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.
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.
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.