I opened my eyes to the early morning. Right away I could tell today would not be a good day.

My first thoughts were of all the things I had to do that day. I felt the weight of life around me.

The thought of being in public made me cringe. These days were familiar. Days where I felt like I was suffocating and needed to hide in the sanctuary of my home, where feeling broken was safe.

I felt pangs of guilt, knowing I would break commitments, skip church, and bow out of coffee dates.

But I didn’t care, because I felt like I was slowly dying and that felt so much bigger than where I was supposed to be that day.

Depression paralyzed me at times. It’s strange how some days were so great, while others made me wonder, what would happen if it won? That scared me. There were moments when I wished I could have blinked out my existence. Not suicide, just erased.

This went on for almost two years.

I kept hoping for a break through moment, when it would all make sense.

God felt so far away when I was at my lowest. And that morning, laying in bed with a heavy heart, if he had been sitting there beside me on the edge of my bed, holding my hand, I wonder what I would have said to Him.


“God, why depression?”

“God, why don’t you help me?”

“Am I supposed to figure this one out on my own?”

Why do I have to figure this out on my own?”


Maybe these would have been ridiculous things to ask Him, but my depression was all consuming—it warped my perspective. Probably the more important question would have been what would He say to me?

I didn’t want another day like that. I wanted to hide under my blanket and wish it away. I prayed for the strength to get out of bed. I prayed for a sign that it would all be okay.

I pulled my blanket up to my nose and closed my eyes. Maybe if I could fall back to sleep, I would wake up feeling different.

Then I heard the creek of a door down the hall. The confident pitter patter of little feet heading my way. He arrived in the dim light of morning, his hair ridiculously crazy with bed head and a mile wide grin. It made me smile.

It was my two-year-old, Oliver, face bright with expectation for the day ahead as he rubbed sleep from his eyes.

I lifted my blanket and he ran the rest of the way to my bedside. I pulled him in to the bed and he wrapped his chubby little arms around me. Then he breathed an “I wuv you” into the crook of my neck.”

I slowly let go of all that I was supposed to do that day—the places I should have been. And I chose that moment. I chose the little boy I held in my arms. I chose life.

No matter how I felt, I could show up for my family. I thanked God for snuggly little boys as I buried my nose into the top of Oliver’s head, inhaling his little boy goodness.

This was so many of my days in the last two years.

Nowadays I feel like I’m getting better. I have more good days than bad and I am so thankful I feel like I’m on the other side of this journey.

But I did feel like God had forsaken me, because in my darkest hours I didn’t feel like I could turn to Him. I just didn’t know what to say. Not even to God.

As I was sitting in church this morning I was reminded that even Jesus in his final moments cried out to God.

“Lord, why have you forsaken me?”

If Jesus felt that way in his darkest hours, I guess it’s acceptable that I can have those moments too. I know he was in a much worse place, but life without God is scary.

They were the moments that pulled me through—like a little boy curled up in my arms.

What do I think God would have said to me that morning? Today, I know, I found it in His word.

“Hold your hand? Daughter, I hold you in the shelter of my arms. I am your refuge and your strength. I will take care of you and if you fall, I will catch you. Fear nothing, even in the darkest hours, no matter what this world throws at you, I am your protector and, I am your defender. Call on Me, and I will be there, always. Trust me.”




More like this? This is Motherhood {Too}- a story of Postpartum depression.





DIY Wall Treatment- Stencilling





I had a very tired wall that I decided to tackle mid-renovation, cause you know, I did not have enough projects happening. The before picture below was taken in July.

“Happy Easter”… July.  Clearly this chalk board had lost it’s purpose.

There was  a block of wood shoved under the shelving unit, acting as an additional leg,  to help keep it from collapsing under  the weight of all the toys shoved into those tired old bins. This area needed an intervention.





I wanted to do something interesting on this wall. My first thought was to wallpaper, but I was too impatient to wait for samples to arrive. Then I found  Royal Stencil’s site. I think it might have been on Pinterest.

Let me tell you, stencils have a come a long way from the days of chickens and ivy. So after much deliberation, I place my order for the Bombay Paisley.




I had loads of left over paint in my garage. So I used a white back ground and the grey is Benjamin Moore Collingwood Grey. (note, my BM paint was kind of thick, I should have thinned it, but I’m lazy. It made keeping my stencil clean difficult.)

Now, I am not going to say this was easy. I kept lining it up wrong and having to repaint the wall white. I did this in the same spot three times. To fix, I would have to re-paint over the grey with the white, wait for it to dry and start over.

I ran out of the white paint before I could cover my last mistake, then discovered that brand I has using was discontinued.  Ever try to colour match white?

I think my Facebook status at the end of the night read something like this.

“I want to punch stencils in the face.”

But it is amazing what a glass of wine and good nights sleep can do for your optimism, and the next day I finished the project. High fives.




It’s not perfect, but honestly, that is what I really love about it.

To complete the space, I resurrected a dodgy side board that was in my basement and refinished it using Annie Sloan Chalk paint. You can read about that here.




Regarding wall art, there was a lot of deliberation with my twin sister. I discuss all my home decorating ideas with her because she is a genius.

She completes me.

She thought I should get a black and white print of a shark. I liked that idea; rooms are much more charming with a little quirkiness.

But, I really needed somewhere to store some of my serving dishes.

So, after six months of staring at my wall, I finally decided on high gloss white shelves from Ikea.

I love them. And they compliment the cabinetry on our  fireplace reno.




I reused a lot of things in my house. The chalk paint and wall paint were left over in my garage, I had the sideboard in my basement. So my biggest investment was the shelving, which cost about $80. The cost of the stencil was $36.95.

A pretty big impact for such a small budget.


Alright…..have I made you a believer?

Don’t judge by my errors during this project, I can be a bit of a knob.






Where I Confess….I Suck at Cleaning.



Product of my new improved cleaning skills.  It looked like this for five minutes. 

I am a cleaning dork. A friend was over helping me organize my house, Lord knows, I need all the help I can get. She is a clutter clearing guru, plus a drill sergeant and I totally need that. I am pretty sure I have ADHD (not joking). I have never been diagnosed officially, but I Googled it.  I have the attention span of a fly, particularly when I am doing something that I hate, it takes a small breeze to distract me to more interesting things.

While my friend and I  were working together,  she must have noticed how lost I was, because she said something to me that changed everything and I will get to that in a second.

Let’s talk about why I am lost. Aside from my self diagnosed ADHD, I seem to have also missed the get organized, keep your house clean gene. This could also be to do to a good amount of laziness and procrastination.

This would be my typical cleaning attempt: 

  • Start with doing morning dishes.
  • Then check my email midway through
  • Remember I haven’t brushed my teeth yet……that’s why my mouth tastes like yack.
  • Run upstairs, while brushing my teeth, wipe out a sink with other hand.
  • Notice Oliver’s toys are piling over and sort them out, leave a pile to go down to the basement at the top of the stairs. I will trip over this repeatedly for the next two weeks.
  • Suddenly get inspired for a Facebook post and go downstairs to find my laptop,
  • Notice dishwasher is still half unloaded and start over…..

My house is typically a mess. Not from a lack of effort, because I am cleaning…all the time,  I just never really getting anything finished. This gives me a massive headache. Plus add a three-year old to the hamster wheel of the redundancy of housework and it can all feel utterly hopeless.

The only time I really shine is the three hours before company arrives. I then have an out-of-body experience, and let me tell you, that other girl who shows up can really move her ass.

So what did my wise friend say to me?

“Danny, work each room in a circle till it is clean. Start in one spot, work your way around till it is finished.”

She so gets me. 

I know this seems ridiculously simple, I feel kind of dumb for sharing it,  but it has revolutionized my cleaning.  If I apply this to tidying my house, eighty percent of the time I actually get the room cleaned, but I really have to focus (ADHD). All the cleaning books I have read, the money spent on magazines that promise me a cleaner home,  none of them ever said this. Not. Even. Once. It’s always about mystery stains and disgusting grime, that I hope I never have in my house. Doing this get’s the room to being super tidy, then the cleaning part is a breeze.  I still need to get more personally organized, but I will take this for now.

Please don’t tell me I am alone in this. I would love your input in the comments below! 

How do you clean a room?

Do you get easily sidetracked……SQUIRREL!

Do you keep a schedule? Or BETTER have an app?




Infertility….You Are a Jerk.

Daniela-6 copy

Dear Infertility,

You chased me for years. Every 28 days you chipped away my hope by revealing that one lonely line at the end of a plastic stick. No matter how hard I prayed, no matter which way I closely examined that stupid stick, you defeated me each month.

I began carrying the word “barren” over my life, not just over my womb.  You dried up my spirit and I found myself  wandering in the desert. I watched life blossoming in other’s fertile ground, and I just did not understand why you were picking on me. So I wandered, lost and barren.

I tried everything! Remember the nights I stood on my head? The well-timed plans, the crazy medications, invasive unromantic fertility treatments? You turned everything beautiful about conception into a battle ground; I felt like a failure.

You robbed me of my femininity, my courage, my hope and my joy. You invaded my marriage bed. Every 28 days you rubbed my nose in failure.

You must have laughed at all those pregnancy tests I took. The bulk stash I kept under my bathroom sink, hoping that if I took enough, I could beat you at this game. I would like my money back, jerk.

Each 25th day of my cycle, I would begin to self analyze my physical condition. Why does PMS seem so much like pregnancy symptoms?  Even my body seemed to be mocking me, and it ended the same each month. Hope crushed, as I reached for a tampon, sometimes those tears I tried to hold back just fell. I would sit on my toilet grieving another month of loss.

If I could go back and tell that barren woman one thing, it would be this. You were doing everything right and you are going to be okay.

I began to grieve for the child I would never have, but the beautiful thing about grief? It isn’t just the end, it is also a beginning. He offers us beauty for our ashes. As I let go of what I couldn’t have; what I had lost, what you stole infertility and the dust of disappointment started to blow off of my heart. I started to find my joy again.  It had been a lonely road, but when I finally took the hand Jesus, I realized He had been walking right beside me all along.

After five years in the desert, I began to believe that  a beautiful story was about to unfold in my life. I began to find my hope again.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

I let go of my disappointment and neurotic obsession. I told myself often to be patient and trust; somewhere between twenty to a hundred times a day. I made a slow journey  to the edge of my desert and one day I touched my toe into the promise land. It felt like the bravest thing I had ever done. Sometimes it is hard to let go of your pain, it becomes to comfortable, even though it sucks.

I like this part.  

I got better. My heart got better. As bitterness was replaced with hope, things got better. And then one day…

Two lines. I was not expecting this. I had hoped it, in the smallest hope that only God could hear. I just couldn’t let go of that dream.

Then on a snowy winter’s night,  a hearty cry filled the air. Almost nine pounds of baby boy glory was born. When I saw his face, I knew it was over. I gazed at his chubby face, ran my finger down his rounded cheek and brought my other foot into my promise land.

Over the years I have thought of how other women of perhaps, greater faith, may have done this walk better, but then maybe it was their deserts that brought them to their “greater faith”.  In the end, my journey was a very valuable part. It didn’t feel like that way at the time, but looking back, it was a season rich in growth and  miracles.

And oh, what He can do with our mess when we really hand it over to Him.


Rubbing It In Yo’ Face Schwartz

(Still working on grace.)


I am linking up with SheLoves magazine this month on stories of hope.


photo credit: Tina Francis Photography



Daniela Schwartz © 2013. All Rights Reserved.