"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

August 26, 2007

Carlos and the kitchen

"Get 'er done" is the motto around here.
My hubby's best friend has given us an incredible gift of a kitchen remodel, as I have mentioned before. This is the 10th week that we've been at it. It is what our lives have been all wrapped up in this summer. He's been at our house almost 7 days a week.... Some late nights and some early mornings and then there were some major interruptions...
So far, he has:
made the kitchen 42" bigger (what a difference!)
reused our existing cabinets
put travertine on the floor
made granite counter tops
put in a couple of new windows
put in a new sink
and made a bar (counter) for sitting at
It's really amazing.
And there were some interesting things that have happened that have made us see the hand of God and decide that it was all really about more than me getting my socks blessed off by having a better kitchen.

First off, the house was sagging and we didn't know it. It took alot of work to fix it and no one will ever fall through the floor now. yahoo! I felt so sorry for him though. It was sure more work than he bargained for!

Secondly, Carlos' health has been an issue. He knew that he was ill before he started this project but he kept putting off going to the doctor for months.
When he finally decided to go, Nathan said that he wanted to go and be "his prayer support." (how sweet was that?) Then Andrew didn't want to be left out ...and so all 5 of us went with our dear friend to the doctor. (I had the fun of beating my boys in the one and only video game that I ever will-Ms. Pac Man! Our dr. office has two old arcade games in the waiting room.)

He found out, that he has type two diabetes. His number was off the chart. That was a scary time and the kitchen work slowed way down, not that we cared.

Then things got even worse. His eyesight got so bad and at such a fast rate that there was a day when he said that he didn't think he could finish the kitchen because he was going blind. And what he was most upset about wasn't loosing his eyesight, but that he would not be able to finish what he started in our kitchen. And that just blew me away. Isn't that incredible?
When I looked up his symptoms it appeared that he had one of two diseases where diabetes damages retinas and causes blindness. It was very scary.

Then a trip to the eye doctor brought glorious news....
His retinas were fine. The blurriness was caused by the sugar in his eyes but that the retinas weren't damaged. That was great news. But it was hard to tell that that was the case because everyday he could still see less and less...

But, he just kept working away at the kitchen! He didn't want to stop even though he needed help reading tape measures and things... He used a magnifying glass and a pair of old glasses that he wore way back before he had laser surgery on his eyes years ago. He just kept plugging away at it.

Through all this, he's learned to take better care of his body. His sugar levels have greatly improved. They are so low now! It is really great!

After weeks and weeks of not being able to see properly, last week God gave him back his vision! 20/20 again! Glory, glory, glory!

Now, that was last week's good news.
This week's good news is that he is feeling better than he has felt in years!

The energy level he has now, is enough to make a 2o year old man jealous. It's like watching the Engerizer Bunny come and work at your house. He is non stop.
He has a daytime job now, doing remodels and he comes here to work at 4:00 for what he says is the 'fun stuff.' Which is still hard work. But he seems to really enjoy it.

Labor day will be a laborious day, but we think it might be the day when this kitchen is actually done!
~Thanks to an amazing man, who wanted to give an amazing gift and persevered through some huge trials to see it accomplished. It's been a very humbling experience.

And here are some pictures of what he's accomplished in spite of everything! He's amazing!

This is the night it all started: When he knocked out the kitchen wall above the bookcase.

It's so open now. We love it.
This is a granite bar where the bookcase was.

I'll post some more when it's all finished.


Becky said...

Yikes, that is quite a project. And your dear friend had quite a diagnosis in the middle of it all. I hope all gets complteted very soon, and his health gets stabilized completely.

Thanks for visiting me. I was nice to "see" you again.

gr8tful4grace said...

Bless Carlos' heart...an amazing testimony! And your house is just beautiful! ~Yvonne

JennaG said...

You are going to have the greatest kitchen--I am trying not to be jealous of your granite countertops! I'm so glad that Carlos had found out what is wrong and is getting proper treatment. You have a sweet and thoughtful family. Hope the JBQ is going well. Do you guys divide your kids into different point values? That makes a huge difference when competing. Also for TBQ, we have three to a team, and divide the segment of scripture for that match into three equal parts and divide it up among the team members. It works really well.