I am someone who weighs the pros and cons, plans, has a back-up plan through the letter z and tries to remain calm through crazy situations. I have not always been this way but one day I realized that the drama in my life was self-imposed thanks to having a "great idea" and jumping in head first without the first swimming lesson. God has had to fish me out of some pretty interesting situations. Thankfully no one was hurt and they are all pretty funny 10 to 12 years after the fact. I wish I could say I had the "planning and organizing" epiphany on my own but I owe it all to my dear husband. You can only be married to the most organized/adorable/fiscally responsible/handsome/drama less/cute man in the world for so long before he either divorces you or rubs off on you. (Sidebar in case dear hubby reads this. He is a rather imposing character with his 6'3", goateed and adorably cute bald headed self. I may get into a little trouble calling him cute and adorable but I cannot help myself.) Thankfully he rubbed off on me. Now, I list, plan and execute. And when that does not work, the Marines say it best... Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. In my job, it is how you are successful because there are times things simply are out of your control.
This mentality has kept my insanity intact through some of the most difficult moments of my life; my job, my mom and dad's cancer battle, losing my dad, losing my grandfather, my father-in-law's Alzheimer's. I am grateful to God for my husband. God gave me someone who brought out these much needed qualities in time for all of the above to happen within the last 5 years. The comfort of my lists and plans and back-up plans have helped me. So you can imagine that I approached OP31 with the mentality. List-Plan-Attack. So let me tell you how this is working for me...
I prayed, God answered. Yay
God planted a seed. I listened. Double Yay
I brought my own shall we say fertilizer to the project. I am going to help the modern woman in her plight to do it all and be a good Christian in the process. F-E-R-T-I-L-I-Z-E-R!!!! Shoot, half the time I have to play 6-day catch up on my devotional and I am going to help someone with their plight. Yeah, right.
I quickly got an "Ease up there Love Chops, the lesson in this is for you and your plight" from God. Uh wha?
You mean I am not going to publish some cute and funny blog for others, post some great pictures and show my hubby I can do it all as a Proverbs 31 W-O-M-A-N? That is not what I signed up for, Lord. That thunder you just heard was God laughing his behind off at me. He had/has a thing or two to teach me and he is kindly doing it through humor.
By now my "plan" was to have my kitchen completed. Not so much God's. I listed, planned, bought and calendared. The new floor is in and I have the cabinets/pantry organized like Martha herself came and did them. I cleaned, sanded and primed the cabinets before I painted them. I should have new pictures up for everyone to see all of the hard work I put into the new Proverbs 31 kitchen. But I don't. Probably because I just said I 9000 times in the course of the 3 sentences. So I reckon God decided to see how I would bend if he threw a wrench in MY plans. Here is how it went down...
Below is my actual list:
Friday- vacation day, paint
_____ Clean (Wainscoting, window seals, trim)
_____ Sand (Wainscoting, window seals, trim)
_____ Tape Off Room
Saturday- FLOOR DAY ((Woo Hoo)
______ Move Furniture
______ Clean behind appliance in the kitchen
______ Floor/Carpet Installed
______ Touch up paint
______ Remove Tape
______ Channel Martha Stewart
______ Be OCD Martha Stewart
______ Throw crap away
______ Throw more crap away
Does anyone see anything on this list that says- repaint the kitchen because the paint did not adhere? I didn't think so but that is exactly what is happening. I have to repaint because oh I don't know I just do.
So cut to last Friday- Vacation day part 2. I was going to stay home and repaint. I now had an even better plan on how to fix the paint crisis so it did not peel again. List, check. Plan, check. Brad taking Friday off since it is going to be nice outside, che- no wait that was not on my list. I have things on my list that is not one of the things on my list! But it is May in North Carolina and it is only supposed to be 73 degrees. Last year it was 92! But I planned to paint, I need to post pictures for my blog. I need... I want... I planned... Indeed, that is God's laughter you heard, again. I think may have even patted me on the head, not sure, but I think so.
We woke up early, drank coffee and planned our attack. It was a simple plan because that bed needed help.
Friday- vacation day, yard
_____ Home Depot, mulch
_____ Lay newspaper
_____ Mulch the front bed
We headed to Home Depot for 10 bags of mulch. Angus (our 1970 Ford truck) is currently out of commission so we had to use our car which only allows 10 bags at a time. JP, in the garden Center, now recognizes us by site. Three trips and 35 bags later it was 1:00 p.m. and we were pooped. But there was so much more that needed to be done. We have never been yard people so three summers in our house, the yard was looking a little peaked. It was a beautiful day so we pushed through and worked a few more hours.
One of the verses in Proverbs 31, verse 23 Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders, is the one that had me stumped. I have interpreted this as a man who is leading by example. Doing what is right because it is right and others see this in him. Hubby does this things but he does them quietly, never drawing attention to himself or what he is doing. There are times he does or says something so kind and thoughtful, that it catches my breath and makes me realize I have a long way to go. And he would be quick to tell you so does he. Wisdom- check. I do not want people to think we are perfect and we have a perfect marriage. Well- we do have a perfect marriage, for us. I am secure enough to be me, flaws and all, in front of my husband. I can show my vulnerable, crazy, not-so-nice side when I need to and he still sees the best part of me. He can be himself, tough, protective, kind warmed hearted and sometimes incredibly irritating, driving me crazy one minute and making me laugh the next. He treats me with respect and kindness. I love him regardless as he does me.
So how did 3 trips to Home Depot, one water hose fight, 6 hours working in the yard, tears, laughter and good music lead to what I think is verse 23? Three neighbors walked over to our house and spoke to him about what we had done and how nice our yard is looking. My father-in-law dropped by and liked it so much, he and my mother-in-law came back later that evening. Not bad for a Friday's work that almost did not happen.
You see, if I had told hubby that I wanted to work in the kitchen instead, he would have saved his vacation day and I would have some great kitchen photos to share with you. I would have had my nice neat little list checked off and hubby would have been excited at how nice the kitchen looked. It would have been a good, productive day. Instead, it turned into a wonderfully fantastic, productive day. God had a different plan, list and outcome for that day. It had nothing to do with mine and yet it so blew mine out of the water. I am grateful that I, for once, shut up and listened. Becoming this woman in Proverbs 31 is less about the checklist and more about listening and letting God take control. By doing so, God will take care of the rest and it will easily fall into place.
This beautiful Friday also helped me but I will share that next time... For now enjoy the before pictures. I will post after pictures as soon as I am able to lift my arms to take more photos. Yard work is really good exercise! Saturday was spent on the couch unable to move.