Coffee Table Makeover – Restoring an old Country Table to New Life


Coffee Table

We are moving again which for some can be full of stress, and understandably so. However as we have moved a number of times, I am trying to make the most of an opportunity to build some memories into the things which we decorate or home with. Fostering some love for the everyday furniture that we have lugged around with us through all the adventures. We may not be able to say we remember when Levi started walking on that floor, or when Mia scratched her name into a tree (childhood dreams for me, really)… We can say though, remember when Mary came to visit and we sat here at this table and shared a meal, or when we played cards with friends until late in the evening, when we shared meals on our table filled with food our small group had made, including extreme Pinterest ambitious treats like krispy creme burgers. So I don’t want new furniture, I want to treasure the memories that have been built into it’s life, but I would like to give it a new life, an update from the last ten years or so.

Coffee Table Before

We got this coffee table at our home in Cherrybrook, when we needed a second one and we had some space to put it. I found it for free on Gumtree and Shane lovingly went and picked it up. I thought it had beautiful form (plus it was free, hallelujah) and all it needed was a splash of paint. With three small kids and then working full time for both of us, as well as an aversion to sanding on my part, I never got around to painting it. But here we are a few weeks out from moving cities, with time and equipment on my side so I have decided to renovate a lot of the furniture in our house. I want to be able to move in and set up quickly so I can give the kids all they need to settle in to a new area well.

Here is my adorable husband teaching me how to sand, not wearing any safety equipment bless him, don’t copy him, get yourselves a mask and goggles and whatever else you need to work safely.

Sanding Coffee Table

You know how when you have been married a while, you have stories that begin to define a particular characteristic you may or may not have… Shane and I once sanded a window sill upon my insistence, I gave up a quarter of the way through {this may be a generous fraction}, as I HATED it, I laid down in defeat and we never finished it. This is my claim to renovating fame, highly unsuccessful. But we can all have new days and so here is a little progress from the beginning of my project. I was using a 120 grit sandpaper (I am not sure of the proper grit I should have had, I looked it up on the internet and it seemed to work well for this piece, there wasn’t such to lose however).

Sanding Coffee Table

This was all me people! Other than the start Shane made, and using proper equipment I didn’t actually hate it, in fact I kind of like sanding, I have grown.

Coffee Table Sanded

Once I had gone over the whole table with 120 grit sandpaper, I then used a 150 grit to finish it. I did the best I could and wasn’t too worried about the legs.

Coffee Table White Paint

I had originally decided to paint the table white, but after I saw what was underneath all the orange stain I really liked the look and feel of the timber, it was worn and soft and I have a thing for lime wash. Somehow it makes me feel I am in an old village in Tuscany or France. So I shall use the white paint for another project and use our leftover Limewash from the floors to paint the table. This was a big decision. There were many friends involved for support to make this simple call, you know who you are, thank you.

Coffee Table and Darby

So I put on the country music channel, for inspiration and got ready to paint. When as is customary for our faithful Labrador, Darby came to help, or at least lay in the way to get some attention.

Shane was back for another demonstration to show me how to apply the lime wash, love him. Seriously, he is the best at this stuff, so handy.

One Coat Limewash

This was after one coat of lime wash, at this stage I was still completely unsure if we had done the right thing or not, should I have just gone white?

Coffee Table Legs One Coat Limewash

Painting is the fun part.

Coffee Table One Coat LimewashI was still a little unsure about the legs at this stage, they were still browner than I wanted, and I wondered whether I should have sanded with a little more effort here.

Coffee Table Two Coats Limewash

After two coats I was feeling good. Limewashing gave me the white look I wanted to create a soft space, but also the ability to still see the timber that I thought was so beautiful, plus now I feel like I am in a farmhouse in Tuscany, so it’s a win!

Coffee Table Vignette

A little basket filled with some of my favourite things, some old books and I totally love the new table. It was so easy to do, using equipment and materials we already had and so I count this a win on all fronts. I can’t wait to share cheese platters with friends on this table, coffees, card games, board games as well as I’m sure a fair share of spills and homework, piles of paper in transition from one room to another, toy cars that slide their way around looking for the perfect track, lego will be built here and memories will chip and crack away at the table shared with family and friends.

Coffee Table Before and After

Thanks for coming on the journey with me, next stop Dining Table and Chairs.

Lots of Love



Don’t Leave Me


unsplash-logoIvana Cajina

“But you Lord, do not be far from  me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me” Psalm 22:19

I have an image in my mind of this verse, of someone looking back with tenderness at a strong and loving Father and a cry of don’t leave me. A dependance that knows who is with her. Who faces the challenge ahead, who does not retreat, but just pleas for strength, for help to remain, for the Lord himself to stay. Stay with her, stay the path.

Have you ever begged for strength, for aid to come swift to your side. Postured in position to grab the hand of God to allow his strength to steel your spine, to allow his breath to cause you to rise up, to allow his presence to give you voice, to allow his hand to nudge you that little way forward, to allow his gaze to remind you of who you are and to whom you belong. All the while knowing you can face the next if he is with you, if he doesn’t leave, if he remains.

Understanding his strength is not only for you, but within you, his presence that awakens your purpose, your position and your advance. His strength that brings new vision, a new way to see, an awareness of what is and what could be.

But to see with vision is a dangerous calling, for vision is never easy, it does not come cheaply and it requires strength, humility and something beyond yourself. Vision should stir the heart and simultaneously make you weak at the knees. It often finds us both strong and broken as we chart the course. Lifted and kneeling.

It is such an intimate picture of help that is close, come be near me, don’t leave me, help me. How beautiful that we can know that call will be answered, that he will not leave, that he will be close, that he will bring strength. Companionship with the King of Kings.

Lots of Love and Strength for your day

Rachel x 


You are the Theme of my Praise


unsplash-logoRobb Leahy

” From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly: before those who fear you I will fulfil my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him-may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion beings to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him – those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him: future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!” Psalm 22:25-31 NIV

What a beautiful image; you are the theme of my praise. I just want to dwell in those words for a while, to soak up the delight in a God who is so good that He draws forth a theme of praise. All that I have to say that is praiseworthy is about you Lord, all I have to offer is laid at your feet. You are the story of my praise, it is interwoven through my life, all that I have is yours. My song has a story and it is all about you. If I were to write song after song, it would be all about you, that is how good you are, that is how deeply you have loved me, you invade my praise, your stir my heart and my soul to sing, and all the notes declare you as King.

If there were ancient words to declare your mercy they would never fade, we could sing of them over and again and never tire of declaring who you are. If there were new songs to sing, we would never exhaust them all, for your goodness doesn’t wear out from one generation to another you remain steadfast and good. From one story to another, from pain to joy you remain our anthem, the song of our hearts.

Every deliverance, every step you have walked with me, in every moment I can read of your goodness, your faithfulness, your trustworthiness and your help that always comes. You are the mighty one who saves, you can write your love and faithfulness into forever and so the song of the greatest story ever told shall never fade, it will never leave my lips.

It is the living song that you breathe into our souls as you bring rescue and healing, it is the song that proclaims who you are and your powerful deeds, your mighty ways and your soft heart. It is a song to be sung, a declaration to be cried out so that those not yet born would know you. It is our testimony of your grace to the next generation.

May you be the theme of my praise forevermore. May you fill me with new songs that declare how good you have been to me over and again.

For those this may bless, my playlist this week:

Rachel x 

We Have Heard That He Is With You

WE Have Heard that He Is With You “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the  Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.’ This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”

{Zechariah 8:20-23 NIV}

This is one of my favorite images of Scripture. People running towards God and his people, for they had heard of how good he is. For this God, chose to show his love and favor on the people of Israel, caring for them like a tender shepherd, guarding and  guiding them. The nations around them took notice when his people lived out worship to the one who was good to them. It stirred their hearts as they watched a showcase display of God’s love in action, calling to the them to ‘Come and See that The Lord is Good.’

So good in fact, so strong and full of tender loving care, that the people surrounding them, hung on to them, ‘take me with you, let me see your God, let me find him, I can see he is with you’.

What a stunning thought, that God is so good, and he has designed his story that people who don’t yet know him would see his love on display through us, and most perfectly in his son, who declares with all he is and all he has done, ‘Come and see that the Lord is good’.

Love, Grace and the beautiful goodness of God for your day

Rachel x

31 Days of Faith

This is Day 31 of the 31 Days of Faith Series, click to read more x

Light of the World

I am the light of the world“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” {John 8:12 NIV}

What a comfort, the light of the world has come, in him there is no darkness. The darkness runs in fear of the light and the darkness can no longer consume. Like dawn breaking in a new day, or the hope of light in the darkest night. The Savior comes to bring hope, peace and a safe way.

In him the darkness cannot hold. To walk with him is to step into peace and rest and to step out of fear.

The light of the world declares things as they really are, who I really am, who he really is and his very real calling on my life. And there is no fear in that truth, because in his truth there is perfect grace.

Jesus who is the light of the world shows us all of God’s goodness and the way back to the father. He is the one who comes and declares, that he is the way back to God, fulfilling the desire to know who you were created to be, sons and daughters of the King of Kings.

For me walking in this truth, that Jesus is the light of the world has meant that even in the darkest moments, there is one who knows me, one who sees and one who made a way for me, when I couldn’t see the way myself. It has meant understanding who he is and what he has called me to do. To continue to bring light, hope, peace and rest when people feel like hope has run out, to remind them that they are not alone. There is one who sees them, one who knows them and one who loves them, the light of the world who shines a way even in the darkness.

Love, Grace and Hope for your day

Rachel x

31 Days of Faith

This is Day 30 of the 31 Days of Faith Series, click to read more x

My Strong Place

Rock“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” {Psalm 18:2 NIV}

This safe hiding place, a refuge from the coming storm, a quiet and strong place, he not only provides the shelter he is the shelter. He is my rock, my hiding place, where I find safety, strength and saving. In every season this has been true for me.

I love that David, the writer, sings this story, declaring God’s faithful hand over him, in all his days, in the days of running afraid and the days of a King’s strength. Though there were places to go and to hide, true safety was found in his God. Wherever he ran, nowhere was as safe as running into the one who made him, who cared for him, who knows him and loves him. With enemies on all sides, nowhere was stronger than the care of his God. Such peace to run to the arms of the one who made you.

Fear can at times cause me to want to run away, to give up, to lose heart. To consider tomorrow’s concerns before they have yet come to be. God has taught me in those very moments,  to run to him instead. To find strength in his never giving up, never running out love, he has reminded me as the one who holds salvation in his hands, that He is bigger than this. Bigger than what is not yet, bigger than what is and bigger than what could be.

I am found safe in Jesus, his forever saving strength, found safe because there is nothing outside of what he can do. He is bigger than any problem that may or may not come, he is bigger than my greatest need or fear. Because of his forever love for me I can rest and find shelter in him, the one who will never change and remain always the same.

Love, Grace and Hope for your day

Rachel x

31 Days of Faith

This is Day 29 of the 31 Days of Faith Series, click to read more x

To Know

To Know “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” {Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV}

His prayer was that they might know the fullness of the love of God for them. He prayed power for them to be able to hold on and understand, down to the depths of their souls, how big God loves them. Because you can’t just know about this love, to grasp it, to hold and let it take hold of you is unraveling.

To understand this love, to know it, requires power we don’t have, it takes a work of the Spirit to unveil how strong, powerful and forever this love is. And were we to take hold of it, to know it in our bones, it would then fill us and completely transform us. It would shape our life, our thoughts, our relationships, our perspective.

To know that which surpasses knowledge is to know the things of God that seem to make no sense. It is to take hold of the wisdom of the cross, that displays his love most fully as Jesus, the one who sat in the highest place, took himself to the lowest place, that through him, each person to the farthest reaches of humanity would know that God is for them. That there was nothing they could do to remove his love for them, because the saving work of the cross is permanent, forever fixed in order to eternally save any who call on his name.

Then to be filled with the measure of all of Him, is to no longer count my own measure of goodness, but to take hold of the depth of his grace and mercy, to be filled with a rich love for people that he so deeply loves. And he who cannot be measured, will not run out of love for me.

Love, Grace and Strength for your day

Rachel x

31 Days of Faith

This is Day 28 of the 31 Days of Faith Series, click to read more x

The Place Was Shaken

The Place Was Shaken” ‘… enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

{Acts 4:29b-31 NIV}

It is a daring and bold thing to pray. To ask the God of heaven to really work, to turn up and act, a courageous thing to ask the Spirit who breathes life into creation to work in us to bring about His Kingdom work. So humbling to watch Him as he does. The Helper turns up.

Sometimes I wonder at this passage and how the place was shaken. And I realize that sometimes I forget the power and magnitude of the King of Heaven. I can reduce the Spirit to my version of the word helper, and not who he actually is, ‘God, who helps’. God who works and in his grace chooses to work though us, to help us to draw us close and fill us with strength, courage and boldness to do the work of God.

The Spirit who breathes new life into our souls and equips us for the tasks of Heaven. That we might speak of Jesus, the King of Heaven who in power defeated death and lives today, to love with the heart of the Father and bring great blessing to all people, to fight for justice and bring hope to the furthest corners and to understand the very words of God that we might know him more.

And I do want more of Him, to know Him more, to understand who he is and what he has done, to learn over and over how He is the Saving One, the Author of the most spectacular story. I want to learn of his grace and mercy until I understand the depths of what he has done. So that in knowing I would not merely be knowledgeable about Him, but that in the heart of me I would so deeply know my creator, that I would be transformed to be more like him. More loving, more gracious, more merciful, more courageous, a work that cannot be done without this beautiful gift of the Spirit, freely given to whoever would ask.

Love, Grace and more of Him for your day

Rachel x 

31 Days of Faith

This is Day 27 of the 31 Days of Faith Series, click to read more x

Because He Hears Me

Psalm 116“I love the Lord for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” {Psalm 116:1-2 NIV}

He turned up, at a time you would no expect anyone to turn up, or have anyone able to help, when he was all there was left. More than that, he was the one first there and best to help and also the last left, when everyone else was gone. In those moments when he turns up and transforms pain to testimony, when he hears the whisper in the quiet place that no one else hears. A soft word that asks for help, a call for a savior. When the God of heaven shifts his gaze, his ear attentive to your greatest need. In that moment, you really know the relief of his power and goodness.

What a sweet relief it is, to know the help of  Jesus the forever Prince of Peace, to not be left, stranded and alone. What comfort to know that you are seen, known and loved just as you are, whatever you face,  because he loves you, because he is good, you have the ear of the Eternal King.

And I cannot help but love him in those moments. Filled with a forever gratefulness for the way he listens, the way he turns up to rescue, like a light that shines in the darkness, the one who really sees and really hears.  His love and care minister to me, assuring me that he can be trusted, for the one who is faithful and true, I can call on for all my days.

His help does not make me weak but strong. It means that whatever has happened, whatever lays ahead, there is one I can call on and he always listens, ready to bring help, because of him I am never alone. My voice is not lost in a multitude of need and noise, he turns his ear to me, he turns his ear to you. For whatever you face this day, whatever you have faced, the one who orders the stars, he who aligns the planets and causes oceans to roar loves to listen to you, and holds salvation in his wings.

Love, Grace and a still small voice for your day

Rachel x

31 Days of Faith

This is Day 26 of the 31 Days of Faith Series, click to read more x

An Audience Before the King

An Audience Before the King“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the strength of the warrior; the Lord delights on those who fear him,who put their hope in His unfailing love.”

{Psalm 147:8-11 NIV}

It would be easy to assume that the God who covers the earth in clouds and causes grass to grow, may only be interested in Kings and Princes, in Mighty warriors with strong horses and impressive resumes. That is normally how we see power isn’t? The more power someone has, the more impressive you need to be in order to have an audience with them.

It would seem natural to assume then, that to find favor before the God of the universe you may need to be fairly impressive yourself. And yet the God who is sung about in the Psalms changes all the rules of power and favor. God is already for you, he already loves you, in Jesus he became weak that you might become strong. He does not require strength, but he gives it freely.

To find an audience before the King of Kings, simply requires humility, recognizing Him for who He is and what he has done and understanding our need for Him. There is no one like him, he requires nothing, because he has already given everything. He does not have love reserved only for those who may seem to have earned it or deserved it by some ordering of beauty, strength, intelligence or family line, but gives with delight to any who would humbly come, and simply ask.

It can be easy to slip into feeling or behaving like we need to prove ourselves to God, by trying to somehow earn what was freely given. Even ministry can become a set of tasks looking to achieve some form of equilibrium in the relationship between ourselves and the creator, hoping to make a good impression rather than generously living out worship. This beautiful freedom of God declares that we don’t need to try to earn his favor, we already have it, we don’t need to earn his love, it is already given. His delight is in us knowing Him more, seeking after Him, understanding more of who he is that we might understand each other, this world and ourselves in light of his power and grace.

This day, I will not seek to earn his love, I will seek rather to know more of it and find more of Him.

Love and Grace for your day

Rachel x

31 Days of Faith

This is Day 25 of the 31 Days of Faith Series, click to read more x