Being grateful for unanswered prayers

being grateful for unanswered prayers

We all have unanswered prayers, although we may each know them by different names.

They are the desires of our heart, things we wish for so deeply and are so sure that we want.

Sometimes, the door slams so hard in our face on these hopes that it feels we will never even get close.

 

We talk a lot about gratitude here, and how easy it is to be gushingly grateful when the road is smooth and the sun shines warmly.

Today, let’s talk about being grateful for those unanswered prayers.

 

Many years ago, I was overweight and despaired of ever finding a boyfriend who would see me for who I really was.

I kissed an endless succession of frogs, and shed countless tears each time they hopped away.

Where was that guy, the one?

Turns out he was a work in process, just like me.

 

I needed to be grateful for my unanswered prayers as I grew and learned about what makes a great relationship work.

 

 

Perhaps you have suffered from dissatisfaction with your career.

Maybe you don’t like where you are, or that you’ve never found the right niche.

I struggled with this whole issue, as I never really had a clear picture of my skills and talents, or how to put them to use.

Of course, I don’t ever recall expressing gratitude for all the things I was learning that I didn’t like.

No, instead I whined and felt sorry for myself, especially when my hubby and I realized as well we were on the verge of financial difficulties.

One day, at last, events fell into place and our past experience became a foundation to help others.

That led in turn to an amazing opportunity to discover and do what I love and am very good at, too.

 

I didn’t know to be grateful for all the skill-building in the bumps, twists, and turns we were navigating.

 

 

You may have read about us recently moving to Tennessee and finally, finally, buying a house.

Even now, as much as I know and understand about gratitude, I was often, well, quite ungrateful during the process.

What you may not know is that we were innkeepers in New Hampshire for years and so lived on the same property as my parents.

We loved being so close, as did they.

 

All of us have prayed for years for them to sell the large property so they can spend more time enjoying family and traveling.

I can’t tell you how many times we have had our hopes lifted high, only to have them dashed again when nothing worked out.

Real estate is picking up, though, and there are some promising things happening.

Here is the most exciting thing, though, about this whole story:

The house across the street from our new home in Tennessee went up for sale, and my folks are the proud new owners.

With all the complaining and tears of frustration I shed over losing out on house after house, I am absolutely set back on my heels at how this arrangement came to be, to say nothing of my embarrassment over my regular grumbling.

 

While I was busy being ungrateful for houses lost, I lost sight that the answer to my prayer wasn’t no, but not yet.

 

 

We don’t have crystal balls that tell us when our road will smooth out, or that something really exciting is on its way.

But when we trust and pray, hope,  keep the faith, and  practice gratitude, and especially be grateful for unanswered prayers, the trip becomes easier.

Our eyes and hearts focus on the possibilities ahead rather than looking backwards.

 

Question: What unanswered prayer are you being grateful for today or have been in the past?

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Saturday Sips: 2 Must-Have DIY Refinishing Products

DIY refinishing products

 

Since I wrote this past week about finding Free and Nearly Free Treasures, I thought I’d share two must-have DIY refinishing products.

Refinishing is fun, frugal, and rewarding, especially if you are referring to taking a piece of furniture with lots of surface ugly and revealing the gem below.

First, though, you’ve got to be open to seeing the beauty beneath.

It’s like looking at that poor, rag-clad young woman sweeping the hearth and not recognizing that it’s Cinderella.

 

We’ve discovered beautiful mahogany nightstands—for $25 each—under glossy black paint.

I’ve had my husband turn the truck around to pick up a FREE bureau that had been sitting by the side of the road out in the rain.

It had no feet—why would you cut those off?!— and had been painted white, but was grimy and sported multi-colored paint splotches.

It had a graceful curved front, however, that hinted at inner beauty, and upon a quick, closer examination, was still sturdy.

Apparently this jewel had been relegated to the garage as a parts cabinet, although its heritage was clearly suited to something better.

 

In our last home, we found a wood table the owner had left behind in the barn.

It had been painted multiple times, the latest with a flat gray paint.

Lots of surface ugly?

Yes.

The joints were in good shape, we liked the overall lines, and we guessed there was some lovely hardwood waiting to be revealed.

 

Since we had to do the project inside the garage, we wanted a paint stripper with low or no odor, biodegradable, and that cleans up with water.

I know you are probably thinking while I on this search, perhaps I should have asked for my own unicorn, too. :-)

Color me surprised when I found a product that met those criteria:  SoyGel Paint Remover!

It is my absolute favorite product now when refinishing furniture, as it does a great job removing the paint.

Our table came out beautifully, and you can read about our first experience with SoyGel here.

It isn’t cheap, but it is an amazing product that will make the project go quicker, easier, easy on you and your home, and the end result will be better.

Here is a quick video of how to use SoyGel to strip a bureau:

 

 

If you just need to clean a finished surface rather than removing the paint, here is my second favorite product for helping to turn pumpkins into coaches:

Klean-Strip TSP

This is a no-rinse cleaner, too, which I liked.

It removes “grease, grime, mildew and food stains, crayon, smoke, old wallpaper paste and wax from painted or unpainted wood, metal or vinyl wallpaper.”

You must take the time to clean the surface you are painting, so you get a strong bond between your old surface and the new paint.

The directions say you can dilute it, but we needed the cleaning power of full strength.

 

We are using TSP on a scrubby sponge to currently clean our kitchen cabinets, which are oak with a stain and clear finish, prior to painting.

The molding and paneling that sits above the cabinets needed cleaning, too, especially in the area over the stove.

If the grime is a bit thick, just grab a small putty knife to scrape off the excess. :-(

Not that I had to do that. . .

 

If you are doing any painting or furniture stripping, I heartily recommend these two must-have DIY refinishing products.

They will make the project much more enjoyable, and I think you’ll like the end result better, too.

Of course, mind all the directions and take care to be safe. :-)

 

Question: What is your favorite product to use when revealing the true beauty of a great find?

 

saturday-sips: refreshment for your life

 

On Saturdays, I share refreshment and insight for your life.

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Just imagine. . .Responding with gratitude rather than grumbling, and enjoying more happiness and contentment. And rest assured I won't share your address!

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