The Blessing of “No”: Why God Never Laughs At Our Plans (Free Printable)

Have you waited for your plans to come unfold only to have them fall apart?  Have you mapped out the blueprint to your life but can’t seem to make it a reality?  You may have heard the joke, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”.  But in reality, as difficult as it is to let go of our expectations, God’s “no” is so often what we need most.

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One spring day, my dad was going through my grandparents’ old things.  In the trash pile, I saw some old rolled-up blueprints.  I unrolled them to find a picture of a house that was never built and a dream that had never been realized.

My grandparents lived in New Jersey and had grand plans to build the very home sketched on those worn, brittle pages.

However, God had a different plan. 

Establishes Steps - Renovated Faith

An opportunity to start their own photography business arose in Houston and the house they had dreamed of was never built.   Knowing the move from New Jersey to Texas would be a difficult one, they almost changed their minds at the last possible minute.  However, the moving van was just around the corner and so were the plans that the Lord had laid before them.

What would have happened if the dream of that house was realized?  What would have come about if they had stayed in New Jersey and adhered to their plan?  For one thing, my parents may have never met and I would have never been born.  They had to make a sacrifice to follow the right plan and my life was one result of many.

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In the same way, God had to tell His only son “no”.  While praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, right before Judas’ betrayal, Jesus prayed out to His Father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

God knew that Christ’s death on the cross would force His only Son to bear merciless pain but the outcome would be far worth His suffering.  As a result of Christ’s death on the cross, a sacrifice was made allowing anyone access to eternal life by having faith in Him.

In every situation, the source for God’s “no” is His love for us.  There are several things we can learn from this example in Gethsemane:

  1. God understands that change is hard for us. It was not sinful that Christ asked for the cup to be taken from Him.   Therefore, it is not a sin to ask for a break from suffering, but like Christ, we should be submissive to God’s plans overall.
  2. God knows suffering is…well, suffering. He realizes pain is difficult and He doesn’t expect us to like it.  It’s a sacrifice for a reason.  No grit, no pearl.
  3. Our plans don’t make God laugh. God doesn’t take joy in our suffering.  Can you imagine the anguish God felt when He had to watch His Son die on the cross?  God changes our plans because He knows sometimes difficulties are necessary for us to experience His best.
  4. God’s no is ALWAYS worth it. Christ experienced the depths of human anguish on a level we will fortunately never fully experience.  But in the end, He appeared before the disciples, his fishing buddies, and showed them the scars on his hands, with joy in His heart and the gleam of heaven in His eye.  Because of His sacrifice, we can experience that same joy in His Presence.

We’ve all been there.  Each of us had experienced times when God had said no to our dreams – when he has closed a door that we always envisioned walking through.  So often I have kicked and screamed when these times have come, pouting all the way as God ushers me to plan B.  But in reality, I eventually realize that His plans were Plan A all along, that He knew what was best, in spite of what I thought was best for me.

When I look at the blueprint, now framed in our office, I am thankful for God’s “no’s”  Whether it was the boy I shouldn’t have been dating, the career I would have been miserable in or the house that wasn’t meant to be, He knew His plans were best and loved me enough to redirect me from what I thought I wanted most.

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To download this printable, check out my post DIY Faux Painted Signs (Free Scripture Printables)

Where are you stuck right now?  Do you feel like God is putting up a roadblock to some area or your life?  Here are three possible reasons for God’s “no” in your life right now.

  1. Disobedience – God tells us “no” when we are not obedient to Him and His Word. Fortunately the Lord is faithful to those who return to Him.  God disciplines those He loves as a father disciplines His child in order to protect them.  Defiantly seeking things not of Him is like sticking your hand in snake den. Eventually you will get bitten and the results will be painful, if not deadly.
  2. Just Wait” – So often a “no” is really God’s way of telling us to wait either because we aren’t ready for what’s ahead or the circumstances aren’t in place yet. Be patient to see what God has in store – it’s worth the wait!
  3. NO = “My plans are better” – God only changes our plan because His path is better than what we desire. “Better” doesn’t necessarily mean “easier” but His Design will always be worthwhile.

Establishes Steps

“The mind of man plans his way but the Lord directs His steps” (Proverbs 16:9).  There is nothing this world can offer greater than having the creator of the Universe lead you every step of the way.  I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.  Even in the hardest of times, we can have contentment knowing that He is our protector.

What about YOU???   What blueprints aren’t going into the construction phase?  What doors is God closing?  Pray to God about what you are experiencing and thank Him for what plans He is working on behind the scenes.

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I hope you were encouraged by my post this week!  If you would like to receive weekly updates from Renovated Faith in your inbox, click HERE.

‘Til Next Time

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DIY Entertainment Center (without building a thing!)

When we moved into our house a year ago, I realized we would need a better solution to fill this large wall in our living room.  A small TV stand wasn’t going to cut it.   I needed an entertainment center with some shelves so the space wouldn’t look so barren.

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I looked at several media centers in furniture stores but they just weren’t my style and most were a few thousand dollars.   I needed a sleek, inexpensive solution to fill a large amount of wall space.

At one of the furniture stores, I stumbled upon this dresser in the “scratch and dent” section of the store.  At the time I purchased the dresser, it went on clearance for $300, less than half the original price!  It had a few scratches and one broken knob – I figured I’ve rehabed much worse!

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I realized I would need something on each end so I found these shelves at Target.  I liked the way the molding and the legs were very similar to those on the dresser.

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I have a deck of Behr paint swatches and found the color that best matched the white of the dresser.  Who knew there could be so many shades of white?!  I used that paint to touch up the scratches on the dresser and also paint the shelves.  (I used Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer before painting since the shelves were so dark.)  This picture gives you an idea of what the shelves looked like with just one coat of primer.  It really made all the difference!

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To help the bookcases and dresser to coordinate, I bought new knobs for both pieces.  I spray painted the existing dresser pulls and new knobs in Rustoleum Universal in Iron Rubbed Bronze.

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The back of the bookcases was laminate and it was pretty obvious because of the big seam down the middle.  I decided to cover the backs in bead board wallpaper to give it added texture and character.

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If you haven’t used Martha Stewart’s bead board wallpaper, it’s a pretty great product.  It looks identical to bead board and is very easy to install and paint.  I wouldn’t recommend it for super high-traffic areas like a mudroom by an entry door, but it is excellent anywhere else.  (There’s a bead board wallpaper tutorial to come!)

I decided to paint the wallpaper in Behr Sonata, the same color as the backing of my China Cabinet.  This color coordinates really well with navy and it’s one of my favorites!media-center-after

Next I had to decide how to fill my new shelves!  The nice thing about bookcases is that you can easily change the feel of a room by how you accessorize them.

Now I guess I have more of a traditional, nautical feel but it would be super easy to change out a few items to give it another style.

 

My favorite accessory is this framed quote, something my late grandfather carried around in his wallet.  My mother found it after he passed away: “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong.  Sometime in life you will have been all these.”

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He was such an example of godly character and his life personified this saying as He was always kind and considered others as better than himself.  So much I have learned from him has affected how I parent my daughter as I posted in Leaving a Legacy of Faith.

 

 

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I’m very pleased with my “entertainment center”.  I was able to customize it specifically to my needs and the bead board wallpaper added some extra character and color.  This was a fun project and a much better alternative than our little TV stand.

If you like this project you may also like:

Light and Airy Master Bathroom Makeover

DIY Faux Painted Sign Tutorial with 15 Free Scripture Printables

 

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‘Til Next Time,

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DIY Custom Curtain Rods

The curtain rods in our new house looked like something out of a 1960 Sears catalog and they had to go.  Knowing I had 16 windows to buy for, I realized the cost would add up fast for something so simple.  Since I wanted to spend more money on curtains, paint and accessories, I decided to figure out a way to make my own rods.

We moved into our house a year ago knowing we had lots of projects ahead.  Every room was crying out for a makeover, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Making curtain rods was another opportunity to put our own touch on a house we love so much.

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What You Will Need:

Electrical Conduit (I used ½ inch which is actually ¾ in. in diameter)

Cabinet Knobs

Pipe Cutter

Spray Paint (I used Rustoleum Universal in Oil Rubbed Bronze)

Curtain Brackets

Electrical Tape

Super Glue (Gel is best for this)

4” screws with a Flat Head

Hot Glue (optional)

Rod Connectors for Bay Window Rods (optional)

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First, go to the electrical section in your favorite home improvement store for electrical conduit.  I had thought about using wood dowels, but you would see the wood grain when it was spray painted.  PVC was another option, but it was too flexible, which is why electrical conduit was the perfect choice.

Electrical conduit is my new best friend.  Not only is it durable, and easy to cut, but it is also extremely cheap.  An 8’ piece of 1/2” electrical conduit will run you less than $3.00!  Be sure to pick conduit that is straight as some can be a little bent.

The best deal I found on curtain rod brackets were at Home Depot.  Make sure your bracket will fit your rod diameter.  These worked nicely with the ½” conduit.

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Assuming you already have curtains, measure for your brackets to match your curtain length (don’t forget to account for the height of the rings and clips if you use them).   I needed new curtains in the whole house so I put the brackets where I wanted the rods before even making the curtains.  I bought 110” curtains at Target because I decided that re-hemming Target curtains was cheaper and easier than making new ones from scratch.

Measure the desired width of your rod and add at least 4 to 6 inches so it extends a couple inches past your window on both sides.  In several cases, I extended my rods over a foot on each side of my windows.  I did this to make the window look larger than it actually is.

Notice how small this window is but it looks much larger when I extended the curtains out as far as they would go.  It also lets more light in which is always a good thing!

Mark the new rod size with a pencil so you know where to cut.  To cut the rod, you simply tighten the pipe cutter so the round blade is in line with the line you marked.  Tighten it just enough that you can still rotate it around the rod with some tension.  Keep rotating the pipe cutter around the rod until it gets loose again, tighten slightly and continue to spin it.  Do this until the groove in the rod is deep enough that the end pops off at the cut.

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Be sure to check around to see if you can borrow a pipe cutter.  They are not very expensive but I bought one for myself, only to find out my husband already has one and my dad has two.

Now it’s time to work on the knobs.  For the bay window in the kitchen, I wanted the look of these round glass finials at Restoration Hardware but wasn’t about to pay $50 a pair, especially when I would need so many.   So, I stumbled upon 30mm Glass Cabinet Knobs at Amazon for just over $1 each.  Jackpot!

Next, super glue the head of the screw to the bottom of the knob.  Trust me, it works!

I used an ample amount of super glue and used an egg carton to hold them in place as they dried.  As they dry, you will see some white residue from the glue on the base of the knob but the paint will cover that.   Let the finials dry 48 hours to be on the safe side.

Now it’s time to paint.  We saved this step until now so we didn’t ruin the paint finish when cutting the rod or gluing the knobs.

My favorite spray paint is Rustoleum Universal and I used Oil-Rubbed Bronze.    Read the directions on the can.  They are serious about those recoat times!

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At the same time you paint your rod, you will also want to spray paint your finials (cabinet knobs) and any other hardware.  If I had to do this over again, I would have painted the brackets too so they are exactly the same color.

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For the curtains in the dining room, I some orange knobs I found really cheap on Amazon.  Then, I just spray painted the entire knob.  For the glass knobs, I just taped off the glass sphere with blue painter’s tape before painting.

After the paint has have dried overnight, I wrapped electrical tape around the screw so it would fit snugly into the end of the conduit.  Be sure to wrap at least 2 rows of tape around screw.  This will take some trial and error as you find the right amount of tape so the finial end fits. I just kept adding tape until it was tight enough. Secure it with hot glue if that helps.

 

For the bay window rod, I used these connectors which happened to fit my curtain rods.

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Below is our master bedroom curtain rod, the tie-backs for the breakfast area bay window and the rod for my daughter’s room.

 

After attaching the finials to the rods, I hung my curtains.  I repeated this project for all 16 windows in our house and estimate that I saved a minimum of $500 if I bought all Target curtain rods.  Each rod with finials and hardware cost me about $5.

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Soon on the blog, I will share my secret on how I faked pinch-pleat curtains with pleater tape, binder rings and paper clips.

If you like this post, please share it on social media.  You might also like:

Made Over, Inside and Out – China Cabinet Makeover

DIY Vanity Transformation

‘Til Next Time,

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