Take for example the scene I found in my very own dining room this morning:
|Who Did This??!!
No, I wasn't sleep walking when this disaster occurred. What you see here is the contents of almost all my cabinets. Frank bravely took on the challenge of removing our old counter tops before the new ones were to arrive.
The first two little counters were a breeze once he located the screws holding them in place. He waited to remove the counter over our sink because it meant my kitchen would be completely useless once he cut the power and uninstalled the sink itself. Hence, the contents cautiously corralled on our dining room table.
Here's the final result of countertop removal by my own handsome handy dandy handy man.
|Is it still a kitchen if it has no sink?
I've been washing any dishes we might dirty in our bathroom sink. (Deep DIS-contented sigh!) Fortunately, our friend Ed who has been helping us with this remodel (and several others) had the foresight to place a temporary board over our new set of cabinets. That way, they were at least useful. Here you see our make-shift coffee bar. (Please don't judge. Martha Stewart I'm NOT.)
|Cream? Sugar? Power drill?
Those sat in our garage for 2 years while we saved and dreamed about different possibilities. Finally, our dear friend Ed stepped up and said, "Time to stop dreaming and start creating!"
Now, we have plenty of room for family dinners with all seventeen of us around a couple of tables. We can invite friends from church and spread out comfortably. We've even hosted neighbors with plenty of space for all. Voila!
When we received an unexpected financial gift this year, Frank knew exactly what was coming. "Honey, if we add this to our other savings, we'll have just enough to do those new counters in the kitchen."
Game On! How I love that man!
Can't you see my face giddy with joy when the knock came on the door this morning? "We're here to install you new counters, Ma'am." They were much earlier than I had been told but no matter, my dream was happening.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could tell you it all went off without a hitch? Well, that wouldn't be normal life then, would it?
The three young men were very polite and started carrying in the heavy pieces of granite. Suddenly everything came to a screeching halt. The sink was NOT what I had ordered. Frank had graciously opted to remove the counters himself which saved us enough money to secure one of their sinks. But instead of sending the sink with the large side on the right and the smaller side on the left, they sent the complete opposite.
The leader of the install team remained calm. "Let me see if they've already cut the granite for this sink. Maybe they cut it for the opposite." I held my breath.
Antonio came right back in, "I'm sorry, Ma'am. It's already cut for this sink." What to do??!!
Frank was on a hospital visit. (Which actually means a parking lot visit with the person going in for surgery because we still aren't allowed to go inside the hospital.)
I caught him on the phone and he said call the salesman. Paul was very apologetic. He never tried to make it my fault in any way; a willingness to take responsibility for one's mistakes goes a long way with me. "Let me see what we can do." And the waiting began.
Eventually, Frank was able to swing back home and look over the situation with me. Paul offered a couple of options that would have corrected the problem but would have also left me without a working kitchen for a week to ten days. He even offered to remove the cost of the sink if that would help me like it better.
I wrestled with the options for a long time. The kitchen is the heart of every home and I didn't want to dislike this sink every time I looked at it. Paul assured me they wanted to make it right. That is called excellent customer service.
Together, Frank and I decided to go with the sink they had sent so we could move toward wrapping up this project. I feel confident that I'll be able to like it just fine. Staying calm also gave us the opportunity to pray for the installers (Antonio, Raymond and Gabriel) before they left. We've found that people seldom refuse our offer to pray blessing for them these days. Try it sometime. You'll probably be surprised, too.
So, here are a couple of pictures at the close of day.
|Such a Lovely Flow
|Beautiful, Blank Palette
Eventually this year will shift as all things do. May I encourage you to remind yourself of this. The Mess will be Exchanged for what we can shape into a better day. I'm still holding to Romans 15:13 "I pray that God, the source of hope will fill you completely with all Joy and Peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident Hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
May that be your exchange as well, dear Reader. Blessings!
How about you? Have you successfully navigated the MESS that proceeds every home improvement? Tell us about it in the comment section.