I know that sometimes we all feel that our front doors are revolving doors, but today's story is about my evolving door.
Recently I wrote about the fact that we were finally getting around to giving our door some much-needed attention. Having been weather-beaten for 11 years, it was really needing some love, as you can see in this photo from last Christmas:
Honestly, I'm a big fan of painted doors. But this door is solid mahogany, and it seemed a shame to paint over that beautiful wood, so we opted to call in the pros and have it refinished. After two days of careful sanding and the application of a rich mahogany stain, we were left with this:
Not what I was hoping for, to say the least. Honestly, it looked as if it had been salvaged from a fire.
About this point in the process, I was a basket case. I would cringe every time I looked at the door. "I hate that stupid door," I would mutter to myself. Sometimes I would look at it and hope it could be saved; other times I would dream of simply replacing it with another door. "A different door would really be so much better," I would think to myself.
My husband, thank God, was much more realistic and cheerful about the situation. "I'm sure that something can be done to make it look better," he said. He had to leave on a business trip before the door folks came back, so he left me with a caution not to stress myself out. "The only outcome that would make me unhappy is if I had to buy a new door," he told me.
Yes, well. I guess that was a silly idea.
Anyway, the pros sent their best stain master to figure out how to handle my door. He was stumped as to what had happened to the door during the sanding and staining process, so he turned his attention to coming up with a solution. Wary of doing more sanding, he stripped a portion of the door and tried product after product, looking for a stain that would cover all the flaws and produce a fairly uniform finish.
To be honest, I just tried to stay out of his way during this process, afraid that nothing was going to work. "Don't you worry," he said. "We'll figure something out."
Finally, he did. Almost as a last resort, he tried the most highly pigmented stain he had in his kit.
And it worked.
It's not what I originally envisioned. Although I wanted the door to be darker than it was, I wouldn't have chosen for it to be quite this dark. Since parts of the door looked almost as if they'd been burned, he had to use a darker stain than we'd hoped. C'est la vie, right?
You know what? It's okay. It's really okay. Look:
No wonder it was beat up and scarred, considering all that it's done over the years.
It was time for the door to be refinished, yes. But that door has taught me some lessons about myself.
I tend to concentrate on my flaws, fretting about the way I look--or the way I think I look. I fret and worry myself to distraction sometimes, wishing that I looked just a certain way. In my worst moments, I want to give up on myself. And yet it's this very body of mine that has given birth to three beautiful children. These hands have been rubbed raw from washing dishes and wiping brows. These knees have become rough from crawling with babies and hunting for Lego pieces and praying for teenagers. This brow is furrowed from days and nights of working and studying and planning. These laugh lines have formed from the delight of living with zany boys. My scars tell my story, and it's beautiful.
Just like the door, I don't need to be replaced. I may need a little extra loving attention from time to time, but I shouldn't give up on myself.
How about you? Do you ever feel weathered by the years? Maybe you could use a little special attention, too--but don't give up on yourself. Your scars tell your story, and you're beautiful.