Recently, I have started playing ping pong again. Growing up, My Dad, my brother and I used to play ping pong all of the time! We would have tournaments at night before we went to bed. All three of us are pretty competitive people and none of us like to lose. Over time, we would constantly try to get better and exploit each others weaknesses. My weakness was and is my backhand shot.
I would spend hours trying to work on my backhand. I would spend so much time working on overcoming my weakness. Overtime, my backhand got a little better but has never become great.
I remember one day my Dad said to me, “Stop working so hard on your weakness and start focusing on your strengths.” Huh, it never even occurred to me to do that. My strength is my serve and forehand spike. I started to work on my serve and my forehand. What I found was this: if I could serve it really well people would be forced to hit the ball to my forehand. My serve would tee up my forehand spike! As I worked on my strengths I began to become a better ping pong player.
Why is it so easy to focus on our weaknesses and ignore our strengths? It could be because people tend to always point out our weaknesses and ignore our strengths. They tend to see that one bad grade on your report card, or that one day you got to work late, or the one time you lost your temper, or that one accident or speeding ticket on your record.
What if we decided that instead of spending all of our time trying to improve our weaknesses, we asked God to help us in the areas we were weak and we poured our effort into our strengths.
The apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 12:9, But God said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Did he really say that he would boast gladly about his weaknesses? That sounds like a crazy idea! What if it were true? What if we could give our weaknesses to God and rely on His power? What if we focused our effort on our strengths?
Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses.
My good friend Les Morrison recently said, “if you look for the bad in people you will find it every time.”
What if we started focusing on our strengths and the strengths of others around us?
Let me tell you what would happen. Our self-confidence would grow! Our self-esteem would grow! Our self-image would be positive! You would be able to say “so long insecurity” and “Hey there self confidence”!
Here is the challenge:
Make a list of five of your strengths right now. List one way you can work on each one of those strengths going forward.
Remember, your life is NOT small. You have so much to offer when you focus on your strengths!
Since moving into our home 9 ½ years ago, our dining room has been a series of 4 different colors. First, there was the tragic yellow/80’s mirror combo the previous owners gifted us with. Then there was the awesome neutral, “Broadway Brown.” It looked great on the walls…but really clashed with our then Oak Cabinets. From there, we jumped on the Deep Cranberry bandwagon and decided our whole house should feel “Tuscan.”
And…that’s where are dining room stayed for a couple of years until one fateful day last Winter when we went on one of our Model Home dates. As you might remember from this post, we love Model Home dates. It’s fun dreaming together and getting inspiration for your “someday” home. However, Model Home dates can be dangerous. It was a Model Home date that led us to kick our entertainment center to the curb. (You can see more of that here, here & here.) AND…a model home date that gave us the confidence to redo our kitchen/dining room.
A couple of months back I hinted to the fact that we had redone our kitchen & dining room last year. It took 4 months, lots of friends, a willingness to become accustomed to sawdust, incredible ninja like skill to navigate around the oven that found its way into the Entry Way and patience like we had never known…BUT, when it was done…SO so worth it.
So today, my lovelies, I’m giving you a peak into how we fell in love with our dining room again, without breaking the bank.
As Rachael Ray says: “You don’t have to be rich to live a rich life.” And at No Small Life…we are all over that. So, here we go!
Before: ( I apologize in advance for the horrible picture)
It was very lovely, much more than this picture lets on. BUT our tastes have changed over the years and we were ready for an update.
(PS…If anyone local is interested in purchasing the chandelier and/or curtains for a STEAL…lemme know ;) )
Here we are Mid-Reno:
Flooring: KM Cape Doctor Maple 12mm from Lumber Liquidators (P.S. we’re so happy with this floor, we’re considering putting it throughout the house…eventually :) )
Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Silver Fox
There’s an interesting story behind this wall color. True to Rea form, this is the 2nd color we tried. The first one, which we were “SO sold on”…ended up looking like avocado.
Bad. 70′s avocado. Seriously. Thankfully, with a little help, we found this color. Phew! Disaster Averted.
AND here…Just over a year later, I can finally show you the finished product!
The table was our first purchase. A West Elm Rectangle Table that I stalked on Craigslist until the price was just right. It just had a tiny scuff that I covered with this Target Table Runner and was 1/4 of the original price. #winning
A happy dance happened.
BUT, the lovely table did NOT come with chairs so…we used folding chairs until we saved up enough for these Pier One Parson’s chairs in teal. Sale, coupon, check!
Again, a happy dance ensued. While I’d still love to get these Pier One Cadence chairs for the ends, patience & contentment ;) Virtues I’ve learned again and again while redoing this room.
To style the table along with the Target runner, I grabbed this IKEA bowl my sister got me and filled it with faux apples from Home Goods. In a previous life, this bowl was artwork in my office. PS. it also looks GREAT hung on a wall ;)
Candle sticks were gifted from my mom :) Love me some hand-me-downs!
Next, lets just talk about this light fixture. I have an unhealthy crush on this linear chandelier. I searched and searched and searched some more for literally 6 months to find something we liked AND that worked within our budget.
We found it locally and got it 20% off. It was still slightly over budget, BUT seriously after 6 months, my hubby had pity on me. lol
These curtains are the 3rd ones to live on the the windows since the reno, but these bad boys are staying. And if you like them, they’re on clearance right now at JCPenney. Here’s the link.
They darken a room nicely AND serve to conceal the little basket where we keep a towel to grab muddy doggy paws before they traipse about the house. Rug is from Home Goods. Of course. ;)
This vase used to be a deep cranberry color and live in my living room. A quick coat of my favorite Spray Paint, a few decorative sticks from IKEA and a once sad little corner is filled.
And finally, the pièce de résistance (yep, totally googled that spelling) The long awaited Sun Burst Mirror.
If you follow me on social media, last week I teased you all with a pic of my then very dirty Sunburst Mirror. Here’s the story. My dining room wall has sat bare since re-doing the room last year. I really wanted a Sunburst Mirror, but couldn’t find the right one for the right price. Also, because when the Chandelier is turned on, it bounces shadows all over the walls, such a fun and unexpected bonus, I could live with bare walls a little longer than usual. But MEANWHILE back at the ranch, my mom spotted this little gem at a Consignment Shop for $40. $40 ya’ll! Four. Zero.
All it needed was a little love and elbow grease.
My lamp from this post is peaking at you.
Thanks for stopping by my Dining Room, hope it gave you the courage to tackle your own room revamp!
Until next time…