Remodeling our house
(Remodeling our house as described in this post, took place about ten years ago. I’m reposting it today with some additional thoughts.)
About an hour into tearing up the living room carpet, my mother fell and ended up in the hospital. Two weeks prior, my husband was in the emergency room. A couple of other things cropped up as well. It’s been pretty hectic for about seven weeks now. But the house remodel is slowly getting done.
Our carpet-hidden hardwood floors have been restored to a wonderful “nutmeggy” color. The floor glows with its soft satin sheen. The fireplace screen has been painted black and contrasts nicely with my newly painted (in Cottage White by Behr) brick fireplace.
We worked days, scraping, sanding, and wire brushing the mantle in front of the fireplace only to discover natural stone. It was like finding buried treasure. So now I have a beautiful small stone slab in front of my fireplace that is probably as old as the house, which is old.
I’ve painted about half of the floor trim in the living room. (We have an obscene amount of trim in this house. The house is over a hundred years old, and that’s what builders used to do before lumber became so expensive.) We will refresh the walls by painting them with the same color they are now Khaki by Behr) as they are quite neutral and seem to work with everything.
I am painting one small wall as an accent wall in my favorite yellow-green color. No new furniture is planned for purchase, but I will be painting some small pieces. Going to experiment with making my own chalk paint. (Lots of recipes on Pinterest on my “painted furniture” board.) I’m thrilled with how it’s all turning out, but I’m getting very tired.
My once horrible bathroom walls and ceiling now gleam with white bead board. The entire bathroom is white except for the intricately patterned blue floor tiles which we chose not to replace. I will be adding black accents and plan to paint the claw feet of the bathtub.
Our bedroom has been papered (we couldn’t bear the thought of tearing down any more plastered walls) with an anaglyptic wallpaper that conveniently hides all the cracks and bulges. I’ve glazed over our antique iron bed with a wonderful new metallic glaze by Martha Stewart. Still can’t decide about the bedding colors. Found ten yards of sheer white fabric (it’s about four yards wide) at Goodwill. I will make drapes from them and possibly even the dust ruffle. Going for a soft romantic look. Probably will take my lazy approach and let them puddle on the floor so I don’t have to hem them.
All of this has been a lot of work, but I love the creative process, although if I could afford it, I would hire out some of the harder parts of the process. My husband and I chose to do the work ourselves, so I can complain only so much.
Remodeling prompts reflection
Amidst the different changes happening, both planned and unplanned, I am reflecting on other aspects of my life. Although it was not part of my plan, it feels like a natural extension of revamping my environment. My life is not flawed in any way, but as organization experts usually say, “You have to eliminate some things to create space for other things.”
Caring for my mother was something I didn’t want to do for her sake as well as for my own. But I’m no longer treading water; I’m swimming in possibilities. Maybe there are some of you feeling as discouraged and frustrated as I was then.
Remodeling made me trust God.
These weeks have given me the opportunity to trust God.
But I never felt any warm fuzzies coming from God. But I did feel my husband’s arms holding me every night. I talked over everything with him and listened to his advice. That was how God communicated with me.
Sometimes we can’t feel God, and we can’t hear him because there’s too much earthly interference. So he communicates with us through other people and circumstances.
Changes prompt other changes
I never anticipated that renovating my house would compel me to revamp my life. However, alterations in one aspect of our life frequently trigger modifications in other parts. If you find yourself undergoing any change, contemplate these factors.
First, change might well be a gateway to some really important areas we need to examine, and they may have nothing to do with what we’re experiencing. Things aren’t always obvious.
Secondly, consider the conversations you have with your loved ones as well as people you may not know well. Sometimes, you may miss valuable pieces of advice that others have to offer. In times of transition, it’s common for God to communicate with us through the words of those around us.
Thirdly, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time when making a significant change. Rushing the process can lead to mistakes. Trust that you will receive guidance from God at the right moment, so keep listening and remain patient.
My life has changed considerably since that remodeling project. My sweet mother died, and I became a writer. I found the changes we made seemed to free me to be more creative. Sometimes something as simple as moving around furniture or painting our walls a different color seems to trigger something within us that sparks our creativity. I have no clue why, but I know it to be true because it’s happened so often to me.
Try it for yourself and see if the same thing happens to you. And if it does, I would love to hear about it.
Have a blessed day.