50 episodes

This is Life, Repurposed where you’ll find uplifting and practical advice for everyday living, creative inspiration for do-it-yourself projects, and recommendations for books and resources that will encourage you to embrace your life, repurposed.

Michelle Rayburn is the author of "The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure" and several other books. She's a speaker and social media guru as well.

Life, Repurposed Michelle Rayburn

    • Christianity
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

This is Life, Repurposed where you’ll find uplifting and practical advice for everyday living, creative inspiration for do-it-yourself projects, and recommendations for books and resources that will encourage you to embrace your life, repurposed.

Michelle Rayburn is the author of "The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure" and several other books. She's a speaker and social media guru as well.

    What You Do Today Matters

    What You Do Today Matters

    In this episode:

    Sue Donaldson says, "Surrender every day. We have disappointments, but we surrender over and over." On this week's episode, we talked about how she walked through a period of doubt and how God brought her through that in steps that surprised her. We also talked about how taking the next step is where faith comes in.

    (Article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission from that purchase.)

    Inspired Life

    My guest this week is Sue Donaldson. In this episode, we talked about how Sue learned how to trust God while she was single and waiting for him to show her who she was to marry. She was 35 when she and her husband married. Sue shared how she had grown up in the church but experienced doubts about faith after graduating from high school. While at a Christian college and participating the traveling musical ministry group, she was afraid to tell others that she was having doubts. But through a series of God events, he gave her reassurance from trusted mentors that he doubts were not too big for God to handle.

    Sue would eventually teach at a Christian high school and then go on to ministry overseas with Wyclife Bible Translators in Brazil.

    About Sue:

    Speaker, author, Sue Donaldson and her husband, Mark, live in San Luis Obispo, California. Sue taught high school English, part of the time in Brazil with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She and her husband, Mark, have raised 3 daughters who keep them at the bank and on their knees. Sue loves connecting people to one another, to God, and to His Word, and has been speaking for the last 20 years or so with long pauses for babies, diapers and soccer pasta parties. She blogs at WelcomeHeart: Knowing and Showing the Heart of God and hosts a weekly podcast: Make it Count: Living a Legacy Life.

    Life, Repurposed

    A ministry friend once wrote to Sue, "It's a new day and I'm trusting God." She says that's a beautiful reminded that we need to trust God for one step, one day, at a time. Sometimes God's plans surprise us or take us in unexpected places.

    Sue said she's been "knocking on the door of speaking" more because that's her real passion. But so much was canceled because of COVID-19 this year. That changed the opportunities. She said the Lord spoke to her one day and she sensed him say, "You're knocking on this door and I'm coming in the back window." Her "back window" is that she has been writing a lot more right now.

    She's also been inviting people to meet in her back yard to continue her mentoring opportunities while following safe practices for COVID-19. She's found new ministry opportunities despite obstacles.

    Sue mentors people of all ages and reminds them that our legacy begins at any age. That isn't only for old people. Her ultimate message is, "What you do today matters."

    Recommended Resources

    Sue has a special discount that runs through October 31, 2020. Check out Sue's digital resources (e-courses, worksheets, discussion guides, etc.). She's offering 25% off on all non-print products with the code WELCOMEFRIENDS on her website here: Welcome Heart Resources

    Sue's books include:

       a href="https://www.amazon.

    • 30 min
    Just Enough in Times of Need

    Just Enough in Times of Need

    In this episode:

    When we pause to think about it, having "just enough" is actually an abundance. Scarcity says there isn't enough, but even with a very little, God can provide even more than we really need when we practice generosity and faith.

    (Article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission from that purchase.)

    Inspired Life

    Last week I talked about Blue Light Specials. I would like to continue the conversation just a bit as I talk about something from childhood you might be able to relate to.

    Growing up, I learned that we had to wear it out or outgrow something before we bought a new one. When I was in elementary school, I was hard on boots.

    Sometimes boots were hand-me-downs that had already had some wear!

    When the soles started cracking, the moisture from snow-melted, slushy puddles on the playground would seep into the boots and squish around in the woolen liners.

    I wasn’t the only one whose socks left a drippy trail from the coat racks to my desk where my sneakers waited for me after recess. Can you recall the smell of wet socks in the classroom after recess?

    But those boots were worn, not worn out. We couldn’t afford new boots, so my mother, like many other mothers, sent us to school with used bread bags on our feet. We’d slip them over our dry socks and then slide them into the boots. Not only were our feet dry after recess, but the slippery bread bags made it easier to put on boots that were getting just a little bit too small as well.

    I learned many ways of being frugal from my mother. But I didn’t know extreme frugality until I met my mother-in-law. I’m recording this on the 15-year anniversary of when she passed away from cancer, so this is a little tribute to her.

    If Joy were still living now, I think she could try out for the show “Extreme Couponing” and make it. She wouldn’t purchase anything or eat out anywhere unless she had a coupon for it. Any grocery shopping trip with her meant making at least five different stops so that she could use her coupons, get her milk card punched, or get the best price on sugar.

    Her extreme frugality also included a basement full of stuff she bought simply because it was free with a rebate. She was as pale as never-seen-sunshine came, but in her basement stash, she had pantyhose for people of different shades of ethnic backgrounds. She also had foundation make-up for brown skin and boxes of L’Oreal hair color of shades she’d never use in a million years because the shelves were emptied of her favorite platinum blonde and honey brown. It didn’t matter. It was free.

    I laughed when I found some test-market feminine supplies on the shelf. Those never got used because was already starting menopause, but she bought them anyway. Because they were free. Those sat right next to the packages of Depends undergarments on the shelf. I figured she was stocking up for someday because no one ever used those.

    When asked about her strange collection of freebies, she’d say, “Well, you never know.”

    There she was, caught in the phase between menstruating and incontinence and she had supplies for both, but needed neither.

    We weren’t sure what she planned to do with the fifteen tape measures and slew of screw drivers and hammers that were free at the home improvement store. Nor the 20 packages of light bulbs that didn’t fit a single fixture in the house. But, for years, I didn’t have to buy shampoo, or lotion, or shaving cream, or toothbrushes. I just went down her basement and chose what I liked.

    For us, frugality sprung out of necessity. The money simply wasn’t there to pay full price for name brand clothing or household appliances that might be used only a few times per year. It wasn’t there for my mother or my grandmother, or my mother-in-law,

    • 15 min
    Blue Light Special, Repurposed Hope

    Blue Light Special, Repurposed Hope

    In this episode:

    From blue light specials to garage sales, I've enjoyed making the most of living on a budget! Sometimes, life's challenges have hidden fun and joy. There is no second best when we embrace our present circumstances as part of the adventure!

    (Article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission from that purchase.)

    Inspired Life

    I grew up post Vietnam War. It wasn’t like growing up in the depression, but my parents are boomers who were raised by parents that grew up in the depression. And they knew how to save money. One of my mother’s favorite lines was, “We can’t afford that.” She was right. But I resented that phrase as a child.

    To me, she may have just as well said, “We’re dirt poor and you’re gonna have to learn to like it.”

    But I didn’t like it. I wanted to be able to walk into JC Penney and buy a size 6X Garanimals pink and yellow outfit off the rack like the other little girls did. Then, I didn’t know what the X was for, but now that I’m older and I remember my somewhat sturdy body, I suspect it was X for extra generously cut in the seat and the waist.

    Back then, I didn’t care. As long as it said Garanimals in the tag, I wanted it.

    My mother sewed a lot of my clothing. Now, it’s fashionable to sew one’s own clothing because fabric costs as much as caviar, but in the 70’s and 80’s, it meant you were poor.

    “Mom, can I just have a store bought dress? I’d plead.

    “We can’t afford it.”

    Little did I know, someday I’d look back at all of the darling things my mother made for me and remember the many hours she spent hunched over a sewing machine and appreciate all of it. But I didn’t appreciate it then.

    I had some store-bought outfits, especially for the first day of school. I loved having a pair of jeans so new that they turned my legs blue before the end of the day. We shopped a lot at K-Mart because they had blue light specials.

    I think blue light specials were designed to keep housewives fit and children cranky. My brother and I would follow mom around, ducking in and out of clothing racks, listening to Debby Boone sing “You Light Up My Life” on the overhead speakers.

    My little sister chattered in the shopping cart and suddenly the PA system would click, go silent for a brief moment, then give out a loud whine of feedback before a man would announce, “Attention please. There is a Blue Light special on curtains in aisle six.”

    Mothers everywhere raced for aisle six. They didn’t have to go jogging for exercise if they shopped at K-Mart. If children came with rubber arms, they might be better equipped for following maniac mothers who yanked them by the hand and made off for aisle six.

    Smaller children lagged behind, dragging tired little feet, slurping sticky lollipops their mothers had bought to keep them quiet. “Mommy! Wait!” They whined.

    Inevitably, the Blue Light Special in aisle six turned out to be the world’s most hideous set of olive green and orange plaid curtains, but the sales associate waiting by the flashing blue light couldn’t keep up with the women waiting in line to get their discounted curtains marked with a sticker from his hand-held sticker clicker. Well, that’s not what it was called, but I was fascinated with its ability to spit out price tags one after another. Chu-chick. Chu-chick. Chu-chick.

    Life, Repurposed

    I have realized that I could whine about being an underprivileged farm kid, or I can see the blessings I received from frugal experiences with my own mother and grandmother. I could feel terrible that the only name-brand clothing my boys have owned were mined from heaps of ratty jeans and t-shirts on someone’s makeshift sawhorse and plywood table in a garage. But where would the fun be?

    • 13 min
    Happy Birthday to Life, Repurposed

    Happy Birthday to Life, Repurposed

    In this episode:

    This week, we celebrate the second birthday of this podcast! Included in this episode are short clips from my favorite interviews from the past two years. Enjoy!

    (Article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission from that purchase.)

    Inspired Life

    Happy birthday to Life, Repurposed! This podcast is 2 years old on September 29. The format for this week’s show is a little different in that I’m going to share some clips from the past two years.

    It’s been a fun two years of expanding from every other week to weekly, upgrading recording equipment, and going audio only (no YouTube channel in season 2 and 3). Thank you for your support!

    Here's a peek at where the recording happens:

    Life, Repurposed

    This episode includes clips from:

    Joanie Shawhan from episode 15

    Letitia Suk from episode 20

    Kathy Carlton Willis from episode 21

    Courtney Ellis from episodes 19 and 22

    Jill Savage from episode 38

    Phil Rayburn (my hubby) from episode 49

    Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh from episode 54

    Jane Rubietta from episode 56


    Recommended Resources

    If you're looking for links to the resources in each of the featured episodes, you'll find them with the articles linked to each episode listed above. You can also find all books and resources featured on my blog with this handy link. Each episode has resources at the end with easy links.

    In the birthday episode, I mentioned a brand new freebie on my website. At my Classic Marriage book page, you'll find a link to this printable photo booth set of pages to celebrate by taking your own photos to share with friends in post on their social media pages. 


    Also, have you checked out my latest book? It's a great next step for couples.

    Classic Marriage: Staying In Love as Your Odometer Climbs

    A classic is something of high quality and lasting value. In a marriage there will be hours of maintenance work, tinkering, breakdowns, meltdowns, blowups, cute photo ops, wear and tear, overhauls, memories, vacations, celebrations, and repairs. There will be moments where you haul yourselves back to “the garage” for work.

    • 21 min
    Helping Shut-Ins Not Feel Shut Out

    Helping Shut-Ins Not Feel Shut Out

    In this episode:

    Being shut in doesn't have to mean being shut out. In this episode, author Kathy Carlton Willis and I chat about how she's made the most of needing to stay isolated during COVID-19 and how she's made it into a ministry to others. Get practical ideas for how you can serve someone who's shut in at home.

    (Article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission from that purchase.)

    Inspired Life

    In this episode, I chatted with author Kathy Carlton Willis about how COVID-19 affected her personally, and we talked about what it is like living with chronic health challenges when the risk is high. Kathy shared how the last nine months of mostly isolation have been for her and how she has experienced a pause on her normal speaking, conferences, local ministry, and personal connection to friends.

    Kathy has learned new ways to reach out and have a personal ministry to others via technology. She’s used creativity in how she’s turned a time of being shut in into an opportunity to help others. After having her own small group have to take a break because of not being able to meet in person, and not being able to attend worship services, Kathy didn’t spend time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she sprang into action.

    Life, Repurposed

    We talked about two factors: how she has repurposed her time and attention and still found meaningful ways to minister to others while being more limited and confined, and also about how others might think outside of the box to reach out to people who are more confined.

    First, Kathy shared some ideas for what she’s been doing to reach out to others. One thing she has done is to record short voice messages and then send them to people who God places on her heart. Using texts and social media messages, she has recorded prayers and words of encouragement for many people. Often someone will say it was just what they needed and she had no idea.

    She’s also found ways to connect with friends and fellow writers. The conferences she hosts for writers have turned into at-home retreats with Zoom meetings. She’s also started doing a Grin and Grow break devotional on her Facebook page several times each week (link below). Followers can listen in for a short message. Kathy also used the time with fewer commitments to work on several books, one of which is coming out in November.

    During this time, Kathy has had thoughtful people offer to pick up something at the store and deliver it to her porch with no contact and distancing.

    That led us to brainstorm a bit about ways that we could be more aware of people who are shut in, whether it’s right now or because of a treatment they are undergoing. COVID-19 has made us more aware, but there have always been shut in people.


    * Check in on someone and see how they are doing.

    * If you’re running errands, ask someone who is isolated if there is anything they need that you could pick up and drop off to them.

    * Offer to stop at the pharmacy or mail a package.

    * Ask what their favorite treat is and offer to drop it off on your way by.

    * If hosting a small group, consider how to place a computer camera so that some members can participate online. Look for ways to include them in the discussion.

    Consider ways to have post-service conversations for those who can only do online church.

    Recommended Resources

    Kathy is working on a brand new book in her God’s Grin Gal brand. It will be released in late 2020. In the meantime, you’ll find her other books on her website, KathyCarltonWillis.

    • 39 min
    Change One Thing

    Change One Thing

    In this episode:

    If you had to choose just one thing for your next step, what would it be? What if a tiny pivot could change your direction and help you finish up the year 2020 strong and heading toward a better life?

    (Article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission from that purchase.)

    Inspired Life

    If you could only change one thing in your life, what would you do? I’ve heard the term “butterfly effect” a few times and didn’t understand what it meant until recently.

    The term "butterfly effect" was coined by meteorologist Edward Lorenz, who discovered in the 1960's that tiny, butterfly-scale changes to the starting point of his computer weather models resulted in anything from sunny skies to violent storms—with no way to predict in advance what the outcome might be.

    It isn’t that butterflies necessarily cause the outcome, but that a tiny change in one place can have a dramatic effect on the future. It could be something as small as the brush of a butterfly wing that could change the scenario enough to eventually set off a weather event, but there was no way of proving it, according to Lorenz. But is there?

    If you’ve ever mowed the lawn or plowed a field (I grew up on a farm), you understand how a tiny adjustment of a steering wheel can make your straight line go off in a totally different direction.

    For example, let’s imagine you’re traveling a straight line and you make a fraction of a change in your course and then continue once again in a straight line. At first it won’t even be perceptible. But when you get miles down the path, you’ll see how far off course you’ve gone. Imagine if this were an airplane or a boat. A tiny adjustment could lead to the wrong destination.

    You probably know what one bag of chips can do…how one chip can set off a binge. Or how one TV show can lead to a wasted afternoon.

    But what if we applied that in a good way? What if a tiny adjustment was all it might take to get you going in a better direction?

    It’s a lot like a ripple effect.

    We’re approaching the end of the 3rd quarter of 2020. Many people have called this a dumpster fire of a year. But is it all that bad? What if it’s prompting you to make an adjustment that will have a new and better path for you? What if one little change could put you on a better path for 2021 and you’re missing it because you’re focused on the frustrations of 2020 right now?

    Let’s talk about what sort of changes that would set off a better course for the end of 2020 that would lead to a great 2021.

    Life, Repurposed

    Could one of these small adjustments change your course for the rest of this year and into next?

    * What if you got up 10 minutes earlier every day? What chain of events would that set off in your life?

    * If you’re always running late, it might change that.

    * If you’ve been looking for time to breathe a little before the kids get up…

    * If you’ve wished you had time to pack a healthy lunch every day…

    * You might not miss the sunrise

    * Aspiring writers, what if you set a goal of writing one page per day?

    * You would have enough material for almost 2 books by the end of a year.

    * If your house needs organizing and you’re overwhelmed, what would happen if you set a timer for 20 minutes every day from now until the end of this year?

    * In 3 months' time, you’d have more than 30 hours of sorting time. Imagine how much progress you would make?

    * If you were hoping to start a podcast, a blog, a webinar, a newsletter in 2021, what would happen if you set up an hour per week between now and then to learn the skills?

    * In 12 weeks, you’d have had 12 hours of education.

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Jenny_S_ ,

New listener

Loving the show so far. Great content and very encouraging!

snowmobilemom ,

Great ideas!

Michelle has given me inspiration to keep on track in many areas of my life. I enjoy hearing from her. The practical tips and ideas are always positive and helpful. Thank you Michelle 😊

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