6 Months

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Discover. Play. Build.

I am so blessed by the heartfelt writing of Ruth Ayers. It is an honor for me to celebrate with her and other bloggers today by participating in a link-up at Ruth’s website. It has been a while since I blogged at this site. I have another site, techencounter.wordpress.com which I use for teacher topics usually. I started my personal blog this past summer. I named it “Intend to Spend” as a way to capture moments spent with my precious family.

Who knew that barstools would become a defining issue of 2014? After our flood during the first weekend of 2014, our family began a long process of decision making. Choosing to overhaul the kitchen layout by installing a large island seemed to be a brilliant idea. Sure, we had to have electrical outlets moved or covered which, by the way, caused the Internet cord to be sliced leaving us disconnected digitally for a while. Overall, my husband and I made the necessary construction and materials decisions without too much discord. Honestly, I would have chosen darker cabinets and a lighter floor, but after really considering his point of view, I respectfully agreed to his vision. Now, I love the granite countertop harvested all the way from Saudi Arabia, the creamy cabinets, the dark bronze cabinet pulls, the new sink with fabulous faucet and the organic, scraped, dark wood floor. I spent hours online during the summer looking at hundreds of hardware and paint choices, as well as making weekly trips to Lowes and Home Depot.

After most construction work was complete, I began to call painters who seemed to be unable to help us until the end of July, but since I teach 10 months of the year, I needed the painting to be done in the summer. Fortunately, I noticed a painter leaving a neighbor’s house one day. After talking with her, we decided to have her team start the painting of the downstairs and the entry\stairs\halls. It was time to now decide on paint colors and finishes. I painted swatch after swatch and stuck them on our kitchen, den and hallway walls. I would reflect on the colors in the morning, afternoon, late evening and night light. I would bring home new pillows for our couch which is in the den across from the kitchen in a large open format. The pillows I would find at one of my favorite stores, Marshalls, would have coordinating colors to go with paint, but I would eventually return the pillows, unsatisfied. I would let it go and focus on summer pool visits with my girls. Finally, the paint colors and I made peace with each other. The painters began and by mid July, no more workers were in our house! From January to July, there had been a constant stream of people and schedules to coordinate. Thankfully, my parents and inlaws were able to be at our house to let workers in when my husband and I were at work. “Whew, hurray, it’s over!” ran through my mind.

Once the kitchen was complete by mid June and the painting wrapped up in July, our attention turned to finding the right bar stools for our new kitchen bar. We were using our old kitchen table chairs but they were too low.  We looked funny eating in low chairs at our new bar.  I remember the shock of searching online. I saw $450 as the price for a stool that matched my style. After adjusting the price range lower, I began to realize that everything I liked was too expensive. Our family visited area furniture stores, but the prices were not in our range.  It was clear that my husband and I were not on the same page with our vision for the bar stools.  Tension would build.  I would cry.  I would let it go.  If you’re going to be married, you’re going to probably get to this point in your life.  I didn’t like how this tension made me feel.  I decided to not force my own way and trust God to provide the right bar stool that would be in our price range.

School started and we had no bar stools. I didn’t even look for stools during September and October much except a few times online.  I needed a break from this and my attention turned to my children as they started school as well as on my responsibilities doing my job of teaching technology lessons to 1,140 K-5 students and doing Action Research as a part of my Governor’s Teacher Network project.  Our lives were full.  My oldest child was chosen to perform in “Oklahoma” the musical at her middle school and my youngest child would be in our church Christmas musical.  Piano lessons, memorizing recital songs, homework, the list went on and on of things to do.  During the fall, I was also able to teach Bible lessons to children at church which provided a much needed mid week spiritual focus for me.  Slowing down to listen to God’s Word would infuse the Holy Spirit’s guidance into my spirit.  I loved this time and sensed that God was at work in helping us with our bar stool decision making process.

My husband told me during the fall that he felt we could find bar stools at a cost of no more than $100 per stool. I could not see how this was possible. My husband shared links to stools on Amazon that were around $100 each. Every stool seemed too cheap looking and unstable. Finally, I found a stool offered online for a week at Costco’s website during Thanksgiving. After admiring the stool that was reduced to the $100 range, but was actually $180 at regular price, we were ready to purchase! Apparently, everyone else in America jumped on this deal so the stools sold out! I grieved because we had finally made a decision but were now back at Square One! We found another stool online, but upon opening the website this past week, the company had sold out. “Really?” was my thought. How could this keep happening?

I had even been visiting a Goodwill store every few days in hopes that I would hit the jackpot. Well, nothing ever came out of my Goodwill visits except it helped me to see that furniture which was donated by a family who may not want their furniture anymore would be treasured by others. One day, I even saw a family take home a dining room table and six matching chairs!  There were four stools that I almost bought on a Saturday for $50, yes, $50 for four stools, but I waited. I took my family to Goodwill the next day only to see that the stools were gone.

Three times in six months my hopes were not fulfilled. Although I like to take my time and make non rash choices, I was ready to decide on some chairs. My mother had seen some stools at Hayneedle.com so I again began looking online. This past Thursday night, I found a stool at Hayneedle.com and shared it with my family. We all agreed on it and they were ordered! They should arrive soon and in time for Christmas. I placed a picture of the stool from Hayneedle’s website at the top of this post.

Ultimately, the six month search had engulfed a lot of time, energy and even tears. I aim for harmony in our home. I would be miserable in the chairs if I had insisted on my own way and gone against my husband’s wishes. The process of “becoming one” with my spouse happens in each shared decision and in the willingness to submit to each other’s desires. The lessons I’ve learned in the kitchen/den overhaul are many. The thing that resonates with me most is that my husband and I learned to navigate an abundance of decisions while respecting each other. We have distinct personalities which have committed to love and live together. There’s a lot more overhauls and building to do in my life. I am so glad that he is by my side. Allowing the Holy Spirit to subdue me and my spirit when I felt overwhelmed in the rebuilding and bar stool choosing process helped me to respond properly and hopefully, bring glory to the Lord.

I am looking forward to putting together those bar stools this coming week and spending time with my family. Many hours will be spent in them as we share meals together and do homework in them. We picked ones with padded backs as an invitation to hang out at the kitchen bar. There were others with wood backs and were lovely in their construction, but this stool seemed to speak to me. I love also that it swivels. I grew up with swiveling bar stools and loved the time I spent and still get to spend at my parents’ kitchen bar.  Our family is looking forward to our new bar stools!