When It Just Fits

You know that moment when the stars align, you’re in the right place at the right time, and something seems to fall into place so easily that you stand back and say…this was meant for me?

Do you also know that moment when the stars align, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, and something seems to randomly befall you making you stand back and say…why did this happen to me?

I have been the person standing there asking both of those questions in my life, as I am sure many of you have.  This could be my age, or the fact that my boys seem to be growing at an unprecedented rate causing major reflection on my part, but I’ve been contemplating another question for a while, How did I get here?

Now, here is not a bad place, in fact it is a really good place, but it seems as though I could drop a marker at any point in my life and trace the steps to the destination.  Every moment, every experience, every heartache, every job, every struggle, every joyful revelation, and even every math class has brought me to this moment right now.

Whoever thought I would really use that math class?  I guess it really wasn’t a waste of time.

As I carefully cut each of these pieces and fit them into the pattern I began to really think about how He, in his infinite wisdom, has been shaping me all these years as His own piece of artwork.

( I know this is not a religious blog, and I promise I’m all about home decor, but I’ve challenged myself to share more of “me” around here.)

I began to think about the evidence of God’s hands in my life…

Sitting next to Claudette at lunch, who ate egg salad sandwiches with her mouth open while talking to me every day my entire 2nd grade school year, taught me I can choose to be kind in almost any situation.

Shining the flashlight at night into the rafters of the barn while my brother shot at barn swallows blowing holes in the roof, taught me asking for forgiveness may make your heart feel heavy in the moment but will always lead to a lighter heart later.

Moving five times during my school years taught me that I can make a friend any time, anywhere.  If you ever see me somewhere, come sit by me because I’ll talk to you. 🙂

Deciding I needed an all over curly perm my freshman year in high school taught me to have the kind of patience it takes to watch grass grow (or hair).

Stepping out of bounds during my floor exercise routine at the state gymnastics finals (known as choking under pressure) taught me even great disappointment has an expiration date.

Failing college Algebra and having to retake the class, not once but twice, taught me that I can persevere in the face of great adversity.

Giving birth to two children and walking the path of motherhood has taught me that I have an ability to love at a level that far surpasses my own understanding.

Starting this blog on a whim one summer day has taught me I still have something new to contribute and something important to say.

Each of these occurrences, good or bad, fit together to make me exactly who I am today.  Just like all the moments in your life have brought you to this moment right now.  The moments of our lives are like these paint sticks shaped and placed together to make a piece of art.

You, my friend, are a magnificent piece of art that couldn’t ever be duplicated in the exact same way. For you have been shaped by the Artist.  Each piece carefully crafted through every experience to make a pattern unmistakably you.

Never underestimate your worth.  Never.

If you want to create your own paint stick art, I’ve included some directions for you below.

Supplies:  Paint sticks sold in packs from Home Depot, Wood Glue, 1/4″ plywood, Miter Saw, Jig Saw, 1×4 boards for frame, nails or nail gun for building frame.

Start laying out your pattern on the plywood.  There are so many patterns you can choose because everything fits together because of the 45 degree angles.

Once all the pieces are put in place, glue them with wood glue and let them dry over night.  Use a jig saw around the edges to make a straight cut all the way around the plywood.  I stained mine with my favorite new stain with oil finish from Homestead House in Cappuccino.

Assemble a simple frame by making straight cuts to frame out the artwork and nail together.  Add a hanging thingy (what’s the official name for these?) to the back and hang on the wall.  Enjoy!

I hope you have an awesome day my friends.  I so appreciate the time you spend here on Slightly Coastal.

P.S.  I had an egg salad sandwich for the first time in my life two years ago…it took me that long to get over it.  Seriously.






  1. KariAnne Wood

    June 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I have no words.
    (total aside: this is highly unusual for me).
    This piece is so beautiful and your words are so beautiful and your heart is AMAZING. So happy to see you reach for the stars, friend!

  2. Susie

    June 21, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful post. And beautiful artwork, too! I love all of the interesting angles and how you made it fit together perfectly. As always, such a good job! Susie from The Chelsea Project

  3. Cornelia L Short

    June 22, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Thank you. I believe He has a plan for us all and as I read your post this morning there was no doubt in my mind I was reading something as if it was written for me, in terms of how I was to start my day remembering what a beautiful Gift life is and how precious everyday is, I just needed to be reminded that all of my pieces fit perfectly and it’s what makes us all so unique. Your post was the 1st in my inbox and thank you for making me feel I belong. Im a coastal girl and have always loved your blog, thank you for sharing from your heart today!

  4. Teresa from LostMuleLodge.com

    June 22, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Your words spoke to my heart. I love it when one single post can wash various emotions over me, and this did just that. I cannot get the visual of your 2nd-grade lunch partner out of my head!! Beautiful project!

  5. Lauren@SimplyLKJ

    June 22, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Nancy, so eloquently spoken. Thank you for sharing from your heart today. What a beautiful piece you have created. And, I am dying over the egg salad sandwiches. I taught a little one in preschool that ate them everyday (runny nose included) YUCK!!

  6. Sharon comly

    June 22, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I absolutely love this post – both the words and the project! Such beauty!! I’m so glad you started the blog!!


  7. Shirley @Housepitality Designs

    June 22, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Such a beautiful post Nancy…both in words, insight, and that gorgeous piece of wooden artwork.

  8. Joanne

    June 22, 2017 at 10:16 am

    That is what makes you a great teacher, Nancy! Perseverance through adversity is one of the best lessons we can learn and teach to others by example!!

  9. Cheryl Rompelman

    June 22, 2017 at 11:16 am

    What a wonderful blog, thank you for sharing. I loved the art piece.

  10. Jeanne

    June 22, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    A lovely heart-felt post with a fabulous DIY project…amazing…all of it. Thank you.

  11. valarie

    June 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Joyful tears. This world needs far more of heartfelt introspection Nancy, thank you for sharing.

  12. Robyn

    June 22, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Hey Nancy! Thank you so much for sharing more of yourself. Posts like this are so good to read. I also failed Algebra twice in college and I believe the only way I passed the third time was that the poor teacher took pity on me and let me out of my misery! Thanks for your blog. I love it.


    June 23, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Nancy, I thank you for sharing your heart with us! Your posts always have something written for each of us. We need this time of searching our own hearts to help us become a much better person — with God’s help!
    I loved the story of the egg salad sandwich! I can only imagine what your Grade 2 lunch times were like! You were just so kind to this little gal! Just shows what a special person you are! Bless you!

  14. Carolann

    June 26, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Wow, you did an amazing job Nancy! I think you’ve inspired me to give one a try someday. I just love it! It does look like artwork!

    1. Nancy

      June 27, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks so much Carolann!


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