Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Moment of Clarity

It was dark and cold when I slid into the driver's seat with a million thoughts rushing through my mind. The first thought, of course, was that I needed to get some toasty back into my frozen fingers. I popped my key into the ignition, gave it a turn, then reached for the heater control. After cranking it up to it's highest setting, I realized that there was a quiet in my car that I wasn't used to. A quick glance at the dash confirmed that, indeed, my stereo was powered off. 

 Wierd, I thought, before remembering that I'd turned it off to make a call before exiting my car some four hours earlier. Intent to remedy the situation, I reached for the power button before having the very distinct - and uncharacteristic - thought to leave it off. 

No music in the car? The very idea was baffling. I love music. And my car is the only stage from which I can sing (ok, and the kitchen, but I wasn't in the kitchen, I was in the car!).

Reluctantly, I followed the feeling and began driving home with only my thoughts to keep me company. 

And that's when it happened. 

I had the most humbling, heart touching, moment of clarity that I've had in a very long time. It was as if the Lord stilled all the other crazy thoughts that continually cycle through my mind and gave me a brief window where I could focus on the one thing I needed to know... the one thing I've been searching for for several months. In that brief moment of clarity, I was shown the purpose behind what I'd been tasked to do and, even more than that, I was given the clarity on how to make it all come together. In that rare, quiet moment alone in my car, months of research and pondering, suddenly merged seamlessly into one, concise, specific idea. 

By the time I pulled into my driveway, droves of minions were wresting in my brain again, cramming my frontal lobe with more chaos than should be humanly possible. But even amongst the noise, my "moment" still lingered. 

And so it is, that in the coming days and weeks I will roll my plan into action. I will redefine my purpose, restate my motto, and move forward with the faith that I am headed in a fantastic direction. And, maybe, just maybe, I'll remember to keep seeking out more of those quiet moments. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Imagine. Plan. Execute. Conquer!

Once upon a time, somebody accused me of being bull-headed. While I am many things, obstinate is not one of them (*cough) ... unless of course you consider the little project the "experts" told me was impossible. 

Then I'm just plain DETERMINED.

If someone tells you that something can't be done, do it anyway.
It all started a few years ago when we were plotting out how to finish our game room. I had a lot of ideas - some admittedly crazier than others. We played around with the idea of a 50's retro decor then decided that a mountain rustic theme better fit the plethora of family heirlooms (ie: cowboy hats, riding gloves, vintage photos, etc.)  that we wanted to display. And so, the building began. 

We started with a fireplace, but we didn't want it to eat up too much space, so we only made it poke out from the wall 17". Next we added a built in bench that, while providing seating, also nicely hides the concrete foundation lip that pokes out from the framed wall.  - Then, we called the "experts." 

Not one, but two. And they both told me the same thing. 

"Lady, there ain't no way we can build built ins like you want."  

They threw around excuses like, "cabinets don't come in 17" depths" and "there's no way to use the space over the bench. It's just dead space." 

Clearly, the cabinet "experts" don't know how to think out of their pre-fab boxes. (Pun intended!) So, I decided to do it myself. But, because I hate to start a project I can't finish, it got put off and for a couple of years, we've been left staring at the empty space. 

And then it happened. At Christmas the staring game just got old. I told that wall I was going to finish it once and for all. I took my trusty 17 year old daughter (who is a brilliant design consultant!) to the hardware store and we picked up all the supplies we needed. 

We started with 2 unfinished pre-fab cabinets and with the help of a skill saw, some wood glue, and a hammer, we modified them from their original 24" depth to a new, perfectly fitting, 16". 

Then we added some decorative trim pieces to give it a more custom look. And built counter tops to match the mantel.

And then came the hard part. We tore apart 3 old, weathered pallets and lined the back of the book shelves with the boards.

Added more trim up on top. (FYI - Crown molding is my arch nemesis!)

Then gave it a good coat of primer and paint and distressing.  Last came the hardware.

And then, the thing that was impossible, not only became possible, it became complete!

Was it easy? No, but it wasn't terribly difficult either. Lesson learned: DON'T EVER LET SOMEONE TELL YOU THAT YOUR DREAMS AREN'T ACHIEVABLE! If you believe enough in your ideas, you can make them realities. Don't give up. Ever. 

Imagine. Plan. Execute. Conquer! 

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