2010 Year In Review:: Favorite Post Of The Year

Can you believe that there are less than two weeks left on 2010??!! Where in the world did the time go?! What a crazy ride this year has been.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be posting “2010 Year In Review” type of things–favorite post of the year, favorite DIY project of the year, favorite room makeover of the year, etc.

Today I’m starting with my favorite post of the year, and interestingly, it didn’t really have anything to do with interior decorating! So here it is…

“Making Do” On A Very Tight Budget
(And Learning To Have A Thankful Heart)

Original post date: February 19, 2010

Today’s blog post is a bit different from most. Because I’m a visual person (and this is an interior decorating blog) I generally like to fill blog posts with lots of pictures. But not today. Today I just want to write what’s on my heart.

It’s no secret that I’m doing my condo remodel/decorating on a very tight budget. And while some people decorate on a tight budget simply because they enjoy it, that’s not quite the case with me. Oh sure, I’ve come to love hunting for bargains, but the fact is, I started doing this out of necessity.

The past 14 months have been some of the hardest of my life. But interestingly, they’ve also been some of the most wonderful. It’s as if Charles Dickens’ classic words “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” were written specifically as a narrative for the last year in our lives.

It has been a year filled with joblessness and medical problems for Matt, a year of me learning how to truly be a “helpmate” for my husband (which does NOT come naturally for me), and a year of truly…TRULY…learning to rely on God to meet our needs. It has been difficult, yet wonderful…agonizing, yet joyful…painful, yet extraordinary.

In the beginning, it got to me more than just a little bit. I’d work with clients who seemingly had endless piles of cash to spend on their homes, and then I’d look in my wallet and see that I had MAYBE $20 to “splurge” on something for my own home. Then, inevitably, a very tearful pity party would ensue.

But in the past few months, I’ve really tried to focus more on the positive. I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have (rather than being frustrated with what I don’t have). I’m thankful that God has given me the creativity, the know-how, and the desire to make and create things myself (rather than having to rely on others to do things for me). I’m thankful that I have a husband who, even though he can’t help me with the condo because of his physical disabilities, is absolutely a gift from God–my biggest cheerleader, my biggest supporter, my biggest encourager. I’m thankful that Matt and I don’t have even one single credit card, and we pay for everything in cash as we go along.

I could go on and on, but the point is that I’m just THANKFUL.

I look at my little condo today, and see how the remodel is progressing, and it just makes my heart sing. Sure, it’s taken a lot longer than I had hoped or had ever imagined, but I love knowing that the progress was done by my hands, the design came from my imagination, and that everything I’ve purchased for my condo belongs to us, and not a bank or credit card company.

Every time I’m scouring the stores for treasures, and I find a bargain that would be perfect for my condo, I feel like it’s a little gift from God–my wonderfully perfect Heavenly Father who loves to give gifts to his children even more than my own father loved to surprise me with little gifts that would make my eyes light up. Every time I come across one of these “gifts”, I can just picture God in my mind, with a glint in his eye and a smile on his face, because he knows he’s just made his little girl’s eyes light up.

So why am I telling you this?

Because I know times are tough right now for many people. I know there may be some of you who read this blog and think to yourself, “Wow, it must be nice to have the money to remodel. I wish I had that.” Believe me, I know how that feels. It can be discouraging, and the last thing I want people to feel when reading my blog is discouragement.

But I also want to encourage you to be thankful. No matter where you are in life right now–whether you are the owner of a huge corporation with piles of money in the bank at your disposal, or whether you’re struggling with unemployment and wondering how you’re going to pay next month’s mortgage or rent, or whether you’re some place in between–a thankful heart is a powerful thing in life.

This isn’t a lesson I have completely mastered. It’s a lesson I’m still learning day by day.

Funny story: I was sitting here writing this blog post, just so blessed by God’s goodness and faithfulness, with tears in my eyes. Matt looked up at me and said, “Kristi, are you crying!?” I said, “Yes, I’m writing my blog post for today.” He responded (with a sympathetic tone in his voice), “Oh, what happened? Did a lampshade die?” 😀 I’m thankful that I have a husband who makes me laugh…continually…every day.

So is it strange that my favorite post of the year, on a blog called Addicted 2 Decorating, really didn’t have anything to do with decorating? 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll post my favorite furniture before and after that I did this year.

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  1. I'm new to your blog so I didn't see it the first. Thanks for sharing it again. May you be blessed beyond measure this holiday season.

  2. Kristi, this is a post many of us needed to read. We are always looking at those who have more than us and many times forget to be thankful for what we have. There are many people out there that don't have nearly as much and for those that have more than we do, who is to say that their lives are better? Thank you for sharing!

  3. Aloha Kristi~ Like Tee, I'm new to your blog so I didn't see this post the first time around. Thanks very much for the redux and the glimpse into your lovely heart and soul. Thanks, too, for sharing your FABU decorating ideas. You're VERY talented! Happy Holidays to you and yours… ~Debi

  4. I am touched by this and truly grateful to God for His many blessings. We may not have the cash just yet but He has given us all we need to live and sometimes we just need to ask Him to open our eyes. This year has been tough but I have learnt to be creative with my hands and I am truly amazed that I had all this in me. Thanks for this blog. It is truly my favorite.

  5. I remember a quote I found 20 years ago that stated how not to feel sorrow about what's been lost, but to feel blessed in what we have.

    Thank you for reposting this beautiful blog.

  6. wow!sound interesting,i also want to have a review for the past posts of this year,cause all of that post is really interesting and very helpful and full of information.this post "Making Do" On A Very Tight Budget
    (And Learning To Have A Thankful Heart)" is one of my favorite post,cause it really helps me about budgeting.thanks for sharing this.happy new year,looking forward to check fresh post for the coming year!

  7. Aloha Kristi~ Like Tee, I'm new to your blog so I didn't see this post the first time around. Thanks very much for the redux and the glimpse into your lovely heart and soul. Thanks, too, for sharing your FABU decorating ideas. You're VERY talented! Happy Holidays to you and yours… ~Debi