adventures when ruckels renovate: His glory in our story

if you haven't heard the news, we are renovating a foreclosure. you can see how crazy we truly are by checking out the before pics here.

i know i keep joking about how crazy you all must think we are for this undertaking, but can i just say, what is one man's crazy is another man's call. here's the deal, i want to share how awesome God has been in this process & also want to encourage you today. this is by no means an outlet to brag about what The Lord has chosen us responsible for, but what i want is to show you how His faithfulness spans time...His time,

when it comes to where our family will live, it's always been in God's hands. what i mean by that is, that's the nice way of saying that we've trusted & waited...and waited & trusted. every house we've lived in has had a story of God's crazy miraculous timing & plan. we've had houses pulled off the market for us, we've had offers rejected, we've had shortened timelines, extended timelines & favor.  if you want details on those adventures, check out these stories.

the purchasing of this house seemed quick to some, but honestly it is a dream that has been brewing in our hearts since we got to Florida 3 years ago. there were so many small details that had to line up for us to even find this house, let alone buy it. like the fact that my parents came to live with us just last year & before then we would never have needed a house this large. or the fact that it is a fixer-upper. now i love HGTV as much as the next girl, but i know those houses don't find that kind of beauty during a commercial break. over time, the desire to have a home to make my own has grown {and so have my children}. still, when reality started to set in about the amount of work on this house, my doubts began to grow bigger.

then The Lord reminded me that He had set this house apart FOR US by opening my eyes to some things in the natural...

like how it resembled our sweet little house in VA...the single dormer & the right side extends


the molding in the living room being the same as the built-ins in  house VA...the one on the top.

and this green color that showed up under all the wallpaper & trim, that was the same color that was in our first home  & then we painted our old living room the same.

and here's the kicker...the roof got replaced {thats the new roof in the top pic} & the septic tank is getting fixed...and we aren't paying for either.!! those were 2 high cost items that The Lord took off of our plate and eased my anxious heart of the amount of work. now if you asked my dear husband who is caring the burden of doing the majority of labor {after he is done with his workday}, he may answer you differently.

as a woman it's hard to not know where to make your "nest". trust me, the nesting instinct is real! in the time you may be feeling in limbo & yearning for the next step or place, refocus that yearning towards the One who is ALWAYS faithful. seek Him & what He has for you where you are, not a pinterest perfect house. i have learned to not only live with what i've got, but to enjoy & be thankful for it.

nothing that i have is mine.

it's all been a gift given to me & i will steward what i have, for as long as i have it. you give honor where honor is due, and that is how we honor The Lord. that is how you find favor in His eyes.


the adventure when ruckels renovate: before pics

so i'm back...
life has changed...a lot, but let's just start with whats happening now...

we've moved here, there & everywhere. it's been since 2011 that we've owned a home but that's all changing. we are putting down some roots! we have a house folks!

we bought a foreclosure via the site hubzu. it was...a process to say the least. we didn't have the smoothest experience, but it also wasn't the worst according to horror stories we read. {i'll share more on that experience later.}

here's the deal: we've got matt & i, the 4 boys, my parents + 2 dogs to fit in a house. we have been searching for a property to buy since we moved to florida almost 3 years ago. but the timing, finances, and perfect house just weren't lining up, including getting beaten to an offer on the house we thought was gonna be the dream house. we expanded the search to include a small portion of the next town and there it was in all it's abandoned, run-down glory.

she fit the budget, so we went to take a gander & thats when we all went into varying forms of shock. there was excitement, awe, amazement...and mold. yep, you read it right, MOLD! in fact, almost an entire ceiling of a room was on the floor. the carpet and some of the rafters were growing mold. despite the mold, the house could be an amazingly perfect fit. literally it had all the things on our must-have list & a lot on the dream list as well. even the boys got their wishlist items which included: stairs & a pool.

we sat on it. we prayed about it. we did our research & read reviews. we stalked the auction site like y2k was about to happen. and then we did this weekly for a month before we finally won the auction & set the ball in motion to close. and close we did! we closed on the house december 29, 2014 & set straight to work!

don't worry! before all the work began, we snapped plenty of before pics. the ones below are just a general overview of each room of the house {from the appraisal}. i've got other pics to post as we go room by room.

now for your viewing pleasure, i present our house on Forest Rd...

the front view. i think the middle shot is her best side.

 the rear view. and for reference, yard on 1 side of MIL suite & pool on the other.
 top 2 pics are of the master/office combo. it's all one big room connected with wooden accordion doors. i know you're jealous, but stop. i'll send them your way when i take them out. 

middle right: that's side A of the beast of a fireplace
bottom row: side B of the beast. it's 2 fireplaces, not the see-through kind.
 and bathrooms. there are 6 of them. all have wallpaper.
 not one has a double sink...and only 2 currently have a sink at all. 
 here is where there was once a kitchen. 
top right: former garage turned utility room.
middle: mother-in-law living room...aka MOLD & bedroom
bottom: boys bedrooms upstairs
 top: these look like 2 rooms but really, is just one giant one split by a weird wall
middle right: florida room
here's a generalized floor plan to help get your bearings.

see! told ya she's perfect! never in my life did i think i would live in, let alone own, a house this large. but i will share all the God ways that made it happen in another post soon. 
for now, just be relieved that we know we now classify as "your-crazy-friends". 
but you know what i say...life is always adventure! come join in on the fun! 

{yes i will slowly be resurrecting this old blog...hopefully updating/beautifying it too}


adventures in 2nd law of twins

so the tone of this space has been a little unintentionally heavy lately...good but heavy.
so i'm gonna lighten things up a bit.

i previously wrote this post on the 1st law of twins. so this is my follow up & addition to.

while i was away MIA this summer tending to my boys...it was mainly because i was experiencing what i call the 2nd law of twins. what is it you ask, let me share.

2nd Law of Twins states:
you cannot have one twin without the other. 
especially if pertaining to, but not exclusively limited to,
A. if there is a mess to make
B. a lap to be sat upon

and because pictures are worth 1000 words, please review the following as proof in defining this law.
disclaimer: no twins were hurt in or during any of these events

y'all these were just pictures i snapped in a 2 month time period. when i said this summer was busy taking care of my fam...now you understand i was just cleaning up the trail these 2 left behind.

these 2 have gotten in more trouble than my older 2 ever did at this age.
some may call it teamwork...
but in our house we call it the second law of twins.


it's not about me...except for when it is pt. 2

matt & i had the privilege of attending a live Love & Respect Marriage Conference at our church this past weekend. and no we aren't having marital problems. Marriage conferences are meant for more than just healing the broken relationships. we had read the book during premarital counseling and this was a great refresher course. because while 7 years isn't an exorbitant amount of time, its just enough to think that maintaining the status quo is enough. but i don't want just enough out of life or my marriage.

these are the basic sections they spoke about:

  • we were created male & female, equal but different. and different doesn't mean wrong.
  • the crazy cycle: without love she reacts without respect. without respect he reacts without love. 
  • the energizing cycle: his love motivates her respect. her respect motivates his love.
  • the rewarded cycle: his love regardless of her respect. her respect regardless of his love.

like i said, it's one of those "back to the basics" kinda deals. and i find that we all need those every once in a while because when we revisit them, there's always a new a-ha! moment. and while dr. eggerich had lots of insightful things to share on loving or respecting your spouse, my eyes were definitely opened in a new way, to my sons. you see i'm surrounded by males...out numbered 5:1. so it suddenly clicked that this respect thing is just about loving my husband, it's also about loving my boys.

we even got a date & a night away with friends.
while i think there definitely different ways to show love & respect {the 5 love languages}, i think that it still just boils down to how we were created, male & female. when teaching, correcting or discipling my boys, i need to make sure they feel respected so that they receive it. i want my boys to grow up feeling honored & knowing how to love. because one day they will find they actually like little girls and then they'll grow up & marry one. i get that there will be crazy & over dramatic girls that will come {& hopefully go}, but my hope is that their standards are so that they know someone who can & does respect them. ya following me?!

our marriage & families are our original communities. it's definitely a time in dealing/creating community that starts with you. it requires me to be intentional here at home & in my marriage in order to be role models for our boys. the fruits of {the labor of} my marriage may not be reaped until much later, but when they are, it'll so be worth it. to have sons who know how to love & to have daughters {in-law} that respect my boys. because as a momma, isn't that one of our biggest goals in life?

how are you respecting your husband & sons?

DWC worship staff & wives.
i fully realize this is what my future family pictures could look like.


it's not about me pt.1

it seems as of late i keep hearing the message "it's not about me." and while part of me says "i get it. i get it!" but He keeps sharing it, so obviously i'm missing something...missing the bigger picture here. when we are self focused we can't see what God is doing around us. and when we can't see what He is doing around us, we don't know how to fall in line with what He is calling of us where we are.

it's like when we go to get an eye exam. for those of you who have perfect vision, let me explain what happens.
the doctor places varying prescription lenses over your eyes asking you to tell them when it's perfectly clear. and while with some you can't see anything but dark blobs, others allow you to see some shapes...they would allow you to function to some degree. but once that perfect prescription lens hits your eye, everything makes sense. it goes from being able to just see the outlines & shapes to being able to make sense of what those things are & how to continue on.

i think that is what God is trying to tell us. when we focus on where we are, we have limited vision.
if you focus on yourself or your personal struggles or how YOU are going to take care of something, it's like walking around with glasses that are just good enough, but still make you squint. you can function just fine. and we function that way because we don't know that there is something better for us.

but the Good News is that He does have something better for us.

i remember when my best friend got her first pair of eye glasses as a child. {well, maybe not the exact moment like she does, but i've heard her recall that day often.} and how when she put them on, she realized that trees were actually full of leaves and didn't just look like the lollipop trees we drew in elementary art class. she could see & her clear sight brought her better understanding. see how that works? clearer vision brings understanding to where you are. afterall, isn't that what you are trying to figure out?

i realize that this is one of those simple ideas that comes with lots of layers. so stay tuned for more...

but today what are you so focused on that you limits your vision of greater things?
instead of throwing yourself a pity party or trying to get yourself out of a fix, stop. focus on pouring life & love into someone else today. and wait to see how God restores your vision & understanding.


an update on my scare with breast cancer + a winner

if you've been around at all during the past year, you may know of my breast cancer scare.
over the past 11 months i have had 4 mammograms, 2 biopsies, 1 surgery & lots of doctor appointments. and in the end, it wasn't even breast cancer.

in late august i had the 2 masses removed. 1 because it was...well, pre-cancerous. and the other was just large. while it was the first time i'd undergone surgery {besides the c-section with the twins}, it all went well. and in the end, the masses were still benign. thank you Jesus!

and while i'm cancer free...
my heart goes out to those who have to endure so much more.
chemo. sickness. shaved heads. wigs. fear. shots. lots of doctors. multiple surgeries. headaches.

at this moment in life, i know 3 women that are fighting with all they have to beat this ugly disease. y'all, 3 women that are directly connected to me...connected so that i can help carry that burden for them. and that burden is heavy. {even though it was only a day, i know it's weight!} and the only way i made it through was on the powerful prayer of others. i pray that their hearts are filled with peace & grace. that they feel & see that God has a larger story in play. and that He might be glorified in & through them.

today as a part of SheReadsTruth {an online devotional community}, we started the book of Phillipians. and it starts with a bang! Paul being held prisoner & yet pouring his heart out to encourage others. that's just powerful. if Paul can love despite his chains {both physically & spiritually} we can too. but here's the kicker, in verse 9 it says that we can love well despite our chains, but we can love MUCH if we have a kingdom focus instead of a self focus. so let love flourish by taking your eyes off your circumstances & focus on God's bigger story!

who commented on my instagram feed due to technical difficulties here,
earrings are her favorite go to piece of jewelry. 
congrats jen! 
you have 24hrs to contact me with your address so i can send you your new ring!


everyone deserves some sparkle + a giveaway!

as i mentioned in this spring, i joined Stella & Dot

and i've been loving it and all it has to offer me!
awesome company. awesome product. awesome community. awesome opportunity.
{and i'd say awesome again, but it might start to lose it's sense of meaning.}

as a stay at home mom, it's totally easy to get lost in the non-glamourous life of dishes, diapers & making dinner. but that doesn't mean that we have to dress the non-glamorous part!
i have a pretty straight forward & versatile wardrobe.
and the easiest way to mix up any outfit is with accessories.

i wore this tank, skinny jeans, colored sandals {remember i live in florida} & some bangles to a school carnival & Chickfila last friday night. glamourous life, i know!

i think we all need a little something pretty to put on with our daily uniform of jeans & t-shirts. 
if you haven't worn anything besides your wedding rings in a while, go dig those baubles outta your drawers & give it a try. 
seriously, you'll be amazed at what it does to your outlook on the day!

nothing pretty to wear you say?! well THAT i can help you with!

 i'm offering my 1st giveaway on this blog!
and i'm giving away this beauty...

silver & natural labradorite stone. adjustable band fits size 5-9. lead & nickel free.
and that's my little sister showing off her ring. isn't she cute?!


Giveaway is open from Friday, Oct. 19 thru Sunday, Oct. 21.
please leave a comment below for each entry
all entries will be numbered and a random winner will be announced on monday
the winner will have 24hrs to contact me to claim prize.

so let's get down to it...here's how to enter:

1.Answer this question...
when it comes to jewelry, what do you wear most often:
earrings, necklaces, bracelets or rings? {1 entry}
2. follow this blog via Google Friend Connect {1 entry}
3. become a fan of Adventures with 4 under 4 on Facebook {1 entry}
4. follow @kristiruckel on twitter {1 entry}

good luck to all!


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