The White Window Mirror
There is a lot of junk that we let filter into our lives. Our brains are overwhelmed with social media and the news. Our houses are cluttered with material things we bought and didn’t ever really like or use. Our relationships are bombarded with stereotypes and unrealistic standards. Does this sound familiar? What are we allowing to filter through us and reflect back to others?
I have listened to a few lectures and sermons that explain how we are a product of our environment, both growing up and the one we live in now. 2 Corinthians 3 verse 18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit”. I love that verse because it reminds us that we, as children of God, should be a reflection of the Lord’s glory he shines upon us. It also reminds us that this life is a journey and we are not born perfect. Through our lives, we will transform into a better reflection with each blessing and trial we are faced with.
Personally, I do not like to clutter my house. In fact, I get really upset when it looks a bit out of place. But I found it is mostly because my brain is so cluttered that I can’t even think about straightening up the house because there are 15 other things I should be doing! So my house is usually in good shape, but my garage is a different story. As you know from this blog, I like to save ‘junk’. Old chairs, tables, knobs, mirrors, you name it and I have keep it for a project I have in mind. The problem is, I don’t get to these projects very often so the garage starts to get a little piled up after a while.
In July, we went into quarantine for a while because of COVID-19. Luckily, Tyler and I were both healthy and could use the time to get a few things done… one was cleaning out the garage! We stripped it, cleaned it and organized it. I finally had enough with the junk I kept around for the last three years and decided to try and sell some of it (side note: if you are ever interested in what I have, search Kate Ciccozzi in Facebook Marketplace).
One of the mirrors I got for free caught the interest of one of my customers, but they wanted a facelift on it. The mirror was a dated stain color but looked like a window and had cool hardware on it. The space they wanted to use it for was dark so I decided to paint it a bright white and distress the edges to give it that farmhouse look.
I might sound like a broken record at this point, but I just love taking something old, broken and rusty and turning it into something beautiful again. I also love doing that for other people so they can enjoy things they once loved but in a new light. God does this for us, too. In Colossians 3 verse 10, we are reminded to strip off the old, broken self, “and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him”.
If you are feeling cluttered, whether it be mentally, emotionally, or physically, the only way to clear the mess is to remove one piece at a time. Shake off the bad argument you feel really bad about, straighten up the back room that stuff seems to pile in, or forget about the issues at work that you can’t fix when you are with your family. The good news is that God will forgive and forget about all these things if ask him, too. Will you reflect his heart and forgive yourself and those around you who may be facing clutter in their lives? Work on reflecting God’s heart and showing compassion for yourself and those around you.
The Dresser Island
All of us are in limbo, waiting, hoping and wishing that this virus, COVID-19, would go away and we could go back to normal. But the reality is, no matter what we do, we cannot change our situation right now. However, we can control how we handle the situation and what we decide to do with all this extra time in our lives.
Tyler and I started our kitchen remodel shortly after the schools closed. At that time, the school closing was only expected to be two weeks but we were motivated to use the time wisely. After doing some cosmetic work in the kitchen, I started refurbishing this old dresser that a friend of Tyler’s aunt gave me. Luckily, it was already stripped of the old paint and it just needed a good sanding.
As I continued to go to work during the day, we faced hard decisions on how socially distant we should be. Should we risk…. Going to Lowe’s to get supplies? Grocery shopping in the stores? Seeing our parents for Sunday dinner? Is wearing a mask enough? Should I really be going to work? As many of you know, these questions run through your head all day long and it almost paralyzes you from doing anything. Prayer was the only way for me to face the decisions that needed to be made every day.
Ironically, (or maybe that is exactly how God planned it) prayer life showed up in many areas of my faith life. My pastor started a new series on prayer, one of the podcasts I listen to had a topic of prayer life, and Psalm 69 was in my scripture reading that week. Psalm 69, versus 13-15 say, “But I keep praying to you, Lord, hoping this time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation”.
To be totally honest, with the busyness of life before COVID-19, I barely spent time praying. Some ways I trained myself to remember to pray is by going on walks, reading the Bible every morning, and of course while painting! Painting and transforming furniture into something beautiful is like therapy to me.
As I sanded and painted this dresser that would be my new kitchen island, I prayed. What did I pray about? Well the Lord’s prayer creates a great structure for us to follow when deeply praying. It centers our focus around God and gets us away from those self-centered prayers we tend to jump to. Jesus teaches us in Mathew 6: 9-13, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but rescue us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever, Amen”. There are three steps you could follow here to pray: praise God for his holiness and ask for his will, humble ourselves and ask for our daily needs, ask for the cleansing of our sins and for help to not repeat them.
So, as I work on a piece of furniture, I pray. While I strip and sand the old finish off, I praise God. While I clean and prime the wood, I ask him to provide our daily needs. And while I painted and converted drawers into shelves, I ask for forgiveness and for help in changing my ways.
After waiting for three weeks to finish our kitchen remodel by getting new counters installed, I was able to finish my kitchen island project. Waiting is worth it once you are able to see the finished product in all its glory.
It is such a gift from God that I can transform furniture into beautiful, useful pieces. As I looked at the new kitchen island that I made from an old dresser, I thank God for the creativity and ask that he uses his powers to turn COVID-19 into something good, just like I was able to turn the old, crummy dresser into a functional counter in my kitchen.
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.