Do you like before-and-after transformations as much as I do? There’s something compelling about makeovers. It’s astonishing to see what a great hairstyle, well fitting clothes or skillfully applied cosmetics can do to change someone’s appearance. And who doesn’t like to watch talented carpenters and home decorators tackle a fixer-upper? (I’m lookin’ at you, Chip and Joanna.)

There are some before-and-after pix of my life I’m delighted to share with you today, and others I wouldn’t even if I could.

Our garden shed after the wasps were banished and much of the junk removed.

One of the bonuses that came with the purchase of our current home in western North Carolina is a small garden shed about 16 x 12. Someone designed it to resemble a little Appalachian cabin overlooking the pond but it was intended to house a lawn tractor and tools, not people. Or pests!

When we gingerly stepped inside the first time we found rotted floorboards, drafty windows and dozens of wasp nests. But where I saw problems, my husband the visionary spotted potential.  He’s good at that, having worked for a Master  Carpenter as a fixer-upper of a different sort.

The shed had no front door, only a side ramp that had completely rotted through.

So late last fall after we unpacked boxes and completed the most pressing repairs on the house, Mike tackled the shed. My brother on a visit from his home in California helped him cart out junk and assassinate the current occupants, while Mike’s buddy Peter drove down from Wheaton to put both brain and brawn into tearing out old windows and showing Mike how to install a working front door.

Brother Dan was a huge help in the initial stages of cleaning and prepping the shed for renovations.

Our friend Peter is as kind as he is smart. He taught Mike a lot about rehabbing and blessed our home with his presence.

Here’s the shed stripped down to the studs.

Two neighbors stopped by to observe the work.

Insulation now in! Plus Mike added two new windows to the back wall to let in more light.

Mike installed the drywall and did all the mudding and taping himself. And we now have a front door! Mike and Peter found this old cabin door at the Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville. It reminds me of a hobbit door.

Shiplap! We have shiplap! OK, only the back wall as an accent. This stuff is more $$ than we anticipated so the other three walls will just be finished with paint.

Ready for the Big Reveal? C’mon in!

My little writing desk! We found it super cheap at a thrift shop in southern Virginia.

Indoor plumbing wouldn’t be authentic in a southern Appalachian cabin, but I do have a washstand! (Another thrift store find.)

The cowbells came from the farm where I grew up (great for summoning folks up in the house or scaring away crows.)We light the room as people have done for centuries, with oil lamps.

I bought this on sale at Hobby Lobby years ago for my office at Tyndale. Fun to see my book arrangement in its new home!

No longer a shed, I now have a working cabin! Here’s the right side of my cozy space. The futon pulls out for sleeping – it’s lovely to hear the rain on the metal roof. 

And here’s the left side of the room, complete with braided rug from Goodwill and my caned granny rocker ($20 from the local Habitat for Humanity shop, reStore.)

But the most special piece of all is the vintage prayer kneeler my friend Catherine gave me when we moved from Cape Cod. She’s with the Lord now but this will always remind me of her.

And here is our little porch overlooking the pond! The twig furniture was left behind by a previous owner. I love it.


TO THIS! No longer a shed, we now have a cabin to work, pray, and share.

I do love makeovers, don’t you? It’s been so fun to share these before-and-after pictures with you.

But the biggest transformation of all is the one that takes place in the human heart.

I’m glad photos don’t exist of the interior of my life before Christ came in. You, too? During this Lenten season we celebrate the One who gave his own life to make ours over again. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Thanks for stopping by today! Newly yours, Maggie