Honor Your Story

red letter

I can pinpoint the very moment when I realized our 13 house journey wasn’t just a sad time I tried not to think about. I realized there actually WAS a story, with adventure and fun times and totally depressed times and all sorts of emotions and with an actual plot and purpose that changed our family and me for the better.

It was the day I received this gift from my friend Dee owner of Red Letter Words. It’s a canvas with all the names of the streets where we lived. And when I opened it I cried like the desperate housewife that I was.

“Because with all that moving and debt and non-white house living (I had a thing for little white houses, still do) and discontentment and guilt about feeling discontent and living in rentals when I wanted to own, I still got what I was looking for: a home.”  –Chapter 1 The Nesting Place

For so long I tried not to think about some of those places that we loved and left behind. But seeing all those names in one place helped me focus on the good parts of getting to live in so many different places. For the first time ever, I felt like it was a privledge to get to move around so much. I realized then that I could focus on the fact that I just wanted to settle down or I could embrace the life we had moves and all.

And my realization after receiving this canvas was the focus of chapter one in our little house book about imperfection.

your story

I bet your life has been like that too. Maybe not with moves, but with something. Let’s just go ahead and celebrate that shall we?

honor your story

To celebrate the book release Dee is giving away one 20×20 gallery wrap custom canvas – whatever color you wish!

And I’m throwing in two signed books from my house to yours. One for you, one to give away.

*US shipping addresses only

Simply leave a comment with what you might put on a custom canvas to enter to win.
she knew
Since that day four years ago Dee no longer sells custom canvases. I asked her if she’d make an exception for us and she’s opening up for custom orders just for the next four days, just for the Nesting Place community! Because documenting where you’ve been is a way to honor your story. You can get a sign with street names, zip codes, countries, or anything you’d like in any color you’d like that isn’t copyrighted.  Custom work is ONLY open thru Sunday, this is a super special favor just for us! Thank you Dee!


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 If you already read the book and liked it, would you consider leaving a review on Amazon?


Leave a comment with what you might put on a custom canvas to enter to win your own!

Winner announced on Saturday. Good luck!


  1. Give me a few years (and a few more moves with my military man) and I’d love to do the street names or towns or bases where we’ve lived, but right now, I think I would want these words from Matthew 25, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”

  2. June marks 14 years of marriage for me and my wonderful man so I think I would love a canvas with names of places we have traveled together, or places we want to go to, or fave quotes from the Bible, Oh my goodness I knew this would be too hard to narrow down. OOH! Maybe a cool family tree type canvas. I will stop now:)
    Ibought the book and can’t wait for it to show up in my mail box!!!!!!

  3. I would TOTALLY follow suit and use the previous street names of the houses that we called our homes (but only for a bit of time). Those addresses have solidified the memories of our family, even though none of them are forever homes. Would be special to give them a bit of “due” !!

  4. What a lovely giveaway!! I am a former military wife – and have a long list of homes and addresses from my past. WOuld love to read your book, too!!

  5. The names of the cities or the names of the streets my husband and I have lived on so far. The military life has provided us with quite a few! (And more to come!)

  6. We have moved many times but not enough for a canvas. I would use street names, city and state. Thank you for the opportunity.

  7. There are SO many things to choose from, but a theme that has resonated with my family is one word.. WAIT. We waited so long to bring children into this world (We now have 3 boys) because of pregnancy difficulties. We have spent the past several years WAITING to be homeowners again after having to experience foreclosure (we opened escrow on our soon-to-be home just one week ago). All the time, I have had a song in my heart with these words, “Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.” This word has taught me a lot, and I am a changed person because of it! I would love to have these words on canvas as a constant reminder as even more things pop up in life for me to wait upon HIM. :)

  8. I would use our 5 addresses and 3 states we’ve lived in throughout our marriage.

  9. I would put the cities I grew up in and the cities my husband grew up in and then our current city…the making of a families through separate stories coming together. Thank you for the opportunity and for accepting the custom orders for a short time. :)

  10. I would put Psalm 71:3 “Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come: you have given the command to SAVE me, for you are my rock and my fortress.” I had a horrific ordeal following the birth of my 7th child. I was in a coma for 10 days and throughout that time I died twice and was revived. When I woke up and began to regain awareness my husband read this Psalm to me. (He had been reading the Bible to me all while I was “asleep.” We both burst out crying because God literally gave the command to SAVE me on those operating tables, multiple times. That verse is my story.

  11. Erica Jean says

    Man, this is so hard! Maybe a sonnet! Or a favorite bible verse! Or a quote from pride and prejudice! It’s too hard! :)

  12. A few of my most favorite things……then list my family members names!

  13. Jennifer says

    Oh, I have admired Red Letter Words canvas for a long time now. I would definitely have to have a verse with my theme word “hope” on it. Thanks for the chance to win…

  14. I would let one of my daughters pick her favorite quote or verse.

  15. I would want the verse Ps. 27:13

    I would have lost heart had I not believed I would have seen the goodness of The Lord in the land of the livig”

    Because my story, in all it’s glory, the good and the hard, really do show me the goodness of The Lord if I have the eyes to see it! I look back at His goodness and it brings strength to the weary places! Gives me HOPE for my story and even what’s coming in the future!

  16. I would give it to my baby sister, aka: my best friend, who has lived a list – full of places. But I would put them in order and the last city name would be MY current city…subtle, I think not.

  17. Love this!!! I would put all the places we’ve been on it…such sweet memories in so many countries.

  18. Sarah Hull says

    I would love Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”, because this verse has always brought me great peace and and overwhelming sense of Gods great love for me. Or the quote: “We have to choose joy and keep choosing it” – Henri Nouwen, since I feel that “joy” is my word for this year and that some days, being joyful can be a struggle, but that I need to consciously and continually ask God to renew a joyful heart in me. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!

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  20. If I won this very special gift, I would pray for the words He would want written on this canvas for our home.

  21. Wendy F says

    I would put words that related to family and put it in our living area.

  22. Marilyn C. says

    We’ve seldom moved; lived 26 years at our last address! Maybe cities we’ve visited. We just went to Boston for the first time. Wonderful!!

  23. Jeannie says

    The Lord’s Prayer with a big AMEN! So want your book :)

  24. Now that my family is complete, I would use “The Times Of Our Lives” and use dates and times of our first date, wedding day, childrens birth dates and times move dates. Each one has an awesome memory attached. All the turning points in our lives. I have the perfect spot just waiting for it- my over the kitchen desk that has been blank forever because it is the first spot you see when coming in from the garage. I want to see this canvas and Not a daily calendar of all the things I have to do that make time fly by.

  25. I’d love a canvas that has all of the scriptures that have been my source of strength during this trying year. His word is powerful and it sustains!

  26. Jen Gray says

    I would put the quote from 1 Corinthians 13:13 ” And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
    It would help my family and I remember the most important thing in life!

  27. Jessica says

    I would choose a quote or scripture to represent the new house we have purchased (first time home owners) and our love if family for us and our children!

  28. Stephanie says

    I would have the following put on a canvas: find beauty in the little things. I need reminders of all kinds around me to keep centered on what’s important and not get distracted by the world.

  29. I would put the names of the dear friends made during the years my husband and I traveled around the world with his government agency.

  30. Home is wherever I am with you

  31. I would have “Family is Forever” written on my canvas. Thank you for the chance to win!

  32. I’d love to get one with the names of all of the sport teams my children have played on over the years as well as dance recital songs, names. What fun!

  33. Andrea Shirey says

    Reading this post really hit home – I’ve buried my emotions about moving so many times and try to not think about them. But now I see how God has used all those places for his glory. I’d love to have a print to represent that. And of course, hoping to win your book!

  34. We are on our 6th residence in 9 years. I’m tired, but this gives me hope. God continually tells me, “I will give you rest” and that He has “a homeland” for us. Ultimately, I know all I need is Him.

  35. What a fun opportunity to win! I would choose a favorite scripture or a list of favorite things.

  36. Christine says

    I would choose -Psalm46:10. Be still, and know that I am God. I am a worrier and it is very hard for me to “be still”. After much heartache, my daughter became pregnant, but it was a difficult pregnancy. We could have lost her or our two beautiful grand-daughters. I found this Bible verse very comforting.

  37. I would put our family rules

  38. And This Too Shall Pass

  39. I would put the city names of all the places I’ve lived!

  40. Would do a list of special places.

  41. Nancy Smith says

    It’s just as much the messenger as the message!

  42. stephanie says

    If I won, I’d love a canvas with a portion of a song lyric or hymn, or a Bible verse. Have no idea which one off the top of my head! :)

  43. I would put all the street names on it like yours! I grew up as a military brat and think having all the streets we lived on would be a great gift to give my parents for their anniversary. I lost my job one year ago and am a single mom. Money is running out and my faith is at an all time low. Something like this would make me think of all the good times in my life. I would love to read your book…although my current situation is a valley in my life and there have been happy times throughout the struggle. Good or bad it’s part of my story! Love your blog! :)

  44. Wrong email address on my previous post :(
    I would put all the street names on it like yours! I grew up as a military brat and think having all the streets we lived on would be a great gift to give my parents for their anniversary. I lost my job one year ago and am a single mom. Money is running out and my faith is at an all time low. Something like this would make me think of all the good times in my life. I would love to read your book…although my current situation is a valley in my life and there have been happy times throughout the struggle. Good or bad it’s part of my story! Love your blog! :)

  45. This hits the heart! We’ve moved 5 times in 10 years and our girls still talk about each place with warm memories. This is a wonderful way to honor those memories for them! Thank you! P.S. – I (heart) Hopeologie!

  46. Psalms 23. My son’s favorite chapter.

  47. Kristin K says

    I would put from Ecclesiastes; 1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven….11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. My life has had bumps and my way of moving forward was knowing that there will be hard time and there will be good times, times of laughter and times of tears. This reminds me that no matter what God is there and this is a season.

  48. If I could pick out a canvas, I would choose all the nicknames and “terms of endearment” we call one another in our family of five! We have such cute and funny nicknames that have evolved over the years!

  49. I’m so sad that I’m late to this party! We’ve had eight houses. Currently selling #8 and hope #9 is our final, downsized, empty nest/retirement home. Would love a canvas after we find #9!

  50. Taunya Land says

    I would put my great grandparents, grandparents, parents, sibling, nieces, fiance

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