Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Match Made in Heaven?

"Few people even scratch the surface, much less exhaust the contemplation of their own experience." ~Randolph Bourne

"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." ~Auguste Rodin

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." ~Matthew 11:29

I love a challenge. On my own terms, that is. This is why I start these outlandish projects such as tiling (having never tiled before in my life.)

My husband is always more hesitant, asking, “Uh … are you sure you want to rip that [baseboard, linoleum, carpet, etc, etc] out?”

Yes, I do. Because if I don’t I will never fix it.

Excuse the random comparison, but I am like that with socks, too. If a sock has a small hole, it is wearable. If a sock has a large hole, but stays on the appointed foot, it is still wearable. Therefore, I cannot throw away an old sock unless it is completely beyond use or repair. What, you ask, if it is getting close and, though most sane people would just throw it away, it doesn’t meet my definition of destroyed? Aha! I destroy it! Yes! I must rip the hole in the sock so that it is, say, large enough to step completely through, and then, and only then, can it be disposed of. The same holds true for undergarments, T-shirts, and the like. They must pass the point of no return before they can be trashed.

As for home improvement projects that are beyond my expertise or skill, well, I can Google with the best of them, … and follow instructions. I made a few minor goofs with the five tile projects back in the spring, but I was able to get them straightened out, or at least repaired so the error was all but unnoticeable.

Yes, a challenge I like. But, after this past weekend, I have to say I have met my match.

There really are no other words to describe it: I have met my match.

After several false starts, true starts, rip-outs, and re-starts, I believe we have made just about every error we could possibly make. On Saturday, the day I originally hoped to have the entire project knocked out, I retreated several times to my son’s room (most rooms were inaccessible, blocked by various living room furniture pieces) in tears. I will spare you the details of the fits I threw, but let’s just say, I gave up for good. Repeatedly.

(living room in the kitchen)

Each time, the surrender lasted approximately 5-10 minutes before my other personality, Mrs. Stubborn Face, emerged, determined that she would not be beaten by this ridiculous project.

Mrs. Stubborn Face would set her jaw and grit her teeth and try, try again for, oh, say, 20 minutes before Ms. I-Can’t-Take-This-Anymore would take over and run crying down the hall.

Mostly, I just wanted to set the whole house on fire.

Sunday, my husband and I (with the kids’ help, yes) managed to get the entire Living Room (about 60% of the job) finished and the furniture replaced. I even washed the curtains that had been hanging for almost four years without being laundered. Life was grand.

Then we began to notice the soft spots. By Monday evening, I couldn’t stand it anymore.

“I can’t live with this,” I told my husband. “I am going to have to take it out and fix the floor.”

It was his turn to consider burning the house down.

Meredith, remember the conversation we had late last week? About how wonderful I am? (Sorry, everyone … please don’t read anything into that. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give my friend Meredith a good laugh.)

Another friend asked me what I thought God was trying to teach me through all this.

What? That I should have slit my wrists on Friday?

If I have indeed met my match, I do hope it is a match “made in heaven.” I’d hate to waste such a “great experience” (uh-huh) and not have learned something that was divinely inspired. While I am still working on it, I have identified a few of the lessons God may be trying to get me to learn.

1. There is no substitute for having the right tools.

2. Measure twice, cut once. (Oh wait - that was Genny.)

3. I still have some residual “fear of failure” issues.

4. Sheer stubbornness cannot replace “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

5. Never schedule a project with this much potential for stress during hormonal surges.

6. I can’t do everything.

7. I can’t do everything … and it’s okay.

OK, Meredith. You can stop laughing now. =)


  1. I noticed that
    8. Never do a big project w/ husband and children
    9. Always start in the smallest room so we can learn from our mistakes
    are missing. lol Lynette

  2. I am still amazed you want to do these types of projects!

  3. Let's just say that desire is quickly waning! :-P

  4. I guess I had better make my final decisions on the tile!

  5. Sharon,
    You and I are kindred spirits.
    Isn't it great that God knows that we are but dust, even when we get too big for our britches? And loves us anyway?
    I have Ps 131:1 (NASB) plastered in really big letters on my fridge.


  6. Sharon, have you learned nothing? When these things happen you call the people WHO JUST DID THIS EXACT THING IN THEIR HOUSE SUCCESSFULLY! (read in angry voice with hint of disbelief...) I'm sure we'll talk tomorrow. : )

    Glad to see some floor in place. It is still in place, isn't it?

  7. Well I'm glad you are finding a healthy venue to share some of your "special" issues like about the gnarly socks and undies. Very entertaining!

    Remind me NOT to call you when we have our next remodeling project.

    As I read your story it reminded me of a cake I attempted to decorate for one of my kid's b-days many years ago. I wanted to chuck that thing in the trash, it was looking horrible! Finally my husband stepped in and said, "let me do it." The guy's never taken any cake decorating classes in his life and there he is squirting frosting and making the thing look pretty!

    Congrats on your tenacity, I guess? You are one tough and endearing lady!

  8. One more thing...

    check out another blog I started through my work

    it's about respect and stuff



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