• Coleen Merk

Finding The Right Tools


It is truly a blessing being married to a General Contractor. But, sometimes I get myself into quite a pickle. I recently laughed and said to myself, "Be careful what you ask for, Coleen!"

Since moving into our “fixer upper” home almost 5 years ago, we always knew we wanted a big carport for all of our “big," Texas-sized trucks. Let's face it; a small garage or average carport just won't cut it.

Well, the carport is close to being finished! Yeah!

I original made the comment to my husband that it sure would be nice to be able to walk from the carport to the house without worrying about getting my hair wet should it be raining.

Well, ask and you shall receive!

So not only did I get a covered area, I got a beautiful wide breezeway and soon-to-be-added door right into the house! Thanks honey!

Having been on this journey for the last five years, I've realized that all I have to do is ask whenever I want to make a change! I have to gather the appropriate tools, clear my workspace, make a plan and get it done. I may need the drill & bits to drill a new hole or my skilsaw to cut away the pieces I don't need anymore. Suddenly everything comes together, fits nicely, and creates exactly what I had envisioned. 

It's no secret that a lot of the construction business can be translated into how our brains and bodies work. I share a lot in my new book, The Starting Over Toolbox, about how I used these metaphorical tools to re-train my brain and change negative patterns into positive ones.

Dr. Caroline Leaf says the mind is described as neuroplasticity, which means it can easily grow and change. She states we can "use our imagination as a tool to create successful and satisfying lives." No matter the circumstances, trauma or experiences, we can reshape our brains for success. This not only gave me an incredible boost of confidence, but it truly changed my thinking around so many limiting beliefs I previously held onto that I know where holding me back. So many talk about turning the age of 65 and identifying as 'over the hill' or a 'senior citizen,' but that wasn't how I saw it. I wasn't ready to be confined to a rocking chair, knitting away on a scarf, and complaining about my age. And hopefully you aren't content with that either! There is still so much life left to live, no matter your age or circumstance. 

As my General Contractor (and amazing husband) proceeded to attach the breezeway to the house, he had to make adjustments to compensate for the house not being level. This way when you look at the breezeway, you don’t know it is not perfectly level with the line of the house. So here's the lesson: we will never be perfect, and we are not called to be perfect. The house not being level is simply a part of what makes it OUR house. It can still work, even if it's not perfect. We just need to dig into the toolbox and figure out the right tool for the job.

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