My husband and I have recently embarked on “Phase 8 (or is it 9?)” of The Plan to remodel our century old home we moved into 23 years ago. Over these two plus decades of finished projects, our most important one in This Old House was raising three children and launching them into adulthood– and back into the DFW Metroplex from whence they came. Although, if time were frozen on our block by, say, an erupting volcano, future archeologists would find plenty of relics of said adult children amongst the ashes of cardboard boxes and Rubbermaid containers. But that’s another blog….
Blessed beyond measure with a DIY man who can do just about anything, The Plan is simple–when there is money and time, we remodel. Due to life’s most glorious distractions (i.e. weddings, graduations, grandchildren) we’ve had little extra of either for five years (see above for “launching children into adulthood”). The time has finally come, however, to turn our attentions back to Phase 9 (or is it 10?) of The Plan.
We are now pouring over how-to books, picking up Lowe’s and Home Depot samples, scouring Amazon.com for the right parts, and pinning more pins to Pinterest than we’ll EVER use. Religiously we tune into DIY/HGTV network shows for pastoral advice and inspiration from the likes of Nicole Curtis, Vanilla Ice (really? Vanilla ICE? who’d a thought?) and the new DIY darlings of the Waco, Texas-based program Fixer Upper (funny, but I frequently wonder “WWCJGD”–What Would Chip and Joanna Gaines Do?).
Unfortunately, even in the midst of all our planning and good intentions, we also are finding ourselves spatting.
After almost 28 years of marriage we don’t see eye to eye on everything. Shocking, I know. We have disagreed on a myriad of remodeling related things: materials, colors, floor plans, and, gasp, MONEY–when, where, and how much to use. And as unbelievable as it may seem, we even have different priorities in the implementation of The Plan. But knowing all this would happen, God gave us what we thought was a PERFECT two-step coping mechanism to practice when we encounter “suck it up buttercup” moments along the renovation trail.
STEP 1: Phil. 4:6-7 in The Message says “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it…everything (will come) together for good…” So I tell Hubby: “let’s just picture our worries being shaped into prayers when we run into a DIY hiccup.” Let’s give it to Him to receive an answer. Simple. After all, “everything coming together for good” is great remodeling concept, right?
STEP 2: In her book New Day, New You Joyce Meyer stated “Whenever I find myself in a situation I can’t do anything about, I have found that a good way to cast my care upon the Lord is simply to say, ‘Oh, well.‘” What a concept! So adding that to our coping tool box, I say to Hubby, “Ok, when we run into an unexpected problem with the house let’s just look at each other and say “Oh, well“–not as an expression of frustration, but as an expression of surrendering that problem to the Lord.
To sum up, it’s better to say “Oh well” instead of “Oh, h…..” You catch my drift.
EUREKA…that’s it! DYI harmony! I had immediate visions of us writing a best seller and hitting the lecture and interview circuit to give couples hope that their marriage, too, could survive a remodel –all in just two easy steps!
But then the rubber met the road and the paintbrush hit the paint.
It started with sawdust. Hubby hurried home after work one day last week to install the Nine Foot Post– a task vital to our continued master bath remodel. Then he called to tell me about his accomplishment and– oh by the way– “some stuff on the oriental rug.” I arrived home to behold the Nine Foot Post–and stumbled upon sawdust. Lots of smelly, oily sawdust.
It was everywhere, lightly coating over 300 square feet of my prime sit-in-my-recliner-and-watch-HGTV living space! It was on my furniture, dining room table, living room piano, and iPhone charger! Confident that Nicole and Vanilla Ice would NEVER approve, I questioned Hubby as to the source of the mess (like I didn’t know). He told me he had to make a “few cuts ” and that it would be “ok.” Say what? I was now inconvenienced with a SAWDUST clean up even in my Scentsy Pot! Never mind that he worked hard installing that post, or that I should be grateful he had the money-saving skill to complete it by himself. That didn’t matter. I said the “Two Step Program” was near perfect, not me.
This is where I should have placed a pic of my sawdust filled Scentsy Pot but I didn’t take one…
So over the next three days I successfully dealt with the remainder of that ghastly stuff. Hubby kept DIY-ing. I kept complaining.
My efforts culminated with a 30 minute vacuuming frenzy replete with sweaty sawdust on my brow. As I finished, I exhaustedly turned to my approaching husband and shoved the vacuum towards him to put away. He obviously knew how hard I had worked to clean up that mess. And now, with what I was sure would be words of apologetic affirmation, he looked at me with a grin and said:
Oh no he didn’t…! I was floored like laminate. Hubby had trumped my fretful ingratitude with Part Two of our Two Part Program. Drat!
In that sawdust moment my perspective began to change. I had been so consumed with the MESS I had forgotten it was a MEANS– to our intended end. Suddenly the sledge hammer leaning against the sofa and the power tools in my bathroom no longer irritated me. We had Phase 10 (or is it 11?) of The Plan to implement, hubby and me, and we were in this together. WWCJGD? They would check their attitude.
After a few more silent seconds of contemplation, all I could do was shake my head in agreement and reply, “Yes, you are right. At least the house is clean. ‘Oh well’ indeed.”
That’s ok. Joyce Meyer says his turn is coming 🙂