We remember the plaster dust from some of the other work we've done and not a one of us are excited about that. Marty will still have to travel a bunch so much of making this happen rests on my shoulders. I wish I could say I've been calm and prepared but quite frankly, my family is probably sick of this stressed out person they once called, "Mom". We are moving out temporarily so on top of it all we have to pack everything we own just as if we were moving to a new house. Plus we have to get enough done that we can be living here again by the time school starts in the fall. But hey, no pressure.
Despite all the technical stuff to figure out my mind has been thinking a lot about how much I am like this house. Over many years I have been strong. I have stood against storms and brought my family through them. I have endured searing heat and freezing winters. I have not been shaken by the winds that have tried to tear me apart. I have been a place of rest and fun for friends and family. Yet, I have broken places inside me. Dreams that never happened, promises broken. A harsh wounding word here or a cutting remark there. Unintentional bumps and scratches from people who maybe didn't even know they had left a mark. I've stayed up all night listening and laughing and crying. I've hosted parties and been a shelter. I've been walked on. And I am tired. The years have left their marks and broken places.
But here's the thing, God's not done with me yet. This house hasn't done anything wrong or evil but it's worn. Despite it's best efforts the roof is starting to give and the electrical is starting to flake. It's paint is falling off and windows don't work right. There are gaps that allow wind to blow through in the winter. Walls are cracked and ceilings have even fallen, not because it's a bad house but because it's a well used house.
This whole project has had to stir up faith and trust all over again. I find myself thinking back on everything we've been through and asking God, "Why?" Why can't it just be easy? Why does it seem like everything always has to be a struggle? We've worked so hard to have a home for our babies, why can't we at least have decent walls and a floor that doesn't cause slivers? Why do we have to take this test again? Did we fail? Are we so dense that we aren't learning from our previous trial? I'm so tired. People must think we are the biggest failures. It is so easy to tear yourself apart with doubt but I've realized something beautiful. God is in the business of renewing.
He knows we have grown tired. He knows all the times, even the ones we have forgotten, that we have stood strong despite the storms. He knows every broken dream and hurt. He isn't condemning us for failing but recognizing our scars and he's healing them. Sometimes the process isn't neat and clean, in fact, it's quite the opposite but the end result is beautiful. If these walls could talk they may be crying out and begging to be left alone. There is going to be a total mess that will take so much time to clean up and the process is going to be painful but in the end, this old house will be renewed. We aren't punishing it. We are healing it so that it can continue to shelter and protect and know life. If we ignore all the things it needs and pretend it's fine because we don't want to deal with the mess then in only a short time it won't be strong and the storms will destroy it. So because it is of such value to us we are willing to put the effort into fixing it.
I hope that will encourage you. Maybe instead of seeing the renovations in your life as some kind of punishment, it would help to recognize that they are actually meant to bring healing and strength because you and what you do are of such value to Jesus that He wants to make sure you are ready. I find that thought exciting and it makes the project we are facing less of a burden and more of a joy. It is a celebration! What if we could look at the renovations in our lives as celebrations? What kind of strength would that give us?
Nehemiah 8:10, Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Not sure when I will blog again with the project ahead of us but I'll try to keep you posted. Victoria started a facebook account for this project so you can stay up to date with little snippets of what's going on. It's called Smith's Summer Remodeling if you're interested in following it.
Blessings to all of you,