A Simple Shift

Gratitude Day 269

Mon., May 13, 2019

James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

It is amazing how a simple shift can completely change a situation.

Well, in this case, it was really just a coat of paint.

I’ve previously shared photos of our front porch. It’s lovely. Really, you all should come and sit on it with me and we’ll drink gallons and gallons of peach iced tea. We’ll watch the cars drive by, we’ll talk about the books we’ve read, we’ll enjoy the birds and flowers and everything else spring.

porch

But I’m even more excited to have you visit … now that the porch looks like this!

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Isn’t it amazing what a little paint can do?

The wicker furniture looked nice. But a little, well, worn. Maybe a bit tired. Possibly like it had been to a few too many dances in the same outfit.

It just needed a little pick-me-up. A little spritz of fresh. A little shift that would declare that it was ready for a few more dances. Or at least, many more visitors.

About two-and-a-half years ago, we were given the furniture by a very nice couple. They wanted more room at their condo and thought this wicker furniture would look perfect on our porch. We brought it home and cleaned it up. The following spring, I found some new cushions, which gave it a little freshen-me-up then.

Now, it’s two years later. Two more years of wear and tear. Two more years of use and abuse. (It’s not really abused, as it sits under the porch. But it just sounded, you now, good.) Anyways, it was looking like the girl who needed a haircut or a new dress.

Remember that date night when Hubby Rick and I went to Menard’s one Saturday night? I brought home with me several cans of ultra-matte charcoal grey spray paint, specifically for freshening up the wicker furniture. (Note: read the label and make sure the paint is intended for whatever type of material you are covering.) On this past Saturday, decided to make the shift, the transformation. In just a few short hours, I had what looked like completely new furniture.

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This project is easy. You don’t have to be a skilled DYI’er to do it. Just place a tarp where you will be painting. I used the front yard, where all our neighbors could wonder what I was up to next.

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Then, I begin painting. This spray paint had primer in it, so I skipped the priming step. Also, we don’t expect this to be a long-term solution. If we use the furniture a couple more years, we’ll be thrilled.

Hubby Rick always tells me, “lots of thin coats is best.” I tried to follow his rule. Yes, the first coat was thicker than the other coats. But I didn’t try to cover everything during the first go-around.

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After the first coat, I let the furniture dry for a couple hours. Then, I went back and filled in with a second coat. Let it dry. A third coat was the final coat. Depending on what you are painting, more coats maybe required. Cushions would cover up huge portions of the wicker. I was also OK with a little “rustic” showing through. After it had dried a third time, Rick helped me move the furniture back up on the porch.

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We stood back and gushed about how great it looked.

As I was painting, I could tell that a little shift with paint was going to give the furniture a new life. Just a few coats of paint would make this furniture look like it fit in with the rest of the house. It’s new haircut or dress or whatever you want to call it (paint job) reminded me how sometimes, one little shift can make such a difference.

A card to a person who is struggling.

A text message that is just checking in.

An invitation to coffee just to see how someone is doing.

A piece of dessert that says, “I care.”

We can all claim the, “But I’m so busy card.” Or, “Next week, I’ll make time.” Or, “When things slow down.” Then, we’ll make time to do these things.

But does the day ever really arrive? A slot in our scheduled ever get opened up?

Only if we make it.

When we take the time and make the effort to do one simple thing for someone else, WE may truly be the hands and feet of God to that person. God can make great things happen in people’s lives. But sometimes, God needs messengers and helpers and partners to make these things happen. This is where we come in. We can be a special private partner of God … and not even know it. We can be the good and perfect gift initiated by God in which we are the conduit that allows this really cool thing to happen.

If we shift our priorities, shift our schedule, shift what is most important today, amazing little things can happen. On Saturday, I decided not to wait all summer to paint the furniture. I wanted to enjoy the freshened-up furniture all summer.

We can wait all summer to make a difference in someone else’s lift. To provide a slight shift in their day or perspective. Or we can do it today. It’s our choice.

So, please come sit on our porch for a while. If peach iced tea isn’t your thing, I’ll find something that is. And let’s let God shift our perspective for a couple hours.

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For God’s ability to help us shift our own and someone else’s perspective, I am grateful.

Almighty God – You do amazing things in our lives every day. And sometimes, you even use us in the process! Help me see the opportunity to make a little shift in someone else’s life today. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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