Feature Friday’s never disappoint.(I’ve gone back through the older ones) But I have to say, this post has been the best I’ve read. Please do not misunderstand, I am in no way insinuating that your hardships are pleasing to me. It’s your take on all of it that makes it so wonderful! You have found comfort in the Lord and accepted His will, something that is not always an easy thing to do. I’m sure it was not always this easy for you, I can’t imagine the trauma you suffered in the beginning. However, in just a few short months you seem to have quite the understanding of His will and your faith is so inspirational! You in general are an inspiration to me and countless others, I’m sure. I am praying for you, for peace and comfort through this difficult time. God bless!

  64. Tamela Moore says:

    Oh what a precious post this morning! From the moment I first met you on your blog I knew that God had big plans for you (and I had to tell you so or burst 😉 Thank you for being transparent with the things that make you smile, happy, sad and even the things that have caused you great pain. I love you for that, sister! You have been really busy these past few weeks and so have I starting up my new business (which your story encouraged me to do), but I would love to get together again and show you what I was able to complete from your recommendations the last time we met. I was thinking the name of your book could be, Coffee in the Morning with Rhoda, what do you think it’s what I do just about daily. Have a blessed day and know I will be calling you soon.

  65. You know some blogs I visit for the picture perfect photos and inspiration. But your blog is more than that. Inspiration in photos, words, showing us that you never know how God can work all things for the good. You winning that chicken soup competition was so amazing! I mean wow, that was definetly God (not to take anything away from you and your mother’s cooking!). I even thought the judge helping your pick out the prettier pot for presentation was God’s doing. I am so totally proud of YOU for all your achievements but it is also neat to hear how God is working in someone’s life so strongly. Of course we readers realize there is troubles in your life but watching how God can use them to the good is a true joy! We all love you and hope you will soon have more than two houses!

  66. What a great post Rhoda, with God’s help I know things will get better for you! How lucky you are to have wonderful parents and family to always be there for you! God bless always!

  67. Thanks Rhoda for a real life true message to us all. I think we as women look at other women and their families and think……wow they have it all and have it all together. Usually, that is NEVER the case. Thanks for reminding us of that. We will never have it all together this side of heaven………God is ever molding us and remaking us everyday!

    I am so sorry that you have had this storm in your life, but I know God will bring you through it and make good out of it ……….and use it ALL for His gory.

    May God continue to bless you and the work you do.

  68. Joyce H. Ackley says:

    Rhoda, what an inspiring story. You have touched many with your words of encouragement and hope. I pray that God will continue to bless you and guide you as you walk along this road with all its twists and turns.

  69. Thank you.

    You were my first blog site I went to when redecorating our kitchen!

    Like many others have already said your site is fun and inspiring.

    A question: what type of computer and software do you use to do your blog?

    I am treasuring an idea for a blog and want to get closer to the “Just Do It” phase,

    Thank you again.
    Ps yes, write the book!
    God bless.


  70. Patti Classen says:

    I have been one of your lurkers…….Read your blog each morning at the office. I have prayed for you and will continue to. Congratulations on getting to the place you are now – at peace with God and yourself regarding all that you have been through. Thank you that while you are trying to find your way in this new life you have reached out and given encouragement to others. I am one of those who is trying to reinvent herself; to get out of corporate America and into a creative business. It is slow going but I believe in my heart that I will get there. You are living proof that all good and prefect things (your peace and heart) come from God.

  71. Just a quick hello from a long-time lurker to show my support. I love your blog and think you are doing a fabulous job during your difficult times. Thanks for sharing part of you with us.

  72. I so appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable, Rhoda. Never would I have wished these difficulties upon you, but I am so grateful for the way you’re using even this to minister to others. I’ve found that most of the ministry opportunities that have come my way have resulted from the hard things I’ve had to deal with rather than from the good things. I think perhaps that the hard circumstances remind us that we’re dependent upon God and in that remembering we go back to our knees–and when we’re in that posture, God lifts our heads and shows us how he wants to bless us and use us in ways that we would never have dreamed of on our own!

    I love you, Rhoda. You are so dear to my heart. Even though I’ve only met you in real life one time, I’ve felt close to you from the first time I ever read your blog. I’m so thankful to know you. I pray that God will bless you greatly. Thank you for being the real deal and for giving testimony of the goodness of God.

    By the way, Streams in the Desert is a pretty good place to camp, isn’t it?

  73. I love your transparency, your honest assessment of yourself and your willingness to share within boundaries the reality of life as it is for you. God is good and He will keep you in perfect peace and blessings.

  74. Wow…that is really putting yourself out there and I admire the fact very much! I too went through a divorce and from a man who could very well be in jail right now for all I know. But that was 14 years ago and I did have to start over, and I was scared. But now I am remarried and going on 9 years, have had the chance to travel, adopted two children, put myself through nursing school, and have only recently realized my passion for writing and sharing my love of food and decorating.

    I will be 50 on November 7th, it’s only a few shirt weeks until I begin life on the other side of that number, and I know I will embrace it! I have learned more about myself in the last 14 years since my divorce, than I ever knew before. I have learned to let go and allow God to step in. I am not dropping my responsiblitiy to myself but more or less allowing devine intervention to guide my actions.

    I am also blessed with a husband who supports me in all of my endevers. He has the “Just do it” attitude which has helped me to be less afraid of trying new things. I have to laugh because I was never an athelete of any sort, yet this coming November I will be running the NYC marathon and it is being run on November 6th, the last day of my 40’s, the day before my 50th birthday.

    The one piece of advice I give to all the young people I know who are starting college this fall is to follow your dreams, do what you love to do most. Don’t wait to figure it out, don’t let other’s expectations guide your decisions, think, really think about what makes you happy, and above all else don’t be afraid to go for it!

    So I applaude you and this post. You made me think and reflect. If this is the way and attitude in which you approach your life, then Rhoda, I know you will be way better than OK!

  75. Hi Rhoda, thank you for sharing the ups and downs of your recent life..sometimes when I read blogs, it DOES seem to mee that everyone else has it totally together..Its been a hard year for us, no divorce after 34 yearsd of marriage, all of which has had its ,ups and downs for sure, , but we filed for bankrkuptcy a year a go, we had no choice at our age of limited income and medical bills..all our lives we worked and paid our way, so to have to do that was so defeating. We are still trying to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps but it’s been really hard. We do still have our house and car, thank goodness..Mentally it’s been a rough go.
    Sending prayers for you Rhoda, only good things ahead in your future♥


  76. Rhoda your words today have come at the right time. I am so heartbroken today. My life has been ripped apart by family circumstances. I sat down to the computer this morning with tears in my eyes wondering how our lives would go on. Your words spoke to me in such a way that was comforting and uplifting. Thank you for being so candid and being that bright light that shines for many to find their way when all seems dark. Your faith and strength witness to many.

    I know the Lord has His hand in your life for many good things ahead Rhoda. I pray that you will be blessed beyond measure. You have a beautiful family:)

  77. Keeping it real is the hardest thing to do. In doing so, you inspire people. Sharing your story is up to you and it’s hard to open up about things that are personal but sometimes it’s therapeutic. I congratulate you for doing so. We learn from these life experiences. I was inspired by your story. You seem more relatable. God will see you through this and you will come out stronger.

  78. Dear Rhoda, I have been enjoying your blog for awhile now but this is my first time to comment. I came across your blog about a year after my husband passed away at the age of 57 on Christmas morning of 2008. Your words and photos showed a can-do spirit that I admired and that I always felt I too had, but grief has a way of taking all of the can-do out of a person. I saw photos of the laundry room you did and I thought I can do that too as my laundry room was in pretty sad condition. I did the re-do with no money and I love it. I even made a slide show of the before and after. I was grieving for my husband and I needed creative work to put my hands to. You inspired and encouraged me to use my God given gift and go back to that which I loved…making our surroundings beautiful with whatever I had to work with. I know you didn’t realize how you helped me but you did and I just wanted you to know. Now you are going through a time of grief yourself and I want to encourage you to continue to put your hands, your heart and your mind to the creative work God has given you. It is good medicine I can assure you for all who enjoy your “Southern Hospitality” blog and for you. Isaiah 61:3 tells us, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” God Bless you Rhoda and God Speed.

  79. Rhoda, I enjoyed reading your pep talk. Everything you said is so true and it really inspired me this morning as I head out to my Mothers home to help care for her. I bet your parents are loving have you back with them for a time. I’m sure you have brought much joy into their lives!

  80. I am one of your lurkers but have to comment this morning; I loved your post. I loved your transparency and your willingness to share this part of your life with the world. Your post was inspirational and truly spoke from the heart. May you continue to feel God’s blessings.

  81. Thank you for your transparency. God is good.

  82. Hi Rhoda,
    I guess I’m one of the ones that “lurk”, haha. I love your site and infact your blog has opened my eyes to a whole new world out there! I know the ladies that blog always look like they have such perfect lives, and I feel like I fall short all the time. So thank you for sharing. Times are hard and I too had to start over from nothing…and looking back on it now, I can truly see where God carried me through. It’s amazing how he blessed me in spite of my disobedience. You sound very grounded in your faith and the pictures of your parents are precious. I too am blessed to still have my parents and thank God for them every day. God bless you Rhoda in all you do.

  83. Rhoda,
    Thanks for sharing what is on your heart and the surety we have from Jesus. I am dreaming of starting a blog with my daughter. I think if we “just do it”, it will be a great experience. We met at your thrifting day and mentioned that we wanted to start a blog back then. Why we haven’t – I’m just not sure. Thanks for the encouragement – now I’ve got something to “do”!

  84. Bless you Rhonda! Your message was exactly what I needed to hear today. I am amazed and inspired by your faith. I was just telling God this morining that I needed his presence and He sent your message to me.

  85. thanks for your transparency, rhoda. i have to believe that the Lord will use it to minister in a powerful and profound way to someone, even today! many, many blessings!!! :)

  86. I have greatly admired you since finding your blog, but especially this past year I have admired how strong you have been. It would have been much easier just to shut your blog down and never let anyone know what was going on with your personal life. You have had the courage to “carry on” and all of your readers have appreciated it. May God continue to bless you as he has in the past!

  87. There are a lot of negative things about the internet, as we all know….but, we need to focus on the positive….I mean how amazing is it, that we can minister to and help someone we don’t know, that possibly lives around the world from us? I applaud you for letting us see the “cracks in your armor ~ for that’s how the light gets out”.

    Sometimes we come to life’s crossroads,
    And we view what we think is the end.
    But, God has a much wider vision
    And He knows that it’s only a bend ~
    The road will go on and get smoother
    And after we’ve stopped for a rest,
    The path that lies hidden beyond us
    Is often the path that is best.
    So rest and relax and get stronger,
    Let go and let God share your load
    And have faith in a brighter tomorrow
    You’ve just come to a bend in the road.

    (excerpt from “When Your World Falls Apart” ~ David Jeremiah

    Hang on because the pain that you’ve been feeling is just the dark before the morning….. {{{HUGS}}}

  88. Rhoda,

    I’ve been so happy that you’ve continued to blog through all the transition you’ve been going through. I find it every bit as entertaining and worth reading now as I did when you had your own home here in Birmingham. You continue to inspire!

    I will pray that things work out for the best and that you continue to keep your remarkable faith at the forefront. Hugs!

  89. Sallie Baker says:

    Though yes, I don’t often comment, I am a faithful follower of your blog for several years, and feel like you are a friend! Thank you for this post….you are a strong woman, and God will work through your faithfulness to Him. He already has. I know this will give inspiration to many others.

  90. Girlfriend, consider us huggin and laughin through tears; just like the girlfriends from ” Steel Magnolias” isn’t that somethin they would say?

    My favorite Magnoliaism is “that which does not kill you, makes you
    stronger !” :)

    No doubt about it – God has a special mission designed and decorated up just for you. So hold on tight baby, you just don’t have any idea
    of where and how that road leads.
    Already it has lead to the Knorr Queen-domship – and being a founding consultant for the new company out of Biltmore Estate!
    Yet, you nailed your biggeset blessings – having BOTH of your parents.
    My newest thing to pass on to friends with parents is to take a picture of your hand and that of your daddy holding it – and then one of your mom holding yours. Priceless I tell you.

    One last favorite security blanket I hold onto;”sometime God calms the storm, yet others He chooses to calm His child in the midst of the storm”

    When was the last time I reminded you that you are loved?
    Well…….that’s too long.

    hugs – p

  91. I too am a long time “lurker”. I am unable to get on your blog daily so I feel it was no accident when I made my way to your post today.

    This last year has been very hard for me and my family. The anniversary of my husband being diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer (He is 46, I am 42) is coming at the end of the month. Praise the Lord, he doing well. But, some days just are harder than others. We also sent our oldest daughter off to college this year and miss her being home so much. While visiting with my best friend the other morning about something heavy on my heart she said to me, “We will get through this….always do. We are strong women, made stronger through God.”

    While reading your post this morning, I really felt led to share my story. I am so blessed by your talent, but more so by your love of God. It is very evident to me, he is using your life in a much larger way through your testimony as well as your determination to be a strong, successful woman.

    Sorry for the letter! Keep up the good work…I’ll return to my lurking! :)


  92. I am a committed daily “lurker” as you like to term us! I take that as a compliment. We are all going through our gunk and yuck and it is YOU who comes through in your blog that I completely and utterly admire. It is YOU whose words carry the most power in my life and keep my head just above the water line. It is YOU who takes the steps into vulnerability to help US gain better perspective in our own lives. I am an avid blogger on a quest to really find women who do not pretend to be something they are not. I love those bloggers who post pictures of their messy house on a Monday morning, who say it like it really is, and who voice life from their perspective as a testimony and not a romance novel. I admire you and look up to you!

    I lost my job over a year ago in a profession that I just adored, changed careers for, went in debt for, only to leave my classroom to realize that there are no jobs out there for me to go to. Anger, frustration, irriation, sadness, and withdrawl have been the sources of my angst. Where do I turn? What do I do? Where? While going through hard times the constant banter of questions that haunt your thoughts makes it difficult to focus on other things because your life has been changed, altered, and depleted from what you worked so hard to attain.

    I don’t have answers either and I am not going to pretend like I do and give advice. At this point in my life I need the advice of honest women and honest responders to help get clarity and focus back in my life.

    PS~And please, someday, write that book because there are those of us out here learn and grow from other women who do not need to be in the spotlight to get their point across.

    Thank you for putting yourself out there and making a new friend today! :)

  93. Rhoda, we’ve communicated through email a few times (you recommended the Italian restaurant for me to meet friends) I am so sorry to hear what all has been part of your life lately. I know you feel the Lord’s hand upon you and know the truth, but also know sometimes you just hurt. Remember His promises and hang onto them.

    Though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
    Many hugs and much love,

  94. Thank you so much for this today. Life is definitely not a magazine (or blog) cover. Most of us put on display only the good things and hide or just choose not to share everything else in our lives. So much is pushing me in the direction of where I really want to be and your post was another push. I have a poster in my cube at work (job I hate) that is about how to live your life…”This is your Life, do what you love, and do it often, if you don’t like something change it, if you don’t like your job QUIT, etc.” I look at this every day and know I should be putting all of my energy towards my own business. I know I could do it. Its just the courage and faith that I need to take that jump. But, being a single mother, its scary. But, heck, I live pay check to pay check now, and struggle anyway…so what would the difference be.

    I’m rambling. Anyway….

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  95. Rhoda, thanks so much for sharing! I know it wasn’t easy. God bless you and I know He has even greater things in store. Thank you for giving Him praise for helping you through this time. I think the more we glorify God for His blessings the more He does for us. After all, if you give a gift to an ungrateful child, you’re much less likely to want to give him more!

    I’m a lurker here too, but I so enjoy all your posts and sharing in your adventures. You’ve given me lots of inspiration, decor wise, and also, motivation to follow my dreams. I want to become a published writer ….

  96. I have been a follower for many years, in fact you were one of the first blogs that I found. I have always loved your sense of candor, zest for life and love of God.
    I am sure that you will hear alot of the “i know exactly how you feel comments” because I do, not the divorce but in 6 months, 4 rooms of our house were terribly damaged in a NprEaster, my husband lost his job and then was royally screwed out of his percentage from the sale of the company, then another storm did more damage to our house, then the company that screwed him tried to prevent my husband for working for 5 years, and we had to spend/waste $35,000 firghting with them, and then I was the first responder at a crash on Easter Sunday in the front of my church and the lady died. If that does not put your life in perspective I do not know what does. From the second he lost his job my husband said, “God, we are putting this in your hands”. And it has been our faith, family and friends that have helped us thru all of it. Somedays I was so sick and tired I could not get out of bed. And somedays I was so sick of myself and all of the stuff but everyday I prayed and found solace in my faith and church.

    I think you are blessed! YOu have what looks like a loving family, you have the ability to live with your aging parents and spend time with them and help them on their journey thru life. You have been blessed because you are not with a man who did not bad things, and thankfully you are not a part of that. And you have thousands and thousands of blog angels that come to visit and read and comment and help or offer comfort. That is so fabulous! Not to mention that as you said, blogging while not making you a million has afforded you some opportunities you may never have had, like the Shaw thing and your advertisers, and your blog community.

    Thank you for sharing! Life is real and somedays is feels like dog doo, but when you look at the photo of your family…it makes you realize its what life is all about and the rest is just the gilding!

    I am praying for you and I hope that you continue to grow in peace and love with God.

  97. Another “Lurker” here Rhoda..I’m so new to your blog. And, I never comment on any I follow but felt compelled to respond today. Hang in, it’s all part of the soul process. Compassion for others grows from it (I know firsthand). Have a wonderful day…patti

  98. Hello friend,
    It’s been one of those years for my family as well. We thought we were so safe and secure. When Eric lost his job, all I could think was “this was not part of our plan!”. But, what I finally came to realize is that that was God’s point. We had gotten too comfortable with our plan and forgotten that our lives our about his plan. We were very comfortable financially, but we were living separate lives. So, now even though there are still hard days and we don’t know what the future holds work wise, we are together again as a family, as we should be. And honestly, it’s been the best time I can remember.

    I’m so glad that we have met through this crazy world of blogging. This post hit home to me and I know it will to many others. Thank you for sharing.


  99. Oh Rhoda… I haven’t checked your blog in a while and had no idea of the issues you’re dealing with.

    But as you know, I’ve been with you since the beginning of our blogging days, and I think you’re wonderful! You are exactly right, that no matter what the blog (or magazine cover) looks like, there are still dust bunnies in all the corners and dirt under the rug.

    Hang in there! You’re a beautiful soul!

  100. Thank you for your transparency!

  101. How powerful your transparent life is to others. Thank you for being another testament of God’s, the one true living one, unfailing love for us and how he brings himself closer to us by sending us through the fire sometimes in order to refine us. Just like our homes. We clean them, repaint them, fix items, redecorate them….all to have a home that is warm and inviting. That’s what Christ does. He works on us till we’re perfect. Many blessings, my blogging friend.

  102. God is good! All the time!!!! Bless you!

  103. Thank you for being a real person behind the blog.. for most it is difficult to share and be real. I believe as you that God allows circumstances to happen to allow us to become BETTER people not bitter.. to inspire and encourage others. We are never done as people always much to learn and relearn. you continue to seek and bless.

    • Thank you for sharing. My sister lost her husband a little over two years ago and she has to sell her home. She is 60 and starting over. You are not alone. God Bless you for sharing, I am going to read this to my sister who became a christian a little over a year ago. She is currently doing a bible study from Elizabeth George who has several really good christian books.

  104. Rhoda, Thank you for this inspiring post! Thank you for your testimony! You have touched so many lives by this, including mine!

    I know that God is directing your steps! You have a future and a hope! I see, by your testimony, that you have joy in knowing that He is working all things together for your good according to His divine plan.

    Thank you for your vulnerability! Thank you for letting God shine through you! You are a precious person (an an awesome blogger, thrifting hostess, and more)! I have you in my prayers! God bless!

  105. Hi, Rhoda,
    I’m one of your lurkers who reads your blog daily from work. Your post this morning was just the encouragement I needed this day. Thank you for keepin’ it real. – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see – Hebrews 11:1

  106. Tian Burnaman says:

    Thank you for these words this morning! A sweet saying just came to mind…The greatest good we can do for others is not just to share our riches with them but to reveal their riches to themselves! Thank you again for your sweet story of your personal journey, I will be praying for you ….

  107. I am so glad you hit the publish button! This is a great post and the honest truth! If there is one thing I have learned in this crazy life is not the plan that keeps life going, it is journey, however rocky it may be.

  108. Rhoda, the verse, 2 Timothy 4:7-8 came to mind immediately as I read your post… “you have fought the good fight, (and are still fighting – not giving up or in to your situation) and have most certainly kept the faith!” You are still running the race, and as you noted, even the Bible sends out many indications that we are not promised a perfect life, one without troubles! Thanks for sharing your testimony, may God continue to bless you for ministering to the hearts of women. That race may continue to be rocky at times, and hurdles thrown in our way, but continue on…dear sister in Christ! :)

  109. Gina in S FL says:

    Rhoda, your blog IS a ministry. Your words have encouraged me in the past, and today you may have just given me the push I needed. I will be one of the many who can’t wait to thank you and hug you in person at Haven. You are blessed in all the ways that matter and I am so reminded of “Footprints in the Sand.” Thanks for keeping it real.

  110. Rhoda, it is so nice to see you give credit to God. Life is not easy, but He is always in control and always with us. I, too, went through the loss of a marriage and financial devastation 9 years ago – at age 50. It has been hard starting over (completely starting over) but God has been faithful to provide my needs – and blessed me with extras along the way, as well. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging us to look to the One who loves us so! May God continue to be bless you – and through you, us, your readers.

  111. Hello Rhoda, I look forward to your blog posts each morning! I have followed you for several years and feel like you’re my friend, even tho we haven’t met. We share a southern heritage and a love for thriting and the Lord. I have been concerned about your most recent situation (marriage and moving) but your post this morning just gives me hope and a renewed trust in what that old hymn tells us to do: “trust and obey!” God Bless you, dear friend and know if you are ever in west TN, you have a place to stay!

  112. Rhoda, THANKS for sharing… just what I needed, especially today! I love seeing how God’s Prevenient Grace is always there for us!

  113. Rhoda, What an inspirational message today! I found it to be so comforting and calming. I have the greatest respect for you and your strength (God) through your trials. Looking in through the window can be misleading. Even with your misfortune your life sounds wonderful to me. I wish you all the best. I hope someday to be as contented as you sound.

  114. I love how brave and real you are on your blog (and in life), Rhoda. This was such a moving post because of that. We’re all cheering you on as you enter the next chapter of your life! :)

  115. You are indeed an inspiration. Thank you for your words today!

  116. Rhoda,

    I love your blog and look forward to each post. But, wow! Today’s post blew my socks off. God is good and you have so graciously shared your story and vulnerability. Your faith is inspiring as is your strength. Like you, I always look for the positive and it always leads me to God.

    You are a blessing, Rhoda. Thank you for sharing your talents, life and stories with all of us.

  117. Thank you for writing that post, it’s hard to be vulnerable and open but I just think it means that you are a whole person with lots of love. God is good. One friend told me that time doesn’t necessarily heal, but time gives us a perspective, and sometimes it’s the perspective that can help with our healing. I’ll be praying that joy can replace the sorrow. :-) Trusting God is a good place to be in!

  118. Thank you. Your courage and candor inspire me greatly. And thank you to for honoring God with your words and with your life.

    You do a wonderful job with your blog. Yours is a blog after which others model their efforts. I hope you pause occasionally to give yourself some well deserved “well dones”.

    Most sincerely, Dana

  119. I think we all needed to hear this today .. Blessings to you and your family.
    One of your regular lurkers :)

  120. I’ve been a lurker for a long time. I love your blog for several reasons and look forward to your posts every day! Thank you for sharing your talents, heart and soul. You are a wonderful woman and great inspiration to me! {{{hugs to you}}}

    God Bless You!

  121. Hi Rhoda,
    I still read your blog and if I miss a post I usually try to catch up. I am one of the ones that doesn’t always leave a comment….

    This post has been something I need to hear today…feeling a little blue and overwhelmed this morning. Sometimes we just need to slow down and take the time needed to rest, regroup and enjoy the blessings we have. It’s so easy to get too busy and forget what is important!

    You are such an inspiration. Wishing you the best with your new life, and you can count on me to keep reading!

    :) Diane

    • Rhoda…
      Wonderful post! I share many of your interests and can truly relate. Periodically, I have to remind myself there is no “perfect” here on earth. Blogs, magazines, the entertainment industry, etc. are wonderful “escapes”, but must be kept in perspective. I know for me personally, it’s all too easy to wish my life away or place too much emphasis on material things. Thankfully, we have a patient God, who ALWAYS guides and provides!

  122. What a beautiful post! You are an inspiration in so many ways. I always look forward to reading your post on a daily basis. I believe your sincerity always shows through. I am one of your “lurkers’, but believe me, you have made a real difference in my life.

  123. Hi Rhoda,
    This is a beautiful, inspiring post. Your writing is amazing. I’m praying for you sweet friend.
    Thanks for sharing the verse…I needed that reminder today.
    Love ya,

  124. Hi Rhoda, I too am one of those “lurkers”, but just wanted to thank you for your message today. So often we think everyone else has that perfect life. You know the old saying if we all threw our troubles in the middle of the room, we would be quick to find out we just want our own back and not everyone elses “perfect” life. Thank you for being so honest. May God continue to give you the strength you need for each day.

  125. Hi Rhoda,
    Thanks so much for being vulnerable and posting this. Today (the last couple days, actually) I’ve been in this funk and sometimes it is so easy to look at blogs and think “wow…isn’t their life grand?” and miss all the things that I ought to be grateful for. Thanks for reminding me that God is in control and He will not forsake His children.
    I will pray for your divorce and that you will continue to find security in God.

  126. Rhoda, you are such a blessing. I have followed your blog for a while now, and though I have commented a bit, I have mostly lurked. Thank you for being so open and honest and for sharing your insights with us. You are so right. We can too often compare our lives with what we see from others and we come up lacking. When really the “perfect” ones are struggling with some of the same issues we have, they just don’t share that part. I know this year has been difficult for you, but always remember you have a whole army of followers praying for you.;-) You will get through this and better days are ahead!! God is always faithful!!!

  127. WOW! just WOW! y’all have no idea how much your comments have meant to me this morning. I was a little apprehensive about posting something so personal, but I felt impressed to do it and I’m so glad I did. You all have me wiping the tears away! Good tears. All of you are special ladies yourselves and your encouragement means the world to me. I’m SO grateful to have all of you out there, on my side, and I consider you my friends. another blessing in my life that I can be thankful for every single day. THANK YOU!!

  128. Rhonda,
    What a beautiful post, full of inspiring words. I know that the best is yet to be for you because you have let go of the past and have put your hopes and dreams in God’s hand. He will take care of you like never before. I wish you all the best. May all your dreams come true.

  129. Toni Fleischmann says:

    Rhoda, I recently heard a speaker say that God delivers packages wrapped in brown paper into our lives…..not to pretty. But inside can be a treasure of greater intimacy with Jesus. You received a HUGE brown paper package, but I sense you are discovering the Treasure inside in new ways. God bless, Toni

  130. I am one of the lurkers who is constantly awed by your talent. Thank you for sharing your faith with us. You are inspiring in so many ways. God’s mercy does endure forever and I’m so happy that you (unlike many others) recognize that during your trials. God bless you always.

  131. I’m once of those that lurk everyday. But I have to tell you that today I’m found a new respect for you. Phillipians 4:19 promises that He will supply all our needs, and he will. Your blog in 1 of the only 2 I read everyday…I love your blog, it’s a sunny spot in my day…thank you for being so real.

  132. I love your blog! It’s one of the few I check just about every day. You are such an inspiration to anyone who has had life throw them a zinger or two…and really, isn’t that us all? You kept going when you had just about every reason not to. I don’t value you because of the house you may or may not own, or whether your marriage is together or it’s not. I love being able to visit the places you go right along with you, to see the treasures that others have found, to experience your life joys (like Lauren’s shower/wedding) and more. You keep on going, Girl. I am right here with you and will be. Bless you!

  133. Rhoda,

    Thank you so much for this post. I am 24 years old, living in Atlanta and graduated from college this past December. I have been working at a very part-time job, in the wholesale home decor business, for the last 5 years as I went through school. I have worked hard and put a lot of effort and tears into my job. Long story short, I was led to believe that full-time opportunities would be available and those plans have more than fell short. Almost 9 months after graduating, I am still working part-time and have yet to find the perfect full-time career for me. As much as I know that I am a hard worker, smart and reliable, the thoughts of failure constantly ring out in my head.

    Thanks so much for giving me a little push to not give up! Everything happens for a reason and there is a great purpose for each of us.

    Thank You!

  134. I so needed to read this today. Thank you.

  135. Becky in 'Bama says:

    “For me to live is Christ…” Way to go Rhoda. Good post.

  136. Rhonda,
    You are an inspiration not only in the beautiful things you create but this beautiful post that you wrote. You have touched many, many people today. I love when bloggers share their lives and are “real”. Thank you for this :)

  137. Dawn Richardson says:

    Wow! Thank you for your inspiration. I have been one of your “lurkers” for a while now. You are truly an unselfish lady. Thank you for your words and your thoughts! God is GOOD.

  138. Dear Rhoda, I just had to tell you how much your honesty, openness and vulnerability means to me and so many others. You really are using this situation to minister to and bless those you come in contact with. No, life is not a magazine cover! It is messy and hard and we weren’t guaranteed anything else. But you are pointing to the ONE who will help us through that mess if we call on Him. I heard someone say recently that God isn’t the bridge “over” troubled water…He is the way we get “through” it! Thank you so much for letting us come along on this journey with you. And we pray that you will continue to feel His hope and peace even in the midst of it all! :-)
    Blessings to you,

  139. What a beautiful and brave post to write. My Mom is currently going through a divorce after 30 years of marriage. It has thrown her world upside down. I’m going to share this post with her to let her know that there is hope and that she is not alone with her situation. She is a believer and knows there is a reason for this trial buther wound is so fresh right now that’s she’s having trouble seeing past the pain. Thank you so much for writing this.

  140. Hi Rhoda, thanks for sharing your story with us. I admire your courage, positive attitude, and how you make the most out of everything that comes your way. Just know your readers are cheering you on!

  141. I have been a lerker to your blog for 2-3 years…and admire so much about you…but for this post I most admire you … for you honesty and your attitude. You wrote it just for me. In my middle 50’s and wanting a new direction other than the 9-5 grind. Thankful for what I have and my family but still wanting some dreams I once had to come true. Thanks for the encouragement when you are hurting. Isn’t true, if not for the Lord what would we do? So very thankful for His love in caring for us.

  142. Rhoda,
    Thank you, I am having one of those days and this defiantly helped. My dream is to be a jewelary designer but I have a corp. job right now. I will get there one day.

  143. Thanks for sharing this with us. It is great to read someones story who is clear that God knows our needs and is with us through the hard times. You are an inspiration to many and I thank you for that. I have been visiting your blog for some time and I don’t always comment but I love to visit with you.

  144. Praying for you! Thank you for being real. I’ve been lurking for a long time and want you to know how much I enjoy your blog.

  145. Pam Griffin says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, finally a blogger who “keeps it real” and doesn’t portray the perfect “life” . . . I would read blogs and think to myself, my God what is wrong with me. I have just come through a horrible “left turn” in my life and Roda, you are so right and thank you for being so honest and willing to share. “waiting on God has been the hardest thing I have ever done, I am not even sure I still am. But thank you for telling it like it really is. Life is not perfect and the only perfect being in this world “we crucified”. Thank you from a reader in NC.

  146. I love your spiritual strength. This blog is a real source of inspiration.

  147. I must say that it takes a log of courage to open up your heart to the world as you have done today, and I can honestly say that you have touched my heart today. I feel I can relate to your feelings on a personal basis as many of us can, and I can tell from your words that you are a humble person and that you love the Lord. I know that bad things happen to good people, but, I also know that good things happen to good people, too. Faith is the key element in your life, and you have an abundance. I applaud you for keeping your faith during these trials and tribulations. You are a wonderful woman of God and I know that he will continue to bless you. You come from good stock to be the strong woman that you are today. We have to learn to live one day at a time ~ I think that is all that God asks us to do. I am wishing you the best that life has to offer!

  148. Thank you Rhoda for being so transparent today – I needed that!

  149. Thank-you for your honesty,courage and sharing your faith. God be with.

  150. Another lurker, rarely commenting; however, I look forward to your posts and check in almost everyday. I know it must be hard to keep up a brave front and continue on with daily life when you feel things around you are falling to pieces.
    Your readers do appreciate you and enjoy your tips tricks, ideas, and thoughts.
    One day at a time.
    You never know what the day will bring…and as Scarlett says, “after all, tomorrow is another day.”

  151. Rhoda, I love your strength, faith and optimism. We all do go through tests and bad times and being able to open up, share real life and stay positive is one of your gifts. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I think you’re an amazing woman and I’m so blessed by your friendship.

  152. Centsational Girl says:

    God is always there for us, it’s in our most troublesome times we need the faith you speak of to get us through. Bless you my friend for sharing your heart today, you couldn’t be more real or more right. I love you Rhoda and can’t wait to see you in two weeks and you’ll see my life surely is NO magazine cover, can’t wait to show you!

  153. So needed that this morning, Rhoda! Thanks for sharing! I, too, am living with my parents again. Slightly different situation in that my husband is working out of town and my two boys and I are staying with them while we try to sell our house. Easier for them to be kids there as opposed to me trying to keep things “House Beautiful” for potential showings. Anyway, it is a wonderful reminder that we are blessed. Even though things might not be what we expected and things might not be happening as we planned, but they are happening how God planned. If we keep that in mind it’s amazing what gifts we see along the way! God bless you, Rhoda!

  154. Rhoda, You were my first….I discovered that their were bloggers out there who were willing to share…their lives, their homes, their ideas. You opened up to me a wonderful world where women can be themselves and be appreciated just for who they are. Thank you for everything you have done and shared. You are an amazing person! Peggy from PA

  155. Great post, Rhoda. I will admit that sometimes, I lurk, too, but mostly because in order to read a blog, I have my little one in one arm and I’m balancing my laptop with the other. /:+) I’m sorry that you have had to experienc this, but I’m sure it has made you stronger. Sounds like you are making the best of it. I hope that one day you can recover some of the money from him, but if not, I’m sure the good Lord will look out for you. Keep doing what you love!

  156. Rhoda, what an inspiring, soul-lifting post. Thanks so much for opening your heart and sharing with us today. I have been in a place this summer from a lot of “real life” events, too where I really needed your words today. You are a “friend” that I hope I have the great pleasure of meeting in person one day. And, as others have said, I believe that God has even greater things in store for you. The best is yet to come! God bless you!

  157. Robyn from Alabama says:

    Hi Rhoda! I have followed your blog a long time. I’m a “Lurker”. First time to comment. Thank you for sharing that with us today. I’m kinda going through a tough patch myself, and sometimes I need that reminder that God always has my best interest at heart. Your right, he always takes care of his children, and my dear friend I so needed to be reminded of that on this day! You are a talented and sweet lady, and I love reading your blog. I think your family is just precious too!!

  158. Rhonda,

    You are a woman full of wisdom and grace. I am so thankful that you continue to inspire in so many ways.

  159. Dear Rhoda, Thanks for all of your words of inspiration and encouragement.. and the wonderful way the Lord has inspired you
    to spread his word, message and love. I cant tell you how much your
    message today hit so very c lose to events in my own life. Bless you
    and your ministry.. I will be holding you in my prayers. God BLess. Dawn.

  160. Wonderful post! I usually just “lurk” but wanted to say thanks for your blog. I don’t have much time to blog lately. Life changes are everywhere. Two of my grandchildren are living with us full time now. Both are under 3 years. It takes all my energy to keep up with them and all the other things I do. I still have my home but my decorating has changed to kids decor. Got to run, but thanks so much for blogging!

  161. Rhoda, thank you for that post. I also love the old Streams in the Desert. A friend gave that to me when our family was going through something and I have since passed it on to someone else. Life is not like a magazine cover and I appreciate your willingness to be real. That’s what we all need, to see others be real. Whatever is good in any of us is because God allowed it. I pray the Lord will bless your efforts in your business. It has also been a dream of mine to own a decrating business but I’m still in the business of raising children. I truly enjoy your blog. Thanks for what you do.

  162. Thank you thank you thank you for such a wonderful post. I truly appreciate it when bloggers can be transparent and honest about their lives. None of us have perfect lives and the fact that you can take what has happened to you in the past and turn in into an uplifting and encouraging post is truly a gift to each of us who reads it. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful for the good things that God has given me. Sometimes it’s hard not to be bitter because of life’s circumstances, but how wonderful to know that there is a God who is bigger that ourselves and who helps us to be better. Have a blessed day!!!

  163. Thank you for sharing what was on your heart. I enjoy visiting your blog each day. God bless you.

  164. Susan in Alabama says:

    I too am a lurker. I think I started reading your blog about 4 years ago, and I read it every day. Thank you so much for opening your heart to us. Like so many others who read decorating type blogs and see the perfect home and family, I’d wonder what was wrong with me, because that is definately not my life. Thanks for reminding me no one has the perfect life! God is using you in a profound way even through the terrible pain you are suffering. Hang in there. God is good, even when it doesn’t feel like it! You might consider reading a book that has meant a lot to me recently. It is by James McDonald, “When Life is Hard”. There is also a DVD set to go with it that is awesome.

    Be blessed!

  165. Rhonda,
    I guess I could be a “lurker”, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now (probably two years) and it’s one of my favorites!!! I love the honesty that you share with us and your faith is so great! I am so proud to call you my sister through Christ! I pray that God continues to bless you and your family! Thank you for this post today, I think that it’s one that we all needed to read!

  166. Dear Rhoda,

    Thank you so much for this post. Everything you wrote is so true. There were days when I was reading some blogs and being so jealous. I thought that there are women that have it all – beautiful houses, beautiful gardens, beautiful families, perfect lives. And the funniest thing is that my life also looks like that to people that dont really know me. ´And is so not true.
    This winter and spring I also had many problems and my hole life could change in a minute. I was even prepared to start a new life from beginning. Happily for me everything went well but I am still recovering from all that stress. I visited your blog many times then and your optimism always gave me hope that everything will somehow just end well. that God will just arrange things somehow. Thank you very much for sharing your story. I wish you all the best.
    P.S. I am not a native english speaker so plese forgive me my grammar and spelling.

  167. I agree with you and everything you said. Blogs are now being used the wrong ways at times. I love how honest you are you always have been a real person. I am so sorry you are going through so much but take heart God does have a plan. You are a strong woman and in your pain your encouraging others. Thank you for being one of the real bloggers out there!!

  168. Rhoda,
    I have missed just knowing that you were right down the road in Birmingham. It sounds like God is blessing you and bestowing grace upon your life. What a blessing you must be to your parents at this stage in their life!
    Dreams? My largest dream is to have a bed and breakfast. My husband told me of an opportunity to build a bed and breakfast just off the Natchez Trace close to where we live now. It is next to a memorial stone wall built in honor to an Indian lady who walked back to Florence from the Oklahoma territory after being forced from her home during the Trail of Tears. I would love, love, love to build that bed & breakfast, but the financial risk, my husband being forced into retirement at age 50, and our son away in his freshman year at college makes me feel I need to keep my secure full-time job. I’m still looking for that opportunity maybe when I am in “my” mid-50’s. 10 years…that’s not too long to wait.

    Judy :)

  169. I read your blog everyday. Most times I don’t comment but today I’m so moved by what you wrote that I need to comment. You are such a beautiful woman, inside and out, and I feel you’ve found the silver lining everyone needs to find when things get difficult. God bless you and your beautiful family.

  170. Thank you. I so needed to hear your message today. I have been going through financial difficulties for a long time and was feeling really low. I needed a reminder that things will be good (wonderful) again. And you are right, things will get better! Where can you go but UP when you reach the bottom??!! The sky is the limit.
    God bless you Rhoda.

  171. I applaud your bravery and your faith

  172. Rhoda,
    I know you are walking through the fires right now, but I just know God has wonderful plans for you. He’s already showing you that, isn’t he? :) You’ve really inspired and given hope to so many by your post. Looking forward to getting together again, my friend!

  173. Oh Miss Rhoda! Thank you. I’m sorry life has been tough for you lately. I’m sure more than any of us realize. But thank you for sharing and being transparent. I have a lot of blogs I follow and the ones I like the best are those that show the human side of their lives.

    You’re right, it’s so easy to look at blogs and think how perfect their lives must be. But when they share the good and the bad, well, that’s when I feel most connected. It’s kind of like people out in the world who are honest and truly themselves… they give off this glow and are amazing to be around.

    So, what do I want? I want to start a blog, although I don’t know that I have anything different to share. I’m afraid… mostly of judgement. Sad, but true.

    Anyway, enough rambling. But, thank you, again, for a great post!

  174. Rhoda,

    This is one of the BEST posts I’ve ever read and it echoes my thoughts and feelings regarding blogging and what I frequently tell people. We ALL have stories — good, bad, beautiful and ugly — and ALL of those experiences make us who we are. It’s life. The only thing that gets us through it is knowing and trusting in HIS divine plan.
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Your Friend,

  175. Like many others I am a lurker, never comment. Today you touched my heart, what a lovely woman you are, I needed to read this today, thank you so much.

  176. Rhoda,
    Thank you for being so honest. Thank you for being real. I read your blog every day and I am inspired in so many ways but today was worth all the trips over here. I can’t imagine all that you have been through this year, I can only imagine the heart ache but I do know that God is still on His throne and can use anything , if we allow it, for His glory and for your good. I can’t wait to see all that God is going to do with your sweet life. Thank you again for this sweet, heart felt post!

  177. Hi Rhoda-

    You are the most open and honest blogger. You are so real and that it what your strength is. God bless you for writing this post. It has uplifted me just when I needed it. I don’t talk about the downer subject in my life on my blog much, but ever since I started my blog – my hubby has been unemployed. 2 1/2 years. He had a great position and his salary let us lead a very nice life, but he is in his mid 50’s and the first to go in this economy. We are an upbeat couple and try to stay positive, knowing that there are many not as fortunate as us, but it is still hard to act like life is normal. I just thank god I have a roof over my head and people that love me.
    Thanks again for being so open and honest about your life. I for one am happy you pressed the Publish button. God bless you XO

    My best- Diane

  178. What an inspiring post! So true, Peace is priceless! And God is soooo Good!

  179. Love your blog! You have shown such grace over the past few months and never fail to provide inspiration – sometimes style and sometimes spiritual. Keep up the good work!

  180. What a powerful truth!! We all have many things in our lives to be thankful for. Thank you for sharing with us your up’s and down’s. God has big things for you, I’m looking forward to reading all about them. It’s so true that we don’t always understand why God let’s bad things happen to us, but in every thing give glory to his name!!!
    Praying you have a BLESSED day:)

  181. I love you Miss Rhoda. You inspire me, and although I knew a bit what you were going through, I had no idea to what extent.
    I hope that you have nothing but success in your blogging. You deserve it. You’re so sweet, kind, and giving. It was a complete pleasure to get to know you more at Blogher. I can’t wait to see you again :)

  182. I recently discovered your blog and wanted to introduce myself and tell you how much I enjoy it.

    In answer to your question, I’d love to start something crafty & creative from home, but I lack the confidence… unfortunately I am no expert in anything in particular. I guess I’m waiting to find my niche.

    Your blog gives me inspiration, so I wanted to thank you.

    “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”

  183. My dear Rhoda what a blessing you are to so many. I have followed you for all five years, been encouraged by you and been inspired by you. I loved meeting you for the first time at the blogger’s dinner last year with Eddie and knew you were the real deal. You amaze me with the strength and courage you have. God has done wonderful things with you and I know He will continue to do so. As you have seen with me on my third blog, it can be a long journey finding your passion and voice. Some find it quickly, some never do. Quite honestly, you helped me find mine because you have always said to be true to your heart. I hate that you have been through so much this last year, but I trust you will do great things in the future!

    You asked what we are dreaming of? In the last year I have taken my cooking and baking abilities and actually stepped out of my kitchen into the homes of others as I picked up a few catering jobs as well as weddings and parties. But, in a small town there is not a large market for this. But, I feel God is working here as I revealed last week on my blog we are moving to Greenville, South Carolina for Audley’s job. It’s crazy because it opens a whole wide world for me to attempt my dream!

    So, my dear friend, I asked your prayers as well!


  184. I love reading your blog. The post today is very inspiring. Although I am young, 24 years old, I am at the age of trying to find where I belong and discovering my talents as well. I have faith like you that through everything we deal with in life, opportunities are put in front of us and these opporotunities lead us to a future we could have never planned or expected, I feel as though Im still waiting for that to happen. But I know that someday I will discover that.
    Also, speaking of hard ships and starting all over againm My mother, Lisa, at the age of 49 lost my DAD, age 50, to surgical complications ( to put it gently) and was left with financial troubles she could have never imagined. My dad was her best friend, love of her life, but 5 years later she has found love again. So there is definetly hope and love for you in this world. I wish you the most happiness in your future and hope you find love again like my mother did.

  185. Hi! Thank you for your post today. It was just what I needed. I too feel like Suzanne H. that commented above. I’d love to do something from home, but lack the confidence that I can do it. I love anything crafty and have started a website about crafts, but just don’t know where I’m suppose to go with it. I’m struggling with the whole blogging. I too am a grits girl and your post today has help me lift up my head and decide I am on this journey and with Gods help I am going to do this. As my husband always says “there’s nothin’ to it, but to do it” and that’s what I’m gonna try to do!

  186. Rhoda, I look forward to reading your blog every morning. It is strange, no, God’s will, but, I have been thinking about what you have told us up to today about your life, and praying for you. My husband and I have been married 34 years. Everything was ‘rosie’ up until about 5 years ago. Thankfully, the Lord made everything fall in place. (a different place). It is rough for us, some days, but we pray together, and the Lord answers our prays (like you said, maybe not the way we want, but His way). My prayers and best wishes are for you. Paula Lusk

  187. Luke's GiGi says:

    Rhoda – I am one of your many viewers but never comment. I love your blog. I have noticed on many blogs out there that life does seem “picture perfect”. So, I just want to say, thanks for keeping it real girlfriend and keep doing what you do. It is a ministry.

  188. Rhoda wow,
    I also am a lurker and have never left a comment. I visit from time to time. After reading today really what I would call your TESTimony not a blog today it dawned on me; Does she realize she just ran smack into her PURPOSE???
    You wouldn’t believe it if I told you all the details at this exact moment hubby and I are facing of corporate world vs. dreams, literally this very day, very inspired message. I came across today after months of not visiting. Hubby and I prayed a few hours ago concerning and this message was a puzzle piece for me handed down through the hand of God.
    Seperate from what I got out of it was so clear to me this is your TRUE calling! The decorating, blogging, store etc.. is just the vehicle HE is using, not to mention all the pain you’ve experienced this last year. I have followed enough to know what you were talking about today and yes, you’ve written other inspirational commentary but today the annointing was so strong on the message. Also, the response from the women supports that. The annointing comes to break the yoke of bondage…
    Comment after comment of these precious women tells the story of emotional freedom and chains breaking. How many people do you know out in blog land or the net world can write His truth and be so well received, not many with out attacks of criticism or offense.
    What also came to mind was THE GIFT OF PAIN!!! Many don’t know what you know and have learned. Life is a choice of bitter or better. When we allow HIM to make us better through life’s tough circumstances it becomes a gift not ony to us but to others IF we but be vulnerable. Vulnerability, it’s the second step to pain after, I myself am still working on that one :)
    However, that’s learning another valuable lesson that it’s not all about me but others. I know you have opened up a spiritual door of promotion by what you did today so, I can’t wait to see what Father’s graduation present look like.
    My gift by pain trophies in life is to encourage and help others see who they are in HIM, so thank you for the opportunity to let me speak into your life.
    Many Blessings,
    In His Love,

  189. I have been reading the comments on your post today, and seeing the power of connection, and transparency, in touching others’ lives. I too, began a journey 7 years ago at age 46, leaving a corporate job to return to school. I earned a doctorate at age 54, only to find that the job market is still so very tough, and espeically for a person over 50! It was my life’s dream to do this, and it took me almost 50 years – now I have a mortgage worth of debt in student loans, and stuggle at times for hope. Thank you for your openness, and willingness to share in a blog world where, at times, everyone seems to be so on top of their lives. Your post was inspiring, and I believe you are a new and inspiring path, based on truth, and love. I wish you all the best.

  190. Rhoda,

    What a wonderful post today! I am a “lurker” as well checking your posts daily. It’s my absolute favorite! It was so refreshing to see how real and vulnerable you are. We all tend to think others have it so good and imagine how our life could have been different but your journey is what makes you who you are. You are a blessing to me and many others through your blog and sharing your decorating talents. Thank you for sharing your life and tribulations with us. As the others have said, “you keep it real”.

  191. What a Refreshing blog post! I have been looking for a blogger to follow that knows Christ and brings that into their posts. One who is Real, Honest and loves to share decorating tips. Found one!! I am fairly new to your blog and have enjoyed reading it everyday. It is something I look forward to. Thanks for all your posts,encouragement and for giving our Savior the Glory!
    Jen :)

  192. Rhoda,

    I’ve just recently found design-related blogs and am loving reading them. Yours is my favorite! Thanks for covering something interesting every single day that we can take back to our own lives. In one fell swoop, you share knowledge, remind us of important things in life, inspire, and motivate. Today’s entry was incredible. Yes, you should write that book or maybe one about blogging, simply because you write in such a way that it touches people’s lives and makes a difference. I admire you for seeing change as opportunity and finding the positive in adversity; both of these sound easy but in reality, are so difficult. Thanks for sharing your journey and reminding us that life can be messy but it’s still a great life.

  193. Rhoda thank you for sharing from your heart! I have recieved what you have said in the spirit in which you wrote it!!! God has plans for us doesn’t he? You are a willing servant and you are living out part of the plan. I think that sometimes life teaches us we need to see God in all things not just the good things, but in all things. He knows what the total picture looks like and we can only see what is right in front of us at the moment. you know I am sending prayers, good thoughts and a great big hug your way, xo Kathysue

  194. Rhoda –
    Thank you for your transparency, honestly and inspiration. I have been following your blog for quiet a while now and always look forward to what you have to say. You are truly one of the few blogs that I read in which you’ve shown that you are real and your life is not perfect but it’s what helps me and so many others connect to your blog. And what keeps us returning dare I say? As a single mom of 3 who has to work full time in order to provide for us, it can be so daunting and overwhelming to read other blogs about women who stay at home, cook, and homeschool making it seem that they have the perfect little world while I’m living in a coporate nightmare. I would LOVE to be a homeschooling mama who gets to try wonderful from scratch recipes and declutter my house daily but you know what, it ain’t happening. At the end of the day, i’m lucky if I have the energy to pop something in the microwave and call it dinner. God has other plans for me. He is teaching me right here, right now just how much He loves me, how much he provides for me daily and how much burden He does carry for me and how strong I really am. So, I’ve learned to realize life ain’t always beautiful but it IS a beautiful life when we live through Jesus Christ. So keep on, keeping on and inspiring us. It really is appreciated on this end of the spectrum.
    I pray that you will keep allowing God to guide you down the path He intends for you. By the way, my dream… own a bridal/special occassion shop with the ability to help men/women plan their entire special occassion at one stop. Maybe one day!!! Thanks again all the way from a little southern town outside Charlotte, NC.

  195. I’m so sorry for the terrible times you’ve had, and so grateful for this uplifting message.

  196. Yes He is GOOD all the time. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband or should I say soon to be x husband. This reminds me of one of my friends and her x. But I’m so happy that you’re getting out of this mess and that God is with you where ever you go! I also pray that God will send you a good Christian man to!! Hang in there and keep looking up. And also we all get down at times even when things ARE going good for us.

  197. Rhoda,

    Thank you for your inspirational story. Your have such a great positive attitude!
    I wish you all the best and God bless,
    Your faithful lurker!!!!

  198. I read your blog daily but rarely comment–except when you show pictures of your sweet mom and dad. I was going to point it out but you already did. Having your parents still living is a blessing beyond measure. Please hug them for me today.

  199. I am one of the “Lurkers” Rhoda!! I visit almost every day!! You and Kim over at Daisy Cottage were the first “Blogs” I discovered and I admit it was love at first sight!! I am so excited about your remarks to us….. Every post since all of this happened to you gave me encouragement for YOU!!! I could just sense things taking off for you… and each time that you would post about another trip or contest …. well…. you just seemed to be taking a major step forward!!!! I know when all seems lost there is that one that never leaves us or forsakes us!!!! He will see us thru!!!!! :)

  200. Amen Sistah! God is good….all the time.


  201. Fabulous post, Rhoda. 2010 brought me to my knees with grief but I have looked for happiness and am finding it again. God bless you.

  202. As my Pastor says, Never give up, but Look up! That is what you have done and what an inspiration you are! Thanks for reminding us that hope is just a prayer away!

  203. Hi Rhonda,
    I have been a no comment follower of yours for over a year now. I guess I really needed to read your post today. I think you helped me and so many others in ways you don’t realize yet. I am truly sorry for all that life has thrown your way but knowing that God is on our side how can we ever feel alone.
    I am in my almost mid 50’s and in the beginning stages of forming my own blog. I have had many reservations and difficulties just getting some things operating like I want but after reading your post today I might just take your recommendation and “just do it “.
    Thanks for being so inspirational and honest to all of us in blogland.

  204. You are such an inspiration! God has and will do wonderful things for you. I am so sorry for what you have been through with your ex- husband. Do you think you ex-husband was a Sociopath?. These people wreak havoc on womens lives. I wish you the very best in life and I believe your future will be a good one! God is sooo good.

  205. De-lurking… God Bless You!

    I am making homemade lotions and potions and I hope other people will like them. I know my family does so if the outside world doesn’t, it’s ok.

  206. Hi Rhoda..always read your blog but never comment, so I guess im a lurker,lol..loved this post, it gives me hope..all the best to you and thank you:).

  207. Rhoda, perfect timing! I read your blog often; we truly never know the paths of others and sometimes I can really feel sorry for myself! Thanks for reminding me to be thankful for how fortunate I am and how good God is; I just know great things are in store for you :)

  208. Guilty as charged….I admit that I am a lurker, but occasionally comment! Glad that you are remaining positive! It is truly a blessing that you have your loving family to comfort and support you! Wishing you all the best!

  209. Rhoda – I’m not a blogger but am also one of your faithful readers who rarely posts a comment, but I wanted to tell you that you and your blog are such an inspiration to me. I am amazed at your strength, faith, honesty, and talent. My prayers are with you and your family.

  210. I, too, have made a transition. I had a catering and cake decorating business. I was partners with my best friend for the past 25 years. I won’t go into all the details, but, let’s just say, we weren’t on the same page. I should have read Business 101 better were it says that partnerships with friends never, never, NEVER work out for the good. We are still friends, but, my dreams for our business are all put to bed now. So, what to do?
    I would love to write a cookbook. Not too sure how to do that, and just look at all the cookbooks out there. What would make mine stand out? Also, I love the Streams in the Desert devotional book too! I truly believe that you are right where you are supposed to be at this time. It is a happy ending, your life! I know, because God writes happy endings for us all! God Bless!

  211. Betty shepard says:

    I read your blog this morning and it has haunted me all day. You never know what is really happening in a person’s life unless you walk in their shoes. Yours is heart breaking and inspirational to all women. The part of your blog that is haunting me is your dream of having a thriving design business. Take me to task because I am not privy to all the facts but I say…..GO FOR IT….revise your business plan….make calls etc. Do something everyday to make your dream a reality. Own it, claim it, work it and it will be yours.

  212. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. God is truly in control in your situation and I’m thankful that you are giving Him the glory. I liked what you said about people’s lives not being what they appear on blogland. It is so easy to assume that people live these perfect lives and have everything perfect in their homes. I needed to hear you say that that is not always the case, because I was having a hard time understanding how moms with many small children can homeschool, can, cook, sew, be active in their church, etc, and still have everything look perfect. I was wondering what was wrong with me since I only have one child and don’t do half as much as they do!

  213. Hi there….what an AWESOME post. It’s like you were speaking right thru me. I, too, am not where I thought I would be at 53. But I’m doing just fine and God definitely has plans for me. I can empathize with you about divorce but after 5 years, I’m feel blessed where I am in life. Through all of this I re-discovered God, found a church home, joined a bible study, etc. I lost my parents 15 years ago and never had children, so I really consider you lucky . However, I certainly don’t feel unlucky….I have lots of Choosen Family.
    Like most of the readers I too probably looked at your blog and said…ah, what a perfect life; she’s beautiful, sweet and talented and little did I know I was assuming way too much. You phrased your post so well…..I think we all put on rose-colored glasses when we look at blogs. :)
    I’ve been in the corporate world all my professional life and a change really sounds good, but SO scary since I just have me to depend on. I’m going to look deeper into your beautiful blog and try and get some ideas about what my possibilites might be to work in a CREATIVE world. Thank you so much for sharing your heart…..I really got a lot out of what you said.
    Happy Fall Ya’ll from Houston, TX!!!!!

  214. Like yourself, I went through a late in life divorce that left me in the pits but as time went on I learned it was absolutely the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. I pulled myself up and learned to stand on my own two feet and for nearly six years I was proud of what I was able to accomplish. I had NO desire to ever marry again until a miracle came into my life. I was introduced to a loving, caring, honest, and funny man by his daughter (our children were friend through high school and college music programs). We dated for a little over a year before we were married and have now been married for nearly two years. God knows my heart and provided me with what He knew I needed.

  215. So sorry you have to walk through this. I’ve been following your blog for a long time, but only felt compelled to comment for the first time today. Thank you for being transparent and publicly relying on the only Person who can truly help us in our trials. God bless you.

  216. Rhoda,
    Your most personal posts are the one that really touch my heart. You speak so honestly, and really you are an inspiration to me and others.

    I have always believed that life can change on a dime, and yours certainly has. You have come a long way this year.
    Seems like I was just reading your post about you going to Israel and feeling sad like I was loosing a friend. Now I can’t wait to see what your doing next! Things happen for a reason.

    You have turned all your negatives into positives and it’s nice that you can enjoy the ride (most days). Thanks for bring us along, to watch you blossom and become stronger.
    Your strength will be my inspiration!

  217. I have been a “stalker” but it’s time to comment. Thank you so much for your transparency. I retired from a job I loved and my husband and I moved to a beautiful place to be near grandchildren. Life was a bowl of cherries, until breast cancer struck. I am in the midst of chemo which is not fun, but you know what??? God is still here and he is still good!

  218. Rhoda, read your blog daily, but never comment. Will today because I want to say how much of an inspiration you have been to me and so many others. Love your blog! All the best, Gina (in Texas)

  219. Rhoda, I have not been reading very much lately. I’ve tried to keep up with a few posts, but along with haaving some health issues myself…I have a new grandson…5 months old. A lessing, for sure!

    I am so, so sorry that you have had to endure these trials. It seems sometimes that those who try to do right and live right are the ones who hit these rough spots. It’s not fair…but no one ever said it would be.

    I know this to be true…the times I have been at my lowest, are the times I could hear God the loudest. The times I have wondered if I can make it another day, are the times God chooses to show Himself to me. The times I wonder if He even remembers I exist, are the times He blesses me…big time.

    I will add you to my prayer list, and remember you to our Father. God keeps His promises. If that is true for one promise…it must be true for all of His promises. He will see you through. He will bless you if you continue to walk in His ways. And, the lessons you learn will be used to help others.

    Many times I have been to hospitals and talked to mothers with children who have cancer or birth defects or whatever…and I can tell them these truths.

    May I suggest a book that has been of greatest inspiration to me. You probably will have to order it from Lifeway. FAITH IS NOT A FEELING by Ney Bailey. It is a small, inexpensive book…but so full of what I need to hear.

    God bless you…. Tonja

  220. Hi Rhoda, You are an inspiration to us all. So sorry about your crisis… I wish I could reach through the computer screen and give you a hug! I know that you are a strong woman but strong women need hugs too! AND YES!!! WE CAN DO ANYTHING! Keep your inspirational stories coming… and Good Luck with everything! Nancy

  221. Hey Ro,

    I got your e=mail and want to reply but today my yahoo account got hacked and it wiped out all my contacts! I can’t seem to find your new e-mail address in anything I have. Could you please send it to me again to the aol address (…..


  222. Hi Rhoda: I too am one of those people who read personal blogs and wonder why my life is not as picture perfect. Why I can’t make my house look as pretty. How do they do it? How do these people manage to have such great lives? It is so easy to forget that perception and truth are usually not one and the same. I could easily describe my day like this: I woke up early, took a delicious shower and went to my doctor’s appt. My mom went with me and we chatted and had a great time. The staff was great, considerate and very helpful. And then show you a photo of the sun gently coming through my window and waking me up. Or I could say: I had to get up at 6:30 AM and drag myself out of bed. I showered and had to drive to the doctor’s office without eating anything. I get there and they didn’t have the order for the blood work in my chart so I had to wait an hour for someone to fax it from the other office. They took 4…FOUR vials of blood and I didn’t get home until it was almost lunchtime. Then I could show you a photo of the guy sticking a needle into my arm. Hmmm…exactly the same day and the same circumstances. But the first one was “embellished” and the second one was a total downer. Life is what we make of it and how we decide to look at it.

  223. Spoken like a true champion. GOD isn’t finished with you yet!!!!!!!!

    Your sister in Christ
    Big Hugs,

  224. I am one of the lurkers you spoke of but today I will make a comment. I have enjoyed your blog for quite some time now. I too am a divorced woman who raised two children by myself, with Jesus’ help of course. My older child is mentally handicapped. Certainly life isn’t what I expected but He did say, ” I am with you always”. He has been more than with me, He sustains me. To God be the glory.

  225. I’m one of your lurkers but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate you and your sharing. You are an inspiration. Many blessings to you!

  226. Your blog is what got me hooked on blogs! It is refreshing to find someone who is authentic about her disappointments and hurts and remains steadfast in her faith. He will carry you through and you will continue to find blessings and joy in your journey.

  227. Rhoda,
    Just wanted to let you know there are better days coming your way! I was in this spot about 9 years ago. 41 years old, with 2 small children and no job. I was abandoned by my husband of many years and left with nothing. I did not have a college education or anything to fall back on. In fact I had about $20 to my name after he cleaned out the accounts. I had to make tough decisions, get a job and started classes to get my degree. My children did not have the carefree childhood I wanted for them, but they had a mother who loved them. I had a God that loved all of us and he saw me through some very tough times. Today, I have a great job, a home of my own and my children are in high school. I was alone for a while, but God sent me the most wonderful man. We dated a very long time ( yes, I was very gunshy after what I had been through) and eventually married 2 years ago. Sometimes,I can hardly believe what I went through. But God is faithful to restore to you everything the enemy has stolen from you! Never doubt it!

  228. Dear Rhoda – I don’t know all details of what happened, nor is there need. It is obvious you have been through, and are still going through, a very difficult time in your life. But I have no doubt you are not only a survivor but a victor and an achiever. With God’s help and love, you will persevere and come out even stronger, my friend. I am so happy you are able to blog full time. It is my greatest passion. If its meant to be then so be it. Until then…Corporate World calls. :( Stay strong, stay positive, believe in fate…and never, ever give up! Hugs.

  229. Hi Rhoda!
    You are so brave to have shared your thoughts, to reveal the not-so-pretty-side of your life. I’ve been guilty, I think, of trying to keep the scary parts of my life out of my posts and away from my readers, but since we lost our home in a storm 6months ago, I felt unsure how to proceed with my blog. My motivation and inspiration was zapped right out of me, and it has just been too hard to pretend otherwise.
    I would think about everyone else out there, writing those “happy, feel-good,” posts, and couldn’t see how Heart and Home would continue to fit the niche I had been a part of for the past year or so. Usually, I am a very honest person, and although I alluded to the way I had been feeling after losing my dad, restoring his (empty) home after a flood, sending my first-born off to college, then losing our home, dealing with things mostly alone because my husband travels a lot for work,( and we have the 23 yrs of marriage yucky stuff to deal with, too!!), plus all the responsibilities that come with being a mom, things had just gotten so built up and heavy and difficult, that I felt I couldn’t post any more, until I had things figured out. It does feel good to know there are others out there who are going through life-changing events, that life is not always as rosy as it appears in photographs, and that it is not just my imagination! I do believe in a greater power for good, I know there is tremendous power in prayer and positive thought, and those are the beliefs that I cling to after a long day spent documenting our losses for the insurance, or dealing with irate bankers or contractors or family members. I commend you for always staying so positive, for having such strong faith, for keeping a smile on that beautiful face of yours! You have a lot of friends out here in cyber-space, people whom you’ve never met but are rooting for you every step of the way.
    Yours was the 2nd blog I ever read (or had heard of, for that matter!) You helped me get started when I e-mailed you with lots of beginner questions, you’ve always been a bright and shining star to me! And I know things are only going to get better and better for you.
    Thank you Rhoda, stay well and enjoy your time with your folks, what a wonderful gift of togetherness you’ve been given. (I miss my mom and dad everyday.)
    I always read your posts but lately haven’t left many comments. I guess this long-winded one makes up for my silence these past few months!
    Anyway, you have a friend and supporter out here in California, and I send hugs your way.

  230. Rhoda,

    You are SOOOO right that sometimes everyone else seems to be leading a totally charming life. My ex-husband always used to say, “You never know the WHOLE story.” And that is so true. I divorced that man after 30 years of not so blissful matrimony. Sure, I was terrified of being alone for the rest of my life but guess what? I’ve met the greatest guy who shares all the same interests. I’ve been following your blog as far back as the green office nook that I absolutely fell in love with. And I have a green scrapbook room with black accents to show for that inspiration. You are so blessed to have both parents still with you and even though I’m sure it feels somewhat uncomfortable being back under their roof 24/7, one day when they’re gone you’ll be SO GLAD you had that time with them. When you announced that you were moving back home, I really expected that you would stop blogging but I’m so happy you hung in there. You are a true inspiration. Take care, my friend.

  231. Thanks for sharing about your journey. There is so much uncertainity with the economy right now and I’m going to share your blog today with a friend of mine. She’s not dealing with the same things you are but she is still going through a very rough time and I know what you shared will help her. Thank you so much for being so very honest. God is our source and it’s so very important to tell those that don’t know about His love and guidance how He can sustain us even in our darkest hour.

  232. Hi Rhoda

    I read your story tonight with sadness. My life is not what I had mapped out for myself years ago. I am also in my mid 50’s and single again. I was thinking about where am I, and decided I seem to be waiting for the next chapter to begin. I decided last week that the next chapter will never start unless I begin it myself. So I’m starting over again. I hope we both are really happy this time next year!

  233. Vicki Crowe says:

    What a wonderful testimony – Rhoda – you have helped so many by being so transparent! You blog is truly a blessing.

  234. Hey Rhoda,

    So enjoyed your post today. I know it has touched the hearts of many of your readers including mine. My husband and I pray for you daily and know the Lord is going to continue to use you no matter where he takes you.

  235. Rhonda, your blog was the first one I discovered and starting reading. I don’t blog myself, so I guess I am a stalking lurker. I read every post you write; some of them more than once. You are an inspiration and your reliance and dependency on God sets an example for all of us. At this time, my life certainly isn’t what I had thought it would be. For the first time since childhood (I’m in my late 50s) I am not optimistic about where my family will be in the future. Your post reminds me that God is on His throne exactly where He has always been. There are no maverick molecules; He is in control. Thank you, Rhoda.

  236. Oh yes you are a testimony Rhoda! Good old Streams in the Desert, that raises me up each and every day. The imagery is so beautiful and meaningful, and hits home in good times and bad. Thank you for hitting submit today. My prayer for you is continued growth in business and faith in the Lord. And health for you and yours. God Bless you Rhoda.

  237. Dear Rhoda,
    Thank you SO much for your testimony. I know you are blessed to be so eloquent in your blogs about yourself; in doing that you are a blessing to many others.
    In Ps 50:15 it says ‘Call upon me in the day of trouble…’
    God answers:
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Wait
    4. Here is something better for you.
    I feel He is defintely saying to you, ‘Rhoda, here is something better for you’.
    May God bless you in wonderful and unexpected ways.

  238. God bless you, Rhoda. I didn’t know you were going through this… but your post was a true set up for God’s glory in and through your life and present circumstances. I will be praying for you as the Lord brings you to mind.

    Thank you for your transparancy…

  239. Wow, Rhoda,
    As I am reading all the 231 comments here,it is so apparent what a ministry to others you have , and continue, through this” left turn in the road” as you so gracefully put it! I would venture to say these 231
    ( and counting!)are but a microcosm of the many other reactions experienced today as we have all once again been so touched and blessed by your story, and the grace God is pouring out on you, as you walk humbly with Him.I ‘ll go further and say, most all of us thought of someone else we would like to share this post with to be an uplift and encouragement.
    At the initial shock of the news last year, I feared along with others who look forward to your daily blogs, that you might have to give it up ….. but look what God had in mind for you instead! Yours is such a powerful story of total trust and dependence on Him, and your determination to keep on , even as you returned to your parents home…. you never gave up, or gave in , to bitter despair,-and with your indomitable spirit continually inspire and encourage all of us daily.You’ve never made “Soon -to be-Ex” the focus( and in fact,he’s really beside the point now, isn’t he?) and you’ve never chosen to be a “victim”. Your story is about the relationship you have with your Heavenly Father first, and the sweet family He had for you, from the beginning…. and that’s why we are all so attracted to everything you write about…..because your writing is really all about … LOVE!
    A pastor acquaintance I admire says often, “God redeems all that He allows”….. You are being used so powerfully in this time of personal upheaval- I just know God will bless you mightily for the way you have remained steadfast in your faith and as you encourage each of us as we live our ” not-quite-ready-for -the -photo-shoot ” lives!

    Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  240. Rhonda,
    Wow, you are an amazing, Godly woman. You have a fabulous attitude and you are right. God is taking care of you, he will continue to. I look forward to hearing good things from you to come!

  241. Rhoda, thanks so much for sharing this. Definitely what I needed to hear right now :)

    I’m currently working in the corporate world but love all things creative and have recently started a blog. I have no idea what the future holds, but I just continue to put my trust in the Lord. I hope one day I’ll get to pursue my creative dreams in some way, shape or form!

    Thanks for the encouragement! Can’t wait to meet you in June at Haven :)

  242. Oh my goodness. Hopefully many blessings will come your way. I hate saying trite things to people in tough times. So, I have nothing else to tell you. I’m glad you’re here & many hopes for better things ahead.

  243. Just typed a comment and it went away. Thank you Rhonda, for sharing your heart. We all appreciate real. Your trust in God and giving him the glory for helping you is what life is about. You have been inspiring and encouraging just to watch your life. Everyone can’t help but notice your hard work and great attitude under difficult circumstances. You are appreciated.

  244. Shannon Hoving says:

    Oh, my dear Rhoda, how very brave of you to share this with us. I know that it couldn’t have been easy for you. Sometimes we feel ashamed of the situations we find ourselves in, as if we, ourselves had done something wrong, when the only thing we are guilty of is perhaps having loved and trusted too much. We berate ourselves, wondering how we could have been so blind. I sense that you have a loving, forgiving, eternally optimistic nature. You are a good woman, honest and ethical, so you automatically assume that others share these traits. It is not in your nature to lie or cheat, so you never suspect it of others. I’m sure you realized this already, but sometimes it really helps just to hear someone else say it. There are others out here who have been in similar situations, and we are cheering you on, so happy that you are not just surviving, but thriving!

  245. Thank you.

  246. karen davis says:

    Hi Rhoda, I have read your blog and been a follower for a couple of years, and what an inspiration you are! Want you to know that I am proud of you….the way you have dealt with and continue to live your life and give all the Glory to Him.

  247. Rhoda, through good times and bad, you are a constant source of inspiration in so many ways.

  248. Thanks sweet lady.

  249. Wow, that was such an honest and moving post. Thanks for sharing. Every one of us has ups and downs in life. Sometimes you just have to walk through the fire. I am sure great things are coming your way.

  250. Thank you for sharing your story. Your words of encouragement are just what I needed. My husband and I are experiencing some uncertain times in our lives right now, not sure what the future holds. He is out of a job and looking, not sure what is going to happen with our house either. You helped others with your story! I hope your life takes a turn for the better and everything goes your way soon:)

  251. Hi sweet friend!

    Great post! Hope you’ll come down for a visit sometime this fall or winter. It might not be beach time, but you and I can do lots of antique looking.


  252. I am one of your “quiet” readers, but I want to say that your post lifted me up when I read it this morning. Thank you.

  253. Rhoda, you are such an inspiration. I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much lately, but as you say, God is always there, helping us through the hard times. I can’t imagine a day without Him.

    May all your dreams come true, and may God richly bless you and your family.

  254. Rhoda–Thank you for being so transparent. You are correct that often those of us reading blogs perceive the bloggers lives to be “perfect”–at least more perfect than the rest of us! I actually found this to be a very encouraging blog post. I am, however, so sorry to hear what you have been going through. Yet, I am encouraged to hear that you are resting in, and are secure in, the One who truly desires the best for us. Blessings to you and thank you for all the great ideas that you share each week.

  255. Ah, Rhoda. I’m so sorry you’re in the middle of this. I love your attitude, and I’ll agree with you that you will have a lovely home, true love and all the blessings God has planned for you. I’ve been there and done that, and even though sometimes being single is a tad lonely, it’s nicer to be alone and content than to be with someone and miserable. I look forward to hearing how God’s plans for you unfold.

  256. thank you so much for being open, and sharing. you are an encourager, and that has blessed me today.
    big hugs to you…

  257. Becky in SC says:

    ♥♥♥♥♥ I LOVE YOU RHODA !!!!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥
    …and have ever since the day I googled beadboard wallpaper on a cool Fall day back in October 2009, and found your blog!! I never knew blogs existed until I stumbled across yours!!! (and yours is still my fave)

    ♥ Becky in SC ♥

  258. I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months now and wasn’t really aware of what you’ve been going through. You’re right, the reality of life isn’t usually what people share online. But you’re also right in saying that so many people are going through hard times and I think it’s essential to be reminded of that. I’m from Texas and if you’ve watched the news at all recently you’ve heard about the terrible brush fires there. I recently found out that a friend from college who lives in central Texas went to the movies with her children one afternoon, and when they drove home, they discovered that their house had burned to the ground. When you hear stories like that it really puts things into perspective. We have to appreciate each day that we’re healthy, safe and with the people we care about. Those are the most important things, in my opinion.

  259. Thank you for sharing your heart with us Rhoda! We love you and are so blessed to call you a friend!

  260. My dear Rhoda, I tried to post a response yesterday, but lost the email. Just wanted you to know that by bearing your soul, you ave created a wonderful ministry to many in similar situations. All praise and honour & glory to our Heavenly Father, who has not abandoned nor forgotten you, but used this post to bring Him glory. You have so many blessings, maybe not the material ones but you still have your Mum & Dad and they have been so supportive of you. Big hug to them!! God will give you beauty for ashes, in His time. Your blog has seen a huge following because you allowed yourself to be transparent. I pray that you will continue to be a blessing to many out there. One last thing, glad to see the “lurkers” confess and come forward! Dont stop bloggin,you are just where God wants you to be. With love and much prayer.

  261. Thank you Rhoda for that up lifting post. I need to hear things like that, my dad is 88 and in very poor health. I do know like you , it is all God’s plan for me. Thanks again.

  262. Rhoda,
    I am so glad you have shared your thoughts and feelings with the blog world. I am sorry for all that you have had to deal with but I feel you are going to be just fine. God always has a plan for our lives even though we think we are not going to know which direction to go, the Lord will guide you and protect you, always. You already trust in the Lord so all will come together for you in the right place and time. I wish I could move back home with my parents, what a blessing for you to still have them in your life.
    I love your blog and love your style. I live in Florida and love the South even though I grew up in Nebraska, I am a southerner!
    Bless you and your wonderful words of encouragment.

  263. You are so positive in the face of such hardship. You are a true picture of faith. So inspiring.

  264. I have walked in your shoes and just had to post for the first time even though I have enjoyed your blog for viewing for some time. I had an ex-spouse who went to jail for bank fraud and forgery and I nearly lost everything. As a professional I thought I was smarter than that, but thankfully I have recovered both emotionally and financially thru God’s love. I just celebrated four years of marriage to my soul mate and best friend who went thru something similiar. Through God’s Grace we trust again and are enjoying life and looking forward to retirement together. Life is good. Thank you for all you do and for your talent and creativity and sharing with others. God Bless.

  265. Rhoda,
    I read your post yesterday, did not comment, but thought about everything you said all day. You are an inspiration to me! I went through 2 divorces (because neither man understood the word vow.)
    I swore I’d never marry again because I had been burned so badly, but along came my wonderful husband I have now. All of my experiences made me a better woman. I’m telling you this because there is someone out there who will love and appreciate you. Don’t give up on love!
    May God bless you on your journey and keep on telling the truth. So many women need to hear your message.

  266. Rhoda,
    I wish I could give you a big hug today. I woke up feeling “blah”. Feeling a little sorry for myself and wondering “where am I going with this life that God has given me”. Reading your words I know I’m not alone.
    I’m also in my mid 50’s but unlike you I feel stuck in my day to day routine. I’ve had my career, now I’m a stay at home wife. What God has planned for me next I’m not sure of. I am sure that there is an adventure waiting for me.
    Thank you, for sharing yourself with us.

  267. You are treasure! Love this post and your transparency. I have followed your blog for a few years now. Our God is an AWESOME God!

  268. I’m just catching up today,,,wanted to share like so many others,,,that you have been truly an inspiration,,and I’m glad you use your blog for ministry,,,it has helped me today. Thank you friend for sharing your heart, and may God bring more joy and peace than ever , and total restoration of your heart. I get giddy with you when I read the blessings He has sent your way, to cool trips, to being a contest winner way to go God and way to go Rhoda!!!

  269. Rhoda – what a blessing you are to us. Opening yourself up as you’ve done has ministered to many, many of us. You’ll never know how you’ve changed many of us. Thank you so very much.

  270. Rhoda, everyone has already expressed my feelings…I can only wish you much happiness and success in your life endeavors.

  271. I enjoy reading your blog! Your post was such an inspiration. A wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness. Thanks!

  272. Rhonda, I have been reading your blogs for over a year. They are so uplifting, thoughtfully written and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story, remaining positive and praising God each step of the way. Your are truly an inspiration!

  273. Wow, what a powerful message and just what I needed today. Thank you for sharing your story and opening your heart to us. May God bring continued opportunities and blessings. Our God is an AWESOME God!

  274. Oh Rhoda, you have no idea how this post touched me when I read it. For one thing, I have been right where you are. There is SO much we could talk about.

    I had to laugh when I realized I am considered a “lurker” in the blog world. I have been lurking around for several months because I felt drawn to begin a blog but was afraid and after seeing what is out there I felt so intimidated. But, as of Monday, I began. I even wrote, “I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m doing it.”

    Today I wrote of the Potter and the clay. I know He never forsakes the works of His hands, for I am one of those works.

    I only have two posts and a LOT more work to do, but please visit me at

  275. Thank you for sharing yourself and thank you for such a real blog. You are very inspirational to me. I’m in the midst of a life struggle right now and I, too, know that He will provide for me even though I don’t yet know how. I will keep visiting you as long as we are all still welcome. Thanks again Rhoda!

  276. Rhoda,

    I have admired you and your blog for several months now. I made no assumptions about your life really, but I did notice you always look so happy in your pictures. I should know that we can all put on a happy face for the cameras. I am just so sorry that you are going through this rough time. But, I LOVE the Ps. 138:8 scripture reference at the end of your post. It’s one of my favorites. Something that struck me today was that you mentioned using your blog for ministry. I really want to be able to do that with my blog. I’m a brand new blogger (as of April ’11), and so far I have done only crafts and thrifting posts. There is so much in my heart to write about, but I cannot find a way to incorporate it – yet. I’m sorry that it’s taken a terrible bump in the road for you to have the platform to share your faith here, but I’m glad I got to see this side of you. What an encouragement!

  277. Wow! I am so glad you are sharing your story. I know it inspires me as well as many, many other women.
    Not only does your post today, and your story, inspire me, but as an everyday reader of your blog, I see how you keep moving forward and are so positive, and how you keep receiving blessings (like the Asheville experience, like the cooking contest, and I could go on…)
    Have you considered being a speaker at women’s retreats? I know you would be a blessing to the women in my church. If you are interested, please let me know!

  278. Hi Rhoda! I found your blog about a year ago and have faithfully read, just as a lurker and never commented. This post has brought tears to my eyes though. I am a happily married 34 year old mother of a 2 year old and 1 year old. I am in a different place in life than you are, but still find you and your words here so inspiring. My “problem” is that I long to work from home and spend more time with my kids. I have many creative talents and would love to try to use them to work from home, but I have been scared to. Last winter I succumbed to postpartum depression and was very upset about being a working mother and namely, not being a successful home blogger! This post makes me want to get serious and ask God to lead me to what I really want to do….which I can’t believe is intended to be sitting here in this office with tears in my eyes. Like many readers I was shocked at the turn of your life this year…but have been so overjoyed to watch things turn around and blossom for you. I don’t often say this, but you truly deserve it. I thought of you when I saw the Knorr commercial last night 😉 Thanks for sharing and giving me some hope that I can have the creative freedom in life that I so much want and need!

  279. Thank you for sharing your self. I’m a lurk and never leave a comment, But i love your blog. This was a beautiful post today…thanks hugs Pat H

  280. Cindy O'Brien says:

    Hi Rhoda: I too am a lurker, but only because it has taken me awhile to learn how to sign in. (is that pathetic or what!) Anyhow, thank you for this post, it has really touched something in me. I have been wanting to start a blog for a good long time and just haven’t had the guts. Thanks for sharing your story, and your life with us, you really don’t know just what you have done for women out there. I’ll be praying for you.

  281. East Tennessee Susan says:

    You’ve flushed us lurkers out of the woodwork, Rhoda! I sent you an email a few weeks ago, telling you how much I enjoy your blog. But I’ll say it again here: you and your site are a blessing and inspiration to all of us. Your honesty and willingness to share yourself, talents and creativity are remarkable. I am so happy to see God putting new adventures in your path.

    And speaking of new opportunities, I second Melanie’s excellent suggestion: you are a natural for speaking engagements.

    Years ago I found myself in a similar situation to yours, moving back home with my aging parents after a marital breakup. I remember the mixed feelings I had … thankfulness for them and their roof over my head, but also heartbreak and a deep longing to regain my independence. Eventually my life turned around, much better than I could have imagined. God has so many wonderful things in store for you, as He did for me.

    Bless you for sharing.


  282. Blessings to you! Faith is being sure of what you cannot see :) Praying all good things for you!

  283. May God continue to bless and keep you.

    That devotional is also a favorite of mine, and you reminded me that I should revisit it.

  284. Thank you so much for your uplifting post. I needed this today. Sometimes we need to stop and look at the blessings that we DO have in our lives. On a lighter note,I want to thank you for introducing me to Ballard Designs via your blog. I have two of their chandeliers now! I hope that many good blessings come your way.

  285. Rhoda,
    Your honesty and candor (without revealing every detail of your private life, or bad-mouthing your ex) is refreshing. Keep your chin up. I admire your courage and ambition. And I love your wonderful parents, who do indeed love your unconditionally.

  286. I appreciate you and your blog :) Thanks so much!

  287. Hi Rhoda,
    I just found your blog today but this post I just read is humbling and heartfelt; so different than so many blogs who like you say seem to live in a perfectly perfect world! I am going to try not to be a lurker on your blog as I have been on others because of my being imtimidated by several of those perfectly perfect bloggers!!! Also, I am a 57 year old retired girl who loves my hubby of 37 yrs and love my little bitty down sized home where I create, clean, organize and am an on call Meme
    To my darling granddaughter and grandson (age 7 and 4 respectively)
    And try to help my only daughter and her hubby if needed. But I am trying to figure out what I want to do next, a little scared of trying.

    May you know God has you in his hands and you are blessed.
    Blessings from Phylly in Florida

  288. Rhoda, what an inspiring post this is! Thank you for your words of encouragement in the midst of a storm of your own. I’m a fellow blogger and a sister in Christ who has followed your blog for a little over a year. I always wanted to meet you in person too because I’m in AL! Never got the chance before you moved, but maybe someday…
    Please know that I’m praying for you and wishing you all the best!

  289. Amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing.

  290. April was in CT now CA says:

    Thank you for sharing, I know it can’t be easy to write such a personal post. I hate that someone you loved and trusted wronged you in such a way, it breaks my heart because even though we’ve never met I just *know* how genuine you are. This time with your parents is such a beautiful thing you get to experience. Being married to the military has me losing precious time with my parents and I miss them so. I’m very, very glad your family is there for you. :o)

  291. Another no comment follower here & you know why? Your life seemed to be so far above & different from mine that there was no way that we could possibly relate to one another.

    In one post, you made yourself human to me.

    And your timing? Impeccable. I want my blog to be more than just a memoir of my life, I want it to be a source of hope & encouragement for others with diseases and injuries like mine. I need the nudge to do more, to deal with my own grief and begin helping someone else.

    Thank you.

  292. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability with us. Life does have interesting twists and turns, doesn’t it?
    Hope in the Lord is the only thing that has gotten me through.
    And I agree. 50’s is not too late to start fresh. My husband and I are testaments to that, as well!
    Bless you, Rhoda.

  293. Rhonda,
    I have been following your blog for years now, and have never took the time to post a comment. After reading your blog today, I really wanted to the take time to say you ARE an inspiration.
    I have been battling MS for years now, and one of the ways I can stay “connected” to the world is reading blogs. You inspire me, make me laugh, and even cry just a little.
    I will let you in on a little secret that my grand-mother told me….ready… it is….put it all in God’s hands. He will take care of everything.
    I pray that you have continued success with your blog and other adventures that you willingly share with us.
    God Bless You and Thank You…..

  294. This has been a difficult year for me, in entirely different circumstances. Please be aware that you have been a bright spot for me, having a cup of coffee at my computer I have had many delightful visits with you!! And some of my dark days, you were the single bright spot. May God continue to bless you.

  295. I love this post!! Thanks for sharing your heart and how God has been walking by your side unfailingly. that’s what he says he will do and that’s what he does. no matter what.

    bless you! Keep blogging!


  296. I commented only once but I said it before and I’ll say it again… could be the next Paula Deen! You are gorgeous and talented! I think I’ll be seeing you on the television for sure. :)

  297. I am one of those lurkers who enjoys viewing your site each day! What a lovely and encouraging post!! Being in the upper 50’s range, it is so wonderful to know that God is good and takes such good care of us. You are an inspiration to many!! May God richly bless you!

  298. I am so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. But when one door closes another one opens. You seem to be a strong and resourceful and did I mention beautiful woman. God knows your heart and will take care of everything. You are inspiring and as I read through these comments, I see that your honesty has reached others. And that is what blogs are for. Good luck in all that you do.

  299. Hi Rhoda — I have to admit that I am one of those long time lurkers, but I have been a faithful reader for over a year now. You have inspired my decorating in so many ways, but I think my biggest take away is to just not be afraid to try something new! I look forward to your words of wisdom delivered daily to my inbox. Thank you for your Southern Hospitality.

  300. What a powerful post Rhoda…….I LOVE that you can open up like you do…’s why I’ve been coming by for the past 5 years….you are the real deal. I am so glad things are looking a bit brighter for you. You’re so right we are never too old to reach for that brass ring, I need to do something with my life too… I’ve told you both my kids moved out and the “empty nest” just kinda hit me all at once. I miss them like crazy.

    All the best dear friend…..

    xo Kathy :)

  301. Beautiful! Beauty for ashes! Thank you so much for sharing this post.

    • Brenda McClurkin says:

      Rhoda, I stumbled onto your site a few months ago when I was looking for paint colors to paint a bedroom. I have since revisted your blog a couple more times for decorating ideas. From what started out to be an anonymous type of web surf is now turning into something on a more personal level, at least for me. I like you. I like your style. I share your same beliefs and values. I am sure I am going to check back on a more regular basis now. I guess you can say, “I am hooked.” Thanks for sharing your story. You are an inspiration, in more ways than just decorating.


      • Rhoda, I live in huge fear of what am I do to, wishing I could find my passionate plan or way for my life. I stumbled upon your blog tonight researching for tips on how to use Anne Sloan paint. I believe God led me to your blog and, to read this article to gain more hope, as you mentioned and, to remember God does take care of His children. I have been praying without ceasing for God to lead and direct my life. I fight mightily the feelings of being a failure, naming a few, for for my broken marriages and the left-turns in my life’s journey. I went through a battle of breast cancer, lost my home and car. I learned to use the bus system worrying about safety at the unsafe areas of the city. I lived in my car until it broke down. I walked to the nearest room in an unsavory part of town and ended up living there five months paying by the week for a place to bathe, eat and sleep. I actually cried when I left even though I was glad to leave there. At first, I was either crying non-stop or angry for all the left-turns happening in my life. Once I decided to praise God and to find things to be grateful for, miraculously my attitude improved, the bus transportation got easier and it seemed when I did ride in a taxi, I was blessed by the unexpected. I pray many things, one being a way to earn money and do something positive and constructive with my life; for all of my life belongings in storage not to be auctioned, for restoration within my family (sons) and, for God to use me in any capacity He sees possible. So, like Moses, I would say God, I don’t think, I can speak or do, but after being broken repeatedly and/or possibly making the same mistakes repetitiously, I speak seriously. God use me. Show me. Guide me. I choose to obey. Rhoda, thank you for your vulnerability in sharing what has gone on in your life. I might be a few years older than you; so, starting over and over can be a negative or positive depending on if one gives up or if she can keep pushing through. Don’t get me wrong, the thought briefly crosses my mind to give up. However, I haven’t and I am looking forward to see what God is going to do for me. I am going to love following your life and, to learn from you…whether it be cooking, decorating or what God is doing in your life. God bless!

        • I just read Patti’s moving story; I’ve only today discovered this incredible site. I sit here praying that Patti is doing well and her faith has grown ever stronger. God does love his children and will never fosake us. His peace be with you, Patti.

    • Rhoda, I found your blog tonight and am moved by your story. I wish you the best…your strength shines through in your blog.

  302. This was so beautiful, Rhoda. You are such a strong woman that truly deserves the best our Lord can offer.

  303. I don’t believe I’ve commented before, although I’ve been following you for a couple of years now. I’d just like to thank YOU for all the wonderful posts and believe the best is yet to come for you.

  304. You are such an inspiration to all of us!

  305. Thank you, Rhoda, for responding to my email and for guiding me here. It’s true, isn’t it? This is your ministry. I’ve never thought about it that way, but I can see that now.

    Again, thank you for sharing. It’s just what I needed to hear today.

  306. God sent me to you today, of that I am certain. Reading my friend’s blog – Robin’s Nesting Place – led me to yours, where I’ve been perusing and reading and soaking in the beauty. I’m going through my own life crisis (who isn’t, really?) and wondering what to do with my photography and writing, which is fizzling and fading at the moment. Your post has been inspirational. I shall revisit, and often. Thanks for the pep talk. Your blog is lovely.

  307. Rhoda,
    Thanks so much for your encouraging words. You are a testimony of God’s faithfulness. I admire your spirit and only wish you the best in the days to come.


  308. Rhoda, I was touched by your post today, thanks for your encouragement. Wow, reading many of the other comments it is apparent that many of us are living the reality instead of the dream. Ditto here! What I do know is that God wastes nothing (Rom 8:28 comes to mind) and He has already used your life (all parts of it) to minister to others. It is evident you have given Glory where Glory is due. BTW – We share many similarities including being PK’s and born and raised Southern Belles. I, too, am a Streams reader (love Apr. 2 and June 4). God’s richest blessings on you!

  309. I understand! I too am going thru a period of trial and suffering and through it all it is amazing to see the hand of God. He has promised He will never leave us or forsake us and that He will fulfill his promises to us in His perfect timing. I can look back and see over and over again how He has worked things for my good and I know I will be able to do the same with this. God bless you as you continue on your journey.

  310. Rhoda, your blog is the top one of my favorites list! I have been lurking on you for a while and I just love all your posts and am inspired by your beautiful site. Life is not always perfect and it is good for people to share that because we can fall into the trap that everyone elses life is always rosy. I commend you for your new start and am excited for you and all your upcoming adventures. I too started a new career at age 41, I went to “beauty school”! I am beginning my own business at home and loving it! I realized at this age that once you step out of your comfort zone and learn something new that it is addictive! I love to thrift and create and who knows what more wonderful things are on the horizon,maybe my own blog!! Good luck to you and pleeeaaase keep inspiring us, we love you southern lady!!!

  311. Thank you for this post. I am one of your biggest fans, but rarely post. But wanted to comment this time. I LOVE the fact that you shared your feelings with us. I feel closer to you because of it. I needed inspiration and you provided it. I think it’s why I love your blog so much, you show and share with us who you are. I like the fact you shared that life isn’t perfect, because it isn’t. Sometimes I get “bored” with reading blogs, everything is so “perfect” sometimes. With my own blog I hope to capture that the best blog isn’t one that comes up with the constant “great” ideas, but one who realize we are blog family and want to share all that life toss us!

  312. Wow. That spoke to the very core of me today. I don’t visit often because of time, but every time I do I’m glad I did. I am refreshed by your faith and it’s a reminder to refresh my own. Thank you for such a nice post. I continue to wish the best for you.

  313. Lorene Halfmann says:

    I am also one of those lurkers, and I don’t believe I have commented before. BUT, I want to tell you that I read your blog almost every day and I ALWAYS learn something from you. I honestly felt your pain last spring and prayed for you. Isn’t it amazing that blogging can do that? I feel like if we met we would already be old friends! I loved this post…thank you…and I will continue to keep up with you and wish you the best!

  314. Janet VanderWier says:

    so sorry to hear of the pain you are experiencing. Your testimony is an inspiration. it is awesome that you are on the road of rejoicing in the Lord …. and i do believe He will give you the desires of your heart….in His time

  315. And this is why we adore you, Rhoda! Thank you for your honest transparency. That you would take time in the midst of your own pain to encourage others and offer praise and thanksgiving to God is beautiful. Yes, very, very beautiful! I look forward to seeing all the wonderful that He has in your future. Hugs to you!

  316. Rhoda,
    you are an amazing woman! your faith shines! what an encouragement this post is…thank you for sharing.

  317. I will freely admit that I’m one of the lurkers around here. 😉 Thank you for being bravely honest and for sharing your faith-filled words of encouragement…I needed to hear that this morning!

    Anna K.

  318. God bless you! I’ve always believed that life, in some ways, is a test. You’ve certainly been tested, yet still have your faith which is a blessing beyond words.

    When my l7 year old grandson was killed in a moto-cross practice, September 16, 2008, I wondered if and how my daughter, my granddaughter and the rest of our family would survive. We survive day by day but only by the grace of God. My sincere hope for you is that you continue to enjoy life with Him by your side.


  319. Rhoda, I was in Atlanta last week and went to several of the thrift stores that you highlighted on your blog. I have followed your blog for a while and you are truly an encouragement. Even though I don’t know you personally, I’ve prayed for you several times, knowing that you were going through a trial. So glad to read your positive outlook and praise for our great God!!

  320. Rhoda, thank you for sharing. As I sat here reading I shed both tears of sadness for your losses & tears of joy for the goodness you are choosing to seek out, find & share. Your words touch so many lives with hope & encouragement. Thank you again. I hope that someday I have the opportunity to meet you when I passing thru the Atlanta area.

  321. Hello Gorgeous! I am so moved by this post. I know that the thousands upon thousands who read you are moved by this as well. Do you realize that God may have put you through the horror of the past year just so you could write this post for so many folks to be inspired by? Seriously….you are touching many, many hearts and being a positive witness in an incredibly powerful way!!! I know that God is smiling down on you! I know that He has AMAZING things in store for you, too, even more than the wonders and blessings of the past few months! I am still completely broken-hearted for you that you have had to suffer, but I’m SO PROUD to call you my friend as you are a true inspiration. As I’ve said before, you’re way too young and gorgeous to be my mother, but you are my bloggy mother and I know you are to many. Your talent/creativity/heart/honesty/faith as you’ve shared on this blog have inspired us and encouraged us.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.


  322. Hi Rhoda,

    I meant to comment on this post a few days ago but been so busy!! I think you are doing amazing!! And look at all the encouragement you are bringing people who might have gone through a hard walk themselves!! My walk with God is on such a deeper level and to be honest I’m not sure I could have had one without going through the rough stuff!! You take care..

  323. God has a way of bringing us exactly what we need!

    My dream is to build my business enough so that I can offer my services for free to low-income families who wouldn’t normally be able to afford them.

  324. Thanks for your words. They really give some courage and, maybe, I can reinvented myself too and run my own business. I wish you the best. xoxo

  325. Rhoda- thank you for your very “real” and “raw” post. It is so easy to look at all the beautiful blogs out there and think everyone has life figured out, when the truth is we all have our own struggles. Your honesty about your struggles have touched others (and me) in a way that no beautiful photo or clever decorating idea or delicious recipie can. I, too believe that God is good- even when times are bad. Thank you for your touching post! And thank you for encouraging me as a new blogger this year- I am loving it! God has big plans for you I am sure…so “be of good courage”!
    Kristy @ Starfish Cottage

  326. Rhoda,

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. Your blog has been one of my favorites for a very long time and you always are such an inspiration to me. God will work everything that has happend this past year together for good. I agree your blog is a ministry, and I am thankful for it and for you. Hugs to you. <3 Suzy

  327. My heart goes out to you. It sounds like you and I have had some similar (not good!) life experiences. I married someone who was not at all what he pretended to be, and he left my life in shambles.

    Less than a year after what I call my life “implosion,” an acquaintance from work asked me out. We’re about to celebrate our 7th anniversary and are parents to two children.

    It’s cliche, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I wish you courage and hope on your journey.


  328. Thank you for this post. So needed to hear that things will work out for so many of us that are struggling with life’s ups and downs. I read this just when I most needed it. You deserve the blessings that have come your way. Thanks again, Pam

  329. I am really new to following your blog (maybe a week?, times does fly). I read about the life change you are experiencing and wish and pray for the best of luck for you. You are blessed with a positive attitude and sound like you have a great relationship with the Lord.

    I have just recently started a prayer journal just to remind myself want I want to pray for and to see where God leads me with the answers. Besides family and friends, I have Amanda Knox, the young woman in jail in Italy. I will also add you to my prayer journal.

    Keep up the great work. I love your blog!


  330. Rhoda, thanks for being so open, honest and candid. Exactly what I needed to hear TODAY. I’m going to dig out my Streams in the Desert devotional right now…Thank You!

  331. Stay strong and be happy!! :)

  332. Rhoda,

    I was trying to play catch up with some of your back posts when I saw this. I want you to know how proud I am of you for picking up and moving on with your life, but more than that, I’m proud of you for sharing this with all of us. You never know whose life you’ve touched and how you’ve touched it. I think that a lot of people believe a huge setback means their life is over, and you have just proved otherwise.

    I wish so much that none of this had happened to you. You are one of the sweetest bloggers out there, and you were so very, very helpful to me when I started blogging. I will never forget your kindness, ever. I am behind you, my friend, and I love you bunches.

    I would probably not have a blog had you and a few other friends (who I met through you) not given me the courage to venture out. See, you touched my life in ways you never knew, but you did. I thank you for that and for being my friend.

    Life has taken me down a winding road of late wlth losing several close friends so my blogging has had to take a backseat. I’ve also watched a friend of mine go through a personal ordeal that has just upset me terribly as well as several people I love. In all of that, I try to carve out the time to remember that THIS is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in IT.” He only gives us today, and even more important, he has given us time with those we love to celebrate life together. So I am celebrating life with you today. I am celebrating life in Him. God is good.

    Love you…



  333. Rhoda- I have come back and read this post several times. You are such an inspiration. You have handled all of your doings with such elegance and class. And my- aren’t you a case study in how God will continue to Bless you if you are faithful! I’m so happy for all the truly wonderful things that have come and continue to come your way. Well deserved. All the best- I look forward to reading all about them.

  334. Praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! He will NEVER, NEVER leave us or forsake us. What a glorious hope! Thanks, Rhoda, for your servant’s heart.

  335. I had surgery 2 months ago and had a number of complications. Initially the recovery was to be 4-6 weeks, it turned into 4 weeks of bedrest. I’m bored and depressed, missing the life of the 43 year old mom/wife. I stopped reading my favorite blogs, yours being one I have bookmarked. My husband bought me a smart phone so I could reconnect with life so to speak. I’ve spent the last 2 hours catching up on your beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing your tips, ideas, recipes and now…wisdom. I cried when I read this, feeling sorry for myself and now being lifted up by your honesty and words. I’m not religious, certainly a believer of something larger than myself. I’m grateful for the images you show me, the inspiration to make my home (tiny 2 bedroom condo that I love) more beautiful and now I’m grateful you shared your heart. I feel inspired again for the first time in 2 months. Bless your heart Rhoda, your a good egg.

  336. Shoot, I meant 4 MONTHS of bedrest. Learning to type on this touch screen is a not easy on these middle-aged eyes:-(

  337. Pat Edmonds says:

    God Bless you and your sweet parents.Thank you for being my “friend”. I have never met you but I read you every day.

  338. So very well written and from the heart, Rhoda. I am so glad I got to meet you in person and know you thru the decorating boards & your blog…….you are such an inspiration to us all! We were one of those families almost forced to sell our dream home & move because of job loss but God answered our prayers also. Never give up like you said.
    I know in my heart you will be fine……..such a survivor you are and God is with you every step of the way. Love ya! Bonnie

  339. Dear Rhoda
    I haven’t been to visit in a long time and I am so sorry to hear about what a rough time you have had! But what sweet encouraging words you wrote today. It is so easy to read a blog and think that they have their life together, when we all know that no one really does! Our pastor once said that we look at other’s lives on the “highlights of the game” tape and view ours on the “bloppers” tape. I read Streams in The Desert too. It is the BEST devotional for being just what you need on that particular day. I have read it for years. “Let throw off everything that hinders….. and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us .” Hebrews 12:2
    Hugs, Rhondi

  340. you are such a sweet, beautiful person – i know you will find someone in your life who deserves YOU. Maybe at church, or at a restaurant, or a friend of friend. I just know you will meet someone. and even if you don’t, I know you will find your own home again when you are ready to.

    i understand exactly what you are saying here. no one is immune, no one is safe.

    stay strong and live will turn around for you soon. i just know it.


  341. Rhoda…..

    You are an elegant and beautiful child of the King. A true Poverb 31 woman.

    Bless you for sharing such a painful time in your life. I couldn’t help but to send you a note of encouragement. I went through a similar
    life altering time… only my x husband didn’t go to jail. Will leave my
    story there. But can truly understand what you are going through. You are stronger than you know… just trust in the lord and he will lead you on the right path. Bless you and am praying for you.
    Love & blessings on your path.

  342. Rhoda, you continue to inspire beauty, not just in home design, but in our spiritual lives as well. The plainest truth of life is this… God is good. Life’s circumstances are not always good, our health may not always be good, our attitude is not always good, but God is ALWAYS good.

    Thank you for being an encouragement to me today. Be blessed!

  343. Well said and thank you for sharing. Thanks for sharing your story and words of wisdom and faith. It was very nice to read and I do hope you (I’m sure you will) come out stronger.

  344. Rhoda: Thank you for being so honest in this post. I know that you wrote it awhile ago, but I just found it and it spoke to me more than you can know. You speak of making a dream into a reality. My dream is this: I want to sell my handmade crafts. I have wanted that for a long, long time, but have been too scared to really focus on it. –What if they are not good enough? Shouldn’t I get a “real” job and contribute more to my family’s finances? When am I going to grow up and realize that crafting is just a hobby?– Oh the questions and doubts that circle round and round in my head are so annoying! : ) Your post has helped to boost my confidence and I’m going to follow the path I have always wanted to explore. Thank you and best wishes to you! Tricia

  345. Hi Rhoda,

    Do you ever wonder how you got somewhere online? I’m not sure how I first saw your blog – but it was a link to your story about the Alabama chair. That was over a year ago. I remember I looked around and really was impressed by you and your blog. I liked the tone. I liked that you showed pictures of your mom and sis. I liked that you were keeping it going in the grooming department. I picked up that you were a woman of faith. We’ve been the happy recipients of southern hospitality over the years, and love it.

    Now somehow, I found you again and read this post. I just want to say I’m sorry. Life can be so sad sometimes. But again, you are impressing me with your faith and class. I just signed up to follow your blog. Best wishes and many blessings to you!

  346. I cleaned the cookies on my computer, so I had a hard time finding you today. Been awhile since I visited. You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. You’re a Awesome Woman and pray nothing but God’s Best. He said it rains on the Just as well as the unjust, so even we children of God experience troubled times, but we have a God that we can look to to bring us out. Peace and Blessings and Thanks for sharing your homes … it’s STILL a blessing. Thanks for Continuing to share your Story … you’re STILL a blessing. Much love to Mom and Dad. I know how they feel. I would do the same and I know my Mom would do the same for me. I pray you get your own home again soon and share Awesome pics that inspire us all to make our homes Home Sweet Home. Thanks for sharing!

  347. Rhoda,
    I meant to leave a comment when I first read this. I have been following your blog for some time — love your style and attitude. I too married someone I shouldn’t have. I tried for a very long time to make it work, but ultimately it was not to be. He would currently be in prison but he committed suicide after a high speed police chase. At the time he was a fugitive and was considered armed and dangerous. We had been divorced for some time and I have been married to a wonderful man for the past 25 years. My husband and I were in high school together but did not know each other. We found each other at our 20th reunion. Life is good!

  348. Oh Rhoda, I read your blog as often as I can but never came across this post. Thank you for sharing your sweet heart. I did know that you were getting a divorce but never saw this. I love how you shared about God being there for you and how He will surely be there to help you when we ask Him. I got teared up when you spoke about your sweet parents. My mother passed away when I was 20 (I’m 50 now). You are lucky to have her in your life 😉 I’m keeping you in my prayers as you’re still getting yourself through all of this. Hugs to you!

  349. I am wandering around your blog from path to path and reading things that are so applicable to my life right now it is not funny. God does lead us to these places at times I am sure of that.

    Reading these posts, although they are old ones gives me hope and knowledge that my difficulties will end and and even if it is a long time, I know God has some reason for all of my troubles. One amazing thing that I can be thankful for is that my mothers cancer has brought us to a relationship we never had. My mother and I never got on, she was a very demanding and difficult woman to please. The cancer has changed her attitude towards me, towards life and she has mellowed so much that our relationship is so wonderful now. She is hanging in for me and fighting like a trooper because she is worried about my future. She is a courageous and amazing woman and I would have never seen this if it was not for her cancer. So out of bad does come good.

    Sadly her companion of 15 years now has cancer and does not have long to live, its a really tough road for me. I have no family apart from my two sons in New Zealand and my mother and my husband chose not to return two years ago when my mother was diagnosed, he remained in his expat life abroad where he felt comfortable…so I have been doing this all alone and what the doctors said would be 3-6 months, has turned into 20 months already.

    I did leave a comment on your recent post and I have mentioned I have now got Poppy, my little schnoodle. She is truly a gift from God and things are already looking up. I know there is a bright future again somewhere.

    Your writings have given me a strength and hope today.

    Thank you


  350. Jacquie Bollinger says:

    You are so beautiful, inside and out! I believe your best days are ahead of you.
    Be abundantly blessed, beautiful, precious Lady!

  351. Dearest Rhoda, I have been so busy these past few months of the new school year that I haven’t been in Blog Land very much at all and had no idea of where your heart was (as well as your body). I wish I was close enough to clutch you to my ample bosom (clutching — it’s one of my spiritual gifts!).

    Thank you for your transparency. This is one of the most beautiful posts I’ve ever read, and I know Papa-God smiles when He watches those of us who, reading it, nod and whisper “Amen.”

    Thank you, sweet sister, for allowing Him to use you during this raw time to honor Him and to glorify His name.

    Soft smiles and clutches, too,

  352. Hi-lovin’ your sweet & humble spirit. I, too, have experienced a broken relationship; but am now married to my “soulmate” for 20 years. I would just encourage you to keep on trusting God with ALL things. He has a path for you & just be willing to say, “I give my life to you & I trust you.” (Hab. 3: 17-19) By the way, I share your enthusiasm for decorating & love your style! We are preparing to open a retail store in our area selling our cabinets (look @ our website) & interior decor which has been our dream. God bless you!

  353. Tammy Artrip says:

    Dear Rhoda,
    You are a beautiful example of what the Lord can do when we use our gifts & talents for His purpose. You are an inspiration to so many & I know God will lovingly get you through this.
    Thank you so much,
    Romans 8:28.

  354. Cheryl Balmas says:

    Are you familiar with Proverbs 31 Ministry for women? I am certain you must be. They have an annual conference and I think it is in Atlanta. I only mention it because you know the saying ‘out of misery, comes a ministry’ or something like that! Though your passion is decorating and blogging about it, I think you would really fit in as a speaker or writer for Proverbs 31. They have a beautiful website, check them out if you haven’t already. I can see you speaking and writing about your story and you could most definitely incorporate your love of decorating and thrifting; all of the speakers/writers with Proverbs 31 have their ‘niche’. I am in no way affiliated with Proverbs 31. I’m just a huge fan and when I read your story, I immediately thought them. Thanks for being an inspiration to so many and may God bless you abundantly. I just finished re-reading The Prayer of Jabez; I think you would enjoy it if you haven’t already read it!

    • Hi, Cheryl, I am familiar with Proverb 31 ministries. I will definitely check out the website. I don’t visit all the time, but I know about them for sure. I do pray that the Lord uses this for His glory in every way.

  355. Good Morning Rhoda,
    After being together last night I had to sign up for your blog. Thank you for your honesty in life & in writing. Thank you for graciously sharing you with your readers. I look forward to growing in my own blogging & to sharing more times in the design world with you & Renae. Enjoy your day!

  356. Ladies, I am completely humbled by the outpouring of comments and support that continue to come in on this post written from my heart. I’m so grateful for all of you out there and I know that God is using this heartache of mine for His glory. That is my heart’s desire!

  357. Hi Rhoda, I visit every once in a while to check out any new DIY projects you might have done. I also like to ‘advertise’ your beadboard wallpaper, an have recommended it on a decorating forum a few times, again tonight~~I hope it’s ok if I post the link to your beadboard project.

    I’m happy to hear all is going well for you, but you ARE a fighter with a deep and unshakable strength, as well as a strong belief that it’s not *we* who choose our path, but it’s chosen for us. Only God knows where we need to be at any given moment, and His plan is something greater for you. At times we need to lose something in order to gain something that is better for us, or ‘the path’~~I also know this to be true as I suffered a major loss when I was a young Mother of 3 children. My ‘path’ took me to places unknown, and my world and the world of my children changed forever, in a very positive way. I knew at that moment God was making his presence known to me, and giving back because he had taken, and He never leaves us empty handed feeling hopeless, although at times there are lessons to be learned. Like you, everything I have is just a wonderful ‘gift’, mine to enjoy for the moment, and am so blessed to have many wonderful ‘gifts’.

    Rhoda, you are truly a child of God, and an inspiration to all who ‘know’ you from your blog or in real life. Keep up God’s work and have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

    ps….if you ever get to Texas(Austin)I would love to meet you. ;o)

  358. Rhoda — I have come back to this post several times in the past months, it’s always the perfect dose of gratitude I need to hear, and uplifts me in down moments. Thank you for writing it, and sharing your soul with us!!!

  359. Thank you for being so candid. I’m so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time. I’m inspired by your “pull up your bootstraps” attitude. :-) You are a beautiful woman with a lovely spirit and I’m sure that love will find you and you will get your happily ever after in your own gorgeous home! God’s blessings to you!

  360. Rhoda…I didn’t know. Wow. We just don’t know how anything will turn out, do we? I am certain that your folks are tickled to death to have their dear girl home with them again. That is probably a blessing in many ways for all of you.
    There have been unforeseen upheavals in my life too, but it just reminds you that you have to roll with it and adjust to the change. I am not one who says “Change is Good”. Not all change is good. But when we meet people who only care about themselves and what they can get from others, it’s bound to take a toll on us. You still have your upbeat attitude and can-do spirit. Who knows what the future holds for you now!!

    Best wishes,
    Your old “Fake friend” Red…

  361. Your words have encouraged me! Thank you, Rhoda. Last night i spoke to my dear friend, Becky. after sharing our past struggles and our need to acknowledge and trust God with every detail of our lives… especially for our children and our future…
    we both agreed that all these amazing upheavals do bring us to let go more and more and realize that God desires for us Himself and we need Him to be first in our lives… our everything… then the peace comes, then the relationship with Him is alive and then He leads us in the sensitivity needed for others.
    Well, it has been good to meet another soul who loves God!
    – Xenia

  362. Rhoda, you can see from the # of comments that you are a true inspiration to SO many! I so admire how you have traveled this journey. I had no idea your (hopefully) ex was in jail til now. I am so sorry. You are a brave woman to put that out there. God bless you in this coming year and I hope you DO find that TRUE love! XO, Pinky

  363. Dear Rhoda,
    I Love your blog , so much. I”ve read it a few times . This morning since Iam up , we are sitting a Bassett hound that gets up & went back to sleep…Iam so sorry for what has happened & hope the New Year brings a new story . Having gone thru two divorces myself , it wasn’t easy . Being single for 18 years ( previously) actually was not that bad. I learned to Love it. Many friends and freedoms went with it. If I wanted to go out for coffee late at night , I did. If I wanted to go out for a drink , to a show, there were friends that could go too. It was a learning time & it brought alot of independance . Eighteen years after my Divorce , I married a guy that had been a friend for most of my life. He has an old Resort property that was in very bad shape. Buildings from 1930’s .We have been restoring it for five years , now. Coming into this , was not easy . We are both in our late 50’s , with grown children & grand children . The hardest part was standing my ground in the business end of the property . Then came the battle of his ex. Long gone but not forgotten. According to her ideas of what she thought , she still owned . But had long since expired, by law. Thus ,life took took another turn. It was to help my husband sort out the truth & or the balance , in the game of owning a run down business that has such a potential – that has never been tapped. I wish many new chapters in you life also. It seems God does steer us.

  364. Rhoda, I have been reading and “lurking” at your blog for a few months now and have not written a comment……I am one of “those”! However, today after reading your Part 1 of starting a blog, I had to comment, as God really used you to speak to my heart. We are in SEAsia (and have been for 1 1/2years) on a little side trip God has taken us. However, we are due to go back to the US in April. I have been toying with the idea of starting to blog. You have encouraged me to do just that….share my passion for what I love…..thrifting, decorating, repurposing! We sold everything to come here so it will be fun to document our “starting over”. Also, like you our life has changed with my husband losing his retirement when the company declared bankruptcy. Thanks for your encouragement and transparency. Love Streams in the Desert…by the way! Blessings to you!

  365. Thanks for sharing, I’ve stumbled upon your blog several times, keep finding myself revisiting daily. I’m so new to blogging and I’ve been reading your blog for the last hour, skipping around from story to story. I of course have absolutely zero idea what I’m doing but after reading your Part 1&2 to blogging, I’m okay with that. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have yet again, been inspired :)

  366. It is this sweet, sweet spirit that drew me into your blog, and I have so enjoyed sharing life with you. As I move forward in my own little bloggy journey, I am thankful that you still share with and inspire us even when life isn’t ideal. I am so touched that you are allowing me to feature your blog, and I really am thankful for people like you who share and encourage all of us, even when you may not realize it.


  367. Jodi Niles says:

    I too am one of your blog readers for years that has not had the courage to post a comment. I have read your blog for years. I also was in the very same position of my marriage ending when your was and felt like I was not alone when reading your blog. I too wanted to thank you and let you know I admire you from a far.

    Keep up the GREAT work.

    God Bless~

  368. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’ve been following you for quite sometime now but never really read your personal story until today. I myself is in the midst of a similar storm with losing my home, financial ruins and pretty much a step from being homeless. By reading your story you gave me hope that there will be a silver lining. I am struggling with my faith that it will get better but reading this has proved to me that it will. I am so glad I read your story today……it’s encouraging me to walk by faith! You are an inspiration and for that I thank you because this is just what I needed today……a story of hope!

  369. If I could tell you my story I would. I have gone through something similar to you. God had given me promises and I can tell you He has come through on each one. There were prayers I prayed when I was married for the both of us and He has continued to answer those prayers. He is faithful and true. I hope things are going better for your now. I just found this blog and see what a beautiful and encouraging person you are. Keep Him close. He is in your corner every second.

  370. I just today found your blog via Mr. Goodwill Hunting, whom I also only recently discovered. I returned to school this past January, wow, a year already, at the age of 43. I was terrified to do it, but my 4 kids & my husband were so encouraging & supportive that I was able to find my courage & go for it.
    I was given tickets to fly out to CA to visit my eldest brother & his family, and then a niece from my other brother for Christmas that winter and it made my year end on such a lovely note. So off I flew, out of the bitter PA winter & into sunny, warm southern California. Three days into my vacation my niece & I were hit by a semi-trailer while driving in her sports coupe. It was a bad wreck & we are both still recovering from that wreck.
    Three days after the accident I had to fly home, two days after that I had to begin my classes, with an hour commute one way to school, then home again. It has been an adventure to say the least. But I have made the most amazing, strong Christian women friends, and I have earned Dean’s List every single quarter.
    4 days ago I dropped my baby girl, my youngest daughter, off at college down in VA. It was a bittersweet ordeal; so proud of her, so happy for her also, but sad in part to leave her there. My eldest has earned 2 degrees, my youngest now at the private university she dreamed of, and my middle daughter attends the same school I do…and she’s also expecting my first grandchild who is due nearly early Feb.
    Life is good, it is surprising, winding, twisting, turning, and often leaves me breathless…sometimes in wonder, sometimes in shock, but the adventure is such a ride.

  371. I love you Rhoda.
    I am so blessed to call you friend.

    that is all :)

  372. RHODA! i just now read ‘your story’…..and i am honored that you have chose to share such an intimate part of your life with the world. Blessings to you for making lemonade out of your lemons! i truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I have had plenty of lemons thrown at me and yes, while we are able to cry and feel sorry for ourselves, it really doesnt benefit anyone….(except just make us fee worse!!!) i feel that i am now at a point in my life where i am independent, i do not ‘need’ the security of a man in my life to make me happy. i am content with my home, my girls, my dog and the things that i have at this very moment! you were so dead on, when you said that so many times we look inside the homes of other bloggers and wish what they had or wish for something else then what is our current situation. i am a firm believer in, you never know what goes on behind closed doors…….and i will never judge anyone or anything, because until you walk in that person’s shoes, who are we to pass judgement! anyway, thanks for really making an impact on me this morning. i love your blog and reading of your travels! best of luck in everything you do! i am sure with your heart and spirit you will continue to grow each and every day! xo

  373. Dearest Rhoda,

    I have admired you since the start…and I admire you now even more…

    Sharing the good and the “lemony stuff”…only makes visiting with you the high light of my day….

    Consider me always…

    Your friend in South Texas
    Oma Elisa

  374. I’m a new subscriber to your blog and just read this post. I know it has been several months now, but I’m sure the pain is still very real. It was very brave to reveal so much of your personal life and I hope you know what an inspiration it was to read. I, too, have gone through a difficult time and can assure you there is something much better waiting. I wish you the very best, and PLEASE, keep blogging!

  375. Rhoda,
    I have been following you since 2008 and knew you were going through a rough time but had no clue of the magnitude, guess I missed this post!

    I LOVE your blog and believe you are such a success because you do keep it real. You have been a great inspiration for me. I have been reading your blogging stories lately and FINALLY decided I am just going to do it already – I’m starting my own blog – because of you! It is something I have wanted to do for a few years and now our baby is one and I am not working outside of the home. I signed up for bluehost through your site last week. Now I’m off to a new adventure!

    Thanks for sharing such a personal part of your life. You are always so positive, I love that about you!

    I’m glad to hear new doors have opened for you and I’m sure there will be many more to come!

    I look forward to your posts when I see them hit my inbox!

    God Bless

  376. Rhoda…I always liked your blog, but I came to LOVE it when you opened your closet door and I realized how real and down-to-earth you are! Your closet was just like mine! And yes, we’ve all been tested and been through so many trials…..I don’t know about you, but if all this is making me stronger…I must make the Hulk look wimpy! God bless you as you’ve begun a new year and I pray this year will be better than last! xoxo

  377. Rhoda,

    I so admire your grace. I look at those pictures of your beautiful old house, and I can’t help but think that I would be very bitter and resentful were I forced to give up such a lovely home and move in with my folks!
    You remind me of my own mama (also mid fifties, also single, also a total knock-out). I guess I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog and you’re quite an inspiration.


  378. I feel blessed! Found your blog today….keep on keeping the faith! Be blessed in life and love!

  379. I just stumbled on your blog today. I am in (somewhat) of the same boat! Last March I received a text message requesting a divorce! It was final in December and I am mid-50s starting over as well. I was lucky enough to be able to keep my (small) house and have a job. So I’m starting on square 1 (or maybe square 2, hee) again, reinventing and such. Life certainly does take twists and turns. Good luck to you.

  380. May the Lord continue to bless you and give you strength.

  381. Hi Rhonda,
    I met someone today that told me about you, and I am so glad that she did. I told her that I redo furniture and blog and that is when you came up. She told me that one of the things that she loves about you is your story and that you have a “put it all out there” personality. I love that. I know that we tend to hide behind our blog and try to seem as perfect as all of the other bloggers (who are most likely just like the rest of us….trying to seem perfect.) But life is far from it! I dream of making some sort of income doing this, not because it is all I can do, but because I love it so much! We don’t have 2 nickles to rub together, my husband hasn’t been able to find a job for far too long, we have 3 little kids and I still thank God that somehow we still have a roof over our heads. I love that you started this off my saying it is not a downer post but rather an uplifting post. I try to find the good in all of the bad and there IS always good. All things happen for a reason, even if we do have to go through a sort of hell to get to the reason of why things happen. Sometimes one chapter of our life has to close to get to the good chapter. I would rather have 1 small home filled with lots of happy, than 2 homes filled with deceit and misery. Maybe one day I’ll get brave enough to share the more personal part of my life, but for now I’ll just stick to posting about the parts of my life that I love, my kids, my furniture, and my blog! I would love to hear how you personally started to make an income from your blog (if you don’t mind at all!) and if you have some time I would love for you to come by!! I look forward to following your posts!!


  382. A friend read your blog and forwarded it to me. So much of what you’ve gone through I’ve experienced.

    You’re a beautiful, unrepeatable woman of God. I know He has great plans for you. Keep the faith~


    Jo Rae

  383. Denise Cosgrove says:

    Rhoda, you are beautiful woman and living proof of a deep faith in God. Your story, your talent, and your heart all inspire me. You have given me hope to continue to go for my dreams. I pray God’s richest and best blessings on your life today and ….Always, Denise Cosgrove

  384. Rhoda- That was lovely. Thank you for being so brave and sharing with the rest of us. I watched my mother go through 2 divorces, one in her late thirties, the other in her late forties, and I saw how she had to reinvent herself each time.
    I had always dremaed of being an architect and building my dream home. Well, I did it. My husband and I met in architecture school and we just moved in (9 months ago), to the home that I designed. It was an arduous 4 years (during which time I had 2 kids!), but then we were living in it. Now we have had our third child, and that idyllic, magaize-worthy life wasn’t as fulfilling ans hte jectic, cramped in a too small house, building process was. So I decided ot start a blog, to give validation to my choices to stay at hoem with the kids, and to just be happy in our home. I’m loving the support from teh blogosphere, and the motivation it gives me to decorate the house and make it personal on the details level.

  385. Karen Thomas says:

    Hi Rhoda,
    I have been following your blog for a bit now and was reading this morning about you finding your new home! Congratulations on that!! Some of the things that you said in that post led me to find your story and I just had to comment on this.
    My life was also turned upside down… after a 30 year marriage… due to financial indiscretions (trying to keep it nice..) of my ex husband. That, in and of itself, wasn’t a devastation to me. I was happily kicking along, living in a little apartment. I had actually qualified for a home and was making plans to move in and re-boot my life when the idiotic idea to re-marry planted itself in my head. This was someone that I had met through and had only “known” for a month or two. I will spare you the embarassing details. After 2 1/2 years of abuse, I found the strength to show him the door and end the marriage. The period I spent with him had horrific effects on my financial state. I had to file bankruptcy, almost lost my beloved house (have finally, after a year of wrangling with BOA, gotten a loan modification), sank into a deep clinical depression, gained 50 pounds, acquired high blood pressure and a multitude of other health problems.
    My house was unloved. I couldn’t find motivation to love her. And then last October as I was trying to whip up an idea for Christmas gifts, I discovered decorating blogs.
    I can honestly say that wonderful, inspirational women like you saved my life. Gave me reason to hope and to fight. I looked up, embraced my heavenly father again and started to drag myself out of the pit I had become so entrenched in. I gradually weaned myself off of the anti-depression meds and joined life again.
    Now, I am re-loving furniture, painting, decorating, thrifting, and enjoying my children and grandchildren. Hoping to start a blog myself one day.
    I wish you all good luck and will pray for your journey. Your parents are precious. My dad just celebrated his 83rd birthday and my mother will be 81 in August. I am fortunate to have my entire family (parents, sisters, children and grandchildren) living close by.
    I am also a GRITS girl…. I live in Social Circle.

  386. Susanne says:

    Thank you Rhoda for sharing yourself. I’m in my mid 50’s under going a reconstruction as well. I have lived with my parents, will be financially “unfit” by many of today’s standards, but I have found love again in middle age. I now live in a very modest 1940’s Cape that my beloved has lived in for 20+ years. It now needs a total rennovation and a woman’s touch. Our budgets are as modest as the home itself. I look forward your help, tips and inspiration on my daunting mission to turn this house into a home. Your courage and words brought tears to my eyes. I hope with all my heart that you find what it is that your heart seeks. I have a very strong and sneaking suspicion that the back nine of your life ( a phrase loving used by “my beloved” boyfriend sounds so silly when in our 50’s…lol ) will be equal or even better than the front 9. I’m very pleased to meet you. Susanne

  387. Thank you for this post. It is truly inspiring and full of hope. What a testimony to God’s boundless love and grace! Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable–you are helping so many women by telling your story.
    What a talented lady you are! Talent and a big heart for others–what a great combination. May the Lord bless you and your endeavors.

  388. I have just started following (lurking, since this is my first comment!) and I had to go back and read this article after seeing the closing on your house! I am truly impressed that your struggles have given you such faith! After my husband of 26 years and I separated in 2009, I would go to my second job every night, worrying, and wondering, ‘what am I going to do’? You see, I would have lost my home too. Maybe some of my inheritance as well. But there also comes a peace when you realize that really is not such a big deal, sure it will hurt, but we can go on. The Lord decided what was best, and took him 5 months after our separation. It was not what I would have chosen for the father of my children, but neither was it my decision. We must trust that the Lord knows what He is about! I plan to keep reading your blog! I hope one day I have the courage to reach out to others as well! Enjoy your new home!!

  389. Rhoda, I love your blog and have been following for a couple of months. I’ve read your story and find you have come so far in the past year. I can relate to your story. Your outlook on the journey ahead is inspirational. I’m thrilled you have found a new place to call home. Can’t wait to see the progress on your new place! Peace be with you.

  390. Dear Rhoda;
    I just discovered your blog today via My blessed Life. I believe there are no coincidences, but divine interactions.

    Last week I finally had closure on a marraige that had become very toxic to me. I knew early on that I had made a bad choice but it took me many years to find the courage to “let go, let God, and go on” I know I made the right decision, but it is still bitterweet nevertheless.

    I am still in the desert place but am being constantly reminded of God’s great faithfulness to me in the direst of circumstances. In the past year and a half I have only worked for 6 months, and have had 5 surgeries. I am currently not working, recovering from back surgery and may possibly have to go back to have another surgery because I am still in severe pain.

    I like you, am very creative and would appreciate any tips on creating a blog that would utilize my gifts ( writing, cooking, crafting, painting, floral design, decorating etc) to bless others and possibly eventually generate a little income on the side. I want to start living a passionate, creative, and authentic life because at 56, I want the rest of my life to be not filled with regret. Although I have tried to start a blog, It is not what I envision it to be. I know you are a busy woman, but if you could repy to me at my email, I would appreciate it so very much.

    God bless you!
    Lolita (Lulabelle)

  391. Diane Daugherty says:

    I stumbled across your blog today looking for a way to redo my stair case rail (I will try the Minwax! Thank you). I’ll be coming back – love your heart and vulnerability. It reminds me of a quote I read in Max Lucado’s book “Fearless” – Feed your fears and your faith will starve…feed your faith and your fears will. Blessings! Diane

  392. Dearest Rhoda,
    Thank you for your openess. You are truly a blessing. I love your website and look forward to seeing more of what you’re doing with your fixer upper house!
    You are an inspiration in more ways than just decorating.

    Peace be with you…and your parents. They sound like good people to me.


  393. You are truely an inspiration!

    Blessings to you and yours.


  394. Simply stumbled onto your website today — I had thought by accident, however I’ve discovered that those moments that speak to your soul do not happen by accident. I’m 61. On April 9, 2010 the absolute unthinkable happened. I discovered my husband of 36 years was having an affair with a co-worker. I was truly, truly blindsided. I had no idea, no inkling. My trust is now shattered. There is a hole in my heart that refuses to heal. Over the next year, I changed, in some ways for the better, in some ways not. We didn’t divorce — neither of us wanted that–but unfortunately, for reasons I cannot go into here, he cannot change jobs. He still works with her, and I have to deal with that on a daily basis. Before that happened, I was, like you, happy in my creativity. I was a free-lance writer, and decorating my home was my passionate hobby. Now, I’ve lost all motivation for anything creative. I’ve gone back to school to finish a degree because I will never trust again that there will be someone to help take care of me in my old age. I’ve felt disheartened because of my age, but reading your blog has brightened my outlook. I CAN do this! Bless you.

  395. I have just been reading about your journey and I want to say “amen” to what you have said. Our God is so very good, like you I have walked thru the dark valley of divorce and like you, I know how God loves His children and how he cares for us. Like Lilli, I was 62 when he found someone else, after over 40 years of marriage. However, walking thru this valley has brought me closer to God than I have ever been, He has guided me, protected me and given me more than I ever could have imagined. Thank you for sharing your life, I wish I could have read it when it was all fresh to me and I was so afraid of the unknown. God’s Blessings!

  396. Thank you so much for such an inspiring post. I’m sure it gave hope to many that are also struggling with hard times. I know that I am personally blessed by the words of wisdom that you offered and I’m sure that you will be blessed far beyond what you have lost in the past. I’m looking forward to reading about just how God has blessed you! Your passion is definitely evident so you are destined to be greatly rewarded for your efforts. Thanks for sharing!

  397. Rhoda…

    I obviously had a great deal of catching up to do. The upheaval in my own life over the past 5 years has swung me in and out of my blogging routine. Often, just writing posts was therapy and I was not doing much visiting. I believe you and I began blogging around the same time. I know we can both agree that we had no idea where an online journal would take us.

    Unlike you, I have never owned a home. Almost 28 years of marriage has had enough bumps in it that purchasing a home has never panned out. I have done my best with rental homes, always grabbing inspiration from life, magazines, and blogs. June Cleaver was iconic for me as a kid. My mom was never like that and I entertained the fantasy of a perfect life. I know better now. I have even learned to love the imperfections because those seem to be the Lord’s greatest building materials in my life.

    Blogging has taught me to be truthful. Masquerades serve no one and often just leave women feeling bad about themselves. This is why I am so moved by your piece here. Your transparency is like a salve. You are proving that, through the Lord’s strength, you are a conduit that can-do-it! God takes what the enemy intends for evil and turns it around for good. The blessing is that we get to enjoy the ride — never surprised that God can work things out — but surprised by how He does it!

    Even now, I have a son in detention, a God-fearing husband going through major midlife adjustments, and I am living in a mountain home without transportation of my own. I am used to more mobility and freedom. Yet, God is up to something. Reinvention, Hope, and Faith are the operative words.

    Rhoda, I am so happy to be on board for this wonderful Praise Report God is assmebling! May the rest of your life be the BEST of your life!


  398. I found your blog today as I was going from blog to blog looking at fall decorating ideas (even though I already decorated my apartment). Wow your story really has giving me hope like you I have gone thru major changes in the past 6 years from my marriage of 25 five years breaking to losing everything financially even my house having to start over again. During that time I also lost three of my siblings but by the grace of GOD I’m still standing and even thought I had to start over again like you having to move in with my sister for a year then I moved to my apartment and started from zero. I was doing good until April this year I had major surgery and was out of my job for 10 weeks I went back to work and after 31 years I lost my job they just simply let me go. Now I’m home and I really don’t know what to do how do I start over again I love decoarating my home and helping other people decorate my sister says I should look into going to school for interior design but I really don’t know what to do is hard to start over. It was kind of a shock loosing my job but only my faith in GOD and the knowledge that He knows what is good for me keeps me going. Thanks for sharing your story it lets me know that I can start over again and as long as I have God, family and faith I will go on.

  399. All I can say is ………..Thank you!!!! I found your site looking for information on painting vintage furniture black, and I have been following your blogs since. I found much more than i was looking for, besides wonderful directions and ideas, you helped renew my spirit on one of those not so great days. I have no clue how I found your site, then I remembered something my mom said once “you are always right where you are supposed to be” ……… makes crazy turns, thanks for the inspirations, with decorating and with the heart!


  400. A friend told me about your blog. I thought it would be all about decorating. I used to love to do that.but circumstances have made it a bit harder. I felt like I was reading my own words. I honestly spend a lot of time thinking that I was dealt such a terrible mess to deal with. It seems as if you too have been through the unimaginable. My husband stole my life savings and got us both in terrible straits. I knew I had to leave when things started surfacing. It has been a year of struggle and disbelief. Disbelief that someone I loved and thought I would be with forever could do such horrific things. At 62 I find myself living in an apartment and wondering what lies ahead. However, after reading some of your story I feel that there is a brighter tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing your story. It has truly given me a renewed hope. Best of everything to you ! Katie

  401. I just simply want to say to you BRAVO! As my uncle would say “you did good kiddo” Thank you for sharing your story. It was brave of you. I know it’s your faith that got you through and will continue to carry you in life. You wear the favor of God well. It looks real good on you. I know it’s been over a year since you wrote this piece, but it contiues to inspire others and my hope for you is that God has continued to bless you and encourage you through this journey we call life.

  402. Thank you for having the courage to post this. What a strong individual you are! I am VERY new to the blog world and your pep talk is just what this southern gal needed. I always tell my daughters to follow their bliss and they will be on the right path. Today you reminded me to do the same!

  403. Regina Walker says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. Like you, I too have gone through many, many heartaches and am not sure the pains are all gone. But God will see me through.

  404. Kathleen Mitchell says:

    Thank you for your honest insight! You are so right in all you said. I too have just begun to create my dream world… Graduated from college in 2012 at age 48, and just completed my 1st novel which I hope to have published. Many say its too late, I’m too old, etc… But God has laid this on my heart and if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my trials is that if God want you to do it, just do it! He will work out all the details! God bless you! You are a beautiful person- inside and out and I have NO doubt you will prosper and succeed at any endeavor you undertake!

  405. my gosh. I want to thank you for your honesty about all that has transpired in your life. You had handled it with such strength – and courage! I know this is an old post, but I just found it. I happen to think you are a wonderful person with a great outlook, down to earth style and outlook and a fabulous sense of class. I will be watching you – and wishing you the best! Please keep blogging; you are my inspiration.

  406. Rhoda,
    Your experience and your willingness to share with others is amazing. I love your blog and your decorating. I know God will continue to bless you. If he brings you to it, he will bring you through it.
    My mom died Oct. 6, 2012. She was diagnosed with cancer and lived 6 days. Her favorite bible verse was I Thessalonians 5:18-“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ concerning you.”
    Best wishes for a blessed new year.

  407. Thank you for opening up your life to this world. You will probably never know how you have helped, inspired and given courage to so many through sharing your story. I came across your blog by Cleverly Inspired. A wonderful blog to follow. I also have read the daily devotionals from Streams in the Desert. I agree by Faith we will survive. I have had a life changing event too but mine is physical. My identity has changed but I also know I am blessed by God that has given me a loving family and friends that help me overcome those hard days. The Lord allowed me to cross your path this early morning for a reason. That is my Faith. Blessings and sunshine to you always.

  408. This is a wonderful blog! I was really excited about your DIY posts then I happened upon this post and I was really blessed. Life is has not been easy cancer, medical debts, no children and infertility….people ask why I am happy and I say I am choosing to be happy! God did not promise a perfect life but in him, life is perfect. I’m alive. I’m breathing and I was able to read your post and feel blessed all over again! I am so encouraged by you and for you. I know God is going to bless you beyond what you can even imagine!!

  409. Beth Morrow says:

    Wow, thanks for mentioning this post. Somehow, I have not read it, but boy, i even have more respect for your attitude and want you to know that your testimony is heart lifting!
    Its always so easy to say, “trust the Lord” to someone going through trials, but its another story when you are the one having to “trust the Lord.” You have exemplified “trusting the Lord”.
    Thanks for sharing your beautifully transformed home. I always so enjoy your post and am disappointed when i dont find one in my mail.
    Keep doing what you do.
    O, and one of my dreams is to start my own blog. I keep saying, “this is the year!”. But it is still a dream so,far. I am not as computer sauve as you so I am having to learn how to do the simple things, but hopefully…this is the year!

  410. This post has touched me deeply. I met you at Haven last year and you are so lovely and sweet. Trust in God and faith is where it’s all at! I’m divorced but happily married now and following my dreams at middle-age, too! Hugs

  411. great story, thanks for the inspiration.

  412. You are so inspirational. I just know God knew I needed your words today, thanks for your courage and willingness to share your story, though painful at times. I really appreciate it, and am praying God continues to look on you with favor in 2013!!!

  413. I happened on your blog this morning by way of Pinterest. I was reading about painting interior doors. As I strolled through your blog, I came to this post. How refreshing and encouraging! Thank you and God bless!

  414. Thanks for sharing. Many of us out in blog world appreciate all that you do. We look at your ideas and try to put them into our own homes. Thanks for taking the courage to continue and explore. Thanks for helping all of us make our houses “pretty” despite not having budgets just creativity, willpower, and a sense to learn and read how others did it. Lots of us love decorating but out budgets are so tight that we don’t want to make mistakes which is why we refer to the experts like your blog/website. Thank you for sharing.

  415. Cindy Hancock says:

    I’m reading your story again because I needed some inspiration today! Your faith and tenacity are so strong and I know you are encouraging others with your transparency. Please don’t stop! God still has many great plans for you! One of my favorite verses I cling to is “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
    Take care and blessings,

  416. My family lost our home last year and are now renting. i found blogs this month and have been so sad that i see all these wonderful homes and i do not have a home of my own…I hope my own home comes my way and i can use your tips to make a home..thanks

    • Anne, hang in there. I didn’t have a home of my own for almost 2 years too and it was worth waiting for. It will come!

  417. Just read your post. Putting it simply, it touched my heart. I had my own “wake-up” call a little over a year ago and find my self divorced with 2 children (something I never expected). After the shock and devestation and walking around in a fog for months, I’m slowly finding myself again. I have told my children that God will pull us through and if we keep our faith something even greater is waiting for us in our future. I thank you for being so honest and positive in such a difficult, emotional time. I hope we both find love again but I have to share with you something someone recently told me… “All men are dogs. Some of them just have a little more puppy in them!” I thought maybe you could appreciate that comment.
    I’ll be sending prayers your way.

  418. Francine Melder says:

    I am humbled by your transparency and willingness to share. You truly are an inspiration and hope to all who read your life and meet you. I knew when I sat at lunch with you at the MMS workshop a few weeks ago that you were a deep soul. I was so busy focusing on getting information from others about how to start a booth and blog that I did not take the time to appreciate you.
    I look forward to tuning in regularly and learning from someone who has been there, done that, and is still standing, grounded firmly in her faith. May you be blessed far beyond your wildest dreams. You surely deserve it.

  419. Just found your blog via Songbird- I am loving it. Thank you for sharing your creativity, family, life, struggles, etc. As a fellow 50+ year old, I am truly inspired by your accomplishments. You have encouraged me and reminded me that in the Lord we always have hope. Continued blessings! Lamentations 3: 22-23

  420. Rhoda. I just started blogging this year. Since I live in the South, I clicked on Southern Hospitality to check out your blog for inspiration and maybe learn a thing or two from an experienced and successful blogger. I was at a loss for words when I read your story. You are not only a wonderful source for design and decorating ideas, but also a ministry for hurting and wounded hearts. You have found your purpose! Be blessed

  421. Hi Rhoda,
    Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I’m a divorced single mom having survived my own horrible Life Time movie type marriage. I started blogging last year because I love to be creative, to write, to design and to decorate. I want our home to be the best it can for me and my kids. My plate is full and blogging is hard work. Sometimes I get discouraged, but then I find someone like you and I’m inspired again. So thank you for opening up and God bless you. You’re going on my blog roll. :)

  422. Teena Luckey says:

    Rhoda, thank you so much for sharing this! After reading this and the comments, I feel like I’ve been in a church service! God is using you in a wonderful way. Be strong and continue to allow Him to use you. You are such a blessing to those around you and this is a perfect means of reaching out to so many. You are a great encourager and I am going to keep you in my prayers! I will continue to check in on you and everything that you have going on. You are a busy lady. I am in the process of starting my blog. Grrrr! Got a lot to learn!

    • Thank you, Teena, for stopping by and taking the time to read all of this. God has blessed me SO much and I’m grateful to Him for allowing me to have this platform to share.

  423. Thank you Rhonda for being so open about your life. I am fairly new to blogs but I am quickly becoming addicted to them. I too love decorating, repurposing and making a space a beautiful place to live in. Giving a lamp, a picture frame or entire room a fresh look gives me joy and breath a bit easier when life seems difficult. It’s like therapy. My husband has been laid off several times over the past 12 years so I am constantly worried about the future. He is now an amazing fulltime sculptor so the money is not steady. I believe in him and the gifts God has given him but my faith waivers. I am just getting a bit worn out after 12 years of uncertainty. Reading your posting came at a perfect time. I have wanted to get back to doing something creative and decorating seems to be how I am channeling this. My husband and I met in 9th grade art class in 1975 but I have always been the more practical one especially since he was laid off. Thank you for the creative inspiration, thrifty ideas and persevering. My husband did a piece called “Perseverance”. Google Ray Vandamme – Perseverance. Maybe it will be a blessing to you.

  424. Hi, Rhoda, I am new to your blog, but I’m already hooked! Wow, you are quite an inspiration! I, too, am in my fifties (pushing more toward latter) and find myself searching. I recently retired from teaching (probably too early) and know there is something out there for me – just not sure what. For now, I am enjoying the inspiration I get from reading blogs and constantly refreshing my home. I look forward to reading more of your blog – old and new posts. Thanks!

    • Hi, Jan, thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know! So nice to meet you and I hope you find your passion too. It’s very fun!

  425. I just discovered your blog and website via Pinterest while looking for beadboard wallpaper for my kitchen. I totally love your style and your heart. Blogs tend to make the authors’ lives out as perfect, so your honest reflection was refreshing. We all have flaws and imperfections, just like the things we love, but in our weakness, He is strong. Thank you for sharing your story. May God continue to bless you.

    • Thank you, Donna, for stopping by! My story certainly isn’t perfect, but God is so good and has been to me.

  426. Paula E says:

    I’ve just now found this site through a link from Pinterest! I love your site. I love all the pretty photo’s, projects and all the other links in her I can’t wait to explore! Thank you for sharing today and speaking of our GREAT Lord!!! He is good and faithful! mmmm what do I dream of doing? Well I love to decorate and I must do it on a shoestring budget. I started a FB called Rooms With a Little Faith. I post photo’s of rooms I decorate and redecorate or rooms I help friends with. I would love to do that, but not sure how God is leading. I work full-time for a non-medical in-home care company; I’ve been there 12 years and LOVE it! I have the best team to work with!!! I’m the “Martha or now Rhoda” of the office! My heart is being stirred regarding fostering or adoption…not sure what God is doing there just yet. Anyway, thank you for following your passion all those years ago. I’ll be stopping in regularly!

  427. All I can say is thank you. I literally felt like I was reading my own story. It’s amazing what God can bring us to with a harmless “google search”. I love the South so much and am so inspired by the culture and the style. My dream would be to design something that makes a house a home.

  428. I just wanted to say thank-you for sharing your story. I am typing this through tears. I too am 50 and going through a divorce. I’ll be losing a lake house, ranch and my home as well. I’ll be living a much different lifestyle than i’ve been used to for 25 years of my marriage. I think God led me to your blog via looking for bead board stories. The past year has been tough but God has been ever present and working in my life in amazing ways. I needed to hear your words of encouragement about following your dreams. I’ve been paralyzed with fear about finding myself a job. I know i’d be happiest being a professional organizer but I just don’t know why I can’t take that step. I feel….scared. So much has changed and i’ve lost a lot of confidence. But God in his grace has given some encouragement by leading me to your blog. So many things hit home for me with your story. Tracks of a Fellow Struggler has been on my mind for weeks now. I could relate to so many things; our age, our divorce, the financial loss, our faith in God and loving to fix up a home. I’ve been to a million blogs in the past years and never once left a comment. I just wanted you to know that you touched my heart all the way in Texas!! Thank you so much.

    • Hi, Michele, thank you so much for taking the time to write your comment. I wrote this post almost 2 years ago and it amazes me how far God has brought me in the last 2 years. I moved into my own home a year ago in October and it’s been quite the journey. He has been there with me every step of the way and I have no doubt he will do the same for you. Hang in there, things WILL get better!

  429. What an inspiration you are! God is so faithful!!

  430. Ana Cristina says:

    We are in early september 2013, I would like to thank you for your words. Were the strength that I needed to continue forward. I am Portuguese and here in Portugal the year of 2013 has been very difficult and we will continue with many difficulties. I spent here by your blog because I like very much for decoration and I when I go into a new blog the first thing I do is read on the person of the blog.
    As Rodha says life has its way of showing us what is our path and this was one of them for me. I will subscribe to your blog because I like very much of decoration but also because your ideas are going to be for me a source of inspiration and courage to move forward.
    A big Hug,

  431. Thank you again for your wonderful blog and sharing your personal life with us. Not my first time to your blog, but again one of those days when i needed a pick me up! Keep your blog site on my favs list …………….smiles

    Love all the new things you have done, when i get up the courage i think i will share with you some of the transformations to my home, rebuilding a home, life.

    Many blessings to you ,

  432. Rhoda,

    I was thinking of you today and found your blog. I only met you once at my mother’s house, but knew you were a sweet and kind soul. So sorry for all that my brother has done to you. By reading this I know that you will rebuild your life and what an inspiration you are to others. The picture of your daughter and father is beautiful. Wish I could have known you better. Keep up the good work.

    God bless you,

    • Teresa Tate says:

      my health problems have caused my family a lot of financial challanges. We just downsized our home and thought things would become “normal.” Former owner left us bed bugs. Just awful. I stumbled upon your blog today and really needed to hear your story. I have a strong faith that has gotten me thru the challenges the past several years. But hearing a faith story from another believer really helps.
      I am considering starting a blog, but not sure my health will allow it. Would love to be able to help my family financially. And I think I would love it. I would appreciate your prayers.
      Another woman in her 50s facing a life of challenges and change…God bless, Teresa

  433. Thank you so much for sharing your story. God will and is blessing you. I have had a rough 21 months. I have had 2 knee replacements, a redo of the left knee, open heart surgery and spine surgery all in within 21 months. Since this I have nerve damage and have limited mobility and no nerve activity on my left side.
    I am very strong in my faith and know God has put me in this place for his purpose. I don’t know what God’s plans are for me but I do know I must stay faithful to him.

    I have no decorations skills, but I have my dream home that we have lived in for 2 years. I want to decorate and need guidance. I hope I can follow you and learn a few things.

  434. Kathryn Barton says:

    I read your story and truly have been blessed just hearing of your struggles in life too. I enjoy your blog so much as I am always wanting to recreate, redecorate and change things around even in our rental with very little money. We lost our home and my business too. I know and believe that my life will change some time but only with a lot of prayer and perseverence. God will keep me going and looking forward to life even when I don’t believe in myself. I do hope you find Love as that is what keeps me going too. Keep being that Blessing to many others. Kathy

  435. Shelley Paquette says:

    I just came across your blog by chance and was truly inspired. Your story has sparked much needed hope. Thank you for being so transparent and reminding us not to lose faith. God bless.

  436. Tracy Smith says:

    Thank you, Rhoda, for your testimony and sweet words. I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m enjoying it so much already. Isn’t it wonderful to see God’s plans for our lives come to fruition? It’s scary when we’re in the middle of it, though, but so exciting to be able to look back and see how all things work together for good. I’ll pray for you as you continue to journey along. Pray for me, too, if you would. I’m hoping to break into the world of writing children’s picture books. I really feel God is in this and I’m excited for the journey (but a little scared, too!).

    • Thank you, Tracy for stopping by. And I wish you the best in your endeavors too. Keep trusting and I know you will get there!

  437. I just found your website and read your bio. Thank you for a). your honesty and b) for being an inspiration for us gals out here in blogland who are 50plus. Sometimes I think I am too old to be trying this but yet I am enjoying it. Looking from you, all the best!

  438. Rhoda,
    I am reading this for the first time and it has made me think on so many different levels. Mainly about dreaming. I have dreams that I am afraid to even speak about. Your blogs are giving me courage to think about sharing…… I continue to read.

  439. I just found you today.
    Your story runs practically along side of mine. But I too, have survived.
    I bought this old 12′ ceilings, fixer-upper last year. Oh, dear. What was I thinking. I am certainly not creative but………..I can copy. Wish me luck.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  440. Evelyn Montgomery says:

    Hi Rhoda,

    Just read your post. What an inspiration your story is. I prayed that God would guide me to make a wise decision. I have been struggling with whether to pursue my childhood dream of fixing up my great grandmother’s 125 year old farmhouse or let go of that dream. Due to my husband’s financial failures over the last three years I have very little money. Well let’s be honest. I have no extra money and I’m not as young as I once was. I know if I let the dream go I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Your story has inspired me to follow that dream. Who knows, maybe I’ll start a blog when I get started on the renovations! Good luck to you in the future. Our God is great.

  441. Rhoda,

    I happened upon this blog while looking for calomondin recipes on Pinterest and what a blessing reading your posts are to me. I, too, have struggles, although not similar to yours, they are struggles no less. I, too, have wanted to start a blog as a creative outlet. And finally, I, too, live near Atlanta. It’s funny how God puts just the right people and situations in front of your nose when you need it most. Thank you for being one of God’s symbols for me.

    • Hi, Heidi, thank you for leaving a comment, so glad you stopped by. I’m so glad this inspired you! God has blessed me SO much the last 4 years.

  442. May God bless you with a special sweetness tonight, Rhoda, as your beautiful faith has bolstered mine!! Our stories have similarities. Thank you for telling of what you have come through! Joys shared are doubled, and sorrows shared are halved, as the old saying goes……

  443. Hi Rhoda, I’m so glad to have found your wonderful site today…I must have needed to read your story as it makes me feel another person with similar life experiences as my self has come to light in a very comforting way. I love your new is warm and safe and welcoming. The comfort comes only knowing that others out there “get it” and understand the ups and downs that are created from major life changes. Thank you for sharing everything – you have a real sweet family … and by the way, I also lived Atlanta – my Dad was born in Kite/Johnson…so we spent summers traveling from Florida back to his families farms to help with harvest…Tobacco, corn, cotton and all the fresh vegetables you can eat – Cured Ham, Chickens, Hogs – outhouses! There was one little restaurant in particular near Jonesboro, Ru-Sa’s – something like that, that had the best southern food ever, like my grandmother and mom raised us on…love the southern food and manners – I will always be a “Grit” and so very proud of that…

    • Hi, Lyn, so glad you stopped by & I’m so happy that my story continues to touch other people as well, since it’s been 4 years ago that I went through that misery. Thank goodness, life is so good now! Always glad to hear from another GRITS girl!

  444. Shajasi says:

    I was thinking of this blogpost about two weeks ago….and I’ll be darned through a series of clicks off Pinterest landed on your blog looking at Bucks living room…(:
    Anyway, long story short our lives have been awful for about 6 years now. Started with a job loss for my husband and proceeded with a cancer diagnosis for him. 3 surgeries and two months of Chemo, several health issues for me that included 6 surgeries and now I cannot function without wearing a fentanyl pain patch because of the botched surgery number 1 ( all of that way too much to detail). We had to sale our house to get high risk health ins. On my husband so he could get his chemo (we had used our 18 months of Cobra). Our mortgage was 1400 a month and his new insurance was 1660 a month, just for him. I had to get a full time job to get insurance for me and my kids. After being at home and taking care of everyone for 7 wonderful years, it was heartbreaking to leave my husband at home to deal with post op and post chemo issues by hisself…it’s an awful memory. Five deaths in my family, including my brother and my father within 2 months of each other, and then my sister and brother blaming me for his death because I gave my father a pain pill after he fell, that somehow that half a lortab made his 80 year old emphysema ridden lungs give out….5 days later. I work in a school and walked in the office my first day back with a “this is going to be a great year if it kills me attitude and then promptly slipped on a rain soaked floor and tore a disc in my lower back. I had surgery about 5 months ago, but it hasn’t seemed to take, as they say. Have been dealing with this for a little over a year. I KNOW my attitude is bad…I don’t recognize myself sometimes…but out of the blue right before summer break I said to my co-workers I’ve gotten to be the type of person that just expects the worst to happen…and I’ve finally started feeling that, yea know, something awesome could happen at any moment. I shocked myself when it came out of my mouth, but I felt excited that maybe I was coming out of my funk. Without elaborating my husband disappointed and disrespected our relationship doing something he had sworn less than a year ago he would never do again. That took weeks to stop crying about. But the worst feeling is realizing the man I have loved and cherished. And who I felt like loved and cherished me, just doesn’t….not like I thought he did…and I can’t leave. We have 2 kids at home and I could never afford to be without his pensions. So I think I’ll wait until the kids are grown and I hate that. I love my husband, but he broke our marriage…I will never feel safe or be able to trust what he tells me. It’s sad..I thought we had this great love, that we were special, so in love we would die in love. Not to be I guess. Anyway, I rambled a little long, sorry. Back to two weeks ago…I was wondering why when I am told that if I ask God for things he listens and takes care of us. I pray and pray for my pain to stop or for someone to figure it out and fix it. And ..nothing. 6 years , nothing. So, something I was reading was talking about trust
    In God to help…that you have to trust he will help. Is this where I am going wrong? I pray please fix my side and my back,pleas I cannot take this anymore….but my next thought isn’t well…I wonder when that will happen…its. I hope he heard me today and understands I am broken and losing my will to struggle with this anymore.
    And I too have always thought I would’ve had one of the best blogs out there…I was just too late to the party and had too many fires all around my family that I was running crazy trying to fix. Maybe someday!
    Thanks for listening and congratulations on your success and coming out on the other end of your tragedy!

    • Hi, I’m so sorry for what you have gone through and are going through. I can only point you to God and Jesus, that you will trust Him to help you. God truly cares about all of our needs and he has demonstrated that to me time and time again. I would encourage you to get in a good Bible believing church and soak up all you can. Life is not always easy, but He is trust-worthy and wants good for his children.

      • Thank you Rhoda, for taking the time to read my long post. It is evident by the length and the time (1:30 am) I was having a “bad night”. (:
        I had really been contemplating the question of having Faith That I will be taken care of… I guess it just all came pouring out.
        Thanks again and best wishes!!!

  445. Thank you so much for your testimony and willingness to trust God through the process. God certainly can give us beauty for ashes.


  1. […] story is a great testimony of how God can take ugly life circumstances and turn them into something beautiful and good and looking back 2 years ago, when my life seemed […]

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