(This is the THIRD post by my wife here on the Wading Pool. So thankful for her willingness to take up the challenge of writing. I think she’s doing an incredible job!)
This past Tuesday night, along with millions of other people around the country, I tuned into the season four premiere of Fixer Upper. Matt & I have been fans of the HGTV show for quite a while now and our kids even look forward to our Fixer Upper nights! Together we all gather around the big black box waiting to see what beautiful design Jo will dream up or what kind of crazy stunt Chip will pull.
I guess it’s only natural for me to love a show like this because I’ve had an affinity for design and decorating for as long as I can remember. At ten years old, I would pour over the pages of my mom’s Southern Living magazines, tearing out all the house plans I could find to file away in my “dream house” folder. Then as a teenager, I opted to take an architectural drafting class over chorus, even though I knew I’d be the only girl in a class full of boys – yikes! And again as a newlywed, decorating our first home with its French Country kitchen and Big Bird yellow spare room. Just ask Matt about that one – Bahahahaha!!! Whatever the stage of life I’ve always been drawn to design, crafting and creativity.
In fact, the Big Bird room would later become the sweetest little nursery for our firstborn, with a fresh coat of paint, of course! But from then on, I knew I wanted to create a comfy little nest for my family that we could all enjoy. It’s something I love and find so much joy in, and even more so, if it’s done on a dime.
Through the years, I’ve tackled many DIY projects, scoured thrift stores, yard sales, and Craigslist for a bargain (that, I credit to my mom – the bargain-shopping queen). I’ve sewn, recovered, or painted to revamp an item into something “new”. But in May of 2015, I was ready for a bigger challenge….a kitchen remodel. It would be a big project but I knew with my ideas, Matt & my Dad’s handyman skills, and the unexpected blessing of others’ generosity, we could make this dream a reality! My design would open and brighten everything up, add a long center island, new countertops and a farmhouse sink…Sigh! It would be beautiful…Pinterest worthy!
It was a perfect plan, but the only thing going against us was time. A year and four months after that first #DemoDay we were finally ready to have the cabinets painted. Yes, you read that correctly: A YEAR & FOUR MONTHS later! And that landed us right in the middle of our 2016 changes and stirrings!
Painting that many cabinets wasn’t something I wanted to DIY, so we hired it out and planned a last minute beach trip to get out of dodge. We also knew this would be a great time to really quiet our souls before The Lord and seek Him. We desperately wanted details since all we knew up to that point was that we were moving! Wouldn’t you know it, it was the most dreary and depressing weather that week. Instead of having lots of quiet, serene moments alone with the Lord, we were wrangling three stir crazy kids the majority of the time. Ha!
As the week went by, we didn’t have any more clarity than when we first left home. Since God wasn’t revealing His plan for us fast enough for my liking I was giving lots of suggestions and dreaming up plans of my own. Plans to buy a fixer upper! Yes!!! I began to conjure up all the different locations we could move to, all of which were among familiar places in my comfort zone. I stayed up searching online, into the wee hours of morning, hunting for old homes all across NC, scheming about the possibility of buying one to fix up.
But one morning after my searching, I was hit square in the face with a devotion about a woman wanting to build her dream home but needing to surrender her dreams to Him!!! What?!! I knew right then He was asking me to relinquish ALL of my hopes, dreams and fears not just some of them. Here I was thinking, I was enjoying the ride, but boy, was I fooled! I was still fighting for control but He was calling me to let go of everything from the farmhouse sink, the fixer upper house, to the state we lived. He was inviting me out to unchartered waters. He was reminding me to trust Him completely.
I, in my little faith, promptly told God, “Ok, but You’re going to have to give me one of those verses about doing something new … confirm it like You’ve done before”. And of course, the very next day I opened my One Year Bible and this was the verse in my daily reading that glared back at me:
“I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 NLT
What in the world?! Wow!!! Cue the waterworks…
And then the following day (more waterworks):
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 NLT
It’s been two months since that beach trip. We still don’t know specifics of what He’s doing, but I do know I have to surrender, totally and completely. I have to be willing to lay down those dreams and fears and trust that it will be ok even if I never have a kitchen with a farmhouse sink or a fixer upper in NC. Whatever the case, I have to remember His plan is so much better than my own. I have to turn it ALL over to Him, to seek Him first, and to trust Him with the unknowns.
When we walked into our freshly painted, finally finished kitchen back in September I squealed like a little girl and then immediately the tears began to fall. I knew this beautifully remodeled kitchen wasn’t meant for me and that’s ok….my God is big enough to handle a farmhouse sink!