Hi!

rocker

Dear Audience,

I guess I could address this “To Whom It May Concern”, but that’s just too impersonal and business-like, and I’ve been at work all day anyway, so who want’s that?

Or I could say “Dear Sir”, but if someone is actually reading this, that someone might not be a sir.  Same thing for “Dear Madam”, and of course, now there’s a third option, but I don’t even want to go there…at least not right now.

Dearest Audience is w-a-a-a-y too familiar.

Hey, Gang!…too cheeky.

Wazup….definitely not my style, whatever that is.

Hmmm….

How about…..hello.  It isn’t catchy, or original, certainly not sophisticated.  It is, nonetheless, heartfelt, down-to-earth, and, well, me.  Now, the professional me, the one that wears a lab coat and takes temperatures spends too much precious time dispensing the collective wisdom of health and wellness to people who may or may not already know what they should do but don’t plan to do it.  The wife/mother me tries to be encouraging, listening, and probably over-compensating.  The facebook me is careful to not offend my “friends”, some of whom I don’t even know. 

Those are all part of me, to some degree.  But the blogger me, that’s just me.  Not worried about offending, not trying to keep the peace, or even put food on the table.  I write me.  And therefore, “my” audience is anyone who might find themselves interested in, um, … me.  Not my face, nor my resume, not my personal issues or political affiliations, educational degrees and certifications. 

Just me. 

And sooooo…..for anyone who might think anything coming from me might be something that they might be interested in…

….hello.

Time for #timechange…a pictorial reminder

IMG_20150307_091324946

They say a picture paints a thousand words.  So here are more pix and few less words.  

We never had to do this when I lived in Indiana.IMG_20150307_092228917

The whole “Fall Back” thing is pretty nice, getting that so-called extra hour in.

IMG_20150307_091411651

But when it comes to “Spring Forward”, gag!  That’s a little tough.  You wouldn’t think that one measly hour would make that much difference, little did I know!


Wish it didn’t have to happen leading into Sunday, but I guess we’re more concerned about people being late to work than we are being late to church. Just a thought.

IMG_20150307_091700397So here’s a double reminder,
all you fortunate 
ones that are at the starting line for that annual spring leap!

1. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward tonight, and  2. Get your butt into a pew tomorrow! (‘skuse me, this site is called “inspiration with an attitude”….)

And sometimes we need a little more strategic reminding>>>IMG_20150321_163031250

 

How ’bout some jelly on that #manna?

The Old Testament records the travel plans of the newly reorganized and very fussy nation of Israel on their way to the place that had been long promised to them as a special homeland.  Sometimes I’m tempted to think, “For crying out loud, people!”  (Which they did, frequently.)  I mean, after all, God had done some pretty amazing things from the beginning of this project, what with plagues and parting the Red Sea, Charlton Heston notwithstanding.  There was plenty of water from a rock to satisfy a couple million people or so, and enough quail to feed an army.

And then there was this thing called manna.  I think the jury is still out as to what this stuff really was, which is kind of a moot point, since it was obviously enough to keep them nutritionally sustained over time.  Kind of like the limbis bread of the wood elves in the Lord of the Rings.  (Yes, I own the trilogy of movies, directors cut and all that,… but I digress.)

I readily claim that I’m not a picky eater, and neither is Bob.  But admittedly we do enjoy some, albeit limited, variety in our palate.  I joke that I could live on pizza, but the reality is that even my homemade pizza would probably get a bit old over time.  So in a somewhat shaky defense of the Hebrew people, my very human side can relate to a diet of everyday manna bread and water, even though it made them very healthy indeed.  (I can only imagine the mothers of the five-year-olds….)

However, it seems that the people never quite learned how to address their grievances judiciously to the God that was so obviously trying to help them.  It wasn’t that they were hungry or thirsty.  They were just bored.  Bored with the desert, bored with constantly moving,….bored with bread, and more bread, and only bread.

Put that thought on hold to check out how their future king, David, managed his frustrations and fears and disappointing circumstances with God.  Here’s just a snipet of one of his many recorded communiques with his Lord:

Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me;
Fighting all day long he oppresses me. My foes have trampled upon me all day long,
For they are many who fight proudly against me.
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?
 You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?
 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;
This I know, that God is for me.
 In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?  (see Psalm 56, NASB)

Now David wasn’t just having a bad day.  This was written in the context of his true enemies (and he had many) capturing him in his own wanderings prior to his providential promise of ascending to the throne.  David had no problem “pouring out his complaint to the Lord”, it’s just that he knew how to do it properly.  It’s not about using the right words; it’s all about having the right heart.  David didn’t mince words with God; he didn’t candy coat the problem or his own emotional response to it.  But even in the muck and the mire of dealing with life, he maintained that God was with him, God was in control, and no matter how long it took, he would continue to trust God for the outcome.

Deep breath.  Back to the Israelites.  They just hadn’t grown up enough to understand and appreciate with Whom they were dealing.  Unfortunately, as it has been said, desperate times call for desperate measures.  God sent in “the snakes” to do a severe work of judgment.  And then, in typical fashion, He also provides a way of healing once bitten.

  • I find it interesting that God uses snakes to do the dirty work, since Satan was described as a snake in the garden after deceiving Mother Eve. The original sin was pride, thinking that we should be allowed to “be like God” (which, really, we already were, being made “in His image”, all that.)  Like Eve, the Hebrews thought they were “entitled” to more than manna, more than what God deemed healthy for them for that point in the journey.  Hmmm….
  • The account goes on to say that the people became impatient (Oh!  That word!!) with the long journey and complained about the manna, i.e., God’s provision.  Not complained in the sense of David’s pouring out his honest frustrations to God “Whom he knew would do what is best, and trusted Him with his life, regardless of current circumstances” kind of complaining.  This was more of a “how dare you invite us out here and feed us nothing but bread” category, and the snakes were happy to accommodate.  There is a very important warning here: when I complain to God with a victimhood mentality, with a feeling that I am entitled to more than I have (instead of a humble “I know what I really deserve” kind of thinking) there are definite “snakes” just waiting for a piece of me.  Their names are Bitterness, Resentment, Jealousy, and Offense, and they have many, many sibling slitherers close behind that are just as poisonous to my soul
  • Interestingly, once the people asked for forgiveness, God didn’t just remove the snakes. They were still lurking around, waiting and watching.  But God gave the people a pole to look upon should they be bitten, and having gazed upon the pole, they would be healed.  Similarly, if, through unresolved heart issues, we allow ourselves to be bitten, we really have only one option for true healing, and that is to gaze upon the One Who was raised up on a cross for us. 

So yeah….shut up and pass the quail.

#Mom For Hire

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Posted: MOM FOR HIRE, used but in acceptable condition.  Still capable of giving unwanted advice, making you wear a hat in the cold, and generally being an embarrassment in public. Does not do windows.  Inquire below–

That title is almost as pretentious as tagging myself as a “writer”.  But if so, it’s probably of little consequence, due to the nature of the blogosphere.  It’s not like being in high school when you had to read something and do a book report (I wonder if they still do that??)  And I know that this post is mere nano-particle in a galaxy of worm holes and flashy comets (yes, I was a Star Trek fan back in the day–the original version, to be clear.)

And yet, there is something to be said about starting my twenties by having three babies and ending that decade with selling Girl Scout cookies while putting their father through grad school.  (I.U.-Bloomington, go big red!)  My thirties were filled with prepubescence and flaming adolescence, braces, sporting events, and the task of helping the girls “find themselves”, despite the unfortunate fact that I didn’t even know myself that well yet.  That’s right, we have no sons, and I was informed that our house rules were “strict” by their friends’ parents’ standards.  My home became know as “the Convent” and I was nicknamed (affectionately, I hope) “Mother Superior”.  

Forty-something was the transitioning from a full house to my little goslings flying off to college one at a time.  I remember the night of my actual “empty nest” experience.  Our baby girl, Heather, was on her way out the door for her first night in her new dorm room.  Now granted, all the girls spent their first two years of collegiate existance at the small college where their dad is a prof.  Basically, down the street and around the corner.  But still, this was a bit of a milestone…at least for me!  Goodbye hugs, etc. No more boom boxes competing on different levels of the house.  No more choir concerts, band concerts, and various awards ceremonies at the high school. No more prom dresses, monthly allowances, or staying up waiting from someone to make it home by curfew.  Wow.

The college starts their year like most, in August.  Here in southern Missouri, August is not the most pleasant month, unless you’re a tropical iguana.  Naturally, Heather’s dorm room was hot and sweaty since she was living on one of the upper floors.  It wasn’t long (a few hours, max) before I picked up the phone hearing a request to bring herself and two or three of her new friends “home” to spend that night in the cool air-conditioning. 

The empty nest can be a bit overrated anyway…

People tend to refer to life stages as “seasons.”  My life is better described as “spasms”.  I am now in my mid-fifties, gray-er, somewhat more experienced.  I have grown to appreciate my parents, who are now in their 80’s, and the humor through which they process life.  I have grown to value my past struggles and mistakes, and embrace whatever God has for me (and my family) for the future.  

So there.  If you are over-heating in life, or even if not, I invite you to join my blog-nest, thoughts (and responses) from a well-used mother, from my home to yours.    —-    dawnlizjones

These Old Charming Houses

“Old houses have charm.”

Sure, okay.  I guess that depends on your definition of charm.  Like an obstinately leaking flat roof or creaky floor joists.  We have lived in our “charming” abode for over twenty years, and are s-l-o-w-l-y but surely getting it upgraded from charming to more functional.  Central air and the first attempt at a new roof came when we moved in.  Since then, we have successfully vaulted the flat roof, gutted and remodeled the downstairs bathroom, put in new ceilings, and improved the whole picture with new aluminum siding.  Currently, we are completely re-doing the upstairs “water closet”.

Of course, “we” is a euphemism for our wonderful and patient contractor, Dusty (which, personally, I think is a terrific name for a contractor, if you get my drift.)  Bob and I can barely hammer a nail in straight—that is, if we can find the hammer.  Dusty and his men really know their stuff.  And they didn’t even raise a stink when my over-curious husband checked out their work area to see the progress, promptly stepping into some construction goo that they had just carefully spread prior to laying the tile.  They have vision, and that gives them purpose.  They’re going for both functionality AND aesthetics!

 I love these guys.

But regardless of how careful and considerate they are (and they are!), when construction is in progress, you just can’t plan to dine a royal party in style in the middle of it.  And you also don’t want to rush the work, either.  It needs to be done properly and under experiended supervision so that the electricity doesn’t burn down the house and the plumbing doesn’t, well, you know.

Life is similar.  We all need to be remodeled, upgraded, re-done.  We are all under construction, and have our times of messiness.  People close by step in the sticky goo of our moral confusion, or have to be careful not to trip over the ripped off wallboard of our pain. 

Like my contractor, God is not deterred from His vision and purpose for us. All my goo, all my dust, it’s all temporary.  And Jesus didn’t die on a cross just to make me “functional”, although some of us would be thankful even for that!  No, He made the supreme sacrifice to make us beautiful, to make our lives count for eternity.

This Easter, don’t be afraid to hang up the “Under Construction” sign and put on a hard hat.  It’s what He now lives for!

The “art” of baking….not.

Baking is an art form, one in which I am not well versed in.  I approach baking much like I approach gardening: instead of the manicured lawns with sculpted flower beds, I’m more the scattered wildflower variety with a yard fertilized by my dog.  Nonetheless, here are a few equally scattered thoughts about baking anyway.

Starting with friendship bread—someone gives you a small bag of tan-colored, semi-liquid mush, accompanied by a sheet of specific directions which, if followed correctly, will produce some very delicious sweet bread.  The unique thing about Friendship bread is that part of the instructions tells me to save some of the mush to give away to someone else.  The more I follow the directions, the more sweet bread is produced and the more I can give away (or eat).

Now, I kind of think faith is like that. 

Andrew Murray, in his book With Jesus in the School of Prayer, refers to some of the hard sayings of Jesus, liked moving mountains and all that.  Jesus even said that “greater things than these you will do since I go to the Father”.  Wow!  I mean, really, He brought people back from the dead, pulled money out of a fish’s mouth, withered a fig tree with a word, stopped a storm at sea, commanded demons into a herd of ham, and on, and on. 

Sometimes it’s tempting to sweep these sayings under the modern day carpet with excuses—He just meant that for His disciples at that time in history, or the generic He was referring to “something else”.  (Reminiscent of the serpent’s original question to Eve concerning eating from that certain tree—“Hath God really said…..?”)

Or else I can shrug my shoulders and relent that I just don’t have enough faith.  Now there’s a real cop-out. Or I should say, a half-truth, something the old serpent is equally quite good at.  Of course I don’t have enough faith!  Duh.  But that does not stand to reason that I don’t have ANY faith.  In fact, God tells me that He has given EVERYONE a measure of faith.

My pastor says that we all make choices, including choices concerning my relationship with Jesus. LIke my Friendship bread starter dough, I am given directions on how to increase the faith God has given me, improve upon it.  In essence, I am responsible for reading and following the directions:

  • I am given a measure, even a cup, of faith. I must receive it, even if it’s like a friend giving me the bag of ugly-looking mush. Doesn’t look too tasty to begin with! (1)
  • Mixing my faith with other ingredients particularly happens in regularly hanging around other mush-loving people. (2)
  • Lots of patience, waiting, comes in the form of study, and personal time spent alone with the Lord Himself, and my nose in His Book. (3) “Those that are pleased with Christ must study to be pleasing to him; and they will not find him hard to be pleased”, says a wise old commentator.  (4)
  • Shaking the bag regularly. You don’t have to be very old to know what the shaking of life is like. But it’s the shaking and squeezing of the mush that activates the yeast, which eventually makes the bread rise.  In other words, it gives the bread “character”!  (5)
  • Part of the directions include putting my faith into a hot oven for a specified period of time. Yeah, this is also a fun one. No explanation needed. (6)
  • Giving a cup away. As someone once said, faith is personal, but true faith is never meant to be private. Something about not putting a lighted candle under a basket… (7)

Like friendship bread, I am given a portion of faith, and it’s up to me to decide what I’m going to do with it. When you follow the directions, it’s pretty amazing what can happen with a bag of mush.

 

  • Romans 12:3
  • Hebrew 10:25
  • Jeremiah 29:13
  • Henry, Matthew (2010-11-07). Unabridged Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (best navigation) (Kindle Locations 136223-136224). OSNOVA. Kindle Edition.
  • James 1:2
  • Daniel 3 – I love this story!
  • Matthew 5:15

Eat Up!

(Full post at dawnlizjones.wordpress.com)

I’m not an expert on Jewish customs by any means, but reading the Old Testament about the Passover during this season is intriguing.  Of striking interest to me is the part where the Hebrew people are warned that, once the Passover lamb is sacrificed and served up on a platter, they were to use up the whole thing in some way or other, not to leave any remaining until the next day.

What’s that about?

Here’s my take.  Leaving meat unpreserved in a hot place for several hours (like overnight) causes spoilage and rancidity.  Not just the ugly worms and bugs that we can see crawling all over the leftovers, but more importantly the ones we can’t see!  It’s not just about had badly it stinks, or how unappealing it appears served up for breakfast. The bottom line is that spoilage causes illness, and rancidity causes death. 

I think of it analogously as Jesus our Passover Lamb.  God intend us to “eat” Him completely, receiving all His words, all His commands, all His love, and to trust Him completely, or to use a good old-fashioned word, “whole-heartedly”, as opposed to “half-heartedly”.

Taking just pieces of Jesus causes spiritual spoilage and rancidity.  Like empty legalistic behavior, hypocrisy, selfish ambition, and the list goes on.  In a nutshell, it not only stinks, but causes death—in ourselves and others.  The truth is that most of us have been there, on the giving or receiving end…or both.

The good news is that, even though Jesus’s Passover sacrifice of Himself for us was a onetime event, Passover itself comes around every year.  Our God is One of second chances, and third, and fourth.  Grace is truly amazing.

So here’s to encouraging us all to make sure we “fully consume” the Passover Lamb.  It’s really the only way to not have spiritual stinkiness in our lives.

And really, even though we have to chew on it sometimes, it’s pretty tasty! 

The authority of a true “it”

(Full post at dawnlizjones.wordpress.com)  They taught me a lot of practical things in nursing school, but computers were not on the syllabus.  Probably because they weren’t around back then, at least not like they are today.  Granted, we weren’t hammering our nurses’ notes into stone or anything like that, but neither were we “charting” on a keyboard next to the patient’s bed.  We’ve come a long way, baby!

Even in the almost two decades (sheesh!! THAT long??) of public school nursing, the technology has slowly but steadily seeped into my daily activities in my little office.  Out in the small county schools, I didn’t even have a typewriter in my various offices, much less a computer.  Usually I would arrive so early that I would have to go into the building through the kitchen where the cooks were scurrying about geting ready for the breakfast bunch.  One school had the cows in the field snug up close to the school yard.  Another school had me on what I affectionately called the “third and a half floor”, which was a half flight of stairs up from the second floor that led to only a (very) small room with a spitting steam radiator.  There was no phone in that room, so the secretary would come up half way and holler for me if I got a call.  A third school put me in the closet with some kind of heating unit.  The last one stashed me away in a little place right next to the band room, which was fun when I was trying to accomplish some hearing screenings. 

As much as I loved my small rural county schools, and I did, I must say I probably didn’t carry much authority there.  At least, not in and of myself.  However, when I used my boss’ name, who people knew because of her connections with the county health department, that seemed to underscore things for me.  That, plus the fact that I also was representing the county health department.  And wearing a white lab coat once in a while didn’t hurt much either.  (There’s just something about a white lab coat that engenders respect….) 

White coat or no, I was still near the bottom of the technology pole, which was of little consequence having existed and functioned for 40+ years without it. 

Fast forward almost 20 years.  I’ve now been in the largest district in the county for most of that time, which is still small compared to our city counterparts; however, we are blessed with a very techno-minded administration and faculty, and I have gone from a monochrome 80-88 to the newest upgrade and operating system available in the district.  Of course, that may be outdated by tomorrow at the rate all this is going!  Nonetheless, my computer and I have a love/hate relationship, which proves the necessity of the Internet Technology gurus, affectionately known as the I.T.’s.  The “its” in our school community are the somewhat secretive superpowers that can move the cursor on my screen from somewhere deep within the computer grid, and like a poltergeist residing in my hard drive, can type messages to me while lurking off camera.  I have an occasional “it” sighting in my building, and must quell any urge to pull an “it” into my office if I have a computer problem.  I have learned that that is inappropriate “it” etiquette; one must go through the royal gauntlet to properly address an “it” and get repairs on one’s computer. 

Recently, I was having trouble accessing a state website needed to check immunizations on my students.  This is an important part of my job, and since we have now enjoyed the convenience of our technology, of course the convenience has grown (stealthily) into a necessity.  Thankfully, an “it” came to my rescue (having been requisitioned through the appropriate channels), making a personal visit to my office (!!) Evidently, the somewhat finicky website was questioning my authority to access the program this time.  My wonderful “it” had to add me to the “admin.” roster, and voila!  I was in!

Now, without having that authority to access the program, I would have had much difficulty accomplishing the tasks assigned to me, and the end result would have been that the children could potentially suffer from it.  One other option could be to have the “it” do my job for me, looking up all the immunizations, printing them off, and all that entails.  Not a very efficient solution, (nor probable, I might add…)  Rather, he used his authority to grant me authority.  Then, and only then, could I prevail upon the computer to let me do my job!

Not that I would want to go back to a secretary yelling up the stairs for me to get to a phone, but at least she knew my name.  And, thankfully, heaven is superbly more personal than my computer.  However, the idea of granting authority applies in very practical ways:

  • Realistically, what is my level of authority in the heavenly sphere? Do I have any power?  If I am “blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places”, how does that translate into “doing my Father’s work” on a daily basis?
  • How do I “administrate” this “ministry” of reconciliation. Both of those words have the little piece “min” embedded within them.  “Min” comes from the Latin word for “servant” and is related to the Latin word for “minor” or “smaller”.  Hmmm…. In other words, to administer really means to serve.  It calls for meekness.

In a nutshell, because of what happened at Easter, we have the authority to be logged onto heaven’s site as “admin”; our job necessitates that we access heaven’s resources to benefit those around us. 

And I don’t even have to fill out a requisition in triplicate…!

What’s that smell??

(full post at dawnlizjones.wordpress.com)  I love fresh scents—the sun-warmed honeysuckle that dominates my fence in the summer, or the whole grain bread baking in my kitchen at wintertime, it’s all great!  Evidently, our sense of smell not only brings pleasure or distaste, it also evokes memories from recent or far away past. I can barely stand the taste of coffee, but absolutely love to smell it in the morning at work or walking into a specialty store at a shopping mall.  I’m sure this olfactory phenomenon has something to do with my dearly loved parents drinking coffee at home when I was coffeegrowing up.  And the musty odor of our basement when we moved into this old house many years ago immediately took me back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, a delightful and comforting thought.

Interesting creatures, we humans are.  While we are quite proficient at compartmentalizing our human “pieces” to study and understand them, (things like our five senses of taste, touch, vision, hearing, and, oh yeah, smelling), we are not necessarily equally adept at reconstructing the pieces back into a whole to understand the impact of each piece on the other.  We are, after all, created for synergy, not for isolation.  Just ask anyone who has ever come in close personal contact with a skunk—the assault on the nose, in particular, has great impact on the feet, as a whole.  (One might wonder how I know this…)skunk

Thus I have entered the world of infusing my home with fragrances.  I find this particularly helpful still living as we do in the same old house with the musty basement, and with the addition of a large dog who has full-home access.  Through the years I’ve tried several experiments to make my home fragrantly acceptable: warm potpourri (both solid and liquid), various plug-ins, sprays, candles, wax warmers, et. al.  There is, I have learned, an inherent problem with most of these arrangements in that they tend to have other chemical ingredients to which some people are terribly allergic.  These extra ingredients, then, are not only a mere impediment to the enjoyment of the whole, they can actually be a danger to the part—not real conductive to an inviting atmosphere. (I have since found out that my own mother had had some trouble in our house because of my zealousness to home fragrances; I think she would have preferred the dog smell, having had household hunting dogs in her past homes.)

Which brings me to the present.  I now use (almost entirely) 100% pure “essential oils” in my home.  No special additives, just the oil.  They pack a punch, and so must be used properly.  I think there must be some credence to the idea that one can become accustom to an odor (good or bad) when around it consistently.  I notice this when I have had my oil diffuser on, not considering it to be very strong or even noticing it much at all, until someone comes in from outside and comments, “Ooo, it smells soOO00oo good in here!” 

Now, in addition to the “pleasant-ness” of the home, and the warm fuzzies that the fragrances evoke, some people are also inclined to believe that certain combinations of aromas can help produce certain beneficial effects on us humans.  Granted, I’m not a sold-out disciple of all the current homeopathic trends, but seeing ourselves in an integrated way, as God originally designed us, makes some of the thinking about how our sense of smell affects us seem, well,… plausibly interesting.

There are a few notable parallels here when considering our mental, emotional, and most importantly, our spiritual environment:

  • To begin with, when we try to add anything to what the Holy Spirit is trying to infuse into our lives, it becomes not only an impediment to what He wants to do in us and through us, but these additives can become downright destructive to those around Legalism or license, both are spiritually bloodthirsty. Whether we add to or subtract from His 100% pure oil (an age-old symbol of the Holy Spirit), anything but the real thing is dangerous. 
  • When we do allow only His pure oil – and it diffuses through our thoughts, words, responses, use of time, talent, and resources, etc – we often times are not even aware of the beneficial effect it is having on others. This comes with a consistently attentive walk with God regardless of, and many times deepened by, the sharp corners of our current existence.
  • Our daily inward environment has an important, but many times hidden, impact on the rest of what is happening in our hearts and minds, as well as our physical bodies. Just as how certain aromas can evoke memories and feelings, so also our spiritual sensitivity has massive influence on our perspective, insight, and purpose. And yet this area of the spirit is sorely neglected, or even completed discounted, by our sophisticated (or sophomoric) culture.  Jesus said that “the kingdom of God is within you.”

It would behoove us to pay attention, since He should know…

Pardon our #dust

drive-44438_1280

(full read at dawnlizjones.wordpress.com)  The work on the house is progressing.  Isn’t being a property owner just loads of, um…fun?

The ceiling in the dining room is now finished, and the new crown molding looks great, matching the rest of the downstairs which was done last summer.  Our wonderful contractor even patched up many of the cracks in the plaster, even though that wasn’t part of the “work order”.  (Gotta love IMG_20150410_191810206contractors who see what needs to be done, and just fixes it!)  I haven’t cleaned all the dust out of the kitchen, or moved the furniture back into the room, but it’s going to happen, I can just feel it…Haven’t gotten around to painting it all yet either—that’s my job for a later time.

The new bathroom is moving along also.  We managed just fine with seven people in the house over Easter weekend and only one functional commode and shower (we Americans are just so spoiled.)  Just today they replaced the old window with a new privacy opaque IMG_20150401_154857189_HDRone.  Now you can’t see how badly the window needs cleaning.  I wonder if that’s one of the draws of an “earth” home…??

I’ll admit, it’s all moving a little slower than I had hoped, but that’s only because I don’t have really any idea how long these things take.  Thoughts:

  • God sometimes has to move everything out of the way to get the job done. Schedules, toxic relationships, modern-day idols.  It makes the rest of our lives look a bit “undone” for a bit while the work is going on.  The nice thing is that when I do move the furniture back in, I can be choosey about what I put back into the space, perhaps a bit wiser than before.  This takes some planning and muscle on my part, a.k.a. diligence.
  • God fixes things beyond what we thought we needed fixed. Like my contractor who mended the cracked plaster in the walls—something that I had learned to “live with” as just part of my old house—so also God isn’t content to leave the cracked and peeling places in my life either.  After all, my life isn’t just my life, it ultimately belongs to Him, and He doesn’t settle for what seems to us to be “good enough”.  It takes humility to admit that there is more to the restoration process than I first admitted.
  • Sometimes things just take longer than we had hoped, doggone it! Of course, I could stop the upgrading project in the bathroom today if I so choose, but then the plumbing wouldn’t be very functional, negating the whole reason for the bathroom in the first place.  What God starts, He finishes, unless I choose to stop the program.  Patience is part of the grace He gives during the dust of construction in my life.

So during the upgrade, we have lived with the dining room table in the front room, a confused dog wondering who these people are and why they were rearranging his “cage”, and oh yeah, a short love note to my husband  written in the dust.

Who knows?  After moving the furniture back in, maybe I’ll even clean a few windows.  (Not….)