Gas Can Light
Do you ever feel powerless? Like you are not in control of your own life? Like you are in this mundane cycle each day and you don’t have the power to escape? We are becoming slaves to our worlds and societies here on this Earth. We are missing the power of God in our lives and ignoring his ability to change us. If we make God our master, instead of our careers, money, or even humankind, we will start to see the power in our lives.
When I think of a place to get away and clear my head, I think of the ocean. The lush sound of the waves crashing as the sun glints off the smooth water. I can feel God’s power as I stand at the lapping waves touching my feet. Are you able to see God’s power throughout your day? His power can be found everywhere. It is in the waves of the ocean and the crisp colors of the fall leaves. It is found in a newborn miracle baby and the laughter of a child. If you seek God’s power, you will feel your energy fill up, instead of allowing your daily grind to deplete your heart.
I can feel God’s power when I take something that a person wanted to throw into a landfill and make it look beautiful again. It brings power into my heart to do more good and save more items from littering the Earth. It gives me energy when people like what I saved and want to use it in their homes.
Last year about this time, I was feeling pretty low. I was running on fumes as I worked my full-time job and tried to work on projects. The energy wasn’t there. I tried to find motivation as I walked around the barn to see what I could fix up to sell at Christmas time in my family’s Christmas tree store. On a shelf, I saw these two old-time gas cans that had a similar shape to them. One was red and one was blue. As I pondered what I could do with them, it was like a light bulb went off. “I could make them into lamps”, I thought.
Off to Lowes I went to get the lamp kits and light bulbs for my project. First thing I did was cleaned out the gas cans. I was fortunate that there was not too much rust found on them, but the spots that were there, I lightly sanded before washing them. Just a bit of soap and water did the trick. I clear coated them to seal in those weathered spots and drilled a hole near the bottom for where the wire would come out. Now, of course Lowes did not have a black lamp kit like I had wanted. The gold it came in did not go so well. Instead, I spray painted the light bulb socket a matte black. As that dried, I fed the wire through the can and secured the light bulb socket to the opening of the gas can.
I was shocked that my idea actually worked out! The bulb I chose looked like gas spewing out the top and I thought it looked so neat. There are so many ideas that run through my head, I feel empowered when one of them comes to life.
Jeremiah 10, verse 12 says, “God has made the earth by his power. He has established the world by his wisdom and by his understanding has he stretched out the heavens.” God gave his power to provide all the energy we need to complete what he has before us. I pray every day that God can take my many ideas and breathe them to life, just like he did with this Earth. If you ask Jesus each day to guide you and for God to give you the power you need, you will start to focus on the blessings in your life, not the mundane. God has the power to make anything happen in our lives. We need to keep faith and be open to accept these gifts from the heavens.
Animal Crate Benches
Do you everget a feeling about something that you should do but in the next breath you question yourself? It happens to all of us. We have an instinct to question things to protect us from danger. Most of the time, we question ourselves; Can I do this? Will I be able to make the best product? Can I raise these kids? Should I try this new thing? What if I fail? Most of us are wired to fear taking risks.
My family and I go to a consignment auction every year where farmers and nearby land owners drop off stuff that they want to auction off. We love going because we can find great deals on furniture, old farm goods and much more. A few years back, we found a pile of these crate looking items that were in pretty good shape. They have a wooden structure with metal mesh sides and open ends. My sister and I were instantly attracted to them and wanted them. In the next moment, my sister asked, “What can we do with them?” “I have no idea but I want them”, I replied to her. As the auctioneer came to the pile of crates, a rush of excitement went through our bodies. I love bidding on things, especially when it goes for cheap! My sister won the bid and we got about 12 crates that we had no idea what to do with.
As we showed our dad what we bought, he explained that these were the main part of an animal trap. I thought it was neat that we could repurpose these animal traps into something! We still weren’t sure what we were going to do with them or where we would even store them, but someone, God, gave us that instant nudge that we should get them.
Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding”. We so easily doubt ourselves and don’t trust ourselves to do things. We lose confidence in ourselves and don’t follow our dreams and passions. The problem is, we are relying on ourselves and not God. To find our way through this world, we need to shift that confidence and trust to the Lord. If we have trust in God, he will give us the courage to take a risk.
A few months later after my sister and I saw the crates packed away in the barn and we had the idea to try making a bench out of one of them. By sanding them lightly, clear coating them for protection, adding feet to give them some height, the only thing left to do was make the cushion for on top. Sister had a fun turquoise color fabric left over from a previous project and so I got a piece of plywood, two inches of foam and some batting. I layered the batting over the foam and stapled the fabric on. It turned into the cutest bench ever! Our mom wanted one so we made her one that she uses as a footstool.
After selling the first bench, a few customers asked if we could make custom ones with certain colored fabric. It was our pleasure! We sold a handful of benches from that pile of crates that we had no idea what we were going to do with. We didn’t know, but God knew.
I still find myself second guessing if I should get a piece of furniture, or if we can build this business into something that will make an impact in this world. Is it worth the money and work? Will we sell anything? Will people like the same things we do? But I keep turning to God and put my trust in him instead of myself. I have faith that he will guide us as long as we have the courage to try the new things, and let go of some of the old that is holding us back.
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.