The last several days have been quite the adventure! I have watched our home be scraped and sanded, and scraped and sanded some more. You know, a house takes pretty good care of us if we take good care of it. Show it a little love. But when we don’t, things happen to it like the weather along with the way it hits and batters our home. How easy it can be for leaves and twigs to gather in our gutters and down spouts. Heat can cause our home’s glory to fade and/or blister over time. So even as the previous owners may not have wanted to, or just couldn’t take care of this home, and any repairs were less than stellar, it is still standing and hopefully, we will bring some beauty back to its outside cedar walls. So… what has that got to do with changes and cover-ups? Let me share a few thoughts with you about what came to mind as I did a walk-around and took a picture of the pre-finished prep and painting.
First came the bath. Power washing an older home with cedar wood siding can bring surprises. BIG surprises…such as wood needing replacement. Then after house drying, came the listening to the drone of a scraper going across our walls and the sander sanding down the rough spots. It was rather painful to me. There were some warped areas even that need to be straightened out by extra support. However, it made me think of how my life has had many rough patches, splinters and chips that have needed to be taken off by the Carpenter Himself. When our contractor did this for the house, it was for the better and longer life of the home. He was cleaning it, smoothing out the wood as much as possible for the age of the cedar, and preparing it for the next step. The next step was to fill anything that might need filling, priming spots that needed it to accept the paint that was coming. But what if you had to change the color scheme completely? Roll baby roll with it. We had to just that, from blues to green with off white trim.
But…let’s pause and think about that. What would happen if he just would have come here and just started painting? The paint would have looked ok for a while maybe, but in a not too distant future, the paint would have shed off the old cedar and we would have a multi-colored home with bleeding of old paint. The paint would not have adhered to the wood given how dusty it was and the problem areas of the siding. All the work and money would be for not.
So… do you ever carry your bad experiences or anger, and have a few chips and splinters and rough patches that you refuse to allow to be cared for? You know you need it, but may not willing to deal with it or do the work required, along with God’s help, to see where it may need some extra attention for you to let it all go? Oh we can try to cover it up with a life style we show everyone in person or on social media, or by the clothes we wear, or the house or car have, or purse we carry. We can even hide the sadness on my face with makeup so we look good for others. However, we could be crying inside, or be lonely even among many people. We could purchase “things” so that we feel better, or have a glass of wine thinking that will do the trick. But it won’t. We still have to live with ourselves. We know what we think and feel like…like an old house needing attention. That is why God tells us to know Him more and more, and He will guide and direct us. He helps us shed what needs to be shed.
I believe God was reminding me today that it isn’t about all that. It is about what I am willing to let go of, and how much excavating I am willing to do to smooth out the rough areas. That IS my responsibility. God will help me if I am willing. However, I have to be willing to do the work. It is work to do what the contractor did for the house prep. He knows the value of getting that all accomplished before painting. And even though all that work is done, it will still carry some of those rough spots…the scars of living. I have plenty of those and they show and give testimony to how I have made it through with God’s help. I don’t like them, but they remind me of what God has brought me through. Ask God to be your sandpaper and rub off the things He needs to work on, or chip off what needs to be chipped off. It is a process that will sting a little, but He is faithful to help us. And.. IF you think you don’t have areas to work on, you are in some kind of denial. Why?? Because we all have them. We just have gotten good at hiding them from ourselves and others. It will come out at some point. Better to do the work before that happens. It is my hope at some point to add a little Norwegian flair to the peaks of the home. But that it a day from my oldest son to add to our personal touches.
This house was a legacy to someone before us. Mark Batterson says, “Legacy is not what you accomplish. Legacy is what others accomplish because of you.” God has given us a house…it is our desire to make it a home where others feel something different in its presence. So as I walk around it today with the front of it being done without the trim painting, I can see progress to loving on a home with all its issues as a way to give back to God the joy of caring for what He has graciously given us. We will continue to be faithful to that end. Even when there will be areas that continue to remind us of the value you a few scars…it means we have lived.
Doesn’t your life scream for that also? Mine does. I want to leave a legacy to those around me, and who love and care for me. Don’t you see how God cares for you each day you wake up to breathe the fresh air? Because, if you have taken that for granted and just think you deserve to live here and do what you do, then I hope you see the value of this lesson about life differently after reading this. You were given a life, and many haven’t had that privilege of a long life. You have the opportunity to build a legacy with your freedom; to make it what you would you desire and leave that legacy behind. Start where you can, with what you have, and keep stepping forward. He is faithful to guide us if we don’t think we are so smart that we don’t need Him. We do now more than ever. I know I do and I’m sure if you are honest with yourselves, you could admit there are areas of your life you need do something about. Are you covering it up to try and hide it, or letting God work with you to prepare you for what is next? That’s the rub, isn’t it? Letting Him in to do the work. It might take some time and hurt for a while. However, the end result is pretty amazing. Lessons are not always easy or fun, but you can feel grateful for the grace given for the journey you are on.
Let Him do a little remodeling in your heart and in your thinking. We will have a home to remind us of just that. We still have to do the maintenance on the house to keep it in good condition. We have to do the same thing in our daily lives. Our home is still not done, but we will have a better version of our home when it is complete. And…I did get my red door still!
Remember the seeing the picture of the Jesus knocking at the door? We have heard that verse about Jesus standing at the door of your heart, but WE must open the door. Do you know why that says that? Because if you look at the picture of the original, you will find there is no handle on the outside of the door. That is because we have to open it from the inside to allow Him entry.
Until next time…
P.S. I have decided through prayer, that my weekly posts may have been more me than Him, so I chosen not to continue that part of this blog. Given my blog is what this site is for, I will stay with that. Thank you so much for being faithful in your readership. I appreciate all of you! Enjoy the sunshine.