The Trash Bin Project
When in your life have you felt fear? Everyone has felt fear and that is exactly what it is, a feeling. If we really look at the world and believe in all these worldly systems and values, it can consume you with fear. This past month especially with COVID-19, there have been many people acting out in fear or ignorance. Either people fear the invisible disease or people are ignoring the fear they feel and continue with their daily lives. Although God does not want fear to control our lives, we do need to obey him and keep ourselves and others safe and healthy during this time.
Feelings are not something that we should live our lives by. Feelings are dramatic and drastic and following our feelings can cause us to sin. Joshua 1 verse 9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you are.”
My sister, who I jokingly but not so jokingly call my soulmate, wanted to make me something nice for my birthday this year. I thought about what I could use in the house and remembered my old crummy garbage cans that I am so sick of looking at. Only the lord knows what was stained on those things! So we found a project that the garbage cans sit in and had a counter on top! I have a small kitchen so the extra counter space is always needed. As I usually find myself, she was excited to get started but soon ran into a few stumbling blocks.
The one day I got a call and it was my sister. “I fear that I messed up your birthday present and the whole thing is ruined! How big are your garbage cans?” she asked. My sister forgot to account for a center piece of wood that my garbage cans would have hit when the door opened. With calmness I told her that we can get new cans and the problem would be solved. She was still a bit discouraged but she finished building the project and handed it over for me to paint. That was the best birthday present she would have given me… something to paint!
I thought about the hiccup my sister experienced and remembered all the times I feared that I messed something up. I realized that fear can’t stop you from moving forward, trying something new, taking the next step or obeying our Lord and savior. Fear is a gift from God to keep us safe, but God says many times in the Bible to fear not. One of the most famous Bible verses, Psalm 23 verse 4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”. I wonder how often does God look at us and say, “Oh child, fear not, I told you to do this task and I will give you the tools to do it”. We need to trust in the lord and the feeling of fear will disappear.
As I was happily painting my garbage box (that’s what I have been calling it) I realized that in my life, I have been resisting things, like my fulltime job because I am fearful at failing. I fear saying something I shouldn’t or messing up and doing something wrong. The fear is so deep and has gone so far as to bring more fear that I won’t be able to raise my future children with this full-time job. Fear can get carried away. Painting helps me to ignore these fears because it is something I am responsible for and no one depends on me for it.
So how do we overcome this feeling of fear? I said it before. You need to trust in God. Trust is the opposite of fear and it will eventually bring on courage and a calmness that makes life much easier to deal with. If God is telling you to try something, change your ways, or get rid of a bad habit, trust that he will equip you with what you need and don’t be afraid to obey him.
The Blue and Wooden Front Porch Chairs
February is the month of love. Many people enjoy it and many people expressly hate February or more specifically, Valentine’s Day. I never had hard feelings against Valentine’s Day. It is two weeks after my birthday and my mom use to decorate some of my parties with hearts and red colors. She always made sure to get my sister and me a nice valentine for us to open. Just two years ago, Tyler proposed to me on Valentine’s Day right after we cooked ourselves a lovely dinner. I know, I know, you are probably thinking, ‘well isn’t that nice for her!’ Maybe even with an eye roll. We as humans need to understand that love is more than a feeling, it is a choice! God wants us to show love for him and for those around us every day, not just on Valentine’s Day.
We are to love like Christ did. Jesus gave himself up for us and sacrificed everything so that we may have a loving relationship with God. Ephesians 5 verse 2 says, “Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.” We express our love for Christ by expressing our love for people. Just saying how much you love people is not the only way to express this love. Spending time with people, cooking for people, cleaning your home for your family, and even letting someone go before you in line are all ways to show your love. So even if you are not a fan of Valentine’s day, make sure to share your love every day and not just the one day a year you feel forced to.
I always loved the idea of having a front porch. A front porch seems like such an inviting space to spend time with those you love. Growing up on the farm, we use to sit on our front porch during thunderstorms mostly and watch the rain come down and the lightning strike. I remember my mom sitting out there while I would splash in the puddles. When I bought my house and it had a little porch, I couldn’t wait to get some chairs to put out there and sit with a nice glass of wine and say hi to neighbors as they pass by. It is a great place to share the love!
I found these two old dining room chairs at the Kutztown consignment auction (I have mentioned this amazing place in other blog posts). They were a dollar each and although they were not rocking chairs, I knew they were perfect for my porch! Before I painted them, I put them on the porch and Tyler’s cousin laughed when he drove by and saw dining room chairs out there. I didn’t care one bit because I love salvaging and I love sitting on the front porch! In my mind, they were perfect!
When I thought about what to do with them, I instantly thought to paint them blue. I love blue! I painted my bedroom furniture this really cool indigo blue and I thought that would look great with the brick house. When I told Tyler to guess what color I was going to paint them he knew it was blue! However, I didn’t just want solid color chairs so I sanded the head rest and the center spool and stained it a cedar color. I fell in love with those chairs after I spruced them up and put them back out front.
In the summertime, before I start my day, I sit in my blue front porch chair, read a bible verse and write in my prayer journal. I think of Psalm 143 verse 8 which says, “Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning, for I trust in you. Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you.” God will show you his love, especially when you ask and want to share it with those around you.
I am a farm girl through and through. I thought going to school, getting a degree, and moving towards a city would make me happy. You can take the girl off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the girl. You will learn much more about me with each piece of junk I transform into beautiful home decor.