A Work in Progress
We all have that one room in our house that needs some work.
Even if you just finished or moved into a new home where someone else did the work, give it some time.... soon, you, too, will be headed to the home improvement store. It's inevitable.
Ya know, Lowe's got it right when they coined the phrase, "Never Stop Improving." Three truer words could not be spoken of home ownership.
Sometimes it starts out so simple - just a simple painting.
This one piece of art has stirred so many conversations in my home. When I bought it, I saw nothing. I honestly didn't think there was anything to be seen in it. I simply liked the colors.
Then one day, my sister commented about my "cow painting." Thinking she had lost her mind, I asked, "What? What cow painting??"
Now, I cannot unsee the cow! I do live in Oklahoma so I guess it makes sense - maybe a subtle nod to my roots.
Soon, the comment about the cow spread and now everyone loves to comment on what they see in the painting. For some, it's a man while others see a Native American chief. One even claims to see a dinosaur.
What do you see in the painting? Add a comment below and let me know!
Living Through a Redesign
Joining my sweet friend, Kayla, for a walk one evening after work, she asked how my week was going.
I expressed how much I needed this particular walk because my work day had been a little stressful with so many moving pieces for a project I was diving into. I went on to share my excitement for my shower, which was being retiled.
Then, it hit me. Right there in that moment, I realized something I had not considered before. I looked at Kayla and laughed as I blurted out my realization, "Gosh, my whole life is in a redesign right now!"
Not an exaggeration. This one word, redesign, was evident in every area of my life at that time.
Work - yep. I couldn't escape that word if I tried.
Home - bath and shower redesign. The darn grout lines required the space to be gutted. Lucky me, I got a new shower out of it. And I got to pay for it, too. I kept telling myself, "It's gonna be worth it. It's gonna be worth it. It's gonna be worth it.
It's got to be, right?"
And it was. So worth it.
Life - yeah, no doubt there was a redesign in full swing there, too. Not just the cosmetic, we're talkin' about moving beams, y'all - stuff that I'm not qualified to do on my own. I've handed it over to the Expert. Pretty much a flip-your-house, full gut, remodel and redesign type of work. And while we're at it, let's go ahead and embark into new territory on this one, too.
I may not have been wearing safety goggles and work boots, but every part of me was living through a redesign.
Sometimes redesigns are planned, and sometimes they seem to pop up out of nowhere. That was the case for my life renovation. I didn't seek it. I was quite comfortable.
One big change swept into my life and comforts started crumbling. Thankfully, I had a solid foundation in Christ, and He helped me to realize He is the Comfort I seek.
No doubt, He's been redesigning my life. Writing this blog is exhibit A.
I would have never ever started this if Candace was still in control and calling the shots. (She has a tendency of caring too much what people think, so that was step one of Demo Day - let go of what people think. Focus on what God says about you.)
Parts of it, similar to my bathroom and job, are thrilling! It's truly incredible to see the work begin - to gawk at the demo. Gosh, who knew under all that tile and grout, there were some bare studs and pipe and metal making this thing work?
Gosh, who knew under her quiet and polite exterior, there was a heart that was ready to burst forth and declare God's truth and goodness through her most vulnerable and ordinary experiences alike?
And it's thrilling to not be in control. In the beginning, doubt caused me to wonder if I'd run out of words to write or stories to share.
Then, without fail, He gives me the words and the stories. I go on a walk with a friend or I drive through fog or I hear an unexpected word choice or I read a devotional that hits me to my core or I listen to a song or I laugh out loud or I go get groceries or, or, or... Inspiration surrounds me. God is constantly opening my eyes to see Him leading me - to see Him with me.
I'm humbled that He'd share this adventure with me.
Beauty in the Pace
And sometimes, well, the redesign is taking longer than I'd like. Even with my bathroom tile, I wanted to hurry the process along and start enjoying my new shower.
Similarly in other areas of my life, I think - Okay, God, is the redesign done?! Is it time to yell, "MOOOOVE THAT BUS?!" I just want to see what all You're doing here. I know You're doing big things, I just can't see it all yet.
Fact is, you don't want to hurry a redesign.
Hurrying would cause you to miss something and have to redo it. And Lord knows, we don't want that. Demolishing the walls was hard, painful work. Rebuilding - remaking - doesn't happen over night.
There may not be beauty in the space yet, but there's beauty in the pace.
Getting to see and experience the progress, we get a front-row seat to watch the Artist at work in our lives.
It's not glamorous work. Growing up watching Trading Spaces, I always thought it was so funny how some designers would show up in nice shoes and name brand clothing.
I don't think God's like that. His hands are messy; He's got the grungy knee-pads on as He's working through the details.
He works on us from the inside out. We may think only the tile needs to be replaced, but He sees the heart issue underneath it all. He's reworking not just the tile but the plumbing. It's going to cost more. It's going to take more time.
But it's worth it.
He didn't hire someone else to do it. After all, He created you. Who better to do the redesign than the One who knows exactly how you've been woven together and the purpose He has for you?
He loves us too much to leave us where we're at. He wants us to radiate His glory - to take our brokenness and remake us with renewed purpose.
What is He redesigning in your life?
Although He doesn't want us to hurt, the pain has purpose. Gosh, if I've learned anything through my various seasons of hardship, it's those three words right there.
Pain has purpose.
Remember that when you're living in Demo Day.
He wants to remove the parts that aren't working. He wants to not just fix but replace the weary fixtures so we shine and work as new.
He's making us new!
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul teaches us,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! - 1 Corinthians 2:17
Jesus' invitation to be born again is an invitation to a new family, a new identity! It's not just a remodel or a whitewashing of our old selves. We're born again, made brand spankin' new!
God initiates this with us. He's working from the inside out.
...that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:6
Surrender is the place where we get to see God's strength at work in our lives. Joy explodes as we experience the transformation of His hand in our lives. Peace floods our hearts and minds while rest characterizes our pace as we daily choose surrender again.
Who's in charge of your redesign?
If it's you, are you sure you want to be responsible? Consider letting the Expert come in and take over - He loves you and He wants what's best for you.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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