As I’ve mentioned just once or twice (grin), our house is under construction and has been since we moved here in July. What can I say? Same song, 37th verse.
And while our amazing contractor (whom we adore!) is overseeing the building of our addition and several other updates, there are a few other smallish projects we’re handling ourselves. One such project included updating the fireplace in our family room.
When we moved in, the mantle was a pinky-beige number with a high gloss finish. I didn’t like it at all. (And sooo sorry I don’t have a “before” picture!) I also didn’t like the wooden shelf on the mantle stained yellow-y brown, this mantle that extends end to end on the wall and slices the low ceiling-ed room in half. In my dreams, this area sports built-in bookshelves flanking the fireplace, but that big of a change has to wait.
Still, I crossed my arms, screwed up my nose, and stared that fireplace down every time I walked into the family room. I wanted to change it cheap, but I wasn’t sure how.
Enter my good friend Aimée who pointed me to this post from Melissa Michaels’ blog The Inspired Room. In her post, Melissa gives the lowdown on painting a fireplace with chalk paint. And I thought brilliant Melissa, positively brilliant! I even said so out loud as I waltzed myself out the door to buy chalk paint.
So over two weekends, I painted our fireplace a lovely taupe and stained the mantle a darker color that still works with the other wood in the room. I would love to remove the wood stove around the fireplace because it’s big and awkward, but my husband assures me that come winter, I’ll value efficiency over aesthetics.
All things considering, I really like the way it turned out. Through the chalk paint and stain, I was able to change something a little and like it much more than I did before. Melissa calls this a “better than it was” project. I love that because it perfectly describes the art of improving something but acknowledging that it doesn’t have to be exactly the way you want it for it to be enjoyable. Sometimes good enough is more than enough, you know?
I can’t tell you how badly I need to carry this notion through to my heart and soul. This is a big season of change for our family, and change demands we slow down, sit down, take a deep breath, and appreciate the middle work-in-progress that comes with improvement projects. This doesn’t come naturally for me, however. I want to rush it, to run to the finish line, to peek around the corner and see that job making obvious progress. Or better yet, see that it’s done.
Y’all, I am so ready to be moved into this house. For construction to be done.
I am so ready to blog and write again regularly and consistently.
And while I’m at it, I’m ready to stick a fork in other things too, like this never-ending election season.
Still, I see progress. We are inching our way toward construction completion. I’m blogging today, even if I haven’t been able to for a lot of yesterdays. The election happens next week. (And all the election-wearing folks said AMEN.)
These are the days of change, yes. And these are also the days of celebrating progress, no matter how tiny or tremendous. These are the days when we hear the Voice of Heaven saying in all circumstances, I am making all things new. It’s a continual process, not a one time procedure. When the sun slips below the horizon and we slip our weary selves into bed at night, maybe we can say that while we aren’t where we want to be, at least we’re not where we were. It’s better than before. For now, that’s more than enough.
Much love, friends. xo