We have a saying in our house. ‘Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.’
At the heart of it is our desire to teach our children how to be good stewards of their resources. How to stop and really think about each purchase and whether or not it is the best use of their money.
But sometimes this lady wrestles with taking her own advice. Because when I get a decorating idea in my head it’s really hard to not move forward at full throttle to achieve the look I want.
And as fall wove its way through my house this year I was spending a shameful amount of time dreaming about how amazing it would look to have a GIANT chalkboard over my family room fireplace. I even had the perfect quote to write on it all picked out. I scoured all of my usual local haunts but continued to come up empty handed as the only available chalkboards were just not quite big enough.
So I took to the interwebs in my search and spent more shameful amounts of time trying to find the GIANT chalkboard I envisioned in my mind. And I did find some. But they were expensive…really, really expensive. I found the absolute cheapest one among those expensive chalkboards and even went so far as to put it in my online shopping cart but I just.couldn’t.do.it.
I couldn’t spend the money. And it wasn’t about whether or not I had the money in the bank to spend on it. It was about whether or not I should use that money to buy a chalkboard that was probably going to end up in my attic for most of the year only to be taken down for the occasional photo opp.
I sat on my couch with my finger hovering over the ‘purchase’ button and stared up at the painting above my fireplace. And that’s when it hit me.
What I really wanted was something that exact size. And wouldn’t it just be so handy if that painting could serve a dual purpose.
The wheels began to turn and the creative juices started flowing and it dawned on me that maybe my favorite painting could actually be the answer. What if I were to turn the back of it into a chalkboard?
I hopped up and raced over to take a peek at the backside only to discover the most delightful surprise.
The back was already painted black!! Oh sure, I knew it wasn’t actual chalkboard paint, but a quick test with a piece of chalk confirmed to me that it would definitely do the trick.
All I had to do was paint the area (using paint I already had on hand) around where the painting was attached in order to create a kind of frame around my faux chalkboard.
The quote went up and as I stood back to admire it I couldn’t believe that I had achieved the look I wanted without spending a dime!
The thing about stewardship is that it really doesn’t have anything to do with the amount of money you have in your pocket. It really has to do with how you are going to spend it.
Is it wrong to buy something new for our homes? Of course not. But being good stewards involves wisdom and wisdom is what we need to apply to every decision we make, even if it’s about a chalkboard.
Wisdom is what kept me from clicking ‘purchase’ on that expensive oversized chalkboard I found online. It prevented me from putting money into something that really should be used for other things.
I believe that stewardship is what leads us to resourcefulness. And resourcefulness and creativity go hand in hand.
After all, just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
Thanks so much for meeting me and my faux chalkboard here at the fence today,
I too struggle with the exact same problem you do…we want what we see in our mind and we want it right now. But how you literally “turned it all around” was amazing! A beautiful sentiment…a lovely fall season to you…
Shelley @ Calypso in the Country says
What an amazing idea! You are so resourceful – and I love the quote!
Sometimes the ideas I come up with are the most creative part of my art. I always say I have one good idea a day. Sometimes I have to give them away for non-art. You thought it through and came up with “one good one”.
Carol Neibling says
I just went thru that problem. I wanted (needed) a replacement for my serger so I could make some microwave potato potato bakers for some gifts. When I went to the store I couldn’t get over how expensive they were. Finally I chose the less expensive one and it works just fine and one of these days it will go in the cabinets. I would rather use that money to help a family at Christmas time.
What a great idea! Good stewardship can be applied to our time, money, and so many other things.
What a wonderful reminder to consider first whether there might be a better price or if I’m able to make it myself or to ask myself if I really need it before making any purchase. I’m on a very tight budget and it truly makes me happy and helps my bank account too when I am resourceful.
rose l. says
First I love your faux chalkboard and the quote! Second I did something similar today. I wanted a pretty bottle for my kitchen counter to put olive oil in and found one while shopping last week but the price was a bit much. As I was cleaning my kitchen this morning the prettiest bottle ever caught my eye – one that I have had for awhile and it’s perfect for my oil and didn’t cost a cent!
Also I’m buying your book as gifts for my daughters!
At The Picket Fence says
Isn’t that so wonderful when you discover the perfect thing right under your nose and for free?! Love that you shared that with us Julia and thank you so much for wanting to give our book as gifts. We are honored and humbled!
Clive Osborne says
Great post. We love repurposing things and moving items around the house for a new lease of life. Too often we buy things just to throw something else away.