Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes it just plain is. Lessons, repeated, in various forms, with real-life examples and analogies. Over and over again. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that I must be pretty thick-skulled, maybe even hard-headed and stubborn (though the upside of stubborn IS tenacious, and I am certainly that, too!). ┬áBut mostly, I am certain that my Papi in Heaven loves me unconditionally and will never, NEVER give up on me learning what He has ordained me to learn. That IS a comfort. He IS faithful and true to Himself. Talk about security and a firm foundation and amazing freedom and joy!

Finishing well. Not growing weary in doing well. Integrity. Just plain ole stick-to-it-ness. That has been a theme in my learning journey – especially right now. The Bible studies with which I participate. My own personal devotions. Life.

So, you may have heard that my amazing boys decided that it was finally time to finish the old (like 107 years old) wood floors in our living room and dining room. 450 square feet of OLD wood floors with OLD stain/paint/strange floor covering/layers of carpet wood floors. How else can I say it but YUCK!

So they got started and ripped up the last remaining layers of carpet and strange floor covering stuff in the dining room. The other carpets had come up in stages long ago and we have just lived with the old, variegated, wood floors for a long time. But the dining room left us no choice – the layer just above the wood was icky, ancient, crumbly glue. Not good for walking over – especially bare footed. So the project began.

And somehow I got dragged into the mix as well. 10+ hours of tedious sanding around the edges, hunched over the belt sander, breathing in the sawdust, I’m definitely not as young and flexible as I used to be, did I say tedious?, work getting the layers off the edges along the walls. I was the little engine who could! I don’t know how many times I had to repeat to myself – I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me! Did I mention something about being tenacious earlier? Well, I was tenacious! The job needed to be done and I was not going to back away from it.

I knew the time frame we were (are) working under and that given the available hours, my participation was not optional. And so I sanded. And I sanded. And I vacuumed. And I sanded. And I sanded. And I sanded. By 10:00 last night I was weary beyond description. The sander decided to start giving us grief. The belts were breaking one after another. I wanted to give up.

But as I looked at the last few sections that needed to be completed, the Lord brought back the lessons He had been teaching me over the past little while. Finish well. Do not grow weary of doing well. Don’t be discouraged. And so, I prayed, I confessed my limited strength and endurance and my faith in His work in me, and I continued, and so did the sander… ALL THE WAY TO END!

Stand firm. Walk in the way of faith and trust and choosing to believe God and allowing Him to have His completed work in our lives. He is the Faithful One!

And remember, His lessons come in every shape and form – even in the shape of hand-held belt sander!

(I am listening to the sound of my two older boys applying the first coat of polyurethane even as I write this. They, too, are finishing well! I am blessed beyond measure!)

Here are some pictures of the process…

The old floor needed work.

The "before" work.

Layers of old finish

Much to get through.

Sanding with the big drum

Matthew continues the process of sanding the old stuff.

Finally down to just wood

David moves up the sanding grid as the wood is revealed.

Bare wood, just like original

This wood has not seen the light of day in over 100 years. Levi vacuums up the sawdust.

Getting close to the end of the sanding.

One of the last sections of hand sanding to be done. How many ways can you spell TIRED?