Monday, September 8, 2014

Perseverance: A Woman's Work

   Repairing my house and learning all the skills needed to do so, has given me a great respect for the construction Men and Women who do this day in and day out. 

   It is really hard work to do a good job at making something beautiful.  Before this, I had never paid much attention to the details in the materials and tools….the types of putty and patching….which is the best type of putty knife to use to get the best even patch?  What grades of sand paper to use for what job? What kind of wall texture is there?  What the heck was “orange peal”? Do I use flat-paint, satin, semi-gloss or enamel? Primer or non-primer? One-coat or two? 

   The big thing for me was learning to use a Mitered saw. I did my research and bought a small 7 ½ in. saw that was easy to handle. The first hurdle for me was to get over my fear of the noise.  One can really loose their hearing being exposed to the high decibels for a long period of time.  That fast spinning blade was quite intimidating and its no joke to take special safety precautions and make sure your limbs and fingers are in a safe place before you make the cut.  I initially tried the less intimidating Mitered box that uses a hand saw. After two attempts at this and a sweaty brow, I knew it would be impossible  for me to cut 200+ feet of baseboards for my house project.  I just didn’t have the strength. 

   Strength! Wow, did I get a dose of reality!  Men are more suited to this type of work because it takes brute strength to do this. Unless you are a weight-lifter woman, the average woman is not equal in strength or muscle.  Even hammering a nail can be overwhelming to a little ole lady as myself. There were times I cried in frustration because I didn’t have the strength to do something, but graciously God gave me a brain to figure an alternate way to achieve the same result.  I had to accept imperfection in my work,  but I convinced myself that “No one will notice”……right?

  There were times that I questioned myself,  “What were you thinking, when you decided to do this  project yourself?”.  However, perseverance brought me confidence, added a measure to  my self-esteem,  and I saved a ton of money to have all I wanted repaired in my own timing.  I asked myself,  “Why? What do you hope to achieve?”  Beside the finished product, I thought about how I am husbandless. So many thoughts came to mind about Walter, my late fix-it handyman, and his absence caused me many tears. However, tears are cleansing.  Life goes on without him and I am trying the best I can. God is with me. He gives me strength. 

Prov. 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
Prov 31: 17 “ She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 
Prov 31:26 “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

Sunday, August 24, 2014

To Everything there is a Season.....A time to weep and a time to laugh....Ecc. 3:1,4

   It’s amazing how God works in our lives. We may not fully understand why things happen the way they do, but in the end, when we trust him, he makes Romans 8:28 become real in our lives. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

   My oldest son’s family was finally able to move to their own place and I had my home back, although a bit lonely. A few months later, my youngest son decided a closer commute to work was more appealing, and I invited him back home. We have a lovely time learning to cook and experiment with new dishes. 

   I feel God teaching me to cope with my occasional sadness and celebrate the joys. My job of 23 years was ending this summer of 2014. Regardless of this anticipated loss, I took a big leap of trust and committed to a major kitchen, bathroom and laundry room remodel. A wall was taken down but God was gracious and the remodeling went very smoothly and the result was beautiful. It gave me joy to see the potential of entertaining again in this big house. One great joy in my life was the Wedding of my 2nd son. It was absolutely beautiful from start to finish. There is not been many times I had a chance to “gussy” up and have fun, and this was a beautiful celebration of love for a lifetime. 

Son Alan, Me, Nora & Robby, and son Scott
A beautiful dream reception
   One month after the kitchen remodel, a refrigerator water hose came apart and flooded almost the entire house overnight. Upon cleaning up, asbestos tile was found under the carpet and a major clean-up was done, paid for by my homeowners policy. I decided to do the remaining repairs myself and do all the things I wanted done and my contractor could not with the estimate they gave. One wonders if God had a hand in this? How is it possible that I was able to get everything repaired and still have money left from the insurance settlement?  Of course, if someone had to pay me for my labor, it might be a different story. But what did I gain? A lot….not just money. I learned a lot of new skills thanks to Youtube videos, gained some new tools and supplies. My confidence rose. This labor kept me busy and focused as I also applied for a new job.  I gained a few sore muscles too, but this was nothing compared to the results accomplished.

  So now I have a new remodeled house, a new job and a new life to look forward to as I use God’s gift for His glory. Praise God for his Blessings!