I’ve been painting my garage. We had the cement floor (which was pitifully broken and uneven) replaced. For the first time, we have a level, usable garage floor…woohoo! And since everything was already out of the garage, I figured it was a great time to paint the walls. They really needed it. (As you can tell by the pics)
The right side wall was floor to ceiling peg-board. The left side was un-finished dry-wall and the back wall was the “piece de resistance.” Two-thirds of it was painted peach. One third was wallpapered with 18-inch square paper that is light green with red cars on it and looks like it’s from the 1950’s. Then, tacked in random places, there were several pieces of paneling. I never noticed how gross the walls were until I decided to slap on a nice coat of white paint.
Now, I’m pretty experienced with paint. I’m not a trained professional but I have painted a lot and I have even been paid to paint before. So that part didn’t concern me. But I am not a fan of wallpaper and I have very little experience in dealing with it. So, I tried in one small area to get it off with wall-paper remover. Anyone else tried this before? It’s bogus. It doesn’t work. (If you are an expert at this, don’t bother emailing me with instructions. This is my second bad experience with wallpaper…and let’s just say we don’t get along. I will not be messing with it again if I have any say in the matter.)
So when the stubborn wallpaper refused to be removed, I figured, why do I care (other than my perfectionist tendencies)? It’s just my garage! I decided I’d just paint over the wallpaper squares. Why not? But I learned something new. Wallpaper remover doesn’t remove wallpaper very well. But you know what does? Paint.
Yeah, I painted over it and suddenly it was peeling off onto my paint roller. In complete squares! This frustrated me greatly at first. I didn’t want to bother taking off the wallpaper because it had seemed really stuck on. This is only my garage, after all and I really didn’t want the extra work. I didn’t want to waste my time or my paint. None of this was going according to plan! But as complete squares began to fall off the wall it was obvious that I’d have to change my plan. So, rather than fight it, I rolled with it (haha…I wrote that and then realized it was a pun.) I painted over all the wallpaper, peeled it off and then painted the wall again.
And it got me thinking. There’s a lot going on this year for our family and it feels like so many things are up in the air. I told God the other day, I don’t mind change at all. But I hate limbo! I don’t like the feeling of not knowing what is around the bend. For some reason, there’s been a lot of that for us lately. (Maybe cuz I’m telling God I don’t like it and he’s going to teach me the same lesson until I learn it?? Yeah…that’s likely. So I’m really trying to learn it now.)
This painting thing didn’t go according to plan. But actually, thinking outside the box and using the paint to remove the wallpaper was a better method than the traditional removal. And the end result was better than if I’d just gone with my plan and painted over the wallpaper. My life feels like this right now. I’m wondering why traditional things aren’t working, why things don’t seem to work according to plan, etc. But my favorite two verses in the Bible ring in my head daily. And this is just another lesson that He’s using to hammer home these truths: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6
That “lean not” part is so hard for me. Is it hard for you too? I want to lean on my own understandings…to have everything figured out. I feel more comfortable that way. But God is asking me to trust Him with ALL my heart…to trust and lean not. Then He will guide and direct. My wise friend Heather, who I’ve mentioned before, has a great quote for when she can’t figure out what God is doing: “God has me on a need to know basis, and obviously, I must not need to know.” So once again, I’m placing my trust in Him. I’m rolling paint over wallpaper, even if it seems silly and weird. And I’m believing that the end result will be something better than I can imagine.
Can you relate? Are you in a place where you have to stop leaning on your own understanding? Care to join me in a walk of trust? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!