Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Ultimate Construction Instruction

Hello from the other side!

We are head long into a huge work in the house. It all started with a new television and boy did that get out of control real quick!

I like things to look pretty. I love making our home a place that showcases the things we love. I like when people walk in and want to know what we've been up to lately and I am so humbled when people like what we've done here enough to ask for help or advice for their own homes.

I worked so hard to get my gallery wall just right last year. I loved that way it turned out but underneath the paint and pictures were some real problems, problems I did not want to know about or look at. As I sit now in my living room I am looking at one wall that has been taken back to the "studs" on one side...

and then there are three walls still in tact. If I put my back to the destruction everything is okay but I know that is not truth, the mess is still there. In fact the three intact walls, nice as they look are not truth either. The reality is that there is no insulation behind the three painted and in-tact outside walls. So, while they look good they are really empty and of not much worth below the surface. Their effectiveness is limited because they are lacking something important inside. Hmm... what is God trying to teach me here?

Perhaps I am being told:

How good it looks on the outside, either physically or spiritually, is no substitute for tangible matter inside. If I am not walking with the Lord, spending time with Him daily, I have very little to offer anyone else. They may see the outside, comment that it appears nice, but is there anything below the surface that is of worth? Am I two chocolate cookies pressed together with no stuff in between? What good is that? None! So, when I say I am a Christian, there needs to be something behind that. Something that will benefit others; something of substance that others can count on and trust in.

I look back to the torn apart wall. Electrical wiring is an issue. We had to see what was happening with it as it was suspect. That led to knocking holes in the ceiling...

and then it took us upstairs to our bedroom.

A few holes later and then ultimately another entire wall being exposed to the studs revealed how problems were hidden and spread out to places we didn't know about. Ugh! I cried at the mess that was left. Hmm... what is God trying to teach me here?

Perhaps I am being told:

Sometimes I'm just too busy (A lie I often tell myself) to spend quality time with Jesus. I throw a verse out, or a quick Psalm, maybe a ten minute devotional as a quick fix and take off to another area of life where I am even more busy. I got my God fix for the minute, patch over the trouble spot and move on... but it wasn't done right, sin was not dealt with, errors not confessed and it spiderwebs into other areas. Before I know it there are problems everywhere with poor patch jobs. Patch jobs that have been there for years or decades. The wrong fix did not make the problem go away. It just got forgotten about. Somewhere along the line something else popped up and into that wrong line of thinking something else was spliced in as a quick fix... In the mess I cry out to the Lord. It all needs to be brought low and dealt with rightly in light of who I am before my God.

Now my eyes rest on the door in my living room. A door that was covered over and forgotten long ago when a wall was removed. From what I can tell and what I know of old architecture the room it led to might have been the "keeping room". Keeping rooms were located off the kitchen and served several purposes. The one that interested me most was that it was used as an infirmary when someone in the family was ill. It was a warm room due to it's close proximity to the kitchen. I my case the room sits between the kitchen and living room that used to have a fireplace, now long gone. The keeping room would have been a nice and toasty place to rest for a sick person. I am glad the wall was removed and it was a good call by whoever did it and so the door was no longer needed. Hmm...what is God trying to teach me here?

This one had/has me really stumped. A door that no longer serves a purpose... once again exposed it tells some of the history of this old house. My thoughts are all over the place. This is a not a true confessions post so no need to hit the mute button or run for popcorn. I just think there is a reason I am pondering these questions. What doors have I closed and covered? Was it a good thing? Were those doors closed by God when healing took place? When they are uncovered do I give glory to God for the healing?

I am not 100 percent sure what I am supposed to be learning here and maybe way off base. These are just the random thoughts of a woman stuck in a perpetual DIY project but still things to ponder. Recently, a dear friend , upon hearing that we were in the middle of this project, said " I’m beginning to think you all are addicted to re-doing your rooms continually." While I would like to say she's wrong it does make me think. We do seem to always be in the middle of a project or looking for the next project or how we can do something better. That is how I handle my heart, too. I need to constantly be examining and repairing what does not work. I need to be tearing out the things that are wrong and do not make sense. Build it right, with the truth of God's word- construction instructions for godliness.  Praise God that he keeps prodding me to become more like my King, albeit a slow process in my case.  I love how God uses the temporal to set my mind on heavenly things. In the midst of it all we will figure out our next steps with the practical.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Controlled Chaos-The Myth

Happy New Year! I hope your Christmas and New Year celebrations were fun and sweet! I took a couple weeks off from the blog; enjoyed being with my family, nursed a cold and ear infection, got my home back to "normal" (bahahahaha) and started back to school with my youngest.

The new year always catches me by surprise. I don't know why. I sit here staring at the computer with writer's/diy-er block. What do I do? What can I do? I need to do something so I will have something to write about. What if I have run out of ideas? ... GAH! What about all the things I thought about after meeting Miss Mustard Seed? What were they???? .... GAH! I'm doomed.

Then....in the distance I saw a knight in shining armor coming to my rescue....

Actually, it was Mister sitting opposite me at the dining table.

He said he doesn't like the dining room (finished product here) being in the front room. We switched it to that room over two years ago after we renovated the kitchen (that work can be seen here). I had pushed for and loved the idea and talked Mister into it but apparently the old adage is still true " A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still". He honestly did give it a good run and wasn't saying it was a must but just put in his two cents. Oh, and he hates the way my work space looks! He has a point there.

For about a month our tv has been on the fritz. The sound was way off from the picture. Everybody looked like they were in a b-rated, foreign monster movie from the 70's. We lived with it for a while but had finally had enough and headed to the store to scope out sales- because you know all those MLK Day sales that happen, right?! We came home with an even bigger screen than before! They really are getting ridiculous. I should charge admission and serve popcorn.

Anyway, that all led to Mister thinking the tv needed to be moved to another wall. And, well, that is a whole 'nother something! Old houses have quirky things about them that often far surpass painted trim and carpet over hardwood. There are doors boarded over, walls moved, fireplaces removed and floors poorly patched, additions and after-thoughts, and so on and so on. We have seen it all in this house. Oh, but I am way headed of myself...

So, that "new" gallery wall I completed just a few months ago needed to make way for Mister's new tv. I get totally annoyed reading some other blogs when I see a beautiful room completed only to see everything redone three months later. The waste of money kills me! I can think of a million things to waste money on- but rehabs and reno's? I am a one and done type of person. Do, do it right, and move on. Paint colors and moving furniture is a different thing. Fortunately, I can move my gallery wall to another wall and nothing will be lost-except my time. Right!

Exploratory work. This is where the gallery wall was. Mister is looking to see where he can hide the cords for the new tv. 

Fake bead board wainscotting removed revealed a layer of wall paper. 

Wall paper layer #2 with 8" baseboards. 

  The bead board must come down, he said. Obviously we're not ready for demo as we did not even move the rug or furniture!

Third layer of wall paper-art deco style.

A doorway dry-walled over. There must have been a wall extending across making this two rooms at one time. 

Maybe NOW we should consider putting up some protection... Yes, that is knob and tube electrical wires.... What started as a little hole has turned into this! He is out of control. 

Half my living room is this right now. 
Our new tv has opened a can of worms that has been sitting on the shelf for the 13+ years that we have owned the house. We always went back and forth with the idea but it always went the way of "let it be someone else's project, someday". But, here we are...today. Mister thinks we should do this in sections to "control the chaos", as he puts it. I think we should just do it...except that it is January and opening the outside walls that have  NO INSULATION AT ALL seems crazy to me but living with half my living room like this until spring is not an attractive option. With all that said, any seasonal decorating posts in the near future will be contained to the kitchen and dining room (which is on hold for now).

The year to come has lots of fun things in store. I am working on another project right now that I will tell you more about later. It is for someone else which makes it even more exciting for me. Suddenly, there are a lot of projects in my future and lots to share with you along the way. What was I worried about? Controlled chaos? It's a myth! Chaos has been unleashed and I need some chocolate cuz' this one's gonna be a doozy!

Happy 2017! It's going to be a fun year!