Decorating with Love

When I found out Robin, my BFF of 40 years, was spending the night, I was blown away with excitement. But I was also a tiny bit scared.

Robin is ROBIN from All Things Heart and HomeEvery inch of her home blooms with beauty and creativity. 

She’d be staying in our spare bedroom–the room I’d been ignoring it for years. It was full of wrapping paper and boxes, with my ironing board sitting in the middle of the floor.

No color theme. No inspiration. Total blah.

I wanted Robin to feel loved and welcomed, but decorating isn’t easy for me. 

The bedroom makeover began with a prayer and a pillow.

Lord, will You please help me? Will You show me what to do–step-by-step?

Later that day, I searched through the decorative pillows at Walmart. Nothing thrilled me~~

Until I spotted this one with a bicycle on it.

Something sweet stirred in my heart as if the Lord whispered,

Get the pillow, Julie. It belongs in Robin’s room. 

Okay. I have a pillow. What next? A bedspread? I want her to feel covered with Your Love. 

One aisle over, I found a white duvet–fluffy and carefree like clouds.

At Target, I fell in love with a five-dollar pink pillow.

Five dollars? 

Decorating isn’t about price tags. 

Back at home, I put the pillow in my grandmother’s rocking chair.

I noticed the long, dark area in front of the dormer window.

How can we bring love into this spot, Lord?

(This is the “after” picture below.)

I brought a table inside from the front porch and added a few of my favorite things.

This corner next to the bookshelf needs something. 

I added my cross lamp.

Light and Love~~

Maybe a rug would feel cozy. 

I found a pink, shag rug at Target and texted my sister a picture. She gave it a thumbs’ up and suggested I try it under the bottom of the bed.

Who knew?!

Then I texted Robin’s husband to see if he had any ideas.

“Peonies are her favorite flowers,” he said, “but they’re really hard to find.”

Lord, will You help me find peonies? 

I called my friend Laurel from Everett’s Florist in Monroe, GA. Peonies had just arrived! She arranged them in my grandmother’s antique vase.

I put the flowers on the bedside table and had a tiny spot for one more thing, but what? 

I thought about our 40 years of friendship~~

All the memories~~

Phone calls about raising toddlers, potty training, and then teenage drama~~

So much love~~

I found a picture of us at her fall party and had it printed in black and white. 

Guess what?

Robin fell in love with her room!

The morning after she spent the night, she brought her peonies to the breakfast table. 🙂 The flowers I’d prayed for (and even doubted I’d find) became our centerpiece. 

And then the sweetest thing happened~~

After our time together, Robin texted me this picture from her heart and home.

No words. Just the picture. 

Tears blurred my vision.

Everything was so beautiful. God helped me do the impossible. 

Together, we turned a junk room into a room full of love.

I didn’t even know where to start and He showed me how.

He led me every step of the way.

 I went upstairs to take another peek. 

Robin had made up the bed and raised the blinds.  With golden Light streaming in the window, a new truth settled in my soul. 

Live this way, Julie, God seemed to say–in My Love–always, with everything you do. 

Wow. Just wow.

When you don’t know what to do next, ask God to lead you with His Love. (click to tweet)

Do everything in Love, even decorating! (click to tweet) 

Do everything in love. 1st Corinthians 16:14 NIV (click t0 tweet)

Do you know the secret of decorating with love?

Is God helping you do something step-by-step? Please share! 

P.S. I have a prayer request.  My goal is to finish my novel rewrite during the month of June. It’s sort of like decorating the bedroom-I can’t do it without His help. Will you pray for me? 

I’m going to be putting my heart and soul into the novel, so I’m not going to blog again until Wednesday, July the 5th. 

I’m going to miss you, big time!

Thank you for praying. 

One more tidbit of info–I’m spending more time on Instagram than Facebook. I’m posting a pic every day in June about Love, my word for 2017. 🙂 Please join me~~

So much love,





  1. Julie Gilleand says:

    Good morning Julie 🙂

    I feel like I’m having a porch party with you. It so happened that once again I was asked to switch shifts with my afternoon counterpart at work so am home this morning, just in time for your blog! I mean, twice in a row!

    I love what you did with the room, especially the bicycle pillow and pretty pink shag rug! What a lot of love (yours and God’s) went into decorating this sweet little room. I am partial to dormer windows because my grandma’s house was a Cape Cod and the room I always stayed in was one with a dormer window. So whenever I see one, I think of her.

    I have just been praying for God to help me step-by-step with our moving process. It’s not a done deal yet with the house we’re trying to get, but tentatively our closing date is June 30th (isn’t that the same date you are shooting for in finishing your novel?). I have made a step-by-step to-do list of everything needing to be done, as far as purging things we don’t want or need anymore, cleaning each area as I go along, before we start the packing. I figure the purging part needs to happen whether we move or not, so it’s okay to get going on that! But getting started is so hard. I know once I dive in, I will pick up momentum, and just seeing the progress will encourage me to keep going. But I just really need help getting started. It’s not about recruiting helping hands. It’s more about me mentally moving from the need, to the planning, and finally into the doing. I’ve done the planning. Now it’s go time!

    The decorating time will happen last, after we’re in our house. I admit I’m not good at that, at least not as far as making things look like you’d want to see in a homes magazine! But I do like to make things look homey and cozy. That’ll be a different prayer for a different day! For now, it’s time to roll up sleeves and tackle the not-so-fun stuff. So pray for me, for strength, motivation and focus to get the job done. Only with God’s help will I be able to.

    Thank you for your blog this morning. It goes so perfectly hand in hand with what I am needing too right now and gives me hope that with God’s help it will turn out beautifully. Maybe the key is to do it with love. All things with love.

    I will be praying for you Julie, as you dive into finishing your novel. I will miss seeing you, too, here, but know how important this is for you. I can’t wait for the day to hold your story in my hands and read it ♥

    Blessings on you today and throughout this month 🙂

    —- Leafy

    • Leafy, nothing makes me any happier than to discover my blog goes along with someone’s life! 🙂 And I’m THRILLED about your new home. So, we both have the same deadlines, June 30th. We can pray for each other daily.

      I love dormer windows too. And so much fun to realize they’re not wasted space at all. They can make a cozy little nook.

      I’m with you on the goal for decorating–we want to make things look cozy.

      So…..we’ll both be praying for Strength, Motivation, and Focus for each other–and for God to help us accomplish our goals.

      Much love, my friend,

      • Julie Gilleand says:

        I will certainly be praying for you daily and thank you for your prayers too! ♥

      • Jan Olson says:

        And those dormer windows are there to let the light into an awkward space–don’t forget that : ) After reading your post I found the energy to relocate some recyclables from the garage to the barn, all together, so that when I find a truck to borrow (there was a cute white one down the road for $2000, in pretty good shape too and I know the owners, and I just wanted it!–but I just found out that I have Hodgkin lymphoma and may have a lot of bills down the road, so have backed off on that idea!)(will find out what Stage this cancer is and what treatment will look like, hopefully, tomorrow afternoon)I can back up to the door and load it all up and move it on out. Have so much to do to unload this house, or at least my part of it, from way overloaded condition. Too cozy! And not lovely at all.

        • Hey Jan.

          I wish we were neighbors and I’d be there right now helping you. Oh, my friend, I’m praying for you.

          What you said about the dormer windows–I’ve never thought about it that way. That’s beautiful. I’m praying God’s Light will shine all over you right now and bring hope and healing.

          Thank you for taking time to write to me (to us). Wish I could be there to help you redecorate.

          So much love,

    • marci says:

      I will continue the prayers about your house– I guess I am already thinking of it as your house. I am praying for you with this new adventure, and for God’s leading for you. Moving can be such a big challenge. As for the cleaning out. One thing that I learned along the way, and was a help when my friend made a move after many years. Have a “Later” box.. for those things you are undecided about. That way she didn’t get stuck on what to do with XX but could keep moving forward, and deal with the question mark box later. Many prayers for you this month too! Sometimes I need a “later” box in my life – even if not house moving, but just moving on.

  2. Anna Haney says:

    Oh, Julie. I don’t know if I can handle three weeks without a blog, but I do understand.

    Love this post. It’s so neat when I learn more about how you and I are alike. I also want to make places and things special for folks I love and I sometimes make myself a little crazy doing so.

    I will be praying for you as you finish your novel.


    • Anna, I know–about the blog. It feels like I’m directing all my heart, soul, and purpose to finish this novel….like I can only divide so many ways.

      I’m starting out each morning on my knees and writing with candles in my office, and soft music in the background. Lots of prayer. Praying He turns my heart whichever way it needs to go. My agent is expecting it some time this month. So, with God’s help, I want to do my best, and then let it go.

      Hugging you from here!

      • Jan Olson says:

        I’d like a copy when it’s done—just sayin’ . . .

        • Well, Jan, I’d LOVE for you to read it. My agent is expecting it in June. There have been several rewrites. I’m praying God puts His favor on me, and for His will to be done and it will find just the right home at just the right time.

    • P.S. My little Love project on Instagram is sort of like daily mini blogs. 🙂 Itty-bitty ones. 🙂

      • Jan Olson says:

        Just the right size for right now : )

        • Yeah, and the neat thing about Instagram, (at least on my end) I can still feel all the emotions of writing when I post, but it’s not a full blog post. Just as much heart w/out the work. I’ll make sureI I”m following you, Jan.


  3. Mary Wilkins says:

    This really struck a chord with me. Looks like the room and your spirit both bloomed!

    • Thank you so much, Mary~~~ I even cried as I wrote it. And I lived it!!

      You’re an amazing encourager.

      Blessings~~~~~ xo

  4. Patti Wiersma says:

    Oh, Julie, the Lord has truly gifted you in so many ways. You are truly an inspiration. I am praying for you as you complete your novel. Can’t wait for it. I am taking my 1st trip to Europe. I’m going w/my son, da-in-law, & 4 grandchildren to Ireland. I will try to check FB for your 1st blog when you return. God bless you

    • Oh, Patti~~ Sounds like the trip of a lifetime! So happy for you~~~!!!! Praying your days are full of Joy!!

      If you want to sign up for my blogs, you can put your email address at the top right corner of my site, and they’ll automatically be delivered to your inbox.

      🙂 🙂

  5. Elaine says:

    I just went through the same thing when I knew my sister was coming to visit. It had been 2 years since we have been together.
    I redid the bedspread, pillow sham to match. Then I put in lots of my angels as I know my sister Lynn loves angels. I put an extra soft lightweight blanket with a cat and dog on it as a throw for anytime she wanted to take a snooze. I also put a candle called sea breeze by her side of the bed. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky but we grew up in Florida. She loves Beach and we had several mornings on the veranda (it is a joke name) the pool patio.
    I thought of you in the mornings. We watched the sun come up and enjoyed our coffee talks. This is my sister who is bipolar and recovering alcoholic and I was blessed she has made it through a rough last 2 years. We just talked and talked. My poor husband took us everywhere, he loves to drive.
    I wish I had thought to put a fuzzy rug by the side of the bed. Yours looked so neat. What a great idea.
    So glad you and your bff had a great visit.

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhh, Elaine–this is exactly what I’m talking about. Sounds like God’s Spirit spoke to you too as you decorated! I imaged the bedroom and the two of you talking and laughing as I read this.

      Sounds amazing, and I know your sister must’ve LOVED it.

      Thank you for your kind words. Sounds like your hubby is one great guy.

      Now I want to get a sea breeze candle!

  6. Love this story, your friendship, love and message. I am praying for you and your novel and will pray specifically with love today!!

    • Thank you so much, Tom. 🙂 I’m smiling!! Means a lot when a guy “gets” my writing. 🙂

      Saying a prayer for your writing. Every time a new post pops in my inbox, even just the phrase you titled it speaks to me.


  7. Cathy Mayfield says:

    First, Julie, know I am praying for your novel-writing time! Exciting!

    Did you know there is a promise that when we do anything in love, we will not fail at it??!!

    Our youngest daughter (21) has dealt with severe stress-related health issues this past month, which spilled over into many struggles between us. On many occasions, I felt the burden of failing to give her and her sisters the proper tools to deal with stress and anxiety. I felt a failure and mentioned it, as I have many times in the past, over this type of situations and others.

    Then for Mother’s Day, she made me a card. I cried. I’d like to share part of it with you (one line is quoted from something she’d read somewhere):

    “Mama, the Bible says, ‘Love NEVER fails.’ So if it fails, it isn’t love. My love for you will never fail, no matter what struggles we may face. … You have never failed me, which must mean you are made out of pure love. … You speak love, truth, and encouragement into my life … If it wasn’t for you, I would have no idea how to be such an amazing wife and mother when the time comes. You have taught me all of life’s most important lessons, and now I get to carry them into my own future family. I love you, Mama. Always. Faith.”

    I’m sure you understand my tears at reading it. I keep it on my desk, where I can read it ten times a day, if need be.

    If we do anything in love, we will not fail at it! Teaching our children through blood, sweat, and tears…honoring our spouses…worshiping our Heavenly Father…or even decorating a room for a friend. All done in love…no failures here! <3

    • Cathy—-NO! I didn’t know this promise!! I’ve heard the Scripture but never put it together like your daughter did. Ohhhh, this blesses me so much. Can’t imagine how it made you feel—pure joy, I bet. And like you said, you can read it over and over again, forever~~~~~

      Yes. I love your list too of things we do through love.

      This is stretching my heart even wider.

      THANK YOU. And thanks for giving us a peek at something so near and dear.

      XOXOXOXOX. It’s life-changing.

  8. I just know Robin had to have been simply delighted and bathed in light and love from the precious pieces you put together for HER! Shivers today- you’ve done it again- moving me through your words. Yes, please go write and know I’ll pray, and am ever so hopeful I’ll be one day holding your words in my hands!!

    I also have to say I chose the word love too, and to my great surprise your sharing of how it has streamed into your world has taught me so much! I admire your intention and devotion to the word- thank you for “mentoring” me in those ways!

    Love to you sweet friend- so much love!

    • Vicky, you know, of course, that you mentor me right back, don’t you?

      LOVE exudes from everything you do. Ohhhh, your writing always, always, always touches that spot in my heart, making it softer, and draws me closer to Our Father.

      Thank you. And Robin loves you dearly. There’s our word again. An honor to share it with you!

  9. Julie, thank you for this happy post today. Oh, how I needed it. I heard you were rewriting, and I completely understand needing God for every word. I am facing the same thing right now. I’m thinking of moving to Instagram as well. I just love the whole concept. I’ll be checking out your page. Love, love, love, you and praying amazing things with your novel. Blessings, Bev

    • Oh, Bev. I think you’ll love Instagram. I really do. I can put my whole heart into it w/out the length of time it takes to write a blog. I know I’m a slow writer, but sometimes it can take me–I’m embarrassed to tell you–a couple of days to get a blog post ready…with editing pics, working with words, rewriting, and making sure I have the takeaway I really want.

      Hope to see you on IG. Praying for your writing. I understand. Boy, do I.

  10. Julie, the room is beautiful. Just like you. And I’m praying for you. Things are going good here. I am making headway with my novel re-writes. And I’m painting a picture for my husband’s wall at work. I’m going to be praying over it … I hadn’t really thought to pray over the painting. Thank you. I’m almost done, but it’s never too late to pray over things. xoxo

    • OOOOOOhhhh, yes, yes, yes. Pray over the painting! Yes!!! Shelli, you and I are on this creative writing journey together, and I think we can pray about everything and anything. Especially our creativity. And I sure do wish I was a painter. My mother painted. In fact, I had two of her paintings framed. They’re sort of folk art-ish. 🙂

      Praying for you first thing every morning. Loved reading the good news about your writing!

  11. Melinda Franklin says:

    Love this post, LOVE the room, and can’t wait to read the book. It will be my honor to pray for you each day and I will be eagerly looking for your Instagram posts. Thanks for your encouragement always thru your blog. God bless you and keep you always.

    • Melinda, I can see your sweet smile as I’m reading your words.
      thank you. From the bottom of my heart. THANK YOU.

      I have my candles going in my office, writing, praying, kneeling, and writing some more.

  12. marci says:

    God has blessed me! I am so glad that I was able to be on line and see your blog, especially since you will be busy working on your book this month and won’t have a blog later in June. And what a good one this is. One I need so often. How wonderful -trusting God one step at a time, and seeing how it all came together. I so could feel for you and understood. I easily get that overwhelming feeling, and need to step back and think, as my friend Jan use to say– and you are saying the same thing here.. “Baby steps.” How much love shows through. Sometimes I fret too much, and it is good to know that I am not alone in my seeing the big picture and wondering, how in the world am I going to pull this off? And the answer is always God, .. one step at a time. As the saying goes, (Maybe M.L.K??) We don’t have to see the top of the stairs to take the first step.

    I have and will be praying for you as you work on the novel, Lots of daily prayers. And my God’s blessings be all around you.. So until July.

    Blessings and much Love,

    • Marci’a, such truth in Baby Steps. I loved that movie, “What About Bob?” where Bob learns to take baby steps to overcome his fear of everything. 🙂

      Yes! God is the only way we can do it. And I love your quote–never heard it before. Just beautiful. I can so relate. Esp since I have to climb 13 stairs to get to my office. Perfect analogy for me!

      Love you dearly~

  13. Your heart for applying hospitality is shine in this room. Well done.
    I especially love the reading corner with the warm glow from the cross lamp.

    Praying for you to cross the finish line on your novel with renewed confidence and delight.
    Shine on!


    • Jan Olson says:

      Wish there was a “Like” button for this post. Love the cross lamp and crossing the finish line ideas so close to each other

    • I was just thinking about you, Carolyn. And about Vonda too….thought about her and smiled b/c neither one of us particularly like decorating. We’ve laughed about our centerpiece phobia. 🙂

      Love you. Will never forget your kind words to me.

      Thank you. A million thank yous.


  14. Julie, I loved reading this. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I know what you made so clear today…I even ask what He wants me to wear…but sometimes I forget just how intimate He wants us to be with Him. I love your room…and your pillow. 🙂 I missed you tonight and hope to see you next week. God bless you as you write…agreeing with you for completion.

    • Hey Dear Teddi!
      Oh, how I missed y’all last night too.

      Thank you for reading and for your kind words–and for always being full of encouragement.

      I pray about clothes too! I thought I was the only one. I even pray when I’m shopping for clothes!

      I saw your sweet sister (Beth) for a few minutes last night. They stopped by. 🙂

      Praying. Loving. So grateful for you and your precious sisters.

  15. Love the room. I will keep you in my prayers as you press onward to finish the book. Blessings.

    • Thank you! I’ve been praying for you~~~~ So good to see your sweet smiling face.

      Hugging you from here.

      So gratefully,

  16. Jan Olson says:

    One step at a time–I may not remember to pray about and for your writing, but you are well covered so I will not fret over that. Godspeed!

    • Thank you. No need to fret about anything. Isn’t that a wonderful life lesson, Jan? I keep reminding myself of that. God is so good at doing His job.


  17. dorinda hickey says:

    I loved the story about you decorating your friends room. It was neat. Similar type of story here from me.

    My friends were moving this week – to Canada (sob). Although I was glad for them to return to their home and be surrounded by their grandson and siblings, I will miss them.

    • Dorinda, I can literally feel the love you have for them in your words.

      So sorry you’re having to say goodbye. Hoping you can stay connected through FaceTime? Maybe? That’s one good thing about technology. We can stay a little closer to each other.

      Thank you for letting me know you’re reading. Sending you love as you let go…..xo

  18. What a beautiful spruce-up! Whenever I’ve spent time in the homes of others, particularly in the homes of a host at a conference, I’m always amazed at how welcome and comfortable I feel. I could tell that the room you showed us had exactly that welcome and comfortable feel. I needed to hear “God lead me” today. I’m in the middle of putting things here and there in our summer retreat home and it feels like mass confusion with boxes and bins everywhere. It doesn’t help that the moving company lost three boxes. One held all of my office supplies and another Charlie Bear’s dog food. Priorities: dog food first. And it also helps to realize that it’s just stuff. Replaceable stuff. Thanks for the reminder today to ask God for help. Warm hugs to you. ;o)

    • B.J. When I saw the bicycle pillow, I thought about you. Summertime. Water. Beaches. 🙂

      So sorry about your boxes. :/ :/ :/ I’m praying angels surround them and they’ll be returned to you.

      Yes, stuff is replaceable, but sometimes it’s the little things that make a room feel like home.

      Hugging you right back. Thank you for being you. And you know, I’m gonna want to see pics!!!!

  19. Shelley Elaine says:

    Julie, what an honor it will be to pray for you. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful “parting gift”. You will definitely be missed! But I am now following you on Instagram, too. Happy Writing!

    • Wo-hooooooo, Shelli! We’re IG buddies!!

      Thank you for being so gracious and understanding.

      So much love,

  20. Kim says:

    Hey Julie,
    Beautiful. Your words, the process, and the end result. You and God did a lovely job decorating together. You and God will do a wonderful job finishing your book together.
    Love and many prayers. Kim

  21. Patricia Martin says:

    Julie, I am so happy that you are going to rework your novel!!(; I had not asked because I remembered what had been said about it from previous posts, but I am so glad that you are going back to work on your bestseller! I had some unexpected bumps last week so it took me longer than usual to respond to your post.
    I loved seeing all your beautiful posts on instagram and especially, the one with Rilynn. (: I wanted to ask if she has been getting my postcards? I just wondered because I know that mail service is different in each state. May God bless you and your wonderful family! Walt Disney once said, “keep moving forward,” and I know that your novel will do just that–move toward being a bestseller. Congrats in advance.(((: How are you all doing? Summer is almost here.
    xoxoxo Patricia

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Hey Patricia!

      First, yes, Rilynn’s getting your postcards. I was over at Katie’s house the other day and saw one on the kitchen counter. So sweet of you~~~

      Thanks for your encouraging words on my novel. Means so much. I wondered “where” you were on the blog. 🙂 Good to see you’re back. I didn’t realizes you’re on Instagram. Yay!!

      Blessings, my friend.

  22. What can I say, God is the best decorator of rooms…and our lives.
    40 years of friendship is a treasure. Not everyone is as blessed.

    I love how thoughtfully and lovingly you decorated her room. Those flowers are gorgeous. And the picture she sent! Goosebumps.

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Love how you said it, Lux–that God’s the decorator of our lives. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thanks so much!

      Big hugs from Georgia tonight.


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