Gratitude Day 206 – Refresh Wednesday #3

Wed., Jan. 30, 2019

Psalm 63:6 – whenever I ponder you on my bed, whenever I meditate on you in the middle of the night—

Welcome to Refresh Wednesday!

Today, I’m excited to share with you a project that is one of my FAVORITE refreshes we have completed in our house. It’s a great example of taking something old we had at our house, refreshing it and repurposing it for another use.

Would you like to know more?

Good, I can’t wait to share!!

Last fall, we created a beautiful master suite on the second floor of our 1906 Victorian Farmhouse. I’m anxiously awaiting to show you the entire room but have held off because we’re waiting for our floor guy to refinish the hardwood floors. He’s experienced some challenges in his personal life, which are far more important than our floors, so we wait.

When my sister and her husband bought a new king-sized bed, they gave us their old one. We started with just the frame, box spring and mattress. As we put the suite together, I really felt the bed really needed a headboard.

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Here’s what the head of the bed looks like. Nothing too fancy, right?

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Until you remove the pillows and see this.

I began looking for a headboard online. Notice the window above the bed? I love the light the window lets into the room, but it affects the height of the headboard. While I found something that would have worked, I wasn’t thrilled with it.

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This is when I came up with a much better idea that didn’t cost us anything. Well, except the paint, which we already had.

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We have some old doors from the house that we no longer are using. Some of these doors are very narrow, like less than 30” wide narrow. Upon my request, Rick dug one of these doors out. We measured the length of the door and discovered it was just a little long for the king-sized bedframe. It would work great as a headboard!

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Rick cut the door to fit the bedframe. Then, he made posts for each end to attach the headboard to the frame. He found a piece of leftover trim in the attic, which he fashioned as a cap for the top of the bedframe. After sanding the door, we put on a coat of primer. Once dry, we painted the door a dark charcoal grey. The bedroom walls are a medium grey. The dark grey headboard looks stunning against the lighter walls.  (Look carefully … you see the floors we’re waiting to refinish.)

When we show people the headboard, most do not realize that it used to be a door. Rick did such a great job; the headboard looks like it was made this way!

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My favorite part of the project? We took something that was original to the house, refurbished it and made it into something that fits into the design and décor of our house.

When I wake up in the morning, I spend a few minutes in prayer before me feet hit the ground. I dedicate my day to God. I ask for God to direct and guide me through the day. I ask for wisdom in making decisions and noticing the things God desires for me to note. As I meditate in bed, I pray that I can suppress my will and seek God’s will for me for the upcoming day.

I’m anxious to continue this morning ritual in our master suite, once the floors are completed. In the meantime, several overnight guests have utilized this bed and master suite. I’ve loved being able to share this refurbished headboard with them. In fact, my sister was so taken by the beauty and function of the door-turned-into-headboard, she had Rick make her one, using an extra door that she had! We’re letting her choose what color she wants to paint it once we get it back to her house. It’s another example of using something you already have and refurbishing it into another life.

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For refurbished furniture that adds beauty to our home, I am grateful.

Holy God – beauty comes in many different ways. Sometimes, we just need to look at something from a little different perspective to see the purpose and beauty in a new way. On this day, maybe it’s something in our personal lives that needs some tweaking and imagination. May we not be afraid of potential refurbishing’s that come into our lives, realizing the finished product can be truly amazing. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 139 – Renewed

Fri., Oct. 19, 2018

Lamentations 3:23 – They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness.

Ever feel a little tired and run down? Like you need to be renewed? Maybe your soul is being steered in the wrong direction?

We have been remodeling a chunk of the upstairs of our 110-year-old Victorian farmhouse.  There is nothing like a deadline to push you towards getting things accomplished! We have company arriving today. While the entire remodeling isn’t completed, Hubby Rick and I have made significant progress the last few weeks.

We are taking the middle section of our upstairs and remaking it into a master bedroom with a walk-in closet and master bathroom. We also made room for a second closet to house a washer and dryer. To make this all work, we’ve created a hallway which allows for the various components to branch off of.

On the east side of all this area is a storage area which someday, we will also remodel. This spot is really like a bonus room. Rick dreams of a game room. And maybe this is what it will be.

Back to the current remodeling job: there were two doors that went into the storage area/bonus room/game room. Rick closed off these doors with drywall. One door would have been where the shower will go. The other door would have been in the middle of the walk-in closet. To replace these two doors, he put one door at the end of the hallway, which makes more sense.

After some discussion, we decided to rework one of the existing doors and make it work for this new spot. It didn’t make sense to buy a new door when we already have two doors. We would just change the door to reflect the new style of this area.

Before

This is how the door started. Basically, a 1950’s style blonde door. We actually like that it has windows because this will provide some needed light into the hallway. The blonde style just doesn’t work anymore. I convinced Rick to paint it.

One afternoon, Rick sanded down the door to remove the shiny finish. Then, he primed it. I had picked out a couple possible paint colors. After painting some of the other walls and doors in this space, I decided to paint this door the color of the bi-fold doors, trim and walk-in closet. This would keep the entire area bright.

paint window

When Rick applied the primer, he did not tape the windows. He thought it would be easier to use a razor blade and remove the paint afterwards. After I painted the door, touched it up with a second coat and let it dry, it was time to remove the excess paint on the windows. Rick has a cute little razor blade holder. I started to remove the paint and decided a new blade was in order. After replacing the blade, the paint zipped off rather quickly.

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It was really quite easy and rewarding. Not a lot of time or energy and quick progress. I turned the door around and did the reverse side. Soon, the windows looked great and the renewed door was taking shape.

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It took a little time, effort and planning to renew the door. Would it have been easier to buy a new door? Probably. But we are trying to be faithful stewards and reuse items as we can. I think it is cool to keep as much of the previous items from the house in tack.

 

As I was scrapping away the paint, I began to see a metaphor to my life. I can identify various points in my life when I needed a renewal. I needed to sand away parts of my life that were not as productive or necessary. I needed a coat of the Holy Spirit to smooth out my imperfections and provide a good base daily living. While the top coat of paint can cover up things I don’t want anyone else to see, God knows the flaws lie beneath and overlooks them anyway. Sometimes, I need to scrap away the things that keep me from fully loving God and my neighbors; things that draw me more into myself and away from God’s guiding hand in my life. And throw these things into the trash.

paint scrappings

If I were completely honest, I would acknowledge that daily, I need this renewal. Yep. Every. Single. Day.

Thank goodness God doesn’t get tired of remodeling us. God doesn’t get frustrated when we’re been renewed and we quickly revert back to our previous unhealthy ways. God isn’t afraid of a little sanding, painting and scraping to bring us back into God’s loving arms. It doesn’t matter how much gets scraped away and thrown into the trash. God still sees us as beloved children of God’s kingdom.

It’s not God that’s afraid of renewal. Most often, it’s we who don’t want to make ourselves vulnerable enough. But when we do, the finished product is often oh, so beautiful.

After

Hubby Rick is hanging the door. I know it’s going to look great!

 

For a God who never tires of renewal, I am grateful.

Holy God – thank you for knowing when I need renewal before I do. Thank you for also knowing which parts of me need to be sanded, primed and repainted. May I willingly accept renewal in my life. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 118 – Perspective

Thurs., Sept. 13, 2018

1 Peter 2:4 – Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable.

I’ve been looking at the top of my piano and wanting something just a bit different. The decorations have been fine this summer. As we move towards fall, I am looking for something different.

White #1

I know. The easy fix would have been to put a few pumpkins and fall flowers in the vases. And I will do this soon. But I felt like it needed something just a bit more than this.

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I looked at the rustic white candlesticks and had an idea.

Black.

Paint really is a designer’s best friend. It’s inexpensive and can change perspective of something so quick. I found a bottle of black spray paint in the basement. There happened to be a tarp in the back yard and so I went to work. Hubby Rick has taught me well: several thin layers of spray paint are more effective than one heavy, runny layer.

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It was a beautiful day. Literally, each paint coat only took minutes to dry. Soon, all three candle holders were sufficiently black and ready to go back to their homes.

Black #2

Isn’t it amazing the difference some black paint makes?

If you prefer the rustic white before picture, it’s OK. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Black #1

Thankfully, we don’t always have the same perspective. We see things from different vantage points. We have different ideas and concepts and potential options. Sometimes, just a small shift in perspective can help us see something from a completely different perspective.

Whose perspective am I most challenged by? God’s.

Whose perspective do I most often appreciate, even when I’m not always happy and supportive in the moment? God’s.

Have you had the situation when you wonder why God was not more aware of your position? You question why God didn’t listen to you.

When we allow ourselves to see something from a slightly different perspective, we begin to see why God didn’t listen to us earlier. Praise the Lord.

It is so easy to ditch God and question God’s judgement on something. Occasionally, we become aware that God’s perspective really is more appropriate than our perspective. In the moment, it’s hard to see. But sometimes, I pray we see that God has a much wider and broader and deeper understanding than we ever will.

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For a different perspective than my own, I am grateful.

Lord God – thanks for being patient with us when we want something our way right now. I pray that we can open ourselves to the possibility of your perspective. Sometimes, just a slight shift is all it takes. I pray we let You help us see new perspectives. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Painting a Bigger Life Box

Feb. 28, 2015

Psalm 57:9-10

I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets, singing your praises in town and country. The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.

Sometimes, it’s good to make our boxes a little bigger.

I am NOT an artist. The last time I picked up a paintbrush, other than for painting a wall or a piece of furniture, was probably in 3rd or 4th grade art class. Wanting to “add in” some things this Lent, I convinced three friends to go to a Paint Nite.

Paint Nite’s basic concept is for a bunch of women to come together, have a glass of something you enjoy, and paint. (I give the one man kudos for making a deposit into his wife’s love bank and joining in!) In two hours, the “teacher” leads participants step-by-step through the process of releasing a person’s inner Van Gough or Monet and creating their own painting. While the teacher has an example to follow, no finished products looked like the sample. Participants are encouraged to deviate and make their painting reflect themselves.

I sat down with my three friends, also self-declared non-painters. Tina cracked everyone up when she stated her husband doesn’t even trust her to paint a wall! We mixed paints, applied them to our blank canvases and oohed as each person’s painting developed. A woman behind us mixed really cool colors and took her canvas to a different level. I declared that she must have had previous painting classes. She shyly admitted with $20,000 spent on an art degree, she should be able to paint.

I had so many thoughts while painting. I thought of how each of us starts out as a blank canvas in God’s eyes. How we are each painted with different strokes and colors so no two are exactly alike. I thought of how therapeutic this time was; being with great people and doing something uncomfortable, yet discovering something new about ourselves. I thought of my good friend Bonnie Mohr who is a painter. While I have always admired her work, I have a much deeper appreciation for her skill.

Am I going to purchase a bunch of blank canvases and paints and continue painting? I’m not so sure. Will I sign up for a series of paint classes? Rick has encouraged me! It was so good to “add in” something that brought me great joy, if just a couple hours. When guided by the Spirit, we can do many great things initially outside of our normal boxes. For this, I give thanks.

It becomes so easy for us to do the predictable. But Lord, you challenge us to dig deeper. To discover new ways you have created goodness within us. Lord, may we be challenged to tap into something new this Lent. Help us discover something new about ourselves this day. 

Blessings –

Dianne

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Our finished products! From left to right, Dianne Van Gogh Vielhuber, Tina Matisse Williams, Kendra Monet Kravik and Kris Rembrandt Kravik (as named by the resident Matisse).
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Starting with blank canvases …

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