Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Story Of A Budget Kitchen Makeover And A Blessing In Disguise

Welcome, friends!  I've definitely got some blogging to catch up with...While I wish I had pictures and details of every project from the past couple of years, it just didn't happen that way.  I do, however, have a fun post today to share with you.  This entire project just blessed my socks off!!

Let's get started!  A couple of years ago, a close friend of mine called me before Christmas and asked if I'd come over and do a big makeover in her dining room.  Her in-laws were coming, and she just didn't have the time or the know-how to pull the room together in time.  She is one of those people that make you question whether or not she really has just 24 hours in any given day, because she wears so many hats, and is ALWAYS on the run! So, the night of her concert, her home was empty, and I showed up with my bags of goodies and power tools and got to work. In less than 3 hours, she had new window hardware, window treatments, wall decor, slipcovered chairs, and a table ready for a beautiful meal to be served on it!  Here is a picture of the tablescape...Her interpretation of it was that it felt and looked like Heaven!
She was so excited about her new room...So she told a few people.  A mutual friend called me up and asked me if I'd be interested in redoing her kitchen pantry for her.  She is a single lady...A teacher...Busy as a bee.  Just a little stumped as to how to make her pantry more functional, more organized, and honestly, she just wanted to "pretty it up".  




*Chandelier DIY Project Coming SOON!!

After taking a tour of my client's home, we talked about her budget.  I am a thrifty shopper, and absolutely LOVE repurposing and upcycling things, so I was more than confident that I could not only redo her pantry for her, but really make her kitchen space prettier and warmer. She really needed a place to come home to at the end of a long day and relax.  A place that Welcomed her home.  A place she felt safe and cozy and purposeful in.

Well, a couple of visits into the job, after emptying her pantry and even removing her door knob from her pantry door, I got some news.  I hadn't been feeling well. At all.  Miserable.  Nauseous.  Weak.  Dizzy. Crampy. Just Ugh. 

Reveal Party at 20 weeks! IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

Turns out, this little miracle had been conceived just before Hurricane Sandy struck.  My husband had a total hip replacement just weeks later(non-related), and I was sicker than I'd ever been in my life. 24 hours a day.  I had never felt more horrid and just incapacitated.  Needless to say, this job got shelved.  I am ashamed to admit it, but I never even made it back over to put the food back in her pantry, or put the old door knob back on.  It was so unlike me to start something and not finish it.  Even more unlike me to not knock it out of the ball park.  I had let someone down.  Made a commitment and not kept it.  For months this just hurt my heart. 

As much as I thought I'd be able to get back to this and finish it up, my body, my baby, and God had other plans for me, as I found myself on strict bed rest.  Even after my daughter was born, I had some complications that prevented me from being overly active.

Now, over a year had passed.  I hadn't been in contact with this woman, but I thought about her every single day. I still had the remainder of her budget in an envelope. She probably thought I'd just kept that part for payment for the services I'd already completed, or even worse...  Little did she know, but every penny was still there.  I began to pray and seek the Lord for wisdom, and for an opportunity to finish this job, if that's where He wanted me.

He whispered to my heart,"Call her.  Apologize. Ask her if you can return and complete it.  Make a sacrifice.  Give your time, your talents, and share that baby girl with someone who needs companionship as much as you do right now." 

So....I called. I got emotional. I teared-up. I said I was sorry for letting her down, and for leaving a job unfinished.  And I asked if she would let me come back and complete what I started.  I promised her that I would do my very best.  She agreed, and we made plans for me to begin just a couple of days later.  The reality began to sink in.  This would mean entire days spent working. Hard. With a baby in tow.  Doing all the work alone.  Even the things that intimidated me, like building.  I knew I would be physically exhausted.  My baby would have to entertain herself in her play yard.  I would walk away not making a dime off this job.

Guess what?  That was okay.  God was showing me that when I sacrifice myself, my time, my gifts...things I can't take back, He would bless that time.  He began to show me that the blessing was in the PROCESS, not the final product.  

My days spent with my friend rekindled our friendship.  She fell in love with my daughter, and my daughter grew to adore her.  We had long talks about our childhoods, our relationships, our dreams.  We laughed. We cried.  We prayed for each other.  We found ourselves in the midst of true friendship.  Sisterhood. I would be on a step ladder painting, hammering, sweating. And she would be giggling just feet away with me, while feeding my daughter little snacks, fetching her sippy cup, or playing with her.

Packing up my daughter and all of my tools had become a daily routine.  The hard physical work left me aching at the end of the day, and just exhausted beyond words, as I wasn't getting any sleep at night due to my daughter having some physical challenges that were keeping her up.

All of these things were okay.  I had found JOY in serving someone else.  JOY in giving things of myself that couldn't be repaid.  JOY in seeing someone else's needs met.  JOY in the sacrifice.

The last day was bittersweet.  School was starting.  My client would be teaching again.  I would be at home with my kids.  There wasn't anything else to be done.  I sent her out for a few hours, so that I could really surprise her. She was a bit confused, since the bulk of the pantry was finished, but I really wanted to WOW her!! I stopped and bought new dishes, flowers, accessories, and packed up a couple of things of hers I'd brought home and made "new"!

Without further ado, Here is her new Pantry and Kitchen! This is proof that a little goes a long way, and that sometimes a room just needs some tweaking to make it look and feel NEW.


 Here it is!





 Notice the little princess in her play yard!!


So, there you have it!  It was so much fun, and such huge impact was made just from making minor adjustments!  It can be so overwhelming when taking on a space, but it definitely doesn't have to be!  In my next couple of posts, I will break down what exactly was done in the room as well as a cost breakdown.  There will also be a DIY tutorial for a fun chandelier!  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, thank you so much for taking time to visit. If you are experiencing any struggles of your own...Some that might seem overwhelming...maybe even crippling...I encourage you to pray about who you can go out and bless.  It doesn't have to be something on a grand scale.  It might be something as simple as letting someone go ahead of  you in the checkout lane, or paying for someone's coffee.  If you allow God to use you, most likely, you are an answer to someone else's prayers.  

Have a beautiful evening!

Jacque

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