Thursday, March 24, 2016

Porch Project...

I have always loved do-it-yourself projects and I am willing to try just about anything.  I know based on experience that plumbing is not my favorite DIY activity, however. 
But I love painting, creating, woodworking, activity that makes things better than they once were. 
Our little home has a little back porch that has seen better days.  The slats on the railings are half gone.  The three steps have each had to have the boards nailed back down.  One step has had to be totally replaced.  The wood itself is more gray than any other color.  We did treat the wood when the porch was new...but that was about 11 years ago.
When you walk onto the porch, it wobbles.  The steps slope a little forward in some spots and a little backwards in other spots.  Three of us have almost fallen going down the steps and one of us got really scared when she almost fell last week (namely, me) .  
I figured it was time for a change.  I know my husband does not really like doing these types of projects yet he feels he must for my sake.  I am happy doing them alone really but I guess it is the man in him that feels like he has to be a part of it.  I tried to assure him I could handle it on my own...but my words fell on deaf ears.  
At least he did not fuss at me for wanting to do the project...he knew that if I had come that close to falling the porch needed an overhaul.  
Being thrifty...first of all we checked Habitat for Humanity Restore to see if there were any used materials we could recycle.  Unfortunately, this time there was no such luck. 
So off to Lowe's we went.  
There is just something about Lowe's that inspires a person.  I love Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.  more than clothing stores.  So many possibilities abound in such a store!! 
And the smell of sawdust is just the aroma to get someone in the mood for DIY projects!  For some of us it is...for other little fellows along for the ride, sawdust causes itchy eyes and sneezing.
But once the pieces were loaded on the truck, we headed home. 

Now the cool tools of woodworking make it so much easier than our ancestors had it when all they had were hand tools.  
Now we have power saws, electric drills, nail guns....well, WE don't have these things but my daddy lets us borrow those things . :) 

Of course the old fashioned hammer is the best tool I found for ripping the old porch off the frame.  Wiggle, wiggle, push and out goes the old boards.  

Donnie was measuring and cutting for the new while I was getting rid of the past. 
Donnie lining things up  
Finally we started putting in the stringer and steps.  New stability. 
 Eli wanted to make a project too so Donnie took some breaks to help him make a "wooden fellow".  

There is always that moment when you think you have everything and realize you forgot something.  So back to Lowe's we went.  And finished putting up the slats.

The next day was the day of applying the stain.  We had picked out a pretty caramel gold color.  When I first applied it to a corner I realized it was a lot lighter than I thought.  
Back to Lowe's....back home with  Caramel Henna...more like a redwood stain.

I did enjoy using the sander ...making rough edges smooth, removing potential splinter hazards.  All of that useful stuff...and my hammering technique improved over time...with some tips from my little boy. :) 

The stain we chose to use has a built in primer and weather sealant to protect against the elements...all in one with a guarantee of lasting at least 6 years.  I looked down at my hands with red stain on them and immediately thought I had cut myself...then just as quickly realized it was just the stain.

I started thinking about it being Maundy Thursday. .  I am so glad that God has applied the stain of Jesus' blood to my life.  His blood protects me, primes me for a life of serving Him and others through the Holy Spirit that is within.  Yet the blood of Jesus assures me that my salvation will last not 6 years or 60 years but for all eternity!  Thank You, Jesus!

Also the stain covered the old posts that we did not have to replace and made them look new and fresh and clean again.  That is what having the Holy Spirit does for a person...all of the old me that was ugly and petty and selfish is made new, fresh and clean.  Not to say that I don't struggle still with my sinful nature but when I depend on the Holy Spirit to change me instead of myself to change myself....things really DO change.  

The Scriptures tell us this about the power of the blood of Jesus:

:We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace  that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.  He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him for the administration of the days of fulfillment—to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.  Ephesians 1: 7-9

The Bible also says :

For God was pleased to have
all His fullness dwell in Him (Jesus),
 and through Him to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace
through the blood of His cross—
whether things on earth or things in heaven.
 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions.  But now He has reconciled you by His physical body[k]through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him—  if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard.  - Colossians 1:19-23
The finished project of our little porch makes me feel good...but the fact that God is working on me and one day I will be totally complete in Him makes me feel wonderful!!
Phillippians 1:6   "I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you[b] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Today I heard the whisper of God in old boards, new wood, hammers, nails and stain.