Our latest project is at a Stand Still!
When my dad came to visit at Thanksgiving, he asked a dangerous question. "Sheri, what do you and Frank plan to do out here?"
He had stepped outside the new back door off the newly closed in dining room (formerly known as our back porch.) He found new dirt, a dozen new stepping stones, and a new project just waiting to be started.
I'm a choleric personality and I ALWAYS have a plan for what I'd like to do next. Fortunately (after living this long) I've learned to try and balance my choleric side with the gifts of patience and pacing things.
The answer to Dad's question came easily.
"Eventually, we want to pour a concrete slab and add a screened porch out here. But that's a long time away. We need to save a while before jumping into a project like that. So for right now, we're re-purposing these stones we had around the koi pond as a back step. It's working okay. The room turned out great, didn't it?!" I turned his attention back to the lovely dining room.
(Dad had graciously helped start the room project two years ago while visiting. Since Mom died, we've noticed he enjoys blessing his kids when he knows what it's going toward. I wanted him to hear again how grateful we were for his gift toward the dining room!)
And with that brief exchange, Dad and I headed out the door for our next appointment.
Later in the day, Dad approached Frank who hadn't been part of our earlier conversation. Fortunately, he and I have discussed our dream plans many times. "Frank, how much will it cost to pour that concrete and put a screened room on there like Sheri wants?"
Frank isn't as delicate with financial matters and my dad as I am. "I'm not sure Dad; but I'll call a friend right now and find out." Which he did immediately. Several men in our church are involved in construction and they usually know a man who knows a man who knows......
Within hours, Frank had a quote which he promptly shared with my dad.
At breakfast the next morning, Dad took a deep sigh. The kind of deep sigh he usually takes when he's reaching deep into his wallet, and surprised us both.
"Sheri, Frank told me what it would cost to get you a back porch. If Raymond can do it for that, go ahead and get them to do it. I'll send you the money for it. But now you KNOW that's going to be your Christmas present - for a long time to come!"
We all laughed loudly as I jumped up to give him a big hug. (Of course, we knew he meant it was Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, Easter, Fourth of July......... all for a very long time!) Frank and I expressed our appreciation again and again during the rest of his visit.
The project ran into several glitches along the way. The first was pretty serious.
Our house is not near city water/sewage lines so we have county water and a septic tank. When the builders put in the septic tank, they did not expect future owners to have a parent who would want to help said owners expand the house. Therefore, the tank was put the closest required distance from the back wall.
As soon as Raymond came out to measure for the concrete, he discovered the problem. Our proposed location would have the new porch sitting right over the septic tank. Which, of course, is not allowed. We pondered this for several days.
Finally, we determined that the porch could just go on the other side of the dining room. (Have you guessed the next glitch?) Yep, that meant our back door was now on the wrong side of the room! Never a dull moment.
A few other conundrums got thrown in along the way. But as I write this post, Gracie and I are sitting on the very porch we dreamed about. Enjoying cool breezes and a bug-free hour thanks to the screening.
So why the title "Stand Still" you may ask? So glad you did.
Because, we are indeed at another stand still.
Ed (also a builder) came over last week to measure for our new door. While he graciously offered to put it in at no cost, (yes, we do have amazing friends) we must purchase another door exactly like the one on the east side of the room or it will look like a haphazard mess.
While we have some money ready to designate for the door, the one we need has gone up in cost a bit. And the saving parties (that would be us) are also saving toward their upcoming trip to Israel (that would be three weeks.)
It took no time at all to decide that the door can wait!
Frank called Ed and shared with him that we plan to add the extra door later this summer. We couldn't control the timing nor resources; so, it just seems like wisdom to wait. Ed understood the "stand still" perfectly.
And this morning as I pondered the new phase of our project, I was reminded that standing still isn't always a bad thing. In fact there's a great passage of scripture that tells us to ".....stand still and see the salvation (help or answer) of God."
In fact, it proves to be a great reminder for me concerning several prayer "projects" I'm focused on right now.
I cannot control the timing of an answer nor do I have the resources to fix the situations. But if I can resist fretting and choose instead to stand still (wait patiently for HIS answer) it will all work out much better.
Our heavenly Father DOES know the best timing for each answer and His resources have NO limits.
Now that's a project stand still we can all support!