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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sometimes Change is Good

Late last week I was reviewing my scheduled blog posts and noticed that I am quickly approaching the 1000 post mark.

When I wrote my very first post way back on March 4, 2008 I simply wanted it to serve two purposes:

Replace the rather expensive design newsletters I had been sending out every season to my interior design clients.

Document both personal and professional projects.

I never dreamed that Décor To Adore would transition into the blog you see today. I have made so many wonderful bloggy friends. Miss Sandy was my very first commenter. I am proud of the fact that, even five years later, she is still a very good blogging friend.

Many of you first “met” me in 2010 when I wrote a post called the “The Ultimate DIY”. That particular post really didn’t have anything to do with home/interior design which is what my overall blog subject matter is primarily about. I distinctly remember that it was the first post where I was extremely nervous to hit the “send” button because it was REALLY personal.

A funny thing happened.

The post went viral.

It taught me a very important lesson: blog readers don’t necessarily always want to see perfection. Sometimes a healthy dose of real life is appreciated.  So I continued writing design/craft/DIY and cooking posts but I would also throw in DIY disasters, personal thoughts and my family. 

[the ultimate DIY 033[5].jpg]

Almost two years ago our family was shaken to its very core. In my many talks with God I had begun to question if blogging was taking too much time away from other important things.  His response was to use the blog as a ministry of sorts so I began writing Sunday posts. Some of the posts were SO painful to write. I did it ONLY for Him.

A funny thing happened.

My Sunday posts now receive the most weekly post viewings than all the other M~W~F posts combined.

But even better is that some of the Sunday posts, such as “When God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle” show up as some of my highest rated posts of all time. I imagine it is because people are still being tested and randomly searching the internet for help. They somehow find these posts and decide not to give up. The emails they send me tell me that they once again have hope.

To the depth of my soul I believe that these God filled posts are more important that any décor post I could ever write.  

So here is the part of the post that is going to make me hesitate about hitting the “SEND” button.

For all the pretty vignettes I show of my home there are 100 other bits of ugly.

Such as… a patio ceiling that is literally peeling and crumbling.

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Outdated tile with major cracks.

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Interior doors and trim that desperately need a paint job to fix the sloppy mistakes previous owners made.

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Furniture so worn out that the cushions sag in the middle and refuse to be “fluffed up”.

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Builders grade lighting and massive mirrors covered in dark spots.

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As well as a million other projects like kitchen cabinets that need painting and perhaps a bit of crown molding to accent our pale blue ceilings.

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Now as you know I am very thrifty. Mr. Décor and I have been stalking the thrift stores for months to try and find cheap fixes. We have been unsuccessful.  

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In our area this is what the used/thrifted prices are:

$50 for one scratched light fixture.

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$75 for a faucet in the “not all that attractive” category and missing some of its “under the sink” parts.

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Here goes the laying my heart on the line and getting REALLY personal.

Like much of America our family has taken a financial hit. In 2008 when I began this blog I had 2-5 design projects a month. I now have 2-5 design projects a year. Because of this and other financial hits on our family I went looking for a job earlier this year. I applied for job after job. Of course so did 5000 other people.

To tell the truth I got a little irritable with God. Our house is falling apart and I can’t get a job to help my family. Well, it turned out that He knew what He was doing. Most of the jobs I applied for required working evenings and weekends. At the time I thought that would be ok. Then the major breadwinner of the family (Mr. Décor) started traveling a lot for his job and the reality was I wouldn’t have been able to leave Sweet Guy home alone for that many hours.

So I continued to pray to God and also talk to this man. 

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This awesome man who always listens and has to put together and take apart that lawn mower every time it gets used. When he’s gone I have to do it and it actually takes longer to put it together than it takes to mow the lawn itself. I hate it. But it’s the only way we can get it to fit in our teeny tiny storage bin.

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So add “build an outdoor storage facility” to the list of what else needs to get done.

So I prayed to God again and said “We’d like to do these things. Please show us how we can afford them.”

Right about then God sent me an angel.

Does this angel look familiar? It’s my really good real life friend Marty of A Stroll Thru Life.

I shared our financial, violin playing, woes with her and she simply and sincerely said “Laura place some more ads on your blog.”

For some reason I have been SO adverse to doing this. I don’t know why. I guess I thought that you guys wouldn’t like it. Like I had sold out or something. But the bottom line is that more ads would mean more money for my family.

Ah, money. There it is. I said it. The thing you are NOT supposed to talk about in blog land.

But the additional ads will enable me to purchase what we need for our home projects and of course I would share these updates with all of you and I think you guys would REALLY like that.  

The more I thought about what Marty said I knew she was right.

So my blog will be getting a bit of an overall this next week. I am also moving my blogger based blog to a larger platform by using a personal domain of www.decortoadore.net. I am hoping the switch will be made by the end of next week without any glitches.

So I am going out on pure faith that you guys will stick with me.

So much so I plunked down $40 ( I received a 10% military discount~ woo hoo!) for a new light fixture for one of our bathrooms. Man the makeover in my head is SO good.

Change is good 031

I sure hope you guys will come along on this new journey.

Laura

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” ~ Hebrews 11:1

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

34 comments :

Betty said...

Thank you for your honesty. I love that word HONESTY! Fear will drive us crazy and your financial insecurities will disappear in God's time. I love your blog. Especially during the time when Kate and William were getting ready to marry. The history and information was amazing. I love everything English and now I'm in love with the French... I will be visiting your blog for years to come, God willing.
Fondly
Betty @ My Cozy Corner

2c81a552-8b6d-11e2-b061-000bcdca4d7a said...

I read approximately 50 - 60 blogs per day. I never care how many ads they have as long as they teach me how to do something. The only thing that bothers me about certain blogs is when they have a contest and you have to like them on facebook, etc. etc. etc. I have enough friends on facebook and I have the blogs sent to my E-mail address. You are doing a wonderful job and I really appreciate the help. Thank you.

nonie everythingsewing said...

I sure do not care how many ads you have. You are giving me something for free and that is friendship, although I am just a blog friend. I don't really know you. I love the decorating advice i get 'free'. I love that you are honest and not perfect nor do you pretend to be. Most of all, I know you don't remember, but you posted on my blog when I was at a low point in my cancer treatment, you made me feel important. I will never forget that.
May God be with you
Nonie

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Looking forward to the "new look!" Thanks for keeping it real.

Perfectly Printed said...

I think it's terrific! If you can make money by blogging why not?? Love your blog and your ideas!! M daughter and her family are moving from Atlanta to Phoenix shorty and I hope to set up sometime to meet you...IN person!

diana said...

Good for you! Great post and I wish you blessings.

Blackberry Lane said...

You will always hold a special place in my heart; you are one of the first blogs I visited. Thank you for your honesty and I look forward to the changes and wish you all the best.
Mildred

Rita C. said...

Of course I'll come along, Laura! I hope the transition is smooth for you. And a big shout out to Marty for giving you the nudge!

Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Laura- You are brave in knowing to ask when you need to. Bravo!

I moved to WordPress from Blogger with a new blog - lots of work - be prepared!

If you need a treat, head to my new blog EcoHappy Style.com where you can find a GIVEAWAY of one of my necklaces. It's super low-entry right now (like 25 entries!) and the drawing is tomorrow, Sunday.

See if you can win! Wouldn't that be a nice treat!

Loretta

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

I love your honesty! I will follow you to your new spot. Earn money where you are being directed. Lots of bloggers are doing it.
Be Blessed!
Warmly,
deb

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Good for you Laura! I've thought for a long long time you should have ads and now more ads on your blog!!! It helps, it really does. Mine isn't bringing in tons of income by any means but I'm at least on my way to contributing to our income. With braces on 3 kids, homeschooling costs, car repairs that need done, and on and on every little bit helps!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

The Lord is going to bless you in more ways that you can imagine. We will get your up and going in no time. Hugs, Marty

Language of Color & Texture said...

I can't wait to click some ads!! and see what else is new on the blog. Just keep up the good work and it will all come back to you like it should.Hugs Girl!!

Jeanette Ann O'Donnell said...

Isn't Marty lovely. I read her blog regularly as I do yours Laura and I wish you all the best in your new pursuit.
I don't know what we would do without prayer. We have a major thing happening in our family at the moment which is really hit us hard. Some days I don't know which way to turn to help us through it.Prayer is a huge comfort. Thank you for sharing xx

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

1 Corinthians 13:13 I hold dear to my heart. Love accepts us unconditionally - cracks in the floor tiles,worn furniture peeling paint and all. Because of your great design sense and good taste, I know that the ads on your blog will will not detract from your work. Good luck with your new endeavour. Warm regards xxx

Debra Oliver said...

of course we're with you Laura!! I remember your ultimate DIY post so well! Some readers, mostly readers, who make negative comments etc. don't realize the amount of time and work it takes to keep a blog rolling, not to mention the money that is needed for projects. When ads first started being used I have to admit, it took a bit to get used to them, but they are such a huge help for so many of us. I don't find them offensive at all and I click on them frequently. Good for Marty, encouraging you!
sending hugs and blessings, you do a great job!

Cindy said...

You can't get rid of me that easily! I have always appreciated your honesty and admire your values! You deserve to benefit from the joy your blog brings to others!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

absolutely beautiful post Laura! Can't wait to see the new look!!

Redhead Sadie said...

Sister's gotta do what a Sister's gotta do. I'm stuck on you like a redheaded burr on your sock, Ma'am! It's all about Love. And I love YOU!

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

I was Adore at first "site", for me!
You were one of the very first blogs that I followed, Laura! I was so honored when you commented on my blog and followed back.
Ad on, darling!
w/L.
PS. I never miss a Sunday post.<3

Sara B said...

I love what you do and appreciate the thought and effort you put into ALL your postings. I could care less if you add ads. That's your personal decision; this is YOUR blog after all. I'm looking forward to what's to come....

SheilaG @ Plum Doodles said...

"Just" another step of faith- God is faithful. A workman is worthy of his wages. :) I'm so glad you are here and I look forward to seeing your new look.

Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

Good for you. I'm so glad you are going to put ads on your blog. Why not when you have such a great blog and so many loyal readers use it to help your family. I bet other opportunities will come your way too. You go girl!

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

I'll be here, Laura, and I'm still praying God's best for you and your family. I, too, have been very hesitant about putting ads on my blog. The designer in me just sees "clutter!" ... but I'd sure like to find a way to make money from my blogging. I certainly don't have your sizable readershp, but I do have faithful readers, and more all the time, so maybe I should reconsider. I hope you do very well!

Terri said...

Thank you for keeping it REAL, Laura. Times are hard for lots of people and that's what blog reading has done for me, made me realize that it's okay to do things on a budget and be honest about not being wealthy. I've found that people really appreciate my honesty as well. Hugs and prayers for you!

Karen said...

I've been enjoying your blog for about 2 years. (quietly) I thought it was time I said, Thank you. You can count on me to continue to follow at your new location. Karen

Lorrie said...

Dear Laura, Of course I'll stick with you. I read your blog because of YOU and your personality. Ads won't make a hill of beans difference. Go, girl.

Auntie Em said...

Oh Laura, your renovations woes seem pretty tame to me. You are talking to a person who had a bathtub sitting in the corner of her kitchen for over a year and pink insulation and plastic for months in both the kitchen and bath room. I now have a painting/cabinet workshop set up in our living room plus it's just become a storage room for bathroom/laundry stuff (which isn't pretty) while we do crackfilling, which means more dust. And through it all we have dealt with health issues, loss of loved ones and a lot of company. (I am never sure why they keep coming back to such a disaster zone!0
But in someways, The DIY keeps us sane. It's something to look forward to, to plan for and keeps our minds off the other things going on.
And I feel so blessed each time I walk into the bathroom and see the progress, each time I open a cabinet door and touch the light switch. I know the determination and hard work that has accomplished so much.
So, a few small ads on a blog? If that is what it takes to help you accomplish your goals, then so be it. As long as you and your family are all OK, everyone out here reading your blog, I am sure will be very OK with it. You inspire so many and ask for so little.
Thank you for all your time and the enjoyment you bring to so many.
{{{hugs}}}

Ral @ARTbyRT Seascapes and Island Life said...

thanks for opening your heart and I pray God's blessings on your new transition. Aloha Ral

Mary Catherine said...

Laura,
So brave of you to put that out there! As a reader of blogs, I completely understand why bloggers have advertisers since they spend more time writing/editing/publishing than the designing they used to do. Bloggers should be compensated for their hard work!

I loved the verses you ended your blog post with...two of my favorites, along with Romans 8:28.

On another note, did you read Cote de Texas's series in the Royal Homes? You would really enjoy it!

black sabeth said...

SO proud of you glenn coco!!!

you go girl!!

PS - the cushions sag because of fat dogs

Jennifer Rieker Franz said...

I usually just lurk but I had to comment today. I would much prefer to see ads on your blog so you can do everything you can to support your family and take care of your home. Of course I want to see all those projects that the ad revenue will allow you to do. I learn so much from your blog and love the reviews of your trips. Please add whatever ads you need to so you can keep posting great posts!

sarah said...

Heck if you can earn a living doing this you have too. I just hope they arent the ones that pop up. You work hard on this blog and should be paid for it. As for all the issues with your house, join the club!! Ha, you should see mine.

Denise said...

Laura, I will most certainly continue to read your blog, ads or no ads. I look forward to your daily posts, and yours is one of the better blogs out there, in my humble opinion. :) I love your combination of decorating, style, travel, and last but not least, faith and family. I also love that you research your subjects, and you seem to be a history buff like me. :)

My impression is that you are a genuine and caring person, and that comes through in your blog posts. I wish you much luck and success with your new venture.

Hugs,

Denise at Forest Manor