Not too long ago my sweet little girl stopped me in the middle of what I was doing with a plea along the lines of “please please please can we paint something right now, I don’t want to do it another day, I want to paint something today. You MUST have something we can paint right now” Well as a matter of fact I did but right now? She’s not often so adamant and lets face it she came to the right person and she knew it. I need very little encouragement day or night to drop whatever I’m doing and start in on a random project. The “right now” was important to her so it took me maybe two seconds to give in and agree and another half a second to think of something we could makeover together.
It was a little bench that I’d found at a garage sale for I think $5 that had been sitting on my front verandah just waiting to be “transformed”. Now I have a thing for benches – the older and more dinged up the better – a story for another day but suffice to say they are just the handiest pieces of furniture to have around and I always have my eye out for an old one.
This one though, I didn’t have great hopes for. Let’s just call it “the bench least likely to succeed”. It was reasonably well made with some nice details but the thinnish nondescript wood wasn’t inspiring and there was a badly applied coat of thin white paint doing a poor job of covering its shortfalls. There just didn’t seem to be enough of it to make anything of, let alone something beautiful and without Livvy’s pleading there’s every chance it would have sat forlornly on my verandah a whole while longer.
How often do we do that. Overlook things, people mostly because all their marvelous potential isn’t immediately obvious or on show, not made of good wood we think, not substantial looking enough, not up to snuff. Thank God that He sees things differently or where would any of us be.
“Christ came for the ones who dare to show up weak and heavy laden. For the ones who dare to show up ashamed and bowed down. He came for the ones who dare to say yes – just as they are.” Come As You Are
So without too much ado and with only an hour before we had to leave to be somewhere else Livvy and I started our impromptu bench seat makeover. We gave it a really good sand to sort out all the rough edges. I use a little hand held mouse sander that’s very mild mannered so no problem for Livvy to use. These are only two “before” shots and they were taken after we had swung into action.
Olivia chose the paint colour from what we had available and decided on orange because we seem to like orange around here and we could easily mix it from the same two cans of red and yellow gloss enamel that we used here. Mostly yellow with a dash of red and Olivia managed to mix a much prettier shade of orange than I did.
We gave the bench one good coat of paint during which time we discussed what a pretty colour she had mixed and how much fun it was to be doing a project together and generally how clever we were to be doing a project “off the cuff” like we had cut school and run off to the movies together. Olivia was so happy – we were together, we were painting – life was good.
The next day when it was dry we decided to rough up the finish a bit and hit it pretty much all over with the sander again. It meant the original white base came through and it took the gloss off the orange making it look more worn and aged. With that we were finished and both of us a little taken aback with how it turned out.
Astounded in fact. Our unremarkable little bench went and turned into it’s own version of a lovely swan and, Livvy kept saying to me, like we had a special secret, “didn’t we make it look pretty”. I think we did too. Very pretty and all of it a bonus – the prize the middle bit, us just doing something fun and spontaneous together.
There will be a day when my girl will be grown and busy and won’t be wanting so much of my time so I’m thankful for moments like these. It’s why Ken stopped watching the soccer last weekend to play Monopoly when Olivia asked him – and I got to hear them laughing big because Daddy drew the Chance card and won $25.00 in a beauty contest.
The pretty orange bench, as it’s now called has joined the little family of benches that we have here – its the baby, the cute little one. It made a great coffee table at an end of year get together we had out back, it happily seated three little girls at Olivia’s birthday while they ate cake and it stood in as a makeshift TV stand in Ethans room for a bit. Now it’s back to just cheering everyone up on my back verandah.
So I’ll leave you with a thought – seize the moments when they come – with children or sisters or parents or friends and do something fun on the spur of the moment. You don’t get to do it everyday – – – but when you do it’s like gold. Works for me!
If you enjoyed this post and know someone who you think might like it – please feel free to share.
Got a minute? – you can read this weeks Women Connect post here.
Women Connect are short inspirational posts based on a verse or two of scripture. You can find all the previous posts here on the Women Connect page OR If you would like to receive these posts directly to your inbox rather than having to come find them you can send me a quick email and I’ll subscribe you to the list. Contact details and privacy statement are here.
Blessings from my home to yours and thanks so much for spending some time here with me today.
Lv Tracey xx