Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Renovation Realities

Maybe it was that obsession with HGTV that got me started.  Maybe it was all that time working with my Daddy in his shop growing up.  My self proclaimed title of Mrs. Fixit has led to a string of home improvement projects over the past two years.  Becoming a DIYer has taught me a lot. more than one blog entry will hold  The greatest one, however, is things are never as easy and simple as they appear.  A project you think should be straightforward and take just a couple of hours to complete almost always becomes a lesson in patience and perseverance.

Our latest adventure started with a can of paint (let's brighten up the kitchen) and has now included electrical, sheet rock, a tile back splash, under cabinet lighting...and the list continues.  For the past year, we have been finishing out our sunroom into a real dining space, insulated and wired, along with an overhaul of the kitchen.  We were looking forward to the near completion of our project.  We hired out the flooring work, and the contractor began tearing out the old vinyl damaged by a water leak a few months back.  As he peeled away the floor, he found we had subfloor damage too...the sturdy understructure that was supposed to be holding up our cabinets and floor was weakened to the point his foot went through in two different places.  Thankfully no one was hurt.

I must put in a plug for my fantastic neighbors...they have been such great mentors in our bright eyed renovation efforts...usually having to get us past the "what were we thinking" phase that comes right behind demolition.  Their expertise and sweat equity investment mean the world to me and Troy.

To keep the project moving forward so I could get my kitchen, and my life back, we spent a lot of time last weekend taking up the damaged boards and replacing them with newer and stronger material.  As I swept up in the sawdust signifying the completion of that part of project, I looked at the floor.  It had weathered many years of use.  We had removed the damaged section and replaced it with something new and stronger.

How it reminded me of my heart!  As we go through life, we often find ourselves with weak and damaged sections too.  Damage from mistakes we have made.  Damage sustained from circumstances beyond our control.  Sometimes it even feels like a foot falls through the walls of our hearts.

That damage that may never quite go away, but you know what?  It too can be repaired. 

2 Corinthians 5:17  English Standard Version (ESV) 

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Jesus can take that weathered heart and make it new.  He forgives us of those mistakes, and heals us from those circumstances that made us weak.  He gives us renewed strength.  (Phillipians 4:13).  The scars may never quite go away, but like the meshed together old and new material of my floor, it becomes part of your character and it makes you stronger.

I arrived home after a long day, and my floors had been completed.  The new underlayment and vinyl covered up the patching we did this weekend, and unless someone peels back the layers, they will never see the damage we repaired.  We can rest assured knowing the floor is stronger and better than it was before. 

People won't see your heart damage, but they will benefit from your stronger and better perspective gained from its repair.  Maybe just maybe that's why God chose a carpenter to serve as his son's fatherly role model.

 Don't let your "damage" keep you from being the person God wants you to be.  Be proud of the scars, and use them for his glory.  He loves you for who you are!