Give in or give up…

And so…the kitchen floor project of 2010 begins.

We had noticed a while back that the linoleum on our kitchen floor was starting to ‘pucker’ in places so we decided it was time to replace it. We shopped around and finally decided on a beautiful laminate floor. Jim went and picked up the boxes, I think 21 all total, and we hauled them into our den. Yep…there sits our new kitchen floor.

Last evening we began the prep work. My job was to remove the corner round and the base boards. Now, the trick was, to remove them without destroying them, so that we could clean and put them back up once the floor was laid. The first ones I tried popped right off. Ah-ha! This is going to be easy, I thought to myself. Fortunately, the second base board set me straight.

Part of the problem was the “brilliant” way the last floor was laid. The base boards sat 1/2 inch below the flooring, so that when you tried to removed them, you couldn’t pull straight out, like you could with the corner round. It took some maneuvering to get them out.

It was a challenge, but eventually I had all the boards removed except behind the refrigerator and stove. Jim helped me move the appliances and there were only three boards left.  The first two were easy; the third, well, lets just say, I wouldn’t have been surprised if someone was on the other side of the wall, trying to pull it back on as I tried to pull it off.

In a piece of board that was only two feet long, there were nine nails, three of which were original nails, that were about 1/4 inch off the floor. This meant they were below the old flooring. I’m reminded of Father Mulcahy, from M*A*S*H, when the cold water of the shower would hit him. Instead of a few choice words, he would say, “OH! My, this cold water is a blessing!”

Well, lets just say, that board was about to bless me right out of my shoes. I felt like giving up. It didn’t help that Jim was watching me. I felt like a bumbling fool. And when I get that way, I have a tendency to close him out. To resent any imput he might have. I don’t like to give up…or give in. Give in to his advice…give in to his knowledge. But…over the years, I have learned that the sooner I listen, the sooner things get done.

Thankfully, Jim provided some much needed advice and I was able to get the board off without breaking anything. When it came free and I had it in my hand, Jim asked me if I felt like throwing it across the room. I told him it was way too early in the project to begin throwing things!

As I read my bible this morning, I thought about how hard it must have been for Moses and all the trials he had to face. First, God had to convince him that he was the right person for the job of leading the Israelites to their freedom. Then Moses had to convince the Pharoah to let the captive Israelites leave. Then he had to convince the Israelites to leave and from then until his death, it was a constant struggle to keep the Israelites satisfied.

I read that when the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the Promise Land, they rejoiced with song and praises. I wonder…how much more would it have meant to God to hear their praises when they were slaves? when they were in the desert?

Our struggles and trials can do one of two things: they can defeat us or they can be the source of our greatest spiritual growth. They can discourage us or they can cause us to draw closer to our Father. They can control us or we can control ourselves by praising God and leaning on his strength and understanding. We can either give up…or give in to God’s unfailing guidance.

No matter what your challenge is today…praise God from whom all blessing flow. Amen

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