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I ❤ coffee. 

I am Shauna Shanks. I love green smoothies. I'm an author, mom & wife chasing smallness.

A Seat At An Unfinished Table

A Seat At An Unfinished Table

I keep wanting to hold off posting pics of our #containerhouse, because at this point the progress is underwhelming. Did I tell you our estimated completed deadline was DECEMBER. (Last year. We’re behind—not ahead.) 

If I listed all the setbacks you would sit here and cry with me. When the basement flooded…..When the AC units refused to work even after THREE heating and cooling companies were called in. (In the middle of summer). When our mower blew up…three times. When our contractor took another job and started only coming for half days. When employees quit and slowed down the process even more. When…I could go on. 

But my purpose here is not to whine and wallow but to simply state, We are still not done! We are at end of this project, and low on funds. Yes, that’s a nice way of putting that. 

Luckily, even if we had not flown through our budget, we had already decided to be intentional about re-purposing old items and using as many found materials as possible. The purpose is multi-fold. 

  1. The budget thing. (See above)
  2. We wanted to incorporate as much history from around the farm as we could.
  3. In truth, I’m still romanticizing this whole theme of restoration. There is something incredibly alluring to me about something being completely broken and then being given new life.

Aunt Jan has been working at an old property for a man who had too many things. (Think American Pickers). She has been bringing her rescued finds over to our place. Some seem un-repairable and I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I think I will have to pass or give up on an item because of the amount of work required to repair or lack of creative genius on my part. 

But a set of four hairpin legs she brought over?

They sat in an old barn for a good part of the last decade. When we got them, Micah took them straight to the basement in the “nope” pile. But we got to the point when our dining-room table we are building needed legs. Our budget for this was zero dollars. 

So I revisited the discarded pile in the basement and gathered up some Brillo pads I had on hand, and would you look at that?

Polished up nice, yeah? Once re-finished these hairpins will make this live edge table top we've been working on a beautiful piece.

These old hairpin legs? They sat for a long, long time. But they looked baaaad. When I scrubbed them, I had to get through thick layers of, for lack of knowing the proper term, gunk. They were really gunky. Beyond the rust, it looked like something once had been sticky, hardened, and cemented on during many an August's heat. They were taken apart, had gotten messy, then were forgotten. 

I wonder if you feel like that sometimes?

I want to get to the finished product already. I'm tired of struggling. Tired of waiting. Tired of getting messy. Tired of living with a purpose untapped and unrealized. 

I'd like to have a pretty picture of the finished table to show you already. The image I would show you would be our finished table adorned with a table runner, hand-picked place settings, the warm glow of a few well-placed candles and hot steam wafting atop the warm banana nut bread would be visible in the picture too. Tea would be in matching mugs and fresh cut flowers wrapped in twine would finish the inviting tone. 

I'd like to show you perfection. A spread worthy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Don't we want that for our lives too? We want to be finished product already, we want to cut the crap and get straight to the party! But often we feel stuck in the waiting, in the working.

But there is good news for a grimy, forgotten soul. Our Heavenly Father specializes in re-pair. He smiles because he sees past this current stage and sees a future that you were created for and intended to be a part of.  

I have dreams for this table. We will have many a fluffy pancake breakfast here. Thanksgiving meals and cookies for Santa will be created and served on this table. This will be a place where I write, the kids will do their homework here, we will laugh with friends and play silly games. We will cultivate friendships and raise our kids around it. 

I can see all that. I know a little bit of rust is really no big deal. I am well equipped to handle what for the hairpins legs has been a paralyzing problem.

Here's what God does. He makes old things new. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." 2 Corinthians 5:17. He makes sinful things clean. "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean." Psalm 51:7.  He makes dead things live. “I, the Lord God, will put breath in you, and once again you will live." Ezekiel 37:5

Following Christ is more to me than what checkmark I put in a box on the religion questionnaire. It’s such a beautiful journey of hope, redemption, adventure and discovering and re-covering unclaimed promises—and claiming them! It's being created by a Creator who is capable, living, and has been weaving his overreaching purposes throughout my story-even when I feel stuck.

I know what the enemy whispers because I've heard him too. You're too old. You're too tired. You're not creative. You've done nothing for far too long to be useful now. You're not special. You have no value. You have nothing of note to offer. Your life will be unremarkable. Besides, you're dirty, look at your sin. Blah, Blah, Blah. 

Well listen. I still need to paint them, beat out a few crooked spots at the top, and attach them, but these hairpin legs? They were picked out of a rummage pile but they're still gonna work great. 

God's not afraid of your dirt and grime. He's not afraid he can't fix you. You have a future. But you need to know that. The best stories often start with a long stall. With failure. With sitting in apathy for far too long. 

"Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me." Micah 7:8

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