Friday, August 1, 2008

Unfinished Project in Progress

Last week I hit the Publish Post button hopeful that someone in blog land would read my SOS for being late, messy and not knowing what to feed my family. The response was awesome and it's really helping me, thank you so much.

I'm hesitant to share too much more about my lack of being anything close to Martha Stewart, the queen of creativity because I don't want sweet Marlene's heart to go into attack mode. I'm afraid though that I must risk her health to share more of me and my imperfect walk with God.

So Miss Marlene, consider yourself warned and read at your own risk. You may want to take a break from reading Write from the Heart since we live too far away from each other for you to just drive over and fix me! ~smiles~

Please note that I am not asking for any more help here. I must stay focused on the first set of advice you all gave me, but I have to share with you about another miracle hungry area of my life.

I LOVE to start projects. Love. With all my heart. I get my supplies needed, I prepare my room and I go to town. Notice I did not say anything about seeing a project to the finish line; I just like to start them. There has to be a name for this condition. A treatment program perhaps.

For example, in my kitchen where I painted only one wall a deep red color. This color had me from the first stroke on the wall. When I anxiously took the blue tape off the wall before it was ready to be removed, my paint job ended up looking like this:

Still looks this way because I am unlike the normal person who would've fixed it right away. I don't even know where I stored the paint if I do want to fix it. I still need to hang what I want to on the wall, but that's another project awaiting. This was like a year ago.

Oh, then there's the unfinished upstairs bathroom. Finished until one day I was sitting atop the ceramic bowl and I guess I got bored so I started to pull the trim I didn't like off the wall. That was like 3 years ago and here is my unfinished project.

I now do my business blindfolded.

This is our son Aaron's room. We had this graffiti artist come in and paint his name with a basketball for the "O" on one whole wall. My son loves it. What he doesn't love his how Mom hung his curtains. For over a year now I've been meaning to buy some curtain rods, but this project too has been left hanging by stuffing the curtain outside and quickly shutting the window.

Looks even tackier from the outside. Especially on a windy day when the curtains are whipping around in the air. Quite the eye sore, inside and out.

This is probably the worst unfinished project though when I decided many months ago to take on a task in the basement. The drop ceiling was green and the walls gold. I went with a tan on both the ceiling and wall. It took me literally all night until my can of paint ran dry.

Normal person: back to store, buy more paint, finish said project.
Lelia: Let paint dry, go to bed and forget you even had a project started.

Gene was unaware when he woke up of my dilemma of the unfinished corner so he was happy when he saw this:

This is what happy husband saw when he turned his head:

Gene's happiness has completely faded as this was a project abandoned 8 months ago. He just avoids looking up when in the basement.

My sweet Geno doesn't like this, but he just rolls with it. Why doesn't he help you ask? I'd rather him not. I grew up with a Dad that knows how to fix anything. Gene grew up in an apartment with a land lord that knew how to fix anything. The only work Gene had to do was dial the phone and the problem was fixed.

I keep reminding him after buying our home 9 years ago that we are the lord of our land and there is no one to call unless we want to pay a ton of money to get our problem solved. So I try to fix stuff myself, but I never finish. It bothers me being surrounded by all of these unfinished projects, but not enough to just get them done. I love what I did here above the kitchen sink. I removed the cupboard doors and it looks pretty like this:

But below the sink looks like this:The cupboard door removed itself and has remained that way for a very long time.

Is it really hard to reattach a door for goodness sake?

Why yes it is.

Don't even get me started to why I painted the kitchen cupboards green. Guess I wanted to take my basement ceiling upstairs with me. The cupboards should have been a one month project that somehow was put on my 2 year plan. By the time I finally finished I was so sick of the color green that I still want to puke on Saint Patty's day. T'was the project Gene unsuccessfully protested.

He should've called the land lord he thinks we have and reported me for defacing the meal prep area.

Somehow, despite all the self-inflicted faults, we still have a loving home. I will tackle all of these projects one by one as soon as I pass my Laundry and Dinner Management 101 classes. Maybe the director of the HGTV channel will see my blog, feel sorry for me and make a story out of my life. Let's join hands and pray shall we?

Aren't you so thankful that this is not how God is with us?

In Paul's letter from prison this is what he says about our Almighty Carpenter:

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

When God takes us on as His personal project He doesn't quit on us mid-way through, He keeps after us. As He sits on His throne, He pulls off our old ugly trim and renews us with His beauty. The curtains of our hearts are hung up by 4 nails on a tree and when we fall apart He repairs us by swinging His Holy Hammer. He is the Land Lord of our hearts and what a job He does. He even stands back and admires His own work and calls us wonderfully and fearfully made.

When He wants to make changes to us He preps us, gets His supplies together and stays with it until He thinks we're done. As He makes us new creatures, He blows on us with the freshness of His Holy breath to help our paint dry. When we try to finish the job for Him and we pull the tape off too soon He patiently touches up the obvious messes we create.

What a God!

What a Mighty God we serve!!

Have a blessed weekend and remember that we are like my dear friend Amy Brooke's blog title: God's Work in Progress.

~Many Blessings~

Please continue to pray for our friend Rodney Keyes and his wife Vicki who are dealing with the death of their 13 yr old son Jonathan that I posted about yesterday. Thank you.


Amy said...

Waving my hands in the air and saying, "Amen!" here on bed rest in Crazyville!:)

I think that we may be related.:)

Jill said...

I loved your post today. First of all I admire your ability to be honest, I too have many unfinished projects, but haven't found myself willing to show the world and then your analogy at the end - WOW!! That was good and so true!! Thanks for sharing and the reminder that even though I don't always finish what I start God does!! I am a work in progress, but great to know I can trust the One in charge to finish the job. Have a wonderful weekend, Jill

GMS said...

I think I may be your twin separated at birth!! Some of the unfinished projects are similar and some are completely different, EXCEPT....they are not finished. My husband asks me if they need a period of time to "cure" before they can be finished. Yep. I wish I lived closer and we could just plow into those undone projects and make great progress!!! (My hubby was reading your blog over my shoulder and laughing!)

StitchinByTheLake said...

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. ROFLOL!! You are precious...and funny. I have to be truthful projects like that would drive me to distraction. But unfinished quilts - I have a couple of dozen. :) We all have our own poison honey. Just remember none of the heroes of the Bible started out being heroes - it took them a long time to become the people God wanted them to be. You'll get there too! Blessings, marlene

Amy L Brooke said...

When you're done with all of that, you can start on my house!

Thanks for the mention.

I was tagged by LeAnn at P31, so I'm passing it along to you. You'll either roll your eyes or laugh or maybe a combination of the two.

Lisa said...

Hey girl!
I loved this post and your correlation to the Phillipians passage! Great illustration. Got it! :)

You rock in so many ways. The more I know you, the more I discover. Love, love your heart and love you!

Lisa :)

Dorothy Champagne said...

I think this is a great idea - at least by posting about it - it's a reminder that you have it to do. I may start posting on my blog about doing the dishes and laundry - perhaps if I take pictures of my hamper - it would inspire me to actually do something about it! :) You are not alone!

Runner Mom said...

You are just too cute and funny!! I tend to start projects and forget about them also! But then, after months or years, it will get on my LAST nerve, and I wind up completing them!! You are not alone!

This weekend's simulcast of Beth Moore touched on that very thing!!! Were you there??? God wants us to press on to the finish just as you quoted in Phil. 1:6. You and Beth were on the same wavelength!!!

Love ya!

Laura said...

Girl, you are dangerous with a camera! I just want to say that I absolutely love your colors! The red is gorgeous, and above your kitchen sink? I'm thinking of copying that idea it looks so good! I really relate to the unfinished project gene. My hubs is equally unskilled around the house, so I have taken on some pretty mean projects myself. (Even tried to pull a toilet up once--would have done it too, if I'd had the right tools!) I love how you use your story to draw us close to remind us that He will keep working on us, no matter!
You are so insightful, Lelia! I totally enjoyed this post!

HisPrincess said...

I'm sorry I can't offer you any advice in this area, because I am just as bad...

Around the house I start stuff and Kym finishes it. He is very handy that way! But when it comes to cross stitch, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking Kym isn't much help, so I just don't finish.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

GIRL... IF ONLY, I lived closer... I LOVE TO PAINT!!!!!!!
ESPECIALLY IF you'd let me crank the praise and worship music! LOL

But I'd also expect peanut butter and bananas on toast for snacks and
a full pot of coffee. ;)

I actually like the color of the cabinets. But then, it's bringing back memories of our avocado green EVERYTHING back in "the day."

Ps. Thanks for the note...
I can't wait til Tuesday.
Praying for a dell or "whatever" the Lord feels is best*

Vern said...

Oh My!
That just made my day!
Similare scenario in our house.
I am going to have to show this post to my family...they will see I am not the only one who has spaces of paint jobs that need to be finished!
One spot is 8 years old...ugh!

I do have some motivation right now. We are looking at moving this year and so I have many projects around the house to get done and closets to clean out.
It can seem overwhelming but I know I can do this!
SO I encourage you and think we should hold eachother accountable to either hire someone to help us with this stuff or start this week to begin taking steps toward accomplishing this stuff!

Wouldnt this make our families so proud?!

Wish you lived closer - Sometimes it is funner helping do this at someone elses house!

Thanks for praying for my young friend Caty...I will pray for your friends that just lost their son.
I am reminded that in times like these when we might question God and ask "Why God?"...we can look at these times and proclaim..."There is God". He is holding the families and being a comfort to all and drawing many to His saving love.

You're the sweetest...I am so glad to know you!
Talk to you soon!


PS - did you ever decide if you were coming to Beth Moore Conf in San Antonio?

Naomi said...

You are just the funniest girl! Do you mind if I show my husband your post?!?!?! He is one of those guys who has a place for everything and everything in it's place, and heaven help the person who might mess up his "system" or routine. And I have a hard time with all of that alot of the time... I keep the house clean and relatively tidy, but I do clutter it up with this and that, and I don't always stay on task... He might lay off once he realises that I could actually be "normal"!!! Thanks Lelia! You're wonderful!

I need to mention... You write the most amazing creative pieces for your blog that truly inspire, and you say God has led you to this as a ministry; so, I say, you can't be good at EVERYTHING! Do you have a company in the US called "Hire-A-Hubby"? (I'm fairly certain that's the name) to fix up your paint issues and attach a cupboard to it's hinges. Hey, how's that strapping young teenage boy of yours with a paint brush or screw-driver? Put him to task on some of your unfinished projects. You might either end up with a great partner in crime(!!) and have a renovated home in no time, or you'll be SO put off EVER starting another project, EVER, EVER, again... Naomi

KCAimee said...

I think that you and I are soulmates...LOL!!!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

I like your honesty....and you are too funny! But I do like the green cabinet above your sink!
I'm like you in some ways....I have good intentions with projects but can not finish them either!! It's like it becomes overwhelming to me and I no longer can deal with it. And hubby is much like your Gene, doesn't really know exactly what to do but may attempt and make it worse. I would much rather pay to have it done....but when that's an extra expense, you don't!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

You need to sell a madly famous book, make lots of money and pay someone to finish your projects! (At least, that's what I'd be hoping for!) I have a half painted bathroom myself and deck boards that are mismatched since some got a second coat but others didn't... So, I'm right there with you!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

You can never be faulted at not being honest. You are so honest it is very refreshing and sincere. Oh, how I would love to live near you. I'd be your knight in shining paint. I LOVE to paint. I love that red in your dining room. I have red in mine also. You did a fabulous job above your sink.

I believe in you. Set your mind on one task at a time. Find the paint and brushes, set it out, and look at it every day until it drives you crazy. I have faith in you to master Laundry and Dinner 101. Then I have faith for you to finish your projects one by one. You will feel such excitement, pride (good kind), relief.

I love how you tide this in to God. I have that scripture Phil 1:6 partially written on my heart. I guess you could say that my weakness is unfinished Bible memorization. Months and months ago I typed out a whole page of verses I wanted to memorize. It stayed on the computer for a long time. Then I printed it and started carrying it in my purse but never using it. Then I decided to make strips of four verses and put on my dash board...easy to memorize that way. Then, I delayed in looking at them intently to memorize them. So, I've failed miserably at being able to memorize all the ones I sat out to do. I guess you could say I'm also an "unfinished reader". I start a book and not finish. Though I do leave a book mark in it and I do leave it in sight. Sometimes I read quickly without absorbing it just to say I finished it. I have several unfinished Bible studies also.

I'm determined to catch up and most definitely finish Lysa's with you. Though I'm currently still two chapters behind.

So, with all that said. We are all NOT without flaws but God loves us so much and He admires our efforts to be disciplined for Him.
Love ya,

Laurie Ann said...

Oh, Leila! We could be sisters! I am the exact same way, and I praise God with you that He isn't like us with those unfinished projects!

LynnSC said...

Lelia... you are so funny... but so insightful. I am so glad that God sees His projects through on me. We are in the middle of a "remodel", I think. I am beginning to wonder, if by some small chance, He left to start another project... it is taking longer than I would like. I am sure He feels the same way... if only I would cooperate.

Great Post!!

Kelly said...

Love this post! I can SO relate!! I need to paint the living room, it has been years. I started washing the walls two months ago! It is really really hard for me to start and finish...I keep telling myself I need to set a time limit and throw a tea party or something to make myself do it. My DH is handy around the house, but I can't get him to get into living room painting, and it really needs it! Thanks for your honesty, I always think everyone else is Martha Stewart but me!!
By the way, is your dog Kane a black Lab? You may know, I have two of them, Anna and Tank!