Thanks for visiting Repurposed. This blog is about a house we are moving out of, an old house we are rehabing, a family that is walking in faith, a marriage that presses on, and the journey that God is taking us on. A repurposed life...turning the ashes into beauty.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philipians 3:12-14

Saturday, October 1, 2016


"There is only one road to true human greatness: the road through suffering.”
Albert Einstein

Suffering is the last thing we want in our lives.  We ask God to remove it from us, to make the road easy, to keep us from it.  But God allows us to go through these trials for our own good.  At the time of suffering it seems incomprehensible how anything good can come from  such pain.  It feels like God has abandoned us or is punishing us.  How can a good God allow ___?  Why does He allow me to suffer this way?  And yet, as Albert Einstein tells us, it is precisely this pain that makes us great.  It is only with the lenses of eternity that we can see the good from the pain.  It is only after the storm subsides that we can see the rainbow.  During the downpour , you can't see any beauty.  You only feel the cold of the storm, the fright of the lightning and the not knowing of what comes next, how bad is it going to get?  Will it destroy me?

Of the people I most admire in this world, I can find one common denominator- great suffering.  What could have destroyed them didn’t.  What caused such unspeakable pain, has made them triumphant.  To be able to see the rainbow after growing up neglected, abandoned, abused is nothing less than Grace.  To watch a loved one die from Cancer- Amazing Grace.  I still cannot comprehend nor will I ever know how a heart that hurts so much from this great pain can continue to beat.  Yet it does.  It can even experience joy again.  So if you're going through this pain today, take heart.  You will be able to experience a rainbow again, someday.  Not today, but at the end of the storm. Battered and weary, you can look up to sky and know that our Heavenly Father is the one who tells the storm when it should pass.  He summons all the rainbows and He mends all the brokenness in our hearts.  May God shine His face upon you today and give you the peace that surpasses understanding. 



Thursday, December 3, 2015

Happy 18th Birthday Chris

I'm dusting off my blog site today.  On days like today I am drawn to write.  Today would have been Christopher's 18th birthday.  Likely, it would have been a very big day of celebration for my sweet boy.  He sure did like to celebrate life to the fullest.  Instead of planning a party, I plan and ponder on what would be the most significant way to mark this special day.  He is absent from his body, but is present in spirit each and every day.  The boy who taught me how much my heart could love, also taught me how much my heart can hurt.  But I do not mourn like those that don't believe in the Truth of Life.  I've been  asked many times how I do it, how do I go on?  The death of a child is every parent's worst nightmare, yet I survived it.  I continue to breath, to live everyday as fully as I am able, and to actually have joy in my life.  The truth is that I am one of the most sensitive people you'll ever know.  I cry at Hallmark commercials, hungry children, abused dogs, etc.  I never thought that I could survive such tragedy either.  This is only more testament that my strenght comes from The Lord and not from me.  My heart has been broken, but He holds it from falling apart.  I do feel overcome from sadness at times, but God gets me through it each and every time.  He never leaves me there.  So on this very special day I want to share my hope with you all.  Strength for our tragedies come only from The Lord.  The Blood of the Lamb has washed us all clean so that our sins do not keep us from going to heaven and joining our loved ones who also believed.  This is the greatest gift that mankind has ever known.  Jesus defeated death and because of Him, we will all be together one day.  So Happy Birthday my sweet Christopher John...until we meet again.  Until then I hold the memories you left me close to my heart.  Love, your momma.

Birthday Boy

Crazy about books

Having fun at Suessland in Orlando

He loved music

With his dad and brothers making smores in our backyard

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Barrel of Monkeys

Regrets.  They're part of being human. Learning from our mistakes is the best thing we can do with regrets.  We can't change the past, so why ruminate in the shoulda, woulda , couldas in our lives?    The rear view mirror is the enemy's weapon to keep us distracted from all that lies ahead.  God always has good plans for us, but when we are focused on the past we can't see the beauty or the dangers that lie ahead.  When you have a child with special needs, you fall victim to the another trap…comparing and wishing things were different.  When you spend your time wishing your child was stronger, smarter, calmer, healthier, ( you fill in the blank), you are wasting time not appreciating the uniqueness of God's creation.  I was explaining to my son, Ethan that comparing ourselves to others is like an elephant being down on himself for not having the long legs of a giraffe.  It seems so silly for an elephant to want to be a giraffe.  The elephant  has a beautiful trunk and magnificent ears, a grace all his own.  Why would he ever not want to be an elephant?  The world needs elephants.  Giraffes are beautiful too but they shouldn't wish to be elephants either.  Their gracious necks are unique gifts for them and are essential to their survival.  The Giraffe's long neck and their circulatory system is a unique package.  (Nerd alert) Did you know that if the giraffes heart wasn't as big and strong as it is, the giraffe would pass out because it takes so long to get the blood all the way down the neck and back to the brain?  Anyway, back to my point here.  God has created us all with the same kind of thought and detail.  We don't see ourselves as beautiful unique creatures.  We all want to be the same.  Girls strive to look like the latest "it girl".  They sometimes destroy their bodies by starving themselves to be someone they think is more beautiful than them.  Elephants wishing they were giraffes.  Moms with children that are different in someway wishing their kids were more like the rest.  Missing the extraordinary in what they have.  My regret is not having realized this sooner.  I wish I wouldn't have spent one second wishing my son was someone other than who he was.  God doesn't make mistakes.  He equips every one of us with our own package.  Perfectly ready to fulfill our purpose in this world.  And my son, with all of his "special needs" was nothing more than perfect for his mission here in this world.  His struggles were meant to inspire.  His battles, were meant to create courage and strength in his frail mommy.  His beautiful spirit of laughter and joy have sprinkled hope in all the hearts he touched.  I can't wait to see him again.  This time, I will relish in the beauty of his gifts and never wish he was anything different from the beautiful, unique boy God created and we named, Christopher.  My lesson learned, I hope inspires someone out there to focus on the right thing.  Love yourself and your kids just the way you are.  The world needs you to be you, don't waste your time trying to be a koala if you're a monkey.  Us monkeys can be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

March 30th

The dreaded day is coming. Another anniversary. They say time heals, and it does, but never enough. It still hurts. When I let my heart feel all the way it scares me. It scares me to feel the abyss of the pain, because I'm afraid I won't be able to climb back out. I tell myself all the cliches: He's in a better place, he's no longer in pain,  he is in the Lord's arms.  All true. I believe it from the bottom of my heart.  But sometimes none of that matters. All I feel is the pain of the absence. So many things we didn't get to do. Sometimes I don't want to be strong and optimistic. Sometimes I just want to have a pitty party and be sad because I'm human, because I'm his mom and because he is not here. Period. He mattered. He will always matter. I will always wish he was here even though I'm glad that he is with The Lord and he is no longer in pain. My happy moments present and future will always have a moment of silence attached. That is just how it is. So for today, for this moment, I feel. It's raw.  It's painful.  The tears sting as they cleanse. But at the end of it all I am still grateful for it. I'm still glad that I lived it because I had the chance to enjoy the good. The good that came with the bad. The lessons I learned along the way. The moments that I never imagined I could ever survive. The courage that was born from love. The fights I fought with steadfast determination and perseverance because they weren't about me. As I share my story, my trials, my lessons I remind myself again that this is not about me.  My story is for those that are living my story.  That these words may help someone in the abyss is enough for me to write them. Life is not the fairy tale we dream of. The plans we make are never the way way the script plays out.  No one gets to slide through life unscathed by major blows to our prefect plan.  But one thing I know for sure, if you allow Him, God will hold your hand through the storms. I know that I would not be able to continue living, continue breathing, if it weren't for God giving me the strength. It's Gods strength in me that continues to carry me especially during the moments that I can only think of the sadness in me. The moments that are hard to breathe in because your heart is so full of hurt. Those are the moments that the bible refers to when it says that "The Lord is close to the broken hearted".  He must literally  be breathing life into my lungs for me. I'm grateful because as much as I want to see my boy again, I also want to be here with my other two boys. I still have a life to live with them and with my husband who has been walking alongside me. Life is so full, so rich with pain, happiness and everything in between.  You can't have only the good in life, you also get the bad.  We live in a broken world where people get to make their own choices.  Sometimes those bad choices affect good people.  Children get hurt, marriages are destroyed, teens get lost in drugs and the list goes on.  People can choose to believe that their is a God or not.  All choices we make and consequences we suffer.  Choose wisely, because the consequences are always inevitable.

My superhero

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Casa DeGenaro 2013

Casa DeGenaro Christmas 2013

 This year I decided to focus on enjoying Christmas and not spend my entire time decorating.  I have to admit that it took a lot of self restraint to not bring all of my Christmas decor from the basement.  In my old house I had big plans to create a winter wonderland.  I have enough lights, garland and blow-ups to decorate an apartment house, but you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at my house this year.

My old faithful nutcrackers are always the highlight of my decorating.  I just love their playfulness.  What I am totally in love with lately are these ornamental kale plants that are adorning my front pathway.
I can't get enough of them!  They are so cottage!  They multiply easily and make great cut flowers.

Ornamental Kale can be quite pricey but if you invest in a few, soon you will have a crop.  If you want some cuttings, just let me know.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Because I can

A girl like me has more Dr Suess books than the average bear.  I'm always looking for ways to display them so that the memory of my beautiful boy, who loved them, will be alive and fresh in our home.  Originally, I  saw some book trees on pintrest and decided I wanted to try it.  But, like most of my pintrest pins, it remained only a great idea.  The other day the boys and I were watching HGTV as we wrote Christmas cards and we caught one of my favorite Christmas specials...The decorating of the White House.  When I saw that the White House had a book tree I was reminded that I wanted to try it.   This is what I came up with: 

The tree is in the Library/Schoolroom where we spend most of our day.  I absolutely love the way it turned out.  I might keep it up all year long!  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wow, I cannot believe that it  has been a whole  year since my last posting.  Time flies.  Much has changed during this laps in time.  One  of the biggest things in our family is that we are now a homeschooling family.  Being able to proclaim such a title, brings me great joy.  I had had homeschooling in my heart for many years but due to many reasons it never happened.  In God's ever perfect timing, I know that I was not ready to take on such an important challenge until now.  I don't think that I was as committed as I thought I was.  I am not going to sugar coat the decision and say that we are always gazing in each others eyes and singing hymns of praise for homeschooling.  There are times of real challenge.  I admit that I have threatened them with sending them back to school.  But if I'm honest, I will say that I stopped doing that because I wondered if I was going to concede to that urge someday.  But the beauty of God's graciousness is that he gives me the strength to carry on.  The moments of frustration are paled in comparison to the moments of shear gratitude for the ability to pour into my children with all my heart.  I feel such passion to teach them everything that I feel is important for them to learn.   Number one is the love of Christ.  In this life we will all face troubles.  I want my kids to have the strength of God as their number one tool to get them through life's uncertainty.  I already see that they are becoming mighty warriors for God.  My strength is restored by the moments when I see them quietly praying and reading their bibles.  There is no greater gift.  Our lives have changes, especially mine.  But I know that I am truly living in a moment in time when I will look back and be ever so glad that I was able to let go of my free time to embrace the small window of time that my kids are young and still enjoy spending time with me.  I hope that they will also look back at this time as being the best times of their lives.  Some day they will look back, when they are all grown up and have children of their own, and realize that the sacrifices we made today are because of the love that we have for them.  And just maybe, they will pick a wife that would be willing to love and embrace my grandchildren in the same way.  Blessings to you all.

Here are a few pictures I never posted:

Before the walls of the house were painted, we wrote scripture in every room of the home.  Dylan especially enjoyed this activity.  For the first time ever it was okay to write on the walls.  Here he is writing on the front door:

I love his misspellings 

Here is Stan writing the scripture he picked for his office.

Here is my brother-in-law, Anthony, who wrote scripture in the boys' rooms.

Me, writing in our master bedroom.

More pictures to come....