Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Living Room | Before & After

Well, friends, while progress is being made on the kitchen, it is slow going. We are going into this thing with a real plan, so we are double and triple checking before tile goes down and cabinets start being built. I did manage to do some kilzing this week, and am hoping to get more done after we get back from doing relief at the ranch this week. In the meantime, however, I do have some exciting news which I'm sure you have already noticed me word-vomiting all over social media: NO MORE BOXES IN THE LIVING ROOM! Blake built us a modern-industrial-moderately-hipster bookshelf, so now all of our precious books have a home.

Because of this, I actually have true before and after photos of our living room! So, I'm not going to make you wait any longer.

I literally never could have imagined how good this room would look when I first saw it, because all my brain could see was that wall color. And miles of moldy carpet.

Last night, after we had cleared out the boxes and Blake and I stood around staring at the walls and figuring out where to hang our pictures, he sat down in our big chair, heaved a sigh of relief and said, "You know, our bedroom has been my favorite room that we've done, but I think this room might be winning me over now." Now that the boxes are gone and this feels like a living room we actually live in, I definitely understand this sentiment. Granted, each time we complete a room, I truly can't believe how amazing it looks. Even when you're in the middle of it and watching the step by step changes, the transformation when it's done and you think back to what you started with is pretty incredible. 

The only problem is that I feel like this shelf is almost at full capacity. Sorry, Blake, if we buy many more books you'll just have to build a second one.

This is actually a photo from the dining room, but we hung up a bunch of our decorations today and I just really love how this one looks. :)

Here is a list of some things we would still like to tweak in this room:

  • More lamps/lighting* (in daytime this room is great because of the windows, but at night it is pretty hard to work in here after Addie goes to bed)
    *Blake just texted me and said he stopped by Goodwill and hit the lamp jackpot
  • Eventually, when we have the budget for it, new all-matching furniture, but we're pretty happy with what we have now.
  • A coffee table (Blake already found plans for an AWESOME one that he is planning on building during kitchen projects where he has to wait around, like for tile grout to dry)
  • Buy or build an entertainment center for the television
  • Acquire a large area rug 

All of these are just little things that would tweak the room a little more to our taste, but as of now we are perfectly content in a finally completed, box-less room. Besides, "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful," right? Here is a list of things we did in here:
  • patched a giant, crumbly hole in the ceiling
  • pulled up the carpet (ourselves) and hauled it off (ourselves)
  • painstakingly scraped flecks of paint off of the hardwood floor and treated it (thankfully I had help with this part, but all in all I think the floor took at least 12 hours to scrape)
  • patched the walls and treated the moldy spot in the corner
  • painted the walls and ceiling
  • cleaned the base boards and crown molding of paint, then reinstalled them
  • cleaned and spray painted the vent covers
  • installed the ceiling fan
  • replaced all of the electrical outlets and covers, as well as light switch covers

I will admit that compared to other rooms in this house, the list you just read seems easy to me. It was frustrating for the living room to sit almost-finished as long as it did when, of all the rooms in our house, it needed the least amount of work. However, now that the boxes are gone, I can sit fully content and blog on this couch about the fact that even this has been yet another opportunity for me to remember God's faithfulness. Which I knew and could see in the middle of it, but it's always easier to process the lesson when you've completed it. And this is the lesson that I am learning, over and over again, and storing up as treasure in my heart:

Lately, I find myself meditating over and over again on God's faithfulness to our family. In the six months we were waiting for God to provide either a job or the right conditions in which we could move to Willow Springs, I thought God was trying to teach me I was too high maintenance. I thought it was some kind of twisted lesson on lowering my expectations. After seeing a mouse for the fourth time in a week, I thought, "Okay, God, are You trying to remind me that while I get angrier and angrier over my current position, that someone else has it way worse than me?" After finally having to resort to food stamps, I thought, "God, is this You trying to tell us we heard You wrong? Are we waiting idly for something we're not called to do?" These are the kind of questions I dwelt on for far too long--the questions that come from a place of insecurity, constantly wondering "Am I good enough? God, am I enough for You? Am I doing all of this right? Do I disappoint You?" Several problems are apparent in this line of thinking. First of all, insecurity is just another kind of being self-centered. Trust me, I've learned this one the hard way, more than once. Secondly, it's just not like that. The fact that we aren't good enough for God is why "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Whether I have a "perfect" day or a horrible day, I will never be enough; but Christ is. 

Well, you all know how that story ended. Right when Blake and I were sure that we had messed up and we heard God wrong and it was time to start over, we were able to move into our house at Willow Springs. Two years later, we felt like God was calling us back to Shawnee, and right as we were buckling in for another six-month-plus wait, God made a way back. We have had countless opportunities to watch God not only provide, but exceed our expectations. That's not to say everything has been smooth and picturesque (have you seen our house?), but His goodness and faithfulness is constantly proven in our story. 

  • redemption in Christ that is constantly transforming us in ways I never could have imagined
  • a healthy marriage, clearly and fiercely guarded by the Holy Spirit
  • a healthy, happy daughter, whose character continues to amaze me, even at only just shy of three years old
  • financial stability
  • the little, daily blessings that you wouldn't even think God had "time" for (let's remember how God relates to time, by the way)
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.

Thank you for reading, everyone. Hopefully I'll be bringing you more kitchen updates soon!

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