It has helped me to remember that God took the earth from being empty and formless to a place filled with light and dark, land and sea, sun and moon, plants of every kind, and animals of every kind in five days of His creative work. ONLY GOD could do that, but He did indeed bring order, peace, and perfection where before there was nothing. (Read about it in Genesis 1:1-23)
It has helped me to remember that when the Israelites were on their way out of Egypt, there came a crucial time when they saw Pharoah and his army coming toward them on one side and the Red Sea on the other side. God worked a miracle before their eyes to turn certain death into a dry path for escape in the middle of that sea. (Read about it in Exodus 14).
It has helped me to remember that Jesus was in a boat out in the sea ASLEEP when a great storm came up, and the boat was about to capsize with all His disciples on board. He SPOKE and the winds and waves obeyed and became perfectly calm. (Read about it in Mark 4:35-41).
Countless times in Scripture, people and situations have been in difficulty and disarray, and God restored order and replaced the confusion with serenity.
For 3 months and 10 days, Steve and I were in a state of chaos and turmoil, emotionally and physically. We moved all of our belongings from one town to another, from one house to another. But, we couldn't start unpacking and putting things in their new spot. Oh no. We had to bring all those boxes in AND decide to make major changes to the new house. Those major changes involved weeks of waiting, even MORE boxes, a seemingly endless stream of workers AND DUST coming in and out, and many meals obtained through a drive-in window rather than being prepared at home (probably Steve's least favorite thing). We have endured head-splitting noise, disrupted schedules, making hundreds of "little" decisions, answering questions, and second-guessing ourselves, but as of a few days ago, we now have the results we had hoped for and can enjoy the benefits. Here are some photos to illustrate.
This was the kitchen when we moved in -- notice the scored concrete floors, the overall dark look, and the countertops and backsplash that seemed to fight each other for which was busiest. :) Many of the bottom cabinets were fairly disfunctional with lots of unreachable space.
New cabinets were delivered and unboxed inside the house, creating a walking maze from one room to the other.
The old cabinets were removed and donated to Habitat.
New lighting was installed simultaneously as the new cabinets were put in place.
New flooring was laid down after the cabinets were installed.
After a couple of weeks with cabinets but no countertops (or sink or dishwasher), we finally got half of the countertops. The other half was mismeasured and had to be redone THREE TIMES.
Finally, we reached the last step which was having a new backsplash installed.
Here is the end result.
Kudos to all the workmen, installers, electricians, and craftsmen who contributed to our renovation.
Cabinets came from Lowe's with great help from Wendy Cheatham Duncan for the design.
Flooring, countertops, and backsplash came from Elite Flooring with advice and help from Canina Johnson. Lighting was done by Mooney Electric, and we are very pleased.
A few conclusions:
It's hard for people in their 70's to move.
It is EXTREMELY difficult to live through a home renovation.
I had forgotten how much I NEED calmness and tranquility.
Our marriage has withstood yet another test.
It is a pleasure to prepare meals in my new home.
This finally feels like home.
I am a spoiled American.
Think long and hard about it before you decide to begin a project such as this. It will be messy and unsettling and take far longer than you anticipate.