My husband had tried to explain over the phone, but finally said, “Sweetheart, you’re just going to have to see it.”
My first thought upon hearing those words was: wasted money.
But he must have understood my concern and assured me it was worth the money we paid.
So, I just had to wait and see it myself.
After getting it setup, we stepped back and looked at it.
For a while we were both silent.
Then we talked it over and ended up with:
“Let’s keep it.”
It has issues.
It’s been abused and mistreated.
It will never be perfect.
But the craftsmanship which went into it’s original creation are so obvious.
From the dowel drawers to the carved details to the original hardware, all the work speak of the craftsman.
I have no doubt that in the beginning it was very good.
After many years of living in this world, it’s damaged.
But my husband and I love it.
For me personally, it’s a beautiful reminder of how God sees me.
Parts of me simply don’t work like they were designed to.
But my life was loving created by the Master Craftsman and He looks past the imperfections and loves me still.
Indeed, He uses those things.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV — And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for creating me. Thank You for using the things in life to show me Your love, faithfulness, mercy, and grace. Lord, You alone know the story behind each scar upon the hearts of people. Please help each of us to realize how much You love us, scars and all. But not that we might continue to live in ways which damage us and others, but instead to come to You, that we might be healed and live in the fullness of Your grace. Thank You for this little dresser and the daily reminder. I love You. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.
Anne and I had so many things planned for our two weeks without the guys.
So, when they came home on Sunday we were unsure what to do.
Obviously, her furniture had to be done, so we worked together on it Sunday, when ordinarily we’d rest.
Our thought was, “It’s in the way. We’ve got to free up space in the garage.”
Of course, we couldn’t get four pieces of furniture done in that amount of time.
My husband understood and appreciated our efforts.
While they unpacked the truck, Monday, Anne and I worked on the furniture.
I’m only able to do some of it because of my health.
So, when it was time to put the top coat on her night stand I went back in the house.
Much later, Anne showed me the table.
She wasn’t happy.
I could see why.
Brown streaks were all over the top of the table and one side had them as well.
Being relatively new to this I wasn’t sure what we were seeing, bleed through or top coat.
The decision was made to let it sit over night and figure out what to do in the morning.
Tuesday came and it was still there.
Anne and I decided the best approach was to sand it back off.
I felt bad for her, as she’d carefully painted flowers on the top that had to come off.
After sanding, she repainted it.
It was definitely the top coat, not bleed through.
So, she switched brushes and reapplied the top coat to a drawer. (Much easier to sand down if it didn’t work.)
Thankfully, it worked beautifully, no streaks.
During all of this, my husband set up a temporary spray tent in the backyard, went to the store to purchase primer, and sprayed all the drawers to the remaining two dressers and primered the long dresser.
This way, Anne can do the painting today and hopefully the top coat tomorrow.
Jase even got involved, he helped sand off the streaky top coat.
Anne and I were thrilled with all the help.
So, when my husband got a phone call from work yesterday, I was praying.
It turned out he cancelled his remaining vacation and returned to work this morning.
His two days were spent with us, just at home.
Cleaning and reorganizing the gear with Jase, painting the dressers with Anne.
It was a good two day vacation.
The reason being, our family spent time together.
God is honored when we love and honor one another.
And He was definitely part of all.
No matter what changes come next, I pray our family will honor God through each one.
Psalm 104:1 NKJV — Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty,
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for these two days. Thank You for guiding and directing our family. Lord, we give You our lives, our plans, our family, and we humbly request that You be the center of it all. No matter our task, we want to honor You with our actions, attitudes, and words. Lord Jesus, You see the heart. If there is anything standing in the way of us following You, please remove it. Let our lives shine brightly before You. Thank You. Amen.
I’m having a difficult time not wanting to stick to my plans.
But God has better ones, and it only takes a moment for me to realize such when I’m willing to stop and look at it through prayer.
The Lord has been stretching me.
Ever since our Bell moved her dresser out of the spare bedroom, I’ve had a pile of homeschooling papers sitting on the closet floor.
Obviously not a good plan.
With moving I’ve had to change many of my past ways of organizing including the homeschooling papers.
I currently have a place for recent work or needed documents, but the past years’ work no longer has a home.
So, I’ve been praying about what to do.
Coupled with this prayer, I’ve been praying for Anne’s bedroom furniture.
Her dresser was old and very used when I bought it over seven years ago.
It’s now missing more handles and the drawers are less than easy to open.
So, I figured God would want me to set aside some time to refurbish her dresser.
These two things have been a topic of conversation with me and the Lord often of late.
As the days grow closer to autumn, my window of opportunity to work on anything outdoors is coming to a close.
Thus, I have had to put my own opinions and ideas into God’s hands multiple times about this.
So, when I felt like God was talking to me about looking for used furniture on Craigslist I was a bit apprehensive.
“Lord, is this me or You? Am I just trying to force something to solve this instead of waiting?”
Instead of hearing an answer, I just felt like I should punch dresser into the Craigslist search engine.
I did so, and then stopped to pray again.
Something the Lord had spoken to my heart at first came back to mind.
It will be in the city nearest you.
So, with that I began to scroll.
I found something which would work for the spare room.
It was hideous and obviously “well loved”.
The price didn’t sit well with me, but it was in the city nearest me.
I figured I could email and see if they’d come down on the price.
I asked the Lord to make it clear if He wanted me to buy this.
Their response was my answer, “no”.
So, back to the search engine on Craigslist.
“Lord, I really don’t want to do this today, I’m so worried I’ll make a mistake and buy the wrong thing.”
I’m teaching you faith.
Two more dressers.
Two more emails.
Two more closed doors.
Of course, I was working on other things so all of this was poked in between math lesson, history, reading assignment, and cooking.
By the early afternoon, I was ready to give up.
But I still felt like I was supposed to try another search.
This time I found not one dresser,but two and a bedside table.
The posting said, “$50”.
Well, that wasn’t super clear.
And at first I thought this couldn’t work at all, but I stopped to pray.
Through this moment of quiet I realized we could use one dresser in Anne’s room and the other in the spare room as well as the bed side table.
They need painting, but Anne’s been asking me if we could do another project ever since we painted the living room furniture.
I emailed the seller.
I was surprised at the answer: $50 was for everything.
Of course now I had to get some help picking up all this.
I prayed again, that if this wasn’t God’s will it would be obvious.
I knew our son-in-law’s day was busy with taking Bubba and family to the doctor.
I dropped a quick text and after a conversation over the phone we worked out a plan.
Then it occurred to me, if they were heading down after the doctor’s appointment, they’d be hungry, so I invited them for supper.
I was about halfway through cooking supper when I realized this was definitely God’s plan.
My husband’s work has him on call 24/7 and he had come home late the night before only to eat and return to work, arriving home some time after 11.
When things are like that, I know better than to expect him home at any particular time.
But halfway through supper preparations he called me.
He was off work and on his way home.
And he was thrilled to hear our family was coming over for supper.
When he arrived, I told him about the furniture.
He smiled and said, “Sounds great!”.
Not long afterwards he and our son-in-law drove together out the cul-de-sac to pick up the furniture.
Anne was so excited when it got here.
She can hardly wait till we can begin sanding it down and painting it.
I praise God for His guidance in it all.
I’ve already told Anne all this furniture belongs to her.
I’ve tried to make sure each of our kids have some furniture of their own to take with them when the time comes.
As we were all sitting around the dinner table eating, God had one more surprise in store.
My phone started buzzing with several texts all coming in at once.
It was the same family we got the furniture from.
They had forgotten another piece of furniture that was part of the set, a window seat with drawers.
They were texting to let me know we could have it too, no extra charge.
Of course I let them know we would have to get it today, but they were fine with that.
I’m still amazed at how God took a small desire I had and turned my day into a blessed lesson.
Because buying furniture wasn’t in my schedule.
Sending emails and searching Craigslist wasn’t in my plans.
But God reminded me that my ways are not His ways.
His plans are perfect.
His ways are best.
And all of this was more about teaching me to listen and trust and obey than it was furniture.
Because I could have gone out and bought Anne a new dresser anytime.
I could have ordered something to store the homeschooling papers in online and had it delivered to the door.
But instead of either of those things, God has taken me through days of prayer and heart checking.
He has shown me my tendency to want to solve every item I see as a need in my own strength.
He has used this to teach me to listen and be willing to be wrong, to be willing to say, “I don’t know what I’m doing yet, I’m still praying about it.”
And hopefully He is using my life as an example to my children that waiting upon the Lord is the best way, no matter how insignificant the “thing” is.
Because furniture is not a forever thing, but the lessons I learn through dealing with the temporary are.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for providing this lesson. Thank You for stretching me in an area I thought I’d already completely surrendered to You. Lord, thank You that things and items are all temporary and yet can be used by You. Lord, I want to honor You with all that I call my possessions. Thank You for reminding me that nothing is actually mine, it all belongs to You. Please help me to be wise and generous with anything and everything. Lord, You alone are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. Thank You. Amen.