I love to get in my car and drive…….just drive. I don’t do it nearly as much as I would like too, but as fall is now here and Winter approaches, the mountains begin calling to me. I am continually amazed by the variety and intensity of the colors created by the skillful and intentional hands of our Heavenly Father. No place are they more vibrant than in the mountains. Add in the chance that I might get to see some snow and it just doesn’t get any better than that. There is rarely a specific destination in mind. It is so much more about the process, the journey. When we would ask as kids where we were going dad would always say “wherever the car takes us.” I get in my car and head in one direction, however so often find that my journey changes directions without plan. Of course the final destination is always the same, get home safely, but the route by which that is achieved often contains curves, turns, and unexpected stops along the way. In the end it is the time spent just driving that brings me the most joy.
I find that same joy when I am crafting or working on a project. I enjoy the process of the project, the ups and downs and the changes that occur along the way. It begins with the conception of an idea, followed by the flowing of the ideas of how to make it happen. Materials are gathered and the journey begins. I usually begin with an idea of where I would like to end up, knowing that along the way I may be quickly blown off course or I might choose a different path for whatever reason. This latest project is the perfect example of having an idea of where I wanted to end up but finding it a very winding road to get there. In the end I LOVE it!!
I had seen this idea a few times on pinterest but now the links to those projects no longer work so I don’t have the examples of what first brought this idea to mind.
Occasionally I would look on Craigslist thinking that if I found the right dresser for the right price I might give this a go. I initially thought that I would wait until I had a new house to finish this project. I saw a number of dressers for $20-$25 that would do the trick however for whatever reason I never could quite pull the trigger. One evening while “window” shopping on the interenet I found it………the perfect dresser for the perfect price………free!
There is no doubt that if this dresser could talk it would have stories to tell. The sides had been torched at some point and two of its drawers were MIA. A third drawer had obviously been adopted from another dresser at some point. The most important part was that it was well built with solid wood….perfect.
The project of the future became the project of now. I knew that this project would once again required me to call in the dad. I would need his skillful hands and tools to make the initial transition from dresser to bench. Without this part and his help the project was dead before it began. Although he raised his eyebrows when I first tried to explain my vision, he quickly (as always) jumped on board.
We spent most of a Saturday afternoon taking apart, sanding, cutting and rebuilding but at the end of that day the dresser had been transformed.
Since the two sides had been torched at some point the initial idea was to torch the rest of it and then finish it with a clear sealer.
If you have never used a blow torch on wood, you should give it a try. Now I’m not a Pyromaniac but I will admit that I enjoyed the process a little more than I should have. After three coats of clear finish I really thought I had my final product. Add in some fun drawer pulls and a home made cushion from some scrap fabric I had and I was done. I thought.
I liked it but something just wasn’t clicking for me. It just wasn’t my style. Unique yes, but not me. So after some thinking and debating and with the input of both of my parents (I think they really wanted it out of their garage) a new plan was hatched. Now unlike driving and taking an unexpected turn, changing a project after you thought you were done can bring some anxiety. After all I didn’t hate it. What if it turned out even worse than before? What if I did hate it? Would I always be unhappy with it? Yes these are pretty petty worries to have in life I know.
The first step was to sand off the finish on the entire bench. When that was done I knew a new coat of paint would adhere without causing bigger problems. When that was complete a layer of off white paint was applied.
No turning back now!
The white was followed up with a brown coat of paint that I would put on the next day. Step in “amazing work ethic dad” and it was done before I got there the next day.
Seeing the vision yet? The next step was risky to say the least. Once again I pulled out the electric hand sander (my new favorite tool) and began to add dings, chips, wear and tear. By now I think it is clear that I like the rustic style of furniture. The final touches are what made me fall in love with the over all look. Add some fun drawer pulls and that same home made cushion and it was DONE!!! For real this time.
I must say I really do love this bench and minus the price I spent on the knobs (I need to find a cheaper way to get fun knobs) completely free!! Doesn’t get much better than that.
It’s in God’s hands!
It comes so many different ways. The simple whisper that you can only hear when you take a moment to breath. A song on the radio, the feeling that there is something you should be doing but you don’t know what. A longing that you can’t quite place, a sadness or lonely feeling that comes when you are surrounded by those you love. Then there are the times when it stops you in your tracks, it is suddenly clear as day. It pops out at you in the most extraordinary way. There is no ignoring it and you don’t have to wonder at all what you need. It’s clear as day yet you put it aside or make a note to take care of it later.
You see my Jesus loves me, he misses me, he longs for me. Why do I make him work so hard and wait so long simply to have me, to spend time with me, to get my undivided attention. I claim, state and believe with all my heart that He is the most important person in my life, that nothing comes before my relationship with the Lord. Yet relationships take time, attention, effort. They need to be cared for nurtured and protected. I spend so much time doing this with my human relationships and yet the most important relationship and the only one that truly matters gets my attention last. There is a great comfort and peace in knowing that God will always be here for me. He will never leave me or abandon me. How dare I take advantage of that. How dare I put effort into everything and everyone else and yet expect the most out of Him. You see I miss my Jesus too. I long for Him too. I am never more at peace or happier than when I am simply at rest in His presence. Or when I read his word and meditate on his love.
My moment came this morning as I was walking out the door. I have set some personal goals for myself and have committed to some things I want to do and changes I want to make and yet was feeling very frustrated with how that was going. As I turned out the bedroom light I looked up at the jewelry hanger on the wall and read for the thousandth time, the verse that I have chosen and written on there……..
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised..
I see it everyday and read it most days. Yet all the things that are keeping me from what I long for the most are somehow deceitful or vain. It was a moment that I needed, but am so disappointed that it got to that. Why did it take so long for me to hear the gentle loving and persistent call of my Savior? Why did I put everything else first when I know that there is only one that will bring that peace, only one that will feel the longing, only one that will bring the answers I seek, the purpose that I long to fulfill?
Tonight as I get ready and prepare for another busy week I find myself full of gratitude. Thank you Lord for continuing to call, for tugging at my heart, for giving me the longing and for drawing my eyes to your reminder to me for what matters most. How good it is to rest in Your presence. How good it is to bring my longings and my heart and my love to you.
Lord it’s in your hands!