Extreme Makeover: (My) Home Edition

6:41 AM

The last ten days are a blur. When I wasn't at the house, I was at work or at church or at Lowe's. Or some other building center.

There was SO much that needed to be done in a short period of time. Praise God for the family of believers that helped me out whenever possible. It seemed like there were at least 10 people there during the evenings and Saturdays. Major thanks go to The Mom who worked at my house almost every waking moment. Not only is she willing, but she is more capable than anyone else I know. She paints and operates power tools! On that note, I have now acquired the skill of "cutting in" while painting. And I'm good at it! I had to be good at it, because of the clean lines that needed to be painted... because we chose beautiful dark, rich paint colors.

Remember this bit of wisdom: in home renovation, nothing good ever follows the words, "The bad news is..." In my case, the bad news was that we needed to replace all the plumbing in the house. Yes, ALL. This was semi-expected because of the nature of the home purchase, but I was hoping against hope. Oh well, life goes on and I go to Lowe's to buy pipe, T's, a sink and a new water heater. Through the next week, plumbing was *the* thorn in my flesh and twice the cause of my tears. And then I decided indoor plumbing was waaaay overrated, and we should go without.... just kidding!! My roomies would leave. Maybe I would, too. It's amazing how cranky one gets when you can't brush your teeth. :)

Some projects we accomplished in the last week...
Priming and painting all the bedrooms: ceilings, trim and walls.
Steam cleaning bedroom carpets.
Cleaning all windows.
Removing bathroom floor.
Priming and painting the living room, dining room, stairway and kitchen.
Removing carpet in living room, stairway and dining room.
(including staples and nails--I didn't do that myself, but I heard it was fun! LOL)
Painting hardwood floor in living room.
Repairing drywall in dining room and ceiling in kitchen.
Replacing carpet in dining room.
Replacing all electrical cover plates.
Sanding and painting kitchen cabinets.

And that's just a taste of what we did. My actual to-do list was 1 1/2 pages long typed. Not including the jobs performed by skilled individuals like my dad and brother, the plumber from my work, and a handyman.

Lessons Learned-How to Love Your Volunteers/aka. Brothers & Sisters in Christ:
1. Feed Them. Remember that "Will Work for Food" motto? It's really true. Subconsciously, your helper-people's enthusiasm will wane until suppertime. After a half-hour of eating, drinking and being merry (just an expression, no alcohol involved), somehow life seems so much brighter and everyone's spirits are revived. A little sustenance goes a long way. :) Pizza and fruit smiles kept us going... until my parents generously gave me a grill as an early housewarming gift! So we grilled!!!
2. Be Ready for Them.
With a specific job for each person, tools, materials and a little perspective ("be careful, but I won't disown you as my friend if you mess up").
3. Work Harder Than Anyone Else.
Y'all are gonna laugh... I wore the same pair of jeans throughout the renovation process. :) And now they are painted every color of the house, with a significant amount of primer, spackle and unidentified cleaning solution layered on there. I think I'm keeping them for a souvenir. Or actually, just to work on every other house project for the next couple years. My jeans are a testimony of the "enthusiasm" with which I worked.
4. Make It Pleasant.
Turn on some music. I liked worship music, esp. Hillsongs United. Make jokes! Not a problem for me or my family or pretty much anyone in the church....We're silly. Whenever the Body of Christ gets together, we have a good time--no matter what we're doing!
5. Be Thankful.
Be genuinely thankful for everyone's contribution of time, effort, cleanliness and the sacrifice of their own leisure. I know that if my friends had not helped, I'd be doing these projects until next year. And my house would not be livable. I am going to write thank-you notes... as soon as I find them! Which box are they packed in?

I don't think it's wrong to ask for help... we're the Body of Christ! We're supposed to bear one another's burdens! I do think it's wrong to depend on others to do the work for you. I am so grateful for the love displayed by my brothers and sisters this week... Helping out, checking in on the progress, being excited for me, mowing my lawn, bringing food or ice, sending encouraging emails, commiserating on challenges, smiling and just being family.

And just in case you think my house is now perfect and beautiful and a haven of peace: there's power tools on my kitchen counter, carpet tack strips on the dining room table and a hole in the bathroom wall (how cool! I can see downstairs!). Hahaha... Don't hate! It's a process! :)

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