Would you like to see where we live… finally???

Welcome to our new town of Cleveland, MS, and to our home.  I feel like we have been in the process of moving here for about seven months… and actually, we have.  It was a slow process for our family, but The Lord knew exactly how to time the unfolding of our transition from city to town in a way that produced gratitude instead of grumbling.  God’s ways are indeed perfect.

First of all, please see map, and appreciate my lovely spider-like star next to our new hometown.  Cleveland, MISSISSIPPI – not Ohio. πŸ™‚  We are very close to the Mississippi River, in the midst of many rice, soybean, corn, and cotton farms.

The Mississippi Delta is a unique area brimming with Southern History and Culture – which I heart, by the way. This is a link to the top 10 attractions in our area. (Is anyone outside of this area in a love affair with McCarty Pottery or Peter’s Pottery?  I have always loved pottery, and feel a strong new addiction coming upon me…)

Our downtown streets and main streets were beautifully lit for Christmas.  Wish I had taken a picture to show you.  It looked just like small towns do in those Hallmark movies.

Our home is located 2-3 blocks from the downtown area, within walking distance to our church, the library, the courthouse, and lots of quaint unique boutique-type stores.  I love to stroll in and out of all of the shops, but can not tell you how THRILLED I am that a coffee shop, Mississippi Grounds, just opened 2 1/2 blocks from my house!  I have missed quite a few things about living in a larger city, but I think that Starbucks and Panera coffee just might top the list.  It opened Monday, and after a walk to the Library, we walked to the coffee shop… I could feel my full mojo coming back to me!  (I was their first Facebook Fan… that should indicate something! Ha Ha!)

This was taken on our walk.  We live close to some of the most beautiful homes in Cleveland.

We bought a house built sometime in the late 1930’s.  It was previously owned by a well loved couple in Cleveland, who married in front of the living room mantle in 1947.  Every time we tell someone we bought “The Samuel’s house”, they go on and on about what precious people the Samuel’s were (Mr. Samuels is still living – and still just as precious.) and about what a wonderful house they had.  We totally agree, and feel honored to be the ones to live in this dear couple’s home.  It has been added onto two different times, and the space is perfect for our family.  It’s arranged in such a way that it can be full of family and guests, yet no one feels crowded.  It is truly an answer to our prayers!  (Our Nashville house hasn’t sold yet – we’re still praying and waiting and trusting God on that!  We know God has a plan… We know God has a plan… We know God has a plan…)

As all older homes do, our home needed some updating and some work.  We’ve done what we can right now, and are content and grateful for what we have.  One of these days when our house sells (if it makes any money) we’ll do a little more updating.  If not… we’ll still be grateful for what we have. 

Here is the front view of our house:

This is what you would see if you pulled into our carport and entered into the courtyard heading toward the back door (we are waiting to trim up the courtyard and plants until spring):

As you enter the back door, you’d be in our den. These pictures are of the den in transition, as seen from the archway into the kitchen. (What you can’t see: Grass cloth glued on the walls with some kind of glue that would NOT come off.  It took a village to get the walls sanded down and ready to paint!)

But with The Lord’s (and quite a few church member’s) help, we did it. Ahhhh….

This was the kitchen before… These cabinets look green, but were really a lovely robin’s egg blue. They were darling, but they didn’t work with any of my decor.

White paint… How I love thee…

The picture below is looking into our dining room from the living room. Notice the border we couldn’t remove from the wall and the green gunk on the floor. The walls are made of a beautiful old bead board, but then covered in a material that things can’t be pulled off of (don’t remember the name). The wall board was crumbling like cardboard when we tried to remove the border. The Lord gave us the idea to cover up the border with thin ply board, add a trim to the bottom, paint it white, and pretend it’s part of a deep crown moulding.  And as The Lord does things… of course, it works, and actually adds to the room. πŸ™‚

When we pulled up the wall to wall carpet in the front original part of the house, we found lots of this green gunk – y.e.a.r.s. of carpet padding melted into the beautiful hardwood floors. Again, it took a village… many many man power hours to get it up. Anyone who would drop by the house to help us got the joyous job of scrubbing the green stuff off of the floor. We tried everything. If it worked, it stripped the floors. If it was gentle on the floors, it didn’t work. Finally, GooGone along with HOT water and heavy elbow grease, along with desperate praying, did the trick.

The before and after:

The green gunk was also in the guest room, hall, and living room, too.

But it’s now cleaned up, the floors are polished, and furniture is placed.  It feels warm and cozy.

Living room looking into the dining room:

(We still need a few chairs)

This is the living room, viewed from the hall, looking toward the guest room:

Guest room:

(My dad painted the picture above the bed.  It hung in our house for years, then graduated to the barn. πŸ˜‰  We were honored to give it a new home.)

This is our front door.  Many years ago, it was shipped up the Mississippi River from New Orleans.  It is one of only two doors like it in Cleveland.  The other door is on the beautiful older home of a local artist. 

Look at this wonderful tiny chandelier in the foyer.  It’s one of my favorite features in this house. I believe it is original to this home.

Another unique feature of this older home is that we have a darling little mail slot in the lower right wall of the foyer.  The mail man kindly puts our mail in it every day.  We have a mailbox we need to put out on the street, but until we get that taken care of, they are willing to continue to deliver our mail into our mail slot.  We think it’s kind of “cool”.

This is the hall bathroom before:

And after:

The children’s rooms are down a hall on either side of this bathroom. Our Master bedroom is off of the den.  We’re not quite done with the details of the bedrooms, so I’ll show those on another day. 

Troughout the house, we used Sherwin Willimas’ Restrained Gold (which is my favorite paint color in the world) and Sherwin Williams’ Ivorie.  Except for in the children’s rooms.  Nate’s is SW Resolute Blue, and Abi’s is SW Blue Bauble.  We painted every wall in this house, and are very pleased with each color choice. πŸ™‚

This iron fence surrounds our side and back yards.  It was once a fence around a graveyard in Leeland, MS.  (There is a little one lane alley to the side of our house  – see below – that runs the length of about 4 or 5 blocks.  Unique.) 

Of course, we had to show our Memphis Tiger support… not to be confused with this antique garden embellishment:

Mr. Samuels built Mrs. Samuels this serpentine brick fence around the courtyard for their 40th anniversary.  The bricks came from downtown Boyle, MS when they were tearing down the old downtown buildings.  Lots of history in our fences!

(And while I’m giving history on where things came from, I just must give God the credit for every tiny detail that has come together in this house! Everything we have has been given by Him – most often through the unselfishness of others. And every item, large or small, has a story of God’s provision with it. We are so thankful for how He has filled our home, and we want Him to be glorified in every inch of it!!!)

This is a little pathway (we call it the Secret Garden path) that winds from the courtyard to the front yard. It’s laid with stones, but overgrown right now.  I can’t wait to see it in the Spring when things are blooming and we’ve been grooming!

Which brings us back to the front of the house and the beginning of the pictures. 

I’m sitting here with my feet (in rain boots, btw) propped up on my grandmother’s trunk/coffee table, thanking God for this home, and thanking you for taking the time to tour it.  πŸ™‚ 

So many of you have prayed for us and encouraged us in this long journey, and we are forever grateful for you.  And to those of you who have shared with us in any way to help provide for this home, or our journey to get here…we praise God for you and the part you have played in the lives of our family.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.  If you’re ever in or near Cleveland, MS, please let me know.  I’d love to have you over, for real.  We’ll grab a cup of coffee, prop our feet on the trunk, and celebrate all God has done in each of our lives.

Much love to you~
Jennifer and family

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. Jennifer! It is beautiful! And I love seeing what the Lord hath done! It has been a joy to join you all in prayer on this journey. Love your home! Would be so wonderful to visit you one day! You're always welcome this way! πŸ™‚

  2. Well, obviously I'm a little behind in my blog reading, but just wanted to say that I LOVE your house! ( :

  3. notes of sincerity says:

    Welcome to Mississippi! :o) I am down in Pearl River County. :o) I have missed reading your blog!! I hope you have a great week.
    Sincerely, Trish

  4. The Brady's Blog..Not Home Yet says:

    Thank you for welcoming us into your wonderful God-filled home. It is perfect! I see the work of the Father in every room! It fits you to a perfectly. God knew what you needed right down to the coffee shop down the street. I pray that you will have a blessed ministry beyond our wildest dreams! Ephesians 3:20-21!
    I love you all

  5. Jennifer, your home is beautiful! You are so right about God working in perfect timing and ways. When we are willing to go where He leads, He blesses…and manages to grow us in the process. Thanks for the tour of your home and sharing your heart.

  6. Oh Jennifer, I love your home and the story behind it. WOWWY! what a lot of work that was done on this beautiful home. EGG blue cabinets…yikes! I am so excited fo you all and continue to pray for you and your family as you minister for the LORD.

    You continue to be like a e-sister haha to me. Blessings to you this week!
    Much love,


  7. Friends~ Thank you so much for rejoicing with us in what God has done and given us in our new living space. We are so thankful for it, and we appreciate your joy with us. Much love to you all!!!


  8. Jennifer – that was a wonderful tour! I just love all the history, and the evidence of all the hard work that so many poured into your house to make it your homse….and I just LOVE the after photos! What a beautiful home – but not surprising. You just KNEW that God had something fantastic in store!! Such a blessing and so glad you shared it with us:)

    PS – LOVE that paint color, too!!

  9. Oh how fun to see your home and hear some of the history. I enjoyed the beauty and appreciated the work involved.

  10. Oh my. How beautiful. I love getting to take a tour through your home. It's so encouraging for me to hear how the Lord worked out everything–the littlest details.

    Seems our family is suddenly "on a journey" again. Thursday my husband's job as church administrator was cut. So we are now going through that (ouch) process of looking for another job.
    Pray for us please.

    It's just good to know how God has brought you all through. And to know he will indeed do it for us as well.

    Love your house. Love your sweet town. Makes me want to visit. πŸ™‚

    Gwynie Pie
    @ The Pink Tractor

  11. Empty Nest Full Life says:

    Jennifer, it is absolutely beautiful! You have done a wonderul job! The yard is so unique and lovely. I know you are glad to be settled. All of your hard work has been worth it! Blessing to you! Jackie

  12. How lovely! You have done a wonderful job and I know the Lord will bless you and all who enter!

  13. Kim @ Quit Eating Out {Recipes to Make Dining Out a Choice, Not a Chore} says:

    Friend your home is absolutely gorgeous! You have all done an amazing job in updating it…… I LOVE the history you've learned about your home. It was obviously well loved. What a wonderful place to call home. Much love to you…..

  14. Beth.. One Blessed Nana says:

    You don't live that far from me! If you look at your map, go down to the Louisiana border and see where it says "west Carroll Parish"?? That's me! We live in Oak Grove – well, goodwill, right over the border of Miss. Cleveland is not very far at all!

  15. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    Oh my goodness… just like watching my favorite channel, HGTV! LOVE your new home and all the beautiful changes you've made. I missed the "fix-it-up-cute" house gene when God created me…

    How lovely, friend, and so well-deserving. May you have many happy, warm memories in this home for many years to come.


  16. I like your new place and all that you have done to make it look so good!

    You are an amazing woman!

    Hope you have a great weekend…

    We need to get together soon! I'll meet you halfway between you & me!


  17. YOu are such a southern belle!!! I am in awe of your beautiful home!! Yall have done a great job!

  18. What a beautiful home and yard. The fences are great. Your home is warm and inviting. Praise the Lord for His provision. I'll look forward to seeing your gardens in the spring and summer! I love fireplaces and noticed you have more than one, that makes a home so cozy and warm. Isn't it great that you had help from your church friends to scrape and scrub! Enjoy your home, you used some heavy 'elbow grease' to get it to where it is!!

  19. Kim@Seasons of My Heart says:

    Hey friend~I read your post on my blackberry during my morning commute…and I've just now come back to see the pictures up close and personal!

    God has OUT DONE himself by blessing you with a BEAUTIFUL home! I'm drooling….it's so amazing.

    I do have one question for you…since I live CLOSE to the Mississippi river…does that make us neighbors? (I WISH)

    I'll be thinking of you often..as I cross the good ol' Mississippi each day on my way to work!

    Now..on to praying for the sale of your home in TN.

    Love ya…

  20. It's all so very BEAUTIFUL! And you and your family and your helpers have done a wonderful job of making it YOUR home.
    I HEART your decorating style, too!

  21. Your home is beautiful. So Warm! I desire to make my home more inviting. One day…

    Thank you for sharing these pics!!

  22. I LOVE it….gorgeous, wonderful, homey, and the love just jumps off the computer screen! May you all be VERY happy!

  23. Wow! Thank you for taking us on this tour! I love the history and all of the special details of your new home. I am in love with the fences and can't wait to see what is planted outside in the gardens…you have done a super job bringing the inside together into a cozy beautiful home!Awesome! God's blessings as you begin this new year!

  24. Thanks for the tour of your beautiful house and grounds. Just lovely. I enjoyed the history of the house and hearing og God's provision in your life. Have a great weekend.

  25. Feel like I was right there walking through the halls with you, Jen! Thanks for sharing your home with us! Still miss you guys!
    Love you!
    Amy T.