The Fruit of a Little Time Off

One of the perks of my current job is two full weeks off in August, followed by a week of meetings, orientations, and preparation for the fall semester. My family will be visiting for most of the second week (yes!), but this week I’ve found myself with more free time than I’ve had since I was unemployed last summer. I’ve squandered some of that time just relaxing — browsing pinterest, reading, and wandering through the park with my camera — but I’ve also done some babysitting, visiting with friends, and helping friends move.

I did take one one larger project this week as well: painting our kitchen. We had nearly a full gallon of yellow paint left from when we painted at the Tracy House (we over-estimated how much paint we would need for the living room there), so when we’ve talked about using it to paint the kitchen since we moved in — almost a year ago now — but never actually did it. In a fit of cleaning and organizing this week, though, I pulled out the paint and decided to go for it. I finished most of the kitchen in just a couple hours and then completed the rest today. Though it was a relatively small change, it really added some life and warmth to the space.

The kitchen before:

And after:

(This is probably the cleanest the kitchen has ever been, by the way, and perhaps the cleanest it ever will be)

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Sonroom

This is my fourth weekend off and I’m still relishing every moment of free time, especially now that school has started again. For the past few weeks we have taken advantage of this shared time together to do some things that we’ve talked about doing for a while. Last week we went thrifting. The week before we went down to the River Market, stopping at the Chinese market, Middle Eastern market, and spice vendors to stock up on some international seasonings and discount vegetables. And my first weekend off we painted our sunroom.

We have talked about painting since we moved in….almost six months ago now. Our school and work schedules rarely left us a full day off together, though, so our painting aspirations were pushed aside. Once I switched to working Monday through Friday, though, we resurrected the idea.

One morning in particular I woke up, distracted by crafty things and ideas for how to fix up our apartment while I was trying to spend some quiet time with the Lord. I was a bit frustrated about my inability to focus on the Lord and finally asked Him if there was a way I could possibly meet Him in the place of dreaming about beautiful spaces.

As it turns out, there was (imagine that, ha!). I begin thinking about my long-time dream of creating a space that combined prayer and hospitality, a dream that had fallen by the wayside for a while as I pursued work with children. Soon that led to thoughts of our sunroom, a space I had most often used for quiet time with the Lord. And all of a sudden, I found myself filled with dreams and ideas for turning the sunroom into a prayer room, filled with light and worship with its wide windows looking out east over the city.

(This was the original state of our sunroom:)

The more I dreamed about it, the more I could feel my spirit stirring as God responded to my invitation to meet me in that place of making beautiful space.┬áSo that weekend we bought paint and painted the room. It’s a relatively small space, with lots of windows, so we were able to finish the primer and first coat on Saturday and a second coat on Sunday.

 

As we responded to God’s invitation in this new year to return to intimacy with Him, consecrating this particular space in our house felt like a physical representation of our desire to consecrate our time to Him as well.

Since we finished painting, I have been adding to the room little by little. On our thrifting trip a couple weeks later I found a large sheet to cut in half to make curtains (I was inspired by the warm colors and old wood of this sunroom).

This chair in the corner came from the neighbors across the street at the Tracy House. They gave us some stain to fix it up, too, but I think I actually like the look of the old, weathered wood.

As we get more time and inspiration, I’m sure we’ll add more to the room. We’ve talked about possibly getting wall lettering to put Isaiah 56:7 (about how God will make them joyful in His house of prayer) on the wall. I’ve also though about making some toilet paper tube wall art (something like this). And eventually I want to repaint the red room divider (which we found by the side of the road and carried about fifteen blocks and up three flights of stairs; my husband is a trooper).

For now, though, I’m enjoying spending my early mornings in the rocking chair, with my bible, journal, and cup of coffee.

(By the way, I titled this “Sonroom” because one morning God described it that way, promising that it would be a place where we come to know our identity as His sons and daughters)