July 29, 2010

Good Thursday Morning

It is Thursday morning already! WOW! This week has really flown by, and the weekend is almost here. I am excited about my new job. It is just part-time work, but the hours are great, and I think it will be a good start for me. I have decided to put looking for full-time work on hold -- well -- at the least, not submit any more applications unless the Lord guides me to do so. I still have quite a few sitting out there, no notice back yet; and perhaps, one of these will pan out. Until then, I am contented to work at Macy's. My plan is to stay through the end of the year, that is, if a full-time position comes through to me. If not, then I will stay on as long as I need to or until one does come to pass. I am not in any hurry to move on; no, not by any shape or thought. I am just keeping the door open to full-time work as the Lord provides.

Other good news: each day that I look at my carpets, they SEEM cleaner. I don't recall if I blogged here or not (perhaps it was over at Face Book), but I cleaned my carpets on Monday. They were filthy, and that is really an understatement. I had attempted to clean them once before, and had just so-so results. I borrowed back my Mom's Dirt Devil carpet cleaner three weeks ago, but hadn't felt the interest to use it. Finally, this week, I said to myself, "Carol, the carpets aren't going to clean themselves," and I did them. WOWwee! The dirt really came up, and they look good. I have some throw-up spots (from the cats) where the orange stain just won't come out, but the stain is much lighter and less noticeable. I also have some worn spots, and some permanently dark oil stains, but other than that, the carpet is back to being a nice modest beige color.

My next task is to paint, and I am going to go and get a couple gallons tomorrow. My day is pretty socked, so tomorrow and Sunday (and some of next week) will be paint days. I have figured out a style for my home, finally! I am very eclectic and have been country for a long time. I thought about going sleek and modern, which I like; but in the end decided that it is just not me. I gravitate back toward painted and pine furniture, rustic and authentic -- aka, old-fashioned style. I am going cottage, but sort of a Pottery Barn look on the cheap. I found a couple inspiration sites, and plan on doing similar things to my home. I won't have much money to invest so I will do what I can to make my home more homey.

This is the funny thing, but I was just saying this to my son the other day: "If God' gives you lemons, you need to make lemonade with them." That's not really the saying, but the meaning is close to what I am thinking. I have been praying for a job, and God brought me one. It wasn't the one I thought I would get nor was it the one that I needed for total self-reliance and sufficiency. It is a job, a good job, and in this economy; I am praising Him for it. I have also been asking about a house, a home for me and my son to live in. This, given my situation with my DH and all. Well, my DH is planning to move out shortly, so that leaves us right where we are, in our present home. It needs a lot of repair and renovation (from years of neglect), and I have been figuring out the cost. I was hoping for a job to cover these repairs, you know -- to hire workmen and such. Then I visited this website where I saw the kitchen I want to duplicate, and read about how they did all the work themselves (thanks to Ikea), and I thought, "I am handy. I can do this myself too." Click, bing -- the light goes off. I realize that God has given me a home, a home I already own, that is just waiting to be made nicer, repaired and renovated. I decided to make lemonade out of the lemons I have and that means being contented with my new job, and doing whatever is necessary to make my home into my home.

You see, for the last 26 years, I have lived with my husband and he has not allowed me to decorate my home the way I wanted to do it. He complained about every choice I made, from home-made curtains, to slip covers for the worn out chairs, to repurposed and repainted furniture. We didn't have money for nice things, so we got lots of hand me downs from friends and family. I tried to make them stylish, into what I wanted, but he just said no or complained about my choices. After a long while, I stopped trying -- I mean -- why do it when you are going to be criticised for it?

I gave up on my home because my DH made it nearly impossible to live in it the way I needed to live in it. I am a frugal person by nature, and am very handy. I can do most home improvement tasks, but my DH never allowed any money to go to these expenses, and made us wait for repairs until the situation was dire (like my bedroom window which has been broken for over a year.) The solution was never expensive, and could have been easily done. The issue was priorty and how the money was being spent, and when it came down to it, it was always in how he SAW the priority. If he didn't think it was a high enough priority, then we simply didn't do it.

I am determined not to live this way anymore. It is called being a good steward of the manifold blessings of God. God provides us with food and shelter. He clothes us, and sends us practical work. Our job is to accept His provision and make good use of it. This means taking care of our families and our homes (the physical buildings he provides). It is not about Better Homes and Gardens or HGTV, though I really don't think the Lord takes issue with decorating our home at all. No, rather He knows that for many women, home keeping brings them great joy and He finds it well-pleasing when they use their gifts and talents to make their homes special and warm and welcoming. We are to be gracious to strangers, and this means hospitality. It is a God-honoring thing for women and men (some are incredibly handy) to use their gifts to make the home the Lord provided beautiful. We just aren't to go overboard or use it to elevate our status or make us appear to be better than we really are. The Glory must always go to Him and Him alone.

Consequently, here I am, sitting in a perfectly good home, a home that is a bit run-down, worn out, and shabby. It needs some TLC, and I am the woman to do it. I am excited about it, and cannot wait to begin. I have great plans for my home, small changes and fixes, that will make it homey and inviting again. I want people to come into my home, to be welcomed here, and no longer live as a "stranger in a strange land." One of the first things to go will be my mini-blinds. I am a light-filled person, and not just in a spiritual sense; but, in an everyday way. I love sunshine and bright light. I don't like to live in a cave. My DH made me cover our windows and keep the blinds closed all the time, mostly to keep out solicitors and other collectors. I have lived in hiding for over 26 years and I am done with it. No more hiding for me. I may not like the solicitors to come up to my door, but I will not cower in a corner out of fear of reprisal. No, I will stand solidly on the Word of God, and walk by my integrity, and be faithful in whatever the Lord gives to me. So off with the blinds, and in with curtains that allow in much light and brightness.

It is an interesting turn of events, yet when you consider my life and where it is right now; it makes perfect sense. I have come out of a very long dark tunnel, and I am moving further and futher into the light of His Glory. My past was shrouded in darkness, dark deeds, and deception; my future is bathe in the truth of His Word, and in living righteously. Not of my hand, of course; no, not at all. I am living under His fountain of Grace, and doing all things, doing everything through His Grace. It is all for Him, all for Him, and I am loving Him all the more each day as I make new discoveries, learn new ways, and understand the whys and wherefores of my life. He is so very Good to me, and His plans for my life are so very good.

In short, God has given back to me a life, a new life and a life of His own choosing. I am working in the job He has provided to me, I am living with the resources He has provided, I have a roof over me that He purchased, and I am pursuing plans that He devised. Every aspect in my life has His fingerprints clearly upon it, and His hand has left a mighty impression on me. I am changed, I am new, I am reborn, and I am loving it -- every single change, every single nuance, and every single moment that I breathe. He is SO VERY GOOD TO ME.

No comments: