tony’s desk part II

If you haven’t read my first post about tony’s desk,  please start here-

Now that you are acquainted with Tony’s desk, I want you to share in the excitement of the makeover.

I learned a couple more things about Tony since my first post…

1. I think Tony may or may not have been a bit of a pyromaniac as some of the old knobs were slightly burnt.

2. Tony’s mom loved her some polyurethane.  I’ve never seen such think top coat, ever.

3.  My make-up version of Tony could be much more interesting that the real Tony.  We may never know.  Tony if you ever read my blog.  Please comment and tell us a little about yourself.  Or maybe you’d prefer to stay hidden after the snot exposure…

After Chuck left for New Zealand, I cried.  Then, I realized I needed a project.  There sat Tony’s desk in our garage just waiting for some TLC.

For those of you freaking out about the snot incident and the scent issue, I will assure you the snot is gone as is the scent.  With gloves on, I sanded off those boogies.  Then, I scrubbed the desk down with Thieves household cleaner.  It smells like Christmas, and disinfects better than bleach.  Let me know if you want to buy some, and we can talk.  The rest of you, sleep well.  I am a clean person and this desk is certifiably clean.

I made my own chalk paint.  I actually mixed some with our leftover kitchen paint.  I know very Proverbs 31 of me… Okay resourceful at the very least.

It’s called “Weekend in the County”.  Isn’t that a romantic name for gray?  Well done Lowes.

I add water and plaster of paris to create the chalk paint.  I do use recipes, but find that you have to play with the amounts depending on the consistency of the paint.

Now for the moment you patient people have been waiting for!

This is Tony’s desk the day I found the little treasure in a thrift store and paid ten whole dollars to bring it home with me.   I happened to be driving Chuck’s car that day.  The Lord loves me.



and drum roll please….  This is Tony’s desk now —>



You can still faintly see where Tony carved his name into the desk.  I could of filled it with wood filler, but I feel a little sentimental about this old desk now.

That’s all for today folks.  Let me know what you think (as long as it’s nice and encouraging). 🙂

broken bones



My mom and dad are in the process of selling their house.  My dad is notorious for trying to sneak things into the car as you pull away from their house.  On a few occasions, he has even had the audacity to give away things of mine without my permission. Humph, working on forgiving him for that.  On the other hand, I would call my mom the “sentimental type”.


My dad has been sending me home with small boxes for about the last year and a half. This man is on a mission to de-clutter.


He has snuck some treasures into those boxes.  He doesn’t talk much about his time in the army, but I’ll tell you what, the man learned to pack during his time of service!  It’s some type of Guinness’ world record the amount of stuff he can fit into a small box.


As a result of my father, Mr. De-clutter, and my mother, Sentimental Sharon, I’ve made it back to California with some real treasures as of late.  Seriously, I am talking teeth in envelopes!  Have I mentioned I am the baby of four children?


There may not be many pictures of me.  (It’s more like oh there’s Anna back there in her baby swing in the background.)  A few years back, I couldn’t find my baby album, then I discovered my baby pictures gently shoved into the front of my sisters. My dad compassionately made me a baby album, before my next visit home.

Hey what’s wrong with making a baby album 25 years later?


And don’t you wish you were a fly on the wall when the tree farmer made me a baby album?


I sound bitter, but really I am not.  They loved me fiercely, and most of this is just joking.  My mom was probably trying to hold me just a little longer rather than peeling back the sticky papers of a baby album.


We did a lot of snuggling, and that is worth more than a thousand “baby albums” to me. I logged a lot of hours on the back swing with my dad that he still owns to this day.

{This was us on that swing on my wedding day.}



So, besides the envelopes with hair and teeth, my dad snuck in my cast from when I broke my foot when I was one year old.   {Compassionate people insert you, “ah” here.}


It’s a little pink cast that was in my mom’s nightstand as long as I can remember.  My sweet older brother was carrying me down the stairs after my nap one day, and he missed a step.  You know what happened next.   Little Anna who had just learned how to walk broke all four bones on the top of her little baby foot.


More than a sad story, the cast reminds me that broken things can heal.  I have no long-term effects or even memories of breaking my foot. I am sure I cried crocodile tears and maybe even screamed. They took me to the doctor, and he put that cast on so that my foot would heal.


I am reminded of this verse in Psalm 34, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all”.  There is no situation beyond His redemption.  There is no brokenness, sickness, or pain beyond His reach. He is the Healer.


One touch from Him changes everything.


It is not self-effort that brings healing.  I couldn’t just “walk-off” my broken foot.  I needed to see the physician.  The same goes for us when we experience brokenness.  The longer we hide, the more we push Him away.  He is our solution.  He longs to be close to the broken.  He longs to make all things new.   He longs to make us whole.


Don’t be like Adam and Eve and try to hide from the Creator.  Don’t let shame hold you back for the healing that is in His eyes.


Be real with Him, He can handle it.  I promise.

emerging with the loot

A friend of mine recently reminded me of the story of Jehoshaphat (yes I had to check several times to get that one spelled correctly) in 2 Chronicles 20.

I feel like the story could be an encouragement to a lot of us right now.  I don’t know the whys, and that doesn’t really matter, but it seems that for a lot of people life has been more intense in this last season.  I know we don’t talk a lot about spiritual warfare and I get that.  We don’t want to draw too much attention to the enemy.  Yes, I agree.  I also don’t think that ignoring the fact that there is a battle at hand is the right answer either.

So for those of you who don’t remember the story off hand, I’ll give you the cliff note version. 

Jehoshaphat is king.  He gets news that the Moabites and Ammonites are headed his way.  His first reaction tells a lot about his character.  He calls a fast and people gather from all over Judah to pray.

I think this is a good place to stop for some practical application.  I know that when things come my way the “Christian” thing to do is to pray.  I’ll be honest though.  It’s not always the first place I turn.  Unfortunately, my iPhone can often intervene in the first step.  There’s google, text messages, Facebook, you name it, that can easily keep me from taking my concerns to the Lord.  Maybe it’s because he didn’t have an iPhone, but I doubt it.  He knew where to turn and where the true answers come from.  Dually noted.

Then a prophet gets this word, “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” (2 Chronicles  20:15-17)

Their next step was to go out to meet the armies that where headed their way.  When they got to the overlook, they started worshipping.  (Again, this may or may not be my first reaction when I see an army with weapons approaching me.)

And here is the crazy part for boys of all ages. “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” (2 Chronicles 20:22)

What does it look like when God sends an ambush?!

Well, when they looked out at the armies, all they saw was dead bodies, it said NO ONE had escaped.

So they went out to carry off the plunder.  Get this, there was more stuff (equipment, clothing, and articles of value) that they could carry! They gathered the plunder for 3 days, and there was still more than they could take!

This is a kingdom paradigm.  They went to battle, and came out of the battle with MORE than they took.  They didn’t lose one life.   They didn’t lose one possession.  They walked out of the battle with more than they could even carry.  

I feel like this is for you today friend.  You may be in a battle.  The Lord wants you to know that the battle belongs to Him.  He also wants you to know that if you keep your focus and attention on Him, you can actually walk away from this battle with more than what you carried in.  He always redeems.  He always restores.  He is mighty to save.  He is working all things together for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

I speak over you today that you will walk away from this battle unscathed.  I declare that you will soon be rejoicing in the Lords victory and walking away with your plunder.

To recap:

1. Seek God first for strategy

2. The battle belongs to the Lord

3. Worship (When the light comes, darkness automatically looses it’s power)

4. Anticipate the loot (God is committed to working this out for your good)

Happy Monday!



Contrite. {a God of the broken}

Did you know that contrite means “crushed”?  The prophet Isaiah tells us that God, in his high lofty place is close to the contrite.  One definition says broken into many pieces. 

            God is not afraid of our brokenness. 

            Sometimes people are.

            There are moments when I wish I could transport back to Hebrew culture in Jesus day.  It probably wouldn’t be too long before I’d be ready to return to the modern age, and things like air conditioning, warm showers, and flushing toilets.  Yet there something about Hebrew culture that I long for in our modern society.

            They were okay with brokenness.

            They were okay with grief.

            They didn’t try to push their way through loss.

            They understood that it’s about a process and not perfection.

            In our society today, ESPECIALLY the church it can be all about being okay.  “I’m fine,” we often say, while our heart silently screams another answer.  We tell our children “you’re okay” the moment they crash their bike.  I have to wonder why are we so afraid of not being okay. 

And what does it even mean to “be okay’. 

What are we saying? 

What are we communicating to our hearts? 

Does pull yourself up by your bootstraps really apply here?

I’ll be honest; there is a big fat “guilty” sign over me for this one.  I am fine.  I actually specialize in “fine”.  I pride myself in being steady, reliable, and dependable.

And that right there is where the problem is.  Pride.  I can do it.  I don’t need you.  I don’t want to need you.  Oh wait, what about God?  What kind of gospel am I preaching (to myself)?  It’s the gospel of self-sufficiency.  It’s a gospel that says I’ve got this under control. 

The truth is that’s never been my job.

A few years back I read two books by Andrew Murray, Humility and Absolute Surrender.  {READ THEM}  His books always have a way of convicting me into the place of freedom.  It’s all about His sufficiency.  A gospel about my sufficiency is really no gospel at all.  Apart from Him, I am completely and utterly insufficient, and God is completely okay with that. 

He’s been reminding me lately that He’s secure.  He doesn’t mind spending time with those who are broken into pieces.  In fact, He takes delight in it.  He is the God of redemption, who isn’t afraid of our lack.  He has a solution for every problem.  He has healing for every disease.  He has redemption for everything that’s been stolen.  He has restoration for everything that’s fallen apart; in fact it’s His specialty.

Don’t try to hide your brokenness and pain.  Be honest with it.  Tell the Lord.  Let Him heal the deep places of your soul.  He cares about your heart.  You are worth it.  He wants to make you whole.

Part II coming… {loving the broken}

breakdowns, bolongo bay, and board shorts (a tale from year one)

We got married on a Saturday at 2pm, and it was perfect.  Our guests may disagree saying that it was quite chilly under the tent we rented, but for us it was just right.  🙂

Our honeymoon was all booked and we had a 6am flight the next day to St. Thomas.  If I was giving advice, then right about here I’d maybe suggest to not do this, but since I am not, moving right along.

We were late for our 6am flight, I know shocking.

We flew an airline we’d never flown before, and they warned us our luggage may not make it.  When we got to Fort Lauderdale, Chuck went to check on our luggage status.  He was told his bag made it but not mine.  When he told me, I broke down.  I was completely heart broken that I was about to go on my honeymoon without my stuff.  Let’s just say this, I am a girl who needs her 8 hours of sleep, and 6am flights don’t often allow for that.  That on top of all the emotions and adrenaline of the previous day lead to quite the melt-down.

The airport staff tried to help us, and we got on our next flight.

We arrived to a bit of a surprise.

My bag was there.

However, Chuck’s was not.

He handled this MUCH better than I did.  Thank God.  We got to our resort and soon after headed out to the beach.  While I laid in the sun, he ventured off to find a swimsuit.

He came back, and I turned around to find my new husband wearing size large, plaid, board shorts with “bolongo bay” on the hem.

I laughed, and then thanked God that it wasn’t my suitcase.

Ill fitting swimsuits are not quite as funny when you are a girl.


tony’s desk (a tale from year one)

When I first met Chuck Maher, I knew one thing, Chuck Maher could make me laugh.  He came over with a group of friends, and he made me laugh harder than I had in a long time.

Was it love at first sight for us?  No.  I used to tell my roommates they should date him, because I loved when he was around.  They said, “umm, why don’t you date him?”.  To which I responded, “because I am too tall”.  We still laugh about it to this day, considering I am only 1/4 inch taller than my old roommate.

Ya’ll I was taller in my head than in real life okay.

Anyway, all things worked together for our good, and to our surprise and delight here we are now married.  I could elaborate more on this but nah, I just wanted to share a glimpse into our life from year one of marriage…  I’ll try to spare you the lessons, since plenty of those articles are already floating around Facebook, and I am not sure my 16 months of marriage gives me license for that. 😉

Chuck had been wanting a desk for awhile.  I happened to be in a nearby town and at a thrift store.  I saw a cute wooden desk with lots of drawers.  We made an agreement in week one of our marriage to try to avoid particle board, even if that meant buying second hand REAL wood.  (Our particle board TV stand didn’t do so well, when we had a slight flood upon returning from our honeymoon)

How much?

Ten dollars.


I some random guy at the thrift store loaded it in the car for me, and home I went.  I was proud to show Chuck his “new” desk.  We noticed that a previous owner “TONY” had engraved his name on the top.

Soon he was off in the garage cleaning the desk.  He emerged a few moments later and said, “babe, Tony’s been wiping his snot on the bottom of that desk”.  In all honesty, I thought he was probably being a little dramatic.

Then, I looked at the bottom of the desk and almost lost my lunch.  My old roommate stopped by and had the same reaction.

So Tony’s desk has sat in our garage for a year.  We used it as a stand while painting our kitchen cabinets.  A couple weeks ago, I went out with gloves on and sand paper in hand, and I bravely sanded that snot right off the desk.  After my hard labor, Chuck walked out and said it kinda smells, to which I couldn’t deny.

Tony’s desk rejected again.

Back to our garage.

Ten dollars and worth every penny for all the times it has made us laugh.

Oh Tony, you have know idea how your legacy lives on.

And Chuck Maher, oh how you make me laugh. 🙂



for an update on Tony’s desk go here —>