The Darkness

I stand on the platform at Church of Hope most Sundays

Recently there has been lighting changes.

Previously, as we stood on the platform, there was great visibility of the people sitting in the audience. I love being able to see others as they worship.

Fast songs, there is clapping. Sometimes people move to the beat of the music.

Slow songs, there is emotions such as raising of hands. Some close their eyes as they are moved by the words of the song.

No matter the emotion, I would feed off the audience.

With the new lighting, I am unable to see the audience. I can’t see if people are smiling or clapping. I can’t see a thing…… I whined. How can I get excited about the song? How can I feel the emotions of the audience when all I see is darkness?

Today was no exception. I couldn’t see a thing. I was hoping that the lighting would go back to normal.

Nope. This is the new normal.

But…… as I stood in the light this morning, all I could see were the words of the song we were singing.

The words that said:

I believe in God our Father

I believe in Christ the Son

I believe in the Holy Spirit

Our God is three in one

I believe in the resurrection

That we will rise again

For I believe in the name of Jesus

I didn’t have to see others to be excited about the words.

I didn’t need to see other people to worship. All I needed was to read the words I was privileged to sing. I could feel Madison beside me singing from her soul.

The words.

What the words mean.

That’s what is important.

The words that speak to my soul. The words that sing back to me, the promises from God to me.

Now, as I sing from the platform, I don’t need the lights. I can close my eyes and worship.

Pastor Mark spoke this morning about how God is speaking……are you listening?

Were the people in the audience a distraction? I didn’t think so.

Maybe the lights being lowered is the answer to my question.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

The Miracle Saturday

Do you ever chat about something and at the end say, “that would be a miracle?”

Here’s the story:

We have been in a pool house construction house phase for FOR-EV-ER.

Here it is a week ago.

The time frame to get this little house completed has been long and ridiculous. Steve has pushed the train up and up and up the hill again. It’s time people.

Time to be done.

Saturday as we get ready for a day of work, we chat.

“The painter did good yesterday. Wouldn’t it be a miracle if he showed up today?”

Everyone deserves a day off. I am not expecting people to work on the weekends as long as the job is up to the time frame. ITS NOT! However there are still zero expectations that we will see a worker on a Saturday.

This was my view yesterday.

We were on the roof.


And what do my wandering eyes shall appear, but a blue truck out of nowhere.

I believe it is a painters truck.


We watch as he enters the pool house and gathers some of his belongings. He entered his car and leaves.

Ok…..well that was nice while it lasted

Bye bye painter man.

We continue painting

It’s looking pretty good.

The blue truck! It’s back!

He opens his tailgate.

He pulls out his supplies!

He’s painting!

On Saturday!!


I guess just call me doubting Charma.

Another conversation was had regarding a tile guy.

“We can’t get the plumber to finish unless the tile is laid. The tile guy can’t do the job for at least two weeks.”

Now to put the time frame into perspective, we have a baby shower for approximately 80 people, being held outside on October 20th. We NEED A BATHROOM! Will we survive without a bathroom? Yes…..but it should would be nice.

Miracle number 2. Justin’s friend, a professional tile layer showed up, on a Saturday, and can lay the tile next week. I think that might be two miracles in one.

I know that there are way more important things going on in the lives of others than our little pool house.

However I do give credit where credit is deserves and I believe that our Heavenly Father will give us the desires of our hearts when we are obedient and Love Him first, Love others and Invest our lives for His Glory.

I will leave you this Sunday morning with a new song we are doing this morning. .

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

Cornstalks for the Win

Fall decorating is upon us and I’m all up in the business of Pinterest and my blogger friends for inspiration.

I am lucky enough to have a great front porch! Lots of room for decorating and I need to get my rear in gear since it’s already October. I want to enjoy the fall before BAM Christmas lights and wreaths pushes their way in.

My guy and the babe will have the share the front steps with some pumpkins and such.

I have search through inspiration photos this week and there is one common thread that my eyes keep wandering to…..cornstalks.

I even posted on FB, asking if anyone knew where I could get some.

and Pinterest never disappoints.

Many Friday nights include a trip to Lowe’s. Last night was a double whammy and Home Depot was included. Tile for the Pool House was needed. The PH is almost complete and I am really excited to share.

As we peruses through the aisles gathering our supplies, I remembered that FB friends said they saw cornstalks at Lowe’s. Let’s get some!!

I love them! They are crunchy and kind of old looking. Yes I know they are dead. They still have corn on them and I can’t wait to put them on the porch.

Steve is usually quiet during my decorating escapades. Tonight, he says “If your Dad was here and saw these corn stalks, can you just hear him?” He would say “you paid money for dead corn? Are you joking me? Dead corn?”

I laughed out loud and through the remainder of the time we were in the store. I still laugh now. It’s true! He would have made fun of my purchase for the rest of the year.

Now, that might not seem so funny to some but there is a lesson to be learned in the midst of the laughter and the sarcasm.

Dad has been in heaven since December 30, 2017. Almost a year and it’s been a hard year. Many days of tears and fighting to be happy. Just this week, I chatted with my friends and shared with them that some days I think my heart may never mend.

Days will continue to be hard but almost one year later, I laugh as I think of my silly dad making fun of my cornstalks. I can now work in the garage and enjoy myself. I can see a picture and not feel as if I’ve been stabbed in the gut. Everyone deals with loss differently and I usually hide. I feel as if time will make the ache go away. Maybe I’m right and maybe I’m not.

All I know that right now, every time I see my dead cornstalks, I will smile.

It’s Saturday, I’m getting ready to have a cup of coffee, sit for a few minutes with the cutest little boy, paint the back side of the house and position my cornstalks in such a way, I can see them all the time. I’ll share my porch when it’s complete.

Have a spectacular day.

Posted in Cinderella Project | 2 Comments

The People Who Saved the House

I’m outside, close to the end of the day, and a neighbor walks by.

We chat.

We chat about our homes and the potential new neighbors we are expecting.

She says as she walks away, “you will always be known as the people who saved this house.”

I smiled and waved “have a great night!”

I pondered her statement.

The people who saved the house…….

Yeah I guess we gave new life to a pathetic, neglected, drug infested, eye sore of the neighborhood. We definitely did that.

But, the more I thought about her statement, there more I decided that we are really the people whose house saves them.

That sounds pretty sappy. Hallmark card moment.

I actually have an example and it’s not even about our family. I was given permission to share this story.

We had some friends over this past weekend for swimming and dinner.

These friends are family and when the parents come, the kids come too and we love it!

They show up around 3:00, we catch up for a while and head to the pool. It’s a beautiful afternoon. Some of us were on floats and others hung their feet in the water as we caught up on life.

A question was asked. “Would it be ok if I was baptized in the pool today?”

YES!!! What an honor it would be for that to happen.

The conversation continues…..” I was baptized as a child but I had no idea what really happened. I just didn’t know and I thought it would be great if I profess my life as a follower of Jesus today.”




Clothes were changed.

The skies turned dark and it started to rain.

Should we stop?

No way.

You now have the privilege to watch for yourself

The house has nothing to do with Nikki’s relationship with Jesus.

The house however is a place where we are able to cultivate relationships.

The house is a place where people come to celebrate life.

The house is a place where we will continue to love on people and they will love on us.

The weather begins to show signs of fall. Slow but sure there will soon be porch sitting evenings and fire pit Friday’s. We are already excited about the future this old house has in store for us.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

Confirmation is Nice

A few months ago, a friend sent me a message and said “your house needs to be featured in a magazine. I have contacted the Ocala Magazine and they would like to speak to you.”


I love how the OM represents our community. They spotlight local businesses and people who are doing really good things.

I am extremely proud of our accomplishment. This old house has definitely been a project. That’s an understatement but it’s also part of our story. A story that has evolved into so much more than I would have ever expected. However a story about it? I’m not so sure.

I contacted the editor and gave her a little back story on our home. It looked something like this:

Good afternoon Lisa,
A friend requested I contact you about the possibility of our home/family being featured in the At Home With section of the Ocala Magazine.
We live in the historic district of Ocala and purchased our home in September of 2015.
Why would you want to feature us?
Our home was a drug infested boarding home upon our purchase. It was often visited by the OPD and the neighbors were more than elated that we would be restoring and living in the 1903 home.
We are a multi generational household. My husband and I own the home. My Mom lives in the attached mother in law apartment and our daughter, her husband and our 1 year old grandson live here as well.
This house is more than a restoration project although it definitely was that. We completely gutted the interior and did our best to update but honor the integrity of a 1903 historic home. I have attached a picture of our family as well as a before and after of the exterior of our home.
This old house is so much more to us than a house. It’s a home. My Dad recently passed away, in this home. Our daughter was married, in this home. Our grandson was born, in this home. We have lived a lot of life in the past 2 years of living here. We feel as if this home was a gift. It was a gift to be able to restore it to it’s beauty. It was a gift to my parents to live some of their best days here. It’s a gift as we watch a little boy grow here. We laugh, we cry and we love this old house.
We love living in the historic district of our town. We frequent the downtown area, the farmers market and the restaurants on the square. It is a pleasure to live in Ocala.
I hope that you have a fantastic day and enjoy your weekend to the fullest.
Charma Kern

After a few back and forth emails and photos that I took with my phone (I’m classy like that), an appointment was made for the Editor and her photographer to come over.

The house isn’t done! There are holes in the ceiling and doors with no trim. There are things to be hung on the walls and I honestly didn’t think it was ready. However I would probably never think it was ready.

So we did it anyways.

The magazine is being delivered today. The online version is available and since last night was just “one of those nights” when sleep was difficult, I found the online version and read it.

I’m so proud of my little family. I’m proud of Steve and I. I’m grateful for a community that appreciates the saving and restoration of the old homes and not just the building of new ones. I’m thankful for friends who think we are magazine worthy.

Beings featured in a magazine is flattering. Being called out on our accomplishments is not necessary but confirmation that we did the right thing almost three years ago when we bought this dump is priceless.

I have included the link to the magazine if you would like to see.,%22page%22:1%7D

Have a fantastic day

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

From doors to wall art

When you have 11′ ceilings, wall decor is sometimes a challenge.

It either looks too small or there is a need for many items.

I am a fan of Erin from @cottonstem and one day I noticed she had doors hanging on her walls. I’m pretty sure she didn’t find her doors in an old disgusting house and save them for two years trying to decide what to do with them.

I loved these so much!

This girl has old nasty bi-fold doors that she found in an old nasty house and kept them for two years trying to decide what to do with them.

My doors don’t have the cute little detail on the top section. But when has that stopped me from making something work.

May I introduce to you, the doors.



Still holding onto the original door and sliding hardware.

Whatever people……dirty don’t scare me.

I cleaned these babies up

Removed the hardware with vice grips. Those suckers are hard to pull out

Sand all the bumps and bruises away.

Added some cute little wood sections.

Paint – maybe paint a few times before coming up with the best color.

Bat my eyes at a cute husband guy and ask him to hang for me.

Search for the perfect tin buckets to attach to the front and add just a hint of greenery.

Come on!!

As soon as I finish the cutest table ever to sit in front the doors……it will be perfect.

But for now I’ll just enjoy the vintage box full of toys.

Happy Friday friends

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

Time Spent Means What? Really?

I’ve always been a little of an overachiever.

I like for things to be a certain way.

When we have people over, why does it always have to be a big deal?


Why can’t it just be “come on over?” Why does there have to be a full fledged dinner with dessert? Why can’t it be popsicles on the porch like a normal night at home would be?

I am trying to get better at simplicity. I won’t say I am good at it yet but soon there will be hot dogs and s’mores on any given Friday night around the firepit. You can’t get much simpler than that.

I have been lucky enough to have a standing date with Jack William Wissinger each Friday morning for about 3 hours. I spoke of a baby and B.B. date way before he was even born. It would be just me and him. No mommy’s or daddy’s allowed. Unless we planned it that way prior to the week. There I go again……liking things a certain way.

Could he be any cuter?


I want Jack, when he is old enough to know what a date is and to look forward to our time together.


I’ve thought and planned our time together.

Good grief, he is 15 months old. He doesn’t care what we do as long as he is fed and has his diaper changed.

What do we do today? We have three hours? Do we spend time driving around and trying to find something to do?

Nah. He doesn’t care about places.

Sometimes we walk to the park and we swing


Other times we walk to the splash pad, where we are all alone and play near the water because he is not in love with the spouting water.


We sit in the shade and drink from B.B.’s water cup.

It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we do it together.

What really matters is that we spend time with those we love.

I recently had a conversation with someone that felt excluded from a conversation. She felt left out. I was included in that group and I am heartbroken. Never would I intentionally exclude another person. Never. Her feelings however are real. They hurt and I can only fix me. I will remember that every person counts. Every person has a right to be heard and included.

Spending time doesn’t have to be a big deal. It’s just need to be real.

I gotta go. Pops is home this week. I love vacation week.

Have a great day!

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment