Thursday, July 7, 2011

WWYD? To Part With It or Not..

That is the question. 

This little rolltop desk of mine is a constant reminder to our family of the importance of faith. Yes, this one little ol' desk that I bought while living in a tiny two bedroom apartment , is a testament to the fact that resilience is buried deep within us, that hope is the last thing to die.

You see after 10 years of living in a little red 1950's ranch house, where all three of my babies were born, we were forced to sell.  It was necessary, but oh what a trial the trying to sell became. Four weeks into the big housing market crash three years ago our realtor put the sign out on the front lawn, and we prayed for a miracle.  The miracle came exactly one year later.

One whole year of trying to keep an old house in perfect condition for prospective buyers, with three little boys underfoot.  One whole year of hopes dashed time and time again.  There are no words, my friends, to adequately describe that year.

(Blurry picture of the retro kitchen we lovingly remodeled in that little red house)

But finally the much awaited moment arrived, the house was sold and we put all our possessions in a storage unit.  We thought we would surely find a new house in no time at all and so the only things that went into the two bedroom, temporary apartment we rented were our mattresses, on the floor of course, and our clothes.  Little did we know that the wait in that small apartment would stretch into thirteen whole months.

Here are two of my boys Christmas morning in the aforementioned apartment, five months into our house search. Note furniture-less living room and plain tree, devoid of  beloved ornaments and a tree skirt, that were at the time buried somewhere deep in the storage unit. (My eldest with his retainer on, just lovely!)

Around month number six, when frustration levels were mounting and despair was starting to set in I decided that for all our sakes I needed to make an attitude adjustment.  I calmly announced to the four men in my life that I would begin searching for furniture for our new home. Yes, furniture for the new home that was as of yet nowhere in the horizon. It was a leap of faith, a way of holding on to a dream. The furniture would consist of pieces I could transform with a little paint once we had a garage again .  I loaded our three small children in the mini van and  the treasure hunt began.

The first piece I bought was the small desk.  I lugged it up the stairs to our second floor walk up and immediately began searching for items to display on it. Decorating that desk top became for me a much needed creative outlet during those remaining months, it kept me sane.  The children began to look forward to seeing a new arrangement atop it every few days or so and even the mister complimented my efforts regularly.
 Here it is in all its unpainted glory on the eighth month of our apartment stay.

On month number thirteen the time came to say goodbye to that small apartment.  We had a house again!  I promptly  painted the little desk upon moving in and found a place for it between two wing chairs in the formal living area even though I knew a larger piece of furniture was what the space really needed.  I did not want to part with it. 

Now I have in my garage, waiting patiently, the perfect large piece for that space.  But what to do with the little desk?  Another good spot for it in the house cannot be found and it is only used nowadays to hold the countless 'treasures' the boys find at the park each day.
Butterflies and bark and other woodsy finds...

and yet to me it serves another purpose.  It serves to tell the story of a particular season in our lives, a season where clinging to faith was all we had, a season that taught me lessons I do not want to soon forget.

Have you had to part with any one piece of furniture that for you had great sentimental value?

Stuff and Nonsense


Stacy said...

Belk, what a beautifully written post. Having been with you every step of the way during those long months, (how many houses did we walk through?)I know just how special this piece is. Not only is it special, but I absolutely love how you've arranged the display on top. Don't part with it! It's small and can be very practical for the boys schooling and such. Find a corner for it. How about the boy's room in that corner next to the bed? Does it fit there? Let us know what you decide. Love you bunches and miss you tons.

-Your sis

Melissa said...

Wow, what a great story. It sounds like this is a piece of furniture to hang onto, given all the memories that are tied to it.


At The Picket Fence said...

LOVE this post!!! I have an antique secretary desk that belonged to my grandmother and was in my home growing up that I can't seem to part with even though the style doesn't quite fit with my other pieces. I don't have any pearls of wisdom! I would try to keep it if at all possible and if it becomes impossible, I would remind myself that the growth in my faith I experienced during a difficult time will always remain with me even if the furniture doesn't. You know? :-) That being said, it is gorgeous! I'm not helping...I know. LOL! Either way, I loved reading this story of this chapter in your lives and getting to know you a little bit better. And our sons would be fast friends because mine is obsessed with Legos and I find pieces of "cool" bark in his pockets every day!
Thanks for sharing with us at Inspiration Friday~

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

This post was so well written. You have the beginnings of either a short story for publication (really!), or, better yet, a book. Honestly, I was transported as I read it.

I would not, could not, part with it if it were mine because it's a symbol....and also a beacon of light. Is there not another space you could redecorate so as to accommodate it? If you painted it, would it fit into one of the boy's rooms?

Anonymous said...

It's a keeper:

1. It's gorgeous
2. It has a life history for you.
3. One of your son's future wives might want it.

Failing the above, call me, I will take it :)


trininista said...

Really great story. I would be hard pressed to part with it. I agree with the previous comments - give it to one of the boys and keep it around. Thanks for visiting me on my SITS Day. You have a really lovely blog!

Ange said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today! :) I loved reading your story, what a great piece of your history to always have. I can't wait to read more about your life and this new house! Blessings to yoU!

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

What a beautiful story of faith. . . in what the future would hold for you and your family. . . the stuff that memories are made of!!!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

If at all possible I would keep it. If it just isn't going to work anywhere, then I would pass it on to a friend that needs a leap of faith and something for them to build a dream on. Your faith will never be weakened without the piece and maybe someone else will have theirs strengthened. God Bless. Such a beautiful story. Hugs, Marty

Cheryl said...

Your post touched my heart. I have been where you are now. Growing up my sister and I had cream canopy beds and matching dressers. I kept my bed and dresser till I had my first child and she used it until she was five...then I had to part with it. I felt bad getting rid of it as it had lots of memories attached to it, but I knew my daughter needed her own things.
However, your roll top desk has more meaning and if I was you, I would keep it. If you ever decided to part with it, I would be there to buy it from you. I loved reading that your boys put something on it to display every day. Sounds like it means much to them too.
Bless your heart. I do hope you decide to keep it. I am a sentimental person and besides it looks like it's in good condition.

ohiofarmgirl said...

It is a great piece and you have lovely pictures of it so I think it is so wonderful that you are giving another family an opportunity to enjoy it just as you have...find the perfect family and generously give it with love. dianntha

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

It sounds like this is a piece you should hang on to. It really does have meaning in a way that only a few pieces of furniture ever can. You'll find a place for it eventually:)

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I usually don't tend to read blogs but I'm so appreciative of the encouragement I got from it. It reminded me that all is possible if we have a positive attitude and put elbow grease. Things can be made beautiful and it doesn't have to be super expensive. You have really inspired me to work on my home. Thank you! I love what you've done in yours.

Anonymous said...

I to loved reading your story,I think that there are many times when we are taught lessons of faith with something so simple. I had such an expierience not long ago. Well actually it started 15 years ago. I had a beautiful antique piano given to me by a friend,she could not take with her on her move to cali. I loved this piano it helped me when I misscaried twice. It brought me peace and Joy in a very sad time. I recently moved and realized I could not bring it with me. I tried to sell it,to no avail. then a new friend came my way. She fell in love with it! While we were talking she told me how she just misscarried the week before. I knew right then and there who this piano was for. God does work in mysterious ways to bless our lives through others. I hope this will help what ever your decsion turns out to be.

Lisa said...

You have beautiful child.

Tiago said...

Remodelated old houses some times are much nicer than new ones, last years for my holidays I have rented an apartment rental in buenos aires that was 105 years old, but very well maintained. The combination of new and old details made a wonderful atmosphere.

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