Sanding grit and turning walls into gates

June 10, 2015

Does anyone else out there try to get as much done in as little a time as you can? Do you like instant results, rather than the discipline and sweat it takes to get to a desired result?

Yeah, me too. Take this recent refurbishing project for example.

It was an old secretary’s desk that used to belong to my Great Aunt. With a fold up/down top, it had hidden compartments with a few drawers. Lots of great potential, but it really needed either a coat of paint, or a complete sanding down and new stain. I opted for a mix of both.

IMG_0243I am slowly seeing that that reno’s or refurbishing projects always take longer than expected. Always.

It was a beautiful Thursday evening and with a quick lesson from my hubs, I was ready to start sanding the desk outside. I figured 2-3 hours and I’d be ready to stain, with the piece back in spot by the weekend.

When sanding, you have to start with a low number grit – like a 60 or 80. These have courser grit and will take the finish off quicker. Once the finish is off, you go higher in number to smooth things out. I started with an 80 grit, but some of the finish on the desk was stubborn, and not wanting to come off.

Troy came to me, inspected, and said, “You’ll need to do a 60. Then go back to 80. Then 100, 120, and maybe even 150.”

I looked at him like I was ready to swear, and if you know me at all, I’m not that girl. But in that moment, I sure was! He held my shoulders in his strong hands, “Enjoy the process!”

10 months married and he knows my love for instant results over long drawn-out processes. He, on the other hand, will take the time to make it right and well-done the first time.

After grumbling and throwing a bit of a mini internal adult-tantrum, I grabbed a 60-grit, sucked it up, and started over. Up and down, up and down. I spent the next whole day sanding from 80 to 100, to 120 to 150. Sanding out the squiggles in the wood, so that when the stain was applied all I would see was a beautiful wood grain.


Troy was away for the weekend, so when he returned, he was impressed. Albeit a couple spots I could’ve sanded a bit more, but still, I embraced the grueling process. And am happy I did.

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Goals, sanctification as a believer, change or growth of any sort, will be a process. It’ll take commitment, determination, patience and discipline. And for me, learning to love the process is a process! But, I am slowly seeing the rewards of it. Slowly. 😉

Take for example, my love for writing. I even hesitate to invest myself in long-term writing projects if I don’t know what the end result is to be. Deep down, I don’t really want to waste, ‘er invest, my time on a project that will become…nothing. If it isn’t read by others and help others, then what’s the point, I ask in my heart.

But as I talked to Troy last night, perhaps the whole point of the writing process is learning to write. The discipline. The process of creating itself. Learning to express. Not just the outcome of a publisher or book tour, or even reaching one person.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the very process we are fighting to embrace is not meant to be a wall, but a door to something else.

Are you fighting a process right now? It’ll likely take longer than you expected, be harder than you anticipated, and will be more rewarding than you ever dreamed, if you stick with it. He who began a work in you, is faithful to complete it 😉 (Phil 1:7)

Shall we try, together, to embrace the process?

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