Okay, so lately, I’ve been thinking alot about how much I appreciate my home. Tonite the inspiration challenge was to be inspired by your home state, either where you grew up or where you live now, and this was easy for me, I had to say, I am inspired by where I live now. Keith and I moved to Ohio almost 4 years ago. We lived in New York just north of Manhatten for 23 years and we were stateside missionaries for the Africa Inland Mission. It was a wonderful place to raise our family, and a wonderful place to call home. We made friendships there that are so deep, I fear we will never get to that same level with anyone here in Ohio. But when we left, it was time to leave. We were ready to buy a home and settle down, and to pray other members of our family would migrate to Ohio with us and the Biggs family. So we went house hunting one day in May 4 years ago….and I fell head over heals in love
with the very first house we looked at. The real estate agent was having a hard time getting the lock box open, and I always say, This house had me on the porch. The lovely porch swing, pretty flowers all around the front and sides of the yard, and Melissa sent us to tour the back yard while she figured out the lock box. One look at the large deck, shaded back yard, fence for Luca, and shut up! A hot tub…..I was G-O-N-E!!! My husband on the other hand was not so easily persuaded. He said, “Honey the house is 100 years old!! Think about it!!” and I said, “Look at it this way, some of the junk they throw together these days would never MAKE it 100 years!!” (good answer, huh?) To make a long story short, about 35 houses and one month later, we put an offer on my
dream house….and the good Lord BLESSED us with the house of my DREAMS!! Is it huge? No….but it’s almost twice the size of the apartment we raised 4 kids in…..but is it the perfect size for us? YES!! And does it have an awesome stamp room? YES!! What else matters??? All I know is that for 23 years, not owning our own home was one of the sacrifices we felt God was asking us to make and for that time, it was good and right and perfect. We just never thought God would say that the time was now for us to own a home. So some folks probably take their homes for granted, but Keith and I do not. We love this big white house with the sweet front porch and lazy porch swing…..and flowers all around. The former owners loved flowers and obviously knew a lot more about how to plant so they bloom all spring and summer then we do. The flowers start in April and bloom till September!
So for me, it was easy to pick which home to take my inspiration from. We have a detached garage with an alley behind it. Everyday on my way to work, I take the long way around the house and block so I can drive by the front of my house and just breathe a silent prayer every morning that says Thank you LORD for giving me the desire of my heart…..Thank you for blessing me with this beautiful white house, that I love with all my heart. So many times when I walk thru my door at night, I just feel like this house reaches out and hugs me and says WELCOME HOME. I hope you have enjoyed these illustrations along the way…..emboss resist, black magic and the first one is watercolored using pads and brush. This final card is the card
I made for the inspiration challenge tonite. Right now all along the rock garden in my front yard there are beautiful flowers, some that I don’t even know the name of….but they sing to me all day long. The ones out right now are beautiful hues of pinks and purples. I think someone could offer me a mansion, and I would say no, I will keep the house God gave me….the white house with the lazy front porch swing and the flowers all around it. Since the time we moved in, others of our kids have moved this way…… God is good, and He really does delight in giving us what we want, deep down in our hearts. I will always take the long way around, and gaze at my pretty house and breathe my prayer of gratitude…..this much I know!! Until next time, remember to count your blessings!!

What do you think?

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  • Carol Dee
    April 10, 2010

    In counting my blessings, I count YOU! Karen, you are so wonderful at reminding us there is much to be thankful for and that God IS GOOD. Bless you, Hugs…

  • lynnor aka icensheba on scs
    April 10, 2010

    Karen, I just loved reading your story about how you found your perfect home! I grew up in Ohio in a home that was built in the 1860s and can just picture the lovely flowers and big old porch. I live in Florida now, and my husband met with some men just yesterday to get a big porch built onto our house…it's been my dream for a long time, and it is finally going to become a reality!! We just have to patient and wait for God to give us the things he wants for us in His time, don't we? Sometimes it's really hard to be patient! Loved the story and loved the cards…the one with the blue flowers on the dark background is probably my fave, though every one is just beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Betty Wright
    April 10, 2010

    Goodness! What a stunning collection of cards, Karen! WOW GORGEOUS designs and detailing! Beautifully done!

  • The Other Patti Sue
    April 10, 2010

    What a beautiful story! I think if we look we can see God's blessing everyday! Your cards are as beautiful as your story!

  • Edna Morrisedie
    April 10, 2010

    These are awesome Karen, fabulous use of colour in various ways across this little set of eye candy… loved your story too, nothing like having your own home!

  • Mary Marsh
    April 11, 2010

    I loved reading your story karen and looking at all the beautiful cards as I read. I will be interested to find out more about your missionary work. I have done several short term trips to Mexico.

  • Francie G.
    April 11, 2010

    Thank you for sharing your story! It is very touching and hopefully will help me not take so many things for granted! Beautifull creations, Karen!

  • Julia Aston
    April 11, 2010

    What a great bunch of cards Karen! love the colors and designs on them all! and what a wonderful story about your wonderful house!

  • Vicki Dutcher
    April 11, 2010

    First of all I am glad you are blogging again… [I was checking on you] 2nd – Your cards are all stunning..WOW WOW & WOW 3rd – you realize after your house story we all want to see WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE~~ can you share a picture – I would love to see a 100 yr old home!

  • Peggy
    April 11, 2010

    What a gorgeous collection of cards!! I am sitting down right now to try my hand at the black magic technique. I know you make it look easy, but we will see!
    Love your house story. Like you, I will drive around the block to stare at my house in amazement and thankful that it is mine.

  • Bonnie McLain
    April 11, 2010

    Well it is about time you got back to the galleries.. missed you. This card is a Karen card… beautiful and full of lovely flowers.. Purple being one of my very favorite colors I love this… Great card Karen… I don’t see that Purple card here.. but all these are great too… new to my eyes except one… Love them all..The Butterfly really makes my heart sing though… I love it.. greatly love the colors and the butterflies… now you are going to have to make more cards to keep this blog fed.. LOL… Love the story about your new Home… will tell you mine someday along the path… Where in NY did you live… we lived in Tri-state area of NJ… NY and Pa… in Sussex county NJ… for 32 years.. glad we are out of there to say the least… we also left a life time of friends… but are still in touch with the ones that count in our life… Like all things good friends you never ever get rid of at all..

    Glad you are enjoying and loving your new home… these cards .. all of our cards show a lot of love and life pouring out of them… that is for sure.. Love, Light and Peace… Bonnie

  • Wanda Cullen
    April 11, 2010

    Karen, your post was such an uplifting sharing of your corner of the world…thanks! I enjoyed your GORGEOUS cards as well as the story of your housing journey! I, too, am enjoying all the blooming things right now…just brought in a large bouquet of lilacs and they smell heavenly! Blessings to you!

  • jdmommy - Anne Harmon
    April 11, 2010

    Your cards are alaways beautiful, Karen!! I love it when you post a lot..but they are overwhelming to see in a group!!! So much to see!! Ohio is fab for sure……I grew up in Cinci!!! TFS your wonderful creations, GF!!

  • Karen in MN
    April 17, 2010

    …wonderful…warm…WOW! I'm originally from OH and can relate…I love your cards, especially your use of such glorious color…I have to know how you get such depth and vibrancy in your color…thanks for sharing…Karen

  • Cathleen
    April 17, 2010

    Oh Wow Karen, what a fantastic array of cards, I just love all of your floral cards, the colors and designs on each card is beautiful!

  • Kim
    April 29, 2010

    Karen this was such an inspiring story for me!! We've had our house up on the market for 9 months and while I adore our first home, we'd like to grow our family of 4 to 5, so we thought with our little home it might be worth a try to sell. We've had such mixed emotions about selling and with one offer that we rec'd, I actually cried and told hubby I didn't think I could do it (it didn't work out!) We pray daily for an 'answer' and maybe our answer is to be content. We have a small, but beautiful home and maybe He is telling us this IS the home of our dreams!! (We just need to add that porch for my 2 white wicker rockers!!) We will be patient (its so hard though sometimes) and in His timing we will know our answer.. Thank you not only for always inspiring me with your gorgeous cards, but inspiring me with your words. Makes me sit back and think!! Thank you Karen!! (Sorry for the babble)

  • America
    April 29, 2010

    FABULOUS CARDS, each is stunning, vibrant and elegant. 🙂

  • Dawn B.
    April 29, 2010

    Karen this is the first time I have visited your blog and boy what a wonderful post.. I love reading about your first home.. The houses here all have big porches..I just love an older home. They have so much character..
    As always I love your flowers..They are gorgeous..

  • Denise
    May 1, 2010

    You have been awarded the Sunshine Award for showing what Stampin' Up's! Statement of the Heart truly is…
    I am passing along this award and thought of you and how much you inspire others. So here’s to you and all that you do!!
    See my blogpost at: http://denisekasanda.blogspot.com
    Have a wonderful day!!
    Denise Kasanda

  • Diana
    May 14, 2010

    Beatiful work I would love to know what stmps you used here PLeeeeeeeeeeease ..
    thanks diana