Home Improvement

couple-painting (This image was so gloriously cheesy that I simply couldn’t resist using it!)

 

Thanks to a generous Christmas gift, my wife and I are now moving forward with some home improvements that we have been hoping to do for some time now.  Paint, caulk, counter tops, sinks, quarter rounds, molding, ceiling popcorn, cabinet hardware, flooring tiles – it seems the details and materials required are growing by the week!  Thankfully, we are now in a position to pay professionals to do much of the labor for us, so we won’t end up on an episode of “Renovation Realities.”  Whew!  But I didn’t post this to brag about getting a new home makeover.  I’ve been off of Facebook long enough now that I’m just out of that mode.  Thank God for freedom!!!

I have a simple message to share today: House upgrade projects can either be home improvements or home wreckers.  It really depends on your attitude.  Your relationship with your spouse, and even with your kids, can either be brought closer or eroded by the way you face the challenges of remodeling in your home.

It really depends on your attitude.

Oh, I guess I already said that, didn’t I? A couple of years or so ago, my wife and I decided to paint our kitchen cabinets.  It was not a pleasant time.  And our marriage took a hit.  Why?  Because my attitude stank.  I wanted my wife to just come to immediate decisions without ever changing her mind, be thrilled with any effort I was willing to throw at the project, and for her and our son to never say a word to me or look in my direction if I was in a tired or frustrated spot (which was probably most of the time I was in or near the house) for the duration of the undertaking.  Not a pretty picture.  And the sad part is…I’m not exaggerating.

The good news is – I learned my lesson.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  It really doesn’t.  Which brings us up to today:  We have a half bath that is in total disarray, and I am only semi-confident we may have finally figured out how to solve our flooring conundrum in there.  All our bathroom cabinets are primed, unpainted, and missing their knobs.  We have a very large Oriental rug rolled up and stored underneath the middle of our dining room table.  There is a bathroom vanity unit sitting in our dining room.  We have carpet swatches scattered around our bedroom.  There are two wadded up rags hanging out of the ceiling in our master bath area.  Solid surface countertop brochures and images litter our tables and iPhone camera rolls, and we still haven’t nailed down a selection.  Assuming we don’t change our minds and start looking at granite options again.  There are sixteen foot lengths of quarter rounds precariously perched in our garage near the big sheet of bead board, while the rear driveway shows obvious signs of the paint job I just gave said items.  Let’s see, what am I forgetting?…

Oh, yeah – IT’S GOING GREAT!!!  Seriously.  No sarcasm involved.  I am thrilled with the process of our home improvement project.  Okay, having some extra money and some really excellent trustworthy professionals on hand helps.  Not gonna lie.  But that isn’t the biggest difference.  The big difference is my attitude.  My wife and I are having fun.  We are coming together and bonding in the process.  It’s exciting.  We are learning and growing together.  Heck, even my son is starting to get over his disdain for two hour Lowe’s/Home Depot outings, and getting into it with us.  I’m pretty sure I caught him smiling as he felt carpet samples the other day.

Challenges can bring couples and families closer together or tear them apart.  They can be exciting opportunities for growth.  Or they can bring out our worst destructive natures.  What makes the difference?

It really depends on your attitude.

Be patient.  Be kind.  Serve with gratitude.  Listen carefully.  Think things through.  Consider advice and new ideas.  Be quick to forgive.  Try new things.  Don’t gloat.  Get your rest.  Take breaks when needed.  Ask for help when needed.  Be generous with thanks and honest compliments.  Celebrate victories.  Don’t wallow in defeats.

And be sure to play Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Quirkle along the way!  Have fun.  : )

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