Ahhh….I can honestly say, all but about 4 boxes are unpacked and everything is put away. It’s a good feeling, knowing where things are and where they’ll be. I’m one of those “a place for everything and everything in it’s place” kind of people so this is nearly heaven. I’ve even hung pictures…they even look nice. I told Bruce “It’s kinda cool when your old stuff looks better in your new place…”
(An aside, new look for the blog, heading photo is our nearby square with shops, restaurants and a fantastically remodeled theater. Bus or walking distance, we’ve had several dates there already and I took Carolyn to lunch…even thinking about applying for a job at the wonderful, ethically minded clothing store.)
We’re pro’s at moving. In 35 years of marriage we’ve moved 13 times. 7 of those moves have been major relocations. From 1981-1999 we averaged 1.8 yrs in a home. Since moving to IL we’ve managed to stay in one home for 7 years and the other for 10, we broke records. In all this time you can imagine our furniture purchases. I made a count just of couches and came up with 7 new (sectionals counted as one) and 4 used that we’ve owned. I’m not even going to try to add up chairs. At one of our moves we had a neighbor helping to load the truck and his comment was “Could you HAVE anymore chairs?”
One thing we’ve become adept at is repurposing. Bruce is a prince of repurposing and I am the Queen. During one of our moves our youngest was suffering with a severe case of chicken pox so I was unpacking the kitchen while keeping her comfortable on a bean bag chair with Barney reruns. As my gaze kept wandering to the TV she was watching on our very inexpensive pressboard entertainment unit, I came to conclusion that my kitchen needed that piece of furniture more than the living room. By the time Bruce came home from work it was relocated, pantry items unpacked and our stand mixer front and center. As long as we didn’t overload it, it served us well for the 3 years we lived there.
At our last home I knew ahead of time that we wouldn’t have enough kitchen storage so we went to a flea market to find suitable pieces. We came home with a hutch (is that still what they’re called?) painted white and a beautiful antique pantry, green paint chipped, covered in shiny polyurethane. For 10 years it stored our pantry items while the white hutch held our dishes. The green cabinet became a signature “Shaver” piece and is even featured in Carolyn’s wedding photos. This house also saw the transition in entertainment from a 19 inch square TV to a 40 inch flat screen. It also supplied several girls with starter furniture, bookshelves and beds for school apartments and single and early married life. Furniture is expensive and the Shaver Basement Donation center is free.
During our Phoenix years we purchased a dining room set from friends. It’s cherry wood, from the 50’s, lovingly cared for and well suited to our space. As we moved it across country and into different houses the china cabinet and the buffet were reused in various spaces for different purposes. In our last house the buffet served as an entry piece for our foyer and the china cabinet was in our living room as a decorative bookshelf/serving piece storage unit. We stored the table and chairs, didn’t have room, but couldn’t bear to break up the set. When we decided to move here we also decided to have the entire collection refinished for the dining room at this location. We’ve owned this set since 1997-20 years. We picked it up last weekend from the woman who refinished it for us–beautiful. Now we’re waiting on seat cushions from the upholsterer. We repurposed the old living room rug underneath it and the room is wonderful.
One of Bruce’s favorite observations about God is that he never wastes anything. We have a friend who puts it this way, “We have a very economical God”. Usefulness is one of God’s most amazing qualities. His ability to use anything, anywhere at anytime in anyway is beyond comprehension. His ability to repurpose even the worst of our choices is unparalleled. And just when we think we’ve figured out how he’s going to do or use something he surprises us and finds a different but more perfectly suited way of accomplishing a transformation.
Surprises are abundant in the Christian life. Repurposing even more so because seeing something ugly transformed into something beautiful knows no other satisfaction. To be a satisfied person–wow. That alone is a transformation. Know any totally satisfied people? I don’t. I continually push to become something I think I should be rather than resting in the satisfaction of knowing I’m a work in progress that only God can define. His shaping process isn’t mine, it doesn’t reflect who I am today and it continually challenges me to trust his ability to continue the transformation process his way.
So today, if you’re in a transformation process (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) rest in the satisfaction of knowing HE will do the repurposing his way in his time. It’ll save you big bucks on anti-anxiety meds!