I come from a family full of people who think that finding a good piece of trash is even better than winning the lottery.
And one of those people is my brother Mark.
Do you notice a trend?
If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I posted recently about a super scary health scare my brother had last week. It was overwhelming and full of super scary conversations and super scary updates and super scary things that I never ever want to talk about again.
But with all the prayer in the world and the help of an amazing team of doctors, he pulled through.
He’s smiling and feeling better and sat up in a chair today and even though there is a long road ahead of him…
…he’s on the mend.
So to celebrate him and cheer him up and send him all the love in my heart, I wanted to share the story of the best trash-to-treasure project ever.
And the brother that built it.
Have you ever walked by a trash bin with a stack of pallets?
Pallets that look like this.
Pallets that someone tossed.
Pallets that most people see as junk.
But my brother, Mark?
He doesn’t see trash. He sees all the wonderful potential.
Look at the patina and how the pieces fit together and the wood that someone else was going to get rid of is now a piece of art.
I still remember the first time he showed me this table all those years ago. He brought it in sheepishly and put it down and shrugged his shoulders and told me he made me something different than anything he’d ever made before.
And he wasn’t sure if I’d like it.
It was different.
And a little random.
And rough around the edges.
He made the table from scraps. At the time he had an Etsy shop where he made pallet wood letters. When he worked on a letter, scraps from the project would fall on the floor.
Pieces that the carpenter overlooked under his feet.
But my brother?
He saw the value in those scraps. He saw the beauty in the pieces that so many people would have just tossed away. He took the forgotten and the discarded and the neglected and created something so beautiful it looked like it belonged in a high-end furniture store.
The work of a master craftsman.
And when I saw it, I smiled.
I jumped up and down and awkwardly dolphin clapped and told him I loved it.
And then I took another look and told him it reminded me of……
If I’m keeping it real here there are so many times when I doubt myself and my projects and my decorating and my questionable workout bell bottom pant choice and I then I see someone newer and shinier with perfect teeth and perfect hair and the appearance of perfection and birds singing around their head and rose petals dropping when they walk.
And I try to tell myself I’m amazing.
I really, really try.
I remind myself of amazing things I’ve done and that really good hair day I had a week ago and the project I finished that at the time seemed worthy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
But inside I shrink.
Self-doubt creeps in.
And amazing seems light years away.
Maybe that’s why I identified with the table.
It’s kind of like me without the bell-bottom workout pants.
Different. Random. A little rough around the edges.
But all those scraps and random bits of absolute nonsense? Together they create joy and uniqueness and imperfection and character and a one-of-a-kind personality.
And I realized that somewhere along the way….
….a little bit of amazing just showed up.
But that’s not the end of the story.
I love a story with chapters still to be written. There’s another chapter to this table’s story.
Because that table?
It’s living its best life at Baylor in a college apartment.
The twins and I decided they needed a daily reminder that they were amazing too. 🙂
PS Thank you so much for all the messages on Facebook and Instagram about my brother. I read every one.