(This is a post from very early on in my blogging experience.)
I’m sure you all remember that we are in the midst of a big remodeling project. About an hour into tearing up the living room carpet, my mother stopped by and fell on my concrete sidewalk. She hit her head and needless to stay ended up in the hospital. Two weeks prior my husband had been in the emergency room as well. A couple of other things cropped up as well. It’s been pretty hectic for about seven weeks now.
The house is progressing slowly, as is my mother.
Our carpet-hidden hardwood floors have been restored to a wonderful nutmeg color. The floor glows with its soft sating 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 far, 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 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 accessory pieces. Going to experiment with making my own chalk paint. 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 wainscoting. The entire bathroom is white except for the intricately patterned blue floor tile 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 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 and they will become the drapes and possibly even the dust ruffle. Going for a soft romantic look. Probably will take my lazy approach and let fabric 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 the work part of the process. But my husband and I chose to do this so I can complain only so much.
My mom didn’t choose to fall. She didn’t choose high blood pressure that we can’t seem to get under control. She didn’t choose losing her driving privileges.
Life sometimes chooses for us.
So in the midst of all these changes, some planned, some not, I find myself evaluating other areas of my life. I didn’t plan it but it seems a natural off shoot of redecorating one’s surroundings. It’s not that there’s anything wrong in my life but as is oft quoted by organization gurus, “you need to clear out some things to make room for other things”. The same principle applies to our life.
Caring for my mother was something I didn’t want to do-as much for her sake as for my own and I never dreamed this change would prompt me to re-think other things.
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 seven weeks ago when it seemed everything was careening out of control. Actually, it was. These weeks have given me the opportunity to trust God. I certainly didn’t act like it at times and that bothered me.
But as I look back I realize that it was God I was trusting. But here’s the interesting part. For all my clinging to God, I never felt any warm fuzzies coming from God. I never heard any answers 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, we can’t hear him; there’s too much earthly interference. So He communicates with us through other people. In my case, it was my husband.
AND, I’m still depression-free.
I worried that all the stress would drown me but it didn’t. Whatever you’re going through, think about these two things.
First, our struggles might well be a gateway to some really important changes we need to make that have nothing to do with what we’re experiencing. Things aren’t always so obvious.
Secondly, give thought to your conversations with family, friends and even strangers. There might be nuggets of wisdom you are overlooking. It’s during times of difficulty that God often speaks to us through others because we have to concentrate on the task at hand.
Well, I gotta’ get to bed and get some rest. Tomorrow is another painting day.
(PS. This post was written over two years ago. My mother has completely recovered and is actually doing better in many ways than she did before her accident. So am I.
God was and is faithful seeing us through times of crisis and revealing Himself to us in countless way while we attend to the task at hand.)
God bless and I hope you have a good day.