One of my upcoming “take a break from your desk” projects will be a quick garage cleanup. Well, it’ll be a cleanup. I’m not sure about the quick part. We’ve been doing home renovation and carpentry projects non-stop for over a year and there are leftovers stacked up in the workspace. I need to organize and refresh my memory on what material is in stock.
Having lumber scraps is a sign of a well-used shop. We have pieces we use as supports when projects are stained or painted. They’re not pretty but serve a worthwhile purpose. Other wood samples sport holes from drilling activities.
I have this bucket of chunks from Michelle’s table (described in an earlier blog). I think they would make great firewood but Michelle has plans for them. I heard something about picture frames being fashioned from the termite eaten wood so they match her table and benches. Yowsers! I found out she has organized her projects into categories:
- I can do these projects myself.
- I need Mom’s help for these items.
- I will add these to Dad’s list while he’s not looking.
I enjoy working with my girls and watching their creativity blossom. They’re filling my memory with happy thoughts.
Yesterday I needed trim to finish the step at the landing on the second floor of our home. I dug through our lumber and found a piece of oak, already stained and varnished. I cut it to length and it matches the new flooring perfectly. How did that oak land in the garage in the first place?
We have an oak roll top desk designed long before the ubiquitous computer. Michelle wanted to take the desk to college but it needed modifications to be useful. Thank God for reciprocating saws. A few minutes of cutting, a massive cloud of sawdust, and the roll top became a flat top. I made a custom hutch for it and the “dotter” (watch “Donovan’s Reef” with John Wayne and Lee Marvin for an explanation) is still using the finished product.
Some of the pieces from the roll top were of such odd shapes I never saw any use. Those went to the trash can. Long straight pieces were salvaged and have been used in many ways including the stairway trim. I have a good feeling when something is recycled. It is a better feeling when I save money and time avoiding a trip to the store. It is even more fulfilling when the job looks like it was planned. Win. Win. Win.
Reuse is not about keeping everything and drowning in piles of debris. The secret to reuse comes in knowing what to keep and what to throw. That takes vision and imagination. It takes insight and experience. It requires wisdom. I’m so glad God does not look at the refuse I stack up in my life and chuck me into the trash can. God sees through the clutter to the potential of my life placed in His hands.
In Psalm 51 David allowed personal clutter to accumulate in his life until he made terrible mistakes with a lady named Bathsheba. David did not make excuses or mince words. He called his acts “sin”. The guilt and the shame were so great David felt as though his life had become a bucket of scraps. Read his words:
“For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.
Psalm 51:3-4 (NASB)
Was the game over for David? Was his next stop the trash can or scrap pile? David knew there was One who could take the scraps and make something beautiful. He appealed to the Master of Reuse.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10 (NASB)
Sometimes we need help from an Expert to de-clutter life.